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Old 02-08-2013, 01:23 PM
 
28 posts, read 70,634 times
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Hey everyone! I will be a college freshmen in the fall and I am starting to look at tablets for school. I will be an education major if that makes anything different.

I will not have a laptop.

Some of the tablets that I have been looking at are

Dell Latitude 10
Dell Elite
Asus Tablets- there are SO many I don't even know how to start comparing, if you guys have any recommendations please do share.
Samsung 128 GB Slate Tablet


I am at a complete loss, in my house we just kind of go with the flow, and buy what "seems" nice (I know HORRIBLE strategy!) but this is going to be partially my investment and I would like to get something worth the money.

Thank you again for all of the help! Also, if you think these all suck just let me know what YOU would recommend and why

Thanks so much!
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Old 02-08-2013, 05:16 PM
 
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I like 'em all, and for a variety of reasons (there's a iPad & Galaxy on my desk right now. Sorry, not much help...).
I do strongly urge you to thoughly research the laptop issue, for a number of reasons (search here on CDF for several threads on this very topic).
Good Luck!
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Old 02-08-2013, 09:19 PM
 
Location: Silver Spring, MD/Washington DC
3,459 posts, read 8,239,545 times
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If you will not have a laptop (or presumably a desktop computer either), I strongly, STRONGLY recommend getting a tablet that can turn into a netbook, i.e. it has an attachable keyboard. My recommendations:

1) Windows 8 tablet - these tablets will have the full version of Windows 8 installed, meaning you can install legacy Windows applications (including Microsoft Office) in addition to a Windows 8 apps from the Windows Store. Most Windows 8 tablets have attachable keyboards of some sort. The Microsoft Surface Pro is probably the most notable of these tablets, but various manufacturers have released or will release Windows 8 tablets.

2) Windows RT tablets - these tablets have a scaled-down version of Windows 8 that runs on ARM processors (the processors typically found in smartphones). You won't be able to install legacy Windows applications but will be able to install apps from the Windows Store. A scaled down version of Microsoft Office is available for free on Windows RT tablets. Generally-speaking, battery life is better on Windows RT tablets than Windows 8 tablets, except for Windows 8 tablets with less powerful but more battery-friendly Intel Atom processors.

3) Asus Transformer Pad Infinity 700 or Transformer Pad 300 (Android OS) - these Android tablets were the first tablets post-iPad to have attachable/detachable keyboards. The keyboard dock has its own battery and adds battery life to the tablet. Some inferior but usable Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint-like software in the form of Polaris Office is pre-installed on those tablets.

Two other alternatives for you would be to either 1) buy a touchscreen Windows 8 laptop or 2) buy a Chromebook. A small Windows 8 laptop, such as the Asus VivoBook X202E (an 11.6" laptop), would still have a tablet-like touchscreen but wouldn't add much weight (the aforementioned VivoBook weighs 2.9 pounds). Like the Windows 8 tablets mentioned above, it would support legacy Windows 8 apps, including the full version of Microsoft Office. It would also be a lot lighter on your (or your parents') wallet that a tablet with a keyboard dock (the VivoBook X202E costs $500-550 at most retailers and the similar but slightly lower end VivoBook Q200E costs $450 at Best Buy). On the flip side, the screen quality wouldn't be as good as a tablet and the battery life would be considerably poorer than on Windows RT and the Asus Transformer tablets. With a Chromebook, you'd need to feel comfortable with working primarily in the cloud and with the Chrome browser; an internet connection is essentially needed for a Chromebook to be truly usable. The Microsoft Office-like apps (or more specifically Microsoft Word-like app) on the Chromebook, Google Docs, syncs on-line and to my knowledge is inferior to MS Word, but it is serviceable. On the positive side, all Chromebooks have a laptop form factor (i.e. include a physical keyboard) and some Chromebooks (specifically the Samsung Chromebook XE303) are very light (2.4 pounds) and have decent battery life, not as good as ARM-powered tablets but better than the Windows 8 tablets and touchscreen laptop I mentioned above. Chromebooks would cost less than any other device mentioned; Samsung's current mass-market chromebook costs $250, and Acer has an (IMO, inferior) chromebook selling for $200. Both of those Chromebooks have 11.6" screens. Chromebooks also boot extremely fast, faster than any Windows 8 or ARM-powered tablet device.

Last edited by CHIP72; 02-08-2013 at 09:27 PM..
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:48 PM
 
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
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Chip writes a very good post. I agree with much of it.
Except: no way would I suggest a Win8 tablet first. Especially the "Surface Pro". For Surface Pro money you could spend half that and get a very nice Win8 ultra book.
I would suggest the Asus 300 that he mentioned and that I am typing this on. You can get the tab and keyboard for less then 400 to 450 at most.
8 to 14 hour battery life and with the King Soft Office suite of programs, which is free, it would serve you very well.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:22 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
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I also agree with Chip and also have one extra suggestion.

You will REALLY need a keyboard. Choose a tablet that can connect via USB or Bluetooth to one. And know that external keyboards can be quite expensive - so be careful with your overall budget.
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:02 PM
 
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
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That's a strength of the Asus line.
The Keyboard docks to the tablet. The keyboard has an extra battery in it, doubling the battery life of the tablet. It has USB ports and even an extra memory slot (giving the tablet 2 card slots when docked).
Much better then a BT keyboard which needs charged separatly.
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Old 02-11-2013, 04:03 PM
 
28 posts, read 70,634 times
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Wow, thank you all so much! Very helpful.

For a while I was looking at the Asus Transformer Infinity (I think that's it) because of the actual keyboard making it like a laptop- that was what drew me to the Dell Latitude 10- Although a little bulkier than the average tablet, it has a removeable battery and USB plug plus the dock added a bunch of hours. I was looking for something of that sort. Again thanks for all of the suggestions! They are SUPER helpful & I will be looking into all of them.

Oh and I didn't know bt keyboards had to be charged, in theory it makes sense I guess I just never thought about it.


Also, how far in advanced would you suggest getting my tablet. Like August (Move in day is labor day weekend) or sooner like July?
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:37 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MinniieJ View Post
<snip>Oh and I didn't know bt keyboards had to be charged, in theory it makes sense I guess I just never thought about it.

Also, how far in advanced would you suggest getting my tablet. Like August (Move in day is labor day weekend) or sooner like July?
Anything with Bluetooth uses a fair amount of power, since it's a radio transceiver. Not as much as a cell phone, but a lot more than a wrist watch.

When to get it is a tough question. I'd say start looking now so you get a feel for pricing, and availability of sales and refurbished units. But I'd say get one at least 2-3 weeks before school starts so you can install all the software you want and spend time getting use to it. You don't want to be fumbling with it during class or short lunch breaks. It also gives you a chance to see what accessories you'll need. Like a car adapter to let you charge it up while in class? Or a protective leather cover, a courier's satchel, etc.
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Old 02-12-2013, 12:02 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
52 posts, read 66,044 times
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The Asus Transformer Infinity is nice as are the two Nexus tablets out. The Transformer has an optional keyboard dock that doubles the battery life on it.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I747
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Old 05-19-2013, 05:49 PM
 
Location: Silver Spring, MD/Washington DC
3,459 posts, read 8,239,545 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MinniieJ View Post
Wow, thank you all so much! Very helpful.

Also, how far in advanced would you suggest getting my tablet. Like August (Move in day is labor day weekend) or sooner like July?
My pleasure that I could provide some assistance.

If you haven't already bought a tablet or other device yet, I would wait as long as you could before making a purchase, for two reasons:

1) Technology, especially in the emerging tablet computer arena, changes rapidly, and a newer, higher end product may be released in a couple months that better fits your needs than what is currently available.

2) It is quite possible that some tablet manufacturers or retailers may have back to school sales on tablets in August. Additionally, older products are more likely to be discounted the longer they've been on the market.

One other important note - I have an Asus Transformer Pad 300 with keyboard dock, and it has had major battery issues since I installed Android 4.2 on it back in early March. Its excellent battery life has been greatly, greatly reduced (though it will still last for an entire day of use) since the Android 4.2 update, and right now I wouldn't recommend buying that particular tablet until the battery drain issue is resolved (or make sure that it only has Android 4.1 installed on it). My understanding is the battery drain issue is keyboard-related (not specifically to my keyboard, but rather to a software issue that impacts Transformer Pad 300 keyboards when they are docked to the tablet).

P.S. If you feel comfortable with working with Google cloud software and you don't have to worry about printing from your device (i.e. you can save files on a flash drive and print your files from one of the school's computers), I'd give serious consideration to buying a chromebook. I've owned the Samsung Chromebook Series 3 (i.e. the $249 chromebook) since late January, and the more I use it, the more I like it. (As a point of disclosure, I also own the Asus VivoBook X202E and the Asus Transformer Pad 300 I mentioned in my original post above. I personally also like the VivoBook X202E but am lukewarm towards the Transformer Pad 300, partly because of the battery issue I mentioned but also partly because Android OS products always seem to have some sort of annoying issue with them, based on the 3 Android devices I've owned.)
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