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DPChallenge Forums >> General Discussion >> Which pad/tablet?
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11/22/2012 05:34:19 AM · #1
I'm usually quite good at researching and narrowing down choices for gadgets or software. But the market for tablets has me totally flummoxed. I'm looking for a device for casual browsing, email, games, music, movies, and some reading.

First, there's the choice of OS; Apple, Android, or MS Metro (if you're feeling brave) - Or perhaps, the choice of 'platform' should be the first concern? Apple App Store, Google Play Store, MS Store, or Amazon?

I like the look of the Kindle Fire, but being outside the US I'll only get limited content, so not sure how much that'd leave me with. I already have a Kindle, so have bought in to some of the Amazon stuff already. Plus, it's relatively cheap.

I also have an iMac and an outdated iPod, with loads of apps and iTunes bought. So I could take the plunge and go all-in with an iPhone 5 and/or iPad mini.

On the other hand, MS are doing interesting things with Surface/Metro, and it's always good to have a Windows device around the place.

On the Android side, I just don't know... There are ton's of apps out for it now, as well as a load of cheap $100 Chinese devices. But I don't like the default Android interface as much as iOS, and the apps/media infrastructure doesn't seem as complete or as seamless as Apple or Amazon. (The Asus Transformer series looks cool)

And finally there's the form factor. 10", 7" or just go with a 4" smartphone?

In other words, I haven't really narrowed it down at all! - Any opinions on platform/device? Anyone gone with Amazon, or Apple, or Android/Google, or MS?
11/22/2012 06:49:50 AM · #2
I have a large screen fast Android phone and love it for music. I have a second generation iPad and it is fast, seamless for web browsing and viewing movies and tv, viewing and voting on dpc, and built like a tank.

Musically its useful for internet and Pandora style, but I don't use it for itunes listening. So that probably doesn't help, except that there is probably no better device for casual internet music and browsing than the larger iPad.
11/22/2012 07:41:56 AM · #3
I'll be getting a surface to replace my android tablet and laptop. I have an android tablet now and android phone. Honestly they are just toys. If you want to be pruductive at all you need a windows device that runs normal software. Either a surface pro or a touchcreen style laptop..

Edit, how I read the op...

Honestly any one will do what you want. Android will give you the most freedom. Ipad will have better apps and integrate better with external devices like receivers and speakers. Windows is still relatively new, all the apps aren't there but you will be able to use it for more than just playing, ie it will integrate well with office etc...

Message edited by author 2012-11-22 07:49:57.
11/22/2012 07:56:22 AM · #4
I'm not sure if this helps at all but don't use Kindle content as a deciding factor. Mac and Android have kindle apps.
11/22/2012 08:00:07 AM · #5
I went through a similar search but different needs. I was traveling to Haiti with limited electricity access and needed a way to dump photos on a hard drive so I decided on an Asus Transformer (android) with a keyboard attachment. Ipads don't let you use external hard drives, and the keyboard attachment on the Asus added double battery life.

As it stands, I kinda HATE the thing now because you can't really edit well on it (though in a pinch it will suffice) but it's a handy little thing for the things you need.

Also strongly considered the Thrive for similar reasons (external drive ability) and it's cheaper...
11/22/2012 08:14:29 AM · #6
Son just got an iPad mini. Extremely light and big enough to be very usable. Also less expensive than the iPad. So far I'm impressed.
11/22/2012 08:25:33 AM · #7
Originally posted by escapetooz:

I went through a similar search but different needs. I was traveling to Haiti with limited electricity access and needed a way to dump photos on a hard drive so I decided on an Asus Transformer (android) with a keyboard attachment. Ipads don't let you use external hard drives, and the keyboard attachment on the Asus added double battery life.

As it stands, I kinda HATE the thing now because you can't really edit well on it (though in a pinch it will suffice) but it's a handy little thing for the things you need.

Also strongly considered the Thrive for similar reasons (external drive ability) and it's cheaper...


I have a thrive, its nice for the external attachments, but that's about it. The processor is just too slow.
11/22/2012 10:11:30 AM · #8
Originally posted by escapetooz:

I'm not sure if this helps at all but don't use Kindle content as a deciding factor. Mac and Android have kindle apps.

Well, I'm not worried about the books really, the standard e-ink Kindle is the best for that (and I'll continue to use it for books) - I'm talking about the other content, Kindle Prime, movies, apps... not sure how the licensing works outside the US/UK - In fact, Kindle won't deliver the Fire to most smaller countries - I don't want to end up with a nice UI and no content.
11/22/2012 10:13:17 AM · #9
I keep leaning towards the iPad Mini - But keep forgetting that starting at 339 it's the most expensive option. And I hate the fact I'll only get 3 years max out of it before needing to upgrade again. Still, that's the nature of tech these days.
11/22/2012 10:59:37 AM · #10
I just upgraded to the full size 64gb iPad with Retina display - the full sized one. I love iPads. The new one is even nicer with the faster processor and excellent screen. Last year I bought my mom and inexpensive tablet for Christmas - Android platform. The platform is not as nice in my opinion, and she gets frustrated with it herself. She'll be getting my old iPad for Christmas this year which she loves. (She used my iPad when I visit).
11/22/2012 11:37:09 AM · #11
Just bought a Google Nexus 10 and a Asus Transformer..

I think both are great choices.
11/22/2012 11:58:39 AM · #12
I would suggest either an ipad mini or a galaxy note. Both devices can easily handle your requirements.

But the ipad is much much better for games. The galaxy is a bit delayed in response at times, but it gives more freedom, particularly in file transfers.

Basically, the ipad is faster but a bit restrictive. The galaxy is relatively fast as well, but not as fast. But at the end of the day, it allows you to do more.

11/22/2012 12:28:16 PM · #13
Originally posted by Cory:

Just bought a Google Nexus 10 and a Asus Transformer..

I think both are great choices.

You should make a YouTube video and do dual review and comparison for me. Get on it!
11/22/2012 12:36:27 PM · #14
So many gadgets so little time. Thanks for the opinions.

I think I'd like to see a Christmas recipe for an iPod Shuffle stuffed inside an iPod Touch stuffed inside a Galaxy Note stuffed inside an iPad Mini stuffed inside an iPad stuffed inside an Asus Transformer, cooked and seasoned to taste. Served with dry white wine.
11/22/2012 12:52:40 PM · #15
I am writing this on my Samsung Galaxy 10.1, upgraded to ICS. I love the portability, am..eh.. about Android
Being older, the larger screen was an absolute must, and even so the text is often too small to read.
The tablet market is changing so fast, and generally the products are decent enough that you could almost walk into a store, randomly pick up one, and probably do ok with it. Especially considering that it is already obsolete.
Right now, I'd base my decision on which opsys I wanted to commit to near term.
Apple iPad (latest, full size) - sweet speedy tablet with iTunes.
Google Nexus 10 - Key Lime Pie, extra speed, the force of open systems behind it
MS Surface - I really like Win8, and feel there is a lot to say about having compatability between your portable tablet and desktop/laptop. This presumes your destop or laptop is getting the win8 update. A touch screen laptop with full sized keyboard would be another option in this vein.
For me, the winner on "just want to have it" is the new iPad.
Realistically, I'll probably end up with a touchscreen laptop on win8, but probably not for another year.
11/22/2012 01:01:16 PM · #16
I got a galaxy 10" tab (prior to the mini apple thing) and love it..... I wanted something smaller then the ipad but large enough to be useful rather then the iphone/ipod sized screens - to me one you carry an ipod you ALMOST might as well has a real laptop. I have other istuff but that platform is just far better to configure and use in a lot of ways (no itunes crap which is a huge help but installing stuff remotely from a pc is far better).
11/22/2012 02:38:20 PM · #17
Remember the days when pads and tablets were on the same aisle at the grocery store?
11/22/2012 02:49:06 PM · #18
Originally posted by Strikeslip:

Originally posted by Cory:

Just bought a Google Nexus 10 and a Asus Transformer..

I think both are great choices.

You should make a YouTube video and do dual review and comparison for me. Get on it!


Considering that between me, my girlfriend and my father, we have 2 transformers (1 300 series, 1 700), a Google Nexus 7 and Nexus 10, a Blackberry Playbook, and an iPad 2 I think I could do quite the review. Unfortunately I'm shy.
11/22/2012 05:43:41 PM · #19
We seriously need a dedicated thread for tablets because I have been looking for a tablet for my mum and the internet is a black, black hole.

I have a 5' android phone so I don't really need a tablet for now though I did upgrade from an iphone so I can say the ICS interface with the home page system was irritating at first but I think I couldn't live without it now (the widgets are a great addition) and I haven't hit any roadblocks looking for apps in google play. My phone comes with a stylus which is a huge plus if you need to make tons of notes.

11/22/2012 07:40:03 PM · #20
samsungs new tablets and android will do more for you down the line...
11/22/2012 08:13:14 PM · #21
I think I'm underestimating how important the 'content platform' is.

Having an iMac and an iPod, I already have an investment in iTunes and apps from the store. I don't mind being tied into Apple, they provide me with good content, and it's easy to get, and it's fresh and interesting and always works smoothly with whatever device I'm running it on.

I don't have much experience of the Google Play store, or the Amazon equivalent. But I do know that, although I'm very technical, I have no interest in jailbreaking, rooting, or otherwise fiddling with whatever gadget I buy. I love the easy interface of the iPod and the App Store. In fact, they make it *too* easy to buy and install stuff... :)

What I've heard and read about Google Play is that they have less control over the quality of the apps. Also, I've seen a lot of their apps as no more than links to a website online game (i.e. the apps aren't downloadable native apps). And what about music and video? Does Google Play have the same amount of content as Apple? (I see Apple as being more established in this area) - But Android does have more choice in terms of devices, and also less expensive than Apple.

And as for Microsoft, well, they're lagging way behind. I think it'll be months before they catch up with the number and quality of apps. If ever.
11/22/2012 09:25:33 PM · #22
Well if apple doesn't up their game, Microsoft may catch up sooner than you think. They've been riding the same platform for a few years now and its getting stale.
11/22/2012 09:36:21 PM · #23
I recently attended the Microsoft Build Conference and all the attendees were given a Surface RT (32Gig) and a Nokia 920 Windows 8 phone. When the week was over and I returned to work, I handed in my iPad and don't see myself ever using one again. There is no comparison. It is a computer and a tablet, not just a tablet. Office on the RT is awesome. All of the important Apps are already there in the store like Facebook, Twitter, NetFlix, etc. The touch keyboard (as well as the on screen keyboard) is the real layout. I mean a Shifted 7 is an ampersand (&) character. Handwriting recognition is amazing as well.

First addition I made was a 64Gig micro SD card to expand it to 96Gig. ($57 from Adorama) I moved all my training videos on the card.

The one thing I really noticed it that I haven't dropped it once. The iPad was so slippery and round that it was hard to hold. People are complaining about the angle that the Surface stands at with the kickstand out, but I think it's perfect. It is really stable also when you flip the keyboard under.

It is true that there are 1,000s and 1,000s of angry birds variations, but I never got into those.
11/22/2012 09:42:11 PM · #24
Originally posted by mike_311:

Well if apple doesn't up their game, Microsoft may catch up sooner than you think. They've been riding the same platform for a few years now and its getting stale.


look at it this way? apple has become the new Microsoft in its business tactics and its all about image, google and android etc are taking over and dont be fooled Microsoft are not going to catchup!

i can say this why!

There are more androids out there than apple, apple is going to decline! no doubt about that... and why? because samsung and the asian markets know that there are more people in the world than americans and europeans(who incidently are choosing androids more than apples) and those markets will drive apple into a minor player because the smarter companies understand the market and googles smart business plan... apples tied content and itunes and the flagging hardware and minor catchup to google now is going to make them have to drop the price just to stay in the game, apple reached their peak and its a one way trip down the other side....

more Samsung galaxy SIII's showed just how the opposition is targeting apple and all their ridiculous patent claims in court who have only won their battle in bias USA courts so far... and that will come to be their undoing over time, tehy have stolen and lied as much as any large corporation trying to hold onto what it has knowing they have peaked...

if you dont believe it, go search the truth out.. but android is better and will over power IOS and already is on numbers alone, apples extortionate over priced and over claimed existance is numbered... the other phone manufacturers have to team up to stand a chance of surviving in the current market...
11/22/2012 11:32:53 PM · #25
I have an iPad 2, and Android tablet (Toshiba).

I like the iPad better than the Toshiba. I do not like it twice the money better. I've seen and played with the Microsoft Surface. It seems nice, but 15 minutes of playing with it in a store, is not the same as really trying it out.

I don't think a whole lot of the vendor controlling the content. (app store). However, that appears to be the desired new business model, after the success of the iPad.

Back to apple Android... The apple apps sem a little more polished. Although the sizes are similar, the iPad screen seems a better ratio. But not $400 better. We're I forced to have only one, it would be a tough choice, but I would go with the Android.
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