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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  

    Default Thinking of getting an 8" tablet to replace my Nexus 7

    I bought a Nexus 7 at the start of the year. I passionately adore it. However, I am mildly visually impaired, and while Boat Browser copes reasonably well with websites (it appears to be the only browser which continues to wrap text after you've increased the size, so that you almost never need to scroll horizontally - how is this not the norm for such browsers?), it can still be rather frustrating. At the time, I bought it partly because the size fit my hand nicely, and 8" tablets back then were significantly larger and heavier. (I'm 4'11", I have small hands, so this is still a dealbreaker.) However, the Nexus 7 does have a honking big bezel, and there are now some 8" tablets around with much slimmer bezels which are only marginally bigger than the Nexus 7.

    Specifically, I'm looking at the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8", which is 210 x 124 x 7mm to the Nexus 7's 199 x 120 x 11mm, and weighs 20g less. I'm now trying to figure out whether it will fulfil my needs. The spec looks fine, and while it has less storage, a micro SD card will sort that out. I've only used about 8GB on my Nexus 7.

    Does anyone have one of these? What's it like, in terms of general quality? What is the screen like? Does a small bezel ever cause problems? The resolution is the same, which on a larger screen actually works well for me - I can't read tiny font. I'm particularly interested in the speakers. That one's a deal-breaker. They should be no worse than the Nexus 7, and preferably better. Listening to audiobooks is one of the main things I use this tablet for, and external speakers just aren't practical for me.

    Here's what I do with my tablet on a regular basis:

    Browser the internet in Boat
    Read books in Aldiko
    Listen to books in Ginkgo Audio Book Player
    Instant messaging in IM+ Pro
    Use lists in ColorNote
    Use the eBay app
    Use the Twitter app
    Use the YouTube app

    There are a few other bits and bobs, I was checking the measurements for a square within a square in the QuiltCalc app last night for instance, but that's the regular stuff.

    Out of curiosity, is the rear-facing camera likely to be any good? I cannot understand why they have equipped it with a 5MP camera but no flash! I do a lot of quilting, and it would be nice to be able to take photos of my work straight onto something computery without having to faff about with cables in order to get them from the camera onto the laptop. But it wouldn't be much use if they came out dark or blurry.

    I'm also a bit worried that there will be quality problems, that I will spend the money, do a hard reset on my beloved Nexus 7 and sell it to my boyfriend, and then find that I'm landed with a tablet that won't work properly.

    Come to that, will I be selling my boyfriend a horribly out-of-date tablet, or will it be fine? I assume that a hard reset would speed it up again, since I do have a certain amount of clutter on it. And the Nexus 7 has always been a nice tablet. He's a software developer, incidentally; I don't know what that means in terms of what he needs from a tablet, although his desktop computer runs on Ubuntu, if that tells you anything. His main concern when trying mine out was to plug it into my spare keyboard and see what it was like for word processing, as he's a playwright.
  2. Thread Author  Thread Author    #2  

    Default Re: Thinking of getting an 8" tablet to replace my Nexus 7

    New question, while watching a review video: I see that there is a physical home button, and it looks like the buttons on either side are also part of the bezel. Does this mean that you can only use the tablet the right way up? If so, how are you meant to use it when it's charging? I frequently use my Nexus 7 propped up on its stand upside down, with the charging cable coming out of it.
  3. #3  
    Haalcyon's Avatar

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    Default Re: Thinking of getting an 8" tablet to replace my Nexus 7

    You may also want to take a look at the LG G Pad 8.3.

    G Pad 8.3
    Live long and prosper.


  4. Thread Author  Thread Author    #4  

    Default Re: Thinking of getting an 8" tablet to replace my Nexus 7

    Oh, that looks interesting. Although I'm messing about with getting images of these two on my screen at exactly the right size, and I've a feeling that I'll find them a bit too big for me. I don't know much about LG, are they reliable?
  5. #5  
    Haalcyon's Avatar

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    Default Re: Thinking of getting an 8" tablet to replace my Nexus 7

    I've had great luck with LG and would recommend them.

    G Pro
    Live long and prosper.


  6. Thread Author  Thread Author    #6  

    Default Re: Thinking of getting an 8" tablet to replace my Nexus 7

    It's even bigger, which is giving me pause, and I have no idea how widely it will be available. I'd like to buy it from somewhere well-known, where I have solid comeback if anything goes wrong, and I'd also like to be able to go and try it out. This is all me dreaming until my finances get sorted out - hopefully I'll know whether I can afford it by the end of the month, if not sooner. At some point I'll go to John Lewis with my Nexus 7, boyfriend and the wheelchair, and spend a while playing around with the 8" models to see how they feel. The Samsung sounds good in many ways, and while I'm not terribly bothered about the shiny back looking a bit crappy (although does it get slippery?), I remain very suspicious of the way they've done the home/back/menu buttons.

    Has anyone here had an LG tablet? When you say you've had good experiences with LG, could you elaborate?
  7. #7  

    Default Re: Thinking of getting an 8" tablet to replace my Nexus 7

    Quote Originally Posted by Indigoquilter View Post
    Oh, that looks interesting. Although I'm messing about with getting images of these two on my screen at exactly the right size, and I've a feeling that I'll find them a bit too big for me. I don't know much about LG, are they reliable?
    I had the G Pad for about a week, but I returned it. More on that in a moment.

    As far as the size goes it is actually only slightly larger than a nexus 7. The screen is obviously 1.3 inches bigger, but b/c they use up a lot more of the bezel, the tablet itself is only like a centimeter wider. it's taller of course, but that doesn't really affect how easy it is to hold. It's also not much heavier than an N7.

    I think it's a very good tablet, but there are reports of many units having screen issues and the dev support looks like it will take a while to gain steam so consider that. I liked mine a lot but I decided to wait for a Nexus 8, which I believe is coming sooner than people think. if you can wait you might want to wait for more news on that.
  8. Thread Author  Thread Author    #8  

    Default Re: Thinking of getting an 8" tablet to replace my Nexus 7

    When you say that you find it just as easy to hold, do you mind my asking how tall you are? Because at my height, small amounts can really make a difference! There's a point at which something sits comfortably in your hand, and there's a point at which you're stretching unpleasantly.

    Anyway, the LG sounds interesting, but it's bigger, more expensive, hard to find, and I'd prefer something more mainstream, for various reasons including being easily able to buy a nice hard case for it (I've known of far too many Nexus 7s which died for want of the same). Thank you for telling me about your experiences with it.

    I just looked up the Nexus 8, which would indeed be lovely if it turned up with a nice slim bezel. It sounds like it's only a rumour at this stage, however. I'm guessing that it takes quite a long time for a tablet to go from the "vague rumours, mostly based on wishful thinking because that would be SO AWESOME" stage to the "and you can now buy it, at mainstream shops and and at a very reasonable price too" stage. If it even gets there.

    I ended up drawing out the different sizes of screen last night, and then the different sizes of the whole tablet, because that's what quilting geeks do. (Though on the back of some printed-out music I had sitting around, because I was too lazy to go and get the graph paper. Sorry, Mozart.) The difference in screen size is amazing. And the difference in total size looks manageable for the Galaxy Tab, though to be honest it's hard to tell without seeing it. I am trying to pay extra attention to how I use the tablet, how often I hold it directly instead of putting it on a stand, how I feel about the screen. I'm not sure how far I'll notice with ebooks, but it'd be nice to turn the pages less often - I use a fairly large font size. And websites are usually manageable, but are generally something of a drag, so I think I'd definitely notice it there. I still can't believe that only one mobile Browser will rewrap text so that you don't have to scroll horizontally. I know I like reasonably large print, but seriously, guys!

    Random thing I should have mentioned earlier: I'm in the UK.
  9. #9  
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    Default Re: Thinking of getting an 8" tablet to replace my Nexus 7

    Take this with a grain of salt but there's a rumor that Google is finishing a Nexus 8.

    Posted via Android Central App on my Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 (Android 4.2.2)
  10. #10  
    Haalcyon's Avatar

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    Default Re: Thinking of getting an 8" tablet to replace my Nexus 7

    Well, I've not had a lick of trouble outta my G Pad and I'd prefer it if you nice folk didn't jinx it. I'm really pretty happy with what LG is doing and that's why they have my money. I like Samsung but LG's skin seems a little lighter than TouchWiz and though I have no problem with TouchWiz LG's lighter skin is kinda refreshing.

    G Pad 8.3
    Last edited by Haalcyon; 11-15-2013 at 09:46 AM.
    Live long and prosper.


  11. Thread Author  Thread Author    #11  

    Default Re: Thinking of getting an 8" tablet to replace my Nexus 7

    We made it to John Lewis on Saturday, and I got to play briefly with a Galaxy Tab, and at more length with a Galaxy Note in a quieter room. The problem is that I was tired, the lights were blinding fluorescents, it was crowded and noisy, and I was going into sensory overload. Even with my tinted specs on, I found it really hard to get an idea of how I was getting on with the screen, or just to read, come to that. I do know that I don't like those buttons on the Samsung. It seems that you can't use it upside down, because the buttons would end up at the top. I use it upside down all the time, sitting in its little stand when it's got the charging cable plugged in. And having them on the bezel, and can I mention that physical buttons are really annoying there, means that they get touched by mistake during normal handling. So it's not a good choice for me. And I wasn't exactly blown away by the way it was set up, either. Simply switching between open apps was a nightmare. The straight plasticky back was nowhere near as nice to hold as the curved and textured Nexus 7 either.

    At the moment, I'm thinking I'll stay with my trusty Nexus 7 until it reaches the end of its natural life, and see what the market has available by then. While a larger screen was a nice idea, I do cope very well with what I have already, and websites aren't unreadable enough for it to be really annoying. (Boat browser continues to rock.) Meanwhile, this means that my boyfriend won't be buying my tablet, so he'll need one. I'm thinking that the LG might be a good choice for him. Is it a reliable enough brand, and can it be bought from somewhere really reliable?
  12. #12  

    Default Re: Thinking of getting an 8" tablet to replace my Nexus 7

    Tablets can be encumbering to hold, however my BB PlayBook is super easy to hold- unfortunately it's fallen short on app availability so it's been sitting in my drawer for the past year and half.

    I don't know anyone who'd be willing to give up a Nexus 7... that's a good tablet.
    Motorola Moto X (rooted/unlocked 4.4.2)
    HTC One X (4.1.1)
    Asus Memo Pad 10 ME301T (rooted 4.2.1)
  13. #13  
    Rich215's Avatar

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    Default Re: Thinking of getting an 8" tablet to replace my Nexus 7

    I love my Nexus 7 2103 and was very happy I updated from the 1st version N7. The screen is so amazing on the 2nd gen version. It was a good upgrade to me as my eyes are also not the best.

    But I must say.....browsing the internet with any browsers on a tablet....is not fun at all. I really cant stand using mobile browsers and wish there was a better solution in a small 7 or 8 inch tablet. Well.....I think I have found a good alternative that would fill in the hole I feel using the N7 compared to my laptop and desktop use.

    Dell and Lenovo have just introduced 8 inch tablets running full blown Windows 8.1. You can use desktop or metro on them. Just do a youtube search for Lenovo Miix 8 and Dell Venue Pro 8. They are the start of something I think will develop to much much better small tablets. Nokia will have a 2020 8 inch tab out in Q1 of 2014. Supposed to be better than the new 10 inch Nokia 2520.

    Something to ponder as an alternative in the small tablet offerings.

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