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Thread: Replacing my TF700T

  1. #1
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    Replacing my TF700T

    My TF700T microphone finally gave out.. it's been working only intermittently for a long time, but now it's completely dead. That's pretty important for me because I do a lot of communication via Line, Skype, and WebEx. So I had to start looking for a replacement.
    But the state of Android tablets is a sorry one. There are mostly (to me) useless puny 16GB tablets (lots of those), a few 32GB ones, and nearly no 64GB models *at all*. As my photo/video collection on my TF700T is around 30GB to start with, nothing less than a 64GB tablet is an option. So what's the selection like? There's an insanely expensive Google Pixel model. Scratch that one. Lenovo has a 64GB Yoga model, but not only is it very expensive, it's using an Intel Atom CPU, not ARM. So scratch that one too. There are two Asus Zenpad models, but tests I have seen are very negative. There's only a *single* model left.. and that's a Huawei. So that's the one I got. 64GB storage, 3GB RAM, microUSB, apparently there's also a slot for microSD, and there's a headphone socket (I don't know if that's also a mic input).

    It's really going downhill with Android tablets. I can't understand why. They're still very useful, maybe more than ever. But not if they don't have reasonable onboard storage (microSD is and will always be slower than eMMC. It's even noticably slower on the TF700T, with its already slow eMMC).
    Compare with Apple: You can easily find an iPad Mini 4 with 128GB(!) of storage, and even including an LTE option (SIM card slot) it's still relatively cheap. Cheaper than lower-capacity Android tablets w/LTE. If its operating system and features would work for me I would swith to an iPad in an instant. Unfortunately it's not for me.

    So how's the Huawei then? It's good, actually. Nothing to complain about as far as the hardware is concerned. Software-wise I have two issues:
    - Chrome, which has replaced the Android Browser, is a really really really really poor replacement. Clunky user interface.
    And neither Chrome nor any of the other alternative browsers have the icon-based bookmarks of the Android browser, which I happen to like. There's no way I can manage the many bookmarks I need, with Chrome or any of the others. I want the old Android browser, just upgraded with newer SSL support and general bugfixes..
    - The launcher. Which is possibly a Huawei launcher. It insists on putting every application on the home page(s), unlike the old Asus launcher. And the iconns are huge, and the bottom is permanently occupied by 'standard' apps. Which means that each page/desktop only have room for a few apps, unlike the old Asus. And it has a limited number of desks/pages (10. And with the Asus I only needed five..). I have to start pushing some of the apps into those 'container' folders.
    These designers are thinking small. As if every tablet only needed a browser, email, and FB.

    So, I keep the old Asus around still.. for some of my browsing. And a news application which doesn't show ads because I filtered those off with XPrivacy.. my Huawei isn't rooted, so I can't do that.

    I had to figure out a way to transfer content (including those 30GB of media, plus quite a bit more) from one to the other.. via microSD wasn't really an option I looked forward to. But I found Syncthing, it worked wonderfully, and as it's a desktop tool as well it pushed the data over to my PC too. Good stuff. Syncthing doesn't care (much) which net you're on, although it's of course much faster if you're on the same home network. Anyway, due to my new tablet I now have transparent synch and backups between various devices.
    sculptedstylus likes this.

  2. #2
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    I guess as phones have become bigger and better, the interest in tablets has waned!
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  3. #3
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    I think that Google & OEMs finally decided they had "lost" (if that is the right word) "tablet wars" because of the advent of cheap Windows 2-in-1 devices.

    I think your choices are now between Windows 10 devices or Chromebooks or Apple iPads, Pro or otherwise.

    I have both a HP Chromebook and an Air 2 64gb and find either excellent, but the iPad is still the device I use for everything I need. I have never found the OS restrictive. Different, yes. Restrictive, no.
    Requiring a different way of thinking - yes.
    Superb quality and functionality of apps - yes.
    Superb hardware - yes.

    I can run a business, a charity and a household from iPad without needing anything else. I did try a W10 tablet (just because it was 40!) but having used it once and fiddled a little with it, I soon realised why I gave up Windows in the first place and it went back in the box. It might get used for something, someday - but along with its Android Motorola "drawer mate" I can't think of a use at present.

    As far as your launcher complaints go Tor, there are plenty to try on the Play Store. Nova launcher was one I liked. Plenty of third party browsers, too. Firefox or Dolphin maybe...

    PLEASE Search for existing threads before posting a new one. Thanks.

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  4. #4
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    I'll try some other launchers -- but I've already tried a dozen browsers, and as I mentioned in the OP none of those have bookmark handling that's acceptable to me.
    And those alternative operating systems simply don't have what I need. There's not a single Windows application I need for anything. Chromebooks can't run most of the apps I need. iPads can run a couple of them, but that's all. Hardware wise though - Apple have "got it": Lots of storage (128GB in minis). Well, they don't have SD card slots..
    Android tablet makers haven't "got it". The way to (easily) out-compete phones is to provide better hardware: Lots of storage and RAM. Not to go in the other direction, with toy tablets with specs that don't give you anything. But then again we knew that - even Asus, with initial good ideas, fell into that beancounter trap where they "saved" on parts (e.g. the eMMC), and other mistakes, whereby they lost the whole market as an effect.

    For now my new Huawei will do. I guess the launcher can be fixed by installing an alternative one. The browser problem is more fundamental, and an Android issue. I don't know yet if I can root my Huawei, until then I'll keep using my TF700T too, for a couple of things.
    It's just nearly unbelievable that this Huawai model is really the only 64GB Android ARM tablet, with the exception of two Zenpads and that insanely priced Pixel from Google. It's years since I bought the 64GB TF700T. At this point I would have expected a 256GB model with at least 4GB of RAM.

 

 

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