General Question

erichw1504's avatar

Which tablet do you think is the best?

Asked by erichw1504 (26309 points ) January 25th, 2013

I’ve been researching all of the current top tablet on the market since I plan on getting one for my wife this year. She’d like to use it to read books, browse the web and check Facebook. So, I thought I’d ask my fellow jellies what their opinion was.

What’s your preference for a tablet? Do you own it or just agree it is the best? Why is it your pick? What makes it the best?

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26 Answers

Pachy's avatar

I own a Kindle Paperwhite, a Nexus 7, and an iPad 3. I use each for different things. I’ve owned or played with every tablet on the market and consider the Nexus 7 the best of the 7-inch models, the iPad the best of the bigger tablets, and the Paperwhite the best e-reader on the market today. But of course that’s just my opinion.

tom_g's avatar

I have an iPad 2 (cost me $499), but would have purchased a Nexus 7 ($199) if it had been available at the time. It’s better and significantly less expensive.

geeky_mama's avatar

Hands down the Kindle Fire HD. It’s nearly the same OS as a Nexus 7, but it costs less and performs better. At our house filled with geeks and geek children we have iPads, mini iPad and Android tablets—and the unanimous vote is that the Kindle Fire HD is the best. In fact, our middle daughter sold off her iPad to buy a Kindle Fire instead.

For the price (hundreds less than an iPad or iPad mini) you get the perfect size (it fits in my purse) and all the capabilities you could ever want.

Because it’s a full Andoid 4+ OS there are a ton of apps avaialble for me—basically everything I love that I have on my iphone I can find for my Kindle Fire HD.

I use it to check Facebook, Twitter and read books. If you have Amazon Prime it’s also like having a free Netflix account—there are tons of free movies, TV shows and documentaries that I can watch for free with Prime.

Also, because it’s a Kindle Fire HD I can attach a little HDMI cable to it and watch the HD content on our HD TV. So, when I have a good movie I want the whole family to watch we can watch it on our big screen.

It has built in camera & mic – so I can Skype from it. Also, check my gmail and play games and easily shop for new books & download. There’s also Pandora and Amazon Cloud for music—but I don’t typically use it on my Kindle, not sure why..

Especially if your wife already has an Amazon account and/or shops at Amazon I cannot say enough good about the Kindle Fire HD & Amazon Prime.

tom_g's avatar

@geeky_mama – The Kindle Fire HD costs the same as the Nexus 7. The only reason to get a Kindle Fire would be if you were going to primarily use it for the Amazon Prime streaming. Otherwise, the Nexus 7 is the way to go. Amazon took Android and removed functionality. When you buy a Nexus 7, you are buying the real thing with vanilla Android. You can’t even run the most important apps available on Android on a Kindle Fire (gmail, google now, etc).
If you’re in the market for a 7” tablet, the consensus seems to be go with the real thing (Nexus 7), unless you don’t mind the limited functionality of the Fire and really want it to be a Prime streaming device.

rojo's avatar

I have a 10.1” Lenovo (that doesn’t sound suggestive does it)
The price was right particularly for a 32GB model and it came with a bunch of preloaded programs.
It is ok, I would say 3 out of 5.
It does what I want it to but is limited when it comes to accessories like a keyboard, etc., due to the proprietary hookup for the cord and the fact that because there is not a huge number of them out there nobody makes third party accessories so everything has to come from Lenovo and they appear to be trying to make up the lower cost by making the extras more expensive. Even the clear screen savers/protectors are unavailable. You have to buy one for a different model and just make it work.
This is irritating, particularly when there are things for Apple products out the wazoo.
Also there in no slot for a USB; you have to buy an additional cord that plugs into the unit to be able to read a flash drive. Seems like a pretty big oversight given how ubiquitous these things are.
Finally, it does not seem to process as quickly as other tablets I have used and it also has this glitch in it where if you try to do something more quickly than it can evidently handle you get this “force close” notice and have to start again.
I will use this one until it craters and allow my six year old granddaughter to play “Angry Birds” on it without worrying but will not buy another.

gondwanalon's avatar

iPad mini with 64 gigs.

erichw1504's avatar

BTW, my first question in 5 months… whoa!

NuclearWessels's avatar

I would suggest the 16GB 10in. Samsung Galaxy Tab 2, which is at an all time low price currently – $297 and free shipping

Based on Amazon reviews its rated 4.5 out of 5 stars based on 480 user reviews

ragingloli's avatar

I do not really have the money right now or the desire to get one, but if I did, I would get the Razer Edge once it is out.

DeanV's avatar

Nexus 7 is absolutely the way to go. Not gimped down like the Kindle Fire, excellent specs, and a hell of a lot cheaper than the iPad.

geeky_mama's avatar

Actually, @tom_g – I can run all my Google apps (and Google Chrome) and gmail on my Kindle Fire HD. Also, I run Evernote and use a standard bluetooth keyboard (runs w/ standard Android 4.0 or later) with my Kindle Fire HD, too.

And, at least in my area, I can’t find a Nexus 7 16GB for less than $250..where as I got my Kindle Fire HD 16GB for $199.

While I don’t disagree with your assessment that Amazon altered Android and it’s not a pure Android OS..so far I haven’t been limited by anything I’ve wanted to do. I can check Outlook, Gmail, Facebook and use Evernote. Also, many reviewers point out that usability (ease of use) is better on the Kindle Fire HD over the Nexus7..so unless @erichw1504‘s wife is even more of a tech super-geek than me (and heck, lots of people are..maybe she likes Linux and compiles her own apps for fun) ..I still think for reading books & playing games the Kindle Fire HD is the best/lowest price option.

tom_g's avatar

@geeky_mama – Did you root the Fire? The Fire doesn’t even have the full Google Play Store, right? It has the Amazon app store. Are you saying that you were able to install apps that have been blocked by Amazon?

Buttonstc's avatar

I have a Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0 which refers to the seven inch version rather than the larger)

If your wife has small hands, I would suggest this size over any 10 inch tabs because the larger ones cannot really be held comfortably in one hand.

I had previously used a larger one from a friend of mine and decided it was way too bulky and uncomfortable.

I have also been putting up with an Acer Iconia (also 7 inch) which will be going up on Craigslist shortly. There were problems too numerous to mention so I would advise against it.

One reason for my choosing both the Acer and the Samsung over something like the Kindle or Nexus is the removable micro SD card which enables expanding the storage capacity from a mere 8 GB to four times that (32 GB)

You’d be amazed at how quickly you can fill up 8 GB :)

The cost was less than the others also. I got it on BF for $179 at BestBuy.

(I just noticed in my email before spotting this Q that they’re currently having a winter blowout sale. I should see if the Samsung is on sale)

I love everything about the Galaxy Tab and I understand why it was rated so highly. It has everything I could ever want or need in a tablet.

If your wife is really tied in to Amazon shopping, she might like the Kindle but otherwise would be frustrated in not having easy access to the full Android Market for Apps.

And whatever else you decide, stay away from the no-name or weird named cheapo Chinese ripoffs. My friend got one and it sits unused because it’s a piece of crap and he can’t really access any useful Apps.

They have low prices for a reason. Their limitations are not worth trying to work around when for $50 more you can get a really good tab.

geeky_mama's avatar

@tom_g – That’s an excellent article..but it leaves me confused or thinking maybe it’s info is dated. No, I didn’t modify the Kindle Fire HD in any way..and I get the vast majority of my apps from the Amazon App store.
I think that article might have some dated inaccuracies..because I can definitely use Google Chrome and Gmail (I’ve never liked or used the Google Play Store). Maybe it’s because I’m doing it thru my Chrome login? It just loads everything in Chrome that I have on my PC Chrome without me having to do anything/think about it. Not sure how or why..but I definitely check gmail on my Kindle all the time.

Buttonstc's avatar

I just looked on Best Buy and the seven inch Galaxy Tab is on sale for $199 and $169 for a Refurb.

So this is comparable to the other two (Fire and Nexus) in price. However, it has none of their limitations. You get full access to both the Android App Market and the Amazon App Mkt. without having to root it.

Plus you can expand the storage capacity to 32 GB.

And, if it’s important to you,it’s just been updated to the latest version of Android which is Jelly Bean. It ships with 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

tom_g's avatar

@geeky_mama – Ahh. So, you’re just using the gmail web app. You can’t install Gmail or any of the google apps. I guess my only point is that Amazon has reduced functionality of Android and limited the number of apps that can be installed. I’m sure the Fire HD is fine. I just want to make sure that a new buyer is aware that for the same price, you can get the full-featured version with the latest version of Android and full Google support. Android’s Jelly Bean is amazing.

Buttonstc's avatar

@tom_g

I’m curious why you’ve recommended a limited 7 incher rather than the Samsung Gelaxy 7 inch which has NO App limitations AND the potential for 32 GB storage with just a little card?

And, it just got Jelly Bean.

geeky_mama's avatar

@tom_g – I think you’re right – and I’d probably love it (Android Jelly Bean) for the ability to customize and do more than I can on my iPhone and Kindle..Honestly, this excellent discussion is reminding me again that there are great options out there and I need to not get stuck in my iOS rut.
Reminds me of the discussions my hubby and I have been having on the merits of an iPhone vs. a Windows8 phone..
It’s nice that there are really other excellent hardware choices and OS contenders than there were in the early days of iPad, eh?

tom_g's avatar

@Buttonstc – Besides the better screen resolution on the Nexus, it’s really a matter of getting vanilla Android. I could be wrong, but doesn’t Samsung put their proprietary skin on it? I have the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 (phone) and love it. But if I was more daring (and had more time) I would root and put stock Android on it. Besides being better, stock Android Nexus devices are the first to be upgraded to newer OS versions as well. Often, proprietary devices are left with obsolete versions for a long time (or forever).
Also, was the upgrade to Jelly Bean 4.1 or 4.2?

Oh, and yes – sd expansion would be nice. But many of us don’t even need the 16GB on our devices. The reviews seem to overwhelmingly favor the Nexus.

Buttonstc's avatar

I’m not sure which JB it is. I’m presuming it’s the latest. I can check the Android Forums.

I’m quite happy with ICS so have chosen not to upgrade yet.

You’re point about pure Android is interesting. The main reason I chose the Acer Iconia (a yr. ago) was because all the writeups were extolling it as the closest you could get to pure Android.

Using that Iconia was a thoroughly miserable experience for me. I don’t know how much of the problems were due to Acer, to Android, or to something else but I couldn’t even play a few YouTube videos in succession without constant stops and starts. It was ridiculous. Obviously that wasn’t the only problem but just one example.

And when it upgraded to ICS, everything was worse. Finally the charging port crapped out so I had to bring it in to BB for repair and the Galaxy was on sale (for the same price I had bought the Acer for) so I jumped ship.

And im quite happy that i did Using the Samsung has been fantastic and since I’m not an Android purist, I really don’t mind how they’ve organized it. Everything just works smoothly and it’s stable. And to borrow a phrase from Apple “it just works”.

Just for curiosity, what is it about the Samsung modifications to Android that you find objectionable?

Maybe I’m just a simple soul and as long as it works smoothly and well,(like a car) i’m not that fascinated with peering beneath the hood.

:D

I had the closest to pure Android on the Acer and it was a frustration on a daily basis. Even typing a post like this would have me wanting to throw it out the window. Editing was a nightmare cuz the cursor jumped all over the place and wouldnt go where I guided it.

Maybe I’m just an IOS type at heart. I’ll never give up my iPhone :)

tom_g's avatar

@Buttonstc: “Just for curiosity, what is it about the Samsung modifications to Android that you find objectionable?”

Well, it’s not just Samsung – part of this is the whole model. If any company decides they want to modify Android, then what it means to the consumer is that…

1. they will not receive an update at a reasonable time (or ever). So, I dropped a ton of money on the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 on Verizon and have no idea when (or if) I will receive an update to the latest version of Android (4.2) that was released before the Samsung Galaxy Note 2.

2. Without fail, every single modification to Android by carriers has been to remove features. For example, one of Android’s strongest features is the notification panel. I have stuff stuck in there because Samsung broke Android to put it there. I can’t remove it. Google does stuff right. There is no reason to break Android. So frustrating.

3. Android is by far the best mobile OS. Yet many of the complaints against it (fragmentation, etc) are legit. And most of these are specifically related to the raping of the OS by hardware manufacturers in an attempt to differentiate themselves from others. If they would just work on building quality hardware and leave the OS to the experts (Google), then everything would be fine.

Note: this frustration led me to a brief experiment with the iPhone 4, which was a disaster. I loved the camera, but felt like I had been handed a Fisher Price toy version of a modern smartphone.

Buttonstc's avatar

It sounds as if Verizon is the one holding up the update then?

I’ve never had an Android phone so I guess the whole notifications thing isn’t that big a deal to me.

I did briefly consider getting a Galaxy Note but didn’t want to squander my next update on it.

I like my Fisher Price version. There has not been a single problem with my iPhone that couldn’t be fixed by a hard reset which takes but minutes.

But now I have the best of both worlds, Android and IOS.

mrentropy's avatar

I like my Nexus 7. Which is $199 if you buy it from Google but not, it seems, from anywhere else.

Bellatrix's avatar

The Nexus 7 is from $250—$300 in Australia. It pisses me off. Even a Kindle costs about double the price it does in the US to buy it here and we can’t buy from Amazon US and have it shipped.

Buttonstc's avatar

Interesting trivia tidbit of the day: I just finished watching the tail end of an interview by Liz Claman with Bill Gates at Davos and he said that he uses the Samsung Galaxy Tablet.

I have no idea whether any of you will or won’t find that helpful but I thought it was interresting :)

You really can’t get a geekier recommendation; that’s for sure.

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