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Old 01-02-14, 01:20 PM   #1
oddjob2 
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Thinking About a New Tablet Computer?

Just thought I'd share my experiences in case you want to pick up a new tablet. I turnover my gear pretty frequently because I'd rather sell something 2 years old or less that still has some value, rather than zero value. Also, from mid-November to New Year's Day are the best time to buy.

iPad Mini Retina
Sold a 16 month old iPad 2 16gb and picked up a iPad Mini Retina 16gb. Beautiful display on the Mini Retina, but it almost felt flimsy as it appeared to flex a bit in my hands. No problem for my bifocaled eyes to read the display. Battery life didn't appear to be better than my iPad 2, though no formal testing was done.

iPad Air
Target had an attractive deal on the iPad Air 16gb in mid December, making the leap from the non-discounted iPad MR to the Air only about $45. So I returned the iPad MR and bought the iPad Air.

It is fast, light, thin and the screen is remarkable. If you zoom in on original resolution photos, you can see every scratch and ding that the original photo captured. I don't know if I would part with 5 Ben Franklins for it, but IMHO, it was worth the $200 to upgrade from the iPad 2.

Google Nexus 7 HD 2013
I picked one up yesterday as I had a $15 gc, $35 in BB rewards, and Best Buy has them for $199, $30 cheaper than anyone else. I am evaluating it to decide if I want it as my workshop tablet/device, because at under $200, any damage to it would not be catastrophic financially.

The Nexus 7 runs the latest version of Android. It is thin, light, and narrow enough to one hand it. The Qualcomm Snapdragon runs fast and the screen is bright and crisp. Overall it has a quality feel to it and is much more capable than the Samsung Tab 3 7", which only has 8gb of storage.

I like the Nexus and have figured most of it out, but not sure I want to be part of the total google infrastructure/cloud, in addition to the Apple universe. Furthermore, with the reduced width, the fonts get pretty small IMHO, even compared to the iPad Mini Retina.

Laptops
There have been some incredibly cheap deals on Toshiba Windows 8 laptops, for about $250, but I am of late Mr. Anti Windows, too many interface changes. Also, for casual Internet reading and Bikeforum contributions, a tablet works fine.

YMMV
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Old 01-02-14, 01:33 PM   #2
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I got an iPod Air for Christmas and very pleased with it so far. To be honest, it is essentially a large iPhone. I have more and more problems with near vision as I get older, so I appreciate the large and very sharp screen. It is significantly lighter and thinner than the previous iPad, which is a plus. Battery life is better than my iPhone. What I like best is being able to visit actual websites, rather than just apps, and read the content. As the owner of an iMac, iPhone and several Apple laptops (in the family), I am willing to pay a premium price for Apple products. We have had absolutely no problems with any of our Apples.
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Old 01-02-14, 01:41 PM   #3
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I'm a google nexus fan, but you overlooked the Kindle Fire HDX tablets with superb display and excellent horsepower. For heavy media consumption that would be my choice.
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Old 01-02-14, 02:16 PM   #4
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Been thinking about the MS Surface 2. A little pricey, but looks like it has most of the capabilities of a laptop. The Surface 2 Pro would be really nice, but also really expensive. Any experience with this tablet?
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Old 01-02-14, 02:35 PM   #5
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i bought a 2012 nexus 7 for 120 (quadcore tegra and 32 gig). you can find them online for 130 and change still. it's currently dual booting rooted kit kat and ubuntu touch. lighting fast and a pure joy to use.

i'm currently trying to figure out how to get it to broadcast powerpoint presentations via google drive and chrome cast.

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Old 01-02-14, 03:35 PM   #6
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I'm a google nexus fan, but you overlooked the Kindle Fire HDX tablets with superb display and excellent horsepower. For heavy media consumption that would be my choice.
Thanks, I didn't overlook the Kindle, but did not want the Amazon flavored Android OS. More push advertising would drive me over the edge. I could have rooted the tablet with KitKat, but at that point, the Nexus made more sense. In addition, the high resale on clean Nexus tablets are pretty amazing.
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Old 01-02-14, 04:13 PM   #7
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I bought the Kindle HDX7 - I favored that over the Nexus 7 because:
1. Kindle Free Time - I can let my 4 year old play on the Kindle, without worrying about app purchases, accidental link clicks etc. Free Time is a whitelist, not a blacklist - so the toddler gets access only to his apps.
2. I intend to get Amazon Prime this year, Kindle devices get a lot of freebies/advantages with Prime.
3. I am trying to stay away from modding the device - it is meant for the whole family and not just me. If I had the Nexus 7, I wouldn't be able to resist tinkering with it - and tinkering isn't always successful, especially when you are talking custom ROMs. The Kindle doesn't let me do any of this easily, which is an advantage for once.

In terms of hardware spec, the Kindle HDX7 and the Nexus 7 are very similar.
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Old 01-02-14, 04:46 PM   #8
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My wife loves her ASUS VivoTab RT. Windows 8 really shines on a touch device.
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Old 01-02-14, 04:47 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
Been thinking about the MS Surface 2. A little pricey, but looks like it has most of the capabilities of a laptop. The Surface 2 Pro would be really nice, but also really expensive. Any experience with this tablet?
As long as you're okay with no desktop software, the Surface 2 is great. Don't forget to check out other options like the Dell Venue line and the Nokia Lumia 2520.
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Old 01-02-14, 05:21 PM   #10
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Old 01-02-14, 05:52 PM   #11
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I have the original Nexus 7 and think it was a pretty good buy. I mostly bought it for touring as it fits perfectly into my handlebar bag but I use it around the house too.

I think the iPad is over priced.

How do you get to take a tablet home for evaluation?
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Old 01-02-14, 05:57 PM   #12
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My husband bought an Air for me for Christmas. It's my first Apple anything. Everyone else in the family has Apple and I was the one who wasn't adventurous when it comes to that. That being said, with this Air, I have no idea what I'm doing.
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Old 01-02-14, 08:29 PM   #13
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Google Nexus 7 HD 2013
The Nexus 7 runs the latest version of Android. It is ...
My problem with Android devices is that every manufacturer tinkers with the OS and changes it. Plus some manufacturers never offer upgrades. I picked Apple for some of my devices because they all work the same and you can have faith that they will stick with it for awhile. I have an ipad2 and I like it just fine, I don't miss the thinness of the ipad air or the retina display. I just got an iphone 5s to replace my iphone 4. The phone and the ipad seemed very intuitive to me to use. OTOH I bought my wife a touch laptop with Win8.1 for Christmas, and I find the touch part of it to be very unintuitive. There are a few things that we have yet to figure out how to do with it, and a few things that we read about regarding gestures that we can't make work with our fingers on our computer.
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Old 01-02-14, 09:12 PM   #14
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I have the original Nexus 7 and think it was a pretty good buy. I mostly bought it for touring as it fits perfectly into my handlebar bag but I use it around the house too.

I think the iPad is over priced.

How do you get to take a tablet home for evaluation?
Not cheap, but Apple products have decent resale value compared to everything else. Evaluation, keep it looking like new and you can return it.

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My husband bought an Air for me for Christmas. It's my first Apple anything. Everyone else in the family has Apple and I was the one who wasn't adventurous when it comes to that. That being said, with this Air, I have no idea what I'm doing.
I guess you don't have an iPhone, eh? Because it is just a big iPhone.

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My problem with Android devices is that every manufacturer tinkers with the OS and changes it. Plus some manufacturers never offer upgrades. I picked Apple for some of my devices because they all work Aid.. same and you can have faith that they will stick with it for awhile. I have an ipad2 and I like it just fine, I don't miss the thinness of the ipad air or the retina display. I just got an iphone 5s to replace my iphone 4. The phone and the ipad seemed very intuitive to me to use. OTOH I bought my wife a touch laptop with Win8.1 for Christmas, and I find the touch part of it to be very unintuitive. There are a few things that we have yet to figure out how to do with it, and a few things that we read about regarding gestures that we can't make work with our fingers on our computer.
I concur, that's why a Google Nexus is pretty clean Android with no skin. I gave up on Wintel after Vista. Never looked back and actually converted a lot of friends to Apple flavored Kool Aid.

Trade that laptop for a Macbook Air before the return window closes.
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Old 01-02-14, 09:18 PM   #15
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Nexus 7 HD 2013 is my favorite of all tablets. I keep buying and returning all selling all others. I like Apple products but the price is stupid ridiculous for a lower res device of similar specs.
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Old 01-03-14, 09:21 AM   #16
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I just wish the nexus came with an sd slot
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Old 01-03-14, 12:32 PM   #17
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Chiming in on the Surface comment. I use the base RT version and I absolutely love it, my brother has a Pro, which helps fix the issue with flash.

I highly recommend giving one a try. The full size USB slot is fantastic. I run full Microsoft Office, which I am using right now.
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Old 01-03-14, 12:39 PM   #18
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I just wish the nexus came with an sd slot
Its possible to use an SD card with a nexus and a dongle. That's how I store movies for long flights.
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Old 01-03-14, 12:48 PM   #19
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My wife's first kindle died after 14 months (2 months after the expiration of the warranty). My wife's second kindle lasted exactly one year and ten days. Amazon would not let her slide on the ten day expiration factor. She loved her kindle but she was so mad she went out and bought the ipad 2, which she seems happy with so far.
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Old 01-03-14, 12:57 PM   #20
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I bought the soon-to-be-ex-mrs-mconlonx a Samsung Galaxy 3 16g for x-mas/b-day. WiFi only. BB sale price $160. Plus a 32gb SD card for the slot which it has, but which the Nexus 7 doesn't...

She loves it. Uses a Win8 laptop for work. We both have no-service 3g/s iPhones which we still use profusely as portable supercomputers, entertainment/media devices, and on-the-go internet access. She's digging the much bigger 7" screen on the Galaxy, while still being fairly portable. She's glued to it around the house and is looking forward to taking it with her on a month trip away.

We are not tech geeks, use computers like appliances and tools. I still refuse to go near the laptop with Win8 and touchscreen, prefer my 32bit Asus EeePC from the dark ages a couple years ago...
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Old 01-03-14, 12:58 PM   #21
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Its possible to use an SD card with a nexus and a dongle. That's how I store movies for long flights.
The first sentence sounds kinky and the second sentence makes me wonder what movies you store and how your seatmates feel about it...
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Old 01-03-14, 01:14 PM   #22
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I was hesitant to get on the "cloud" or plus or whatever it's called too, just nervous about what information is being saved and whatnot, but holy crap did it make transferring everything from an old cell phone to a new one easy. Seems to me the information gathering is happening whether you want it to or not, might as well make it work for you... Not that one shouldn't still be cautious.
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Old 01-03-14, 04:14 PM   #23
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We both have no-service 3g/s iPhones which we still use profusely as portable supercomputers, entertainment/media devices, and on-the-go internet access.
I have a no-service smartphone that a friend gave to me. (I have a cheapo tracfone that is fine for my very light talk/text needs). It's an LG Marquee, 2.2 Android. It works fine as a mini wifi tablet, almost as fast as my 1 year old Nexus 7 tablet. I like it a lot and I take it with me while out and about but I don't use it as much as I thought I would. I took it on a hike recently and took a lot of pictures with it to get used to the camera apps I put on it. It's great for the price (free) but I don't think I'll spend any hundreds on one of these. I'll take one if someone gives it to me though...
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