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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    Looking to get a tablet of some form - probably Android based and certainly not an iPad (due to cost mostly).

    Only real requirements are:
    • OS must be upgradeable
    • have access to applications library
    • must have wi-fi
    ...
    • an additional requirement would be an ability to tether
    I'd like it to be as cheap as possible - it doesn't need a service provider as I'd tether it to my current smartphone.

    Basic usage would be in the home so that when the PC is already tied up I or the wife can still surf / play sudoku / mahjong / etc as well as being able to use it on the road for playing back media, etc. My first initial foray / find in this are is one of the Archos Internet tablets - probably the Archos 70 (see here) - the Archos 43 which is marginally larger than an iPhone is probably too small for possible uses.

    So, suggestions please as to what you have, wuld like or can suggest?

    Many thanks.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    Hi stubbyd,

    I've yet to see an Android based tablet that really competes with the iPad 16 GB WiFi model in terms of available software and fun factor. I regularly stream Netflix movies on my WiFi equipped iPad. The upcoming iOS 4 software update is reported to include the ability to print to a home network printer. I run Nook software on it, and download books to read, as well as PDFs. And if you are in to it, there are multitudes of games to download, including many that are free. The iPad is a great consumable tool, but not much of a creative tool. Checking email and surfing the web works very well, even without Flash. And it is possible a 7 inch screen version may shortly appear. I've only mentioned a few things, but there are other features that I like. I would like to have a USB port, but have been able to adjust to not having one. And if you are one of the many who dislike iTunes, there is at least one other software package that can sync software to the iPad. Unfortunately, I cannot remember the name of it right now.

    The iPad is one area in which Apple does not command an inordinately high purchase price. So far, Windows 7 tablets cost far more than the iPad base model.

    Personally, if I were ruling out the iPad for any reason, I would give the market a little more time to see what comes up before Christmas. There are bound to be more models from which to choose, whether Android or Windows based. Just my two cents.
    Deadeye81

    "We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give." Sir Winston Churchill

  3. #3
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    Thanks Gerald.

    However I do have to disagree with the iPad not being high priced - for what it is. You may well be right about a direct equivalent being as much if not more on the W7 or Android front but then I'm not looking for a direct equivalent.

    The Archos I found is one that does all I want / need and has the much coveted USB port already.

    As to fun factor / available software it has access to the appslib (sp ?) so if not yet then very shortly will have as many apps as the iPad open to it. However I was trying to open my eyes and not restrict myself to just one manufacturer - I have no issues with Archos as they've been around for a while and do what they do well.

    I already own an iPhone and despise it and the way Mr Jobs wants me to run my life his way or no way so doubly not enamoured with an iPad idea

    Thanks for the reply.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    Stubbyd, I thought you might be interested in this TechRepublic piece highlighting twenty iPad competitors. Some of these will be available in early 2011. Might be worth keeping a watch on.
    Deadeye81

    "We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give." Sir Winston Churchill

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerald Shepard View Post
    Stubbyd, I thought you might be interested in this TechRepublic piece highlighting twenty iPad competitors. Some of these will be available in early 2011. Might be worth keeping a watch on.
    Thanks Gerald - I have seen that one as I sub to lots of the TR newsletters.

  6. #6
    New Lounger
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    My mother just got an iPad2 and both my husband and I have the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer TF101-B1 (32 mb). There are drastic differences. So far the only thing I like better about the iPad2 is the digital keyboard is a bit more responsive. Otherwise here is what I think it doesn't measure up (with an added note that I'm much more intuitive using the PC/Android than Apple/iPad) and that there may be workarounds I'm not aware of:

    - Desktop icons: iPad puts them in a pre-designed grid pattern. Asus Eee lets me put them where I want them on the screen.
    - Apps: iPad apps may be more plentiful but most I would want cost money. There are many more apps I'm interested in that are free for Android. I use the Amazon App Store and the Android Marketplace. I think the open source market brings users a more diverse selection of apps. While Talking Tom Cat may not be rocket science, I can't find anything like it for my mother in the Apple app store. Words with Friends is touchy on the Apple and the HD version is well known to avoid. It works well on the Android. I could on about apps but you get the idea.
    - Hardware: Some may like that the iPad is smaller, thinner, and lighter, but I like the feel of the Asus Eee.
    - Battery: My mother played Scrabble against the tablet and in one afternoon ran her battery down from full to 18%. I have yet to run out of battery even on a long travel/heavy use day.
    - Hardware - docking keyboard: The Asus Eee docking keyboard is solid and provides even more battery time. Mom doesn't have an external keyboard, bluetooth or otherwise but I imagine the bluetooth would chew up an already tenuous battery situation. I'm uncertain if a keyboard docking station exists for the iPad that extends battery life.
    - Screen resolution: The iPad has a brilliant screen and is well lit - but if you want the battery to last it must be reduced. The Asus Eee screen has a brilliant screen and the battery life doesn't suffer.
    - Built in controls: The iPad shines here. There are extensive password protected controls to keep noob users out of trouble. For example you can lock out the ability to delete apps, play MA movies, etc. Nice for those with kids. The Asus has no controls like this that I have found.
    - Usability: Anything can be learned, but I had to study the user manual, resort to forum help, and call support to set up email, successfully sync with the PC, understand that iTunes software doesn't just mean music it means the software program that syncs the tablet to the PC and that iPod was the music player for the tablet not a tool to sync with an iPod.
    - App cost: It seems that most good apps cost. Also, paid for apps does not mean ad-free in iPad world. All apps I've paid for the Android based tablet are therefore ad free. Just to get a decent amount of apps, one book, and one album cost nearly $100. I have 5 screens worth of amazing apps and have spent $24 and $15 of that was on a book. I do intend to get the paid app for my most played/favorite to support the app designer.
    - OS: Flash and true multi-tasking are only available on the Android at this time (as far as I know).

    I could go on but you get the idea. If mom died (gasp) I would give the iPad away.
    Reboot - that should fix it.

  7. #7
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    I recently read a very interesting review of the Toshiba Thrive, which seems to retail for $429: http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/revie...a-thrive.ars/2.

    I usually read these reviews, even though I won't be buying something less than a PC (I own a Toshiba M750, which is a tablet PC and this is my 2nd tablet PC). Anyway, the positive tone of Thrive review was quite surprising, as most reviews are quite unfavourable, especially when comparing the tablets to the iPad.
    Last edited by ruirib; 2011-07-25 at 11:57. Reason: typo

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