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How to check out a tablet?

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  1. pengyou

    pengyou Well-Known Member

    I live in Shenzhen, a city in China that is right across the border from Hong Kong, and is within 200 miles of where many of the name brand and off-brand tablets are assembled, if not made I went to a computer market today and was amazed at the number of off-brand tablets that are being sold. True, there are only about 8 different sizes and a variety of options within those sizes, but they are all staring at me as I walk by saying "buy me! buy me!"

    The boxes and descriptions all have high claims - dual core, 16 gb, etc but how do I know if they are real or not? Is there a small android utility that I can download and install on a tablet in a few seconds that will tell me everything that is "under the hood"? I will use this tablet mostly as an ebook reader and movie viewer, and occasionally for Skype when I travel. Is there some way that I can download Skype for Android onto a flash drive and then install it on the droid I am looking at to see if it will work? Also, I would like to take in a movie, also on a flash drive, and see what it looks and sounds like when I play it on the droid.

    For playing movies and Skype - I am guessing that these are the most hardware taxing things I will be doing - what kind of hardware do I need? Will Android 4 let me have more than one app open at a time?

    Any help? Anything else I should look for?

  2. mikedt

    mikedt 你好 Guide

    你好 pengyou

    Yeh it can be like that. LOL.

    Was that SEG in the Futian District?

    I spent some months living in Shenzhen(Nanshan and Longgang), an amazing city. and just over 30 years ago there was almost nothing there. I've still got friends there. Also spent time in Zhuhai and Gaungzhou as well.

    What's written on the boxes is generally true, if it says "dual core" that should be what it's got.

    I'd say try as many as you can. Feel what the build quality is like, does it lag, how good is the screen. RAM size is important, go for 1GB or bigger. You really want to be looking at a Jellybean 4.1 tablet rather than Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0 now. Avoid Gingerbread, Froyo and older these days. See if there's a manufacturer's website with support and updates. Skype should work OK on most of them, if you side-load the APK. Something to be careful for, Google Play, often this is hacked-in and it's not official and that can give problems sometimes.

    Have a look at our forum sticky, some of which was contributed by me.

    Something you may want to do, if you can. Go into HK and get a Google Nexus tablet. Not sure if it's available in SZ.

    Oh yeh, checkout my sig... haha.
  3. pengyou

    pengyou Well-Known Member

    Hehehe...Can you recommend a place in HK to get a Google Nexus? I am going to see if any of my friends are going back to the U.S. for the spring festival...and then find out how much of a friend they really - ask them if they will bring a Nexus back for me :) Actually, one of the reasons why I wanted to buy a cheap tablet was to see which size I would find more useful. There are times when I think a 7" would be better and times a 9-10" would be better. A 10" would probably be better for watching movies...possibly reading e-books. For other functions, I think a 7" would be more convenient - sometimes reading with a 7" would be easier, esp. when standing on a subway or doing other things that require tieing up one hand. Can you recommend any "2nd tier" brands, i.e. not Samsung, Nexus, Motorola, etc but a good Chinese name brand and not a knock off? Maybe like Archos? Hyundai? Will I fare better in the HK computer market to find genuine products?
  4. mikedt

    mikedt 你好 Guide

    Moved thread into General Tablet Talk, as it's more appropriate.

    Broadway probably, or some of the tech stores on Nathan Road, TST, Kowloon.

    A very good idea. Are you a teacher BTW?

    Archos is French and Hyundai are Korean, not Chinese, that makes a difference. Lenovo is very good. ZTE, Coolpad, Hisense, Asus and Huawei are good as well. If you just want a tablet to watch videos in bed or something, then the cheapo ones are OK for that. But just don't expect anything fantastic, and be prepared for DOA, self bricking, and/or crappy WiFi.

    It makes one hell of a difference, that's why HK is SAR(Special Administrative Region). Google has a full presence and is not censored in HK, unlike the Mainland. Ever noticed how difficult it can be for some Mainlanders to go to Hong Kong and Macao?

    I've got a few friends who work in the Shenzhen, Dongguan and Zhuhai tech industry, on R&D, HR, admin and sales, and they go into HK, when they can, to buy their tech products, looking for Samsungs, HTCs, Sonys, etc.
    pengyou likes this.
  5. Davdi

    Davdi Well-Known Member Contributor

    I had an offbrand tab as my first Android. Resistive touchscreen, laggy as hell with very flaky WiFi, claimed Froyo, but a bit of digging revealed skinned Eclair and after 3 months it self bricked. It did have one feature which I wish others would copy though. A dongle which offered RJ45 and 2 full size USB ports, and it recognized a standard USB keyboard.

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