Best Android Tablet for Skype?

Discussion in 'Android Tablet Discussions' started by jtlessons, Jun 23, 2013.

  1. jtlessons
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    jtlessons Junior Member

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    Hey Tablet People! I am teaching guitar, bass & ukulele on skype. My main machine is a Sony Vaio 24" all in one and I have a 17" Vaio laptop.
    Lately, students have been using tablets for their lessons as well as their phones which is so cool.

    I am very curious now about Android tablets and if they run skype well? Also, I am using Logitech C910 and C920 webcams. What is the webcam like in the Adroid Tablet?
    It would be great if there were some guitar, bass or ukulele players who wanted a free lesson. I would really like to see what the students view is like on my end.
    Do you think a Android Tablet would be good enough to teach from? What model has the biggest screen and most processing power?
    Thanks, Jeff.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2013
  2. Frederuco
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    Frederuco Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Welcome to the forum!

    I personally do not think there is a "Best Tablet" for skype. Most tablets can run skype and give a good viewing experience.

    First, you will need to decide what tablet size fits your needs best. There are 3 main sizes, 7" screen, 8" screen and 10" screen. 7" can fit in one hand easily, 8" is a little bigger and you can palm it in one hand if you have large hands, and 10" is definitely a 2 hand device. 7-8 are much more portable. Everyone has a different opinion on what is best for them, so I would suggest heading to your local retailer and feeling some of them out. It would be better if you have some friends that have them as the ones at the store tend to be tethered and can make it a bit more awkward.

    Next, I would make sure it has at least a 1280x720 display. This allows you to show HD content (720p). If you want to go bigger, you can get ones that show 1080p, at least in the 10" variety.

    And, since there is a VERY slim chance your webcam will work with your tablet (due to lack of Android drivers), you will want to make sure the front facing camera can record 720p video. If it can do 1080p, that would be better. This will also depend on your internet upload bandwidth. If you only have a 1 Mbps or 1.5 Mbps upload connection, it will not allow you to broadcast a full HD. I think you will need close to a 5 Mbps or maybe more to get to 1080p depending on how much (if any) video compress skype uses.

    IMO, I would stay with a name brand for an Android Tablet (Acer, Amazon (Kindle Fire), Asus, Google (Nexus), Lenovo, Samsung, Sony, Toshiba, etc.). Sure, you can buy one of the cheaper tablets with similar specs, but unless you plan to root it (similar to jailbreaking an iOS device) you may not have access to the Play Store, and you may never see software updates to get the latest operating system when it gets updated.

    The final thing to consider is storage size. Tablets come with a variety of storage sizes, from 8-64 GB. The Operating System is going to take up 1-2 GB of this space. So on an 8 GB, you are down to 6 GB or so. I would say for most users, 16 GB should be the minimum.

    For the 10" variety, I recommend the Galaxy Note 10.1, the Acer A700 and the Asus Transformer Infinity (TF700T). The TF700T is nice because you can get a keyboard dock with it and it is more like a small laptop and can be easily angled to the proper viewing for your skype lesson. The others, you will need to have a case and not all cases are easy for setting the angle you want.

    For the 8" variety, there are 2 choices: Galaxy Note 8 and the Kindle Fire HD 8.9. Ok, the 8.9 is a bit bigger and at 9", but it is about the only 9" tablet out there.

    For the 7", the top of the list is the Google Nexus 7. Keep in mind, it is rumored that a new refreshed Nexus 7 should be out next month. Hard to say what this will do to the price and specs, but then again you could wait and see about picking up an older one dirt cheap. And then there is the Kindle Fire HD 7".
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  3. Mrhelper
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    Mrhelper Junior Member

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    Just a few points to add based on first hand experience... I've tried Skype on two serparate Acer A500 Iconia tablets, one Acer A100, and three separate Asus Nexus 7 tablets (marketed by Google). The Acer tablets all failed to work adequately with Skype because of what appears to be severely poor microphone performance. The audio quality when using the Acer Iconia microphone with Skype is just too noisy and intermittent to be acceptable.

    Skype worked very nicely with all three Nexus 7 tablets though, whether connecting between two of the Nexus 7 tablets, or between the Nexus 7 and a high quality Windows PC. Both transmitted and received audio was very clean and crisp for all three Nexus 7 tablets while using Skype. Video performance with the Nexus 7 while using Skype was also as good as or better than that observed on the PC.
  4. jtlessons
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    jtlessons Junior Member

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    Ok, thanks for the responses! So, silly question. The tablets are able to be connected to a ethernet cable? For some reason I thought they were only wifi which is not a solid signal for skype.
  5. Mrhelper
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    Mrhelper Junior Member

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    I am not aware of any tablet supporting wired Ethernet. Properly configured Wifi systems are as as suitable as wired for any application.
  6. Frederuco
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    Frederuco Super Moderator Staff Member

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    If the tablet has a USB port, you can use one of these: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B007RTACDM/ref=redir_mdp_mobile

    However I have never had issues with WiFi on a decent (aka one that I bought and not one that came free with a PC of cable modem).

    I currently have an Asus RT-AC66U router and it works great for Skype over WiFi.
  7. jtlessons
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    jtlessons Junior Member

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    Wow, so most of the time when a student is on a desktop or laptop using wifi there is latency or quality issues during the lesson with the audio & video.
    It is amazing to me that the tablets hold the connection and so far the quality reports are good.
    I would really like to see a tablet in action. So far I have only had students use their ipad or android phone for lessons.
    Anyone who would like to run a test can contact me. I am now really considering the purchase of a tablet. The biggest screen size I have seen is 10".
    Thanks, Jeff
  8. idontknow
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    idontknow Alternate ATF App Tester

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    I'd like to add something here, if I may.I would also consider using Tango instead of Skype...you are going to be able to connect on 3,4g besides WiFi, now that a lot of people has big telephones/tablets or tablets with 3 ,4g connection.
  9. jtlessons
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    jtlessons Junior Member

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    Ok, I would really like to see some of these tablets on skype. My skype name is the same as my web address. I hope it is ok to post?
    Jeffrey Thomas ? Online Guitar Lessons, Bass & Skype Ukulele Lessons
    www. jeffrey-thomas .com (no spaces on skype when you add me)
    Anyone who has time to test can add me just please put "tablet test" in your contact message.
    It seems to me that the tablets handles wifi better than computers do?
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2013
  10. Frederuco
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    Frederuco Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I think the bigger thing is the quality of the WiFi access point/router. I have rarely ever had issues (except at small/cheap hotels) with WiFi on my phone, laptop or tablet. It also depends how close to the WiFi access point you are.
  11. junkes
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    junkes Junior Member

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    Skype has revamped its user interface for Android tablets(http://www.**************/wholesale-android-tablet-with-3g.html) like the Google Nexus 7 and Asus Transformer Prime.
    Skype 3.0 for Android appeared on the Google Play store Tuesday with a brand new look focused on making use of the extra screen real estate offered by slates.
    Much like the desktop client or iPad application, the new Android version offers a two-column approach aimed at simplifying multitasking. For example, users can now easily access IM messages without leaving a video call.
    The app caters full screen video calls, regardless of the display size, while the device's rear camera can also be used to showcase the world around the user.

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