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Which non-iPad "Tablet" Device?

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So, I'm thinking of making a frivolous purchase this Christmas. I'd like to snag a smaller form factor tablet for myself. I've owned an iPad before (3G 64GB) and it was just too much money tied up in something I didn't use very often. I found myself just pulling out my trusty MBA most of the time. So, not really being up to speed on the latest and greatest in tablets, does anyone have any recommendations, warnings or observations about the current crop of tablets in the 7"-ish size?

I'd like to be able to:
-Interact with work email via Outlook Web Access, so it would need to support RSA soft tokens
-Add a few other email accounts (gmail & .Mac)
-View MS Excel and Word documents and maybe do some casual editing - nothing fancy
-View photos, listen to mp3's and watch video in .mp4/.m4v ie: Handbrake converted. No real need for wild HD resolutions
-Read Kindle, Barnes & Noble and any Opensource type book formats
-I don't care about Flash video, though being able to watch a YouTube video here and there would be nice
-I don't care about gaming other than casual stuff like Scrabble and Solitaire
-I have no loyalty to OS's (other than AIX and OSX) so as long as the OS isn't something dead like Palm or Blackberry, I'm good with it
-I don't need access to a billion apps, just boring stuff like news, weather, dictionary, etc...
-Price range $200~$300

Any thoughts?

Thanks,
Dave
 
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beyond the android tablets, I'm not sure too many others are either ready for primetime, or going to be any better than your previous ipad.

Tablet wise, ipad is pretty much it, next, perhaps the samsung.
 
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It will be interesting to see how the Asus Transformer Prime gets along with Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4). Entry model is 32gb and quad core with an 8mp camera - £350. My wife wants a tablet next year but this may be overkill for someone who just views Facebook and YouTube!

The previous transformer was pretty naff for watching HD video on according to the reviews I watched. The Motorola xoom and Samsung Galaxy tab are more expensive for less specs.

But that's still $150 over your budget and it hasn't been out long enough for the masses to either marvel about it or shoot it down in flames.
 
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Here is Engadget's review of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus. LINK $400 (I don't know of anything in your price range that will do all the things you listed)

It seems they aren't crazy about it but they do recommend the 8.9 Galaxy Tab instead.

Have you considered Craigslist for a used iPad?
 
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I was playing with an Acer tablet( or at least I believe it was an Acer...because they had a few tablets all next to each other) at Costco, and I actually started to like it. I believe it was $300(sale price), and had the typical Android OS. It seemed pretty responsive, but slightly complicated...though, that might be so because I'm used to the simplicity of iOS. I'm sure if you gave me an hour to fiddle with it I would know it inside-out. I wish I could tell you what model it was. I would like to mention that though the tablets there were made by different companies, they ALL operated the same way(same on-screen buttons, OS, etc.) That's stupid in my opinion. There was also a 7" Lenovo tablet for $200. That's what I would buy. The Acer looked like it was a ~10" screen. The 7" Lenovo's screen actually looked better.
 

cwa107


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I think if I were shopping for a non-iPad, I'd be looking at the ASUS Transformer. To me, that's about the most innovative design I've seen yet and it can easily be made to function as more than just a toy.
 

RavingMac

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I would be going for the Kindle Fire, but my thoughts would be like this:

1) if I really want to browse the web, play games and run APPs I would be looking at an iPad
2) if my main use was an eReader, with limited capability for the above, then the Kindle would be my choice because of the small size, cost and the fact that I buy most of my books from Amazon anyway
 

vansmith

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I read a review of the Nook Tablet on Ars this morning and it seems (I have quite a bit of faith in Ars' reviews) that the NT is considerably better than the Fire. I'm not sure how well it meets XJ's needs but if it were between those two, it would seem as if the choice was a no-brainer.

I also just looked up the ASUS Transformer. Wow, that tablet has some impressive specs. If it can truly hold a charge for ~ 9 hours, I am very amazed at what ASUS has built.

Note: I've never any of these so I'm going on what I've read.
 
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Yep, that Transformer looks to be very impressive. My only gripe with anything Android is that Market lacks the same polished kinds of apps available in the App Store. It's the main reason I bought the iPad 2 for my wife. Also, is it 3g capable? Wifi only is sort of a deal killer for me. Otherwise, it would be something I'd consider for myself.

I love that it has an sd card slot, HDMI and USB port for external mass storage. Much more convenient that slow cloud service for backing up things on the go.

Doug

Edit: No 3g. Too bad
 
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Looks like I may have to scale back my requirements a bit. No real need to edit MS documents, just read attachments. The RSA token thing is definitely required. That essentially limits me to: iOS, Android, Blackberry, Nokia and Windows. The last 2 OS's are out for me as my employer won't allow work to be performed or facilitated on them. I dislike Blackberry after using those things for too long - a fine OS, but I'm sick of it. So, iOS and Android it is. Most books I would read are opensource or PDF's ie: IBM Redbooks. I have some Kindle content as well, so I'll narrow it down to reading PDF's and Kindle. Since Nook runs Android, I'd imagine there will be a hack to allow this. Looking like a Nook Tablet -vs- Kindle Fire contest to me, based on relative price range.

No offense intended to the iPad. It's a fine device and I owned the "largest" one with all available options. I just never quite took advantage of the ~$800 I had wrapped up in it. Even $500 is more than I can justify for an electronic toy with limited application within my own lifestyle. It's size is close enough to my MBA that for whatever reason I opted to use the MBA 95% of the time, or didn't use anything at all.

Thanks all for the input!
 

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