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Tab Pro 8.4: My first Android tablet!
I have a Surface 2, which I love, but decided to buy an 8-inch tablet for the primary purposes of reading books, magazines, comic books and browsing the internet, maybe watching short videos. Everyone said get the iPad Mini, it is the obvious choice, but I had an iPad before the Surface and it's not for me. Apple is expensive, it doesnít do flash, it doesnít have expandable storage, I donít like the UI, I don't like not being able to buy books from within the app and when I play with it in the store I donít enjoy it.
Dell Venue Pro 8 has Windows 8.1, which is my favorite operating system. I have a Windows Phone, Surfae 2, PC, Xbox so I am comfortable with Microsoft. The Dell screen doesnít have the resolution of the iPad or the Samsung but honestly to my eyes it looks nice. It is the tablet I play with the longest when I am in the store and I can also get it for half the price of the iPad Mini or the Tab Pro 8.4. The big negatives are there is no Dark Horse Comics app, the Kindle app doesnít supports magazines and doesnít have extra features like x-ray, and the Comics app will occasionally get stuck downloading comics, which is really annoying. If Windows Phone had a great Nook app or if Windows 8 had a better apps this would be a no brainer.
So yesterday I bought the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 in white from the overzealous sales associate at Best Buy. Apparently it was the last one in stock. I LOVE the hardware. The screen is beautiful. It is big enough to read magazines and comics but is also light, evenly balance and easy to hold. Some reviewers seem to prefer the smooth back of the iPad but I absolutely prefer the warm leatherette (queue Grace Jones) style backing on the Samsung. It feels great, doesn't show fingerprints and makes the tablet less slippery.
I'm still trying to learn all the Android features. I haven't used Android since the Evo 4G and I've never had a true Android tablet. There is a lot to customize. I'm not interested in Google services, so I am setting up Outlook, Bing, OneDrive, Xbox Music, etc. I'm not sure whether I will use the Flipboard style interface or not but it is nice to have the option. I love reading on this tablet and the apps for Nook, Kindle, Overdrive, Zinio, Comics all seem to be good quality.
Here is a problem I have not solved yet: how do I get a "reader mode" in Chrome or the Samsung web browser. I couldn't find it in the menus so I tried to install Readability and got an error message saying this version of Chrome wasn't supported. This feature is a big deal to me and I use it on my Surface almost every time I read an article on a website. I know that Android is infinitely customizable so there must be a way to do this.