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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:36 am 
The Guv'nor
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Looking to pick up a tablet at some point quite soon and sure some on here might have been through a similar decision.

Obviously the ipads and high end android tablets are super spiffy and excellent. However not sure if I'm feeling flush enough to put that sort of cash into something which I'd imagine will end up mostly being used by the kids to play angry birds and peppa pig.

As such been looking at cheaper (sub £200) android tablets (still have an android phone too which is a bonus). Been looking for a few days but the range is mind boggling, anybody any recommendations? Been looking at stuff like the 10.1" A1Cs Fusion5 > http://www.amazon.co.uk/A1CS-FUSION5-Ta ... B007SHWKFQ as well as the smaller Samsung Galaxy Tab2.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:48 am 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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£200 will get you a Ipad 1.

I have recently purchased one at that price with case etc. Nicely made and fantastically easy to use. Also super impressed by the battery life.

The only downside is the lack of a camera for skype use but that doesnt trouble me much. Oh and the lack of a standard USB port or SD slot which means photos have to be loaded via an adaptor (which isnt expensive but is an annoyance.)


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 12:04 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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My missus is on her 2nd ipad, and she'd not be without it.

I use a smaller Blackberry playbook, and that's highly recommended too, but a lot more of a faff to set-up initially...


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 12:29 pm 
Special Retro Guru
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Personally, I think the key thing(s) when looking to buy something like a tablet, is to get something firm in terms of expectation and use. If you have a good idea of what you plan to use it for, and also a consideration that your initial thoughts or ideas on that may evolve as you may find that such a device becomes more useful, the more you've had chance to use it.

When I bought the android tablet I've got, I had some firm ideas of what I wanted to use it for - video playback: both offline (ie from local storage) and online using things like iPlayer and catch-up TV sites; light web surfing, email usage; ebook reading (ideally the Kindle app) - and that's about it, for me - not really that interested in games, not truly that interested in their being a wild gamut of apps, either. One other android app I've made good use of, being a free internet radio app (tunein I think it's called).

So with one of my main interests being video playback, local storage, plus expandability were important, plus the hardware chipset in terms of video performance.

Reasonably well performing battery life and a reasonably sized and performing screen were also key factors to me.

Things I decided weren't important: camera(s), GPS chipset, 3G connectivity. I'm still happy with that - although the more I use portable gadgets like this, and Kindle, I'm seeing more the benefit of 3G connectivity - especially the type of 3G support and capabilities that were included in the Kindle keyboard 3G version.

I bought a "budget" Android tablet - it cost me around £150, had a decent chipset (Tegra 2), 10.something size screen, that performs quite well, decent resolution, decent on-board storage (16G), expandable (microsdhc slot). There's no camera(s), no GPS chipset, and as stock, didn't come with google market / play.

Although no previous experience with Android as an OS / software, learning how to make use of new (to me) software and devices, has been something of a requirement in my working life, so getting up to speed with Android, including rooting and installing / configuring custom roms / firmware wasn't too daunting for me.

I have to say, I've had great value and made a lot of use of my tablet in the time I've had it. Stability and performance have been key to me, so it's running pretty much stock software (tapntap / 2.2 / froyo build) slightly modified (rooted, with google market / play installed). And I have to say I've been delighted with it, in terms of how it performs, and the value I get out of it as a device.

Looking at the tablet John has linked to, I have to say, the feedback looks good, the device looks reasonably capable (has 1GB RAM which is a good start), and is running an up-to-date OS / rom / firmware (ICS), and has google market / play installed. That all sounds good, because out of the box, you'll probably find no true need to immediately install a different rom, because as stock it's up-to-date, and having market / play there, you won't have to start tinkering at the outset to get access. What will be key, though, is what you plan and can reasonably expect you want to use and get out of a tablet.

As to the spend a bit more and get product X - I'm not immune from those arguments - several family members have current iPads, with varying degrees of use out of them. Personally, they're not for me, seem too restrictive, don't provide enough reasonably priced options for local storage - but I also recognise that there is something to them in terms of their simplicity and user interface.

I get that some will say "Buy cheap, buy twice..." and I don't wholly disagree - there are some devices at the cheaper end of the market that will likely fail and disappoint - but reviews, research and consideration as to spec can mitigate all that. With more prestigious tablet devices in my close family, I suspect I get the most - or at least as much - use with my budget android tablet, compared with the more proprietary, prestigious devices - and as such I've been delighted with the value and use I've realised from my £150 android tablet.

If you choose wisely, and are happy to tinker a little bit, and depending on requirements they can make a good option. If you want things more simple, perhaps unconcerned with the restrictions or value for money, things like iPads can be worth their notably higher price tag.

edit: one other tip I have, from an Android perspective, anyways - plenty of people tinker, experiment with various different roms / firmware - I did at first - but doing so can see you constantly tweaking, fixing, and researching issues - and for some, that's part of the experience. But there's something to be said for speed and stability, and rock-solid configuration. So whereas I played around for a good while with various different firmware / roms for a while (some of that was because the initial stock rom was so bad for the tablet I had), but over time, the current stock rom for my device is vastly improved in terms of performance and stability. Such that I've stayed with that (albeit, slightly modified) for quite a while now, and whilst it may not be the most modern incarnation of Android, it truly is rock-solid, and performs excellently - and along that line, various roms seem quite sensitive to the version of flash installed (10.3.something.or.other seems to be the golden version) just be wary of updating flash, if it currently works well - even if other websites mither about upgrading it.


Last edited by Neil on Tue Jun 12, 2012 12:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 12:30 pm 
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider
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i-pad

we have an android tablet (mid 10) and an i-pad
i-pad is a nice piece of kit works , the andriod is very clumbsy ,seems to take ages to wake up and work properly and the touch screen is a bit hit or miss

i-pad is none of these ,tho for the price it should work proerly

oh and browsing e-bay and even retrobike on the andriod is tricky


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:11 pm 
The Guv'nor
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@Neil - all good stuff. Can I ask which you went for? One idea behind asking on here was to try and short circuit some time spent looking through specs. I've rooted and reflashed various android phones so have no issue doing this.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:22 pm 
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John wrote:
@Neil - all good stuff. Can I ask which you went for? One idea behind asking on here was to try and short circuit some time spent looking through specs. I've rooted and reflashed various android phones so have no issue doing this.

The one I bought (although I suspect not readily available, now - certainly not at the price most bought them as) is a Hannspree Hannspad (SN10T1 - 1653 variant) - I bought that around October / November last year.

I must confess, I'd probably be in much the same boat, were I having to get another tablet - trying to find a decent one around that price point. The one you linked to seems to have a good spec, and good reviews. Perhaps good discussion on slatedroid, xda or tabletroms is of use, too.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:24 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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I have an iPad 1 and iPad 2, the 2 being a basic 16gb wi-fi model, £399 last year at tesco.

Think these are offered at £269 now? Seem them advertised somewhere at that price.

I tend to use mine more than my laptop now, and I can easily send pics from my iPhone to my photo bucket account, and they are there waiting on the iPad when I get home for sharing etc, really handy and no wires to mess with.

You can use the iCloud thing if you want to be even more simple and quick, take a pic on your phone and it's saved to your iPad instantly like some sort of wizardry lol

Really fast, never slows down and much quicker then my iPad 1 despite them both being regularly updated.

I have never tried any other tablet, don't want to either....oh and I have never known one to break like people moan iPhones do, all my apple devices have never ever faltered.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:28 pm 
retrobike rider
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Excellent topic.
Anyone know what the StorageOptions tablets are like form ebuyer and now other places. I'm in the market for one as well.
Not getting an Ipad due to the price and the way Apple tends to let older version die quickly.

and I already know apps on Android, (mapping progs like Maveric/alpinequest)


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 5:02 pm 
Special Retro Guru
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FluffyChicken wrote:
Excellent topic.
Anyone know what the StorageOptions tablets are like form ebuyer and now other places. I'm in the market for one as well.
Not getting an Ipad due to the price and the way Apple tends to let older version die quickly.

and I already know apps on Android, (mapping progs like Maveric/alpinequest)

Spec looks fine, but no native google market / play - so you'd have to mod it to add it. Otherwise the spec looks to be much the same as the one on Amazon that John linked to in the first post.

I guess better feedback would be what sort of community support there is for either - at the end of the day, that seems the best overall take on what they're really like - if people have bought them in reasonable numbers, and the device has garnered sufficient interest to spawn dedicated forums, or at least plenty of discussion, then at least it's a good hint that the thing isn't a duffer - and at least there should be some help with any issues or tweaking.

Reviews can often be taken with some salt - often they are written in context of an original retail price (which may well be considerably higher than what the device has mainly retailed at), or with teething problems or things addressed in updates - but can give an overall perspective of them.


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