My Own Tablet Thinking At The Moment, Part Four

September 15, 2013:
LG G Pad 8.3
“Ice Green” Chuwi V88
ICOO Fatty 2
Ramos K1
Tomato T2

October 20, 2013:
HP Slate 8 Pro
LG G Pad 8.3
Tomato T2
iPad Mini 2
Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0

January 26, 2014
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4
HP Slate 8 Pro
iPad Mini 2

These are likely the most boring of my posts — as well as the most maddening for people to read.

I’ve been changing my mind a lot the past few weeks.


As much as I love what I’ve seen in videos of the HP Slate 8 Pro, I must resist it. It’s likely the most powerful tablet out there too. But HP seems to be intent on dumping the stocks they’ve made in Europe and not pushing it here. There’s no review program for it in America, which is why we’ve seen no reviews at the big tech sites. HP does have a review program in Germany, however, and I think that says what this tablet’s fate is. It’s being dumped in Europe and elsewhere and buried in America. HP should just get the hell out of tablets altogether instead of driving potential customers insane like this.


I thought a lot about the Dell Venue 8 (that’s the Android one). Comparing the videos I did of various tablets doing my Google Books PDF test, it was actually a wee bit faster than the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0. And it’s less expensive too (I recently saw it listed for just US$169!). But I wondered if I’d quickly get annoyed by the 1280 x 800 screen in a world that’s increasingly going Retina-class.

The Dell came into my thoughts because I re-arranged my thinking about Google Books PDFs. It turns out the massive ones — like The American Magazine — aren’t the majority of the Google Books I have. Most are simple conventional books. And just about all tablets can now handle those just fine.


Even though I’ve been keeping up to date about it, the Retina-class iFive Mini 3 wasn’t a compelling choice. I really thought it’d struggle even with simple Google Books PDFs. Then I was shown how it could handle even The American Magazine just fine.


But the Retina-class iFive Mini 3 uses a Rockchip 3188 CPU. And Five Technology has already said they’ll be the first to use the new Rockchip 3288. So this comes down to buying “obsolete” technology today or waiting until “tomorrow” to buy something with a longer lifespan — as well as more power.


In the back of my mind remains the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4. But it’s waaaay back in my mind. It has a high price and strained doing The American Magazine. That’s not a good combination. But that taught me even an AnTuTu score in the 34,000-range might not reflect how any tablet handles massive Google Books PDFs in real life.


As for eight-inch Windows 8.x tablets — NO. I’ve recently had to use Windows 8.1 — setting up someone else’s brand-new notebook — and it’s a horror show. Absolutely nothing about it makes any sense and I don’t want to have that aggravation in my life.


Even though the iPad Mini 2 is the fastest at handling massive Google Books PDFs, I can’t get past the lack of a card slot. The idea of a tablet like that fills me with flashbacks of the claustrophobic terror I experienced with my Palm III PDA. I wouldn’t mind it as a second tablet — especially for Apple-centric apps like Garageband — but getting that as my first tablet would feel like putting on handcuffs.

So, things stand with the Retina-class iFive Mini 3 as the new leading contender. But in about three weeks is the Hong Kong Electronics Fair. And all of the new next-generation tablets — Rockchip 3288, Allwinner A80, Intel 64-bit, and more — will be introduced and I’ll probably be back to a new round of thinking.


Filed under Personal

6 responses to “My Own Tablet Thinking At The Moment, Part Four

  1. This is not boring at all. I think these posts are very instructive. I get hung up on your hang up with the lack of card slot on the iPad Mini 2, but I admit it can be incredibly inconvenient at times.

  2. There’s always going to be something better on the horizon. For me it was the Chuwi V88. But I sent it back as the damn thing started separating at the side. Pity. It wasn’t bad for the price.

  3. Isn’t the Galaxy Tab Pro in the same price range as the Slate 8 Pro?

    • mikecane

      Higher. $329 vs $399 (unless Samsung’s latest sale price is a permanent cut to about $340-$360). The Tab Pro 8.4 has 2GBs of RAM and a higher-res screen (which is why it strains at a big GBooks PDF — too many pixels to push around).

  4. Seth

    I agree with the commenter above that it’s not boring. I check your blog often, because this also goes along my own line of thinking. It’s really frustrating why the more popular android tablet makers won’t make a decent 4:3 tablet with “Retina” screen.

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