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  1. #1
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    Feb. 17, 2002
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    Default Help me pick a tablet for Christmas, I'm lost with this stuff!

    Feel bad posting this with the horror of yesterday but had been waiting for the next OT day for someone to explain to me the pros and cons of tablet computers and what is the best one to buy (this is one of those husband sending me out for my own gift type of situations LOL).

    I don't own a smartphone, just a basic old prepaid one. Not interested in texting, taking pics etc with a phone. I am old style, just use the phone for emergencies and calls I need to make while on the road. Have great cameras, don't need a phone for that!

    What I DO need is something that when I'm at horse shows or otherwise away from home that I can check emails, check the weather and other things on the internet. Being self employed I find it very hard to be without email access when out of town, which during show season is a lot.

    I don't have a laptop and don't really want one.

    I also REALLY want an e-reader. I'm an avid reader and love the idea of using a tablet as it's easy to hold and is self lit. My eyesight sucks so having a backlight and being able to change font size would be great. And with carpal tunnel surgeries my hands are weak and it's hard to hold books.

    SO instead of buying just a Kindle or something I was thinking a multifunctional tablet that could also be an e-reader is what I want. I can download books for free from my library, probably won't be buying books much. So what should I get???

    Does a Kindle do the other stuff I would need other than just be an e-reader? I don't wan't to blow a big wad on this, so no IPads. I'm thinking around $250 max. I see tablets that are $79 and tablets that are 10x that amount and I really don't understand the difference??????!!!!!

    And do I need a data plan with a phone company for this or can I just hook into wifi signal wherever I go (if there's one available?). I have wifi in my house so no problem at home.

    Can someone explain? I don't trust salesmen in stores to give me the straight goods. And can anyone recommend a model they have and like?

    Thanks



  2. #2
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    Default

    I'm peachy keen with a Kindle 3G. You can get a case with a built-in LED Light or an attachable light. The cheap tablets only use the older Android OS and don't have much in the way of features or accessories, so you should only consider one if it at least has wi-fi.
    Thus do we growl that our big toes have,
    at this moment, been thrown up from below!



  3. #3
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    Apr. 14, 2001
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    For $250, the Nexus 7 is an excellent choice and will do everything you want.

    If you can go up to $300, you can gain screen real estate with the Kindle Fire HD 8.9" and it is also an excellent choice.

    As long as you have a good wifi signal where ever you go, you do not need a data plan with the tablet.

    You can use both tablets as an eReader with the Kindle app or the Nook app or a variety of other eReader apps.



  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by LexInVA View Post
    I'm peachy keen with a Kindle 3G. You can get a case with a built-in LED Light or an attachable light. The cheap tablets only use the older Android OS and don't have much in the way of features or accessories, so you should only consider one if it at least has wi-fi.
    This doesn't do email. It is only an eReader.



  5. #5
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    Feb. 17, 2002
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    Default

    OH and can someone please explain the "Android" and other operating systems? How do you know what's better? And can any tablet be used as an e-reader but not every e-reader functions as a tablet?

    Ugh, I'm just a desktop person with Windows and I totally don't understand any of this stuff!



  6. #6
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    Alright, let's start at the beginning.

    A eReader, like a standard Nook or Kindle, is a black and white screen that really only functions to read books. It's an electronic book. Sometimes they have a basic browser built in or can play games, but those functions are usually pretty bare bones. The newer ones have a touch screen, but the basic, bare bones models usually do not.

    A tablet is a color touchscreen that has a full operating system built in and can do most of the functions of your regular computer. There are apps (programs) for email, browsing the internet, viewing and producing documents, reading books, etc. It's a computer, without a physical keyboard.

    The advantage of an eReader over a tablet is that they're cheaper, lighter and the battery lasts longer (usually a LOT longer, although I'm not sure how the backlit ones compare) because the battery just isn't DOING as much as a tablet. A tablet can do a hell of a lot more than an eReader, though.

    Android is one operating system that you will find on a tablet. iOS (Apple) is another. Windows 8 is another. Given your price range, you're looking at an Android tablet. What OS is "better" is really just due to preference and what you want to do. I prefer Android and find iOS incredibly limiting. Any OS will do what you want it to do.

    The Nexus 7 is Android's own tablet, so it will be well supported with new software releases. It is a very nice tablet. I bought one for my husband for his birthday. The Kindles are also well supported, although it will probably not see software updates as quickly as the Nexus 7, due to the "skinning" that Amazon has done of the OS. The Kindle I linked above has a bigger screen, though, which is certainly quite nice. Both the Nexus 7 and the Kindle tablets are good hardware and will perform well for you.

    Any other questions?


    1 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
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    We got a Motorola Xoom last year - not a "trendy" brand (though highly recommended by my techie friends), but we absolutely love it, and everyone who plays with it wants one. I would never, never, never get another iPad. If I wanted to spend a little less, I would go for the Kindle Fire.



  8. #8
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    Oct. 9, 2012
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    I bought my husband a Samsung Galaxy 7" tablet for 190$, I think it was, so he would stop playing his games on my laptop. He has full internet access, it works as an e-reader, and it takes pictures. He really likes it.



  9. #9
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    I would caution the OP against buying a tablet that's been on the market for more than a year.

    The Moto Xoom was a great piece of equipment when it was released, but technology is evolving SO quickly, that buying it now will reduce the usable life span that you get. Tablets and phones are important to buy "fresh," so to speak, so you get as much use out of them as you can.

    The 7" Samsung tablet was released this spring, so is a little newer, but the Nexus 7 is the best 7" tablet on the market, according to many sources. If you're going to go with a 7 incher, just go with the Nexus.

    The Kindle Fire HD 8.9" is likely the best 9" tablet for your money.



  10. #10
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    Jun. 23, 2003
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    Oh oh I so needed this topic!! My mom is going to buy me a tablet for Christmas. I really wanted the new Google Nexus... but from what I can tell it only does WiFi unless you buy the most expensive one that does mobile... but it looks like it goes through AT&T. I have Verizon with NO plans to ever go to AT&T. Verizon has the Galaxy tablet... and you can add a month to month plan to add it to your current plan, but I can't find anywhere to tell me how much adding it costs?! Anyone know?



  11. #11
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    CarolinaGirl, you have to go on a shared data plan, I believe, and then it is $10/month to add a tablet. Here's the info:

    http://www.verizonwireless.com/wcms/...verything.html

    Keep in mind it's very easy to rip through a LOT of data on a tablet

    If you've got a data phone that can produce a hotspot (pretty much all of them these days), then you can go with ANY wifi tablet, though, and basically accomplish the same thing.



  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simkie View Post
    CarolinaGirl, you have to go on a shared data plan, I believe, and then it is $10/month to add a tablet. Here's the info:

    http://www.verizonwireless.com/wcms/...verything.html

    Keep in mind it's very easy to rip through a LOT of data on a tablet

    If you've got a data phone that can produce a hotspot (pretty much all of them these days), then you can go with ANY wifi tablet, though, and basically accomplish the same thing.
    Hubby and I each have 4G of data (so 8G total, but we got a deal and only pay for 4G total). I'm on the internet and Pandora all the time and I rarely go over the 1G mark lol. I'm leaning toward the Nexus 7: 32G anyway... and yes apparently I can make my phone a hotspot although I've never used it as one.



  13. #13
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    8G of data is a whopping amount that most people will never hit, so you're probably safe, unless you start streaming football over your phone or go to town with movies on the tablet

    The Nexus 7 really is a great device and I think you will enjoy it! You'll have to add a hotspot plan to your phone line, if you do not have it already, but I'd say it's worth it, so you can use any tablet you'd like.



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simkie View Post
    I would caution the OP against buying a tablet that's been on the market for more than a year.

    The Kindle Fire HD 8.9" is likely the best 9" tablet for your money.
    So is the Kindle Fire a "regular" tablet and not just an eReader? Still confused.

    And what size screen do people recommend? Is 7" just too tiny? Or would 9 or 10" be too clumsy to take to shows and use as an eReader?



  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by murph View Post
    So is the Kindle Fire a "regular" tablet and not just an eReader? Still confused.
    The Kindle Fire lineup is all tablets.

    The Kindle eReaders are eReaders.

    They look considerably different and it is fairly obvious what you're looking at when you're looking at them. Color screen? Tablet. Black and white? eReader. Click on the links above and look around.

    And what size screen do people recommend? Is 7" just too tiny? Or would 9 or 10" be too clumsy to take to shows and use as an eReader?
    Go to Best Buy or whatever and HOLD some of these things. I prefer the real estate of the 9" tablet, but it gets a bit heavy for reading. The 7" is lighter.

    If I'm going to read on some sort of screen, I honestly prefer the Kindle. Not the Fire, but the actual Kindle eReader. It is VERY light, and you have wonderful resolution on the screen due to the eInk. They're really pretty cheap, though, so you may want find that you'd like a 9" tablet PLUS a dedicated eReader....



  16. #16
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    Sorry, one more question

    Just checked the Kindle fire. I see with Amazon Prime you can download a lot of DVDs like old TV episodes for free. I don't do video streaming or downloading on my home computer as my rural internet connection is too costly.

    I'm not into watching movies on a 7" screen but I'm wondering do you "download" these for instance from Amazon onto your tablet and then can let's say put them on an SD card and then put on my computer so I can burn to a DVD and watch on my regular TV? Or do you not actually download stuff like this and literally have to watch it on your tablet?

    And do you surf the internet with any browser and can access anything you want on these? i.e. for my business email when I'm on the go I'd have to access the backend of my website in order to see it, as it's not through yahoo etc.

    Thanks!!



  17. #17
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    No, you can't burn the free movies or save them in any way. (What would prevent you from selling them, if you could do that?) You can watch them on your TV through your PlayStation 3 or Xbox. It's still a streaming video and will hit your data usage on your rural connection, as will viewing them on your tablet.

    Yes, you can surf the internet. Not "any browser" but most options are available. Tablets come with a built in browser (Nexus 7 comes with Chrome, the Kindle Fire comes with the Silk browser) and you have other options available in the market. Most are free to download and use. There are a variety of programs to handle email or you can use whatever web portal your provider provides.

    Keep in mind that--unless you buy a tablet with an integrated data connection that uses a cell network--this thing (whichever you choose) will need to connect to YOUR wifi network in your house (or wherever you are) and will be pulling data over whatever ISP you have (when you're home) or whatever network is available to you when you're out. You CAN buy a tablet that links up to a cell phone data network, but there are several caveats: you've got to have a connection to that data network where you live (no connection, no data), there is usually a monthly charge involved, and there are usually limits on how much data you can pull for that monthly charge. The tablets that have such a feature are generally more expensive as well.

    The tablets we've been talking about don't magically link up to some data network that's free to use with no limits. Like your computer, you have to provide the connection to the internet somehow--either through your home wifi, or purchased through a cell phone company.

    The Kindle Fire HD LTE DOES have a data package, but again--you pay for it. Both in the price of the unit and a one time fee of $50 for 250 mb of data a month. 250 mg of data is MEASLY and if you are not using wifi at all, then you will need more than 250 mb/month, which is going to be a monthly fee.


    If you just want an eReader, there are Kindle options (both words there link to different readers) that DO come with magic free data and you do not need a wifi connection to make them work. But these are NOT tablets. You will not be able to check your email or surf the web or really do anything but read your books, which download through the magic free data connection.
    Last edited by Simkie; Dec. 16, 2012 at 12:10 AM.



  18. #18
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    I have the original Kindle Fire and I LOVE it. My only complaint is it is slightly heavy to hold, but its not bothered me enough that I want to spent $300 to replace it. I've had it about 6 months. I use it for reading & surfing the web, and I occasionally watch movies.

    I dont mind reading on the LCD screen. I do have a kindle touch w/ light (amazons cover/light attachment), but I actually use the KF more often for reading.

    I like the carousel & use it to access my books. The only thing I'd change about the KF as a reading tablet is being able to store my books into categories like I can on my touch. I believe you cannot do that on the newer models either (please correct me if I'm wrong!).

    I think for your purposes any of the Kindles would suit. If you go with an 8.9 screen size though, see if you can borrow someones to mess around with for awhile. I purchased an Ipad which was a mistake because I found the screen too wide.
    "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
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  19. #19
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    Well I was somewhat sold on the Kindle until I just discovered you can't use it in Canada, so that's out! (Well you can "use" it but you can't access books, movies or anything else unless you are physically located in the US and have a US address, according to their fine print, unless you saved them to the device while in the US and are just accessing them while you are travelling).

    Checking out the Nexus locally now, just not sure if I'll be happy with the 7" screen as my eyes are bad for close stuff, cell phones etc are a pain for me to use without digging out reading glasses and that can be hard to do or a PITA on the fly/for a quick check of email etc.



  20. #20
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    Maybe the nine inch Nook from Barnes and Noble allows Canadian access.

    Keep in mind it will also need to connect to your home network to function.



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