Tablet advice

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by theshnizzle, Jan 31, 2013.

  1. osii

    osii Disgruntled Time Traveler

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    I recently went on an electronics buying spree. First I bought Nexus 7 16gb from Google for $250. I also bought a HP G6 windows 7 and a G7 windows 8.

    No complaints on the nexus 7 . I could tether it to my Virgin Triumph and most small data apps would work. Then I dropped it and cracked the screen and went back to the google store and saw thy had a 32gb/4g model for $299. I jumped on it. If you really want a go anywhere device that is small enough to fit in a pocket, there is nothing else out there IMHO. I can even video conference while driving. Amazing. The future is here for $300 & $30 a month. As long as you are not watching movies all day, you'll barely break a gig. Also someone earlier mentioned something about storage on the Nexus 7. You can get a OTG doggle that converts the micro usb to a full sized usb and connect a card reader, keyboard and mouse to it using a usb hub, So storage is essentially unlimited.

    After almost three months with the G7/Win8 box, I realized what a POS Win8 turned out to be. After begging MS and HP for a downgrade to Win7 to no avail, I called BestBuy, reminded them how much I spent there in the last 6 months, and the MGR. agreed to an in store credit. So my buddy is hot for the Asus and I went with his advice and bought the TF700 and the keyboard for $600. They didn't have any of the older Asus models in stock (the TF200 can upgrade to Jelly Bean, and they had the TF 300's on imaginary blowout sale for $280, but none in stock. They had the Note 10.1, and it looked like a nice unit. But I worried about losing the stylus or scratching the screen. I did like the bigger speakers. Also I considered the costs of the periferals like a keyboard and a case and thought I would be somewhere around $700+ land.

    I never wanted to spend $600 on a tablet but here I was with a $450 store credit I had to use now. And after my Win8 experience, Windows is dead to me. Only a masochist could love that OS.

    So here's some points on the TF700 which probably applies to most of the TF series.

    First, you really need to buy the keyboard. extra battery, full size sd card slot and full size usb port. The tablet itself only has a micro sd card slot. There is no micro usb port on the tablet itself. It does have a proprietary cable you can use to connect to another computer and charge, but no way to plug in external storage like a card reader or external hard drive. Also, the keyboard protects the screen so you really do not need an everyday use case. With the usb port you essentially have unlimited data storage. It essentially turns your tablet into a micro notebook.

    Never go anywhere without the OEM plug in charger. Most generic USB chargers and computers will not have enough oumph to power it up.

    I think the TF is a little smaller than the Note too.

    since they will upgrade to Jellybean, if you can find a TF200 or TF 300 for about $300 and then get the keyboard for $100, you can't really go wrong

    I think you can't go wrong with either the TF line or the new 10.1 Samsung.


    Here end'th the lesson.
    #41
  2. StuartV

    StuartV Motorcyclist

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    With my Note 10.1, I have 32GB built in and a 64GB microSD. And it's already running JellyBean. I also have a Samsung adapter that allows me to plug in external USB storage - in case 96GB is ever not enough. Though, really, all the use cases I can see for that would be me connecting the Note to my laptop and transferring files back and forth from the laptop. So, though I have the dongle for USB transfers, I've never actually used it. I'm pretty darn unlikely to carry around my tablet, the USB dongle, and an external USB drive, just to have auxiliary storage for my tablet....

    The Samsung Notebook cover is an excellent case/cover for the Note. The cover flap is ridiculously thin - yet sturdy. And the back part is sturdy plastic. The point is, with the cover on (and a Ghost Armor screen protector applied), I have no worries about the screen getting scratched. And it is WAY thinner and lighter than a Transformer with the keyboard attached to protect the screen.

    Oh, and the slot that holds the stylus inside the Note is NOT going to give up the stylus by accident. So, I think the only way you'd ever lose the stylus is if you take it out on purpose and then don't put it back. At which point, you still have a tablet that is just as capable as a Transformer....
    #42
  3. Croak

    Croak Been here awhile

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    Hell, my name is John and I'm a gadget-oholic.

    I currently own an "original" Galaxy Tab 7" from 2010, a Galaxy Tab 8.9 LTE, a Nexus 7 3G 32GB, a Nexus 10 32GB, a Galaxy Note, a Note 10.1, an HTC One X, and an iPad Mini 3G.

    The Mini sits in a drawer, just don't like using it, though it's very attractive to look at. Too hard to hold (wide with narrow bezel) as a 7" device, and the resolution is sub-par compared to my latests Android tablets and it's the only iOS device I've owned (so no investment in iTunes/Apps). Gonna box it back up and give it to my niece for her birthday next month. She's 17 and already owns an iPhone so it'll be ideal for her.

    The OG Tab 7 was my go-to device for the last few years, traveled all over the world with me, the form-factor was ideal. Getting long in the tooth in terms of performance and resolution so the Nexus 7 replaced it.

    The N7 has much better performance than the Tab 7", higher resolution, it's lighter, and runs the latest Android version. It goes just about everywhere with me, and is my excuse for spending far too long in the WC. That said, I miss the ability to pop in a microSD card like I had with the Tab 7", and there's some build-quality issues (screen lifting, creaking) and a dimmer/washed out looking display compared to the vibrant and built-like-a- brick Tab. I'm on my third warranty replacement Nexus 7 (no issues getting it replaced other than lost time, but still...) Then again, the Tab cost me $700, the Nexus 7 $300.

    The Tab 8.9 LTE was a gift, but I really enjoyed it. The smaller form factor made it a pleasure to use at home and on the road, for a 2011 Android tablet the performance was well above average, the display was large enough to really enjoy watching movies on (and crisp!), the LTE/HSPA capability made it nice when travelling, even when touring on the bike in North America. You can find the AT&T version used all day long on Craigslist in the $200 range, which is a lot of tablet for the money. The size and weight difference between this and a 10" tablet doesn't seem like much on paper, but trust me, it's far more comfortable for extended one-handed operation, packs smaller, has excellent battery life. It can also be cheaply "unlocked" so you can use it on any of the European carriers (in HSPA mode), any of the Canadian carriers in LTE/HSPA mode, and even T-Mobile if you don't mind EDGE speeds.

    Bought a Note 10.1 and I enjoyed using the device, a nice performance upgrade from the 8.9 (though I missed the 3G/LTE), and the S-Pen and TouchWiz has some neat features. But it's still only 1280x800 resolution, and the build quality seems to be worse (creaky), it's just plain garish looking, and suffers the usual Samsung problem of slow updates to newer Android versions. Sold it to a co-worker a week after my Nexus 10 arrived. Said co-worker is a graphic artist so he'll get more use out of the stylus, and so far he's been happy with it (he no longer uses his iPad 2 at all). With the device being on sale for prices as low or lower than the N10, it's also a great value.

    The Nexus 10 is a great "stay at home" tablet. I watch movies and surf on it a good bit, do some light gaming, but it seldom leaves the house. The resolution on the thing is amazing, you have to see the display to believe it, the performance is stellar, and I like the choice of materials far better than the Note 10.1 (more understated, more pleasant to hold). That said, when Samsung (who makes the Nexus 10) comes out with a Note 2 10.1 with the same wonderful display and hot-rod A15 processor, I'll probably pick that up and offload the Nexus 10 (provided they don't go all tacky with materials again). I'm also really looking forward to an 8" version with the same quality display from Samsung (may be announced in the next week or so), as that will be the perfect all in one device for me.

    The Galaxy Note was a fun device, and tried to bridge the gap between a phone and a tablet (though I got very little use out of the stylus), and for sure a conversation starter when you whipped that behemoth out. Try one (or the superior Note 2), you may like it. I did, though I replaced it six months later with a 4.7" quad-core HTC One X thanks to the superior display, far better performance and better (for me) form-factor and "hand-feel".

    Something else that turns out to be important to me is that all my "current" devices (N7, N10, One X) all use standard microUSB chargers, whereas all my Samsung tablets used a proprietary 30 pin connector. Not a huge deal for me since I had accumulated several Samsung cables over the years, but there's much to be said for just taking one cable with you to serve all your devices, and the knowledge that wherever you go, you can find a cheap microUSB cable.
    #43
  4. Dolly Sod

    Dolly Sod Red Clay Halo

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    What issues have you had with with your Nexus 7? I have the screen lift/creaking issue, but it really doesn't bother me.
    #44
  5. Croak

    Croak Been here awhile

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    Screen lifting several millimetres was a big deal for me, actually cut myself on it once, no kidding. In addition to the screen lift, the USB port stopped working on my first 16GB unit. Serious point-source backlight issues on my second 32GB (and screen lift). This 3G unit seemed fine for a couple weeks, and now the screen is starting to lift just like the other units and it's getting creaky. It's built to a price-point and it shows.
    #45
  6. Craneguy

    Craneguy British Hooligan

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    Dropbox is a must-have app for me. It's the easiest way to move files between devices. I don't think I've plugged my S3 into my PC since I rooted it.

    I have a 1tb account and it's great to able to access any file as long as I have an internet connection.

    It's especially good for Apple owners who want to get around iTunes.
    #46
  7. osii

    osii Disgruntled Time Traveler

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    I forgot to mention that I would have bought a Nexus 10 without hesitation if I could have gotten a cash refund from BB or if I could have bought one from BB. I've had such a positive experience with my Nexus 7.

    Like I said, if I had been a little more familiar with the samsung, I might have bought it. But I'm very happy with my TF700 combo for now. I really like the docking keyboard and all it offers ("cover," keyboard, extra battery, usb, SD) when you think about what a decent case for one of these costs, it's really like buying a spare battery and getting everything else for free..
    #47
  8. switchback

    switchback Eatin' Dirt Since 1982

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    According to Google ships within a week. I have a Nexus 7 and love it, the 10 would be great as well. Have a transformer 101 and friend has a 300. Happy with anything ASUS (Nexus 7 is an ASUS, the 10 is a Samsung both are great).
    #48
  9. theshnizzle

    theshnizzle Long timer

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    Oddly, I don't find the display on the Note as awful as all the tech websites say certainly not on par with apple. I do agree that the build quality is questionable,the back of the tablet has a LOT of flex and it creaks when you hold it.I did buy the Sammy OEM notebook case, which was REALLY expensive,and I bought it on sale,still was almost 60 bucks.

    Which kinda solves the poor build quality issue, but why should I have to pay for that? I sold my TF 101 to help fund the new tablet. I did like it. And I do still like my old Sammy 7.0 plus tab which I paid way more for and has now hit the bargain bin.

    I am thinking it may be a good idea to return the Note and wait for the 8 inch Note which should be announced or is it released? next week. Hopefully some of the issues will have been addressed.

    I still find when I am noodling around on the Note, I do something neat but have no idea how I got there and can't replicate it. I went on the link you suggested but couldn't find the tutorials.

    When I go back on my iPad, it seems so...... pedestrian.....boring with the push me a million times button. BUT......it has such a simple system that is clean looking and a fantastic build quality.

    Will we forever be looking for the do-all tablet/ motorcycle???:D
    #49
  10. StuartV

    StuartV Motorcyclist

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    I got my Samsung Notebook Cover from here, for $32:

    http://www.shopblt.com/cgi-bin/shop...100200500192_BPV1744P.shtml&order_id=!ORDERID!

    And I agree that the screen is perfectly fine. I watch movies on it frequently. Can I tell a difference between it and an iPad 3? Yes, when they're side by side. Is the difference that great? No. I really have to look for the differences. The better iPad screen definitely does not make up for all the other things the Note does that the iPad can't - at least, not for me.
    #50
  11. StuartV

    StuartV Motorcyclist

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    What issues?

    If you're just talking about creaking, I wouldn't count on it. That said, I have read a number of posts from people talking about the Note creaking. I don't know what y'all are doing, but mine doesn't creak. I just picked it up and tried to flex it to make it creak and it didn't. I didn't CRANK on it, of course, but I definitely put more flexion on it than I ever do in normal use.
    #51
  12. theshnizzle

    theshnizzle Long timer

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    Well, Stuart, I just couldn't return the Note,so it's mine now and I am really enjoying it. I am constructing my whole trip on it, using the Snote,multi-screen option and cutting and pasting all my info,from walmarts to " things to do"
    Will also dig up all the ferry info I need and make a seperate folder for that.

    I bough a " drawing for beginners" book and have been using that for sketching, although photoshop completely baffles me, I am just using s note for drawing.It took me like half an hour to draw a simple piranha, had like 4 steps to do, and I struggled through it, hilarious. I'm soooooo lame!

    I have been watching you tube videos for tip and tricks but sometimes they go pretty fast and I can't keep up. I did go on that site you mentioned earlier but couldn't find any tutorials,really.

    Anyway, eventually I will figure everything out,one day, by that time it wil be obsolete,we will be on the Note 5 or something. So, summing up, loving the Note, and having a great time making my own personalized itinerary .
    #52
  13. Craneguy

    Craneguy British Hooligan

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    Try youtube. There are tutorials for everything there.
    #53
  14. bob393

    bob393 Been here awhile

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    I've been using a Kindle Fire tethered to my Atrix 2 phone. Not exactly a seamless setup but it has been working for me.
    The bigger the screen for maps the happier I am and I love only one data connection charge.
    #54
  15. DrPhill

    DrPhill Adventurer

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    i'll jump in here as i've been using my Acer 10" tablet on the bike (and off for work) as a GPS, trip computer and a few other things.

    specs:
    16gb internal
    32gb micro sd card (external)
    full sized USB ort
    micro usb slot
    hdmi port

    on the bike, i run the CoPilot app for directions, music (via the stereo) & a trip computer app. longest day was 17 hrs just shy of 800 miles. Got a waterproof bag for wet weather and windscreen mounted holder...currently making a holder for the bars. At a stop i can use PocketCloud to remote into my laptop at home to access MS Stumble & Trip as needed via wifi or the portable hotspot i have.

    Glare is an issue, but with a shade & glare screen its manageable.

    in the office, i have a bluetooth keyboard & stylus for menu selections. I convinced the IT dept at my last project to let me use the tablet to replace my computer with great success (much to their chagrin) :evil and befuddlement of the techno-geek coders...i wrote a whole user guide (word) on my tablet, kept the MoSCoW list (in excel) upto date and the Sharepoint site up to date. It was SO NICE to not lug around my laptop!

    the tablet has replaced my need to lug around a laptop on the road.
    #55
  16. ShopBLT.com

    ShopBLT.com .

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    #56
  17. victor441

    victor441 Long timer

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    FWIW Airdroid or something similar is very handy when you just need to move a few files, photos, etc. to or from an Android phone or tablet, does it over wifi
    I wish it were that easy on an ipad, I use Google Drive like you use Dropbox in that case
    #57
  18. mrt10x

    mrt10x Dumba$s Jarhead

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