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A tablet question

(31 Posts)
lalalonglegs Wed 07-Nov-12 13:31:59

I am considering buying my children a tablet to share for Christmas. I've kept an eye on the threads here and was thinking about a Nexus 7 or a Samsung Galaxy tab (I am completely ignorant about these things and am in MN's hands, I have no ideas of my own). I liked the Samsung tab as it is a bit bigger and I saw tablet on ebay which claims to be identical to it but much cheaper here. So, is it the same but unbranded or would I be a fool even to consider it?

TariffHound Wed 07-Nov-12 16:16:00

To avoid disappointment, it's worth sticking to two options for a sub £200 tablet - the Google Nexus 7 via Google, and the Fire HD via Amazon.
These are both reliable products that will be fully supported by Google and Amazon if you have a problem with them post purchase. Buying an unbranded tablet on Ebay opens you up to risk of no post-purchase support if there is a problem with the device or if you just decide it was a mistake and you want to send it back.

Out of the two, the Nexus 7 is more of a portable computer, so is better for maps, email, calendar management etc. It also has more apps and non-book content (e.g. films, tv) available through Google's "Play" store than Amazon offers for the fire HD.

The Fire HD is more of a Kindle e-book reader on steroids, that will allow you to buy movies, tv shows, apps / games from Amazon, as well as read books. Amazon does not have as much app, film or tv content as Google.

If your budget can stretch another £100, the Apple iPad Mini has the greatest range of content and apps than the other two platforms. I think there are going to be a lot of iPad Minis under the Christmas tree this year.

Finally, you don't mention the age of your kids, but it could be worth thinking about positioning the gift as a "family" gift rather than a gift directly to them. It's a subtle point, but as a "family" gift you might be able to retain more control over when and how the device is used. This is an internet device, so there are the usual parent challenges of policing what internet / movie / tv content is being viewed on the device, along with "screen time" issues if the kids are using the device when they should be doing homework or other tasks.
My experience with my family is that once you gift children an object, they expect to have full control over it, whereas gifting it to the "family" may help you stay in charge with how its being used.

lalalonglegs Wed 07-Nov-12 19:07:56

That's a good point re: retaining control. My children are 8, 6 and 4 and most of the reason I'm giving them a tablet is so that I can get near my laptop occasionally. They're only allowed half an hour each a day but it's always when I need to use it.

I looked at the Kindle Fire but found out you can't watch iPlayer, 4od or YouTube on it. I liked Nexus 7 but one of the tablet's tasks will be to play films on long journeys and, as they will be sharing, I thought a larger screen would be useful.

5madthings Wed 07-Nov-12 19:14:10

We are thinking of doing the same thing and looking at the same two tablets, the samsung or the nexus. It would be a family gift for share same as the xbox/wii we have bought in previous years.

Ds1 already has a kindle so have ruled the kindle fire out.

I would like to know if there is an app ir prig so they could use a tablet to do 'word' type documents? I asked in john lewus yesterday and they didnt know, they seemef a bit clueless tbh.

I have heard good things about the nexus 7 where is best to buy it? John lewus for £200 but i have heard you can get it cheaper?

lalalonglegs Wed 07-Nov-12 19:19:40

You can, you can here <<thrilled that I was able to answer a question on the geeky stuff board>>

5madthings Wed 07-Nov-12 20:27:13

Brilliant thankyou lala my elder two may want to use it for homework etc si that would be great.

5madthings Wed 07-Nov-12 20:28:15

That is a good price!

Snorbs Wed 07-Nov-12 20:36:13

Google's recently announced the Nexus 10 - like the Nexus 7 but with a 10" screen. I'm not sure when they're going to start shipping but I suspect it's soon as a couple of my journo mates have already got review items.

TariffHound Thu 08-Nov-12 11:44:46

To watch BBC iPlayer on a Kindle HD, you can download an app from Amazon's app store. It's streaming only content though, so you can't download a show to watch in the car or on a trip.

Doesn't appear to be an ITV Player, or Channel 4 or 5's version though.

If you're looking at a 10inch tablet rather than a 7inch, the Nexus 10 is your best bet. You say you want to load it with plenty of tvs and movies for car trips, you're looking at the 32GB model rather than the 16GB model. The 32GB sells for £389, which is £100 cheaper than the equivalent 32GB iPad which comes in at £489.

When weighing up a 10inch tablet between Nexus 10 vs iPad, it's worth scrolling down and reading the conclusion of this guardian review of the Nexus 10.

The journo makes a good point that the decision could come down to whether you want to pay for convenience. Both are fine tablets, but the iPad will edge out the Nexus in terms of being an easier to use tablet. It's then your decision as to whether to spend more money for an easier to use solution, or whether you're happy to pocket the difference and spend a little more time learning how to fully use the Nexus 10.

Snorbs Thu 08-Nov-12 12:02:17

Interesting review. I like the idea of having multiple user accounts on the Nexus 10 as it would make it easier to limit what the DCs can get up to. Or, at least, make it less easy for them to mess up your stuff.

PedroPonyLikesCrisps Thu 08-Nov-12 12:27:41

The multi user aspect is a feature of Android 4.2 which will ship with the Nexus 10 but undoubtedly will come to the Nexus7 quite soon too so worth considering if your budget won't stretch to the 10.

lalalonglegs Thu 08-Nov-12 12:33:01

I don't really have that much ambition to learn how to use a tablet to its full extent, my requirements are really quite low and I'm not sure I could/would spent almost 500 quid on what will essentially be a toy for my children although I appreciate that some people would think it is worth it.

So, back to the original question, would it be foolish to buy an unbranded tablet that claims to do everything a Samsung Galaxy Tab does? In my mind, I suppose I would compare it to buying trainers made from the same materials and to the same standards as, say, a Nike pair but without the logo stitched on. Is that over-simplifying it..? confused

1sassylassy Thu 08-Nov-12 13:25:42

Unbranded tablets are known for their inferior wifi chips and their difficulties in connecting and maintaining a wifi connection.In my bitter experience I would advise you to buy the best you can afford

trice Thu 08-Nov-12 14:18:04

I am getting a nexus 10. They are due out 13th Nov. I am very excited. It is birthday and christmas for me and ds together.

seb1 Thu 08-Nov-12 14:27:52

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7" Wi-Fi 8GB for under £150 plus cashback

lalalonglegs Thu 08-Nov-12 14:42:59

Ooh, that's an amazing price. So one final question... if I were to get a 8GB tablet, could I buy an external DVD player that would plug in so we wouldn't have to store films etc unnecessarily in a relatively small memory?

nannynick Thu 08-Nov-12 16:10:53

An interesting question there lalalonglegs. I would doubt there is a DVD drive that can connect to a tablet. If there is, then I guess it would connect via BlueTooth and it would need some sort of power supply/connection, plus then some software on the tablet I suppose. Then there is the problem of having it in the car - bouncing around!

Playing things off a memory stick may be possible - can you get memory sticks to add to tablets? (I don't have a tablet, though I will have at Xmas as my mum's managed to buy me an iPad Mini).

TariffHound Thu 08-Nov-12 22:26:54

I'd suggest your first step should be to lock down your budget. If you want to spend £200 or under, then your two quality options are going to be between two of the three main 7 inch tablets - the Google Nexus 7 or the Kindle Fire HD (the iPad Mini being the 3rd option, but it is over £200).

To get a quality 10 inch tablet, you are going to need a budget of around £400. Yes, there are no-brand 10 inch tablets available on Ebay for under £200, but I think you'll really struggle to find a friend or family member (or anyone!) who has bought one and is happy to vouch for it. Google, Amazon and Apple tablets are like the John Lewis version of a tablet - they will be good quality and reliable, and if you're not happy with them you can take them back and get a refund. You can find research reviews of Google, Amazon and Apple tablets from all the mainstream newspapers and other media, unlike the no-brand Ebay tablets which definitely go under the "buyer beware" category.

If you are looking to go with a Nexus 7, and one of prime uses for it will be loading it full of tv and movies for the kids, I'd really suggest you look at spending £200 on the 32GB version to give you space.

Buying an 8GB version for £150 is a false economy as the films and tv shows will fit it up too quickly, and you'll be constantly deleting things and re-loading them to meet your kids' demands for variety.

If you're not technical and don't plan investing time to fully understand how to do stuff on the device, do think about stretching to £350 for the 32GB iPad Mini. The extra £150 gets you the simplest device to use, plus the backup of being able to stroll into any Apple shop and ask for help if you get stuck.

Apple charge a premium for their stuff, and you can look at it as either a "sucker tax" for people bewitched by the brand, or an investment in after sale support knowing that they'll stand behind anything they sell you. Again, it's very similar to the John Lewis approach to retailing.

But if there is a hard limit on your budget - focus on the Nexus 7 and the Kindle Fire HD.

seb1 Thu 08-Nov-12 23:36:49

The Samsung comes with 8GB but is expandable to 32GB plus I think Samsung are giving a free 8GB micro SD card with the cashback

lalalonglegs Fri 09-Nov-12 11:05:28

seb1 what does "expandable to 32GB" mean blush? How is it done?

A friend's husband is now singing the praises of the Archos tablets. He works in IT and says he spent six months looking for the best buy for his kids confused.

chocolatespiders Fri 09-Nov-12 11:17:29

I was holding out for a Nexus 32gb for dd for christmas= £199

But after seeing it on hot deal I bought the Samsung that seb linked to with the cash back and memory card makes it £80 cheaper than the Nexus.

I hope I have done the right thing hmm

I am worried about the low storage but wont be putting films on it. long journeys are twice a year and we watch films occasionally on the TV. DD will be using it for the games that she wishes she could play on her older sisters Ipad but she never gets a look in with it.

I havent got it yet but it has been dispatched I guess I could get a refund if I changed my mind........ Its a flipping minefield this tablet business!!!

chocolatespiders Fri 09-Nov-12 11:21:23

Please don't buy from Expansy's I had dreadful trouble with my daughters blackberry that I bought from them through Amazon.

seb1 Fri 09-Nov-12 11:51:38

Expandable means you stick a micro SD card in it, like you would with a digital camera.

JetJungle Fri 09-Nov-12 11:51:52

I have a Samsung Galaxy 8.9 and just wanted to say that I can create and edit Word and Excel documents using Polaris office, which came pre-installed on my tablet.

Also my tablet is 16g, but I also have a cable that I can plug in, and then I can then use on a memory stick. I watch movies and stuff straight off the memory stick this way. I store and organise all my movies and TV programmes on the memory stick.

SavoyCabbage Fri 09-Nov-12 11:59:11

It's not a good idea to buy a cheaper unbranded tablet.

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