questionsshould i wait to consider buying an android…

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You can keep postponing it forever, you know. There's always going to be one that's slightly cooler than the one you just bought. I'd go for the current nook, myself, as you'd suggested. Just think of it as your first Android tablet, and expect to purchase another one in a year or two.

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See, I mean that's the thing... I can't afford to buy new versions of every gadget once every one or two years.

But I suppose that's just the nature of technology: you take a gamble with buying it now or lacking its utility for a year in the hopes of huge developments occurring between then and now.

Actually, while I'm on it, I have a dumb question.. for Android tablets with 3.0 and a USB port, it wouldn't be possible to display its screen through a projector, would it?

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@scyld: I can answer that one with my eyes shut (so to speak). Many laptops have problems with projectors, and it's because the graphics card doesn't have the oomph to push the display. Hopefully someone will come along and explain it in more technical terms, but I'm really pretty sure that even a very expensive Android tablet is not going to drive the display on a projector. I can guarantee a Nook will not.

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@shrdlu: Ah, how disappointing. That'd be the primary way in which I'd use a tablet PC. But thank you for the info.

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Congratulations on choosing an Android. Fine choice ! Support your local robots !

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@scyld: I'm going through the same inner struggle on android devices as well... I've never had issues with devices and connecting them to screens though, as you and @shrdlu have described (only because I'm super picky, and only get laptops that have discrete graphics :D ).

As to whether or not to take the plunge just yet, it depends on what you want and need. For just basic tablet usage, you could get along fine with many available now. The Nook Color, especially with its new updates is a fine option, providing you don't require a camera for video chat, or video-out capabilities. And rooting it is a definite possibility:
http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/guides/2011/02/howto-root-a-nook-color-to-transform-it-into-an-android-tablet.ars
-cont'd-

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@scyld: However, many other possibilities exist; the Motorola Xoom, Acer Iconia A500 (there's also a W500 Windows tab) and Asus Transformer come to mind first. Soon available will also be a Samsung (very ipad-esque), Toshiba, Amazon tablet, and Sony gaming-capable tabs. Many offer HDMI ports, and apparnetly do decent jobs of projecting even some Hi-Def content to projectors or TVs. However, they each have limitations that still make me cringe. As such, I'm tempted to wait it out a while longer, until Honeycomb matures a bit more. It has some neat features in-the-works, such as a native Android video-chat app, and a specialized google-docs productivity interface, with OCR, etc. that isn't quite as evil as its regular, web-top iteration. And this isn't even exploring possibilities such as RIM's Playbook, which albeit isn't Android, can run many Android apps.

That's the basic rundown on the current market, and my opinion. I apologize for the length, but wanted to be thorough.

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@shrdlu: Untrue, many Android phones/Tablets have HDMI ports, which is a simple conversion to DVI as well. My Droid X, for example has a micro HDMI port. The problem is, that the application needs to support HDMI out. I don't know many applications that support it. The native video and gallery apps do.

The problem with projectors and laptops is not the graphics chip, it's PEBCAK (problem exists between computer and keyboard). Projectors are just monitors with a lamp, they don't require horsepower, most people just don't set them up correctly, causing weird stretching, etc.

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@mrmucox: I only repeat what I've been told, multiple times, when trying to display something that worked just fine on my laptop, and then wouldn't display on the screen. Please note that the usual solution was one of the following:

Move interesting item to powerful desktop, and then rinse, repeat (and continue on with presentation).

Move interesting item to different laptop, and then rinse, repeat (and continue on with presentation).

I actually called the manufacturer of the laptop I first had this problem with, years ago, and they said approximately what I just quoted. It isn't whether the connector is right. I used to have a room full of equipment where it ALL went through fancy converters, and then was displayed on a screen (you haven't lived until you've convinced a DEC Alpha to do this).

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The current crop are underpowered. They are good for light browsing, watching movies, listening to music and reading ebooks, especially epub format.

Some tips: look for bluetooth, USB charging capability, flash 10 capability, some type of camera and mike, and Android Market. I have a tablet that is missing all of these, so I miss out on a lot of the applications that take advantage. That being said, I'm satisfied with my Gentouch 78 version 2, but wish I had saved up for a Nook Color instead. The current version ships with Android 2.2, and it seems like the cheap pad that will be best supported by the hobbyist crowd for the near future.

I would stay away from the 10 inch models since they are really not suited to one handed use. I would also recommend checking out the user forums like Android Tablets.net for user opinions and links before spending any money at all.

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I'd wait just a little longer until their are more android 3.0 tablets available.

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Get it now. The zombie apocalypse could start tomorrow and your last thought as your brains are being munched would be "I'm sad that I never had a tablet :("

That's right. Your thought would even have the frowny emoticon and everything.

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Acer has a Andriod 3.0 tablet for about $450

But if you are willing to root your tablet
that will give you many more options for
well under your $500 budget

Good luck

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@eeekdageek: Hey eek-- That's the Asus Transformer. It looks like it's retailing for $400 in most places, but it's so popular that it's out of stock everywhere >_<

Hopefully more will be on their way. If they are, then this'll be my tablet of choice.

It's absolutely an incredible tablet at such a low price, not to mention the innovative acceptance of cursor input as well as standard touchscreen control, which I suppose explains its extreme popularity. For me, it also has a mini-HDMI out port, so I could use it for presentations without adding anything...

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Wait until Cyber Monday. The market is too crowded now and it will be Christmas shopping season until some of the entrants start to panic and slash prices to move their inventory.

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Acer Iconias can be had for under $300 at this point. It has a full-size USB port, so no need to hold out for an optical drive (which would be inefficient anyway) when you can just use a thumb drive to move data.
Take the plunge!

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@scyld: I like what @shrdlu said. And here's my tip for saving up for the next purchase in the next year or two: don't use dollar bills to buy anything(assuming you use cash)- instead stash them in a jar.

I don't want to sound like I'm trying to give you financial advice or anything, I just wanted to share an easy and fun way that I've used to save up cash for something special/fun without really having to think about it. After a while, it really ads up.