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marielle8

Looking for suggestions on buying a tablet

marielle
2 years ago

I will be buying my first tablet. I live in Canada. Looking mainly to have one to watch videos, movies and read (downloading books). Any suggestions?

Thank you!

Comments (30)

  • marielle
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    In Canada, our library network only recognizes KOBO ereader and this is the one I have. I had checked the Samsung Android. I do not have a smart phone so will definitely check the iPAD. Thanks!

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  • Elmer J Fudd
    2 years ago

    You're right, I just looked. There's some kind of granted monopoly, unfair trade practice going on. Apparently Canadian libraries don't offer ebook loans in Kindle (Amazon-sourced) versions. Maybe call your local library and ask what devices can be used with their ebooks.


    For book reading, subtract what I said about Kindle and insert (at a minimum) Kobo, if you want to source e-books from a library. Kindle books can be purchased from Amazon Canada, they're typically in the equivalent of the US $10-15 range here and there. For other uses, what I said is fine as is.

    marielle thanked Elmer J Fudd
  • wdccruise
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    You might want to consider the Amazon Fire HD 8 (CA$110) if you'd be satisfied with an 8" screen. It doesn't support the Google Play store but that apparently can be added (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YejBlzFytE). You'll probably be happier reading on your ereader; I find the reflective screen on tablets to be distracting when trying to read.

    marielle thanked wdccruise
  • acraftylady
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Love my 10 inch Samsung Galaxy tab S6 with 256gb of storage. Enough space for all my games and movies I download. Very fast and smooth and never any issues. Got this one 2yrs ago to replace an older Samsung that worked great but didn't have as much storage. There is a newer version now that is basically the same. I am an android person and don't care for Apple. I have an older e-ink kindle but prefer the kindle app on my tablet now so I don't have to carry 2 devices when traveling. I had an Amazon fire tablet once but I had issues where the charging port kept dying and amazon had to send me another one each time. I also found that apps weren't constantly updated for the kindle like they are in the google store. Enjoy what ever you choose. Also if you mess with adding the google play store to a fire tablet and brick the tablet you void your warranty. It's best to stick to android if you want the play store. Fire tablets were not meant to be googke devices as amazon has their own app store. Mary

    marielle thanked acraftylady
  • Elmer J Fudd
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    marielle, I think I came up with a possible explanation for the Kobo-only compatibility in Canada of so many ebooks supplied by Overdrive, the company with an overwhelming market share whose services are used by most public libraries. It matters not a whit and I may be wrong, but here's what may be:

    Overdrive was a privately owned US company founded in the late 1980s. In 2014, it was purchased by Rakuten, a Japanese conglomerate. From its website, it appears that Rakuten also owns Kobo. So as a way to funnel business to another of its investments, it appears that Rakuten's Canadian library Overdrive contracts were written to require the use of Kobo hardware. It's legal but it seals up and limits options for users.

    As an afterward, some years later Rakuten sold Overdrive to an American private equity firm, and that is the current owner.

    With the tie to Rakuten broken, it would be in the interest of the owner of Overdrive to set up future content supply contracts to libraries on a less restrictive basis.

    All of this changes nothing for now. Canadian libraries are partial to Kobo devices for much (but not all) of their content. The EPUB format seems to also be available for some books and EPUB is more broadly usable on other hardware.

  • marielle
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Elmer...this is interesting. Kobo is also very popular in Europe.

  • marielle
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    acraftylady...Thank you for your recommendation. I just read on it and it has great reviews...quite costly at 1565.$ I don't play games so might not need that much GB.

  • acraftylady
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I got my Samsung on sale at best buy at Christmas time plus had best buy rewards from their free program to accumulate points when you buy stuff so paid about $500 US with the special case to hold the S pen. I use my tablet for everything and have a lot of games on it plus download Netflix movies before trips to watch off line. Look at all the different models, there is a lite version and there are smaller ones than 10 inches. I have the best luck with Samsung phones and tablets. Watch the sales before Christmas. Watch out for the cheap bargain basement tablets. Some only come with a 90 day warranty and end up diying soon after. Lenovo is another name to look into. I have a desktop and laptop from them and no issues so figure their tablets should be good. If you think you will only be wanting it for reading an e-ink kindle is the way to go.

    marielle thanked acraftylady
  • Elmer J Fudd
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    The android tablet we have that just died at about three years of age is a Samsung Galaxy. I think it cost around $500 at Costco. The camera quality (for video visits), the screen resolution, battery life and durability are all inferior to what our IPads have offered. The iPad we had that died was heavily used for at least 7-8 years old and was still working fine but was no longer OS upgradable and had been deprecated/ closed off from the app store. No tears, we got our money's worth from it and the new one is even better.

    These are among the reasons why my wife has always preferred the iPad to the Galaxy Android even though she's familiar with Android because of her phone. For video visits alone, an iPad offers FaceTime (Apple's proprietary video app) that Apple equipment owners often prefer to use. As well as all the other popular ones that work on all hardware like Skype, Google, Zoom, etc. We have friends and family geographically dispersed with whom we do video visits regularly. Apple phone and tablet users are the vast majority and Facetime is simply the easiest one to use with all of them.

    Easy, as is the case with all Apple proprietary apps and hardware functions. Nothing to learn, nothing to get familiar with. I still prefer Android and Windows PCs but I respect and admire what Apple offers, including many functions other products simply can't do. The price premium for some products is more than worth it. Ask someone with an Apple watch what they do with it and your next smartphone will be an iPhone with an Apple Watch to go with it. Mine may be. Comparable products in the Android world don't come close to having the same available functions. Ask someone how all their Apple products automatically sync and work together with no user action required when a new item is purchased.

    We also have a cheaper Samsung model (though it was >$200) at a second house for control of home automation items and it's a dog. Slow performance, poor battery life, blah screen resolution and camera.

    Upshot, marielle - you won't regret getting an iPad.

    And no, you likely won't need one of the mega memory ones. If you download movies, a standard tablet can hold many. Delete them after you watch them,, you'll have plenty of room. Plus, streaming is always more convenient anyway but for places like long plane flights.

  • acraftylady
    2 years ago

    What model Samsung? My tablet S6 video quality is awesome, I Skype and watch movies and resolution is excellent. My old one was a Tab A going on 6yrs old and still works great and I had no resolution issues with that one either. I can only say those 2 models work great for me. I have had friends whose Ipads died and couldn't be revived you just never know with these devices.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    2 years ago

    I don't know what model. Do a search for "frozen Galaxy (or Samsung) tablet" and you may be shocked to see how common this defect is. I tried a number of different suggestions i found, none of them worked. The tablet spent a night in a bucket of water, another day in a sealed garbage bag, and I took it the following day to the local electronics recycling place.


    It amazes me that Samsung continues to put out products with a tendency to have this problem. Numerous reports of the same defect, over and over, and over a period of years.


    Money down the drain, I bought two Samsung tablets, one pricey, one less so but still not cheap. One offers a poor user experience, the other better but still sub-iPad quality and it died after just a few years. I won't buy another Samsung product.


    When an Apple device has a problem, which is quite rare (they pride themselves on high quality standards), they can be taken (if basic first aid doesn't work) to an Apple Store. These are all over the US and all over the world. Customers are not on their own to figure out problems. Because the Apple world is a closed ecosystem - they produce the hardware, the operating systems and the native software, review and control all apps, etc - chronic idiosyncrasies, incompatibilities, bad behavior and the like are remedied if or when they pop up.


    I think it's great that you like your Samsung device. You may think the screen and camera resolutions are excellent, and that's great too, but if you haven't done side by side use of the two different product lines over an extended period of time, as we have, you're really not in a position to offer a comparative assessment.


    iPhones still have the leading market share for smartphones, more than double that of Samsung. My reality is that almost all the family and friends we visit with at a distance have Apple products and none use Skype or anything else. Facetime is the name of the game. All Apple devices have Facetime AND all the other possible services. The reverse is not true for Android devices. Apple's products are the more compatible. And more capable.

  • acraftylady
    2 years ago

    No frozen samsungs here. My husband has the same 2 models as me as well as a few friends and we never had freezing issues. My brothers family is apple so they used Skype with me to chat with my Mom in the nursing home and it worked perfect. Have seen their iPad and don't care for them or the price. My nephew worked for Apple so gets discounts for life which is why my brother can afford Apple products. My friends Apple phone which I believe was a 7 was forced into an update a few months ago and fried the phone. Was working perfect before that.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    "My husband has the same 2 models as me as well as a few friends and we never had freezing issues."

    Does that mean it doesn't happen? Why are there so many internet articles and postings about this problem, obviously a widespread and common one? And one that Samsung has been unable to fix?

    If I remember correctly, you're the person who's ready to make broad global assumptions based only on your own experiences. We've had similar conversations, one was about how great you thought Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser was, all your friends used it. I suggested your experience was odd because Microsoft had announced some months earlier that its Internet Explorer was broken beyond repair and that a completely new replacement was soon to be released. You persisted with how great you thought it was and I think I suggested you should contact Microsoft to tell them they were making a mistake because neither you nor your friends ever had a problem with it. .

    I said in an earlier comment as you've mentioned again, Apple products can use all available services, Android products can't. While Apple phones can use Skype, Apple USERS prefer not to.

  • jane__ny
    2 years ago

    I bought a HP 13" laptop that folds into a tablet. It runs Windows. The screen folds back flat against the the base so its a thin tablet.

    I absolutely loved it. It was thin, flat but could also be used as a laptop if you wanted. I think I paid about $450.00 for it on Amazon.

    However, I wouldn't recommend it. The hinges broke 7 months after buying it so I had to keep it folded as a tablet and could not use it as a laptop because the hinges wouldn't hold the screen up. I was very upset as it was only used in the house. I contacted HP and the warranty was only for 6 months. I was one month past. I was shocked that it had such a short warranty


    I am now looking at Dell tablets which work the same way with the screen folding flat against the back of the keyboard. I like the idea of having a small laptop which can also be used as a tablet. The Dells are about double what the HP was but they have a great warranty and history.


    Jane

    marielle thanked jane__ny
  • acraftylady
    2 years ago

    My lenovo laptopt folds tablet style and runs windows 10. Just can't have my android apps on it is the only drawback but works well for windows stuff. My son has a lenovo think pad. Runs windows 10 but very small and compact with a keyboard and he really likes it.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I have a small Lenovo laptop for travelling, a Windows IdeaPad Flex 10. It has a 10 inch touchscreen and folds back over to act as a Windows tabletop "tablet". I bought it for travel use, it's small and light.

    It's not a recent purchase but it still works as well as it ever did, my use of it is infrequent and relatively light.

    While I like the flexibility of having a Windows PC in a small package, I've become terminally frustrated with how slow it is. A cheap, slow CPU and too little RAM. It's essential to use a thumb drive in ReadyBoost mode to add to available RAM but even that comes up short.

    I don't much use touchscreens (though I have them on 3 home desktops, Lenovo all in ones). My thinking is that my next compact travel machine will be a Chromebook. I've never gotten on the tablet bandwagon, I don't like using them.

  • acraftylady
    2 years ago

    I like tablets because of the android apps for my games. My son's lenovo think pad runs very good. Not sure what model but he got it a few years ago. He is in college finishing his PHD and the college paid for it as he needed it for the lab he runs but it's his to keep. He uses an external drive to save all his files.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    If this is a "my dog is bigger than your dog" conversation, this is something I'm familiar with and I have a reply.

    I have a kid with several graduate degrees, one a PhD. The lab they worked in used Apple Macs exclusively because it was the preference of the PI and certain essential programs were only available for Macs.

    People in labs always have PCs provided because they're needed for the work done, it's not a additional bennie or compensation. Just as PCs are provided for people working jobs where they're required. For funded scholarly research in science fields, the spending budgets approved and underwritten by grants, including government ones, always include money for PCs. In such cases they're purchased and written off like supplies and other consumables. After some number of years when the student researchers have completed their projects, the PCs are typically old and not of use to the lab. It's customary for the students to keep them, successful labs always have money available for new ones for new lab members. It's not like it's a windfall. Grants also provide monthly stipends (salaries) for grad students that cover living expenses at a student-life level. To get a PC worth at best a few hundred dollars at the end isn't a huge windfall.

    My kid has left the lab and moved on, but has the lab MacBook. It was getting long in the tooth from heavy use. I think it's been kept for ease of reference to software on it but the kid bought another Mac for personal use.

    PS as to tablets - I don't play games (a funny thing to say) so that capability on a tablet isn't something I use or need. My wife doesn't either, her iPad is for typical other uses- email, browsing, video content, FaceTime, etc. She even uses it as a portable TV - our TV content provider has an iPad app for access (also an Android one) and she sometimes will take it along to sit outside and watch TV. Or she'll put it on a kitchen counter to watch, like the news, while working there.

  • acraftylady
    2 years ago

    All I know of is they give my son an expense account for stuff he needs for his personal use. Think it's part of the stipend he gets or something. Not sure what kind of computers they use there but he prefers what he has.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Yearly spending amounts to attend conferences - registration fees, travel and hotel costs, and the like, are also commonly provided. My kid was working under several NIH grants - of the PI and also one he applied for on his own- and while not extravagant, the project proposals were well received and as a result generously funded. The good end of the story was that the research findings exceeded expectations and the study results were rushed to publication in the most prestigious, peer reviewed publication that exists for the field.

    The grants also pay all operating expenses and for other personnel in a lab - salaries of research associates, admin personnel, sometimes IT people or other consultants outside of academia, other equipment, materials and supplies, chemicals (if applicable), purchase and care of research animals (if applicable), and on and on. PC spending is a small line item and it may be presented to students as being part of the stipend but it's something else. Because they're tools for the work like all others, not an every year amount for each student of lab member.

  • mike_kaiser_gw
    2 years ago

    I have only one recommendation - the iPad. The basic one is enough to meet the needs of most but there are other, more expensive versions as well. The device is well built, has great support, and a huge number of apps available.


    You can add Apple cover/keyboard or buy a separate keyboard from Logitech and basically have a small laptop computer. You can use a mouse with it and a pencil as well for drawing or taking notes.


    If you have any other Apple products, they all work together seamlessly. Messenger works across all their devices, so the messages on your iPad are the same as on your phone, on your Mac. Heck, you can even answer your phone from an iPad (or Mac).


    It's just the best choice on the market today.

    marielle thanked mike_kaiser_gw
  • acraftylady
    2 years ago

    I think Apple is probably a good choice for first timers that have never used anything before. IPad mini is probably reasonable if they still make those. Have used android for so long and my Samsung stuff all syncs and does the phone call and messaging stuff but I don't use the tablet that way. I like having the memory card in my tablet for all my vacation slide shows. For me at 58 I see no reason to switch to Apple when I have fairly new android devices that work fine and do all I need. Do you get unlimited Icloud storage with apple?

  • acraftylady
    2 years ago

    In any case my son got a good deal for grad school. First 4yrs we paid a lot for the physics program at RIT in Rochester NY where he graduated with high honors. He was awarded $25,000 a year from them in high school to attend and since it was only an hour or so away was a good fit bur still a $40,000 a year school. University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh Pa offered him $30,000 a year guaranteed to attend their physics program for his PHD so since it was only 3hrs away and we have family there worked out well but the traffic there is horendous. He has been there 5yrs now or 6 I think. He will be done by the end of the year. His advisor has already hired him on after he is done at $60,000 a year. Wanted him for 2yrs but son only wants to do 1 and can look for a job in industry that will pay more while working. He is slowly getting his RIT loans paid off.. Funny thing is his advisor got offered a job in Texas last year and the students would have probably had to follow to finish but thank goodness the guy decided to stay at Pitt, they must have made a good counter offer, something like that. Soon I will be a proud mom calling him doctor of physics. How the heck do people with more than 1 kid do it and not go bankrupt is beyond me.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    "I think Apple is probably a good choice for first timers that have never used anything before."

    As an experienced user, even though i don't prefer them, I think Apple products are a great choice for anyone and everyone. It's unlike any other product family of any kind. Android products simply do not offer the features that Apple products do, as I tried to enumerate before.

    I'm in Silicon Valley. Between the two major universities (three if you count UCSF, a biomedical science research powerhouse) and tech companies, I don't think there's a higher percentage density of STEM and other brilliant experts anywhere. Apple has an overwhelming market share for its products in a community full of techies and experts and it's not because it's a local company. .

    Congrats on your son's accomplishments, you have good reason to be very proud of him. Academia can be a slog as a workplace, faculty jobs are hard to get these days and don't pay all that well. If he has a specialty that can take him into the private sector, and there are many, he'll do much better. Good luck to him.

  • acraftylady
    2 years ago

    My Samsung note 10 plus does all I need fine. I shoot video on it, edit on the phone and upload the video to YouTube quite seamlessly. Has 512GB of internal storage and I have a 1Tb memory card in it. Got it on sale at best buy for $600 and had $100 in best buy rewards to use off that. Not interested in paying $1,000 or more for a phone and make payments for it on my bill. Last several years tried to find deals and pay cash to avoid that. Got this phone last summer so hopefully will last a good long time before needing new. Got my husband the same one not long after I liked it so well. Neither one of us has had issues so been quite happy so far.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Is this item you're describing a phone? I can't imagine why anyone would want or require over a terabyte of memory (or even half a terabyte) in a phone or tablet. No need to explain. For comparison, I have 64GB in my phone, no added card, and it's only 60% full. If you do a lot of video and photography, you'd get better quality with an actual camera.

    I have a Samsung phone for secondary use - I call it my "burner phone", purchased from and used for a Tracfone plan. It's for a specific need that i don't want to use my excellent Google Pixel phone for. I chose it because it was cheap and I accept that you get what you pay for. I know features and performance vary by model but between my unacceptably poor quality Samsung tablet experience and the crappy Samsung phone, I'm not ready to do a TV endorsement for Samsung products.

    I would do an endorsement for Tracfone. They're a network-less cell phone company, their phones connect to the systems the big boys operate. It happens my Tracfone is CDMA and connects to Verizon. A prior one was GSM and connected to ATT. Excellent reception and connectivity both hither and yon, nothing less than my much more expensive primary phone.

  • acraftylady
    2 years ago

    Yep Samsung android phone and because I could get it for that price went for it. Came in 256gb or 512. More than enough storage for all the apps I use and love it. I do at times use a Canon 80D camera but sometimes don't feel like lugging it around with all my equipment. It does take excellent photos and videos. My only issue with the Canon is its wifi only and I should have went up a model for bluetoith.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    To transfer files, you can take out the memory card and put it into your PC. Use Windows explorer, put the files exactly where you want them. Doing it this way is usually much faster than an RF connection.