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RX124
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Yet another "Help me buy a tablet" thread.
      #45396 - 10/06/13 09:37 PM

I am looking at getting a new tablet around Christmas time. I need one to meet my needs and specifications, so I would love any recommendations.

The basics:
- SIZE: Somewhere between a 7" and 10.1". I'd prefer smaller, but they tend to lack some of my requirements.
- OS: Android. My life is pretty much embedded into it now. Lots of money spent on apps, etc.
- CPU: Must be fast and capable of lasting me several years before crapping out on me.
- Decent battery life.
- OTHER: Must be reliable and have good build quality. I don't care how "pretty" the outside looks.
- SAMSUNG: I'd prefer to stay away from Samsung if at all possible. I've had horrible luck with Samsung and don't trust them any more. They seem to be money pits for me (buy and watch my money disappear).
- I'd prefer Gorilla glass on the screen

REQUIRED FEATURES:
- Wifi (I don;t want a data plan BTW. I prefer wifi only)
- Internal Memory: I'm thinking between 32GB and 64GB. 16GB will also be OK, but I'd prefer larger so that the tablet will last me into the future.
- Must have memory card support.
- Must have USB Host (either with a full-sized USB port like the Acer A500, or with a USB Host cable) and be able to power a small USB-powered HDD.
- Must have bluetooth
- Must have HDMI-out (micro, full, mini). I don;t care about that miracast thing. I don;t want to buy a new TV just to use it, and I want to be able to output the video in places other than my own home (hotel rooms, friends' homes, etc).
- All these things must be on the tablet itself. Not on a keyboard dock or something like that.

WANTED FEATURES (Not mandatory though):
- Digital stylus like Samsung's S-Pen (I don't care if the stylus can't be hidden in the body of the tablet)

UNNECESSARY FEATURES:
- Keyboard dock (I can just use a bluetooth keyboard if ever needed)
- GPS (though most tablets have it anyways)


MY USES:
- Internet
- Email
- Reading Books and comics
- Movies (both on the device's screen and through TV)
- Artwork and design planning
- Work; Excel, Word, etc (in the near future)
- Very light gaming


I know my requirements are strict and specific, but I really hope there's something out there for me either now, or soon.

MAJOR EDIT: Oh yeah, I forgot about budget. I really don;t care because I don't have the money right now anyways and need to save. I'd prefer something no more than $600 though. Definitely don't want to spend like $1000 or more.

Edited by RX124 (10/06/13 09:47 PM)


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LisaGModerator
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Re: Yet another "Help me buy a tablet" thread. [Re: RX124]
      #45401 - 10/07/13 02:18 PM

You won't be able to get the digital pen on current Android tablets unless you go with the Galaxy Note (I know, you don't want Samsung).

As for the other requirements, there are actually several tablets that meet your microSD card slot, HDMI, fast CPU and USB host requirements. Some only have 16 gigs of internal storage though-- that's still the norm. Asus' higher end Transformers are worth a look and will likely get a Tegra 4 refresh soon. Optional keyboard dock, fast, sharp displays. USB host too (requires Asus dongle adapter unless you have the keyboard dock).

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RX124
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Re: Yet another "Help me buy a tablet" thread. [Re: LisaG]
      #45402 - 10/07/13 05:40 PM

Thanks Lisa (once again). I actually don't mind 16GB of internal storage as long as there is a memory card option... but more space is always better. My current tablet (Acer A500) has only 16GB and I mostly use the memory card and HDD for my file storage.

Originally, I was thinking either the Toshiba Excite Write (as you may know from the post about the review request) and the current ASUS Transformer Infinity. I heard great things about the current Infinity, but heard about overheating issues with the Write. So I decided that I'd better get some opinions on alternative choices just to be safe.

Any idea when the Infinity will get the new CPU? If I go with it, I'd rather get a newer, faster CPU.

Also, I was looking at the new 2014 version of the Samsung Note 10.1. It looks interesting, but I'm scared to get another Samsung device. Also, I don't know if it has USB Host and can power my HDD via an OTG cable. If it can do that, then I'll definitely look into it more. I'm willing to give Samsung another chance, but they need to prove to me that they mean quality and not just "bells and whistles."


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LisaGModerator
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Re: Yet another "Help me buy a tablet" thread. [Re: RX124]
      #45403 - 10/07/13 07:47 PM

The 2nd gen Note 10.1 seems like it could be a great fit, if you're willing to give Samsung another chance. Not cheap but expandable storage, a fast quad core CPU, plenty of RAM and a better than full HD display... and the S Pen. It probably will support USB host-- all the recent Samsung Galaxy smartphones and tablets we've reviewed lately have done so. We'll have a review next week or later this week, and will provide that info after I test it.

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Editor in Chief, MobileTechReview


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RX124
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Re: Yet another "Help me buy a tablet" thread. [Re: LisaG]
      #45404 - 10/08/13 05:35 AM

I love watching your reviews on Youtube (even when I don;t need or want the product LOL).
If you don;t mind, please try your 1TB My Passport with the Samsung. Spec-wise, it has everything I need and want, but the USB-Host and whether or not it can actually power a 'My Passport' is the only iffy thing right now.
I have a friend who has the current Note 10.1 and while it has USB Host, it won;t power anything larger than a flash/thumb drive.

I'm also a bit confused about the Samsung's CPU. I'd want a Wifi only version, but I can't figure out whether it'd have the Snapdragon or the Exynos. (I'd rather have the Snapdragon I think because in my last phone, I had an Exynos and it ran super hot, which I think led to the phone's fast demise).

I still need to look at the new Infinity too, but can't find an ETA :/

Edited by RX124 (10/08/13 05:51 AM)


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LisaGModerator
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Re: Yet another "Help me buy a tablet" thread. [Re: RX124]
      #45412 - 10/08/13 07:06 PM

With Asus you never know when announced products will actually arrive. Glad you enjoy the reviews! I will test the Note 10.1 with USB HDDs. The biggest USB portable HDD we have is a 750 gig formatted NTFS, which should do the trick.

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RX124
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Re: Yet another "Help me buy a tablet" thread. [Re: LisaG]
      #45415 - 10/09/13 05:22 AM

Thank you so much

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RX124
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Re: Yet another "Help me buy a tablet" thread. [Re: RX124]
      #45429 - 10/11/13 09:03 PM

I am watching your review right now.

I definitely like the leather-looking back of the Samsung! That was definitely a nice touch, but the shiny sides are a little... meh. Lisa, in your opinion, can you see the shiny chrome flaking off after a year or so? My Acer A500 has shiny chrome-like volume button and the paint is all rubbed off. Adding insult to injury, Acer made the actual plastic a neon orange, so now my buttons are neon orange with chrome flakes. It's really pretty! (sarcasm!).

I'm also really interested in the reading mode since i do a lot of reading on my tablet. The auto-detect screen mode (Dynamic, Standard, Movie) also seems nice. i hated having to manually select these settings on my SGS2.

Also thanks for addressing the HDD. My 1TB My Passport is already FAT32, so I guess I'll be fine. I bet I can root the device and use an app to load NTFS if I want, but my current tablet can only read FAT32 also, so my HDD is already formatted as such. It does get annoying sometimes since some movies are more than 4GB....

I think I'm sold on this tablet though. Now I just have to figure out if I want a 16GB or 32GB model. Is ~$50 more for an extra 16GB a good deal?
I really only need 16GB due to the expansion capability, but since I want this thing to last me a while, I may get the 32GB model if the price difference is worth it.

One more question: Do you get the Octa-core on both the Wifi and Wifi+4G models? I only want the Wifi model, but I read somewhere that it only has a Quad-core. These were pre-release articles though.

Edited by RX124 (10/11/13 09:10 PM)


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Re: Yet another "Help me buy a tablet" thread. [Re: RX124]
      #45435 - 10/12/13 04:49 PM

Samsung devices may be plastic but they're well made. I've never had the fake metal finish peel or flake on my Samsung phones and tablets (though you might wish it would, LOL). For $50 if you're looking for future proof, I'd get the 32 gig model, particularly if you play trendy 3D games that are 2-3 gigs apiece. The LTE model will have the also excellent Snapdragon 800 quad core CPU-- every bit as good as Exynos.

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Editor in Chief, MobileTechReview


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RX124
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Re: Yet another "Help me buy a tablet" thread. [Re: LisaG]
      #45436 - 10/13/13 11:46 PM

I don't ever plan on needing or wanting LTE (the tablet will be used around the home, or somewhere where there's a wifi connection). If I ever need mobile internet for whatever reason, I can just tether the tablet to my phone.

So, is there any major difference between the Exynos and the Snapdragon 800? Is one better than the other? Should I just go with the Wifi version and get the 2x Quad-Core Exynos, or should I get the LTE version with the Snapdragon 800 and just not get an LTE data plan?

(I'm pretty sure this is my last question LOL)


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Re: Yet another "Help me buy a tablet" thread. [Re: RX124]
      #45439 - 10/14/13 10:17 AM

The Exynos Octa and Snapdragon 800 are very close in performance. I wouldn't worry about that point.

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RX124
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Re: Yet another "Help me buy a tablet" thread. [Re: LisaG]
      #45440 - 10/15/13 05:35 AM

Thanks Lisa.

I just had a horrible realization about the new Samsung... it doesn't have an HDMI slot of any kind!
Even if it supports HDMI through the Micro USB port... well, then I can't plug in my HDD to watch movies while outputting via HDMI

EDIT:
Unless something like this would work?
http://www.jowans.com/new-usb-otg-sd-tf-...amsung-s4-s-iv/

EDIT2: Nevermind. According to the part's Amazon page:
"The Fuction of OTG and MHL Cannot Be Used At The Same Time! "


This stinks! I am having such a hard time finding a tablet that meets ALL of my requirements! :'C

ANOTHER EDIT:
Hopefully the ASUS will have everything I need. I just read that its release date is Oct 21, but it was published by a UK website. As long as the ASUS still comes with the OTG cable and can still power a USB HDD, then it may be my answer. It doesn't have the Octa core CPU or the stylus, but as long as it's still fast, I can always buy a really good quality capacitive stylus. (Ever used a Dagi stylus? They're really good!).

I can also still consider the Toshiba Excite Write, but I just can't get any good info on it... at least nothing that answers my questions.

Edited by RX124 (10/15/13 10:06 PM)


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RX124
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Re: Yet another "Help me buy a tablet" thread. [Re: RX124]
      #45511 - 10/25/13 01:12 PM

HA HA! The Samsung Note 10.1 2014 is back on my list of choices!
I just bought this (on sale too!):
http://www.geekbuying.com/item/Tronsmart...ack-318432.html

I was wanting a tablet that had separate HDMI and USB OTG ports. I wanted to be able to plug in my external HDD and be able to watch movies and stuff on the go, but to also be able to plug in the HDD and output the tablet's video to a TV via HDMI (hence why I needed separate ports).

I will instead be able to use my tablet as a portable TV by plugging in my External HDD via USB OTG. When I want to display a movie on a TV, I can instead use the Mini PC and plug the External HDD into it. It's two different devices (rather than an all-in-one package), but the Mini PC will be small enough to easily stick into a bag or something when on the go. I think this will work nicely!


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