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Thinking of getting a tablet. Can someone give me some opinions?


Technology


Hey, guys!

Black Friday is coming up, and I'm thinking about getting a tablet computer. I've never owned one before, so I'm looking to get some info and some opinions from people who have one.

First, what sort of things can you do with a tablet that you can't (or won't) do with a laptop? I'm assuming they're more portable and more user-friendly, and they all have touch screens, but what are some things that you can do with them that make you go, "Holy crap, I need a tablet!"?

Also, does size matter? I'd like to have one the size of, say, an iPad (9-10 inches), but ones that size tend to be WAY more expensive than the ones that are smaller (7 inches seems to be a popular size). Is that extra two inches worth paying an extra $300-400?

How important is a camera/multiple cameras on a tablet? I think ideally I'd like to have one with dual cameras (so I could skype, take pictures, etc.) but that also comes with a sizable price increase. The one that I'm looking at, for example, is 7 inches with dual cameras, and it's $179- but then I've seen other ones that are 7 inches without cameras, and they're only $40. Are there a lot of different uses for cameras on tablets? Are there lots of different apps that use them?

Speaking of apps, how important are they for owning a tablet? I'd prefer to not spend any money beyond my initial purchase. Are there many worthwhile apps that are free (or at most a negligible amount of money)?

Sorry for the wall of questions, and any help you can give me would be most appreciated!


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Forget about capabilities for a sec...what do YOU want this internet appliance to do for you?

List them in the order of importance. THEN we can help you choose the device that best suits your needs.

(E.g. if all you want to do is play Solitaire then your 486EX running Windows 3.11 will work just fine)


I got my iPad in order to read electronic books on a large a screen as possible. All other uses are extra bonuses. This shapes my opinions.

For me, the reasons a tablet was better than a laptop/netbook were (a) it's much lighter, (b) it doesn't get as hot, and (c) the charge lasts longer.

The iPad screen is the largest I've found for viewing 8.5x11-shaped documents; that was important enough for me to get the larger screen. (All the widescreen tablets I've seen have the narrow part of their screen narrower than the narrow part of the iPad screen, which makes them smaller for my purposes.)

I didn't get an iPad because I'm a "fan" of Apple; it was the device that best met the above characteristics.

As harmor said, I'd need to know what you're going to do with it to give more advice.

Grand Lodge

My question is where did you find those prices?
They seem really really low.


Ditto Harmor: what are you going to use it for?

I bought a Nook Color the day they went on sale. I wanted a color ereader (for RPG pdfs) and web browsing. It was great, and I rooted it about a year and a half later and it was even better.

E-reading - excellent
email/web browsing - fine (typing anything more than a short email is kind of a pain)
netflix/youtube - no complaints other than speaker sucks without headphones. Not loud at all.

I still use it regularly for ereading and web browsing. Iphone pretty much replaced emailing use.

I will add that I got the family an ipad a few months ago and it is far superior for web browsing and the speaker is 1000% better (important on netflix). No comparison at all. But I paid big $$$ for the improvements.


harmor wrote:

Forget about capabilities for a sec...what do YOU want this internet appliance to do for you?

List them in the order of importance. THEN we can help you choose the device that best suits your needs.

(E.g. if all you want to do is play Solitaire then your 486EX running Windows 3.11 will work just fine)

Here's what I can come up with off the top of my head, in order of importance:

1. I want a computer that has a lot of innovative gadgets (not just games, but games too) that let me do things I wouldn't normally do on a laptop.

2. I'd like a computer that I can easily use to draw.

3. I'd like a computer that I can use for Skype and taking pictures/video. Being able to edit pictures/video would be a plus.

4. I want a new computer that is affordable.

5. I want a computer with longer battery life than my current netbook (which is pretty terrible- maybe an hour unplugged at most).

6. I want a computer that can read pdfs easily and quickly.

I don't know if a tablet is the best for those criteria, and so that's why I'm trying to find out what else a tablet can do. If it can do a lot of things that sound interesting, it will be more worth it for me to get one.

For the record, though, I wasn't asking, "Should I get a tablet?" but rather, "What are the pluses and minuses of a tablet?". Whether I'm getting one or not isn't what I want to know; I'll decide that based on the info I get.

Katt De Grey wrote:

My question is where did you find those prices?

They seem really really low.

Black Friday prices at Office Depot (or was it Office Max?). I realized after typing my post that they also have a 9'' tablet for $199. However, given the fact that it's Black Friday, there's a large chance there will be a line of two hundred people ahead of me and they'll all be sold out, but it's worth a shot.


Just remember that a tablet is an ADDITON to your computer, not a REPLACEMENT for it.


Got a Galaxy tab.

Use PF battle and several apps I use when playing and DMing my PFRPG games.
Summoner lite
D&D Dice
Icrit : critical deck by Paizo
Pathfinder Npc's
Pathfincer open reference
Pathfinder spellbook
Patfinder feat index
Those are enough for me to get the tablet.

Got the Galaxy tab cuz iPad to expensive and didn't want to deal with the carriers that support it.

Right now there are probably more apps on iPad thant Anroid but things are changing, I think....


Sharoth wrote:
Just remember that a tablet is an ADDITON to your computer, not a REPLACEMENT for it.

Yes, definitely. I'll still be keeping my current laptop (which is a piece of junk but whatever), but I wanted a new experience as far as computing goes.

I have another question, and this is probably going to sound like the most complete n00b question whatsoever. But here goes: Do I need to have some sort of special phone plan to use a tablet computer? I am under the assumption that it's not necessary to have the two connected but I should probably find out. I have no special plan whatsoever (no smartphone, no internet on my phone, not even texting- just a basic bare-bones plan) and I have no intention of changing that. Will I still be able to get the full range of uses from a tablet?

Also, how important is a particular operating system? The tablets I'm looking at have Android (if I'm not mistaken), but can someone briefly explain the difference?


Yes you need some type of phone plan if you intend to navigate on the WWW when a Wifi connection is not avialable. This is also required so they can send you a bill.

I myself got this to help me out once I got my tablet :

http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Galaxy-Tab-10-1-Dummies/dp/1118228332/ref=sr_ 1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1353090991&sr=1-2&keywords=tablet+f or+dummies


Oh and as for the os, its either Apple or Android as far as I can see. But Microsoft has now come out with something using Windows 8, which I don't know much about.

So far the only that seems to make a difference is the apps you can't get because it is exclusive to tablets different from yours.


Gondolin wrote:
Yes you need some type of phone plan if you intend to navigate on the WWW when a Wifi connection is not avialable. This is also required so they can send you a bill.

See, that's what I'm curious about. I have no intention of using this tablet when a wifi connection is not available- I plan on only using the internet when I'm at home or somewhere with wifi. Do I still need a phone plan for it?


UltimaGabe wrote:
Gondolin wrote:
Yes you need some type of phone plan if you intend to navigate on the WWW when a Wifi connection is not avialable. This is also required so they can send you a bill.
See, that's what I'm curious about. I have no intention of using this tablet when a wifi connection is not available- I plan on only using the internet when I'm at home or somewhere with wifi. Do I still need a phone plan for it?

No. I have no phone plan for my iPad. (I can only assume such things would be even easier on Android.) The device is a little less expensive if it's wi-fi only, too.


Distant Scholar wrote:
No. I have no phone plan for my iPad. (I can only assume such things would be even easier on Android.) The device is a little less expensive if it's wi-fi only, too.

Not only that, but if you already have a smart phone (I know, not everyone does, but if you do) you can pretty easily tether your phone plan to your wifi tablet. I do it with my iPhone/wifi iPad and I have a friend who tethers his iPod touch/iPad to his Android phone. As long as you discipline yourself not to go nuts and refrain from app or movie downloads, you shouldn't have to worry (generally) about your download cap. Save all the big downloads for when you have a "real" wifi connection.

(This assumes your mobile plan allows tethering.)

Greg


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

You can also get one of those hockey pucks that is a hotspot for all your devices. If you have more than one data device it will pay for itself.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

One thing to note about a bunch of the sub-$100 Android tablets is that they're running version 2.x of the OS.

In some cases, 2.x is old enough that you can't access the Play store or other app marketplaces.

I have, however, seen a few BF ads offering sub-$100 7" Android 4.x tablets, but there's caveats there that you need to be aware of.

First, they're "off-brand" - not that this is necessarily bad, but the support potential may be non-existant in the near future.

Second, in order to get them that cheap, they're skimping on components, including some or multiples of these:

Lower-end screen
Minimal RAM
Slower processor
Minimal on-board storage
No SD-slot

And so on.

While I won't make a recommendation on a specific device, because I have yet to find one that was better than another in any appreciable sense (I currently own a Motorola Xoom and a 3rd-generation iPad), I'm in the market for a 7" tablet, because the pocket-portability of both the Xoom and the iPad (and any 10" tablet) is non-existent.

A family member recently bought a 7" Kindle Fire HD, and the size is virtually perfect. Not wanting to be locked into the Amazon custom OS mods (I don't care to root devices), I'm looking at the Nexus 7 now.

It doesn't have an SD slot (nor does the Kindle Fire HD), but it can use OTG cables to connect USB drivers or flash readers for portable storage if the 16gb or 32gb aren't sufficient (issues I haven't really had an issue with on either of my tablets, both of which are 32gb models).

It doesn't have HDMI output, which would be a nice feature on something I'd expect to carry around more often. I don't use it much on either of the other tablets, but perhaps that's because I find that I don't carry them around as often as I would the 7".

I have yet to see any BF deals on either the Kindle Fire HD or the Nexus 7 - everyone seems to be offering them on Black Friday for the same price you can buy them direct today.

I'm definitely keeping my eyes open at other 7" Android 4.x tablets, even off-brands, though - I may lean towards one of those if they features prove acceptable.

I'd really like to have a "set" of 7" devices for the game table, to be used for messaging between players/DM, etc. but I don't think the app support for what I want to do (direct messaging not requiring Internet connection, passing of images, sketches, etc.) exist yet.


Brian Harris- thanks for the input! Let me clarify a little bit with some specifics. Both can be viewed here: http://blackfriday.com/stores/office-depot/flyers/black-friday

There are two tablets I'm looking at, both from Office Depot. The first is a 7'', 8GB Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 running Android 4.0. It has a MicroSD reader, dual cameras, and an IR emitter (or something- the ad's picture is really small). It's on sale for $179.99, normally $249.99.

The next is a 9'' 16GB Lenovo Ideatab A2, Android 4.0, dual cameras, microSD reader, Micro USB and Micro HDMI ports (something I hadn't noticed before this posting). On sale for $199.99, normally $299.99.

Of those two, which would you recommend? My main thing is I'm trying to decide between the 7'' and the 9''. I like the idea of having a big screen (my current netbook has a 9'' screen and browsing the web is difficult enough on that, I think I'd hate to have a smaller screen) but portability would be awesome, especially for reading PDFs and such on the go. (But then again, I won't have internet access on the go, as I mentioned, and I've learned never to trust the battery life claims in ads.) In your opinion, is the extra 2'' that big of a deal? The price is close enough ($20 difference) that it's a non-issue, but I still need to make that decision.

Thanks a ton!


I have a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, with its own phone plan. It's great to be able to use it when my phone's antenna is too weak to get a connection, and to provide a connection for my laptop. I chose the android because it doesn't lock you inside the Apple garden. Transfering files is very simple, given that you don't need to mess around with iTunes and its 75 page user license agreement.

Screen size: 10.1 is pretty good. It's still a bother trying to type anything useful on it, because the virtual keyboard is far from perfect, among other things it is too small. That said, it is big enough to show more than part of a webpage, which would be a severe bother on a 7 inch-tab.

Cameras: These things are not good cameras, by any stretch. To take GOOD pictures, you need optics, and flat things don't have those. Then again, your view of what constitutes a good picture may vary. Using cameras for video calls may require less image quality.

Battery life: Don't expect miracles. Every battery decays.

Sum up: Yes. The extra inches ARE that big of a deal. For me.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
UltimaGabe wrote:

Of those two, which would you recommend? My main thing is I'm trying to decide between the 7'' and the 9''. I like the idea of having a big screen (my current netbook has a 9'' screen and browsing the web is difficult enough on that, I think I'd hate to have a smaller screen) but portability would be awesome, especially for reading PDFs and such on the go. (But then again, I won't have internet access on the go, as I mentioned, and I've learned never to trust the battery life claims in ads.) In your opinion, is the extra 2'' that big of a deal? The price is close enough ($20 difference) that it's a non-issue, but I still need to make that decision.

Thanks a ton!

So, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7" has a 1024x600 screen. The new crop of 7" tablets like the Kindle Fire HD and Nexus 7 are 1280x800, which is a pretty noticeable difference.

On-sale, the 8GB Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7" is $180. Regular price, the 16GB Kindle Fire HD or Nexus 7 is $200. While the difference between 16GB and 32GB isn't huge to me personally, the difference between 8GB and 16GB is definitely an issue.

As far as the Lenovo goes, the 9" screen is close enough to a 10" screen as to be the same, for me. That $200 price tag is hard to beat, though, and feature-wise over the crop of 7" tablets, quite nice.

That said, the 9" Lenovo has the same resolution as the 7" tabs that I'm interested in. Bigger screens at the same resolution don't look as nice. My 10" Xoom has the same resolution as both of these. When comparing side-by-side with the Kindle Fire HD, the Kindle looks spectacular, the Xoom looks not that great.

If you didn't have my issues with the larger screen (meaning, I actively want a SMALLER screen unit), I'd buy the Lenovo over the Samsung - but, I'd buy almost anything over the Samsung. Samsung makes good stuff, but this particular tablet is not the one to buy.

Likewise, if you wanted a 7" tablet, buy the Kindle Fire HD or the Nexus 7 - only $20 more for double the storage, better resolution, just better tablet. And you don't have to wait until it's on-sale, because that's it's regular price today.


Once again, Brian, thanks for the input! At the moment, it looks like I'm pretty set on getting the 9'' Lenovo (assuming, of course, that the store even has any left by the time I get there). This is cemented by the fact that it has an HDMI port, which is a trait I've been wanting for some time. (We're also getting an HDTV on Black Friday to put in our bedroom, which means we'll be able to watch videos from our computer on it.)

That leads me back to my original post, though. What are some cool things you can do with a tablet that you can't do with a laptop? What sort of apps do you guys have on yours? I'm looking for apps that let you draw, apps that let you edit pictures/video/audio, apps that help with gaming, apps that help with everyday things, whatever you can think of that made you think, "Wow, I sure am glad I bought a tablet."


I've got tons of apps (current count is 228, as I'm stress-testing a Jelly Bean ROM) so there's quite a bit you can do! I know you're going for free, but a few of these are paid--they are worth it. Here's the full list. I'll pick out some specifics tomorrow (heading to bed now)!

http://www.appbrain.com/user/erian_7/notion-ink-adam


Got sidetracked...but luckily remembered somebody's already compiled a great list of free Android apps:

http://www.techsupportalert.com/best-free-android-apps.htm

I've used these guys recommendations for years on the PC side, so have no reservation in offering this as a prime source for any freeware needs.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Not quite two years ago I bought the iPad 2. Combined with the GoodReader software (less than $5) it does its job.

Things to consider:

1. I already had a lot of pdfs, which I prefer. If you are mainly purchasing pdfs, a tablet is definitely worth it. A lot of materials I wouldn't buy for $15 plus shipping are worth $12. And Paizo's hardbacks at $10 are a steal.

2. As stated above, the size and the shape of the screen matters. I'm not a big Apple ecosystem person, but at the time I bought mine, Apple came closest to being page shaped.

3. A small screen is fine, but keep in mind you will keep "moving" pages around on the screen to read them. With a bigger screen, you just need to flip pages. I find most Paizo products have text just a tad too small (damnable aging eyes), but by cropping the margins, which takes about 10 seconds for a book, I can read comfortably without "moving" the page around.

4. Apple IOS vs Google Android vs MS Windows 8; all are adequate, its a matter of price and personal preference. I don't know if Apple's competitor's have quite caught up, but they are close enough that personally preference means more.


Alright, my wife realized last night that Kohl's has an even better deal on a tablet coming up as well. Here's the ad:
http://blackfriday.com/stores/kohls/flyers/black-friday/page-22

And here's the Kohl's page with the specifics on the tablet:

http://www.kohls.com/upgrade/webstore/product_page.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id= 845524893039404&pfx=pfx_shopcompare&cid=shopping3&src=k32998&am p;clickid=0004cf0334ef12f60aec6ecc14002520

According to the ad, it's a 10.1'' Polaroid Tablet with Android 4.0 and dual cameras (the two things that I'm looking for), $149.99, regularly $249.99 (plus, at Kohl's, you get back $15 in store credit for every $50 you spend, so I'd be spending $150 and getting $45 back). No HDMI port, which is disappointing, but oh well.

Is there anything I'm missing about that tablet, or is it just a much better deal all around?


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Well, the Q-and-A on Kohl's site claims that it does have Mini-HDMI.

I can't find specs online for the PMID1000 (the one in the Kohl's ad) but the PMID1000X does have Mini-HDMI...

That said, the screen resolution is 1024x600, which is abysmal for a 10" tablet.

It's only got 8gb on-board, which kinda stinks, but it does claim to support MicroSD.

The processor listed, an ARM Cortex A8, is old. It's the basis for the Apple A4, which was used in the 1st Generation iPad.

Newer units that are using ARM-based technology are based on the Cortex A9 or better.

Those features there would cause me to steer clear, personally.

That Lenovo tablet you posted? Better screen, more on-board storage, uses a Tegra 3 processor (ARM Cortex A9)...

The Lenovo has Android 4.0 and dual cameras, too

Nothing but my own hunch, but based on the processors in the two tablets, I think it's highly likely that the Lenovo will receive 4.1/4.2 upgrades (Jelly Bean) to the OS, while the Polaroid won't be as likely to.


Once again, thanks for the valuable input! It seems you've substantiated my fears- you mentioned earlier that when you get a tablet for cheap, they're usually skimping somewhere- I know that it's not THAT much cheaper than the Lenovo, but you're spot-on with the resolution issue (which I'm sure I could get used to, but it would always be nagging in the back of my head) and an older processor doesn't sound like a good idea. It would have been nice to get a tablet for (effectively) half the price of the Lenovo, but at this point I think my mind is set. Now here's to hoping that they even have the darn thing. :-/

I've got another question for you tablet owners, then. What sort of physical add-ons do you recommend? I don't want to spend much money beyond my initial purchase, but how important is, say, a screen protector? Can you/should you use a stylus with a tablet? I've seen attachable keyboards you can buy for tablets (which I have little interest in- if I need to do some heavy typing, I'd rather lug around my laptop than lug around a $40 peripheral that turns my tablet into a laptop)- is there anything of that sort that's a must-have?

I'm getting really excited about this! Thanks for all of the input, everyone!


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

I bought a ZaggShield for my Xoom, but never actually installed it. I don't have anything like that on my iPad, either.

If my tablet didn't have some kind of super-awesome scratch-proof glass, I'd install a shield.

I do have cases/covers for them, but I think the glass on both of them is pretty resilient - no scratches or dings yet. I'd definitely invest in some kind of case/cover/sleeve. Given that the Lenovo A2109 may not be as popular as an iPad or other near-top-tier device, you may find yourself having to settle for something generic, or making something else work. A quick Google suggests that a Kindle Fire HD 8.9" case may work well.

---

With capacitive touch screens (as most of the current generation of tablets are), the stylus isn't a fine-point at all, so don't expect that level of fine input. That said, I do have a couple, and they have they're uses.

---

I have a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse that I bought for my Xoom, and they're handy at times, but I bought my Xoom as a proof-of-concept for remote work - VPN client, RDP client, terminal emulator, etc. I got them on a 50%-off deal from Motorola when I bought the Xoom, so it was a decent deal.

For day-to-day stuff, though, I don't use it.

---

As far as other accessories?

An HDMI cable to hook it up to a television
USB cable for data transfer
Good SD card for more memory if/when you need it (32gb Class 10 microSD have become reasonably priced)
USB/OTG cable (if the tablet will support it) so you can connect a USB drive if needed
Car charger
Extra AC Adaptor or a dock
Good headphones/earphones


UltimaGabe wrote:
and an older processor doesn't sound like a good idea.

Nooooo... it is not. Especially if you want to read Paizo PDFs. Some of them are big hogs, and will likely load excruciatingly slow on a tablet with older/weak processors.

Just remember - a tablet is NOT a laptop when trying to read certain PDFs. There is a high probability of disappointment.


Alright! I meant to post this yesterday, but I got the 9'' Lenovo tablet! It ended up being way easier than I had expected- my wife realized that Office Depot started selling both computers we wanted on their website Thursday morning. So, with no difficulty whatsoever, we ordered them online- they won't be here for a few days, but it was certainly easier than sitting out in the cold for hours in the hopes of possibly getting them. I'm super excited!


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Brian E. Harris wrote:


...

With capacitive touch screens (as most of the current generation of tablets are), the stylus isn't a fine-point at all, so don't expect that level of fine input. That said, I do have a couple, and they have they're uses.

...

I just bought myself Jot Stylus. According to their YouTube Video demonstrating it it is very accurate.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Brian E. Harris wrote:

One thing to note about a bunch of the sub-$100 Android tablets is that they're running version 2.x of the OS.

In some cases, 2.x is old enough that you can't access the Play store or other app marketplaces.

I have, however, seen a few BF ads offering sub-$100 7" Android 4.x tablets, but there's caveats there that you need to be aware of.

First, they're "off-brand" - not that this is necessarily bad, but the support potential may be non-existant in the near future.

Second, in order to get them that cheap, they're skimping on components, including some or multiples of these:

Many of the sub price Android tablets look great after 3 years of ownership.

That's because after the first couple of weeks of driving their owners up a wall, they get put into drawers and forgotten about. The user experience on many of the low end devices tends to be subpar, especially with demanding uses like Netflix or reading large PDF's like the Pathfinder "Lite" Books.

Also frequently because they are running ancient versions of Android, or because the manufacturer themselves has locked the unit into their own Marketplace, you don't have access to Google's Market.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Ajaxis wrote:


4. Apple IOS vs Google Android vs MS Windows 8; all are adequate, its a matter of price and personal preference. I don't know if Apple's competitor's have quite caught up, but they are close enough that personally preference means more.

People can argue specs until they're blue in the face but for me it's all about the apps. And on the apps that exist in both versions, the iOS ones just seem to be better and more complete.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

Assuming UltimaGabe doesn't mind me piggybacking on his thread...

I'm considering getting some sort of tablet/e-reader, mainly to read Paizo PDFs somewhere that's not in my office in front of my desktop.

Obviously screen size is going to factor into my selection, since I don't want it to be a pain in the ass to read them. Any thoughts on what would work best?

I'm sure once I've got it I'll look at using it for Netflix or whatever, but really my main goal is something I can put all my PDFs on and read them comfortably while lying down on my couch/bed.

Thanks!


I mentioned my iPad above. Recently I've been intrigued by the Lenovo Yoga. I'm not sure how well it works in practice, and it's probably pricy, but I've heard good things about it.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
motteditor wrote:

Assuming UltimaGabe doesn't mind me piggybacking on his thread...

I'm considering getting some sort of tablet/e-reader, mainly to read Paizo PDFs somewhere that's not in my office in front of my desktop.

Obviously screen size is going to factor into my selection, since I don't want it to be a pain in the ass to read them. Any thoughts on what would work best?

I'm sure once I've got it I'll look at using it for Netflix or whatever, but really my main goal is something I can put all my PDFs on and read them comfortably while lying down on my couch/bed.

Thanks!

I'm not sure how much you're looking to spend, but I know I plan to get a Nexus 10 come Jan/Feb. Being a Nexus device it should get its updates quickly whenever new versions of Android come out. Especially since it's wifi only and doesn't have to deal with carrier restrictions (Love my Galaxy Nexus, but Verizon crippled it).


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I've determined its not a good idea to get a tablet + cellular coverage unless you can justify the increased costs.

Almost always its cheaper to thether from another device (like your phone or hockey puck), than for the device to have its own cellular connection.

As for PDFs, even the "Lite" PDFs are beefy. Compare the processing power...actually take a look at this:

Consumer Reports Tablet Review

The iPad4, WiFi with 32GB got the best rating.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game Subscriber

Sorry to come late to this thread, but I was just about to start a related one of my own.

I was considering getting a new tablet to replace my aging iPad 1st gen. I was really looking for something with a larger screen size, specifically to read "letter" page-sized pdfs. I just hate the pinching and panning while reading, especially when also turning pages, so I was really looking for something that I can easily read a full page at a time on.

I whipped up a little spreadsheet that takes the horizontal screen size and the resolution and gets the actual H x W screen dimensions. Then, it considers the fit of a standard letter sized page, and which dimension will cap out first, to get the overall percent of the print page the full page view will be. Most applications can crop either the pdf file itself or the displayed image to cut away the margins (if you don't use this feature, you really should try it), so I added a calculation factoring that in too (based on Paizo's typical margin size).

Surprise, surprise! It seems the iPad stacks up pretty good to the competition. First place was a tie between the Motion 12.1 and the ASUS Eee Slate, which when using the crop feature can represent a page 98.7% of it's print size. Both of these tablets are pricey and harder to find.

Second place? The iPads at 87.4%, tied with the 11.6" widescreens (samsung, ASUS, Acer, etc). These wide tablets are essentially the same effective size as the iPad, but would leave you with a little extra room above or below the page for something else.

The rest of the pack was primarily 10.1" wide displays, which due to the letterboxing actually shrink the page down to about 76% of print size (58% when no cropping is used). Then, theres the iPAd mini at 71%(55%).

Of course this can't take into account things like tool and title bars, which are going to be app/OS dependent, plus other considerations like price and processor power, but it's still pretty illuminating.

An iPad with a retina display might be the way to go. It has a decent percent of print size, plus the increased resolution should help with the smaller print. Other than that, the Kings of the hill are still the Eee Slate and the Motion 12.1" ($2,480.99!).

You might also consider a Tablet PC (a.k.a. swiveling laptop), just be sure it has a touch screen or some kind of arrow key button to turn pages when it is folded back as a tablet.

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