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WrySage's avatar

Which tablet should I buy? Fire, iPad, Kindle?

Asked by WrySage (15points) April 17th, 2015

I am 58. I mostly want to use it for a good Scrabble game, maybe backgammon, and someday reading books (when the eyes start to go). Ok, the eyes are starting to go. So, large print, large screen, and best simulates a book experience. I am relatively tech savvy. Us an Apple for my business and a good old fashioned, mega-pc at home.

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15 Answers

Buttonstc's avatar

Kindles are the ones which best simulate reading a book. But I’m referring to the b&w Kindles which are dedicated E-Readers. This is because the lighting which they use is less tiring to the eyes than tablet lighting (and I’m including the Kindle Fire in the hard on the eyes category.)

So this would eliminate the Scrabble and Backgammon. But if you have a smartphone, there are plenty of games of all types to be had.

But if you want a tablet for more than just reading, then the next Q you need to decide is 7 inch or 8–10 inch.

The best way to solve this is to go to a big box store where they have them on display.

I have small hands and found a 10 incher just too bulky (and heavy) so I’m happy with the smaller 7.

Only you can decide which is right for you.

Read some of the reviews in tech mags and websites to get the lay of the land.

Most peoples decision on Apple or Android is determined by which OS their phone uses.

I went in the opposite direction. I have an iPhone which I love but decided upon an Android tablet. Therefore, I have the best of both worlds in terms of App selection.

One Android tablet I would highly recommend is the latest iteration of the Samsung Galaxy Tab either 7 inch or 10 inch.

It’s consistently highly rated by practically all and at the top of the “Best Of…..” lists published each year.

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jaytkay's avatar

The Kindle locks you into the Amazon web store. You have to buy your ebooks from Amazon.

With other tablets, you can buy ebooks from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Play and other places. Also, you can get free public domain ebooks, which would include the classics like Mark Twain, Jane Austen, etc.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Of all the ones I have tried the Google nexus tablets are about the best.

zenvelo's avatar

I have an iMac and iPhones, so when I bought a tablet back in February, an iPad made the most sense.

I use it for:
Words With Friends
Watching videos/movies
Music source for playing on bluetooth speakers

And, since it syncs with my iPhone and my iMac, I find much of the operation as seamless.

sahID's avatar

I agree with @Buttonstc about visiting the tablets display at a major retailer before buying. That way, you can see which tablet best fits your needs (and your hands, a major consideration.)

Last month I settled on an Amazon Fire HD 6 tablet because of its full color high def display. True, it does have a 6” display, however, for me it is just the right size given that I use it exclusively for reading & a growing collection of Apps.

Another tip: before settling on a tablet, check out whether the games you intend to download & install actually are available for the tablet you have your eye on. Not all Apps, games & other content are available on all tablets & e-readers.

jerv's avatar

Personally, I have an old Nook Color that I flashed with CyanogenMod to turn it from a simple e-reader into a full-on Android tablet. It was a simple affair, so if it were me, I would go with a Kindle Fire or Nook HD+ and flash it. If you don’t want to futz around and have a thicker wallet though, the Google Nexus series is good.

Since you use PC at home, an iPad would be a bad choice. I’ve had enough issues with the Windows version of iTunes than any Apple fanboi that claims it works is lying; Apple software only runs on Macs, and they can’t (or rather, won’t) make bug-free Windows software.

@sahID That’s why I flashed CyanogenMod ;)

Pachy's avatar

I’ve owned (and returned) many tablets, and I too agree with @Buttonstc about your doing some hands-on testing at a store. And of course if you buy one you think you like but soon discover you don’t, for whatever reason, just take it back. Reputable retailers like Best Buy have excellent no-hassle return policies (I’m very diligent about keeping the receipt, box and all enclosures, tags, etc.). I too like Samsung and Nexus tablets.

Buttonstc's avatar

I had forgotten about the Google Nexus because I don’t have one. But it is also atop the “Best of” lists as well.

Unless you’re really pining for an ipad, I would focus my attention on the Samsung and Google tabs.

Jerv brings up a good idea for those who are tech savvy. However, you should be aware that if you’re not tech savvy ENOUGH, no matter how good any of the jailbreaking apps are, you can end up “bricking” your tablet. You are then the not so proud owner of a very expensive paperweight.

I don’t want to take the chance but only you can determine if this is something you can handle. It does save you a few bucks, but that’s about the only clear advantage I can see.

Basically, jailbreaking removes the Nook or Amazon’s attempts to restrict you to their own little universe (obviously to their profit.) but ANY other major tablet does the exact same without the risk.

Whatever you do, stay away from those really cheapo Chinese knockoffs. Getting a tablet for $50 or less only seems like a good idea until you realize that the app for Google’s appstore is not there. That’s the primary source of all major apps.

However, Amazon’s appstore is pretty good also (but far less regulated). But you don’t have to buy a Kindle Fire just to have access to the Amazon Appstore. There is an app available which can work on any other tablet and if a technotard like me can follow the instructions to get it, then anybody can.

The primary reason I made the effort to get it is because of Amazon’s FAOTD. That’s the Free App of the Day and even tho there are a bunch of .99 games free for a day, usually there’s some really good productivity apps or educational ones worth $5–9.99 normally about once a week on average. And all their apps have free cloud storage if you ever change devices in the future.

jerv's avatar

@Buttonstc Part of the reason I chose the Nook Color was because at the time, it was one of the few stable, proven CM builds with clear (and surprisingly simple) instructions. I may be tech-savvy, but even I have limits to how much risk I am willing to take, and I wouldn’t have even made the recommendation if I felt it were something so difficult that only a wizard could do it.
Also, people flash even their more expensive Android tablets to get rid of the OEM bloatware. Some people prefer stock, Vanilla Android UI over MotoBlur, SenseUI, or whatever variant that the tablet/phone maker uses. Little things like overclocking are just bonuses.

zenvelo's avatar

The 7 inch Kindle Fire is on sale today, 4/20, marked down from $139 to $79.

Check it our here.

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jaytkay's avatar

The knee-jerk Apple hatred isn’t useful advice. Personally I wouldn’t buy one, because there are cheaper options.

But you will VERY rarely find anyone who doesn’t like their iPad.

The iPad is far more popular than any other single brand, and that’s been true since the day it was introduced.

If the iPad was terrible, there would be widespread reports of people regretting their purchase.

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