Why I Won’t Recommend A Tablet To Anyone

People think I have some secret or all-encompassing knowledge about Chinese tablets.

That’s not even in the same neighborhood as the truth.

First, there are many tablets I don’t pay attention to. Why?

Second, because I have specific needs: a 7.9 or 9.7-inch 4:3 screen. Period. I’m not interested in 10.1-inch 16:9/10 screens and I ignore all coverage of them I see at Chinese tech sites. I included some 8-inch tablets here because their low price intrigued and surprised me.

Third, I’m really only interested in what I need. Even though it looks like I’m doing a blog here for everybody, I’m not. Anyone else benefiting is simply a side-effect of my own quest for the best tablet for me.

Fourth, I don’t keep all tablet specs and reviews in my head. That’s a waste of my brain space. I write posts here so I can look up whatever I need. I know how dickish that sounds, but I’m simply being efficient in my wording here. If I was really a dick, there’d be no Comments.

Fifth, there is no best tablet, period. I don’t know where anyone is getting this idea. It’s an impossible notion. It’s like asking, “What’s the best fish?” Any Chef would reply, “The best fish for what? Baking? Poaching? Grilling? Sandwiches? Cat food?” So “best tablet” for what?

Sixth, I really don’t want to know your “for what.” I link to everything here. There’s no secret to what I do or any hidden sources. In fact, if you’re not bothering to click through to the original sources, you can’t be helped at all — because you won’t help yourself. Expecting me to keep track of which tablet does X, Y, or Z is not a burden I want. Again: I’m only interested in a tablet for my specific needs.

Seventh, I don’t own any of these tablets. So how can I realistically render any kind of judgment about anything other than what I’ve read? And I’ll repeat: Nothing is secret here, I link to everything. You can read all the original sources too.

Eighth, I just don’t care about GPS or 3G/4G. I don’t drive, I walk; so GPS for me makes sense only in a phone. The same for 3G/4G. And I’m not about to keep track of that stuff for tablets when I don’t need it. I won’t even bother with it until the time comes to buy a phone.

Ninth, tech recommendations are ass, period. If you’d believed the Nokia ass-kissers back in the day (and there are still unrepentant ones even now), you would have been led to believe Nokia reinvented the tablet with the release of their piece of shit Nokia 770. The one time I followed someone’s tech recommendation, I bought a Palm LifeDrive (used, off eBay, and replaced the hard drive with CompactFlash) — and it’s a piece of shit too, compared to the other Palms I once owned. So much for “recommendations.”

Tenth, I wind up getting emails as if I’m holding something back and will only tell “the truth” in email. I’m not. I haven’t even done any post about tablets I’d possibly buy — because I remain as confused as fuck. It wasn’t until my own recent hands-on testing that I discovered a difference with the Foxit PDF software. I expected to rely on that software; now I don’t know if I can (I’m still waiting for Foxit’s diagnosis of the problem; we’re exchanging emails).

Eleventh, it’s increasingly looking like only an iPad can reliably do what I specifically need: Handle Google Books PDFs without me wanting to slash my throat in frustration. But I don’t want an iPad because of the lack of microSD card slot. I’m stubborn on this point and will hold out until all hope is lost with Chinese Android and Windows tablets (and if you’re about to recommend something else to me, go re-read points 2 and 9 above).

Twelfth, at some point all these posts will end. Because I will have some sort of tablet and then be busy reading with it. So all of this is temporary. I have no overarching interest in spending hours each day — and it does take that — tracking a subset of the Chinese tablet market. If I wanted to be a professional Chinese tablet analyst, I’d be sending out a résumé — and following all the tablets.

So I hope all of the above explains why I won’t be recommending or suggesting any tablet for anyone.


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18 responses to “Why I Won’t Recommend A Tablet To Anyone

  1. What do you use as a your current daily reading device then?

    • I don’t have one. So I haven’t been reading. I’ve done a few on a desktop and notebook Windows machine, but that’s torture.

      • yeahman45

        lol when are you going to buy a tablet? do you really need google books? you can try the ebook readers like kindle and nook which are cheaper and ideal for reading.

      • Yes, I do need GBooks PDFs. And it’s only been *recently* that even the iPad could handle them well.

  2. I too have seen the advantage of 9.7″ …as it gives more actually screen real estate than 10.1″ …but I did stray to a Pipo M8 Pro, which is the same width as my iPad 2 …just not as tall. Now that I see Cube with a 9.7″ in the same physical size, I am sure I will be moving over to that tab one day soon.

  3. E.T.

    Nevertheless, even without specific recommendations, your blog opens a window into the Chinese tech market that is quite revealing.
    Can you make a list of Chinese tech sites that you recommend for someone that wants to follow and research other devices (i.e. tablets or phones)?
    I thought I’ve seen such a post on your blog but could not find it.

  4. alex

    Ha Ha Ha,
    Excellent writing with humor! The best part in this post is the number 12!!!
    Ha ha thumbs up mike!

  5. Seth

    Given that we have more or less the same “for what”, I’d definitely appreciate it if you’d post what tablet you’ve decided to buy before hibernating in reading.

  6. T Nam

    I know how you feel – but I don’t have a blog.

    I’m using a 3rd Gen iPad for reading until the Android tablet I want comes out. I suspect we’ll both be buying the same one. Until then, you probably don’t give a damn, but your posts are appreciated.

    I’m curious – what app will you be using for reading (only googlebook pdfs?), since the hardware is only half the story, and are most of your material pdfs?

  7. M. Smith

    Little late to the game on this blog, but…

    Well played my friend…. well played.

    That being said, please let me know what you think the best tablet is on a daily, weekly, monthly rotation as well as a fully comprehensive annual review.


  8. Vera

    Mike, well done mate. Thank you for placing your thoughts and finds online for the rest us. I personally am just as lost although I couldn’t be as bothered to write down all my finds for all to know. Your effort and honesty is appreciated. Keep up the good work, and I hope you find your ultimate tablet. As for me finding a resource like yours helps sift some of the crap from the pile. Thanks again.

  9. JohnD

    The blogger doth protest too much.

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