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When Should I Buy an Android Tablet? 396

Posted by Soulskill
from the definitely-prior-to-the-apocalypse dept.
jpyeck writes "I've deliberately avoided the smartphone craze, due to the fact I've never utilized any phone (landline or otherwise) enough to justify the monthly fees. But the geek in me craves the 'smart' part of the equation, especially since I got a bonus this year-end that is burning a hole in my pocket. The iPad is out of the question because I need a bit more hack-ability in my gadgets. I am drooling over the Android Honeycomb demo from the CES. I've had my eye on the Galaxy Tab, though it sounds like it won't support Honeycomb. The Xoom looks great, but who knows when it will come out? The consensus seems to be 'wait a few months for Honeycomb.' If you were me, with limited patience, would you buy an Android tablet now? If so, which?"
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When Should I Buy an Android Tablet?

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  • Here's what I'd do (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sensei moreh (868829) on Saturday January 08, 2011 @05:05PM (#34807152)
    If I were you, I'd put the year-end bonus in a 6-mo CD, and get the tablet when the CD's term is up
    • by vux984 (928602) on Saturday January 08, 2011 @05:22PM (#34807388)

      If I were you, I'd put the year-end bonus in a 6-mo CD, and get the tablet when the CD's term is up

      Waiting 6 months might well be sensible. But the average CD yield is 0.63% (APR). So... $1000 in a 6 month CD will net him under $3.50.

      • by cmeans (81143) <cmeans@NosPaM.intfar.com> on Saturday January 08, 2011 @05:50PM (#34807768) Homepage Journal
        Better yet, use the $1000 to make 40 loans to people all around the world at www.kiva.org. Make sure the loans are short term, so they'll be done within the 6 month time frame. You won't make any money...and there is the risk of loosing some of what you've loaned, but the Karma (and good feelings) of helping 40+ people around the world should far out weigh the $3.50 or more you might make in interest. -Chris
        • Better yet, use the $1000 to make 40 loans to people all around the world at www.kiva.org. Make sure the loans are short term, so they'll be done within the 6 month time frame. You won't make any money...and there is the risk of loosing some of what you've loaned, but the Karma (and good feelings) of helping 40+ people around the world should far out weigh the $3.50 or more you might make in interest.

          Slashdot says I've got loads of Karma, and he's welcome to the lot in return for the thousand bucks.

        • by Unequivocal (155957) on Sunday January 09, 2011 @01:34AM (#34811952)

          I'll just say that you'll *definitely* lose money on Kiva. It's a donation system that has some payback potential. My lossage over about 5 years of donating on the site is about 30%. It doesn't bother me as I'm able to help some folks and many do pay the loans off-- it beats the heck out of the ridiculous overhead that most big non-profits charge..

          • by cmeans (81143)
            You're correct. Your losses are much greater than mine. I've been with Kiva for 2 years this month, and I'm at a default rate of 0.58%, but the average Kiva user has a default rate of 1.08%.
            It definitely "pays" to review the loanee (how they're going to use and payback the money...loaning to groups generally helps guarantee more of a return), and review the MFI, it's default rate and current rating etc..
            A 30% loss is significant...and can't be written off as a donation. So loan carefully if you'd rat
            • by Telek (410366)

              Not to incite, but I too have been with Kiva for a while (5 years), have made about 200 loans and my default rate is 0.55%. Carefully choosing those that you donate to can lead you to have very low risk and great reward for the karma and sense of accomplishment far more than monetary interest ever could get you. Honestly I have no idea how anyone could have a 30% loss rate considering that the average default rate is 1.09%. Please do not besmirch a fantastic organization with inaccurate statistics.

      • or spend $300 on a ticket to Vegas $500 on one bet (black 13 is the way to go) if you will its like 18k if no you have 200 to drink the pain away at a girly club.
      • by ProppaT (557551) on Saturday January 08, 2011 @07:43PM (#34809132) Homepage

        I think you guys are missing the point. The 6 month CD isn't to earn money, the 6 month CD is so you can't touch the money for 6 months. That way you'll avoid making the mistake of buying one of the current (crappy) offerings on the market.

      • Even GOOG or AAPL are better choices than a CD. Volatility be damned.

    • by camperslo (704715)

      If I were you, I'd put the year-end bonus in a 6-mo CD, and get the tablet when the CD's term is up

      In spite of the irony, he just might do better with Apple stock.

  • Guy at work had a Nook Color with android put on it, was eff'n sweet. No 3g, but it has wifi and he just connected it to his phone. I was suprised at how well it responded, i'm sure the Galaxy Tab is snappier, but this thing moved quite well. So all in all, I'd say maybe get a Nook Color to see what you like? Its 250$ and it is pretty nice. Would be real handy at home or on lunch from work or whatever where you just want to surf the net and play angry birds.
    • The nook color is also pretty hackable. Apprantely, the device comes with a bluetooth adapter that is disabled by default, and hacks have been able to re-enable it.

      • by moogied (1175879)
        Oh? Well, then the wifi part of the smart phone could be automated and replaced. Just have it BT to the smartphone and stream the net over that maybe. Would be a slick setup to have.
  • Simple answers (Score:2, Insightful)

    by iluvcapra (782887)

    When should I buy an Android tablet?

    When the value of the tablet finally exceeds the trouble you go to claiming "how much better" your netbook is to your friends, and finally to yourself. Then you can make keeping the tablet customized and updated and flashed and jailbroken your new personal hobby for a few years.

    • by jedidiah (1196)

      I don't spend that much time keeping my iThings jailbroken.

      Why should anyone expect Android to be any different?

      I will buy an Android tablet when it can replace the aforementioned and indirectly maligned netbook.

      I have a novel idea. How about you evaluate it when you can in person and then decide based on that.

      • by cynyr (703126)

        Only needed to jailbreak my mytouch 4g once, now it runs cyanogen, and I expect I'll never need to press the button that did the jailbreak again...

    • Re:Simple answers (Score:5, Informative)

      by Urza9814 (883915) on Saturday January 08, 2011 @07:03PM (#34808738)

      Then you can make keeping the tablet customized and updated and flashed and jailbroken your new personal hobby for a few years.

      Or you could buy from a decent company that dosen't think it owns your soul because you purchased one of their products.

      http://www.archos.com/products/ta/archos_5it/dualos.html [archos.com]

      Just like a PC, the ARCHOS 5 Internet Tablet can be freely programmed in alternative ways in addition to the applications that can be created for the Android platform. To have total control of your Internet Tablet, ARCHOS has opened up this device, thus allowing creative minds to program their own tablet, or create what could be the tablet of the future.

      I currently have 3 OSes on my Archos - The original Archos software (based on Android 1.6), Angstrom Linux, and Android 2.2. And I can update any of them without having any impact on the other two.

      I could go on for pages about how hackable Archos devices are. Every time I try to do something, I'm once again amazed at how simple it is.

  • Wait for Honeycomb (Score:5, Insightful)

    by p0p0 (1841106) on Saturday January 08, 2011 @05:10PM (#34807224)
    Wait for tablets that tout Android 3.0 Honeycomb as that version is geared towards proper tablet support. The tablets out now are hack jobs to be able to run the older versions of Android, such as faking accelerometers and other hardware Android specifies.
  • by nurb432 (527695) on Saturday January 08, 2011 @05:12PM (#34807240) Homepage Journal

    Because its too much $. At least for me. While i would rather have one, I can get a decent Android tablet for under 200. If the ipad was down to 300 id have chosen that instead.

    Its not a 'reqiurement' to have one so the budget comes into play for some of us.

    • At $200 you're going to get junk. The components of a good tablet cost far more than $200 and companies have to have some kind of a margin to stay in business.

      Suppose the $200 is a retail price, which means that distribution, engineering, and component costs have to be somewhere in the sub $200 range. I can't think how this is possible without magic. The capacitive 10" screen alone is generously pegged at $95 per unit by iSuppli and even then it doesn't have crazy PPI density found in iPhone4 or AMOLED scre

      • by nurb432 (527695)

        While i do agree capacitive screens are much nicer, it doesn't mean old-tech resistive screens are junk. Just picked up a sub 200 dollar 7" device last week, a 15 dollar 8gb SD, and it seems to be just fine.

        But i do agree, there is a lot of garbage out there so you do have to do your homework first.

        • by beelsebob (529313)

          While i do agree capacitive screens are much nicer, it doesn't mean old-tech resistive screens are junk.

          Hah, it doesn't *mean* it, but it is still a fact, resistive touch screens are a nightmare to use, especially when you try to type nice and fast on them.

    • Because its too much $. At least for me. While i would rather have one, I can get a decent Android tablet for under 200. If the ipad was down to 300 id have chosen that instead.

      The iPad is still on its initial release, its still primarily being sold to the early adopters. IIRC the iPod started out at $500, the iPhone started out at $600, ... eventually they got to $250 or $200. Apple likes to have multiple configurations for these devices, a good, better and best sort of thing, each at very different price points. One year's "best" model is the next year's "good" model at nearly half the price. If you can wait for a product line update or two you may very well see that sub-$300 iP

      • by kuzb (724081)
        They got to those prices if you're buying a generation or two behind. The new iPhone/iPad are not $250/200 unless you're talking about the nano or mini. Cheapest regular iphone (through apple) still requires a 2 year contract with AT&T - one of the worst providers on the planet. Given this, you're still spending $600. Cheapest ipad is $499. The only place where your argument holds true is with the regular ipod, which is $229 for the cheapest model.
  • by gstrickler (920733) on Saturday January 08, 2011 @05:12PM (#34807248)
    In case you haven't noticed, companies have been trying to make a tablet computer for 10+ years. The iPad finally showed people it could be done and now everyone is scrambling to come out with something competitive. Wait at least 6 months to see what comes out, because right now, there is very little selection and the chances of anyone getting it right on their first attempt is pretty small.
    • by KonoWatakushi (910213) on Saturday January 08, 2011 @05:39PM (#34807606)

      The iPad may be a good start, but it is still very crude, and doesn't even scratch the surface of what a tablet could be. A tablet should at the very least also support stylus input, and allow people to explore/develop alternative input systems. (Of which there are already a number that are far superior to fixed on-screen qwerty keyboards, or even miniature physical keyboards.)

      No one is going to get it right the first time, and selling locked-down featureless hardware, which is guaranteed to be forever crippled isn't a winning strategy. (This applies not only to Apple, but tivoized Android systems as well.)

      • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Saturday January 08, 2011 @06:03PM (#34807932)

        The iPad may be a good start, but it is still very crude, and doesn't even scratch the surface of what a tablet could be. A tablet should at the very least also support stylus input, and allow people to explore/develop alternative input systems. (Of which there are already a number that are far superior to fixed on-screen qwerty keyboards, or even miniature physical keyboards.)

        No one is going to get it right the first time, and selling locked-down featureless hardware, which is guaranteed to be forever crippled isn't a winning strategy. (This applies not only to Apple, but tivoized Android systems as well.)

        Stylus input "tablets" have been around for over a decade - and they've mostly died off. The same can mostly be said for tablets with a so-called "full blown" OS (e.g. Windows tablets). The market has spoken, and it's pretty much disproven everything you said. Whether you choose to recognize that fact is an entirely different matter.

        • The market doesn't speak, but if it could, it wouldn't be saying what you think. All that can be inferred is that people didn't buy something, not why, and consideration for a tablet goes far beyond wether it has a stylus or not.

          Even if the perfect device was available a decade ago, which it wasn't, it would be meaningless without the software to take advantage of those features. That isn't going to happen if the hardware doesn't exist though, so there has been little opportunity for innovation.

          The only d

          • by minniger (32861)

            The market speaking is people buying things. Customers are giving a serious buttload of money to apple for their take on a tablet/pen/palm computer. Customers are not spending money on all those alternatives. Therefore the market is saying exactly what escort wagon asserted.

            qed

            • by jc42 (318812)

              Customers are not spending money on all those alternatives. Therefore the market is saying exactly what escort wagon asserted.

              Well, I was at an event yesterday where there were a number of iPads visible and, remembering the comments here, I asked the people who had one why they'd bought an iPad and not another brand tablet. Every one of them responded with a blank look, and/or said something like "What other tablets?". I also heard a few people commenting that they were thinking of buying one, and when I asked them the same question, they were also puzzled because they didn't know of any others.

              So I'd say (based on this tiny sam

        • by Mr. Underbridge (666784) on Saturday January 08, 2011 @07:43PM (#34809136)

          Stylus input "tablets" have been around for over a decade - and they've mostly died off. The same can mostly be said for tablets with a so-called "full blown" OS (e.g. Windows tablets). The market has spoken, and it's pretty much disproven everything you said. Whether you choose to recognize that fact is an entirely different matter.

          Just because a particular product failed doesn't mean that the idea in general is bad. Otherwise, I'd have turned gay after breaking up with my first girlfriend.

          Here's a prediction for you - there will be an Apple stylus tablet within 3 years. Until about 6 months before launch, it will continue to be the dumbest idea ever. Then, Steve will proclaim it to be brilliant.

      • by Antisyzygy (1495469) on Saturday January 08, 2011 @06:25PM (#34808202)
        If I could write equations on a tablet and it would transcribe it into LaTeX I would buy a tablet right now.
      • by kuzb (724081)
        I have never met a single person who actually likes stylus input. Apple did the right thing by not including one. For the very few people out there who feel they need such a thing, styluses are sold by various vendors which worth with an ipad.
        • by KonoWatakushi (910213) on Saturday January 08, 2011 @07:20PM (#34808902)

          That would be because you are implicitly qualifying that statement with "on crude devices for ascii text input".

          Have you met any artists who hate stylus input? How about taking notes, drawing, or entering symbols not found on your keyboard, as with most non-latin languages including mathematics.

          How about with alternative input systems like ShapeWriter or HexInput? Such technology has come a long way since the Palm Pilot...and yet has a long way to go.

          Multitouch is great and also offers immense opportunity for innovation, yet that need not be mutually exclusive with stylus input. Rather, they complement each other, and would make a tablet a far more versatile device.

      • by grapeape (137008)

        Been there done that no one cared. Everytime a thread about tablets comes up there are a flood of posts about how they all suck because they don't have this or that and usually about how they don't have a "real" OS. Motion Computing, Fujitsu, HP and several others have wasted plenty of effort to bring slate computers with full operating systems, styluses, miniature physical keyboards, etc, no one bought them. The simple fact is that every attempt at a tablet has failed up until the ipad was released, Goo

  • nookcolor, rooted (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fimbulvetr (598306) on Saturday January 08, 2011 @05:13PM (#34807254)

    Posting from my rooted nook color.

    Seriously, with the native book app installed, plus the kindle app and angry birds. This is some of the best$ 250 I've ever spent.
    Ps:
    You pay tax b&n books, but not on amazons.

    • by iammani (1392285)

      Too bad, it does not come with 3G. That is a deal breaker for me.

      • Too bad, it does not come with 3G. That is a deal breaker for me.

        But perhaps your phone (or your next phone) does. And perhaps it's got a wifi hotspot app . . .

      • by Kitkoan (1719118) on Saturday January 08, 2011 @07:05PM (#34808762)

        Too bad, it does not come with 3G. That is a deal breaker for me.

        I think of it not coming with 3g as a positive. I don't want to spend $30 a month to have access to very slow wireless, and the hardware to do 3g is typically an extra $100-$150 I would prefer to spare. If I need the internet that badly I'd tether it to my smartphone and not have to spend more money to use what I already have access to.

    • by dougsyo (84601)

      If you're looking for something in the 10" range and/or to spend $400+ then wait. Even then, there's going to be only a few real winners and a lot of losers.

      Many of the $250-and-under tablets are junk (slow processors, older Android versions, low-resolution screens with crummy touch sensors, etc), and I don't know that that's going to change in the short term. Probably the best choice in that price range is a rooted nook color. And when you're ready to get something new/better, you can restore it and resel

      • The iPad has its merits, and you can do programming on it now (there's at least three BASIC interpreters, for example) . . .

        REM find iPad with BASIC installed in store

        REM

        10 PRINT "Rob Rules"

        15 BEEP

        20 GOTO 10

        REM leave store

        REM takes me back to 1983

    • by c (8461)

      > Posting from my rooted nook color.

      The great thing about having choices is you don't have to give your money to companies who sell devices which have to be rooted.

      • The great thing about rooting is that you can get a device that is subsidized by its vendor, and then free it from its restrictions, to own it at a fraction of the price you would have had to pay otherwise.

  • Notion Ink Adam (Score:3, Interesting)

    by patjhal (1423249) on Saturday January 08, 2011 @05:15PM (#34807302)
    Seems like the best I have seen and they made it a point to improve the interface with their own homegrown, yet still allow you to install ubuntu if you like. Tegra2, pixelQI, hdmi out, good battery, weight, and size. I have seen nothing else beat it. Of course it is still only in preorder.
    • by lixee (863589)
      Adam is a good choice, yes! But I don't think Ubuntu would run well on that exotic Tegra 2 hardware.
  • by Keruo (771880) on Saturday January 08, 2011 @05:17PM (#34807324)
    If you really must have Android tablet, do as Google says and wait for the release of android 3.0.
    Google says 2.x is not suited/intended to run on tablets, so your experience is likely sub-par.
    • by nurb432 (527695)

      Or get a nice tablet now, and upgrade to 3.0 when it happens.

      • by Keruo (771880)
        And exactly what guarantees that the tablet you get now is upgradable in the future?
        Besides faster processors get cheaper over time, so your just bought tablet will be underpowered when/if the new version arrives to it.
        • It's a computer running Linux, thus ought to be upgradeable for the life of the device.

          On the other hand, if it doesn't have an open boot-loader and open drivers - no sale.

          • by kuzb (724081)
            But then you're stuck with interfaces which are generally sub-par for a table (unless you're using android) and there is no guarantee that android will be supported on any given device in future releases. So you see, your statement is straight up bunk.
        • by TheEyes (1686556)

          That's always true, though. If the reason you are waiting is because things will be cheaper in X months, you'll always be waiting. The right way to do things is to match your needs to the hardware capabilities, and pull the trigger when those capabilities fall into your budget range.

    • by whoop (194)

      What's even better is waiting for 20.2. It is going to be WAY cool than the crap that's out now. I can tell you this because I know someone at Google who may or may not be working on it. While all of you are wasting time with your phones, tablets, netbooks, cerebral implants, I am going to sit here on my futon knowing I'm going to be having a vastly superior experience than all of you combined. Trust me, good things come to those who wait. All you people are suckers.

  • If I remember correctly, there was a story about a non-phone Galaxy S PDA coming out. I would personally prefer a PDA to a tab. Smaller means smaller screen, but much easier to carry around. I see people carrying around iPads and I think, you do know that there's an iPod touch that's the same thing but easier to carry, right? Lol. And if you're willing, you could get a Nexus S unlocked, because if you don't put a SIM card in it it should work just as a mobile Android platform that uses Wifi. That's no

    • by Yvan256 (722131)

      Some people do want/need the bigger screen, the older you get and the more useless small screens become, even those with a very high resolution.

    • tablets are nice for media players basic web browsing and hacking the hell out of it :)

      The battery life is pretty good 7 hours of video or 42 hours of music on mine. I can hook it up to an amp and stream from my nas using wifi. I can use it for documentation without switching between displays.

      It's not as useful as my netbook really but handy to read a book before I drop off to sleep. Netbook is pretty lousy for that.

      a seven inch screen is big enough there is usb host but most retailers won't stock the cable

  • I'd buy an unlocked Nexus S and not get a contract for it. Not as big as a tablet but it would be an awesome platform for playing around with Android and at some point if you wanted the phone portion too that would be trivial to activate.

    I know that's outside the parameters of your question but I thought I'd throw it out there.

  • Companies are going to rush to get their tablets out with Honeycomb, and the hardware might vary as they compete with one another.

    Look at the market right now. You've got tablets as cheap as $100 with shitty hardware. There's the middle ground with hardware that works and at the high-end you have the ipad and galaxy tab. I'd wait until even the commodity hardware is enough to make a decent tablet

  • Don't buy it unless it has a standard connector like USB.

  • You've waited this long to buy a smart phone because you don't use your phone?

    Just because it's called a "phone" doesn't mean that's the primary function. I make very little use of my "phone" to actually talk to people. You've missed out on years of great utility because of this ridiculous notion.

    • by Yvan256 (722131)

      Why pay 70$+ per month when you don't use it enough to justify the cost?

      • by whoop (194)

        You don't know how much you'll use it until you start using it. Then you find neat little things to do here and there. I could care less about music, so I never bothered getting ipods, itunes, etc. I barely used the phone, so I just had a simple cell phone to call the wife for the grocery list on the way home from work. I told myself I can just wait until I get home to check email, web sites, etc.

        Then, I got the HTC Hero (Sprint) in October 2009 to play with making Android apps and make billions of doll

  • by cgenman (325138) on Saturday January 08, 2011 @05:37PM (#34807586) Homepage

    Saying that you won't buy a smartphone because you don't use your phone enough is like saying that you won't buy a computer because you don't use a typewriter enough.

    A smartphone is basically a universal data device at your fingertips at all times and all places. When was that movie out? How late is that store open? Where is Grandma's? What was that server's IP? It's Star Trek, man. Star Trek. A phone just lets you talk. The scale of functionality difference is several orders of magnitude.

    • If you really want a smartphone (aka handheld computer) but won't use it enough as a phone to justify the expensive plan, here's what you do: get an unlocked Nexus S, which is a really nice phone available with no commitment. Then sign up for T-Mobile's "pay as you go" plan which lets you buy time in increments as small as $10 that (once you've spent a total of $100) last for a whole year before expiring. I use my Nexus One only rarely as a phone, but constantly for other things. I spend a total of about
  • You really a tablet? Must be a tablet? You can afford it now, and then later? It must be with android?

    My approach would be to get a netvertible (like Samsung sliding PC [engadget.com] or Asus Eee Pad Slider [engadget.com], to put 2 examples on the spotlight right now), on which i could install some kind of Linux, like Ubuntu or Meego, or if no available, Android 3.x or even (bletch!) Windows. But for now for most of the needs of portable computing my N900 works pretty well.

  • 1. If you already have an IRA, put it there.
    2. If you don't already have an IRA, open one with your bonus.
    3. If you are allergic to IRAs (or live outside the US), put your bonus in the highest yield savings / checking account you can find (yeah, I know the yields are terrible, but something is definitely better than nothing).
    4. If the bonus is big enough to slice of a small amount to have a nice treat, only then buy something as ephemeral as a tablet.

    The economy still is in serious recovery mode. You shoul

  • No, you don't buy one now. Even Google themselves said that Android wasn't designed for Tablets yet (With Honeycomb being the first "proper" version for tablets).
    Furthermore, these first-gen Android tablets are pretty great in some ways, but they're still the first generation. Waiting for Honeycomb is by far the most sensible thing to do, particularly as it will coincide with a hardware refresh of sorts (such as nVidia's Tegra 2 being available).
    You COULD get an existing tablet and then hack Honeycomb onto

  • iPad more hackable (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SuperKendall (25149) on Saturday January 08, 2011 @05:46PM (#34807720)

    The iPad i(and in general iOS devices) are actually more "hackable" in the classic sense of the word.

    If you like to write software, either is fine. But the spirit of hacking is also partly in altering what is there to suit a need you have.

    Because jailbreaking enables use of the MobileSubstrate [iphonedevwiki.net], and most applications are written in Objective-C, you can not only write your own applications but very easily add hooks and modifications into existing applications - it's a lot easier to hack an addition to an application you already like to make it do something extra, than to write your own application from scratch.

  • I'm following the tablets rather eagerly as well. Only this xmas did I get acquainted with Android (2.1) phone and I'm positively surprised. Still, personally I'll be waiting until MeeGo tablets start popping up before I make my decision about a tablet. Unless I run into an irresistible offer as I did with the phone.
    • You might be waiting a while. There's still no N900 successor as Nokia puts its energies into resurrecting Symbian[1] via a shiny Qt interface. As for 'tablet' devices, I think other vendors would be waiting for some traction before launching a Meego branded product.

      Android and Meego are both Linux distros. So in theory you can buy an Android (or Win7) tablet today and 'upgrade' to Meego when it's ready. Assuming you don't buy a locked-down appliance...

  • Buy? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SphericalCrusher (739397) on Saturday January 08, 2011 @05:55PM (#34807828) Homepage Journal
    Buy? I took an older Motion Tablet PC I had, stuck an extra stick of RAM in it, and formatted it to install the Android OS. It works really well. If you are tech-savvy, I'd recommend doing the same before buying a high-dollar iPad competitor android tablet. If the price is right though, I'd recommend the purchase. Browsing the Internet on the built-in Chrome browser with flash playback works really well. Much like the iPad is a large iPhone in a sense, this is a large version of an Android phone. I'm really impressed with the tablet OS. The tablet PC has a gig
  • by Overzeetop (214511) on Saturday January 08, 2011 @06:11PM (#34808028) Journal

    That's really why you are getting a tablet - to do things, right?

    So, are you going to be telneting around, or developing,t aking it wardriving, or trying to create art? Are you going to be using it to read email and surf the web from your couch, plus stream or watch movies on it? Do you want it to impress your friends?

    See, that will answer your question. If you're going to be just hacking to hack, get a mid-level Android box (sorry, too many for me to keep up with). If you're going to be surfing and looking at email, get an iPad - unless you want flash, in which case get the top of the line Android tablet today. Want to impress your friends - well, the last recommendation covers it - Android if your friends are hard core linux geeks, iPad if your friends are anything else. Don't forget to ask yourself how big a screen you need. The 7" and smaller models do NOT work well for any sort of book use, save novels, unless you like squinting.

    Based on your description of what you want (i.e. - you really don't know for certain) - put that bonus somewhere that you can't touch it for 6 months, and then decide next summer what you want after Honeycomb is out.

  • I'd recommend the Viewsonic G Tablet now except that the LCD screen sort of sucks. But the performance is absolutely awesome (with updated software - the original stock software it shipped with was very, very buggy and beta quality).

    So I'd wait for a 10.1" Tegra 2 option with an IPS or other better quality screen. Twisted Craptastic errr Nemastic LCDs should be outlawed.

  • The real question that needs to be answered by the original poster is "What are you going to use it for?" Tablets look nice and all, but any real typing on them is problematic. I've used both a tablet and a netbook and writing papers or working on coding is an order of magnitude better on the netbook with a real keyboard vs a tablet. You simply cannot touch type on one.

    If all you want to do is browse the net, check some emails and use facebook/twitter, then a tablet would be okay. But if you need to do

  • Yes, I said less than $40 per year! I know you said you're interested in a tablet, but I think you might like this idea instead. Here's how to do it: First, buy an android CDMA phone at full price. I got mine from wirefly.com. Yes, that costs more up front, but you'll make it back in less than a year. So I guess that technically makes it more than $40/year, but it really depends on how long you keep the phone. In any case it's going to be a lot less than any of the other carriers.

    Anyway, I use and re

  • Wait for dual core (Score:3, Insightful)

    by roc97007 (608802) on Saturday January 08, 2011 @06:41PM (#34808434) Journal

    Wait until dual core tablets become common. Current single core tablets are orphans -- they'll never run Honeycomb.

  • Just get an iPad (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dokebi (624663) on Saturday January 08, 2011 @06:55PM (#34808626)

    Yeah, this should get me some down votes. Karma to burn and all that.

    I would say that if you want to have a nice tablet experience now, buy an iPad. If you can wait, wait for iPad2. If can wait even longer, then I think the second round of Android tablets after Honeycomb (Honeycomb 2?) should be awesome. iPad has literally one year head start vs everything else and iPad 2, presumably with video chat camera is just around the corner. Android is moving up fast, but it will take time to catch up to the quality and the quantity of apps iPad has/will have in the next 6 months.

  • If you're just trying to scratch a nerd itch, wait.

    A lot is going to happen the next few months. This is a really bad time to buy a tablet unless you have a specific need to fill that just can't wait.

    IMO, as always.

  • by dbc (135354) on Saturday January 08, 2011 @07:48PM (#34809204)

    I just got an Archos 70. Runs Froyo. No phone, has WiFi. Very hackable, Archos has built in a dual-boot mechanism, and is one of the few Android makers to be good about posting their GPL'd code. (They just put up an Angstrom distro you can dualboot.) If you just want a tablet to hack, and don't care about not having access to the cell network, an Archos generation 8 tablet is not a bad way to go. At this point, though, you have to consider *any* money spend on *any* tablet to be money flushed down the toilet. In my case, I got it mainly for hacking and am happy to consider it a disposable hack-toy.

  • by cinnamon colbert (732724) on Saturday January 08, 2011 @09:37PM (#34810254) Journal
    Quote " especially since I got a bonus this year-end that is burning a hole in my pocket. "
    We got 10 -20% unemployment, depending on what numbers you believe, which has been getting worse every month since O got elected; we got deficits, we got a technology competiton we are loosing with Asia,,,and you want to buy a smart phone
    how about you take the bonus and figure out how to get Chinese to spend their remimbi on stupid gadgets made in america - at least someone will have a job
    and don't tell me to lighten up...
  • Slatedroid.com... (Score:3, Informative)

    by It's the tripnaut! (687402) on Saturday January 08, 2011 @09:59PM (#34810422) Homepage
    ...Is probably the best resource online for all the Android tablets around, even the cheap sub $100 ones from China (clones that run Froyo are at least $140).
  • by dwater (72834) on Saturday January 08, 2011 @11:15PM (#34810992)

    If open-ness and hackability are your aims, I would suggest considering a MeeGo tablet since that is as open and as hackable as you can get.

  • by obarthelemy (160321) on Sunday January 09, 2011 @01:34AM (#34811954)

    once you know that, and find one that can do it, go for it.

    in my personal case, that means reading books, watchings vids, browsing the internets, and doing some light office stuff. i need a reasonably open system (not apple), a good screen (asus and the adam seem promising), and lotsa ports + full bluetooth for a keyboard, mouse, headset, and good battery life. As always with portable system, build quality is important.

    it also seems that any android version lower than 3.0 is not designed for tablets. i'll probably wait for 3.0 unless some of the new pads have very good hardware specs. i'll be watching asus closely, from what I've read they seem to be the ones closest to getting it.

  • Good linux device (Score:3, Informative)

    by w3c.org (1039484) on Sunday January 09, 2011 @05:53AM (#34813118) Homepage
    A few months ago I bought a WeTab from these people http://wetab.mobi/en/ [wetab.mobi], and it rocks. I don't know if it's already shipped to the U.S.A., as I'm in Europe, but the specs look really good: 2 USB ports, 1 mini HDMI, the usual audio out jack, and a proprietary port (for a dock) on the bottom, but unused at the moment (the company hadn't produced a dock yet). It runs a WeTabOS, which is basically MeeGo + a graphical interface known as 4tiito, and that OS can easily be replaced by whichever flavour of GNU/Linux you'd like (MeeGo, Ubuntu, ...), and I think someone could also try cramming windows on the SSD. The processor is an Intel N450 at 1.66Ghz, with 1Go of DDR2 RAM. There's also a webcam, a SIM port... Basically everything you would need. At less than the price of an iPad (I paid mine about 460 euros, while the iPad here is 499 euros).
  • by Nefarious Wheel (628136) on Sunday January 09, 2011 @05:11PM (#34817220) Journal

    Carl Helmers, the first editor of Byte Magazine, said it very, very early on in the piece.

    "There are people who make things happen, people who watch things happen, and people who wonder what's happening."

    The first couple of issues of Byte, by the way, were corner-stapled and printed on blue paper to discourage photocopying.

Never put off till run-time what you can do at compile-time. -- D. Gries

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