A few weeks ago I sold my old Toshiba laptop to Patrick so he would have something for school (that’s another post I should make). He had wanted to buy a new one but I convinced him he would be better off saving his money and using my laptop. He didn’t want to take a chance he would break it or have it stolen and then feel like he owed me so he asked if I would sell it to him and I did.

That gave me the perfect excuse to start looking for something to replace the laptop for when I go on trips and other times when I like having a portable computer around.

I looked at iPads about 6 months ago but I couldn’t quite justify buying one when I already had my laptop and iPhone. The iPhone does most things the iPad does but on a smaller scale. The laptop served as my vacation device so I decided I didn’t “really” need one.

After I sold the laptop I began looking at laptops in earnest but I was still thinking I might like an iPad. I checked the Frys’ ads for a couple of weekends and then last week on Friday they had a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 that came with a $100 gift card. Since I buy a lot of stuff from Frys’ I figured that was as good as cash so I went to look at them.

When I got there they had it in a plastic case so I couldn’t tell how light and small it was. I started looking at other tablets and finally decided it was going to be the Acer Iconia or the Asus Transformer. The Acer had mini HDMI, SD card slot, and USB. The Asus had everything except the USB. I couldn’t really decide which to get so I figured I could buy one and if I didn’t like it I could return it. All of them ran on Android 3.1 (Honeycomb) so in that respect they are equal.

When I got to the checkout I was told the tablets had a 15% restocking fee. Since I wasn’t sure if I wanted to keep the Acer I just walked out with nothing. I wasn’t about to pay $60 just to try something out.

I went over to Best Buy and asked them if they had a restocking fee and they didn’t. They also didn’t have the Acer but they did have the Asus. I went ahead and bought that and brought it home. I played with it for an hour or so and then I started looking for reviews between the Acer and Asus. Most of the reviews said the Asus was a better tablet but one of them said neither was as good as the Samsung.

I started looking at reviews between the Samsung and the Asus and all of them said the Samsung was better if you didn’t need the extra ports on the Asus. The Samsung had a better screen and was much thinner and lighter. They also said you could get adapters for the Samsung for USB and HDMI. I decided I needed to try one of them out so I returned the Asus to Best Buy and bought the Samsung.

The Samsung came with a USB adapter in Best Buys deal which helped me decide.

After using the Samsung for a few hours I knew that was what I wanted. I also wanted the $100 gift card from Frys so I went back to Best Buy and asked them if they would match the deal. They said no so I returned it to BB and went over to Frys’ and bought it there.

All the reviews I read have the Samsung on top over everything except the iPad. Most reviews between the 2 suggest each has it’s strengths and weaknesses. The iPad is the choice if you want the Apple experience but every review said if you like the ability to modify your tablet then the Samsung was the choice. The Samsung has a slightly larger screen with much better resolution (1024 x 768 Vs 1280 x 800). The Samsung is also slightly thinner and slightly lighter.

Now that I’ve had it for almost a week I feel like I made the right choice. I had looked for an HP after reading Daryl’s tablet saga but none were to be found. I also like the idea of an Android tablet over the HP WebOS although I found out you can install Android on the HP. I guess you can also install Linux so it’s a good choice if you can find it.

In summary I’m quite happy with my choice.

5 Comments on Tablet Buying Saga, Slight Frenzy

  1. Daryl says:

    Cool! I read good things about the Samsung tablet.

    I’m still waiting for HP to ship mine and Devon’s tablet, though Derek has received his. It was his birthday present, so I figured he should get the first one.

    Playing with it a little, it was quite nice. WebOS has it’s pluses. But I was surprised by how heavy it is — 1.6 lbs. Lighter would be nice, but for $99 it will do just fine.

    Nobody really knows when HP will ship, but word is that they are waiting for a final production run, and will ship some in about 2 weeks, and some in 6-8 weeks. Hope I am in the former group.

    There is no return policy on these discontinued tablets, but I’m sure that if I don’t like it, I will be able to sell it at least at the price I paid. But I’m sure I will keep it.

  2. Mom says:

    Your headache must be better.

  3. Don says:

    I had a headache while I was writing that yesterday but today it’s been better.

  4. Donna says:

    Well, you savvy shopper, you! Nothing like getting everything you want (including the $100 gift card after trying out the different options at Best Buy’s expense). Does this have a data plan or will you use it wifi only?

    I’ll probably get myself a tablet sometime next year. They do seem very handy. But for now, I’m saving my money for my next iPhone, hopefully coming out in the next month.

    Congratulations.

  5. Don says:

    It’s Wi-Fi only. Until I move over to let my work pay for my whole phone I will not get a WAN tablet.

    As for the iPhone don’t forget you can always sell your current iPhone for at least as much as it will cost for a new one. I’ve done that with all 3 of my previous iPhones. I have to admit I didn’t get what I paid for the 1st one but I got more on the 3G and 3Gs. I plan to do the same with my 4 when the 5 comes out.