Tethering.... am I missing something?

Discussion in 'Android Tablet Discussions' started by beej210, Oct 12, 2010.

  1. beej210

    beej210 Member

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    I've been looking at and thinking about getting a tablet, but my major hangup is the on-going cost.

    I've got a blackberry and have (as most heavy blackberry users) tethered it to my pc to create internet on the go.

    If I buy a tablet, tether via bluetooth, why on earth would I buy a separate data plan for my tablet?

    There doesn't seem to be a lot of info on this topic, so maybe I'm missing something....

    For what it's worth, I was waiting for a good 10" tablet, with at least 512k ram, an expandable SD slot, bluetooth (for tethering), and something running Android 2.2. I was waiting for the Archos 101, unless someone has a better suggestion.

    I would look at the Samsung Galaxy, but again, I'm somewhat puzzled by the recent announcement that it will be sold through the carriers with a data plan. Worst comes to worse, I could switch to sprint where the new phones have a mobile hotspot..... again, don't understand why sprint is going to try to sell the galaxy tab with data plan of its own......
     
  2. gurgle

    gurgle Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Welcome to the world of many. I have done the same. I would not buy any tablet, slate, or Android PMP with 3G to add to my costs. I connect my Tablets via Wifi or BT. I personally find tethering not a bother.
    That stated, in my dream world, I would love to have a device which would be my univeral mobile unit. I know my wife is more than a bit annoyed by my load of electronica when we travel.
     
  3. gadgetrants

    gadgetrants Moderator Staff Member

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    Definitely agree with the sentiment. And I think I hear the same concern on other boards. I wouldn't fret about it. Not that I would use the iPad as an example of the ideal business model, but note that Apple made units both with and without 3G. I'm sure Android tablet makers will catch on quickly.

    At the moment, the Galaxy is looking a bit pricey. I think that's because (1) when it's released, early adopters will pay that "surcharge" (wow, I can't believe how fast the price on the Droid fell from $200 to basically nothing), and (2) only 3G models are being bandied about, which will have a lower price once the carrier-subsidized model is worked out. When the dust settles (early next year?) we'll see lots and lots of WiFi only models..and I'm betting that 10" with capacitive screens will be about $400. No 3G. No contract needed.

    gurgle has already heard my words of caution against Archos, so I won't repeat then here. What the heck...if ya' got some French blood in you, and don't pay no attention to the lots and lots of complaints from frustrated owners, they got some sexy looking devices!

    -Matt
     
  4. beej210

    beej210 Member

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    Thanks for confirming what I thought about tethering.... I just don't understand why anyone is buying these separate data plans.

    So 2 follow-up questions:

    1. Do I need a tablet with bluetooth to tether to my blackberry or would wifi work?

    2. What are your recommendations for a 10" tablet running 2.2, at least 512 RAM, and VERY expandable storage??
     
  5. ZilverZurfarn

    ZilverZurfarn Member

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    Because without that, a tablet like Samsung Tab would be ludicrously expensive up front, and not many would consider buying it. Better hide the actual cost behind an expensive data plan. I guess the idea is that the intended audience will buy this instead of a smartphone, not as a companion to.
    When it comes to tethering, the best option is to use USB tethering. Both wifi and BT takes its toll on the battery (on both devices - the phone end suffering the worst, as it has to keep the 3G connection up too).
    Also note that Android don't officially support adhoc wifi connections (even if some versions can be tweaked to do it). The only way I've managed to tether my tablet is using wifi (after a trick involving swapping wpa_supplicant.conf around was found) to my T-Mo G1 where I run Wifi Tether for root users
    If the tablet doesn't explicitly have the capability to be tethered (over wifi/BT/cable) - Don't place any bets on you ever being able to tether it to anything.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2010
  6. gadgetrants

    gadgetrants Moderator Staff Member

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    1. Bluetooth vs. wifi tether: not sure, since it's a blackberry. In the case of my laptop and my Droid, I prefer to tether via USB...but that may not be an option with tablets (unless they also work via USB dongle, which I'm not counting on). To be safe, I'd lean toward wifi.

    2. Recommendations: on that issue, I'm probably the wrong guy to ask. I have a very not-rose-colored view of things right now. By my eye, I see a lot of very questionable devices floating about, with very similar concerns...in particular, they are all pretty much running Android 2.1, and there is little guarantee yet that any will make the move to 2.2, let alone 3.0 (Gingerbread). I'm talking about "available", not "announced, but not yet available."

    So you won't like hearing this, but I would really wait until (a) Google releases Android 3.0 later this year, and (b) major manufacturers begin to release 10" tablets that either come with 3.0 installed, or they have a large enough user community that it's assured to be modded up. In that case, it will probably be another 3-6 months. But I think you'll be glad you waited.

    DISCLAIMER: I just picked up an Asus T91MT--a low-powered tablet-PC--at woot.com last week. So I've pretty much locked myself into the "wait 'til next year" option!

    -Matt
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2010

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