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Tablet for college


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 91 ✭✭✭ Mark.87

    Firstly a few points to note:

    1. Microsoft Office is not available on any Android or iOS tablet in any real form. There are several other word processing apps you can use but nothing comes close to the capabilities of Office. If it is just some low-mid level stuff you are doing like taking notes, etc. then that is fine. If you require full Microsoft Word abilities then another option is to use the tablet for the “first draft”, save to Dropbox, Drive, etc. and then work on them from a computer. You just need to realise that these apps don’t have the same feel, look or capabilities as Word. What your use really depends on your needs.

    2. Printing can be temperamental on a tablet. Not so much a problem on say a home network but if it is your college printer you want to print from expect issues. You probably won’t be able to print direct from your tablet and will always have to either be emailing files to yourself to print from a PC or bringing adapters and connections around with you.

    3. For the media, if you want to stream live from the internet then no worries but if you download stuff you will need something with enough memory. How much memory depends on how much media. SD cards are great for dumping videos, music and pictures on. They are cheap and easily upgraded. They also have the advantage that you can connect them directly to computers with an SD slot (with an adapter). This means that you can drag and drop files directly to the SD card and don’t have to work through the tablet which could have driver and non-admin issues with college computers. From your list, the HP and Samsung have external SD slots whereas the Nexus does not.

    4. How long do you spend at college and how much do you plan to use the tablet? If it is the whole day they battery life is of huge importance to you. I think it is generally considered that the Nexus has the best life, followed by the Samsung with the HP having the shortest.

    5. As I think you are aware a larger tablet would be better for working on. I prefer 7in tablets, they are great for travelling, public transport, surfing the net, etc. but can be a bit small for any “true” word processing, etc.

    6. In my opinion you should also have a look at a Windows RT tablet!!! OK they are out of your price range (€330 for a Surface RT in Currys) but they come pre-installed with Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook. It will also do everything else you said and do them in a way that any Windows user will be familiar with.

    Just note that RT is not a full version of Windows, you cannot install other desktop programmes and the Microsoft App Store is limited (but getting better). They have a full size USB socket so you can plug in a memory stick, copy over anything you want onto it in the “normal” Windows way and then say plug that into your college printer and print direct from the USB key.

    RT tablets have been suffering since they were launched and have dropped in price. I think they are ideally suited for a lot of students depending on their usage requirements.

    If they are out of you price range, it is just light word processing you require or you are set on one of the tablets listed then here are my comments...

    The Nexus 7 is a massively popular tablet. A new version has been released in the US and is coming to Europe soon. This means that the original one you showed are coming down in price. Tesco are supposedly selling them for €148. You can also update it to the latest version of Android. Disadvantage is there is no SD.

    The Samsung is also a great tablet. I have the original 7in tab (its predecessor) that is around 5 years old at this stage and it still serves me great for some things (I use my Nexus for most things :D ). The one you liked too out specs the Nexus in many areas but in my opinion 8GB is a little low, especially since Samsung pre-load crapware which you won’t easily be able to get rid of. It does have an external SD slot so you can expand that by a further 64GB but you should note that SD cards are great for putting music, videos, pictures and other files on but most apps need to install on the devices internal storage. i.e. if you are file heavy get an SD cards, if you like to have a lot of apps get a tablet with more internal memory.

    The HP Slate I have heard mixed reviews on. If you see it in the shops it’s a very nice looking and feeling tablet but I have heard some complaints. It has reduced specs compared to the other two tablets. When it first came out it was incredibly well priced but reductions in the Nexus and Samsung mean that there isn’t as much of a difference now.

    OK so to sum it all up. There is a huge market of different tablets available. Which one really depends on your personal choice and what you are going to do with it! If you want to provide some more info perhaps we can make a better recommendation but in my opinion, with your price range, and based on you requiring more external memory as supposed to internal memory for apps, etc. I would probably go for the Samsung.

    The Nexus is a great tablet but I can’t see it being as useful in a college environment without the SD slot. In a lot of colleges the computers wouldn’t recognise tablets meaning you cannot transfer files for shared projects, etc. (other than by emails of course). I used a netbook in college and don’t think I could of survived using any tablet (other than maybe a RT). That being said your needs could be totally different from mine. If all your want to do is take a few notes, watch YouTube & surf the net during boring class and have no need for the external memory or to transfer data to/from college computer then I would go for the Nexus.

    Hope I helped and enjoy!

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,865 ✭✭✭ Mrs Garth Brooks

    I spent a week researching tablets last week.

    One thing about screen size and reading books and college stuff, 7" might be too small.

    Check them out in currys and pc world before buying. Amazon can be cheaper, they were with my samsung galaxy note anyway.

    I was going to get a 7" but decided on 10" as il be reading books and pdf's on it. And im glad i did, its like a small hard back book in its case.

  • Registered Users Posts: 64,949 ✭✭✭✭ Overheal

    For a budget you've really restricted yourself. The Surface RT while not a great PC is a decent tablet, and comes with Office 2013 baked in. The Surface Pro is a PC though, you can get office to run on it, and it will come with a digitizer pen for writing your notes straight into the tablet - no typing, no paper. Which means no losing random papers or notes in your bag or your room or your car. I HATE That.

    Printing is doable from just about any tablet with the right printer. I reccomend HP, they make it the easiest. My favorite model suggestion for size and function is the Officejet 4620 but the 6600 is a nice upgrade and if you plan to print a lot, the 8600 is beefy but a respectable choice, the kind of thing you'll keep using after you graduate. all 3 support Airprint and Google Cloudprint.

    Ignore "free 8gb card" gimmicky BS, its NICE, dont get me wrong, but not a reason to buy.

    I have a surface RT about a month now, the verdict - I ****ing love it, and as long as you have a PC/laptop to pair it with its a great bring-to-class tool. I also have a Samsung slate though which is like the surface pro though and when you take as many math and science classes as I do you know that not all notes are easily taken on a keyboard - formulas, diagrams, etc. and the pen is a huge assistance with that. I can carry around 4 years of notes with me everywhere I go and they don't weigh a thing. Not to mention the sheer joy of downloading textbooks straight to the tablet. Your spine will thank you. RT's speakers arent bad either for music and movies. And they're Stereo, which not all tablets have, certainly not many 7" tablets, I think the Kindle Fire HD is one of the few and its not a great academic tool.

  • Registered Users Posts: 951 andrewdeerpark

    I have the Surface RT a couple of months and its a really device. Native flash support, full size USB port for all those memory key access issues, Micro HDMI out I use with the VGA lead to output direct to any projector for power point, plus the wonderful onenote. Its really some versatile tablet and has gotten a very unfair beating from sections of the media.

    Outlook and Skydrive offline folders access are in Windows RT 8.1 which I have not tried. As a productive tablet its the best.

  • Registered Users Posts: 294 ✭✭ mark_m360

    I am out of college a few years but I recently purchased the Surface RT since it dropped €150 and I have to agree with others here, it is a fantastic device with the touch keyboard. Native flash support, full office student (with outlook being added in the next update before the end of the year) , a HD screen and very good stereo speakers. The touch keyboard is also used as a cover which is handy.

    The kickstand can be opened, and you can sit it on the desk and record the lecture (as it is angled)

    Android tablets tend to lag after some use as happened to my Galaxy Tab2. The Surface RT outperforms it in speed and usability, with full Office, seems perfect for college users.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 754 ✭✭✭ natnifnolnacs

    I know this is a tablet forum, but for your budget and needs have a look at a chromebook. You will need to stretch the budget a bit, but €240 and you have something far more usable for college work. Even if you do go for a tablet, definitely borrow one and try type a full page of text on it. If it doesn't drive you demented, you have a lot more patience than me!

  • Registered Users Posts: 1 lindarose

    Best Tablet for College: Samsung Galaxy Note 8

    Whether you're looking to be more productive or control your TV, the Galaxy Note 8 has it all. A built-in S Pen gives users of this 8-inch tablet the ability to take notes in class, as well as hover over email and other content for instant previews. Meanwhile, a built-in IR blaster and Samsung's WatchOn software enables couch potatoes to find good stuff to watch and change the channel with a tap.

    Starting Price: $399