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Which tablet to buy?

Posted on 2014-02-09
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
Hey Everyone,

I need to pick your brains.  I'm looking for advice rather than reviews and comparisons on tablets.

We've already got an ipad in the household and I personally have an android galaxy s2 phone.

I'm looking at the windows (surface pro, asus t100 etc) and android (galaxy tab, note (2014) etc) range of tablets.  

Price range is the $600 AUD hence the models I've mentioned.

So where am I stuck?  Well I'm a fairly active expert on EE and want to be able to do as much as possible without having to go to my laptop (win 8.1, dell xps 8gb RAM).  For example, on windows I can debug websites with browser dev tools as well as being able to write macros for Excel.

I know I can remote over my laptop using Teamviewer or LogMeIn etc but if someone knew of a better way or had another suggestion, that's why I'm asking the question :)

I can get flash to work on the android so that's not a sticking point.  I've also got a 2 year old son.... so is there more to satisfy that side of things on android?

Is Android more tablet friendly that window 8.1 (or RT)??  

I'm wondering if there's anything I've missed, like is the touch sensitivity/accuracy better on android as I get the impression it should be?

My thoughts so far are that the galaxy note (2014) may be overkill with such a huge resolution but is it worth the different to buy rather than the galaxy tab (or nexus).

Requirements:
- front and rear cameras, front good enough for skype etc and rear good enough for photos
- Battery life
- expandable storage (SD etc)
- HDMI output?

Looking for someone to share their experience maybe going through a similar process.

Cheers,

Rob
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Question by:Rob Jurd, EE MVE
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Leon Kammer earned 500 total points
ID: 39845160
I personally have a Samsung Ativ Tab 7 with Windows Pro 8.1 intel i5 processor, 64GB storage and 4GB ram , and I can personally say that I wished I had saved the cash and purchased a Galaxy, and a cheaper windows notebook.

I use this to RDC into servers whilst I am out and about, and for FX trading (main reason I bought it, really).

Don't get me wrong, it's a great device, the battery life is around 10 hours on use and I really like what MS has done with the OS generally speaking, and the keyboard is great, but it's just not quite there yet, the OS does not have the finish of the ios system, nor the android system, but I am certain it will eventually.
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by:Rob Jurd, EE MVE
ID: 39845165
Thanks, that really helps. I don't think I can get away without both a laptop and tablet but I can minimise the time spent in the laptop.
btw unrelated: Printing was another issue i overcame with apps on Android.
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by:Leon Kammer
Leon Kammer earned 500 total points
ID: 39845171
You are welcome.

The windows tablets ARE really good, when I put my ativ 7, and the other half's Galaxy 2 side by side it really shows the differences, anfd if I could merge the two into one device, I would be the happiest camper alive!

I do like the ability to open full MS office on ther tab 7, and the 8.1 full OS is fantastic, but all in all, the android device wins hands down.
That being said, the Ativ was purchased in 2012, and the Galaxy was 2013, exactly 1 year apart.
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Expert Comment

by:Eirman
ID: 39845196
Just a general suggestion ....

Consider a tablet where you can have a separate/add-on keypad.
Something like one of these maybe ....
http://www8.hp.com/us/en/ads/detachables/products.html
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by:John Hurst
ID: 39845278
I do not use a tablet. I use a small, lightweight, long battery life ThinkPad X230 with Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit. I also use Office 2013 via subscription.

So that said, a Surface Pro that comes with Windows 8.1 Pro and can use one of your Office subscriptions should work very well and let you do all that you need to do here at E-E.
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Author Comment

by:Rob Jurd, EE MVE
ID: 39846373
Thanks, all good points.

The detachable keyboard option interests me hence the T100 I mentioned in the question, but are you paying a premium to get it? Or worse, sacrificing better hardware (cpu, ram etc)?  Am I better off with a bluetooth one?

John, is your Thinkpad touch screen?  I'm wanting to have my 2 year old use it too and a keyboard just isn't intuitive to him, unless it's a drum.... haha

Is the touch enabled windows tablets any worse or better than the android (samsung) ones for accuracy and onscreen keyboard?
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Author Comment

by:Rob Jurd, EE MVE
ID: 39846379
Unless I'm looking in the wrong spot (HP Australian Store), This is the only hybrid I can find: http://www8.hp.com/au/en/products/laptops/product-detail.html?oid=5400092#!tab=specs

And it's running Android anyway (4.2)
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by:Leon Kammer
Leon Kammer earned 500 total points
ID: 39846646
Hi Rob,

The Samsung I have has a detachable click keyboard (which also serves as the cover and usb hub), but I paid just over 1000 USD for mine as a package with office 2013 standard and a couple of hundred dollars app cash back when they were new on the market.

The accuracy for the onscreen keyboard on both my samsung ativ tab 7, and the galaxy note 10.2 are pretty much the same, the resolutions differ, but i don't see that much of a difference tbph unless I am looking at ultra high resolution images, and the playback of netflix HD video is pretty much comparable, as is the touchscreen sensitivity.

I looked carefully at the surface pro and the ativ tab 7, and pretty much the only reason I went for the ativ tab 7 over the surface pro was the gsm connection, but that is easily overcome by a usb 4g modem.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 39846937
John, is your ThinkPad touch screen?   <-- No it is not, but I think the Surface Pro tablets do have touch screen and some Lenovo models (such as the Yoga) do as well. My 3 year old grandson likes to touch the screen whereas my 7 year old granddaughter is happy with a mouse or touch.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Rob Jurd, EE MVE
ID: 39847142
Thanks for everyone's input.  @Skotte-se gave me the info I needed :)
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by:Leon Kammer
ID: 39847532
you are welcome, glad I could help.
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by:Rob Jurd, EE MVE
ID: 40787178
Just as a follow up to this, I ended up getting the Samsung Galaxy Note (2014 edition), SM-P600 when I realised that a tablet wasn't going to replace my laptop, but rather compliment my work practices.  With the work I do now, there's no way I can get away without the laptop/main computer.  When I'm travelling it certainly makes it easier to just take the tablet for email and web.  For any dev work, it's all on the laptop.
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