Tablet Buying Guide 2021: An Ever Evolving and Affordable Form of Computing

SirDigby

Posts: 836   +653
TechSpot Elite
I have an iPad Pro with me for work for our test network, I absolutely hate it, as a tablet its way too big.
Surprised the S6 Lite wasn't on the list, that was very wallet friendly, think mine was £350 near launch and came with £120 pair of AKG headphones for free - I think now its on offer most places for ~£200.
 

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 5,230   +5,952
All tablets should have optional SIM card trays built right in. I gave my mother and my father LTE ipads. Although they haven’t used the LTE yet, they could if they needed it.

Ubiquitous LTE would have made distance learning easier for school kids during quarantine as well with easier to manage accounts and omnipresent internet.
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 2,669   +4,148
I really wouldnt describe the tablet market as one of "affordable computing". You have three extremes:
1) cheap low end devices that FEEL cheap (I own a fire tablet, never would I recommend one)
2) expensive phones with big screens
3) REALLY expensive full portable computer (surface pro).

The "affordable, decent tablet" market has been dead ever since the nexus tablets went away. Nobody makes a good $300-400 tablet.
All tablets should have optional SIM card trays built right in. I gave my mother and my father LTE ipads. Although they haven’t used the LTE yet, they could if they needed it.

Ubiquitous LTE would have made distance learning easier for school kids during quarantine as well with easier to manage accounts and omnipresent internet.
How on earth would you think that LTE makes accounts easier to manage? Bruh, that's on adminisrations side, the network used makes 0 difference. You should know that if you set up LTE Pads. And schools dont deploy tablets for remote learning unless you are talking preschool, they deploy laptops or chromebooks, neither of which usually have LTE. And just imagine a school paying for all those wireless accounts....

Stick to bragging about all the GPUs youve purchased with your youtube account.
 

GregonMaui

Posts: 284   +102
Seriously? "On paper, Samsung's device is more than a match for the iPad Pros, partly thanks to its 12.4-inch (2800 x 1752, 266ppi) 120Hz, 16:10 display". Properly comparing to the 12.9 iPad Pro "2732-by-2048-pixel resolution at 264 pixels per inch (ppi)", how does the Samsung beat the iPad Pro? seems the other way around, unless you want to directly compare two different size models, but that makes no sense.

Super AMOLED screens are still subject to color drift and burn in, or did they fix it. worth discussing
 

zaku49

Posts: 28   +24
I would add the "Lenovo - Chromebook Duet - 10.1"- Tablet" to this list, unlike the other android tablets this one will be getting updates for 5+ years.
$299 4.5 starts on the bestbuy website with 1,300 reviews.
 

Fearghast

Posts: 422   +309
Yes, but depends on your country. Here in Europe most local apps and Banks apps are already on Huawei store so you should not have big problem
I live in the Europe, I would not touch the device without GSM.
I like my devices working and not waste my time searching how to side load A or B.
 

Dimitrios

Posts: 871   +657
I really wouldnt describe the tablet market as one of "affordable computing". You have three extremes:
1) cheap low end devices that FEEL cheap (I own a fire tablet, never would I recommend one)
2) expensive phones with big screens
3) REALLY expensive full portable computer (surface pro).

The "affordable, decent tablet" market has been dead ever since the nexus tablets went away. Nobody makes a good $300-400 tablet.

How on earth would you think that LTE makes accounts easier to manage? Bruh, that's on adminisrations side, the network used makes 0 difference. You should know that if you set up LTE Pads. And schools dont deploy tablets for remote learning unless you are talking preschool, they deploy laptops or chromebooks, neither of which usually have LTE. And just imagine a school paying for all those wireless accounts....

Stick to bragging about all the GPUs youve purchased with your youtube account.

Wish I could post a pic of the pallets of chromebooks our school system bought for the town schools. My second job is being a maintenance worker and we they have the top end line of chromebooks for distance learning.

Also yes that dude always brags and for every story on this site he is one of the first to comment, but I do like/agree with most of his comments lol.
 

waclark

Posts: 97   +59
I really wouldnt describe the tablet market as one of "affordable computing". You have three extremes:
1) cheap low end devices that FEEL cheap (I own a fire tablet, never would I recommend one)
2) expensive phones with big screens
3) REALLY expensive full portable computer (surface pro).

The "affordable, decent tablet" market has been dead ever since the nexus tablets went away. Nobody makes a good $300-400 tablet.

How on earth would you think that LTE makes accounts easier to manage? Bruh, that's on adminisrations side, the network used makes 0 difference. You should know that if you set up LTE Pads. And schools dont deploy tablets for remote learning unless you are talking preschool, they deploy laptops or chromebooks, neither of which usually have LTE. And just imagine a school paying for all those wireless accounts....

Stick to bragging about all the GPUs youve purchased with your youtube account.

The new iPad, 128G is $429 and often goes on sale. It's probably the best option out there.

Fire Tablets have their place. I use an older one in my home as an Alexa/Home Control device. Works great. While not the fastest devices they perform well enough for book reading and movies and shopping on Amazon. The three things Amazon wants most.

And yes, Schools do use tablets, here's an Apple report on some successes in schools.

https://www.apple.com/education/docs/ipad-in-education-results.pdf
 

mbk34

Posts: 200   +129
You guys should do an article on eink note takers like the remarkable 2, Boox Note Air and Supernote A5X. I can barely see my desk under the 100's of sheets of paper I keep with all my scribbled notes and lists. I have laptops etc but I find scribbling on paper so much easier. I suspect I'll be buying an eink note taker in the next few months and it would be good to read a decent review of what's available.
 

bazz2004

Posts: 1,766   +295
" I suspect I'll be buying an eink note taker in the next few months and it would be good to read a decent review of what's available."
Well good luck with that. I bought a Boyue Alita and discovered I'd paid a lot of money for a rather primitive hybrid android tablet/e-reader. I recommend that you keep well clear of such devices. They work OK as e-readers but are slow, glitchy and come with exaggerated claims. Reviews on Good E Reader are about all you'll find and they are pretty biased. The note taking options are not well implemented and cannot compare with paper and pencil or using PC software.
Be prepared for a steep learning curve and moderate your expectations if you proceed.
 
Last edited:

himindedlolife

Posts: 26   +17
Android tablets are a clown show. The only ones with performance worth having are the Samsung S7/S7+ but then only if you're willing to pay a third more than what the price should be.

In comparison the iPad 8th generation is $329 with the A12 that smokes everything in the Android world. I recently bought an S7+ to upgrade from my S5e thinking that surely with the Snapdragon 865+, the UI stuttering Android is famous for would be a thing of the past. Nope. It's still there.

Took it back and bought the much cheaper iPad, ran the same apps and the latter is stutter free. The S7+ was over 800 dollars, the iPad less than half. That's pathetic. And it's not like I have an axe to grind with Android, I love apps like Termux and Kuroba that are unavailable on the iPad. I just don't love the rest of Android I have to put up with to use those apps.
 

Shadowboxer

Posts: 1,717   +1,322
Android tablet’s are hopeless. Barely any app support, most of the apps are just phone apps stretched out. They use snapdragon which compared to Apples CPUs is awful. Just buy the £300 base iPad, it destroys anything Android based. And if you’ve got some cash to spend then get the iPad pro. I absolutely love mine and it has fully replaced my laptop, it’s actually a lot better than my laptop at pretty much anything I ever used it for. I don’t really understand why reviewers say ipads can’t replace laptops. If you’re personal computing it’s unlikely that you would need windows for anything except gaming. And even then my switch lite and my iPad combined weigh less than my Zenbook laptop.
 
Last edited:

defaultluser

Posts: 229   +209
I really wouldnt describe the tablet market as one of "affordable computing". You have three extremes:
1) cheap low end devices that FEEL cheap (I own a fire tablet, never would I recommend one)
2) expensive phones with big screens
3) REALLY expensive full portable computer (surface pro).

The "affordable, decent tablet" market has been dead ever since the nexus tablets went away. Nobody makes a good $300-400 tablet.

Agreed, if they didn't saddle the Steam Link with permanently-attached controllers, it would be a keyboard dock away from "amazing 2-in-one" for $400

The Surface Go has different problem - they castrated an otherwise excellent budget tablet with a quad core running at a pathetic 1.6 ghz

there is a long history of Killer Compromises in sup-$800 windows tablets
 

Shadowboxer

Posts: 1,717   +1,322
Agreed, if they didn't saddle the Steam Link with permanently-attached controllers, it would be a keyboard dock away from "amazing 2-in-one" for $400

The Surface Go has different problem - they castrated an otherwise excellent budget tablet with a quad core running at a pathetic 1.6 ghz

there is a long history of Killer Compromises in sup-$800 windows tablets
By far the biggest problem with windows tablets is the windows part. They aren’t tablets, they are laptops with the keyboard removed. It’s a dreadful user experience to navigate with fingers.

The performance is bad too because they use x86 components which is old and bloated. Once they move to mobile parts the performance will be there. Currently an iPad Pro will render a 4K video more than twice as quickly as a surface pro and the iPad doesn’t even have a fan on it or need to be plugged in for max performance.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 965   +1,785
I really want Microsoft to update the Surface line with Ryzen chips. I know they exist on some models but they're fairly limited runs from what I've seen I'm thinking next gen (Ryzen 3) Ryzen embedded when those come out so it's actually yet another portable device that can game a little, only on tablet form.
 

AnilD

Posts: 72   +94
TechSpot Elite
Yep. Affordable computing has an easy definition nowadays: Chromebooks.
That's one form of modern affordable computing, agreed.

I really wouldn't describe the tablet market as one of "affordable computing".

I would. It's a useful form factor for many people. I'm not the intended market. I prefer a fully fledged laptop for work or a desktop with a big monitor (or two).

But for the wife, the kids, for content consumption in its many forms and even gaming (ugh)... for $299 the basic iPad that is recommended in this article delivers an uncompromised computing experience for many purposes. It's not a cheap netbook with a horrible display or as limiting as a Chromebook IMO.

It's just not for everyone, but it is a polished platform with hundreds of uses, as a proper computing platform should be.
 

mbk34

Posts: 200   +129
[ewriter]I bought a Boyue Alita and discovered I'd paid a lot of money for a rather primitive hybrid android tablet/e-reader.
I did end up buying an ewriter in the end, I got the Supernote A5X. I'm actually really happy with it.