Monday, February 20, 2012

Looking for a tablet? Are you on a budget? keep reading...

Tablets these days seem to be all the rage, starting with the launch of the ever famous I-pad some years ago.  Every electronic company and their brother seems to want a peace of the pie in this market. You must be aware and do not be fooled, their are good tablets and their are very bad ones... I have put together a small list of some great choices to consider if your on a budget or just a poor college student like myself. All of these tablets will run you just under $400. Lets get started shall we?

Since I wrote this a couple things have happened in the wild with the world of tablets.
Apple had released their newest beast the 2012 "iPad". Since the newest member of their tablet line was announced the iPad2 had dropped in price by $100. If you are looking for a great ALL AROUND FULL FUNCTIONING TABLET ON A BUDGET(key word BUDGET), it may be a hard pill to swallow for android enthusiasts but the Ipad2 is a great choice. (Find out why) However I am not a sell out when it comes to android nor am i jumping ship, but one thing you have to understand is a tablet is a whole different animal than a phone and android is very new to the tablet market as Apple has had time to figure this out. The iPad2 stands as the greatest full value tablet for what you get and the money you pay for it in my personal oppinion. The only thing to come close is the Galaxy 7+ for $349 as well as the Galaxy 8.9 for $399, so for those straight edge hardcore fandroids these two tablets are still very good ON A BUDGET key words!!!! However if you have cash to spare have a look at what ASUS is doing in the world of ICS tablets, now thats power!!!!!

First up coming in at 4th place, the ever popular Kindle Fire!!
The kindle fire sells on for $199.99!!! Now that's  music to the ears! However, its great price doesn't come without downsizing in other areas where many tablets thrive. Lets not forget, the mission of a kindle is a great reading experience, and you get just that! ! Let's open this up. The kindle Fire is powered by its 1GHZ Texus instruments  OMAP 4430 Dual core CPU. I assure you this device is not a slow working machine, everyday users will be pleased. Even though the Fire has only 8 GB of internal storage and 6 free for use, you wont have to worry about running out of storage unless your constantly away from a WIFI signal. Most likely if your very seldom using a WIFI connection this device is not for you. I say this  because not only are you restricted to 6 GB of user storage, but here's catch, with the Amazon kindle fire the device is directly  linked to the Amazon cloud.  According to the cloud is home to 100,000 TV shows and movie files collectively, 18 million songs, and 50,000 books all at your finger tips if you use this device. if you haven't been able to hold this device in your hand , it feels great with a slip resistant rubberised back. The fire was built with a vibrant display for surfing the net and using applications. Amazon transformed the E-reader into the most affordable tablet experience on the market with a 7 inch IPS 1024x600 display, 8 hours battery life reading and 7.5 hours of video playback. However if your looking for a true tablet experience, the Fire may hold you back. It has no camera or microphone for things like Google chat or Skype, as well as no blue tooth capabilities. If your intentions are looking for a tablet that's quick & fits any where on the go, that browses the net, and has all capabilities of media, applications as well as a great experience for reading all your books, then I would say this device was made for you and for the  great price you can't beat it! Enjoy!

Coming in at #3. For me this was a hard choice between two devices and I had to pick the Toshiba Thrive!

This here is the Toshiba Thrive. It's also an excellent tablet, however  because the price and few other personal reasons I put this at #3.
Lets get to the review.
You can pick up this powerful 16GB 7 inch version at for $369.99
(don't fret, Newegg is very reliable, well known & has great shipping).
This device comes in a 10 inch version as well, but for the same specs with a smaller display paying $369.99, instead of 399.99 sounds better to me. I also like the 7 to 8 inch display tablets, again this is just my opinion. If your looking for a full size tablet scroll to the next review! The Toshiba thrive relies on its Nvidia 1GHZ Tegra 2 CPU and 1GB of ram. In my opinion I look for an Exynos CPU before a Tegra, but none the less the tegra2 powers the Thrive exceptionally well. The the thrive also has no problem running games, Apps  and flash through the Internet with the Nvidia ULP Geforce GPU under the hood. The thrive could of done better with their LCD 1280x800 7 inch display, however its not a bad display at all. The thrive has Androids Honeycomb 3.2 installed with all the treats including blue tooth and DLNA video streaming to your TV. Lets talk about design! The Toshiba thrive was created as a portrait tablet as you can see with the camera on the top side of the device, in my opinion this loses points, I just find landscape tablets to be more enjoyable... Now that doesn't mean this tablet is not capable of being turned to its side in landscape view, because it is. Like all tablets, the thrive has a full functioning  gyroscope installed for the most comfortable hold. I just think the silver metal around the camera just makes it look funny sitting on its side, it just isn't a handsome look on the device to me. The body itself feels of high quality, especially the back! the back of the Toshiba thrive is constructed with a rubberised design with groves,  it makes it very hard for mistaken drops and actually feels like a quality item in your hands. On the 7 inch Thrive, the outer body contains ports for a mini USB 2.0 , mini SD (for more storage), and a mini HDMI for the win!! If you do like the price on the Thrive and the HDMI sells it, and you don't mind the metal around the camera, hey maybe you think it makes the device look appealing, then this device may be for you! And if it is, ENJOY!!

And coming in at #2 ACER IconiaA200 tablet!!

The Acer Iconia A200 is a 10 inch WIFI tablet from ACER. Don't count out Acer when it comes to tablets, the long time computer company is finding  ways to make powerful tablets at affordable prices, and I commend them on it!
The A200 comes with Androids 3.2 Honeycomb OS out of the box, this means all the stock software like blue tooth, will be there. Acer has put their own touch to this tablet on the lock screen as well as an option on the home screen to make opening files quicker and easier for user experience. (see picture to the left) The big news for the Acer A200 is that ACER is already pushing out , ICE CREAM SANDWICH android 4.0 to their A200 devices !!  You can find the Acer Iconia A200 at all your local Best buy locations for $349!! The reason why the A200 is 10 inches and 349 dollars, is Acer did have to take some things away from the tablet  in order to make it affordable. The tablet has no rear camera, but lets be honest , who waves a 10 inch tablet around snapping pictures? It just doesn't happen, most people will still use their phone for 90% of pictures taken. Honestly that draw back doesn't bother me one bit. Having said that their is a front 2.0 mega-pixel camera, that works just fine for those self portraits or video chats. The other thing they did not include in the A200 was an HDMI port, sorry for all you movie buffs, however ACER does include their streaming software, so if you wanted to you can stream your favorite movie to your TV. I know what your thinking  " so Acer took everything away that makes a tablet enjoyable?!" FALSE!!!! The device does include a micro SD slot for 32 more GB, when the 16 GB HD becomes too little. Acer A200 also comes with a mini USB as well as a full sized USB. With the full USB you can attach things like thumb drives,external HD,keyboards,mouse, or even a controller for gaming!!! I'm not kidding, Lisa Gade with Mobile Tech Review, did a video game review video putting not only the Nvidia ULP Geforce GPU to the test, she also tested a video game controller in the full USB port and it works flawlessly! Like the Toshiba Thrive this beast is also powered by  the Nvidia Tegra 2 CPU, again I'm more of an Exynos kind of guy, but hey the teg2 works. The Iconia A200 has a 1280x800 10.1 inch display, its not an IPS, its not a super amoled or fancy HD display however the display is bright and beautiful for daily use. The only draw back this display does not work well outside. As for complaints this tablet has gotten just two minor issues. poor speaker volume and a poor mic. I have read plenty of testimonials saying the equaliser app on the android market fixes the issue and turns the stock volume up a notch!  The design of this tablet was put together very well. This tablet also has a rubberised back to it for slip resistant handling. The Acer has a bit of a rounded shape to the back of it but overall is very sleek and very nice!!!
If your in the market for a full sized tablet on a budget this is the tablet for you!! and if you decide to go that way well you wont be disappointed!!!

Coming in at #1!!!! drum role please... Samsung Galaxy tab 7 plus!!!!
This here is Samsungs sexy Galaxy tab 7 plus!!! Where do I start!?
The Galaxy tab 7 starts at $349 at best buy. the galaxy tab is running Honeycomb out of the box, Samsung promises ICS in the coming future.
The Galaxy has a beautiful UI, using Samsung Touchwiz interface. Touchwiz is Samsungs interface used to run sophisticated features on their devices, and believe me its beautiful and a pleasure to work with. The Galaxy 7 is powered with its demon of a cpu and the best you will see for $349. It is powered by a 1.2 GHZ Exynos 4210 dual core CPU, and believe me folks this thing is a beast! The Exynos is the fastest processor on this list making the Galaxy 7 a joy to use even in high functioning applications! The camera on the Galaxy 7 plus is a 3.2 megapixel with LED flash and geo tagging face recognition. The front facing camera is the standard 2mp camera and works just fine with portraits and video chat. The Galaxy is home to a PLS LCD 7 inch 1024x600 Display, don't sleep on this 7 inch display,  It's bright, its brilliant and beautiful not to mention Smarter than most with the Touchwiz technology!!! The galaxy 7 plus is powered with applications like blue tooth and GPS.  Samsung has a pre loaded app that takes control of the infared sensor on the galaxy tab and turns your galaxy 7 plus into a remote control /Tv guide for your TV! Just pick your brand, select your cable company, boom the infra-red sensor should connect with your TV,  you have yourself one high powered tv remote!

If your looking for the best investment to make under $400 for a high quality tablet this would be my #1 recommendation!
 however all these tablets are a great choice !

Thanks for reading and have fun!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for review, it was excellent and very informative.
    thank you :)