The Tablet Quandary

It’s thin and fast with a full complement of ports, quad core processor and high resolution screen hidden behind scratch resistant Gorilla Glass.

I have been told by Helaine that Santa would like to bring me something if he only knew what I wanted. I have been toying around with the idea of a tablet, but I’ve been totally confused and undecided.

Actually that’s not true. I’ve eliminated one model. I’ve decided not to go with an iPad.

If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time you know my dislike of Apple’s tight grip on hardware and software. You might think you own your iPad, iPod Touch or iPhone, but try and use it in a way Apple doesn’t like! You’re in for a rude awakening.

As it turns out I am happy with Android, the other ‘favored’ tablet operating system. It’s what’s on my phone and it seems to be geekily sweet.

After dinner tonight (Chinese in Newington) Steve Parker and I popped into Best Buy on the Berlin Turnpike. They have a pretty nice selection of tablets, but they’re all tethered for security purposes. That makes it a lot more difficult to feel the tablet out.

At first I thought 7″ might be a nice size. Now I’m leaning toward 10″. The 7″ just felt too small.

On the other hand the 10″ models I held were too bulky… too thick and heavy.

After voluminous reading I’m leaning toward the ASUS Transformer Prime, which won’t be released until Saturday! The specs are crazy. It’s thin and fast with a full complement of ports, quad core processor and high resolution screen hidden behind scratch resistant Gorilla Glass.

There’s an optional keyboard and docking unit. No appeal for me at all.

It’s pricey. $500 puts it near the top end of Android tablets.

There’s still plenty of time to ponder. I’ll let you know when I move into the pre-purchase obsession phase.

16 thoughts on “The Tablet Quandary”

  1. As a diehard Mac lover since the ’80s, I am lusting after an iPad. I can’t justify its purchase — these days I have to justify buying underwear — I just want one.

  2. Ha, Work provides me with a cell and they’re making me get rid of my phone that looks like a hand grenade and going with a blueberry, raspberry or something lime that. And you talking about gorillas and transformers!!!! I’m lost.

  3. Great post. I too have been trying to justify the purchase of a tablet. Most of my colleagues have (and rave about )the ipad2. I use a lot of sites that require adobe flash, so I’m thinking the ipad probably isn’t for me. I too want a 10″ screen. I will be interested to hear what you choose.

  4. Flash is dieing – I assume ice cream sandwich will Fargo it completely. Besides it never really worked well on android (or desk top).

    Apps for android tablets are no where near the same quality of ios which has tablet optimized versions. The iPad love it or hate it – changed the game!

    The Prime is a kick @ss tablet that’s for sure with its 4.1 CPU setup.

    1. This is where you really need to think about what youwant tiuse it for. I bought a Kindle Fire because it was easy on the wallet. Amazon has limited the apps that are compatible but I still really like it. I find the smaller size great.

  5. Geoff- I love my iPad2. My husband just got the Galaxy Tab 10, 32 GB with Verizon 4G – and he astonishingly loves it!
    Whichever one you get, you will be pleased with your new toy!
    Have fun figuring out which one to get!

  6. I have the current Asus transformer and the keyboard. I am not a techie at all so I rely on my son to bail me out now and then. I really like it and the keyboard makes it much more like a mini laptop. The keyboard also doubles the battery capacity and has sd card slot for more storage. There are a few things I wish I could do like skype-only the audio works which kinda defeats the whole purpose for skype. It uses wifi but at work I have to use my little mifi gadget that gives me 3G. Forgive my inadequate techie language but I just wanted to say that I love my little toy and I know it is capable of doing lots more than I will ever figure out. I know you will enjoy any new gadget that Santa brings you.

  7. I have the “old” iPad. I am going to upgrade to the iPad 2, (merry xmas to me!) As far as flash is concerned, the only thing that I miss is the Facebook games. I rarely come across a video on You Tube that I can’t watch because Apple wont let me. As it turns out, it’s probably safer anyways. I just adore my iPad and have checked out other tablets. But once I got that iPad…If you do end up getting a tablet, let us know about it.I’m sure whatever one you pick, you will have done your homework, as they all vary so much. One thing I have to stress is to go for something lightweight. Because once you get it, you wont go anywhere without it. And eBooks are so much cheaper!

  8. Geoff I have an ACER 10″tablet. I like it a lot HOWEVER ACER has a terrible customer service department. I opened the box and before I even turned it on I noticed a crack in the lens which covers the camera. I called them an after talking to 20 people from India I got an American that told me since I opened the box it would cost me $199 to repair the lens. Mind you we are talking about a 1/2″ piece of glass. Needless to say I asked them to explain to me how I would knows the glass was broken w/o opening the box first. Nobody could answer me. Long story short I ended up returning it to Wal-Mart who graciously rmefunded my money. I now have a Kindle Fire and I HIGHLY recommend it over the ACER product. It does everything you would expect in a tablet. It gets an A + rating from me and only cost me $199 compared to the $450 for the ACER.

    1. I am glad you are enjoying your Kindle Fire. Your experience is far from the norm. Beyond the reviews I want a tablet with camera, microphone, bluetooth and a more open operating system. Amazon has really covered over Android and presents a very different experience.

  9. I like your description of “pre-purchase obsession phase.” LOL!!! I NEVER thought of it that way, but being a gadget hound, that describes me to the T everytime I really get close to procuring a new one. I recently got a Kindle Fire, and I totally agree with your assessment that it is lacking certain more robust features and a stripped down, Amazon-centric version of Android. But despite all that, I love it because it suits my needs. Camera? Not needed, the best iPad camera will not be better than my Nikon D700! LOL I have an iPhone and its functionality (camera, recording, etc.) complements the Kindle’s lack, whereas an iPad or a full-featured Android could do it all in one. If I had the $ for an iPad, I’m OK with Apple’s stronghold on their devices because after years of fiddling and tweaking, life’s become far too busy to keep learning to modify devices. It’s fun, but I need to go the simplistic route and leave my devices largely as is. When finances allow, an iPad 5 or 6 will be in my future – or maybe Android tablet, but for now, a Kindle Fire and my iPhone are serving me well.

    Have fun and enjoy the new gadget!!

  10. Geoff,

    I have owned an iPad since the day it was released. Having owned the iPad1 and now the iPad2. I also owned an Acer A500 tablet. I ended up going right back to my iPad2 after a couple months of use. Sure Apple has limitations but you will find the other tablets do as well. The beauty of the iPad2 is the ease of use. It just works! The vast apps library and the fact that I can Facetime easily with my family every day. The entire family has an iPad2 so it has become the communication device of choice because we can see each other while talking. To be fair I own a Kindle Fire as well. I figure having the best of both worlds Apple and Amazon is the perfect match. Tablets are interesting devices they do not work the same as a phone or a PC but now that I have it I do not want to live without.

  11. Geoff–does this tablet have an SD card slot? That’s the big drawback to me about the Ipad. Have been looking at a Thrive, but will look at the ASUS now, too.

  12. Geoff, I was given the job of investigating tablets for my father-in-law. Everyone seems to be leaning toward ipad, I am not (so not sure why I was choosen???) Anyway, i did find a Samsung Galaxy (;_ylt=AluOYz8KVDIyYnPecIkUCnlQnMUu )I know you have thew phone, love it, as my step son does………This thing seems very cool and I bet it would play well with your phone…..thoughts?

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