Buying A Tablet? - Some Things To Remember

Discussion in 'Android Tablet Discussions' started by gurgle, Oct 30, 2010.

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  1. gurgle

    gurgle Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Tablet / Device:
    Better question What don't I own, Oh a generic APAD
    1. Android Version vs Firmware Build
    There are ONLY four versions of Android OS available for Tablets as of October 2010
    1.5-Cupcake (Ancient in terms if Android but still found on new tablets sold)
    1.6-Donut (Most common Android version for low price/low power Tablets, Capable but limited in function
    2.1-Eclair (Showing up as very common Tablet OS, THIS should be the minimum version of Android to consider right now)
    2.2-Froyo (second most current version, with Full Flash capability potential, BUT, many of the 2.2 firmwares are works in motion. As as Example. A81-E has had 3 major Firmware 2.2 builds)
    2.3-Gingerbread (Nothing based on this yet)
    Different manufacturers have different ways of identifying builds. Some just have numbers e.g. 348 or 368 for X5A and 2.0.2.32.3234 for another tablet series
    Remember it is the firmware which makes or breaks the Android build on the tablet.

    2. The amount of RAM does and does not make a difference. - If you have Android 1.5 or 1.6 or even 2.1, 256 Mb of RAM is more than enough. Some Chipsets cannot adequately even use more than 128 Mb. BUT, 2.2 and newer versions of Android will take advantage of more memory. Expect a newer tablet to offer 512 and even 1Gb of RAM in the not so distant future (early 2011)

    3. Just because you have 2/4/8Gb of Storage, does not mean you have a lot of free space on the internal storage. Just like Windows, Mac,even your Android Phone. The more apps you load, the less internal storage. Some applications create temp storage caches that use up the space as well. There is unneeded files on the internal storage. But, I am not going to tell you what can or cannot be removed. I do not want you to delete needed files. You can delete those demo vids and music obviously. And Remove the junkware.
    Bottom Line: Use your storage card for your music/Books/Vids, etc.

    4. You will need to Root your Tablet, Update your Firmware, and have a special storage card for backups and flashing your firmware if you want to have a full featured Tablet.

    With that statement though, DO NOT JUST FLASH YOUR TABLET WITHOUT DOING THE FOLLOWING!!!
    A. Get complete instructions for YOUR Tablet on how to ROOT or Flash. The most common reasons you will Brick your Tab is because you do not follow the instructions
    OR
    B. Have a Copy of BOTH your current firmware and the correct firmware for your tablet for upgrade. If you do not have a copy of your current firmware, you will have no way to fix your Tablet, if you experience a problem with your new firmware
    C. Back up your Tablet. This will usually require Rooting, so learn how to root your device.

    5. You get what you pay for. Do not expect a BMW for a KIA price.
    There are some decent low power Tablets for about $150USD. But expect to pay at least $200 for a decent tablet running 2.1/2.2 Android with support.

    This will be updated once the newer Tablets finally make it to the general market.
    In the mean time, remember there will always be copies of the Brand names on locations like AliBaba and other China market sites. These may be less price, but come with poorer support and Quality issues.
     
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  2. Thunder

    Thunder Member

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    Gurgle thank you for good introduction -- it's really useful.
    1. Can you tell something about new 10 inch tablets Archos 101 or Herotab M10? I was going to buy one, but got warning (http://www.androidtablets.net/forum...ssions/1938-help-choose-9-10-inch-tablet.html) that they may be buggy. Is it really a Tegra 2 issue, or it's due to new 2.2 Firmware? I'm asking because if it's due to raw firmware, than there is a hope that it will be fixed in newer version of firmware, and updating will remedy the problem.
    2. Generally, is it always possible to upgrade to new firmware? Is it feasible in case of Archos 101 or Herotab M10?
    Thanks in advance.
     
  3. gurgle

    gurgle Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Tablet / Device:
    Better question What don't I own, Oh a generic APAD
    Honestly, it is because they are borderline vaporware, you see the conflicting/confusing statements. I would bet Firmware updates will settle some/majority of problems.
    In regards to that. I would tip my hat to Archos.They have had a good history of simplifying Firmware updates for the user. The problem is they also would do things that made it harder for other things, such as Rooting and such.

    Both Tablets are the front of a wave of a number of large tablets on the way. I would say if you can hold your breath, the majority will be out right before or around Christmas. Originally I would have said Black Friday, but I think it will be a close thing on their delivery.

    To your second question. Definitely. Both will have Firmware improvements and updates. Some may even offer a Gingerbread update. On that, I would bet Archos will try to make a profit on it. But that is just speculation. I speak from experience and am a recovering ArchosFan. And Yes, I have a 101 on the way (preorder limbo)

    Cheers
     
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  4. Thunder

    Thunder Member

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    wow! Haven't heard anything about them. Can you please specify some names, or give some links to what might be expected?
    Thanks.
     
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  5. AnimaTechnica

    AnimaTechnica Senior Member

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    Tablet / Device:
    Droid, Haipad 701, Rooted Nook Color
    just another note if you have a 7 inch tablet like my Haipad 701 - i just picked up a nice leather case for a Nook that fit my tablet nicely
     
  6. mgr52

    mgr52 Member

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    I am new to android tablets and am looking to buy one (possibly), this has answered a lot of my questions. Thanks!
     
  7. ricky121

    ricky121 Member

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    Same question: "Generally, is it always possible to upgrade to new firmware? Is it feasible in case of Archos 101 or Herotab M10?"
     
  8. KevHan

    KevHan Member

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    Thanks gurgle, good to know. I too am new to Android tablets. We happened to pick up two on Black Friday, each for $139. Both 7" color touch screens. They are Coby Kyros and the Pandigital novel. They both seem to work well, not only as Ereaders, but other apps. I have played with both, and so far prefer the Coby. It seems to be faster on line and easier to navigate. Any comments about these low cost readers? I'll be spending much time on this site reading up. Much to learn.
     
  9. poncespr

    poncespr Senior Member

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    I used the white Pandigital Novel as my stepping stone for getting started with android. A few months ago I paid $135 which was a great price at that time. I since have owned the Huawei S7 and now the Coby Kyros 7015 which is the one I kept. Nothing wrong with the Huawei. Great machine but a bit overkill for my simple needs of some web browsing and e-reading, which my Coby accomplishes with aplomb, and far better than my retired PDN. Make sure you update the latest firmware from cobyusa.com to have a better experience.
     
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