Android Tablets 101

Discussion in 'Android Tablet Discussions' started by lexington476, Dec 4, 2010.

  1. lexington476

    lexington476 Member

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    Please don’t flame me if this is a dumb question for this forum as this is my first post here on this topic.

    I got an Android phone for work, and my sister got one of the Panimage 7-inch media tablets from QVC, so now I want to start looking into an Android Tablet.

    I am an IT network professional (I am not a programmer/developer), so tech stuff generally comes easy; but I have never looked into the Android OS or tablets in general. Just been happy with my Acer netbooks (yes, I have two of them), home desktop, and work laptop. But these new tablets seem like something that is that next ‘neat/cool’ tech thing to have, and can maybe be done without dropping $600.

    So, where do I start, searching on Amazon does not seem to bring up much, where can I find an online store that sells them?

    Is there a listing of manufactures out there?

    A tech sheet or general guide to the Android OS and/or tablets?

    Any tablet makes/models to avoid at all costs unless it is one super deal?

    That kind of stuff.

    What I am after is kind of something that could be used to replace my netbooks and act as an e-reader. I do not have an e-reader but was thinking of picking up an ECTACO off Newegg.com but when I saw the cool tablet my sister had I got to thinking. Therefore, before I go off and waist any money due to total lack of topic specific knowledge (and end up thinking ‘oh, this thing sucks’ when I just bought the wrong item) I will post a question and see what I get.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Renova

    Renova Member

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    I recommend the Archos 101 Tablet.

    It runs android 2.2 which is the latest fw to be released for android devices. Its a fair $300. It has Usb port, hdmi port, mini usb port, 8gb internal memory, micro sd card slot (supports up to 32gb micro sd card) and a 5mp front facing camera i believe. Android Market is applicable on this tablet however as far as I know google hasnt made official support for any tablets, which is the awaiting "gingerBread", android 3.0 fw update.

    Its a 10" Tablet that alot of people are becoming quite fond of.

    Source Archos.com
     
  3. gurgle

    gurgle Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Tablet / Device:
    Better question What don't I own, Oh a generic APAD
    Welcome aboard, and I will ask the usual three questions.
    1. How much are you willing to pay?
    2. What type of Support are you willing to invest
    3. What will be the primary three uses.

    I use one of my Tabs as a rogue AP/Adhoc WLAN finder at work. This was not difficult to accomplish if you have the basics of Linux behind you.
    There are three types of tablets out there right now. And amazingly enough, it is not directly tied to price.
    a. Stay away, b. Acceptable if you want to invest the time and knowledge to learn and geek about. c. Useful straight out of the gate.

    Think in PC terms and you will quickly recognize the similarities and headaches. There are about 5-6 major chips on the market with the next gen chips coming in after the first of the year. The majority are single core processor chips with some being pseudo-multicore. The Processors range from the low power/low capability such as Rockchip2808/VIA 8505 to extremely capable Cortex A8 or Qualcomm Snapdragon. There is the majority based upon the ARM architecture processor model
    RAM right now is like PCs More is better, but does not buy you much unless you are at least Android 2.2 256 is common and 512M is found more and more
    Speaking of Android versions. There are only four versions in use. (1.5,1.6, 2.1 and 2.2) Everything else is firmware version. At this time avoid any Android version less than 2.1 and prefer 2.2. (Gingerbread-2.3 and Honeycomb 3.0 are scheduled for next year) Think embedded OS just like on a Router or Switch
    Like a router, the lifeblood and capability is the firmware build. There are good firmwares and bad firmwares just like on a Cisco field pack. The main difference is there are community firmwares which are potential improvements to the existing factory release.

    Security wise, Android is a work in motion with some major core security issues. I would suggest you evaluate your source of any app you install

    The common source of applications are on Google Market. The problem is Google Market is not installed by default on all Tablets. The tablet has to meet certain criteria and the manufacturer has to pay a license. There are patches to load google Market afterwards on most tablets. This is by far one of the most common complaints

    So to your point. Look about on the forum, there are as I call them poor man tables and references to better comparisons. Pazvanti (sic) has a blog as well as TabletConnect. There are others as well.

    If I were recommending right now, I would suggest the following

    Under $250: HeroTab or WitSTech (Note these are third tier)
    $240-350: Archos 70/101-8, Huawei
    $350-450: Archos 101-16, Huawei S7
    >$450: Samsung Galaxy Tab

    But these are my opinion, others will have theirs, Hope this helps.
     
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  4. lexington476

    lexington476 Member

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    Can you upgrade your Android OS as you go?

    Like you had a tablet with the 1.5 or 1.6 could you download a big patch and boom you are 2.2? I'll answer the other questions in a few minutes...
     
  5. neuromacer

    neuromacer Member

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    In most cases it depends on the manufacturer or if the device gets rooted, you could see custom roms.

    Archos 70 & 101 shipped with 2.1 however recently released 2.2. Don't expect 2.3 gingerbread thou as the device doesnt meet the minimal spec.

    Sent from my HTC Desire using Android Tablet Forum App
     
  6. gurgle

    gurgle Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Neuromacer has it pretty much straight on. The only thing to remember is in regards to my initial three questions. If you buy a stable Android build with good factory firmware support, you will likely be happy a year from now compared to a continual spiral of purchases. Most of the lower priced (less than $200) will not provide firmware update. They will just release a new and improved model with compatible firmware. Think like going through the dance from Windows XP -->Vista-->Win7. There were many printers, and other software which could not make the upgrade from XP to Vista or 7 due to price and support.
     
  7. mgr52

    mgr52 Member

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    it is interesting because I have the ectaco jetbook Ereader and I am pretty happy with it.

    I think if you are just going to use it as an ereader, I would stick with the jetbook. The screen is easy on the eyes and easy to read. Not to mention it is user friendly. Now I got a tablet because I love android software and I find myself using its resources on a daily basis so that is why I went with a tablet.

    Overall, I would recommend going with a major brand for either direction. In doing this you will be able to get legit support if you need it and you have a company that typically stand behind their products. A major brand will release updates and provide those services the china tablet ones don't. For example, in my case Ectaco has provided updates on the jetbook for the past two years and have a website especially for customer questions/concerns and their support lines are pretty helpful. On this forum they have a section for tablets based on the brand name which might be a good place to start looking.
     

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