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Tablet Recommendations?

VerdianVerdian Registered User
I am interested in buying a tablet, but I don't want one made by apple. I have been looking around, and there doesn't seem to be much out there. Honeycomb looks interesting, and is probably the route I will take, but which tablet do you recommend? Samsung seems to be making some nice ones, but I want some knowledgeable opinions.

To make things worse, from what I've been reading, some of these new tablets have cell phone contracts attached to them, which is out of the question. I do not live in America, but plan on visiting in a month. This is my time frame. Any advice?

Or should I just get a netbook?

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Verdian on

Posts

  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    The first giant wave of Tablets from not Apple is going to hit stores later this year. You don't have much options at this point.

    Improvolone on
    Voice actor for hire. My time is free if your project is!
  • DeicistDeicist Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    If you're interested more in the value end of the tablet market, there's an absolute shedload of chinese android tablets available, they've been churning them out since the iPad launched. Most have resistive screens, which aren't great... but they are cheap. Very cheap. Like $200 cheap.

    Like this one

    eBay has literally dozens of these things.

    Deicist on
  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I think the only real direct competition to the iPad is the Galaxy Tab*, which you should be able source unlocked and sans contract.

    If you're also considering netbook you might want to look into something like this. I setup my sister with a 9" version cause she wanted something with a stylus, and she's quite happy with it. Keyboard helps a lot with text entry. It's got multi-touch (though the touchscreen gets wonky at the screen edges, something you don't see in nicer dedicated tablets) and the Asus apps include a gesture-based interface and the ability to swap between "finger/touch" mode and pen mode. I did have to put in some hours tweaking it so as to maximize performance, and you do need to max out the RAM to get Win7 snappy at all.

    Saw the 10" version on woot for around 3 bills just a few days ago and wish I'd picked one up.

    *Edit: Not sure if the (Android-based) Dell Streak 7" is out, but that also might be an option.

    Djeet on
  • FairchildFairchild Rabbit used short words that were easy to understand, like "Hello Pooh, how about Lunch ?" Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Yes, the 7" Dell Streak is available. I have the Samsung Galaxy Tablet and I'm very happy with it. I work for a wireless carrier, however, so the phone contract that comes with it is not a problem for me.

    Fairchild on
  • kaliyamakaliyama Left to find less-moderated fora Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Verdian wrote: »
    I am interested in buying a tablet, but I don't want one made by apple. I have been looking around, and there doesn't seem to be much out there. Honeycomb looks interesting, and is probably the route I will take, but which tablet do you recommend? Samsung seems to be making some nice ones, but I want some knowledgeable opinions.

    To make things worse, from what I've been reading, some of these new tablets have cell phone contracts attached to them, which is out of the question. I do not live in America, but plan on visiting in a month. This is my time frame. Any advice?

    Or should I just get a netbook?

    What do you want a tablet for?

    kaliyama on
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  • rockmonkeyrockmonkey Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I personally don't recommend the Dell Streak at all. For that matter I don't like the original Galaxy Tab much either. I played with the Tab for several days for work and if it hadn't been for the crappy 14 day return policy I would have shipped it back. As is I gave it someone to else in the office.



    EDIT: I hate to be no help at all and to sound so negative, but with the tablet market still in it's infantcy There aren't a lot of all around GOOD choices to be had.

    Like Kali asked above, do you have something specific in mind that you'd like the tablet to be able to do.


    The main problem is that most of them aren't quite out yet. I would recommend the iPad first, but you decidedly don't want an Apple product ( isthere a reason here? might help picking from the others). The Motorola Xoom does indeed look promising as do many other honeycomb tablets from the major manufacturers, it's just the issue of a few months before they're available.

    I heard Feb 24th for some sort of release for the Xoom, but that was probably a pre-order date, and not a physical on the shelf release. I could be wrong.

    rockmonkey on
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  • VerdianVerdian Registered User
    edited February 2011
    That is a good question. I should have posted "why I want one" in the first post. Here is what I want to use it for:

    - Typing things up on the go, like a journal.
    - Using the internet.
    - Typing up reports for work (powerpoint and excel as well).
    - Storing and editing photos with Picasa.

    So why a tablet and not a netbook? I want something small and light with a big screen. I am looking at what Djeet recommended and am very impressed. Something in that vein would be just as good, if not better.

    edit: The main reason I don't want an iPad is I don't like how closed everything is. I like to have software options and fool around with settings and programs. Apple is too controlling for my taste. And the recent 30% fee they are charging developers for their apps is not helping my opinion of them. I don't really want to turn this into a pro/con apple debate, though.

    Verdian on
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  • SpoitSpoit *twitch twitch* Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Yeah, if one of your primary use cases is typing stuff, I'd suggest going for a netbook, if not a small laptop.

    Spoit on
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  • AmpixAmpix Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I have an iPad, and while I like it a lot, it sucks for typing. You don't notice it right away, but the fact that the screen doesn't 'give', like buttons on a keyboard do, really starts to hurt after a while, and gives me some RSI-like complaints. I can't imagine other tablets being different in this aspect. For casual browsing, games and notes (during class or something) it works, but anything more typing-intensive I'd say get a netbook.

    Ampix on
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  • ZiggymonZiggymon Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    the motorola Xoom is the first honeycomb tablet out this year. $600 for a WiFi only version which is what you are looking for.

    Otherwise the Galaxy Tab 2 or whatever they are calling it looks promising.

    I wouldn't buy anything that has Android 2.2/2.3. Unless its cheap.

    Ziggymon on
  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Improvolone on
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  • DaltonCarlDaltonCarl Registered User regular
    edited July 2014
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    DaltonCarl on
  • Blake TBlake T Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Verdian wrote: »

    So why a tablet and not a netbook? I want something small and light with a big screen. I am looking at what Djeet recommended and am very impressed. Something in that vein would be just as good, if not better.

    edit: The main reason I don't want an iPad is I don't like how closed everything is. I like to have software options and fool around with settings and programs. Apple is too controlling for my taste. And the recent 30% fee they are charging developers for their apps is not helping my opinion of them. I don't really want to turn this into a pro/con apple debate, though.

    Well to be honest, all netbooks and tablets have tiny screens.

    If you want something that is light with a big screen I'd say a 13" air.

    It covers the most of your requirements which is light and able to do all of your editing. (I don't think you can do word, excel of powerpoint on any tablet currently).

    I say this as someone who has a netbook.

    Really typing on a netbook isn't that bad though. I have giant fucking hands and I can type on it blind without making many more mistakes than I would usually.

    If you can get past the screen size I'd say netbook. Otherwise get a 13" air. Because you know, it's half the price and can run at least office pretty well.

    Either that or I would recommend waiting another six months.

    Honeycomb looks great (though might not run the office editing suite you want to)

    Blake T on
  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    If you liked that Asus netvertible you might also want to check out Fujitsu's T580. It'll have a better screen/digitizer and notebook-class hardware (core processor, can handle more than 2 GB RAM), but it'll come at a significantly higher price point.

    I only know about these machines cause I was looking into touchscreens that support styli, which are almost non-existant now outside of specialized applications (medical) since capacitive touchscreens have taken off.

    Djeet on
  • DaltonCarlDaltonCarl Registered User regular
    edited July 2014
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    DaltonCarl on
  • jinkumabutajinkumabuta Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Would wintel convertibles be acceptable to you?

    These things used to be prohibitively expensive and pretty lackluster in performance but recently, you can get an hp touchsmart tm2t with a ulv i5 CPU, 4gb of ram and a discrete ati gpu for about the same cost as a 3g-enabled ipad or less if you shop around for one of those recurring coupons.

    I have one and while I admit it's far from being perfect (in some areas the ipad excels in like the screen quality, ironically), it's still an incredibly portable and useful machine thanks to the wacom stylus and its ability to use photoshop/onenote like a portable cintiq, then browse the web with your hands or turn it into a regular laptop to type an email on.

    If you don't care for the discrete ati gpu, or mind a slightly higher pricetag, I hear the thinkpad x201t has all these qualities plus a great 12" IPS screen, a better battery, more robust build and a lack of the hipster pattern macbook imitation finish.

    jinkumabuta on
  • SpoitSpoit *twitch twitch* Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    The tm2 is the one that also had a touch sensor, right? Those are smaller than a normal laptop, but still a fair bit larger and heavier than a netbook or tablet. I think that best buy stocks it, if you wanted to have a look at one.

    Spoit on
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  • VerdianVerdian Registered User
    edited February 2011
    Thank you all for your recommendations! I've been searching around using your advice, checking out products and links. Right now, I am thinking the Lifebook T580 is what I would like. It is light, can be used like a tablet, has a keyboard, and has nice specs. The only thing holding me back from buying it are the pictures of the tablet with a wireless keyboard... The idea of a honeycomb tablet with a keyboard is very tempting, even if it means I have to wait a few months.

    Is it reasonable to expect such a tablet to exist in the next couple of months, or am I just deluding myself? The Lifebook T580 is expensive enough that I don't want to make the wrong choice in haste.

    Verdian on
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  • DratatooDratatoo Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    If you're interested more in the value end of the tablet market, there's an absolute shedload of chinese android tablets available, they've been churning them out since the iPad launched. Most have resistive screens, which aren't great... but they are cheap. Very cheap. Like $200 cheap.
    eBay has literally dozens of these things.

    You might as well take your $200 and flush them down the toilett. While there might be a few gems out there, most of the chineese companies rely on that exact strategy: trying to sell you a crappy product which looks identical to the original because the buyer cannot afford the real thing. Thats the reason most of them are iPad knockoffs.

    Secondly, even if you know the name of that one cheap device that is basically the "diamond in an ocean of shit" there are 100 variations which suck. Its most likley that you are not even getting (one of the better) versions that is advertised in these auctions. Hell you don't even know what this thing is running on. Could be anything: From relabled and stolen parts, to HW which barly has the power of a 2004 cellphone. Resistive screens: Be prepared to basically stab the thing in order to register any input.

    Most of these pads cannot even run the Android OS fluently, or don't have the requirements to run most of the more taxing applications. And thats basically the main point of having a tablet: "Smooth experience, without worring to much about any innards of the system".

    To sum up: Hands off and save your money.

    Have a video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJXlFcAaSIk&feature=channel

    Dratatoo on
  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Verdian wrote: »
    The idea of a honeycomb tablet with a keyboard is very tempting, even if it means I have to wait a few months.

    Is it reasonable to expect such a tablet to exist in the next couple of months, or am I just deluding myself?


    That's difficult to estimate. Could be out in a couple of months, could get delayed for whatever reason, could be marketed in non-US markets first (though given how well the iPad sold I think the US will be one of the 1st markets to get these kinds of products, outside of the home market). The Xoom ought to be out in that timeframe.

    I think a lot of new tablets/slates will come out in 2011, with a lesser emphasis on convertibles. Right now the slate market is still for early adopters. If you want a mature slate you gotta wait until there are more players and products out there. Most of the newer tablet/convertibles I see in the pipeline are carrying netbook-class hardware.


    Forgot to link this site, which carries a lot of cool gadgets. I think a bulk of them are imported from eastern markets into markets where they aren't released or are difficult to obtain, and therefore carry a premium.

    Djeet on
  • SpoitSpoit *twitch twitch* Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I wasn't even aware that there were non Tablet PC (tm) convertibles! Well, other than the modbook. And a couple random Linux hacks, which weren't really commercial products anyway?

    Spoit on
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  • HandkorHandkor Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I'm in the same boat. I am in the market for a tablet, I basically want a WiFi internet device for around the house.

    I am currently looking at 3 products but I need more suggestions:

    Archos 43
    Archos 70
    Asus Eee Slate

    Edit: Also add to this list the Fujitsu Lifebook and the HP TM2.

    Handkor on
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