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Ask Slashdot: Best Android Tablet For Travel?

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the does-this-come-in-green? dept.

Android 356

PerlJedi writes "I am planing a long trip (to Ireland), and want to buy an Android tablet to take along for the trip. I am a software engineer (I actually work for Slashdot), a Linux geek, and an Android fan. I would like to get a tablet primarily to use for entertainment (when I'm not working or building robots in my workshop, I'm usually playing with my phone), but something I could get some work done from in a pinch would be a major plus (all I need to be able to work is a Web browser, and an ssh terminal, preferably with a keyboard). My current cell phone is the Samsung Charge, rooted and running GummyCharge 2.1, and it is a good bet I'll want to root whatever tablet I get, if not right away, soon after getting it. From an entertainment standpoint I want something that is large enough to watch high definition videos on, with a battery life that will make it practical for use on a long flight. Having a decent camera would be a nice plus, but is not an absolute necessity. Having a forward facing camera for video chat would also be good, but is also not a necessity." PerlJedi's got a few options in mind; read on for the details of his reasoning and help him fulfill his quest."My brief initial search has yielded the following initial contenders:

  • Asus Transformer Prime: This is currently my favorite, for a few reasons: Tegra 3 quad core processor (that's just plain cool); it's designed with a docking station in mind, making it perfect for using for work; sleek, thin design; light weight; available with up to 64 GB. It is on the pricey side, though.
  • Toshiba Thrive: I must admit, I know very little about this one. Unlike the others, I have not heard much hype around it. From what I've read thus far, pros include: full-size SD slot; full USB support; full HDMI support. Cons: Bulkier and heavier than its opponents.
  • Motorola XOOM: This one has been available for some time, which can be both good and bad. Its problems should be known and understood by now, but it's lost some of the sex appeal of the new product.
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab: The Galaxy tab line has also been on the market for a while. It does have some added appeal to me because my phone is also from Samsung, so the rooting processes, and available ROMs, will be more familiar to me.
  • Sony Tablet S: Like the Toshiba, I have heard little hype about this tablet. Its feature set also seems similar to the Toshiba. I must admit here, I may be a bit biased against Sony over some of their recent treatment of the hacker/maker community."

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356 comments

Hmmmmm.... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38529644)

iPad 2?

Re:Hmmmmm.... (-1, Redundant)

InterestingFella (2537066) | more than 2 years ago | (#38529820)

I would also suggest iPad 2. The hardware is better, it has more software and generally just works better. There are no fragmentation issues either. Android tablets always have the feeling of just something being wrong. I'm not Apple fanboy (in fact I would rather choose MS Courier Tablet if they ever made it), but in tablets front there's just no better choice than iPad 2.

Re:Hmmmmm.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38529884)

I agree. If you value your time, then you should get an iPad. There is absolutely no use in shelling out good money for an inferior Android product and then trying to get it to work correctly and efficiently. The iPad ecosystem also has a ton of productivity applications, games, and peripherals. If you like programming, then software development in iOS is fun and well supported by excellent iOS documentation and forums.

Re:Hmmmmm.... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38530124)

Or get the Transformer Prime like stated. He wants Android and for good reason, its designed for those who actually like technology not fashion. The Docking Station will easily give you a lot of neat options like, placing it on a table for added viewing pleasure (No holding required), improving battery life (docking station doubles battery), and ease of typing (full keyboard anyone?). iPads look neat and function very well, but are not half as capable of being customized as an Android Tab. Plus Android Tabs all have a super awesome Community at XDA-Developers.com and on many many other sites. I'm not posting as an Apple basher as I've owned and been around iProducts for a while (first iPod mini, iPhone, and iPod Touch). The interface is not as slick as Android with Widges.

Re:Hmmmmm.... (4, Interesting)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 2 years ago | (#38530082)

I would not suggest iPad 2. It suffers from horrible lags when web browsing that are frustrating to the point of unusability. Obviously, it doesn't handle flash sites. It has much less available in the way of quality free apps. The user interface is dumbed down or broken in many little ways that make the experience one long chain of annoyances.

Android tablets are much closer to being true laptop replacements on the road. On my last road trip I brought a netbook and a Xoom. I never used the netbook. I did all the browsing I needed with the Xoom and I edited text files using a bluetooth keyboard. I have QuickOffice on it, but I didn't use it this time. I look forward to the Android version of LibreOffice [androidcommunity.com],I found I didn't really need a mouse, but I will get the Apple trackpad to use with the Xoom, apparently it works fine. Otherwise, I regard Apple's product as mainly for games and spending money. Not the best choice for a serious computer user.

Re:Hmmmmm.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38530134)

Otherwise, I regard Apple's product as mainly for games and spending money. Not the best choice for a serious computer user.

You know why I like having a great job? I don't have to regard "spending money" as some sort of evil thing, particularly when it saves me time. You see, I can always make more money, but I'm not getting any of the time I waste making one of those "serious" (LOL) Android tablets actually usable.

Re:Hmmmmm.... (2)

Pneathery (1949818) | more than 2 years ago | (#38530050)

Really?!?! Why would I buy a car that would ONLY drive to Walmart. I would prefer a tool that I own to be used as I choose, and not give the choice to somebody else. I personally have looked at many, and have fallen in love with the idea of the Archos G9 101 250gb. It is a 10 inch tablet with hdmi output, has an app you can install on your android phone and use as a remote control when it is being used with hdmi on your big screen. It also has a full size USB host on the back that in Europe currently can hold an optional $49 3G dongle that is unlocked. Also their media player will handle damn near anything you throw at it. Plus it has a 250 gig spinning hard drive. I don't think the 250 gig has been released yet, but other size ones are out there, I have an iPad currently, and it feels like I am slamming my head into a wall at times. I am going to get the g9 and either sell or give away this thing. Good luck, and that is my .02

Re:Hmmmmm.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38530086)

Why would I buy a car that would ONLY drive to Walmart.

That's the definition of an Android Tablet.

Cue holy war in 3..2.. (4, Informative)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 2 years ago | (#38530156)

Your question will garner far more posts like the one above but I will add my 0.02.

I like the original Transformer (TF101-A1) [google.com] very much and would suggest you take a look at it if the Prime [engadget.com] is too pricey for what you want. The Prime is currently the only shipping Tegra 3 [wikipedia.org] system I know of so to lump it in with the rest of your list isn't quit fair. While it's still yet to be field proven all indicators point to the Tegra 3 being quite a capable chip which will run for a very long time on a single charge.

Toshiba's Thrive is an interesting tablet. I have only tested it in store but I like it for the most part. The full size ports are a definite plus and the rubbery backing make for a slip free experience.

I don't have any experience with the Xoom or the Galaxy but you mentioned rooting and I was curious if you had posed this question over at XDA? [xda-developers.com] I choose my android devices on price and rootability so the Nook Color [xda-developers.com] has been my recommendation to all my non-technical friends looking for a cheap tablet.

Sony likes to cut off its nose to spite its face. Given their treatment [wikipedia.org] of Geohot [wikipedia.org] I would steer clear if you are looking for rooting. I'm sure you can root them just not sure what Sony's response will be to it.

if it ain't broke... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38529664)

Sounds like you want an iPad 2

Re:if it ain't broke... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38529796)

All fandroids want an iPad. They are just to stupid and stubborn to admit it.

iPad (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38529666)

'Cause it's easier to use and a better industrial design.

Transformer (3, Informative)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#38529678)

I have a Transformer, a Novo 7 (China) and an iPad. I paid for the Transformer, the others are company owned test units. I like them all. I haven't tried the Transformer with a keyboard, should have bought it. But that might be the one you want.

Re:Transformer (3, Informative)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 2 years ago | (#38529772)

I have a Transformer with the keyboard, and I can recommend it.

Not as smooth a user interface as an iPad (it jerks while scrolling), but like the OP, I wanted an Android tablet.

Re:Transformer (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38529886)

The Transformer Prime should smooth out the interface and sounds like exactly what he's looking for. But it may not be a viable option, depending on when the trip is, since it is currently all but impossible to find one.

Re:Transformer (0)

Karlt1 (231423) | more than 2 years ago | (#38530144)

Not as smooth a user interface as an iPad (it jerks while scrolling), but like the OP, I wanted an Android tablet.

If someone bought an iPad and even they admitted that it isn't "smooth" on a quad-core(?!?1) processor, wouldn't Slashdot posters have a field day?

Re:Transformer (3, Informative)

LordKronos (470910) | more than 2 years ago | (#38530374)

He said scrolling on his Transformer isn't as smooth as the iPad. The Transform and Transformer Prime are 2 different products. The Prime is a quad code, but not the older Transformer model.

Tablet as in pill (3, Funny)

syousef (465911) | more than 2 years ago | (#38530120)

I have a Transformer, a Novo 7 (China) and an iPad. I paid for the Transformer, the others are company owned test units.

I like them all. I haven't tried the Transformer with a keyboard, should have bought it. But that might be the one you want.

I haven't read the article, nor the summary, but I'm going to post anyway in fine slashdot tradition.

I would say vallium, as it has a better reputation than prozac. Once you're stoned out of your tree all the computing devices will look the same anyway.

HP Touchpad (4, Insightful)

kaizendojo (956951) | more than 2 years ago | (#38529700)

If you can get your hands on one, I'd highly recommend it. Got one for Christmas from my awesome GF and it took me longer to download all the SDKs and files than it actually took to root and ROM it.

Re:HP Touchpad (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38529780)

Your girlfriend sounds awesome. If only she'd spent more than $99 on your christmas present, it might make up for the ugliness.

Re:HP Touchpad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38529898)

Second this... Cyanogenmod7 is listed as RC, but I've never had a problem. I prefer it's 4:3 display. It's an iPad2 for about $200 on ebay. The inductive charging stand provides a "never have to connect" experience.

good experience with galaxy tab (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38529706)

i just got the galaxy tab 10.1, and ive been loving it. what swayed my opinion the most was the good specs, large screen, and future cyanogen mod support (they mentioned it in there v9 blog post)

Re:good experience with galaxy tab (1)

Vairon (17314) | more than 2 years ago | (#38530222)

I also have a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and enjoy it for couch-side web browsing a lot.

Here you go (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38529716)

Your best bets are the Prime, Xoom lineup, or Galaxy Tab 10.1. The Sony & Toshiba are crap.

The Prime is 5 cores, btw. They utilize a 5th core at 500Mhz or so for low power consumption apps & background processes.

nook color cm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38529722)

Nook color, cyanogen. Refurb can be found for 120$. You can do all you state from it, and can buy 4 of them for the price of other shiny devices.

Re:nook color cm (3, Informative)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#38530100)

Nook color, cyanogen. Refurb can be found for 120$. You can do all you state from it, and can buy 4 of them for the price of other shiny devices.

The OP mentioned "video chat" in his wish list, so presumably he wants to use something like Skype for voice over IP.

The Nook Color has no microphone capability (but the new Nook Tablet has a built-in Mic).

Asus Prime or Xoom (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38529724)

I'd use the prime (given the options available to it) or the Xoom mainly because it's built like a brick sh1thouse and unlikely to break accidentally. I have a xoom myself, and was quite suprised by the standby time of the tablet (ie: a week with keeping over 90% charge). The samsung is sexy and light in comparison, I can't compare the others as I havent tried them.

At the end of the day it's down to what you actually *need* not what's *nice*, sure 64GB is nice, but do you actually need it to write emails? If you like music, then that's a maybe (but most of my collection fits in under 16GB of my frequently listened to stuff, and are you really going to need that rarely listened to piece?)

Ian Hawkins
ian@prowl.org ('cause I can't login!)

Has to be the Transformer (4, Informative)

Macthorpe (960048) | more than 2 years ago | (#38529726)

Even without the keyboard, I've barely put mine down in the months since I bought it. You might be better off trying to pick up the original on the cheap now that its successor is on the way - it's a good, solid piece of hardware and it can be rooted easily too.

Thrive (2)

eheldreth (751767) | more than 2 years ago | (#38529740)

I bought one on sale locally. I'm a geocacher and wanted the full USB port for loading caches on my GPS (Delorme 60) when I'm traveling. It is a bit bulkier than some of the others but it's fast and responsive. I've not been disappointed at all.

Re:Thrive (3, Informative)

chrylis (262281) | more than 2 years ago | (#38529918)

Additionally, the Thrive has two power quirks that I appreciate: Its battery is easily replaceable, and it sacrifices the ability to charge via USB for a 30W power supply that can charge its battery from zero to full in 90 minutes. For typical business use, I only need to charge it about 30 minutes daily.

I was going to say... (5, Interesting)

ichthus (72442) | more than 2 years ago | (#38529748)

I was going to say B&N Nook Color. Install Cyanogen 7.1 (very easy to do), connectBot, hacker's keyboard, and Opera. The battery life is great, nice screen, dirt cheap. Tether it to your phone for non-wifi connectivity.

..but then I clicked your link for the Transformer Prime. Very nice. Yeah, get that one.

Re:I was going to say... (3, Interesting)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 2 years ago | (#38529978)

I was going to say B&N Nook Color. Install Cyanogen 7.1 (very easy to do), connectBot, hacker's keyboard, and Opera. The battery life is great, nice screen, dirt cheap. Tether it to your phone for non-wifi connectivity. ..but then I clicked your link for the Transformer Prime. Very nice. Yeah, get that one.

Yeah, I would get a Nook Color if I were going to get a nook. The Nook Tablet is kind of a piece of crap... it's getting "useable", but it's still horrendously put together software-wise. But it is speedy and fast.

I'm actually kind of happy with my Nook Tablet now that I've been beating it with large objects for 3~4 days... but it's still not where I wish it were. Honestly, one should not have to break a product massively in order to make it useful.

The average person might enjoy it, but a geek will struggle in the truly claustrophobic walled garden that they have erected. I actually was crying 30 minutes after opening the package, because it was essentially worthless to me. (Thank god for people having their hands on it a month ahead of me, and doing all the work in rooting it.)

Re:I was going to say... (1)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#38530116)

I was going to say B&N Nook Color. Install Cyanogen 7.1 (very easy to do), connectBot, hacker's keyboard, and Opera. The battery life is great, nice screen, dirt cheap. Tether it to your phone for non-wifi connectivity. ..but then I clicked your link for the Transformer Prime. Very nice. Yeah, get that one.

Yeah, I would get a Nook Color if I were going to get a nook.

The OP mentioned "video chat" in his wish list, so presumably he wants to use something like Skype for voice over IP.

The Nook Color has no microphone capability (but the new Nook Tablet has a built-in Mic).

The Nook Tablet is kind of a piece of crap... it's getting "useable", but it's still horrendously put together software-wise. But it is speedy and fast.

...

  I actually was crying 30 minutes after opening the package, because it was essentially worthless to me. (Thank god for people having their hands on it a month ahead of me, and doing all the work in rooting it.)

You really should get another hobby if your inability to hack a device that makes no claim about openness and hackability makes you cry.

Re:I was going to say... (1)

S810 (168676) | more than 2 years ago | (#38529990)

I just got a Kindle Fire and I love it. Granted it only uses the Amazon App Store and the newest update, allegedlly, prevents rooting, but I can turn on the Mobile Hotspot from by Droid X2 and get email, stream Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime, Free Texting, read books, play music and games.

Personally I love it and it was a cheaper alternative to the Prime, which I wanted and still do, but I can get two Fires for less than the Transformer Prime.

The iPad (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38529750)

Nuff said

...... Seriously? (-1, Offtopic)

bodangly (2526754) | more than 2 years ago | (#38529754)

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=best+android+tablet+travel# [lmgtfy.com] Is this what Ask Slashdot has become? Seriously, are tablets in general not designed for travel? Please lets get some worthwhile questions on here, I don't know maybe something related to NEWS FOR NERDS or STUFF THAT MATTERS? "Asus Transformer Prime: This is currently my favorite, for a few reasons:" There you go, you answered your own question. All you are going to get is 100 other people's "favorites". Mod this comment down now.

Re:...... Seriously? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38529982)

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=best+android+tablet+travel# [lmgtfy.com] Is this what Ask Slashdot has become? Seriously, are tablets in general not designed for travel? Please lets get some worthwhile questions on here, I don't know maybe something related to NEWS FOR NERDS or STUFF THAT MATTERS? "Asus Transformer Prime: This is currently my favorite, for a few reasons:" There you go, you answered your own question. All you are going to get is 100 other people's "favorites". Mod this comment down now.

Shhh.. the sheeple who are following everybody else don't like to be made aware that what everybody else is doing is stupid and unnecessary. They _really_ don't like for you to correctly observe their inability to solve even the most everyday and trivial of their own problems. What they REALLY, REALLY can't stand is the idea that maybe one shouldn't be so helpless.

These are not philosophers or people of substance. They don't care if what they do is pointless and makes no sense. They just want to see lots of other people doing it too. They are comfortable with you if you argue within the boundaries of the question, like saying you prefer this tablet but not this other one. But by disagreeing with the premise of the discussion you are questioning the purpose and worthiness of the question itself. This is a display of independent thought and it frightens them. It also makes the ones who would ask the same stupid questions aware of how insecure they are about their intelligence and ability to handle basic things. They don't have the balls to admit that none of this is your fault and you are merely asking valid questions. So they will blame you for "making" them uncomfortable as if you had such power. They will want to shut you up.

I tried to mod you +1 Informative but you were already headed towards -1 territory. The childish idiots who can't handle a questioning mind vastly outnumber the rest of us. Sorry man, I tried.

Best Android for Time Travel? (5, Funny)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 2 years ago | (#38529756)

That's what I read the title as. I thought of Marvin and Data. Of the two, only Data is an android, and while Marvin might be many ages-of-the-universe old, Data's head is three hundred years older than his body.

Re:Best Android for Time Travel? (1)

dmacleod808 (729707) | more than 2 years ago | (#38529810)

Using that logic, Marvin wins... Because Data is Dead... Unless you think he will be reincarnated in B4

Re:Best Android for Time Travel? (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | more than 2 years ago | (#38530132)

Data's head is three hundred years older than his body.

Dude (there's no way you're a chick), that's one excellent obscure reference to an under-rated episode. However, isn't Data's head more like 450 years old?

From the cheapie model that I got my son (3, Insightful)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 2 years ago | (#38529762)

Based upon my Christmas mistake (he's 8, he doesn't care)- here's what I would look for:
1. Capacative screen. Resistive touch screens suck, and I forgot how much until I realized this el-cheap sub $90 tablet came with a resistive screen but no stylus.
2. On-board USB ports, not on a dongle. His contains a proprietary connector with USB / wired ethernet ports on it, and I'm afraid he'll lose it. He might have already and I don't know.
3. SDHC or microSDHC slot and plenty of on-board memory
4. Good built-in Wifi- his seems to disconnect at the drop of a hat.

Go with the same brand as your phone otherwise, that way you can be sure your favorite aps will work.

Why is it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38529768)

that old people claim they deserve special respect because their "life experience" has given them "wisdom" .. yet they would rather bother a stranger to ask a stupid question that they'd know the answer to if they simply read the plain-English sign right in front of them? I mean, I understand when you're old it's hard to do some things like run a mile or lift heavy objects ... but they are literate and the signs are large. Hell, the public schools have gotten worse since they attended so if anything they received a better basic education than any of us did. How am I supposed to take someone seriously who claims they have special wisdom when they can't even handle noticing and reading a fucking sign that's right in front of them?

Are they lonely and find it more satisfying to bother strangers and service personnel with trivial requests than to join churches, clubs, communities, etc? Do they just hate younger people and feel like leaving them to inherit a bankrupt nation isn't personal enough? Is that why they drive so slow and hold us up when we try to get to work on time so the very first portion of our paycheck can go to pay for the retirement they voted for themselves? Y'know, since those wise elders didn't have the prudence or sense of personal responsibility to save up for their own retirement after entering adulthood? Y'know, that thing the rest of us are forced to do since we have no hope of ever collecting from the Social Security system we're required to pay into?

So anyway, what the hell is wrong with old people today? It's not that they are old. Elders used to actually be wise and respectable and not so fucking helpless. No, it's this particular generation, the Baby Boomers. What happened to make them this way? Was it Korea and Vietnam? Was it realizing that the government they were taught to worship is full of lying cock-suckers? What makes the old people today so self-centered and oblivious?

Don't waste your time, get an iPad (-1, Troll)

jmcbain (1233044) | more than 2 years ago | (#38529770)

If you value your time, then you should get an iPad. There is absolutely no use in shelling out good money for an inferior Android product and then trying to get it to work correctly and efficiently. The iPad ecosystem also has a ton of productivity applications, games, and peripherals. If you like programming, then software development in iOS is fun and well supported by excellent iOS documentation and forums.

Re:Don't waste your time, get an iPad (1, Insightful)

dmacleod808 (729707) | more than 2 years ago | (#38529848)

I can get a case for the Ipad that will accomodate my standard apple bluetooth keyboard. iSSH does my console needs remotely. RDP does my remote into windows boxes VNC does my remote into everything else... Entertainment? Ipad is king. Web surfing? Didnt Safari recently top the list?

Re:Don't waste your time, get an iPad (1)

morgauxo (974071) | more than 2 years ago | (#38530246)

Safari sucks. You can't even upload a photo through a webform using Safari. Stick with Android, the browser is mostly the same as both are webkit but you get full form functionality and Flash. Yes, Mobile Flash sucks. Set it to only run when asked for. Then wherever Flash is on a site you get a Flash icon. Click it when and only when the Flash was important and then it runs. It's the best of both worlds.

Transformer (4, Informative)

The_Deacon (137827) | more than 2 years ago | (#38529782)

I have a friend who sounds almost identical in his needs ... he was traveling (3 months in Japan) and wanted something he could throw in his backpack and work from (web, ssh) if needed, without having to lug around a laptop. He got the ASUS Transformer with keyboard, and loves it -- he still uses it every day, and this is almost a year after buying it. Plus the doubled battery life the keyboard provides is really nice.

HTC Jetstream (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38529786)

If you want 3g/LTE, I'd recommend the HTC Jetstream on AT&T's LTE network. It was rooted today, thanks to HTC fulfilling its promises to unlock the bootloaders on all new phones.

Dual core snapdragon processor @1.5Ghz makes it pretty quick, and the battery life is excellent (particularly with LTE turned off when the screen is turned off).

get a hp touchpad (1)

mynicknamewasused (962741) | more than 2 years ago | (#38529788)

the touchpad is cheap, runs android, linux (poorly atm) and webos at the same time... soon to get CM9. good battery, screen and processor.

tablet schmablet (-1, Offtopic)

bazorg (911295) | more than 2 years ago | (#38529792)

Just get over the tablet fad and buy a MacBook Air or something similar. Saying "I want a tablet" as a starting point and then going on about how all the computer-y things that you want to do with the device just shows that you started off the wrong foot. Keep tissue at hand if you really feel compelled to poke the screen of all your gadgets.

Re:tablet schmablet (1)

morgauxo (974071) | more than 2 years ago | (#38530200)

Why a MacBook? It's bigger, more expensive and feeds Apple. There are plenty of netbooks available with touch screens. I've even seen ones where the touch screen flips around over the keyboard to make it tablet like. Or... you can roll your own, there are touchscreens available as addons for plain netbooks.

Transformer with keyboard (4, Informative)

flibuste (523578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38529802)

I own a Xoom and a Transformer. I love both.
The Xoom feels less plastic and more sturdy than the Transformer, and since the 3.2 update, the Xoom is just as great as the Transformer as used as a tablet-only. I actually prefer it to the Transformer. Now, the Transformer with the keyboard is just another piece of awesome for daily stuff.

So for your usage pattern I will definitely recommend the Transformer with the keyboard.

donno about the hardware but... (2)

TWX (665546) | more than 2 years ago | (#38529806)

I like, "Hackers Keyboard," for a decent SW keyboard. Works decent even on my Galaxy S II 4.5" screen...

Transformer and Tab (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38529816)

I love my Galaxy Tab. With a newer gen proc, though, the Prime is a good choice as well. If you really want the integrated keyboard the Prime looks even better, though the Tab will pair nicely with a bluetooth keyboard if you prefer. Unless you rally have the need, I would not look past those two.

An iPad 2 would be the best choice. (0, Troll)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 2 years ago | (#38529824)

I offer the following reasons:
1. It has a high resale value in case you want to upgrade to an iPad 3 later or actually want an Android tablet later.
2. iOS offers multiple remote connection options like Citrix Receiver, Join.me, Logmein Ignition, Webex, VNC app, RDP apps an X-windows client and various SSH clients on the app store.
3. iOS offers some of the best browser out there including the built-in Safari and third party ones like iCab which offer some extensions and file downloads.
4. The iPad 2 is one of the most usable tablets out there and it is used by mac and windows users. If you have linux then I assume that you also have a windows partition since linux also has few "commercial" apps available for it.

Re:An iPad 2 would be the best choice. (4, Insightful)

PerlJedi (2406408) | more than 2 years ago | (#38530040)

you have linux then I assume that you also have a windows partition since linux also has few "commercial" apps available for it.

You are incorrect in that assumption. I do not have any hardware in my possession running windows. The only thing that I cannot do with linux that I might want to is playing video games, and I have a cell phone, and a wii (and soon an android tablet) for playing games on.

Frankly I am disappointed that so many people recomend I get and iPad when the OP specified that I want an ANDROID tablet. Just because the iPad is popular, doesn't mean that it is right for everyone. I also have an iPhone that my company bought me, but I don't use it because I like my android phone much much better. I also have a Macbook pro that my company provided, but I am typing this from my personal laptop running Fedora 15 because I like it more than the Mac.

Bottom Line: Apple makes some good products, and I recomend them to everyone that is content using the product in exactly the way the manufacturer intended, and do not need to customize things. But for me, a hacker/maker/tinkerer, I will much rather use android because it gives me the freedom to do all of the things I want to do with my hardware.

Re:An iPad 2 would be the best choice. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38530098)

You Android zealots are just as douchy douchy douchebags as iOS zealots only CHEAPER.

Re:An iPad 2 would be the best choice. (0, Offtopic)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 2 years ago | (#38530304)

Frankly, I'm disappointed that you are a platform snob. You want a device because of the "platform" rather than what it does for you. As I pointed out, the iPad is a great device if you want to connect to anything be it a mac, windows pc or even linux machine running x-windows. You don't even need to use iTunes to manage it now with the release of iOS 5.0.

The first e-commerce platform I launched in my career was written in perl and ran off a linux server with apache back in 2000. I was a windows user from 1996-2002 at home but I wrote software for both windows and linux (perl) at work. Even after I switched to an eMac at home, I still wait for it.... wrote software on windows and linux at work. When my workplace decide to move to the .NET platform for our online products, I learned .NET. I am still a mac user at home but I also have a windows partition on my Intel mac for running games and other applications that have no mac counterpart. I never complain about using windows at work while I write software using .NET, Java and python because I am a professional.

Do you see me calling myself .NETSith, .NETJedi or JEDI.NET? No. If you lost your job at slashdot right now and you came looking for work at my employer, they would not hire you. First of all, PERL is a dying language and second of all, we don't tolerate platform or language zealots. I use the tools at work that I have at my disposal and we use the languages that are the best for the job. Sometimes we have to use Java or Python to integrate with off the shelf software.

If Apple had not released the iOS platform then I would probably not be using a tablet. Let's be honest for a second, if it was not for the iOS platform, Android would look like a Blackberry knock off runnning on phones with keyboards on the bottom and tablets would still be a microscopic niche market dominated by windows. There would be no Android tablets or even WebOS tablets. WebOS would not exist if Apple had not forked KHTML to create webkit.

Re:An iPad 2 would be the best choice. (2)

morgauxo (974071) | more than 2 years ago | (#38530164)

I have an iPad2 and am not at all impressed with the browser. I had to pay for iCab just to be able to upload image files in a simple web form! And if I ever want to upload non-image files... Guess I have to use my Android phone instead.

Stick with Android if you want a good browser. Install Flash. Go into the browser settings and set Flash to only run when asked for. Now wherever a page has embedded Flash you just get a little Flash icon. If the Flash is an important part of the content just click it. Otherwise it doesn't run and doesn't slow down your device. Steve Jobs was right about Flash on mobile devices. It does suck. But sometimes you still just need it. This way you get the best of both worlds.

Android definitely has SSH and VNC apps. I don't know about X. I'm not sure about some of those others. If not those specifically then Android does have other services like them but I doubt he wants them. Those services are good for when you don't control your network (can't forward ports) or when you just aren't technically inclined enough to do so. (And how many people want to access their PCs remotely that aren't technically inclined?). Compared to using SSH/VNC/RDP they are slow because your connection is going through their server instead of direct. If you can forward a port then why pay somebody a monthly fee for a slower less direct connection when you can just uses ssh/vnc/rdp yourself?

Oh, btw... Yes, I have Windows at work (and that is where the iPad is from). But.. my home computer has Linux with no Windows partition. I can't remember the last time I needed a commercial app for anything. It's not that I would be opposed to paying a reasonable price for one but there just aren't any I need. The only ones I have had in several years have been games and they run just fine in Wine. For everything else free and mostly open source software has filled every need and done so well.

Re:An iPad 2 would be the best choice. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38530178)

Resale value of what? CY next year..

Wait wait wait (4, Insightful)

Jethro (14165) | more than 2 years ago | (#38529828)

With all the, uh, street-cred up there, you mean to tell us you don't ALREADY have a Kindle Fire rooted and running the pre-alpha Ice Cream Sandwich????

I'd suggest that purely for size, a 7" tablet might be better for travelling. The Transformer is apparently a hell of a tablet though.

Now I'll share my personal experience from a 2-week trip to Ireland a few years ago. Sure tablets didn't exist way back in 2006 but here's my advice anyway.

SCREW THE TABLET. Get a REALLY NICE camera.

I did take my laptop (at the time a 12" Powerbook G4). It was used at night to download the hundreds of photos off the camera so I have space for photos the next day, and to do minor trip blogging. I did not find the time, opportunity, need or DESIRE to touch a computer during the day.

Re:Wait wait wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38530232)

Its not the camera that makes better pics, but the photographer. Yea, I agree, screw the tablet. Get a decent camera. Anything above 8MP should be good.
And spend time photographing everything you see from every angle you can conceive. Women included. ;)

+1 Galaxy Tab 10.1 (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38529846)

I have a Sony S, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, Toshiba Thrive, and an older Asus Transformer (not the Prime, which I have on order).

For my own international travel, I have settled on the Galaxy Tab. Good battery life (though not as good as my wife's iPad), and reliable WiFi (on trains, in airports, and in public spaces in Scandinavia). For the times when I need a keyboard, I pack the Zagg bluetooth keyboard and a bluetooth mouse... surprisingly nice combination. Have not rooted the Tab as of yet. Solid build quality (the best of the lot).

The Sony seems to regularly drop the WiFi connection... not travelling with it because of that.

I find the Thrive display sub par when compared to either the Samsung or Sony. The extra bulk argues against it for travel in IMO.

No comment on the Transformer. Not using it.

What about non-Android tablets? (3, Interesting)

Bromskloss (750445) | more than 2 years ago | (#38529854)

What tablets are to recommend for running some more ordinary operating system, like Debian or Ubuntu?

Xoom (3, Informative)

Virtucon (127420) | more than 2 years ago | (#38529876)

I have a Xoom that I travel with constantly and I can put multiple movies on the removable SD card quite easily. I've also purchased Asus Transformers for the kids and we've taken all of them on long trips internationally without any problems.

The only negative I have on all of the tablets is the lack of a standard charge interface, like a micro USB for example. The ASUS has one standard, the Motorola has a 12V plug that's different etc. It's just like cell phones. SO if you're expecting to travel light just plan on bringing another charger along as well.

Re:Xoom (1)

Dave77459 (822403) | more than 2 years ago | (#38530208)

I bought the first Transformer (TF101) with the keyboard when I did a long term field assignment. I use the keyboard to charge my phone since it has a USB port. It'll power my phone for days. Plus, the TF brick can be used to charge the phone as well, so you can cut back on the plugs, in a way. Still, your point is a good one.

Regarding SD cards, the TF has an uSD slot, where I put all my work manuals (saving me dozens of pounds of paper and suitcase space), but I got the keyboard mostly to get the full sized SD card slot for photo viewing. The extra battery and touch/feel keyboard was an afterthought back then, but I love them now. Dave

Thinkpad Tablet (1)

slaker (53818) | more than 2 years ago | (#38529880)

I've had the good fortune to review a number of tablets in the last few weeks. Personally, I like the 7" form factor and prefer Samsung's Galaxy line over others I've tried, but given the requirements I think I'd probably take a long, hard look at a Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet. They're the only tablets I've seen with a USB root hub and their screens, while not quite as good as Samsung's, is better than the the Motorola, Acer, Toshiba and Asus 10" tablets I've tried. The Tegra CPU isn't top of the line but in my experience that's rarely a limiting factor for top-tier Android tablets. I also found myself really appreciating the pen input.

For the most part, the experience of one tablet vs. another is very similar, but there is quite a lot of variability in screen quality and there's actually a some differences in weight and thickness that might or might not be relevant. As with all Thinkpad-branded products, I also found the build quality to be impressively high

We did this (2)

lonechicken (1046406) | more than 2 years ago | (#38529882)

This past summer, we bought a Galaxy Tab 10.1 specifically for the purpose of communicating across the Atlantic from Ireland/England. The wife took it, it was nice, light, and reliable, and she was able to GTalk with the kids and me (Skype video wasn't available at the time) . The only issue (not tablet specific) was finding wifi spots in certain semi-rural areas of Ireland.

Transformer (2)

MikeyC01 (231948) | more than 2 years ago | (#38529904)

I have the first gen Transformer and I like it ALOT. The screen is fantastic and the ability to slap a real keyboard (and multi-hour extra battery) on it is just icing on the cake. I upgraded from a 7" Galaxy Tab and while I miss the built-in cellular access at times, that's nothing that can't be overcome by the hotspot in my Galaxy S II ;)

Ask /. and buy as I did (2)

Reemi (142518) | more than 2 years ago | (#38529928)

Why asking here? All info you need is on the web, why get confused by advice of users that probably at most have really used 2 tablets.
Bought a Sony myself, based on the info on the web and after holding it in my hands. I am happy with the form factor. Dont care about the otner specs as I bought the device for what it can, not for what it might do in the future (Hope for an ICS upgrade, but wont complain ifit doesnt happen. Didnt pay for it)

Enjoy your trip, try to enjoy it without any digital toys. They are overrated.

Trust me - Don't get an iPad (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38529932)

I have an iPad 1. While it is a solidly built device, I haven't found much real use for it.

Google maps works very well. The iPad is integrated with iTunes well. Battery life is nice.

However....

Typing is awkward on the touch screen. Many websites still do not display properly as a result of Apple's "No Flash" policy (yet work fine on my Droid). You have to pay for any decent apps. A lot of the free apps are garbage. While the iPad has multitasking, it doesn't work very well. When you scroll through webpages it has to refresh the entire page, which makes for very slow browsing. Sending files back and forth to the device requires that you plug it in. Any files you copy to the iPad have to go through iTunes.

While many of these issues were addressed in the iPad 2, I would not recommend.

Good tablet for annotating pdf? (1)

mrvan (973822) | more than 2 years ago | (#38529940)

Related question: I would like to use a tablet for grading and correcting assignments and reading and annotating papers (all pdf). I would need it to sync to a storage for pdf files, preferably with a means of adding metadata (tags, bibliography, etc) with a good frontend on the PC as well.

Are there any good apps/applications for that now? Because then I might consider getting a tablet. Is it worth trying to get an e-ink device? Are there any e-ink devices running a sensible OS?

eePC (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | more than 2 years ago | (#38529956)

Short answer: Eee PC. it is fully functional computer, it is a laptop, and it has very "long" battery life, say 5h with normal use.

Why a tablet? (2)

morgauxo (974071) | more than 2 years ago | (#38529980)

If you want a keyboard and you want to root it then is a tablet really the best device to serve your needs? Why not just get a netbook? I suppose you can still install Android x86 if you really want to.

Re:Why a tablet? (1)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#38530258)

If you want a keyboard and you want to root it then is a tablet really the best device to serve your needs? Why not just get a netbook? I suppose you can still install Android x86 if you really want to.

I was wondering the same thing - once you add a keyboard, the size/weight advantage of a tablet is reduced while you lose the flexibility of a full operating system on a Netbook.

It's the same question I ask people at work when they tell me how great and productive they are with their iPad (along with case + keyboard that essentially turns it into a netbook). Then they complain when I send them Excel spreadsheets that they can't open on their iPad because the formulas don't work. Why not just use a netbook if you're going to keep the iPad in a case with built-in keyboard?

Low cost Option LePan TC970 (1)

Pontiac (135778) | more than 2 years ago | (#38529992)

We got sick of the kids fighting over the iPad so we looked for a cheap alternative we could let the kids abuse.

We picked up the TC970 for $199 from New Egg.. So far it's been a good little tablet..
It runs Andoid 2.2, 32 gig micro SD card slot, Wifi works well but does not support 5ghz N. (the ipad doesn't either ) 8 hour battery life, decent 9.7" touch screen but the iPad is better.. Downside, it's not upgradable to 2.3 or 2.4. Had some initial lockup issues but it was corrected with a firmware upgrade.

For what the kids do (netflix, angry birds, kids apps, kindle reader) it's great..

Re:Low cost Option LePan TC970 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38530102)

Both the iPad and iPad 2 support 5ghz N. At least the ones I've owned do.

Re:Low cost Option LePan TC970 (1)

Pontiac (135778) | more than 2 years ago | (#38530328)

Good to know then.. I assumed so because I can't see my 5ghz network with the iPad.. Might be a signal strength issue I need to look into.

Transoformer (2)

snakernetb (732340) | more than 2 years ago | (#38530014)

I have an 32G Transformer+Keyboard and love it. The battery life is great and I love the fact that I can convert it when i don't need a keyboard. But if the battery gets low just snap it into the keyboard base. I hardly use my big laptop anymore. It really is the best of both worlds. When I am on the road I just fire up my wifi hotspot on my Droid3 and I am ready to go in seconds.

Re:Transformer (1)

snakernetb (732340) | more than 2 years ago | (#38530080)

Didn't realize I had a typo in the title, uggggh! Also wanted to qualify my response with the fact that I have the 1st Gen Transformer w/ keyboard and LOVE it!

A have several tablets (I develop for them) so -- (2)

gaspyy (514539) | more than 2 years ago | (#38530018)

I develop software for tablets (iPad, Playbook, Android) so I have quite a few. I tested them myself and I can compare them first hand.

The best Android tablets right now are Asus Transformer and Samsung Galaxy Tab. I would say that the Tabs have better build quality than Transformers, personally I like TouchWiz and I the Tab 8.9 tablet is just right - small and light enough to be easy to carry yet more comfortable than a 7".

Random troll (3, Insightful)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 2 years ago | (#38530044)

This will get modded Troll, but seriously? If you're planning extended travel, why on Earth would you think about buying a gadget to play with before you go? Get a grip!

I'm being serious, and I speak from experience. Now me, I like books. I always figure that when I have a lot of travel time ahead of me, I should sock a bunch of reading matter into my bag for those long stretches, so I don't run out. And you know what? Almost always, that stuff ends up sitting in my bag unread.

Do you know why you travel? To travel. To experience new things, new people, new places. Not to fuck around with a gadget, or spend your time sitting in a chair by yourself, reading a book.

Count your trip as a blessing, expect it to be one of the experiences of your life that you will always look back on fondly, and please, for the love of God, put the fucking phone DOWN.

Re:Random troll (1, Insightful)

Dystopian Rebel (714995) | more than 2 years ago | (#38530190)

Hey hippy, get your tent off of my lawn!

I happen to own a Samsung Galaxy Note tablet-phone, and I think it's perfect kit for travel. But I do agree with PCM2. Even if you happen to enjoy coding very much, coding isn't as much fun as living. And life is short.

$88 tablet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38530128)

I got one of the cheap tablets for a parent, and an aunt, a Kyros MID7012. It was $88. I'm quite sure you will not be able to get a good deal on data, and cellular data pricing will therefore be absurd. This tablet has wifi, 7" screen, and Android 2.3. I had to add the Market but once I did it works fine. It's *CHEAP*, so if you lose it or it gets stolen you won't be kicking yourself in the nuts over it. However, it has a resistive touch screen (fingernail or stylus to use it, and no multitouch...) and is a bit sluggish.

          There are nicer models for like $150, with faster CPU and capacitive multitouch screen. Still way less than the $500-800 for the models you are suggestions.

          Out of the ones you list... 1) NOT SONY. They are infamous for having little bugs in various products, which they will refuse to fix even if it just took a software patch. They seem to revel in making things gratuitously propreitary too. 2) I'd go for either the Asus or the Galaxy Tab. Something particularly interesting about the Samsungs if you do stick with stock firmawre, is I've recently read about how a few models that they've decided don't have enough flash to run ICS (Ice Cream Sandwhich, Android 4.0), they intend to backport some ICS improvements (the faster browser and interface improvements mainly) so owners of these older models can get some benefits of ICS. I think that is pretty cool compared to just saying "screw it, no upgrades for you."

Why Android? (1)

kwark (512736) | more than 2 years ago | (#38530158)

While I love my android telephone, I just don't get the pad hype. If you want to actually do something, bring a decent small laptop or netbook and an extra battery. Those should last more than 10 hours.

Transformer Prime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38530162)

I just got a Transformer Prime a couple of weeks ago. While its a very good tablet, the android marketplace is rather lacking on tablet apps (Most phone apps do work, but the stretching doesn't always treat apps nicely). However, between the pre-installed apps and the marketplace, I was able to find apps for everything I needed.

Notion Ink Adam Tablet (1)

Dreben (220413) | more than 2 years ago | (#38530180)

What ever became of this tablet? It was so hyped this time last year and would still seem to be the most feature-rich of all the tablets with its transflective display, 185 degree swivel camera, full HDMI, etc.

Forget the Transformer Prime. (2)

jafo (11982) | more than 2 years ago | (#38530188)

The most obvious issue is the lack of availability, but even if you have time to wait there is a serious problem that is likely to sour your interest in the Transformer Prime: Locked boot-loader. Until someone breaks it or the key gets leaked, it's uncertain whether you would be able to install your own OS on it. It looks like a great tablet/netbook, and I was real hot to buy one, with the idea of possibly being able to install a full Linux on it and use it as more of a lightweight netbook with 18 hours of battery.

XOOM is rather nice (1)

bfandreas (603438) | more than 2 years ago | (#38530236)

I have a XOOM and no experience whatsoever with other tablets.
The XOOM was one of the first of its generation of Android devices. In the meantime they got slimmer and the next generation is just around the bend. I don't know about a 4.0 update and I haven't read up on 4.0 so I can't even say if it could handle it. But what it does it does quite well. Build quality is superb, it's responsive and it handles web browsing and most video viewing quite well.
My only criticism is the type and placement of connections. You can't recharge it and have it in an upright and landscape position due to the placement of the recharging/mini-usb socket.
Battery lasts for quite some time when doing heavy duty web browsing. Depending on what you do you can expect it to be up and running for at least 6-8 hours under seriously heavy use. Recharge time is fairly short. And it recharges when plugged in even if you use it heavily. You'd be surprised how this is not a given for cheaper and not so cheap tablets.
Mini SD slot is just beneath the SIM Card slot, so this makes changing it fairly awkward. I never change it, so it's not a big deal to me.
It's got the whole set of features. AGPS, 3G(if you opt to buy that version), WLAN, SD Card slot(wasn't activated from the beginning but is by now), two functional cameras, functional stereo sound(I use Sennheiser Bluetooth headphones and it sounds great with those) and really, really good build quality. This is the template for the whole Android 3.2 generation. So by now it's not spectacular but very solid.
At first I used it for YouTube(which it does very well), web browsing, games and listening to music for half a year because I was without a desktop computer. It NEARLY substitutes one. Now I use it professionally as a messenger device and for taking notes during meetings with a nice mind-mapping app.
You will need to get a man-bag for it and you will need to buy a protective casing. The one Motorola sells for it is rather idiotic since it covers the USB connection. I had to drill a hole into that one so I could recharge it with the protective lid closed. I did this after I found my cat playing Angry Birds while recharging during the night. If you have glasses then you already own microfiber cloth for cleaning it. Which you will do very often. Don't assume you can apply protective foil yourself because that's a clean-rom job. I don't have one on my device. But you might want to consider having one applied to it. I know a company in Germany who offers this as a service for 50€. And they are an affiliate of 3M and get rave reviews. It's not strictly necessary. So factor in buying accessories for it.
I don't regret buying it for 400€.
Motorola has announced the XOOM2 so if you find it on the cheap(200€) it is not a bad buy.
Don't buy it at full price(last time I looked it was at 500€) because that should get you a device of the next generation.

Re:XOOM is rather nice (1)

bfandreas (603438) | more than 2 years ago | (#38530342)

Whatever you do, don't ever, under no circumstances buy a tablet without SD Card expansion slot. 32GB or even 16GB fill up fairly fast if you transfer video or music onto it. Also avoid vendor specific connectors. USB should be there. HDMI if this is a priority for you. Vendor specific connectors are too much of a headache in the long run.
Also assume you will use it for 2 years. If tablets are here to stay that would be about the upgrade cycle.

buy an (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38530272)

iPad.

*done*

another consideration: can you lose it? (1)

jbeaupre (752124) | more than 2 years ago | (#38530372)

How much are you willing to lose? Traveling frequently, things get lost, stolen, or broken. Sometimes all 3.

Example: I had a Kindle 3 (with keyboard and ad supported). It kept me entertained, could browse the web, send and receive emails. I loved not having to recharge except every week or so (with heavy use). I traveled all over of China with it, leaving my work laptop at the home office.

Was it as good as anything you listed? Hell no! But when I lost it (got left on a plane, my own stupid fault), I was only out $114. Soon after, I bought a Kindle Touch for $79. Fills the same niche. And when I lose it (I'm assuming I'll do something stupid again), I'll move on.

As an aside, the Touch is better when browsing the web than the keyboard version, but sucks as a reader. With narrow borders, you end up accidentally turning pages or chapters all the time. Side mounted buttons end up being far superior to touching the display.

Good Android, Bad Android (0)

Teckla (630646) | more than 2 years ago | (#38530380)

The fact that people -- even technology geeks -- have to work so hard to research an Android device (whether smartphone or tablet) that is decent is why I keep recommending Apple to friends and relatives.

Google really needs to put their foot down and demand a reasonable set of minimum requirements to ensure people don't end up having a crappy Android experience (which is currently all too likely).

Thrive/AT100 experiences (1)

aussie.virologist (1429001) | more than 2 years ago | (#38530384)

I bought a Thrive (or AT100 as it is referred to here in Australia). I moved away from ASUS for the first time in a decade to go with the Toshiba product (lured by the HDMI and SD slot). Initially the decision was an epic fail due to the "sleep of death" and random reboot issues. Toshiba's poorly coordinated customer service relating to this problem was probably the worst part of all. I got everything from complete denial of the problem to acknowledgment of the issue and a fix is in progress depending on which customer support person you spoke to at the time. I had the unit replaced but the replacement had the same problems. Eventually they released a patch and upgrade to android 3.1 and then very quickly to 3.2. Since then I haven't had any issues. The unit is bulkier and feels cheap and plasticky but it is quite durable. It has been dropped many times, flung across the room and thrown down the hallway by my two year old and barely has a mark on it. If the rear casing cracks I can buy cheap replacements in different colours and the replacment battery is really handy for long trips. Having said all that, I wish I had bought the ASUS transformer. The keyboard/extended battery is worth sacrificing the full size ports IMHO. On a side note: I just wish I could get the equivalent of an ASUS Transformer that runs Linux, or can be made to run linux. The only option that I can see at the moment is to buy an ultrabook and load Linux on it, but then I wouldn't be able to detach the screen. Plus it would be at least twice the price.
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