Summary:My suggestion: If you go with 7 inch and less than 200$, try with a Lenovo Ideapad, a Kindle Fire, or a Nook Color. If you have more money, try a 10 inches tablet instead. Avoid brandless devices unless you test them personally.
Keep in mind that tablets are computers, it's not jewelry (except maybe for Apple), so when something is cheap/expensive, there's a good reason, it's not only about brands. I don't know what your price range is, but let me get this straight: if a 7inches costs you less than 250$, there's often a catch, there's going to be something you don't like about the tablet.
If your price range is 300$ or less, you should test the tablet by yourself before buying it. 300$ is not enough for a great tablet, but it's still lots of money. You don't want to spend this amount on a tablet your sister will end up not using.
For a tablet under 300$ you will have one or several of the following issues:
- have an old or fishy version of android, maybe no update from the manufacturer. Some of those tablets don't have access to the android market
- have bad hardware: resistive screen will make the touch interface difficult to use, slow processor will turn web browsing, videos, and games into a bad experience, bad screen resolution/brightness will make movies sub-par, etc...
- get an unknown tablet nobody knows about. What kind of help will you be able to get if it breaks?
- Sometimes you'll get a good tablet but with limitations: the Kindle fire is not very useful if you don't plan to buy a lot from Amazon, same for the Nook color, *unless* you are tech savvy and do what coldbird suggests (root the device, etc)
- Support in Chinese and/or broken English
- volume control onscreen instead of hardware buttons (a big "NO" if you plan to use the device as your everyday music player)
Again, some of these points might be minor issues for your sister, but you have to
test such cheap tablets before you buy them. Ask yourself what you would feel if your sister wants to get you a "portable console" but ends up buying you a Popstation
because it's half the price of a refurbished PSP. At under 300$, you will most likely need to be skilled enough to root the tablet in order to get it to do "normal" stuff. If your sister is not a geek, you want to spend more on a tablet or she will get some frustrations. For that type of price, you could actually consider an iPod instead if music/movies is the goal.
So, first, can you give one detail: does your sister want 7 inch or 10 inch? Those are for fairly different types of usage. Browsing the web/typing email is a bit cumbersome on 7inch tablets from what I've seen.
The tablets on the link you sent are all brandless, and all have android 2.3, when 3.0 is the norm nowadays (although, not entirely sure for 7 inch) and 4.0 is around the corner, you will get what you pay for
, don't expect miracles. I'm insisting on that, because I've bought several times bad hardware just because it was cheap. I've now realized that I'd rather pay 400$ for a great device that will last 4 years, than 150$ for a frustrating device that I will leave in my closet after 5 months of usage. 150$ for a tablet is cheap, until you realize you have to buy a new one every year because it breaks or becomes obsolete too fast.
I've bought a 10 inch for my wife a few months ago so I can give lots of details about those, a bit less about 7inch, but first let's go through the 7 inch:7 inch
First, I suggest you go to Amazon. Not necessarily to buy from there, but to read the user comments. Read a couple of good and bad reviews to make your own idea.This is what they have in 7 inch
The ones that stand out to me:SKYTEX Skypad Alpha 7" Touch Screen Cortex-A8 Tablet Android OS 2.3
139$, this one is the first result on Amazon, which usually means it's the most popular. You apparently get what you pay for, the resistive screen and the lack of technical support seem to be the two bad points.Kindle Fire
. 200$ Amazon sell this one at a loss. Engadget said it was a good device for the price, but again you get what you pay for. It doesn't have the android market, only the Amazon store. Basically if you are not a regular Amazon customer, you might need to root the device. Volum control is software only. As far as I know however, this is the best you can get in 7 inch for less than 200$Lenovo Ideapad
200$. This one stands out, but some reviews say you'd rather get a rooted Nook, so I guess it depends again on your or your sister's tech-savvyness.Nook Color
. 200$ You won't find this one on amazon, check Colbird's comment above on how to make the best out of that tablet.10 inch
Those are more expensive, the entry price is 300$ for something that doesn't completely suck, but you can target closer to 400$. They are better for movies, browsing the web, typing emails, simpy because they usually have more power and the screen is bigger.Here's what Amazon has
Personal selection:Asus EEE PAd Transformer
. 380$, This is the one I bought for my wife. You can plug it through HDMI to your TV, which great for watching movies and/or youtube. Comes with an (optional) keyboard (great for people who make a transition from a laptop). It has a great video card, so games and movies play smoothly. Good CPU and screen too, so very good for browsing the web. Asus announced they will update it to Icecream sandwich (the newest android version) sometimes in 2012, which is also a great selling point for me. It can also read data from a usb key, which I realized is a very useful feature. Few tablets offer that functionality. Simply put, I love that tablet, and my wife loves it too.HP Touchpad
. Not android! This one is great if you can find it for less than 200$ somewhere. The OS is discontinued, and HP sold them for 100$ a few months ago. Sadly, the prices went up again, but if you dig enough maybe you can find a good dealSamsung Galaxy tab
. This one is the Roll Royce of android tablets, costs about 500$
Other tablets I've tried but do not recommend: Motorola Xoom
Too expensive for what it does. Volume control buttons are difficult to use, power button is in the back which is inconvenient, and it's too heavy. The Asus eee pad transformer above is better and cheaper.
I have a few US PSN codes to sell for a reasonable price (cheaper than pcgamesupply). PM me if interested, 1st come 1st serve basis..
Looking for guest bloggers and news hunters here at wololo.net, PM me!