Monday, December 30, 2019

Tablet Recommendations

Tablet Recommendations

Hi folks, just joined this subreddit today as I'd like to hear some opinions about tablet computers.

I currently own an nVidia Shield K1 tablet, and it's been a brilliant device over the last 'nearly' 4yrs or so of constant use.

However, the battery is now starting to show signs of ageing and it no longer holds it's charge as long as it used to... Just using it as a kindle device with screen brightness turned down can consume large amounts of battery life... and it's no longer able to last all day as it used to... I might get a few hours of light use out of it... I don't use it for games at all as I have a dedicated PC for that and don't enjoy mobile gaming on the move.

I also bought one for my mum a few years ago as she needed a new tablet after her old one died and these were simply the best value/performing tablets on the market at the time... and most importantly, almost free from bloatware and no vendor overlays to contend with... Probably the closest you can come to vanilla android on a tablet without paying the extra for a google branded device. the few nvidia apps that are installed can either be removed or disabled with ease. She's enjoyed that tablet too, but unfortunately dropped it about 6 months ago and cracked the screen... it still works, but the crack now goes from one side to the other across the middle. I've put a screen protector on there to stop it getting any worse (the old screen protector broke when she dropped it) and fitted it into a new case that's got some extra padding around it... But I'd like to give her mine as it's in better condition overall and she doesn't really use a tablet much outside of home... and is either close to a charger or uses the power bank to top it off. So she can get still a full day light use out of it.

So it's very important that any replacement is close to vanilla, gets regular updates is on at least android 9 or above and doesn't cost silly money here in the UK.

I've looked around these last few days, tested a few in stores but haven't found anything that comes close to being as good as my K1. There are some that have more ram, faster CPU and more storage... but crappy overlays, or an old OS like android 7 still.

When I last bought one around 4yrs ago... it was based of a recommendation of an old friend... and I'd never actually heard of the K1 at the time, it never came up in any searches and reviews I'd looked through for weeks before hand (I like to do my research before buying any new gadgets)... and I couldn't have been happier with the purchase... which at the time as only around £170 in the UK with the screen cover. I then added a 128GB mSD card for extra storage.

So I have a strict set of requirements, and a list of preferences. I'm willing to compromise on the latter but would hate to compromise on any of the former... perhaps just one of them... definitely not 2... and the device would have to far exceed the others to convince me.

In short.. I'm fussy and I want something as good as the K1 was when it came out... without costing much more.

Budget wise, that means being in the £180-250 price range.

So far I've looked at some Lenovo, Huawei, Samsung products and haven't been impressed with any of them... It's getting hard to find stores that have any on display to look at and I'm reluctant to purchase these kinds of things blind without seeing them at all in the flesh beforehand.

So my needs are

  1. at least 8" screen, minimal bezels, good quality screen at least 1080p or more
  2. Good quality sound, preferably stereo, front firing speakers.
  3. Minimum of android 9, and security patches up to date.
  4. Minimum of 32GB storage, 3GB ram and it must have mSD expansion (last part is not negotiable)
  5. Ports... it needs to have a headphone jack and a HDMI out... it can be either USB type C or Micro B as my magnetic charging cables have both types of fittings and my power bank has both types of inputs/outputs too. I can be flexible on the hdmi out.
  6. Bluetooth 5, dual band wifi... I doubt I'll get anything with wifi 6 (ax) so at least 5ghz ac capable... everything else I own is on par and my home wifi now only uses 2.4ghz for guest access

and for the wants

  1. Weight/Thickness of the device is flexible. Good battery life more important than weight saving.
  2. Regular updates... A brand that is known for pushing out proper updates and security patches (my K1 had 5 OS updates, more than anything outside of googles own devices).

Does such a device exist, and is it within my budget... if not... what's the closest thing you know off?