Feb. 24th, 2011

So, I have a fairly small windfall coming way, and I've been pondering the Android tablet scene for a while.

Experience with the iPad has convinced me that 10" and 680g is too big and too heavy for my typical use-cases -- mostly reading books -- and that the only iOS-specific app I care much about is GoodReader, and RepliGo seems to cover the cases I care about there.

So I'm considering picking up one of the 7" Android tablets.

The Archos 70 is AU$375 from Expansys. It runs FroYo, isn't a "real" Google device so doesn't include the Market app, and has a wacky arrangement for the standard four buttons, using on-screen buttons instead of hardware. It does WiFi and Bluetooth, which is probably about all I'd need connectivity-wise. It gets very good reviews for the display, and there are repackagings of the standard Google apps one can side-load to get the Market and all the goodies that implies.

Alternately, the 900/1900/2100 version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab can be had unlocked for AU$600 from Mobicity. Obviously this is rather more expensive, but it means an "official" Google device so Market/etc is properly supported. It has hardware buttons instead of the on-screen hack Archos have done, a higher-res screen, and will do 3G. I could pick up an Exetel data-only SIM for $5 a month and 2c/MB. Granted, it's the shitty Optus network, but it'd probably suffice.

They each have a custom overlay. Archos have some extra codecs available.

As a reader, they would both do quite nicely. The Archos has the advantage of being cheaper, but it has the stupid on-screen buttons. Need to think some on just annoying those are likely to be. 3G isn't really a big deal for me, but I can see how a tablet small enough to fit in a coat pocket could easily become something one carried most places, at which point it'd make more of a difference.

Hm.

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