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Default iPad alternative

February 24th, 2012, 10:06
Is there a decent iPad 2 alternative out yet? I know about the Samsung 10.1 (or whatever) - but is there something more recent and better?
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February 24th, 2012, 10:51
I'd say that depends a lot on what you want to do with it.
what is it that doesn't satisfy you with the iPad that makes you want to look for an alternative?

A couple of months ago when I was looking into tablets I realized that Samsung Galaxy 10.1 was designed to look like an iPad and make you feel that you have an iPad in a price range similar to that of the iPad's. The only reasons I could think for getting that instead of the iPad would be really wanting flash and not wanting to support Apple because it's an big, evil corporation. But as it turns out I care very little about flash and I didn't see much point in not supporting one big, evil corporation by supporting another big, evil corporation.

I would therefore say that the best iPad alternative is a tablet that doesn't try to fool you into thinking that it's an iPad and tries to offer you what the iPad doesn't. So… Kindle Fire maybe?

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February 24th, 2012, 10:57
Kindle Fire, apparently, isn't available in EU. At least, I couldn't order it.

My problem with the iPad is: Apple, the price and the "locked" nature of the platform.

Beyond that, I think it's the best product for this purpose - but I'm not going to support it.

I have zero interest in whether it looks like an iPad or behaves like an iPad. iPad looks great and works great within the boundaries of the locked platform - but it's the actual functionality behind the aesthetic I'm mostly interested in.

I find Apple UIs very accessible and very good for "non-IT" people. But it's not terribly efficient for advanced usage.

—-

Oh, and my usage?

It would be reading, surfing, and possibly some gaming. I'd also like as open a platform as possible - so I could potentially run non-official software and stuff without hassle.
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February 24th, 2012, 12:01
What non-official software would that be?
I don't think there's much that a tablet can't do that there's not an official app for it already, and they are always very cheap. Other than that, I understand jailbreaking is easy and apparently legal too (though it might void the warranty) so you can get non official stuff on the iPad as well.

If you like tweaking the os then Android isn't a good choice either. I think you won't find much openness in a tablet yet unless you go for one that runs windows.

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February 24th, 2012, 12:05
Originally Posted by holeraw View Post
What non-official software would that be?
Anything interesting, like unofficial emulators and stuff. I like options.

I don't think there's much that a tablet can't do that there's not an official app for it already, and they are always very cheap. Other than that, I understand jailbreaking is easy and apparently legal too (though it might void the warranty) so you can get non official stuff on the iPad as well.
Didn't I already explain that I have no interest in Apple products? Why would I buy an expensive piece of hardware and then risk voiding the warranty?

If you like tweaking the os then Android isn't a good choice either. I think you won't find much openness in a tablet yet unless you go for one that runs windows.
I wouldn't know. Some people seem to think Android is more open - but I really have no clue.
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February 24th, 2012, 12:39
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Anything interesting, like unofficial emulators and stuff. I like options.
Apparently there are more than 400,000 apps on the android market and even more on the app store for anything you might want. That's quite a few options, enough of them are interesting to keep you busy for a long while. Unless you want unofficial stuff just because they are unofficial.

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I wouldn't know. Some people seem to think Android is more open - but I really have no clue.
Yeah it's a bit more open: you can put widgets on your desktop.

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Didn't I already explain that I have no interest in Apple products? Why would I buy an expensive piece of hardware and then risk voiding the warranty?
I don't know… to stick it to the Man?
It seems to me you just want a tablet that will do whatever it is a tablet doesn't do.
Any tablet can handle reading, surfing and some gaming. For anarchic openness you could perhaps get a laptop with Linux?

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February 24th, 2012, 13:08
Originally Posted by holeraw View Post
Apparently there are more than 400,000 apps on the android market and even more on the app store for anything you might want. That's quite a few options, enough of them are interesting to keep you busy for a long while. Unless you want unofficial stuff just because they are unofficial.
Are you trying to tell me there's nothing unofficial and there will be nothing unofficial that I could possibly interested in - on any platform available?

I don't know… to stick it to the Man?
It seems to me you just want a tablet that will do whatever it is a tablet doesn't do. Any tablet can handle reading, surfing and some gaming. For anarchic openness you could perhaps get a laptop with Linux?
Ehm, why do you care?

I'm looking for advice about alternatives, not your personal opinion about what you think I'm doing by not supporting Apple.

I obviously want the latest technology, not just "any tablet". I want access to the latest applications and I want longest battery life - and I want the best screen etc. etc. Even more obviously, I want the practical implications of the tablet hardware.

If you can't understand how I don't want to support Apple, then that's perfectly alright. But let's not waste time trying to agree.
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February 24th, 2012, 14:11
Rooting an Android device breaks the warranty fyi.

I personally LOVE android. Just stuck a new ROM on my phone for something different. Widgets are pretty awesome as is live wallpaper. Pretty much anything you can think of can be done on an android. I haven't got a tablet yet but will pick up an android one for sure this year. ASUS is rumored to be coming out with some nicely specced ones at a very reasonable price soonish. Whatever you get, make sure it has Ice Cream Sandwich (the latest OS version) on it.

Now I do recommend Apple for nontechy people. But for me getting an apple would be like driving a Camry instead of my fun turbocharged car.
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February 24th, 2012, 14:18
Originally Posted by Toff View Post
Rooting an Android device breaks the warranty fyi.

I personally LOVE android. Just stuck a new ROM on my phone for something different. Widgets are pretty awesome as is live wallpaper. Pretty much anything you can think of can be done on an android. I haven't got a tablet yet but will pick up an android one for sure this year. ASUS is rumored to be coming out with some nicely specced ones at a very reasonable price soonish. Whatever you get, make sure it has Ice Cream Sandwich (the latest OS version) on it.

Now I do recommend Apple for nontechy people. But for me getting an apple would be like driving a Camry instead of my fun turbocharged car.
Yes, I've heard good stuff about the recent Asus tablets. I don't know how "uptight" the Android system is about stuff outside the market, though.

What kind of process must a piece of software go through to be green-lit for the OS - so as to avoid having to "hack" it?
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February 24th, 2012, 14:33
The asus transformer prime is currently the most powerful android tablet. Its got an nvidia tegra 3 quad core processor and a very nice ips screen. Its not cheap though.
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February 24th, 2012, 14:34
Heres two websites you may of already found. They will have better information than what I can provide.

http://www.cyanogenmod.com/
This is a popular alternate ROM (I use it) for alot of Android devices. Its not even close to the only alternate ROM, theirs tons out there.

http://www.xda-developers.com/
This is a great website for information. All kinds of stuff in here.

I use two markets. The Google Market and Amazons Market. Amazon gives you a free paid app every day, its pretty damn nice.

Being able to use the phone as a hotspot anywhere is beyond handy. I use this function almost everyday. Even better its free with an aftermarket ROM and even free with some phones/vendors with a stock ROM.

XDA would probably be the best place for you to start reading up on what the possibilities are.
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February 25th, 2012, 08:22
You're not going to agree with my perspective - but iPad is the best choice, in my opinion. I looked into them quite closely and - like holeraw - came to the conclusion the best of them tried to emulate the iPad but weren't really significantly cheaper or better. Then I looked into the software. There was always an iOS version. Always. Sometimes there was an Android version - lots said "coming" or "planned" or "we'd like to" - but others said "it's not worth it".

I cam to the conclusion I'd pay just as much for something that tried to look like an iPad but didn't offer the same software support.

Check out the iOS newsbits we've had - how many have also had an Android version? Little to none.

Anyway, if you stick with non-Apple, Motorola Xoom is the best "value-for-money but still good" on the local market here and Galaxy 10.1 is the "best" non-Apple tablet but is (IMO) pricey.

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February 25th, 2012, 08:41
I foresee an ugly future for this thread…
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February 25th, 2012, 10:14
Thanks for the input… Looks like I'll have to wait a while until a proper alternative comes along.
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February 25th, 2012, 17:48
Got a Sony Tablet S today. Too early too say anything yet, except that all kinds of emulators work like a charm.
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February 28th, 2012, 19:27
I'd say hold out for the iPad 3 that Apple is going to announce on March 7th. Oh, wait. *runs away*
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March 1st, 2012, 06:48
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
What kind of process must a piece of software go through to be green-lit for the OS - so as to avoid having to "hack" it?
To allow installing non-market apps in Android there is a simple checkbox in the OS settings - so it requires no hacking at all. All you need is the APK file for the app somewhere on your device. For example this is how the Amazon App Store is installed on most devices (aside from the Kindle), as it isn't listed in the Android Market (being its main competition).

I think Android is definitely the more open system. The custom ROMs and hackability make anything possible.

I have a rooted Nook Color tablet with Cyanogen Mod installed - which makes it a fully-functioning Android tablet. As stock, the Nook Color would be more limited to just being an e-reader with a limited app store. It serves me well, running DOS and console emulators, e-reading, Android gaming, web surfing, music etc. Though it is probably pretty low-end compared to the newer stuff out now.
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March 1st, 2012, 09:33
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
Got a Sony Tablet S today. Too early too say anything yet, except that all kinds of emulators work like a charm.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on the Sony Tablet S, once you've gotten more experience with it.

I considered getting it, but decided to wait a bit longer and see what the iPad3 shapes up to be (and what it's going to cost). I hear the battery life is quite shortish on the Sony Tablet and it has a tendency to empty the battery even if powered off quite fast. Have you noticed anything like this?

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March 1st, 2012, 10:11
Originally Posted by Myrkrel View Post
To allow installing non-market apps in Android there is a simple checkbox in the OS settings - so it requires no hacking at all. All you need is the APK file for the app somewhere on your device. For example this is how the Amazon App Store is installed on most devices (aside from the Kindle), as it isn't listed in the Android Market (being its main competition).
I can confirm this. It's really easy. Find the option, accept the usual disclaimer that you're an idiot and it's all your fault. Done. Installing something is just a click.
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March 1st, 2012, 10:26
Originally Posted by Lurking Grue View Post
I'd love to hear your thoughts on the Sony Tablet S, once you've gotten more experience with it.

I considered getting it, but decided to wait a bit longer and see what the iPad3 shapes up to be (and what it's going to cost). I hear the battery life is quite shortish on the Sony Tablet and it has a tendency to empty the battery even if powered off quite fast. Have you noticed anything like this?
I wondered about the battery thing just tonight. It seems to suck quite a lot of juice on stand by.

It's hard to say something because I can't compare it to any other tablet.

So far everything is fine. It's noiseless, it doesn't turn hot either. The display is good. The usual DualCore CPU is fast enough. I like the shape of the device. It's not flat. The slight angle makes it easier to hold and easier to read when it's lieing on the table.

WLAN is unstable and slow, but that's probably my crappy connection here. I'm at the far end of our WLAN. Browsing can't be ideal under such circumstances.

The display is only 9.x", not 10", so maybe that's malus.

I plugged in a SDHC card. The cheap stuff on sale at the local supermarket. Worked at first try.
There's only a mini-USB connector. I would have prefered a full USB jack.

Reading pdfs is great. I bought it mainly for that. The man I bought it from also has an iPad 1. He says the Sony is a bit faster and a bit crisper when reading comics as pdf.

I don't need the remote control, but I've been told that it rocks. So if you have other Sony devices, that's a very nice gimmick.

An update for the newer, faster Android OS has not yet been made available. But that's okay because it's still WIP.

So I think I'm happy with the Sony Tablet S. Maybe other devices in the 400 EUR class are better, but I simply don't know it.

———————-

Waiting for the 4.5 Core tablets to get cheaper might be an idea. They're both faster and need less juice. The first devices are already available.
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