Tablet Advice Sought (for a novice!)

  Green Eyes 15:25 26 Sep 2017
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Hi, I am looking for some advice on tablets. I have never owned a tablet so have very little knowledge so please forgive me if my questions are rather basic!

Basically I want a tablet to browse the internet, to send & receive emails and mainly to access the BBC iPlayer where I tend to listen to radio speech programmes. For this I would want decent but not necessarily top of the range speakers and decent screen resolution.

I would also like to have the ability to cast from PC to TV (You Tube, iPlayer etc).

Basically I am looking for advice on what I should be looking for in a tablet (the basic requirements) plus any recommendations. I have an android phone so am thinking of an android operating system so I can use Google Chromecast for the PC to TV mirroring.

Any advice and guidance would be much appreciated!

  Forum Editor 18:36 26 Sep 2017

As with so many things in life, this decision will in the end come down to money.

If you want the best Android tablet on the market, look no further than the Samsung galaxy tab S3. It's a thing of beauty, but be warned - it will make a serious dent in your bank balance.

There are other Android choices however, and instead of me typing hundreds of words, why not let our Consumer Tech Editor be your guide.

  Green Eyes 12:39 27 Sep 2017

Thanks but I'm not looking for the best android tablet on the market but one which is reliable and capable of doing the things I asked.

I had previously read your guide but was looking for some personal experiences and recommendations.

  wee eddie 13:21 27 Sep 2017

GE, Those Tablets have been tested by folk who are familiar with Tablets and it is their own personal experiences that you are reading.

Most of us have just one tablet and either love it or hate it, but we have little experience of alternatives upon which to base our judgements

  I am Spartacus 19:13 27 Sep 2017

I can give feedback on the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 having owned one for a couple of years

Although the AMOLED screen is still gorgeous it's now one to avoid especially at the inflated price Very now charges for a new one. The design is over 3 years old and it has a terrible version of Touchwiz that no doubt is the reason why it's sluggish in use.

The last major update was to Marshmallow and it won't be getting any more. The last security update was October 2016 and there won't be any more of those either.

One major problem with this Tablet which isn't well documented although it's mentioned in a few articles and forums is the battery calibration. We actually have 2 version of the 8.4 and a 10.5 version and every one suffers from the same problem and is probably the reason why there are a large number of used batteries available for them, the vast majority surprisingly being genuine ones.

After a relatively short period in use the battery capacity drops significantly from 7900mAh in the 10.5 to around 6800mAh and the 8.4 version capacity drops from 4900mAh to around 4000mAh. This happens within a couple of months of use and I've used a simple USB meter to measure this drop. To refresh the capacity it's necessary to drain the battery take the tablet apart and disconnect the battery, leave it for a while then reconnect it. You'll then find the capacity has jumped from 0 to a higher figure, over 10% is not unusual.

You then run it down again to zero, disconnect the battery again, wait a while and reconnect and the capacity will have again increased. Keep doing this until it actually reaches zero permanently which can sometimes take up to 4 or 5 attempts.

When you charge it again it'll then charge to nearly the originally capacity although as time passes this does drop due to the number or charge cycles. After a couple more months of use the capacity drops again.

I've given up on doing this now and the 10.5 Tablet battery capacity is now around 6000mAh and the 8.4 Tablets around 3300-3600mAh.

I doubt the later Samsung Tablets have this problem to the same extent although there are a few mentions of it. The Samsung S2 and S3 tablets are glued rather than clipped together so would prove difficult to dismantle.

If I was to buy a new tablet now it'd probably be the Huawei M3 or the Xiaomi Mi Pad 3 based on the reviews.

From experience I've found that Lenovo have probably the worst support in the world closely followed by Samsung.

  Green Eyes 14:20 28 Sep 2017

Thanks Spartacus that is useful whereas the idea that most people have only ever had experience of a single tablet is rather ludicrous.

  Forum Editor 15:28 30 Sep 2017

"the idea that most people have only ever had experience of a single tablet is rather ludicrous."

What on earth leads you to think that? wee eddie's comment is the opposite of ludicrous, it's commonsense. You have never owned a tablet at all, and there are lots of people like you. Others have bought a tablet and stuck to it, not needing (or wanting) to try anything else. Very few consumers are in a position to offer opinions based on using different types or makes of tablet.

That's partly why we publish expert opinion - our Consumer Tech Editor has experience of using lots of different tablets, and he is best placed to offer advice to people like you.

I own two tablets - both of them iPads. I take an iPad mini with me when I'm travelling, as it's perfect for that. I haven't bothered with other tablets because I don't need to.

That's an example of the kind of personal experience you are likely to get; it's highly subjective, and it's not of much use to you. Take my advice, and be guided by our expert.

  Menzie 17:30 30 Sep 2017

"From experience I've found that Lenovo have probably the worst support in the world closely followed by Samsung."

This just simply is not true, if Lenovo and Samsung didn't have decent support of their products then they wouldn't get all the sales that they do and be used by many businesses worldwide.

My tablet is Lenovo, so is my mobile phone (Motorola G4 Plus). Both received Android security updates this week and have been well supported.

If you mean support with a device that malfunctioned, I haven't had experience with that as none of my Lenovo products have ever stopped working. However can say the same thing about many other top manufacturers I have personally had bad experiences with.

  Forum Editor 22:50 30 Sep 2017

I use a Lenovo laptop on a daily basis. I have owned three, and not one of them has ever had a fault of any kind. Lenovo machines have a reputation for high build quality and reliability.

The company's laptops have been voted into first place in at least one 'Best laptop brands of 2017' list I've seen. Their support service was awarded 86 points out of 100. This put them into third place after Apple and Acer.

  Green Eyes 14:22 01 Oct 2017

"What on earth leads you to think that? wee eddie's comment is the opposite of ludicrous, it's commonsense. You have never owned a tablet at all, and there are lots of people like you. Others have bought a tablet and stuck to it, not needing (or wanting) to try anything else. Very few consumers are in a position to offer opinions based on using different types or makes of tablet".

"That's partly why we publish expert opinion - our Consumer Tech Editor has experience of using lots of different tablets, and he is best placed to offer advice to people like you."

Expert opinion is only any good if it provides opinions based on the questions being asked. I'd rather listen to people's experiences (good and bad) who have sought to buy a tablet for the same reasons as me than read a generic article.

I understand you are trying to push your own content but don't try to suggest other people's opinions aren't useful or worthwhile.

  Forum Editor 07:41 02 Oct 2017

I think we'll call it a day on this one. We're here to offer advice, not to suffer unwarranted criticism when we try to help. Especially when we're told initially (by a self-confessed novice) that "Any advice and guidance would be much appreciated!"

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

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