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back to article Ten ten-inch tablets

Does it make sense to own both a smartphone with a 5-inch screen and a 7-inch tablet? Arguably not. I can’t think of anything that I can do on my Nexus 7 that I couldn’t do equally well on a Samsung Galaxy Note II. Granted, the Nexus 7 makes a perfect partner for my Motorola Razr i, but if I used a Note II as my ‘phone’ I’d want …

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Unhappy

Nexus 10 Accessories

or lack there of

One of the annoying aspects of the Nexus 10 is the lack of an official smart cover that clips onto the back properly. Still no desktop dock either or fast charger

Apart from that its been almost flawless

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Coat

Could've saved the author's time

He only had to ask me and I would've told him. There's really only 2 he needed to review: Galaxy Note 2 and Nexus 10. All the others are overpriced hype or shyte.

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Unhappy

Re: Nexus 10 Accessories

Yep - the only available POGO pin connectors are unofficial ones on eBay

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Re: Nexus 10 Accessories

Agreed. Though I'm not that fussed about the fast charger, I'd really like a proper smart cover and I'd be interested in the dock. The frustrating thing is I know that both exist in some form inside Samsung, get the bloody things on sale and I'll buy!

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Re: Could've saved the author's time

Assuming with Note 2 you refer to the N80x0 tablet and not the N7100 phones than the question is "what is so special" compared to a TPT2.

+ SNote (Android equivalent to Journal) is unstable and crashed about once/day even in "Legal pad" mode

+ SNote lacks "recognize document" option that allows translation after writing

+ SNote does not have a full-featured "multi document" mode, basically only one document at a time

+ Handwriting recognition(HWR) needs switching between numbers, letter and special signs

+ The HWR engine in general is 5-10 years behind the Win8 one

+ Touch can not be switched off, Palm recognition is so-so

+ PDF annotation / tagging needs commercial software

+ Commercial software needs a credit card

+ Printing is lousy unless you use CUPS or your printer is supported by the printer producers app

+ Evernote (Android equiv to OneNote) is "cloud only" making data storage/sync debatable for a BYOD device

+ The unit is so "slippery" it is useless without a book case/sleeve, the Ativ500 has the same problem

The N80x0 has two benefits: It is cheaper and it is more readily available

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@GregC Re: Nexus 10 Accessories

Order what now? I'm not sure if you're replying to me or the deleted post

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Happy

Re: @GregC Nexus 10 Accessories

Not you, the deleted post. It was a snarky comment about availability that was about as accurate and well researched as a Daily Mail headline...

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Windows

Re: Could've saved the author's time

TPT2? WTF? Do you work for MSFT? You do? Good. Listen up. NO-ONE WANTS WIN8! No-one wants WinPho8. But you already knew that from the sales figures.

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Re: Could've saved the author's time

No, don't work for MS never did. One of my former employers did software for them - ironically using JAVA and ORACLE :) so we did get a chance to test Win8 very early. Liked Win8 from the day the first dev previews came out.

Actually I am waiting for a TPT2 (with 3G and stylus) to be delivered currently as a replacement for the "Was always trying hard" Notes 10.1. Will help me over the time till the Helix-B comes out in late 2013/early 2014 replacing ALL mobile and desktop devices. Well that and a feature-phone.

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Gimp

Re: Could've saved the author's time

4 Thumbs Down? WTF? Is this a forum for MSFT swingers or something?

Surface, Win8 and WinPho are all pants. The sales figures back that up.

Fanboi because I imagine this is what most MSFT-loving trolls look like in their spare time.

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Re: Proof-read fail?

When I came in here I didn't "wont" snarky comments about proof reading.

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Coffee/keyboard

it’s locked down tighter than a Tory MP in a massage parlour

very funny!!

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no acer iconia w700?

i picked myself up one of these recently as i didnt want to be tied in crapple and itunes and i wanted to use the machine as proper windows machine too.

its a great little thing (not so little at 11.6") and a bit heavy but the bigger screen is great.

windows still needs to work a bit better in touch mode as things like increasing the size of desktop items can screw up certain legacy programs as windows open off screen (for example zonealarm in unusable)

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Re: no acer iconia w700?

why the thumbs down?

apple are ok (my iphone is decent) but i wanted something a fair bit more usable than an ipad. and i hate itunes its such a ball ache to use.

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Re: no acer iconia w700?

No thumb from me. I still would like a discussion with the Acer guy who decided to deliver a Windows tablet without an active digitizer. Except for that the hardware is really nice...

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Re: no acer iconia w700?

i guess price? the acer is a fair bit cheaper than the asus ones with a digitiser.

i have tried mine with a cheapo stylus and it worked ok but obviously not as precise as my old wacom drawing tablet thingy.

i have ordered one of the weird styluses with a clear rubber tip but its not here yet so i cant give you a review.

http://www.dagi-stylus.com/us/index.php?page=shop.product_details&category_id=1&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=59&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=208&vmcchk=1&Itemid=208

im sure this will be good enough for what i need to do. just messing around sketching really.

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Re: no acer iconia w700?

why the thumbs down?

Citizen Kaned,

I can only assume it's either some very sad, and insecure, Android fanbois, or the frothing at the mouth Windows haters. Some of them are the same people of course.

When I've been rude about Windows or Apple I've not normally had that many downvotes. I like to think I'm fair, I'm usually quick to mention the good points, and I try not to be a troll. But recently, if I'm even mildly critical of Android, I start getting the thumbs down. And it's pretty much a minimum automatic 2 down votes for being even mildly complimentary about Windows 8 / Win Phone 8 (sometime even for just mentioning it).

I've used Android, iOS and Windows Phone 7 and like them all. Although they all have their different bad points too. Haven't used Windows 8 yet, but I've always preferred penable tablets, so long as touch is the main interface. I still get frustrated with the iPad's lack of a stylus sometimes.

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Re: no acer iconia w700?

haha. yeah, possibly fanboys.

i have played with ipads. too limited and locked down for me (i have an iphone though). i was going to buy a nexus10 but after 2 weeks no 32gb was still available so i started looking elsewhere and found these for a bit more. i was also unable to find out if i could do a few specific things on android that i knew i could do in windows. plus i can install photoshop on it :)

IIRC you can use a basic stylus on ipads, or any capacitive touch screens. i got my dad one for his galaxy tab 2 and its ok for basic stuff. sure, it cant compete with a wacom digitizer tablet but then again, its much cheaper!

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Re: no acer iconia w700?

I hate those styluses (styli?) for normal capacitive touchscreens. You may as well just use a carrot, or a sausage, for the all the accuracy they give you. I suppose it might be OK for sketching and doodling, but I really want handwriting recognition. That's what seems to me to be the natural way to enter text on a slate. Turning it back into a not terribly ergonomic laptop with a keyboard, or picking away with your fingers at a virtual on-screen one, seems distinctly inferior to me. I'd have thought that would also be true for the arty types - but as I have all the artistic talent of a cluster of colour-blind hedgehogs in a bag, I probably shouldn't comment.

I'm surprised how many games I've played on my iPad since I got it. Mostly I got it for web browsing, and the BBC iPlayer - for which it's great. Just got myself one of those Logitech magnetic bluetooth keyboards. They're not bad, but for me the pen is mightier than the board...

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Re: no acer iconia w700?

It's probably because there's no need to use iTunes.

My other half's ipad has never been anywhere near it .

Her books, her music, her videos her apps and her work - everything on board has got there over-the-air, It's very physically been attached to a computer at all.

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Trollface

Re: no acer iconia w700?

Compliment anything that's not Android you will be thumbed down. Criticize Android in ANY way, you will be double thumbed down.

This is life under our Google Overlords and their minions.

We know who the real Fanbois are.

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Re: no acer iconia w700?

Maybe it's not in because the review is for 10" tablets and by your own post you acknowledge that the w700 is 11.6"?

Maybe that's why people also gave you thumbs down? But that is just speculation on my part

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Re: no acer iconia w700? (my response)

Heaven knows how 'never' got mistyped as 'very'!

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404
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Re: no acer iconia w700? (my response)

...was looking at my kb trying to figure that one, then just nodded politely at the crazy person and moved on.

;)

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Coffee/keyboard

Conclusion?

After reading all that, I can't help feeling let down.

There is no real conclusion here. Yes, some of it is subjective, and different users will have different requirements. However all the text could have been summarised in one nice all-encompassing table which would have permitted much simpler comparison between the devices.

If I was marking this article out of 10 (and I can hear the teacher now), its probably in the 4-6 region - "nice try, but could have done better".

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Re: Conclusion?

I think you're being unfair. How can there be a conclusion? He's gone through 3 different operating systems, and 2 of those also have a stylus option (which allows even more possibilities). So, for example, at the end of the Samsung Galaxy Note he says, this is great if you want a stylus, otherwise go for the Nexus 7.

There is no right answer here. The Android tabs are now pretty good. Assuming the Windows 8 ones are as well, it's all now a matter of horses for course (Mmmm lasagne...).

I bought the iPad 3, at the time I got that, I would have said it was by far the best tablet going - with an honourable mention to the Asus Transformer - although as I recall that was going through one of its periods of stock non-availability at that precise moment, or maybe the radio problems on the previous version.

If I was buying a tablet now, it would be a far harder choice. There's Nexus to save cash, Windows or Samsung for stylus-lovers (of which I'm one). The iPad is still excellent (if locked down) and still has the best designed-for-tablet apps, unless there's something specific you need that Apple won't let you have. Although full-fat Windows has the whole lot of programs that run on that, so it's the only plausible option for a laptop replacement - if the Lenovo keyboard is really that good. The Asus Transformer is good for getting some typing done, but from everything I've read it's not quite up to being the only laptop (unless you only have very limited use for one).

In conclusion they're mostly very good, so pick on the features that are most important to you. Choice is good.

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@Spartacus

I agree with almost everything you've written, however I would take exception to "Nexus to save cash" - or at least the implication that price is the only reason to get a Nexus. The N10 is priced very keenly, yes, but the hardware is pretty much at the top end (at least for the time being...)

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Re: @Spartacus

Another big selling point for the Nexus range is the regular updates from Google.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @Spartacus

Another big selling point for the Nexus range is the regular updates from Google.

Until you find some DRM obsessed broadcaster (BBC and Sky are examples) who take one look your newly installed Android x.y.z+1 and refuse to allow their apps to run since they've only tested their app against Android x.y.z and it will take several weeks for them to conform that x.y.z+1 is still "DRM compliant" before allowing you to view their output again (even if, in the case of Sky, you may be paying a subscription to access this output)

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Re: @Spartacus

I agree with almost everything you've written, however I would take exception to "Nexus to save cash" - or at least the implication that price is the only reason to get a Nexus.

GregC,

You've got a point there. Although I do think the others have good points that allow them to justify charging more. Windows 8 is a fully PC and Samsung has the pen, and of course both have therefore to cover higher hardware costs. Whether the margin that Apple are putting on for the iPad is worth it is another question entirely...

My Mum wants a 7" tablet to replace her current iPad 1. The iPad Mini is an absolute rip-off! The full size iPad wasn't looking too bad until recently. Well that's before you start talking about Apple's flash and 3G chips built from unicorn tears - or at least that's how they price them. But in the last few months the full size iPad is looking a few quid over-priced and the Mini much, much worse.

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Re: Conclusion?

I agree in the sense that Alun didn't really address his first statement:

"Does it make sense to own both a smartphone with a 5-inch screen and a 7-inch tablet?"

Personally, after two years of experimenting I've largely gone back to a simple phone (a Nokia X3-01 I had previously upgraded to a HTC Desire and more recently replaced with a Samsung Galaxy Ace) with a 10.1 tablet in the bag. The smartphone does have some uses, but (for me) they don't justify having anything more than a basic smartphone particularly given how appalling battery life is compared to the Nokia. If I want to do more whilst on the move then I just pull out the tablet - the laptop largely stays firmly in the bag unless I'm on a train/plane/lounge with a reasonable amount of time to actually do some 'real' work.

However, I also have an e-ink eReader (Kobo) as it has a better screen for reading in differing lighting conditions and the battery lasts for a long journey which is useful if there are no power outlets available...

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Re: @Spartacus - The iPad Mini is an absolute rip-off!

Whilst I tend to agree, it does fit into a typical handbag which the original 10" iPad doesn't.

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Regular updates good or bad?

>Until you find some DRM obsessed broadcaster (BBC and Sky are examples) who take one look your newly installed Android x.y.z+1 and refuse to allow their apps to run ...

That's interesting - I had not thought of that. But, as long as you're aware of it, this is still an advantage for the Nexus brand as you have the choice to accept the update (admittedly it's pretty naggy!) or not. With other tablets you might get stuck on an old version which will lose you bragging rights at the pub.

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Thumb Up

expandable memory

I seem to have heard somewhere that apps can't be stored on expandable memory, which would mean that 1Gb onboard storage is going to look a bit short after 6 months even if none of it is taken up with your music/photos. Would this be right?

Also, carping about iCloud is a bit disingenuous since you can very easily use the dropbox and skydrive apps if you have stuff stored there. Which, I'm sure, every sensible person already does.

Useful review though, thanks. Just in time for the kids' birthdays.

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Re: expandable memory

If its important to you, then you should research it more. XDA Developer forums are usually a good place to start. People used to use an app called 'App2SD' to move apps onto removable storage, but it appears that it doesn't work with all versions of Android or every device. However, it might be that you don't require so many apps that it becomes an issue.

Personally, I have a fair few apps on my ICS phone, only some of which are really useful ('Gstrings' guitar tuner is great, unit converters, calculators), many I never use, and I haven't loaded too many games on it- so I have never run into any app storage limit.

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Re: expandable memory

Android keeps the application binaries in secure storage but most apps will permit their resources to be stored in an encrypted volume mounted over a file on the SD.

Cyanogenmod can move content to SD even if the app doesn't specify the flag in its manifest. It doesn't use App2SD which would allow apps to be linked to volume mounted over SD.

App2SD is hard to get going properly in my experience and unless you're flashing a custom firmware it's not even an option. I think it's better to buy a tablet with more storage - even the cheapest Chinese tablet ships with 4Gb these days and 8GB or 16GB is more sensible especially for games where many of larger ones can suck up 200-900MB

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Re: expandable memory

Definitely go with your gut on this. I have been using an Xperia Arc phone for over a year now and although initially the 512kB memory was enough I am now having to regularly choose which apps to keep as a) not everything will move to the SD card and b) all apps get bigger over time with updates, patches and stored data (which you may not care to discard)

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Re: expandable memory

An app called Directory Bind is your friend.

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Gold badge

Hmmm. Those Windows tabs look quite tempting with keyboards. But I'm not currently in the market, as I've still got the perfectly fine iPad 3. Although I'm still struggling not to go out and buy the Nexus 7 or little Samsung 7" one (which has far nicer speakers) - just because shiny.

Has anyone got any experience with the Samsung Galaxy Note 10? I've got a friend who's a designer, and I've suggested to him the S-Pen might be rather nice. He likes the idea of taking a photo of something on site, writing the dimensions on the photo, sketching what he's planning to show the client there-and-then, then when he's back in the office he can simply trace over the photo to get a quick dimensional drawing and email it to the client for approval.

It's just a shame that Samsung are at the top of the Android prices - the Lenovo, with keyboard and pen wouldn't be that much more expensive, but could also replace his laptop.

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Anonymous Coward

I use a Samsung Note 10 all the time at work for taking handwritten notes in meetings and sketching out diagrams. It works far better than a capacitive stylus add-on to a standard tablet, until you've tried both, you don't really appreciate how much better the S-Pen is. It has proper palm-rejection and is much more precise. I'd recommend it. All the reviews criticise the plastic construction, but i find it makes it lighter and more comfortable to hold than an iPad for example.

I got mine from simply electronics, partly because they were the cheapest and partly because I couldn’t find anywhere else that sold the 3G version in grey at the time.

Also recommend getting the 3G version and a Three prepaid 3G data SIM from Amazon so you’re always connected.

Plus, get the official Samsung pen holder that comes with a spare pen. It’s a good quality full size metal bodied pen which makes writing for long periods more comfortable.

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Bronze badge

Tested the Note 8010 (WLAN version) for three month, sold it. For an Android 4.x it is a good tablet IF you want a Wacom pen(1) but it struggled against Win7 penables and Win8 penables simply leave it in the dust. The TPT2 (or the strangly missing Dell Latitute 10) have the same capabilities and then some like expandable storage for programs (App2SD did not work on the Note) and a more mature penable software (MS does penabled since a decade ago)

The casing is resonably sturdy in feel but extremly slick even compared to other Android tablets.

(1) If not the 1200x800 resolution is too low for the price

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Thanks for those answers. I used to have an HP hinged tablet running Vista. It was slow, and high-maintenance but I was still very pleased with it. The pen was absolutely brilliant. If Samsung aren't much cheaper than the Windows tablets then they look a very good bet. I agree the difference between a proper digitiser pen and those so called styluses you can get for capacitive screens (basically vaguely pointy sticks) is huge.

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Samsung Galaxy note 10.1

The new Wacom Bamboo Stylus Feel (released in last month), should give an improvement over the S-pen.

The problem I found was finding app's that could take advantage of the Wacom pen, although the few app's written for the Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet (Android) will work on the Samsung.

It's a shame that the deep discounting (on the Note 10.1) we saw before Christmas hasn't continued (Tesco's listed it at £318, but with clubcard vouchers and Samsung's £50 cashback, it could be had for less...).

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Re: Samsung Galaxy note 10.1

using another wacom stylus is an option for all the SPen equipped units. l use a PL 900 for most writing and a book case with a loop for holding it [The EP121 has one as did the casel used for the Note]

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Anonymous Coward

I'm absolutely loving my Note 10.1. Can't figure out why I see complaints about build quality in every review I've read as mine has no flex or anything. I've thrown on an XDA rom and have multi-window in every application (there's also an app on the store which does the same) and I really couldn't go back to anything without that functionality now.

I thought I wouldn't have much use for the stylus but use it for literally everything. I use an app called LectureNotes for all my notetaking though SNote is pretty good too. I do lots of technical pdf reading and annotating, and have had no real problems with the screen quality there. Multiwindow is great here for taking notes, or the touchwiz feature to capture a part of the screen with the stylus and paste it into a document.

I certainly will upgrade to the next version if it does have a higher res screen but other than that there's nothing I really miss bar maybe a full size sd and usb slot. I'm even dualbooting Arch Linux on the thing when needs be (not a vnc session, the full thing).

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Anonymous Coward

I got a USB host adaptor off amazon for a few quid so I can connect USB flash drives and SD readers directly if necessary...

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Missed a trick

Write an Android image to microSD and insert it into the Nook HD+, restart and you have a full Android tablet.

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