Note: I started this post a couple of months ago and I’ve been adding to it as we’ve gone through the buying process.
After the HP TouchPad had a massive price drop a few months ago there have been more and more affordable tablets coming out. Many of these are running the Android operating system. While we missed out on that deal, it seemed to a big blessing for many people as companies saw that there was a market for value priced tablets. The market just seemed to have exploded for tablets.
My husband and I decided that our anniversary gifts to each other would tablets. While they are definitely not a necessity, it would make work a bit easier as I can get online and take care of some assignments while watching the baby during the day.
Buying a Tablet
My husband gave me an Archos 80 G9 Turbo tablet for my anniversary gift. So far I’m loving it and it’s been a very helpful tool. For his gift….I got him the same. This happens often – when we find the best tech for us, we get two of them like when we got the same smartphones.
During our hunt for the right tablet for each other, I found some great contenders. I thought it would helpful to highlight some good ones we’ve found and why picked out the one we did. In addition to highlight the features and specs, I’ll also include some thoughts on these tablets.
Android Tablets Available
I do want to point out that it seems like the tablet market exploded in the last few months. We dug around to find tablets that suit us.
We started by defining what we were looking for:
Storage Space: I would like a tablet to have some decent space to begin with as well as an option to upgrade later if I need to. For my iPod I have to rearrange my apps and videos every so often as I have too much to keep all of it on there.
Android Market: Access to the complete Android Market is big for us.
In short we want a tablet that won’t be horribly outdated as soon as we buy it. I understand that the nature of technology is constant change, but I don’t want to put money down and have buyer’s remorse the next day(please give me at least a month).
Not on either of our must have lists, but definitely a bonus would be a camera. Not so much for taking pictures, but for video chatting with friends and family that aren’t in the area.
My main plan for the tablet is to have an option to get some work down while I’m away from my desk. Some common situations are when I’m at appointments or getting the baby to sleep (she needs to snuggle sometimes before I transfer her to her crib or craddle). It’s a bit of a time saver as I get to
I also love reading, but carrying several books for trips or errands around town doesn’t really work for me. Having reading material available is something that will help me relax. I will also admit that intend to play some games and videos on the tablet.
The Kindle Fire has had the biggest exposure and for good reasons. It’s backed by Amazon and the price is a very reasonable $199.
Kindle Fire Specs
Display: 7″ multi-touch display with IPS (in-plane switching) technology and anti-reflective treatment, 1024 x 600 pixel resolution at 169 ppi
Size/Weight: 7.5″ x 4.7″ x 0.45″/14.6 ounces
Device Storage: 8GB internal (approximately 6GB available for user content); Amazon also free cloud storage for all Amazon content
Battery Life: Up to 8 hours of continuous reading or 7.5 hours of video playback, with wireless off
What I don’t like about the tablet is that it doesn’t have a way to upgrade storage for non-Amazon content.
Kindle Fire is Perfect F0r….
Those looking for an easy to use solution with integration between apps and content. Amazon has created a bit of its own ecosystem like Apple. Its also the cheapest tablet I found that offered the most for users. Tablets cheaper than the Kindle Fire seemed as if they were lacking. If you’re on a budget and aren’t planning on using it for more than personal enjoyment, the Kindle Fire is a good deal.
Barnes and Noble have their own tablet and it’s quite good for the price point.
This is the tablet that I’d recommend for my mom. She already has the Nook Color and loves it.
Nook Tablet Specs
Display: 7-inch VividView™ Color Touchscreen, 1024 X 600, 169 pixels per inch
Size/Weight: 8″ x 5″ x 0.48″/14.1 ounces
Device Storage: 16 GB built-in memory (13 GB for content; 12 GB reserved for B&N content); Add up to 32GB with microSD™7 memory card
Battery Life: Up to 11.5 hours of reading or 9 hours of video without recharging
My mom. Seriously; I got this as a gift for her:) I think for most people the Nook has a lot to offer. There’s more on board storage with an option to upgrade. I want to say however that most of the 16GB on the tablet are reserved for your Barnes and Noble purchases, though I heard you can get a bit more space from some Nook in stores.
I’ve recommended this to others and so far they’ve been extremely happy with their tablets. You don’t have to be tech saavy to appreciate the tablet, but it does give you some more options than the Kindle Fire at this point for a bit more.
Archos 80 G9 Turbo
Whew- that’s a mouthful! Archos needs t work on coming up with better names for its tablets. This is the model we ultimately purchased. My husband was scouting out contenders and mentioned this one at the top of his list. It has the complete Android market on it, it had a faster processor, and it had a 720p front facing camera.
I also appreciate the 8in screen size. I have no plans on giving presentations with my tablet so the 10 in model Archos has wasn’t for me. The 8in allows me to get some of my research and writing done with one hand – something very useful working from home with the baby.
Display:8-inch 1024 x 768
Size/Weight:226 mm x 155 mm x 11.7 mm (8.90 x 6.11 x 0.46 inch) – 465g (17 oz)