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Question about Tablets....


knarthex
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Hey folks!

 

I am thinking about buying an inexpensive tablet for travel use... (It needs to go to Texas this fall...)

 

So I am asking folks what they have / use(d), what they like and dislike about them, and ny other thoughts!

 

Not a total tech noob, but the tech advances to fast for me to keep up with!

 

Thanks!

 

George

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Well, I have several...

 

My most inexpensive was some 3letter crap bought in Thailand. Not even the description on the box was correct...

Second up is my Acer Iconia B1, which was pretty cheap, but suffers from updates.

That is, as Acer has pushed update after update it has slowly filled up the internal storage to the point that it's now almost completely useless.

The same with a Samsung pad I have. Full of crap...

Those are my 7" tablets.

My 10" ASUS pad has lots more memory, so isn't suffering, yet. But it's also kind of too large to carry around too much.

 

I mostly end up bringing a Kindle. (I have an one old one and a paperwhite. None of the Fire or other fancy stuff)

It can be used for websurfing, but only just... if you have patience, and the site is very clean.

(I do my surfing on a cell-phone instead)

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I get along pretty well with my Surface, but it's a shade heavy, and I really only use it when gaming (it runs Hero Labs, which cannot be said for most Android tablets, and the fruit and its offspring are not welcome in my house.

I do own a kindle Fire HD, but it mostly is used for reading books and comics. Very rarely, I stream a movie on it, because I'm not feeling well enough to do anything but flomp in bed.

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I've got the Surface, wife has an iPad mini, a Surface, and a Kindle. I really don't see much difference between my iPhone and the iPad. They're good for what I use them for, which is general internet connectivity, email, information, note jotting, and the calendar.

 

The Surface is really the workhorse of my life now. I've got, I think, the original Surface and since the 2 was already out and another was on the way, it was a cheap refurbished one. Total of 8 or 9GB, so I've got one game that took up half the memory and the recovery disk was taking up the other half. You can offload the recovery disk to a USB drive (which is now in the fire safe) and I think the app has since optimized the space needed.

 

I use the Surface for surfing while on the couch, watching YouTube videos, and various simple games (Asphalt 8, Disney Magic Kingdoms, Time Crimes are the three I'm currently playing). I use the Bamboo app a lot, which is a virtual notepad. Think virtual paper and a stylus pen. I'm currently designing a CAV for my homegrown faction, using the graph paper type pages. There's also blank and notebook styles. It's also got Skype, Line (a text message app), Kindle app, lots of little Microsoft games (Solitare, Mah Jong, jigsaw puzzles, etc). There's even a set of Microsoft Office apps (Excel, Word, PowerPoint) but I have tended to use my regular computer for that. There's also an app called TeamView, that I've got on the regular computer which allows me to control it via either my iPhone or Surface. That's come in super handy since all my important stuff is on the regular computer. I've paid bills from out of the country by logging in to my home computer, and other useful stuff like that. It also has a regular Windows desktop, should you want it.

 

The other really nice feature is the USB port. That's come in super handy on vacations, as I import all the family photos off the iPhones/iPads to the Surface, then copy those to the USB drive. Although I don't have it, you can get a detachable keyboard. I'm wondering now if a USB hub would work, so you could plug in a full keyboard and mouse.

 

I really don't use my regular computer much at all anymore since I got the Surface. It is now used for business like stuff, and large programs that the Surface can't run (3D CAD, etc).

 

What I don't like about the Surface is the internet browser. You're stuck with IE, and that has all the typical IE stupidity in it. Drop down menus on the surface are a royal pain, and it works a little better when a mouse is connected. And... that's about the only thing I don't like about it.

 

Should this one eventually die, I have no issues with buying another. I might even go and get the latest one, rather than one that is a generation or two behind. Then again, that would save quite a bit of money, so I may just stick with buying whatever is cheap.

 

Oh, and Groupon was where the wife bought this for me as a gift. She then saw how much I used it, and bought one for herself. She doesn't use it nearly as much as I do, but she's also sitting at her main computer desk most of the time, and screws off a lot less that I.

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Have a Kindle Fire.  It has a camera, plays movies, can surf most of the internet ( a lot of sites you have to download a plug-in), but has issues with Hangouts.  Had it two years and it has not become so bogged down with forced updates that it can't be used.  Battery life is decent, I can read for 6 hours without needing recharging.  You can also get lots of free books and games for it. 

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DragonTouch tablets break easily.

 

I have a Samsung Tab 3, my son a Tab 4. These are quite hardy and have withstood a lot of abuse, and hold an excellent charge.

 

We stick with android tablets because we can keep our already paid for stuff. Windows based or Apple and we'd have to repurchase. <_<

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Kindle Fire tablets (we have several) work great, but getting something not in the Amazon ecosystem is fairly difficult. And you can get the smaller one for about $40 pretty often.

 

Surface Pro is a great tool, since it's a PC in tablet form that runs Win10.

 

Surface is decent enough, but the Surface OS is a bit limited.

 

iPad is, from the accounts of friends who own them, quite nice, with an excellent software ecosystem, but Apple likes them quite a bit more than I do.

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Most important question is what are you going to want to do with the tablet and what your price range is.  If it's just some reading email, ebooks, and some web browsing/social media, there are probably many that will work just fine.  The Amazon Kindle Fires are probably a good bet if you pick up ebooks from them and want to have some ease of finding apps.

 

I am very happy with my iPad Air, but that's a much more expensive proposition.

 

I did pick up a refurbished 11" Lenovo ThinkPad for $200 as a cheap travel laptop.  Slow, but works well for what I want in a travel laptop (checking email, typing, minor productivity app use on the road, and inexpensive should it get lost or stolen).

 

Ron

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