Best at the Best Price: Tablet Edition

by Ryan Yates on November 19, 2012

I’ve finally decided to add a Tablet to my “want” list.

Here are the specs I’m interested in:

  • a solid 10-inch tablet
  • epic screen resolution
  • one or two gigs of RAM (preferrably two)
  • 1.4GHz (or higher) processor (dual or quad core)
  • memory card slot for expandable storage
  • price under $600

I figure this list will help me narrow down a tablet that’s somewhat “future proof”, at least for a few years. I’m planning on using my tablet for about 4-5 years before I purchase a second one.

What? Did you take me for a planned obsolescence sucker?

I set my price point at $600 because, honestly, I’d rather just buy a laptop if I spent anything over that amount.

The Maze of the Casino

You know the old saying that a casino floor is built like a maze to keep you trapped inside so you’ll spend more money? Well that’s exactly how I feel after 6 days of tablet research and reading reviews.

Not only has there been an explosion of tablets on the market in recent years, but the offerings are so drastically different (even though different manufacturers try to appear similar).

I’m taking one step forward and two steps back. If I find a tablet with a low cost and expandable storage, it’s a no-name brand with a lousy screen, processor, and memory.

If I skip the aluminum backing and go for the expandable memory and big-time processor, the screen resolution isn’t up to par.

But if I go with the best screen resolution, I lose out on expandable memory.

Fourth-Gen iPad

Let’s just get apple out of the way. I haven’t bought into the advertising or social pressure to get anything Apple. I choose not to be a part of the iOsphere (copyright, lol).

For me, buying an Apple product is like being invited over to your friend’s house to watch a movie, but they don’t let you pick the movie, and it’s a snoozer. And once you’re in the door, they won’t let you leave.

BUT, Apple does make good products, I just don’t want one. And I especially don’t want an iPad because expandable storage is on the top of my list.

I mean c’mon, why would I want to pay Apple $100 to go from 16 gigs to 32 when I could buy a high-speed 32GB micro SD card for $22 on Amazon?

Plus, I really want the freedom of the Android platform. (And I’m afraid that, if I bought an iPad 4 in January or February, Apple would release the iPad 5 in June).

Google Nexus 10

I really got excited when they announced a 10-inch version of the Google Nexus. At 300ppi, it’s got the best screen available. Period!

Take that iLovers.

It’s also got great speaker placement, 2 gigs of memory, a super 1.7GHz processor, and the most direct line to Google’s updates.

And it’s made by Samsung, a well-respected tech company that gives me confidence in my purchase.

But alas . . . no expandable storage. Only a 16GB or 32GB version. Apparently Google wants to push everyone to their cloud-based storage.

The only thing is, I don’t live in America. I’m a missionary out in the middle of nowhere. I don’t have 3G, 4G, or always-available wifi. So I would rather have the capacity to physically take my movies and music collection with me on a (cheaper) micro SD card.

I’m also worried that the rubber coating which covers the plastic backing will start to peel away like my old Droid X case. What a nightmare!!

Asus Transformer Infinity

This one may be it folks . . . the tablet of my dreams. This tablet’s screen, while not the best screen on the market, is still full 1080p HD.

It also features a 1.6GHz dual-core processor, a micro HDMI connection, and a micro SD card slot for expandable storage.

It’s only got 1GB of memory, and while I’d prefer 2 gigs, that’s definitely not a deal breaker. Not like the expandable storage issue.

Right now my only draw back is the name ASUS. Only because it’s not as well-known as Apple, Samsung, and some others.

However, many of my custom-built desktop computer’s internal parts come from ASUS. And let’s not forget that Google commissioned ASUS to build their Nexus 7.

I’m not saying ASUS isn’t reliable . . . but when they’re laptops are some of the cheaper laptops (along with Acer and eMachines) it’s easy to feel uneasy at first about spending $500+ on an ASUS Tablet.

Samsung Tab 2 10.1 and Note 10.1

After hearing that Samsung equipped Google’s Nexus 10 with the BEST screen on the planet, there’s no way I could purchase either of their own tablets without feeling cheated.

Under the hood, the Tab 2 10.1 is pretty basic. The processor and memory are enough to get by, but with using my tablet for heavy web, graphics, and video usage, I wouldn’t feel comfortable spending the money – even though the Tab2 is on sale right now for $299.

The Note 10.1 has about double the power under the hood, and a stylus pen to boot with some nifty handwriting features (and that’s why the note is about $200 more expensive than the Tab 2). And both have expandable storage, too.

But both of these tablets leave me with a sour attitude when you see their screen specs. Both sport a resolution of 1280×800 – again, definitely well below the new standard of the iPad 4, the Transformer Infinity, and the Google Nexus 10.

The Results

For my personal usage, I’m thinking I can’t go wrong with the Transformer Infinity Pad. It’s well under my $600 price point, it’s got a full HD screen (although not the best available), I’ll get to use my micro SD card, the Micro HDMI will come in handy (I use my phone’s HDMI all the time), and it’s got a solid feel with a solid backing.

But just so you know, I’m heart-broken about the Google Nexus 10. Why, oh why is Google so obsessed with cloud storage. What’s it going to hurt to add one little micro SD card slot?

Oh well.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jeff Kosola December 16, 2012 at 5:21 pm

There must have been a very been a very bad car wreck at DeliverAwayDebt because the Hummer must be in the shop for repair :-)

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Miiockm January 13, 2013 at 12:53 am

I actually think the Microsoft Surface would fit your needs as well, but seeing as you posted this in November you probably already purchased a tablet.

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