Black Friday reality Check- Or Think before you Buy

Discussion in 'Android Tablet News' started by gurgle, Nov 25, 2010.

  1. gurgle

    gurgle Super Moderator Staff Member

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    The following is an opinion piece.

    The tablets sold tomorrow for under $200 USD are (REPEAT AFTER ME) Android E-READERS. Yes, they have Android installed. And there is potential Audio, Video and Gaming capabilities. But you will be disappointed if expecting a Mobile PSP or an iPad on the cheap.

    Most of these 'deals' are a disappointment unless you only want the following:
    1. Decent E-Reader
    2. Basic Web Browser
    3. Low quality MP3/Video player
    4. Limited to no capability to do streaming video
    5. No 3-G unless you buy a 3G Access Point as well
    6. Less than 3 hour battery life

    I am a Android Tablet Evangelist. I admit it. But I am also a realist.

    Offerings of Android Tablets are in three groups.

    Stable iPad competitors
    Samsung Galaxy Tab - Ready to roll, but the price may stop you initially
    Deals@Various Retailers: $50 off at RadioShack, Office Max, Best Buy (PCWorld)
    [​IMG]


    Dell Streak - Be ready for an update. Stable but dated Android OS.
    Deal@Dell: $549.99 without contract, or $299.99 on two year contract. $150 Dell gift card.
    [​IMG]


    Huawei Ideos S7 - Resistive. Android 2.1. Compatible for 3G on AT&T, EDGE for T-Mobile. Phone for both NO CONTRACT.
    Deal@BestBuy only for Premier Silver Members: 10% off of $299. Otherwise $299. (thanks ainyul)
    [​IMG]


    Archos 70 - Expect to update to 2.2 later. Pretty decent as is.
    Archos 101- Expect to update to 2.2 later. Pretty decent as is.
    No deals to be seen, but price is fair for the low storage models IF you can find stock from Archos on a lucky day. Stock is low, but keep looking.

    E-Readers
    Anything sold tomorrow under $200 fall into this category. This is not a bad thing. This is reality. You may be totally happy with this type of unit. Please do not expect it to be an iPad/Netbook replacement. Don't expect great build quality either.
    I will make one caveat. If you are interested in learning Android. This can be a great learning device.

    Intermediate Media/Tablet/Geek devices
    These require prior Android knowledge and the willingness to tweak with various settings before it is usable.
    These will be:
    Coby Kyros M7005/7015 - Not bad but no Google market, and expects the user prior knowledge. $170 at Amazon.com. One of the decent deals this Black Friday.
    Viewsonic G-Tab - I cringe as I add this device. It decent firmware, which it doesn't ship with. Not a deal at $399 from Staples and Sears
    Archos 5/32 More of a PMP, Might fit your needs (Sold at
    Amazon tomorrow). Archos.com deal for the A5IT for $199 (Android 1.6)
    Sylvania Tablet - Is a buggy mess. But at the same time it's pretty powerful for what you get at this pricepoint. If you keep it plugged in all the time, it's not too shabby. $130? Toysrus.
    Cruz Reader - For reading and learning Android, this can be okay. Big community, weak hardware.
    Archos 7HT - Looks okay at first glance, but you must immediately install a firmware update or visit ArchosFans to learn more to make this a decent device for you. Android 1.5 only. Good battery life at the cost of being one of the slowest Android tablets ever made.

    And many Chinese Tablets which have specific support/learning curve expectations

    These are going to be available between Jan and April 2011
    Lenovo - LePad This and the Acer are going to be real eye openers
    Acer - Tablet Acer will provide a quality unit
    LG - Tablet
    Samsung larger Tablet Rumored, but a likely candidate

    So what is my recommendation. Three choices:
    1. Follow Tipstir's advice. Stay home and be aware there are not that many at a store.
    2. Wait for the Archos 70/101s to hit delivery again
    3. Hit your head against the wall and go out and buy something which may initially disappoint. You will learn from it. But You will be frustrated by the limitations of the lower priced tablets.

    You can probably safely stay away from anything not listed here.


    But that is my opinion...


    And this concludes the Androidtablets.net 2010 Black Friday Android Tablet Sales guide!

    Append by xaueious. Pictures from BestBuy retrieved 2AM EST from BestBuy.com
     
  2. pi911

    pi911 Member

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    If only the Huawei S7 had Froyo. Do you know if it can be updated manually? (safely)
     
  3. recluse

    recluse Senior Member

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    No black friday in the uk. Never mind eh!
     
  4. OffWorld

    OffWorld Senior Member

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    Good advice. When I've shown my cheap tablet to other people and they ask "What can you do with it?" of course I mention email and web sites but the only point that really seems to sell it is when I mention I have BOTH Kindle and Nook apps installed on it - because I don't want to have to choose one or the other for an eReader. But I went into this knowing full well I wasn't getting the equivalent of an iPad or Galaxy Tab.
     
  5. cheekers2010

    cheekers2010 Member

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    Sadly, unless you've got the bucks for the Galaxy tab, there aren't many other Android tablet options that are ready for prime time. zIf the Galaxy was $100 cheaper or available in a Wifi-Only for >$100 less than the current model, I'd have picked one up by now. We'll see.

    I had a chance to live with (and love) a pre-commercial Galaxy tablet for several weeks, I perused the spreadsheet listing all the other notable available tablets and virtually of them were missing some feature the Galaxy had that I deemed absolutely necessary, i.e., I wouldn't like the tablet as much without it.

    Key for me were/are: 7" compact (compared to iPad) profile, high resolution, capacitive screen w/ multitouch, Froyo, Android Market and at least 512 Mb RAM to run the future crop of tablet-specific apps. I don;t need the embedded 3G. I may be willing to part with one or two of these features if the price were right, but the ones I've seen in stores or available from retailers have fallen short or have otherwise made me feel aprehensive about picking one up this season.

    The HuaWei is a good case in point. At half the price of the Galaxy, it's appealing given that it is available from a local retailer and I could address problems with through them. But I have yet to find a Best Buy in my area where the HuaWei is currently on display, because the three I have visited have pulled them from the floor due to broken touch screens. Not promising. Also, from what I can tell, I'd be giving up, among other things the higher resolution of the Galaxy and the capacitive mult-touch screen.

    The Viewsonic G-tablet was another one that had promising specs for the price. But I haven't read too many good things about it; apparently, the execution isn't too good.

    Because there are so many of these not-quite-so-great droid tabs, I hope they do not dilute the overall quality of the future Droid tablet market. The Samsung product is a quality device with features and execution that puts it above the rest of this crowd (iPad included, and I am an iPad owner) and my sincere hope is that the Android loving community keep pushing manufacturers to meet and exceed this standard by passing on inferior products.
     
  6. strider_mt2k

    strider_mt2k Member

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    Good article, and I think pretty spot on for most folks.

    I picked up a low cost alternative in the form of the Haipad m701-r. (or whatever other name it goes by at the moment)
    I would consider myself a techie and have made it work (actually kind of enjoying it) but I don't know if your average consumer would be willing to tinker to make stuff work well. They just want it to go from the start.

    The problem for me is both justifying the cost of the "big" tablets and the fact that I have to work to get these things to seem my home network for media access.
    For that reason I'm really holding out for a next-gen convertible running Windows 7 such as the Dell Duo.
    Inspiron
     
  7. cheekers2010

    cheekers2010 Member

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    While I love and adore Win 7 on my desktops, laptops and netbooks, methinks it's a tad too bloated for a tablet OS. Micrsosoft has a tendency toward rampant featurism in their operating systems and applications. Oftentimes their products are saddled and slowed by features no one uses or needs. The other problem with them is they keep trying to make Windows the center of the universe. I believe Windows mobile would've had a greater impact if early on they stopped trying to make it a mobile windows wanna-be. I jokingly told my boss a couple of years ago that if MS really wanted a successful mobile phone, they should fire the WinMo group and put a phone in the Zune ... and stop calling it Windows.

    I agree with strider_mt2k about the average consumer having to work to get a device working; I don't think that'll fly and I don't believe that a tablet maker can succeed if they can only sell to tech heads. Not in a market where companies like Apple and Samsung have created products with vastly superior customer experiences.

    There's a gotta-have-it-now attitude with gadgets like tablets, and at the very low price ranges, the temptation certainly increases. The tablets, both larger and smaller form factor, fill certain niches and the growing availability of applications designed specifically for each will also help shape the tablet frontier. The iPad came first and, predictably, there are already a host of several great tablet-specific apps. One of my favorites is Flipboard which, I firmly believe, is a killer app for the tablet set. If Apple had more sense, they should buy this company and keep this app away from the droid platform because this is an app I would love to see on a 10" Android tablet. If it were only available on iPads, then even if I were primarily a droid dude, I'd buy an iPad just to have Flipboard.
     
  8. tipstir

    tipstir Senior Member Developer

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    Windows 7 Embedded for Tablets that's coming out in 2011 and it won't be cheap. I am still waiting on a delivery of the 9" OP Tablet/e-reader from Pandigital suppose to have 1GHz CPU. I have to check and see for myself. To much false claims with these tablets. When it comes to the CPU speed. I know they have to throttle it down to increase the battery performance.
     
  9. popezaphod

    popezaphod Member

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    The ViewSonic G Tablet is unusable out of the box. Flashing the ROM and tweaking things for about an hour gives you a decent tablet with a poor screen; the viewing angle is really only good for head-on viewing. I am hoping for better support for the Tegra chipset in Android 2.3 and hopefully not until 3.0. It is a hobbyist tablet, IMO.

    -=Sent from my ViewSonic G Tablet using Tapatalk=-
     
  10. pi911

    pi911 Member

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    Hopefully, when Acer releases their tablets, there will be more tablets with iPad and Galaxy Tab quality for a more affordable price. It seems that many people are willing to spend a lot of money on an Apple product, but not on a high-quality non-Apple product. For example, you see a bunch of Macs, but no expensive Alienwares or powerful gaming PCs. You don't even see that many Dell Studios, which offer fantastic performance (the ones that have good graphics, ie ATI and NVIDIA, not Intel Integrated) for a pretty decent price.
     
  11. teegunn

    teegunn Member

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    I went to Staples today to get some hands on time on the Viewsonic. Unfortunately, it was a brick - had been dead since black friday. Great specs, apparently unusable product though. Really sad there are so few decent options to buy an android 2.2 table with a capacitive lcd.
     
  12. LouCap

    LouCap Member

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    Honestly, if you have the coin, the Galaxy Tablet is simply awesome.

    Sent from my SGH-T849 using Tapatalk
     

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