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Is there a tablet that meets these criteria?

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daveloc's picture
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Joined: 6 Feb 2010
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I'd like to to move at least my leisure computing activities (video, music, web browsing, personal email etc.) down to a tablet — games are already on console/HDTV. But there seems to be a concerted effort on the part of tablet makers to turn out devices that just don't fit my bill. Here's my list of problem areas, and some known offenders. Can anyone suggest any tablet that fails in none of them? BTW, I didn't write this just to post, I keep it as a note to myself Wink

(1) Screen ratio. 16:9 is the standard TV ratio; 4:3 just doesn't hack it. 16:10 might even be better (two sides of A4) 

The screen also needs to be LED-backlit LCD or OLED so it doesn't wash out in daylight, with a Gorilla Glass front, and 1080p is the minimum resolution I'd pay more than loose change for. 

OFFENDER: APPLE (aspect ratio), MOST OTHERS (resolution)

(2) SD/USB slot. Every other media device in my house (TV, PVR, optical disc player, computer, digital radio...) has one or the other or both and they're convenient. µ-sockets should only be used on devices too small to use full-size ones (phones, eReaders), putting them on anything else effectively increases the TCO because smaller cards are more expensive above a given size. An adaptor up for charging while static is better than an adapter down for thumbdrives on the move? Mini-SD/USB slots are the worst of all worlds. 

Similar arguments to the above apply to HDMI, although this time doing without is an acceptable option; there are better ways of getting a picture to a bigger screen than mirroring from a tablet or PC. 

Any device with slots/connectors for peripheral storage must be able to use it in the same way as primary: run apps from it, play media from it, install upgrades from it, etc., etc. Sideload-only is useless. 

OFFENDER: APPLE (NO SLOTS), MOST OTHERS (POOR MIX OF SLOTS)

(3) 2.4GHz-only wifi. My computer can see about a dozen 2.4GHz networks in surrounding houses; I'm told that people in flats with neighbours above and below as well can double this. 2.4GHz-only is not viable (at least where I live) any more. Dual-band would be more useful than 3/4G; it should go without saying I don't want a phone in my tablet.

OFFENDER: ALMOST EVERYONE BUT APPLE

(4) Software stack. I expect my tablet to come with a basic OS sans bloatware, a web browser, email and social media clients, and readers with reasonable organisation and search facilities for video, audio, pictures, and text (including DRM-free eBooks, comics, and PDF). I'm not playing games without thumbsticks. I don't want fart apps or their equivalents. I barely need an App Store, closed, or otherwise, at all.  

OFFENDER: EVERYONE

(5) Rear cameras and flash. Maybe you can justify a front camera for videoconferencing (I can't), but actual photography on a device too large and heavy to hold steady compared to a camphone and worse imaging than a pro camera? NUTS, and double nuts if 3D. IR blaster and universal remote software? Now we're talking...

OFFENDER: ALMOST EVERYONE

(6) Logos on the front of the device: I want to watch video on this thing from a couple of feet in daylight, so no possibility that peripheral vision or low lighting will help me tune out a big white on black corporate logo. Even more stupid because the logo doesn't flip orientation when the tablet does. The objection also applies to flashy metal inserts for the (unwanted) cameras. 

OFFENDER: ALMOST EVERYONE BUT APPLE

Obviously, some of you will have found one or other of the existing tablets acceptable, or one or more of the problems I list shruggable, but I'm clearly not the only "rational" holdout, e.g., a recent review of the Nexus 10 at Tom's Hardware ended "There still is no tablet out there that does everything we want well...." Does anyone have a suggestion for a tablet that resolves all, or almost all of these issues?

 

 

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bigboss's picture
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Joined: 25 Mar 2009
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RE: Is there a tablet that meets these criteria?

1) Windows Surface / Surface Pro (the reason for 4:3 aspect ratio of the iPad is because it's designed primarily as a readin device, evidenced by the location of the home button & the front camera).

2) Windows Surface / Surface Pro (you can buy adapters for your iPad to accept SD cards and HDMI cable).

3) Nexus 10 is dual band, apart from the iPad. Not the Surface.

4) You'll be surprised at how useful the app store is. If you don't like a bloatware, simply uninstall it!

5) Why do you need a rear camera and flash on a tablet? Clicking pictures from a tablet looks stupid, to be honest. You need the front camera for Skype, Google Hangout etc.

6) Can't comment on the logo as I haven't checked the nexus 10 or the Surface tablet.

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Paul.'s picture
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Joined: 26 Nov 2010
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RE: Is there a tablet that meets these criteria?

1) I would try and borrow a 4:3 tab and use one for a while before you make your decision.  I have a 1st gen iPad and a 16:9 Android tab for work.  I find the 4:3 ratio far better for most things, and the black bars don't bother me whilst watching films. 

5) As augmented reality stuff becomes more prevalent, the rear cam will become more useful.

6) Agree on that.  Very irksome.

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