If you’ve kept up with my IAJGS conference blogs, especially the ones before the conference started, you know that my Android tablet died on the way to DC. I was glad I’d brought my laptop along because I was not planning to. Of course, if I hadn’t brought the laptop, I probably wouldn’t have dropped the tablet and killed it. C’est la vie.
Last night (as it’s now morning here), I bought a new tablet. I found the gTablet online for $250, but just as I was about to buy it, I stopped to think again. I loved that tablet, but it had a couple of major flaws. Once I owned it, I realized how much you need the back camera and the GPS. I had hacked Google Market enough, but it still could have been better.
The fire sale on HP TouchPads started while I was still in DC, so I didn’t pay enough attention or jump fast enough to buy one. I’m still waiting for those to be available again and I will still buy one then.
So before buying an identical replacement tablet, I decided to go see what else was out there and went to Best Buy. Luckily, I didn’t see the store right away (it’s an odd mall) and went to OfficeMax first, where they had two tablets and I played with the Samsung Galaxy Tab. It was nice. Best Buy only had two 7″ tablets out, the HTC and the Blackberry. I tried the various 10″ models, even looking at the iPad when someone was trying to sell me on it. The Asus Transformer was a really nice one, and recommended, but twice the price of the gTablet.
In the end, I bought the Galaxy Tab wifi model that I knew was on sale. It has GPS and a back camera. There is no USB port like the gTablet (which I found very useful), but only one or two of the tablets had them. The Galaxy Tab 10″ didn’t even have a microSD slot. (This does.) I’d also read that the wifi version has lesser hardware than the 3G version and not the full market. I’m still concerned about this as I’ve noticed some lag (especially on the main screen), but not enough to return it yet. I have two weeks to test it out before the return window is over.
I like how much smaller and lighter it is than the 10″ tablets, except for the web browsing. I haven’t noticed anything else that feels squashed besides that yet. I have two bags suitable for 10″ tablets, but this is dwarfed by those bags. It actually fits into my purse, but will need a case to protect it if I put anything else in with it.
(I am totally not a purse-using person unless forced to be by lack of pockets. I actually own two purses, but I’m not sure where the other one is. In a drawer maybe. It would fit in that one too.)
I spent some time downloading the apps I regularly used before and was happily able to get Google+ right out of the market. It also gave me Twitter but not Facebook, and MACU but not ING Direct (my banks). So it’s an odd selection from the market, but better than the gTablet, as I couldn’t get any of those five before.
As I said, I’m still testing it. The worst of the lagging was from the launcher and the Twitter app. I’d been using Tweetcaster before for Twitter, preferring it to TweetDeck on Android, so I just loaded that on instead, and it seemed to be better. I also have no idea what some of the preloaded apps do yet, but I have some time to find out. I wonder if I can delete them if I don’t want them?