Tools We Use: My Personal Tablet Recommendations

The thought of publicly doing this three years ago would have probably scared the bejeezus out of me but here goes…
I’ve got three tablets that I use on a somewhat regular basis for different things and I’ve got things I really really love about each one.  Hopefully you’ll find your needs in this post and I can help you make a great decision.  There are so many great tablets coming out right now, and more in the pipeline but here’s what I recommend and why.

after the break

The Traveling Journalist, The Travel Part: Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

While actually traveling, I mean in a car (not driving riding), on a plane, on a train, and for long periods of time, which are typically my down time.  There is nothing out there right now that rivals the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in media, movies and entertainment.  The battery life is awesome too!  So if Im chilling out to a favorite movie or catching up on some of my favorite downloaded programs it’ definitely the Gtab 10.1.

Samsung had a great foot ahead of everyone else with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7″ and the refinement that went into the Galaxy Tab 10.1 make it, as I said on twitter, a “Media, Entertainment and Gaming Beast”.

On the gaming side, the dual core processor, and screen are just the beginning.  Consider the weight and size of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 itself when you’re playing a game that requires you to hold the tablet above a table or surface with two hands.  The Galaxy Tab 10.1 feels great in the hands and doesn’t cause fatigue.

Handle This Now: The HTC Flyer

If you’re a faithful reader of thedroidguy than you know that I’ve been preaching the gospel on the HTC flyer since I first saw it in Barcelona at MWC. There are a few key points to the Flyer that make it extremely useful in my career.

First off, the headline “Handle This Now” this is a reference to notes I send out quite frequently via email that may be a correction, horrible picture, or other thing that needs to be dealt with on You see with the HTC Flyer you can take a screen shot of anything and mark it up with the pen to be real clear about what you need handled. You can “John Madden” anything and college students, editors, journalists will find this very very useful.

The next thing about the HTC Flyer,  it charges via microUSB on anything.  The battery life is great but if I couple the Flyer with just one Amzer solar charger then Im guaranteed to get a whole day out of it.

On the pen… As far as the HTC Scribe goes, I love the feature I addressed above and drawing but for me I will never be able to write with a pen as fast as I can type.

Size: the 7″ size is of course the same as the OG Galaxy Tab which means it fits in the back pocket of my jeans or shorts and in the smaller front pocket of most back packs.  It’s also the exact same size as the Nook Color and the button layout is the same so most Nook Color cases fit the Flyer.  This may not be a big deal to you but Best Buy sells a Nook Color case in Android green that has a slot for the pen for $15.

Apps: Since the HTC Flyer runs on Gingerbread and not Honeycomb it gives it access to over 230,000 apps in the Android market.  It’s unclear how many apps are currently available for Honeycomb but the number is way under 100,000 at the moment.

Mobile Warrior Powerhouse: Toshiba Thrive
A trusted colleague who I respect a lot James Kendrick formerly of JK On The Run and I debated this once on twitter. Tablets arent really there yet to replace laptops etc, however since Im a journalist of sorts I’ve found that I can absolutely get away with using a tablet to cover an event or post a brief story on TDG.  It’s easy to spot a tablet produced story they are the ones with pics only in the top middle and  no jump point.

As such I need a tablet that can out of the box do exactly what I need for work. The Toshiba Thrive is that tablet.  On the media, entertainment and gaming side it’s just not nearly as good an experience as the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, but on the be productive get work done front, it absolutely is.

The Toshiba Thrive has usb ports with hosting for full size usb, and mini usb.  The USB port is a powered bus making it the only tablet that you can hook a portable harddrive up to from say Seagate, without an optional power supply for the hard drive.  The G-Slate, Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Xoom can’t put out the power needed for the hard drive.

The user serviceable battery is the icing on the cake.  If you take good care of your electronics than the one thing that seems to go before anything else is the battery.  That makes the user serviceable battery a big plus. Also the fact that you can order the batteries separately from Toshiba and have one on standby ready to go, means you can go for hours and hours with the Toshiba Thrive.

The Toshiba thrive also has a great file manager with a familiar feel and supports up to 128gb regular sized SD card.  In a pinch I can take the SD card out of one of my DSLR cameras, off load photos to the Thrive and then beam them up to Pocketcloud or Drop Box to get edited and posted, all the while not missing the next shot.

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