questionsanybody want to help me make a decision on a…

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It is actually pretty simple: Is 9 mos of warranty worth a hundred dollars to you. (I find that electronics either have a problem in the beginning OR after a year. It is rare for a working tablet to develop problems in the 90-day to 1-year interval).

There are no issues with you being able to update it. It is done right through the tablet over WiFi. Just click SETTINGS/ABOUT/SYSTEM UPDATE. Also, it is easy to take a Samsung Tablet back to the original OS. It is readily available on their site and can be installed via a program called ODIN.

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I forgot to post this for you:
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Samsung-Galaxy-Note-10.1-Tablet-with-16GB-Memory-Deep-Gray-Refurbished/22025702?wmlspartner=PvTvb1zzm2o&sourceid=35345467380462628821&affillinktype=10&dest=9999999997&sourceid=30000295233201058398&veh=aff&wmlspartner=lw9MynSeamY&affillinktype=10&veh=aff

The tablet you want at Walmart for $299. I post a deal when they drop it to $279 on occasion. It is Manufacturer Refurbished with 90-days warranty. You may buy extra warranty if you like and probably come out to less than the $100 difference vs. new.

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I am frugal kind of guy, so I tend to buy stuff that is "last years" model or generic Chinese made. I just can't justify paying more than a couple of hundred for a tablet that will be out of date in a few months.
I mean, my desktop still runs XP and has lasted longer than several of my marriages.
Seriously though, I think there are several questions to ask yourself before you buy:
1. What do I use a tablet for? If it straight media consumption the Fire isn't bad (the Nooks are also real cheap and have integrated Play).
2. Does Brand make a difference?
3. Will I get software and firmware upgrades? I have no idea what these things mean, but they seem important to some people. My experience thus far is who know, it's a crap-shoot.
4. Do you really need a tablet, or should you just buy one off those huge phones that don't fit in your pocket?

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I bought the Sero 7 Pro from Walmart for $129. I'm not sure why the price is showing $149, you could probably call them and have them lower is to $129.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Hisense-Sero-7-Pro-7-Tablet-Quad-Core-Processor-with-8GB-Memory-M470BSA/25427874

Basically the same specs as the first gen Nexus 7. Google it to get more info.

I use it for Netflix all the time. It's great. And cheap.

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@atd15: 1. What do I use a tablet for?
Mostly playing games, although I do use it for checking my mail and some web surfing. When I travel I use it a lot as a media player, and for web searches. I also use office programs occasionally to carry work documents conveniently to meetings or City Council without having to print them out. I also sometimes use it for reading.

2. Does Brand make a difference?
Only in that recognizable brand names usually means the warranty is more reliable and it's easier to get customer support.

3. Will I get software and firmware upgrades?
I don't really care about this as upgrades are sometimes more trouble than they are benefit.

4. Do you really need a tablet, or should you just buy one off those huge phones that don't fit in your pocket?
My phone provider only services specific models. Also, I want a 10" tablet as I like to be able to do some things such as reading and playing games with generous graphics without glasses.

Thanks!

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The Galaxy Note is a great choice - especially if you find value in the included stylus/corresponding screen which is far more precise than using an aftermarket stylus on the average tablet screen.

I'd have more confidence in a "refurb" from a credible source where you hope they do more than wipe it off and drop it in a box.

But otherwise the refurb vs. new thing is personal - a lot of folks simply don't want used stuff, just like with used vs. new cars. But you do pay for that new privilege.

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I personally really like refurbs. Bought refurbs many times and never had an issue and always saved a lot of money.

My suggestion though: get it from amazon. Just checked and they have a refurb for 319.99 or used for 273, both fulfilled by amazon.

I love newegg too, but when it comes to the possibility of needing to deal with customer service and potentially return something, I know Amazon will be a better experience.

It seems like you are pretty set on the note, but the nexus 7 is worth considering too. I got one a month ago or so and it is very nice, especially with kitkat.

When it comes to 7 vs 10 " tablets, besides price, I think the biggest difference for me is that larger tablets are better for video and comics, and the smaller tablet is better for most games and reading books. Holding a 7 inch tablet one handed is a lot easier for reading and games that have virtual joysticks are much easier to play on a smaller tablet.

It is pretty sweet that the note has a sd slot.

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My next tablet will be an Apple iPad. Why? Because I've had 2 different android tablets (an HTC and aVizio) with the micro USB power port and both ports failed even after being repaired. Its a design flaw and all the tablets out there use this type of port except Apple. The tablets themselves were wonderful, but until they get a different type of port on the androids I won't buy another. You can google this problem-- its widespread and well documented.

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@iggz: Correct me if I am wrong, you have rear facing camera and a SD slot on the Sero 7. (I miss them both on my Nexus 7)
But you will not get KitKat?

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@kmiller4: This is pretty much true. The charging port on one of my phones broke. However, to be fair this was only after two years of owning the phone and most people replace their devices sooner than this.

Also the new nexus 7 tablet can use an induction charger if the port ever breaks.

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@caffeine_dude: yeah, it has a front and rear facing camera. The quality is nothing to write home about, but it works. And, yeah, it has an SD slot. The link I posted above has all the specifications.

I'm not sure what the plan is for updates. I have heard that they are working on an update to 4.3

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@kmiller4: My ASUS has a proprietary port, a long wide thing. I don't know if they have changed it on the newer models, this one's two years old. If you are looking for an IPAD, Target is giving a $100 gift certificate with purchase of the big IPads and $75 with the smaller ones this year on BF. I gave very serious consideration to the IPad Air, which is supposed to be a great device and with this sale is effectively $400, which is what I am looking at for the Galaxy Note. But then I researched what one must do to be able to load one's own video content onto it and marked it off my list. Any device which requires constant web connectivity to be able to use the features I like is largely useless to me. I'm already getting pretty discouraged by the number of apps that don't work without being able to connect.

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@portezbie: I've had a lot of good experiences with refurbs as well. I just want to be sure if I get one it's from someone who's going to honor the warranty. I expect at least two years of heavy utility out of this device. The refurb on Amazon is pretty tempting. I am balancing it right now against a new Note, which I saw at Costco yesterday for $380. Costco has a great return policy ("I don't want it" is a good enough reason for returns) which allows me to buy from them with confidence. I've only ever had to deal with Amazon customer service once, and it was a grind of a process, but it was a very complicated matter and was finally resolved satisfactorily.

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how about this early black friday deal for a tablet:

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/amazon-kindle-fire-hd-7-previous-generation-16gb-black/2599009.p?id=1219074792522&skuId=2599009

then use coupon code KINDLEDEAL

The 7" 16gb Kindle Fire HD tablet drops from $199 to $99.99

(It's last year's model)

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@baronz: That's a good deal, but I am looking for a 10" tablet. I want something I can read, watch movies and play games on without having to wear my glasses. Also my friend had a Kindle Fire and he doesn't enjoy it as much as he does borrowing my android tablet. At this point I think I really am looking for an android tablet. A friend was pushing me toward the older model Surfaces that will be cheap this year, but I don't think I want a Windows OS, I like the stuff from the app stores.

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The samsung galaxy (10.1) new one is available for 299 in costco, walmart and lot of other stores for Thanks giving.

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@balasan: Yes, that's the Galaxy Tab, I presume. I read some comparisons between them and it looks like the Note is worth the extra $100.

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@moondrake: I agree - the Note is better than the Tab in so many ways and well worth an extra $100. Not that the Tab is bad.

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My 2 cents probably isn't worth half it's stated value, but here it is anyway.
First, I love my Android everything. But...
I think that the time and place for Android tablets has almost passed. My tablet has been great, but there's always something that I can't do easily. Or simply can't do at all because of the operating systems limitations. Again, it has been a great tablet while I waited for something better.

TBC....

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Second, I HATE Windows 8 on a phone or a pc. But..
I think that it is the very best choice for a tablet operating system at this time. I have had the chance to play with a few of them and they are fantastic as long as your expectations are realistic. In other words there will be no playing BF4 on the highest settings. (But get an i5 with intel 4400 graphics and you can play on low :). And you have to deal with Windows 8 and those gawdawful tiles. But they aren't so bad for a tablet. Actually, it is the only place so far that I feel like they actually work as intended.
I've been seeing a few decent ones at the $400 dollar price point. If you want the i5 and and more storage it will be more. I am hoping to find something that has i5, a keyboard with extended battery, 13"-ish ten point touchscreen, 500gb +ssd (some size here)gb for around $550.

I might miss my Android tablet when I get one of those. Wait, no. I will not miss it. But I am happy that I had it to this point.

Good Luck!

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@jdgm3nt4l: Android is not at all intuitive for me like Windows has always been. It has been very difficult to learn, and I still feel like I am in a foreign country whenever I have to step off the main path with it. But apps do feel comfortable to me, and I have been enjoying the big playgrounds that are the Google Play and Amazon Apps stores. I just got my first Android phone in the mail yesterday and turned it on for the first time an hour ago. So if I went with a Windows tablet, I would not have to give up on the world of Android entirely. It's something to ponder.

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@moondrake: we use Android and iOS tablets. They both have advantages, but I agree with your experience with the learning curve for Android - it is not an elegant OS even as it has become more polished lately.

On the Windows tablet side - I never thought I'd consider Windows RT in particular. But Yesterday Micro Center was pre-BF selling the Surface with keyboard/cover for $179.99. Could not resist and bought one for pickup BF weekend. They're now out of stock for pre-orders but they claim to have at least 100 in store for BF at the same price. I'm not expecting much other than mainstream apps, but it is a nice design and the included Office suite will make it a handy device.

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@atd15: Be proud! This country was built on Chinese knockoffs. Most people don't know this, but The Constitution was actually written on injected-molded plastic - not parchment. If you visit the National Archive you can see faint remnants of the Hello Kitty pictures that were scratched off.

Big fan of Gernicism myself :).. a lot of times the name brand and "generics" are made in the exact same factories with the exact same components. The only difference being the trademark.

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@portezbie: I pretty much agree. I tend to like my 7" when I am going someplace and know I'm going to be killing time because it's a bit easier to carry around. The larger one gets more use when I am at home. If I had to pick just one, I'd probably go with the 7" model.

I've got several Kindle Fire devices and am pretty pleased with them. I've got the previous generation ones and don't feel compelled to buy a new one right now, if that's any indication. The lack of Google Play is a little annoying but it isn't much trouble to root (about a three minute exercise) and load the Google apps. There will likely be deals on previous generation Kindle Fire devices over the next week or so.

If you're OK with older devices you could probably find a first-gen Nexus 7 for a low price. If price isn't relevant, there's always the iPad Mini. I wouldn't mind having one but can't convince myself that it's worth over a hundred dollars difference in price, as compared to Android devices.

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@iggz: Hm, looks like a pretty gosh-darn decent deal. How long ago did you pick yours up? (Just trying to figure the odds of them release an updated ver. in the near future).

My TouchPud is starting to feel it's age - still runs like a champ for basic stuff, but at the end of the day I know it's living a lie masquerading as an Android tab.. only thing that I hesitate about is the screen size.
Snap dawg, HDMI-out too.

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$399.90 Here http://www.staples.com/Samsung-Galaxy-Note-101/product_901008
Use online code: 18702 or in-store code 50561 for an additional $50 off.

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@kmiller4: I had more problems with apple's 30 pin than I have ever had with USB. And finding a cable cheaply is much easier than with their new connector. Not to mention the fact that the micro USB is universal, So someone always has a charger. Not sure what you are doing to break those connectors, but not judging either. I used to be an apple fan but after having to ditch all my apple stuff again for another connector change (the first was the power pin, then the lightning) burnt me out.

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@kylelmccoy: Actually both tablets were lightly used by adults-- no real abuse. I have an iPod with the 30 pin connector and have had no problems with it. The new iPads have the new style connector (lightening) and since I already have an iPhone 5 I already have a couple of chargers for that so I'm not worried about finding chargers.

I really don't know why the micro usb charger ports failed for me. Just bad luck I guess. But you know the saying-- "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me".

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@portezbie: Thanks portezbie-- I didn't know that about the Nexus. That moves it up a notch IMHO.

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@Moondrake-- thanks for the Asus info. I actually bought the iPad mini yesterday from Best Buy for $299 with a free $100 giftcard and 6 mos of free virus protection.

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@kylelmccoy: Te mini usb connector on one of my sansa clips is bent. A couple of my friends have tried to use a toothpick to bend it back into place without success, and I haven;t taken the time to get out my jewelry-working lighted magnifier so I can see what's going on and try to fix it myself. Evidently I had a bad cable (won;t hook to anything) that bent the connectors inside the sansa when I tried to connect it.

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@adonisseraph: Thanks for the link. I went to see if they have free shipping (the nearest Staples is about 60 miles from here) and it says out of stock. They do have it at Costco right now for $380, not quite as goo a deal but a local store with a great return policy.

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@kylelmccoy: I would not buy an Apple or Android device based upon the connector unless there was a pretty clear and broad consensus the particular connector was failure-prone. Both the 30-pin Apple and micro USB connectors (and Samsung connectors as well) can be abused and fail. We have devices with each of the connectors and have never had one fail. And that includes some kid-use.

The real plus with the new Lightning connector from Apple aside from it appearing to be more hardy?

It doesn't care which side is up or down! You simply insert it, even in the dark. Huge step forward. We love it.

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Galaxy Note 10.1, Manufacturer Refurb, $279.99, free shipping, free return, 90 day warranty by Nuko (Samsung's official partner):

http://www.groupon.com/deals/gg-samsung-note

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@drchops: I bought it back in September.

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$339.99, new, right now Amazon Lightning deal. Half claimed as of 10:53am eastern time with abut 3 hours to go...

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@bluemaple: I just called and it's $280 at Costco.

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I know you've been looking for tablets, not sure if you bought one yet or if this meets your needs but I just posted this deal and thought you might wanna take a look

http://deals.woot.com/deals/details/3b4f1edc-7fef-4952-8efa-bdd6054abe3c/insignia-flex-8-8gb-ns-14t002-best-buy

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@moondrake: I too was looking for a tablet to try and didn't want to shell out $$ for something I might not like. I currently have a Samsung Galaxy SIII (Android) and love it. Yes, it's not as intuitive as some others, but it's still pretty easy to get used to, even for a 'non-techie'!

So after looking for a few weeks and reading every review I could find on a variety of tablets, I finally broke down and bought the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 Tablet for $279.00 (refurb) from Sellout.Woot on the 11th. I am eagerly waiting for the package to arrive so I can start playing with my new toy! I expect it to operate very much like my phone, so the learning curve should be minimal.

Here's the link, and it's still available...
http://sellout.woot.com/offers/samsung-galaxy-tab-3-10-1-tablet-1

I'll post again after I get this and play around for awhile.

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@tourman61 and @nmchapma: Thanks. I finally settled on a 13.3" Hannspree tablet for $190 from Tiger Direct. It's an off brand and not blazing fast or impressive resolution. But it's enormous, which is great as I like my tablet big enough to use without having to wear my glasses. I have been really please with it, it's been really nice for watching videos. The only downside so far is that there are no stand-up cases fr tablets this size. But I have a couple of workarounds for that.

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@moondrake: That doesn't sound too bad. May I ask what model you bought?

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@phillystyle: I don't think they have different models, just different sizes. This is the one I bought:
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=8574138&SRCCODE=WEBGOOTAB&cm_mmc_o=mH4CjC7BBTkwCjCECjCE&gclid=CKK564qBr7sCFSvl7AodSH4Aqw

There's a $20 rebate for online purchases right now, so you can get it for $180.

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@moondrake: that's a lot of real estate for $180. Sounds like it is an Archos Familypad2 with different branding.

Of course with great deals sometimes you compromise: internal memory of 1GB might limit future OS upgrades, 1280x800 resolution on the low side (but still beats many laptops), smallish battery, and if it matters - weak cameras. But hey it's still a ton of functionality for less than $200 - it's even a quad core!

BTW, if you take it on the road, that huge unprotected screen is begging for something in your bag to puncture it. As a sloppy solution I'd pick up a slightly larger piece of hardboard or 1/4 or 1/8 inch birch plywood. Then always face the display toward that board when stowing it. A couple large rubber bands to keep it aligned. I'd actually enjoy the funny looks at the coffee shop or library... as they envy your huge screen!