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View Full Version : HP Thrive or ASUS Transformer? or Touchpad?



forrestcupp
October 20th, 2011, 12:13 PM
Next week, I'm probably going to finally get a tablet. I've narrowed it down to either a Transformer or a Thrive, which I can get either for $399 at the local Best Buy. I've always thought I would get a Transformer, but yesterday, I became very interested in the Thrive. The only downside of the Thrive is its thickness, but they kind of make up for it with a full sized USB, HDMI, and SD slots, and also a replaceable battery. The Transformer has the port for the keyboard accesory, but the Thrive can perfectly use a $15 USB keyboard if I ever care about that.

I'm also still considering the HP Touchpad, which I can get a 32GB model for $250. That's a hundred dollars more than the firesale, but they have great hardware, and it's still cheaper than anything else. I don't like that they're not expandable at all, though.

These just seem to be the best bang for the buck. I'm not willing to spend the extra coin for some of the expensive tablets, but I don't want to go cheap and get something flimsy. What do you guys think?


Edit: I know the Thrive is a Toshiba; I just mistyped. If a mod could change the title, I'd appreciate it. :)

kef_kf
October 20th, 2011, 02:55 PM
If it isn't too urgent I would definitely wait for the new tegra 3 (kal-el) tablets, especially transformer 2 which will be announced on November 9 and will probably be out q4 2011.

Here is a preview: http://crave.cnet.co.uk/laptops/asus-transformer-2-quad-core-android-tablet-may-run-ics-50005731/

forrestcupp
October 20th, 2011, 04:19 PM
I had considered waiting for the Transformer 2. A while back, people were saying that it was going to be priced similarly to the original. Then more recently, I've read that they came out and announced that the price will be quite a bit higher, and that they are not going to be lowering the price of the original.

So that means I'm not going to be waiting for the T2 to come out. ;)

I can't believe no one else has anything to say about this.

mcduck
October 20th, 2011, 05:08 PM
I've tested the Thrive, and own a Transfromer myself.

Thrive felt way too big and clumsy to handle, and the construction was rather cheap feeling, more like those Android 2.x tablets you can get for less than 100 from Chinese web shops. It felt more like handling half a laptop than a tablet. Not something you'd actually want to hold in your hands for longer times.

At least based on the specs, the battery life isn't even near the 9h/16h you get with Transformer either. Since I don't own one, I don't know about how well Toshiba is supporting it, but I can definitely say I've been very happy with the quick (and surprisingly frequent) updates Asus has been bringing for the Transformer, as far as I know it's still the only Android tablet to run 3.2.1 and they already promised to update it to 4.0 before the end of this year. Last update even brought some nice new programs so they are definitely supporting their device well.

What comes to the keyboards, I'd say either get Transformer or just use the on-screen keyboard on whichever tablet you buy, you are not going to carry any extra keyboard with you anyway if it doesn't integrate properly with the device.

I can't say anything towards or against the HP Touchpad, never seen one around these parts of the world so I haven't had any chance to test one. But if the choice was between the Thrive and the Transformer, I'd say you definitely should go for the Transformer.

forrestcupp
October 20th, 2011, 05:15 PM
I've tested the Thrive, and own a Transfromer myself.
Thanks for an informative response. I'm kind of leaning back to the Transformer. I didn't realize that the Thrive doesn't have an IPS screen, and the thickness may be an issue. The screen is a pretty important thing to me.

But I do like the full sized ports on the Thrive. As far as the keyboard goes, I would almost never use one, so a $150 accessory is unjustified. There's no way I'm going to buy it; I'm only in the market for a tablet, alone. The only time I would ever use one would be at home, where I already have a cheap USB keyboard that would work with the Thrive.

There are pluses and minuses to both, but the IPS screen, thinner form, and quicker updates make me lean toward the TF. Although, I'm not ruling out the Touchpad. The Touchpad has a great screen and hardware, and it's very inexpensive.

newbie-user
October 20th, 2011, 05:34 PM
I own the Transformer. Asus has been really good about updates and the device isn't weighed down with a excessive amounts of bloatware. It does have a mini-hdmi port and I've connected it to TVs and projectors without any problems. The only issue I have with it is the lack of USB, which prompted me to get a bluetooth keyboard. I finally gave in and bought the keyboard dock, though. Carrying the bluetooth keyboard around wasn't very convenient due to the size difference.

I would shy away from the Touchpad simply because it's future is still a bit foggy.

My wife has an Acer A500, and though it's just a bit thicker than my Transformer at the edges, I already feel like it's clunky and I don't like using it. So anything thicker than that wouldn't be good for me.

One thing that does drive me absolutely insane about the Transformer, though, are the widgets. They don't pull the current time/date without restarting the widgets. More specifically, the weather and calendar widgets are the ones I have problems with. Otherwise, I love the Transformer.

forrestcupp
October 20th, 2011, 05:44 PM
I would shy away from the Touchpad simply because it's future is still a bit foggy.

I hear what you're saying. The Touchpad's future is not foggy, but non-existent. But the thing is, they are still coming out with good WebOS updates like crazy, and WebOS in itself seems to be a pretty awesome OS for tablets. But the reason I'm even considering it is because CyanogenMod is pretty darned close to having a stable and complete port of Android for the Touchpad. When that is stable, that means you can have a good quality Android tablet with a great screen and hardware for $250 or less, although they aren't making any more new ones. Since Icecream Sandwich just came out, I'm sure CyanogenMod will be all over that.

forrestcupp
October 21st, 2011, 02:35 AM
Just so I'm clear on this, can you hook a Transformer up to your computer using the proprietary port to transfer files? If so, does it come with the necessary cable to hook it up to a USB port on your computer?

I'm not getting the keyboard accessory, so I'm asking just about the tablet.

newbie-user
October 21st, 2011, 03:46 AM
The power charger cable is actually a usb cable that connects to a usb plug power adapter. You can use that same usb cable to connect to a computer. Unfortunately, connecting it to an Ubuntu computer is somewhat difficult. The transformer doesn't simply load as an external drive. There are some posts in the ubuntu forums about this.

cprofitt
October 21st, 2011, 03:51 AM
I would wait for the just announced ASUS Transformer Prime.

Favux
October 21st, 2011, 04:14 AM
Your best buy is the HP touchpad I think. The webOS 3.04 update looks solid so far. Right now I like webOS and don't see a reason to add Android. But you are right, Android dual boot looks very close.

LMP900
October 21st, 2011, 05:10 AM
But the thing is, they are still coming out with good WebOS updates like crazy, and WebOS in itself seems to be a pretty awesome OS for tablets.

HP has only pushed out two minor updates, the latest being version 3.0.4 (skipping odd numbered updates). I think the web browser is the most used application on tablets and the web browser on the TouchPad is terrible. It's slow, buggy, and despite cleverness of the cards interface, the browser would be better off with tabs.

I haven't used any of the Android tablets you mentioned, but I doubt the browsing on those tablets can be worse than the TouchPad.

mcduck
October 21st, 2011, 05:37 AM
Just so I'm clear on this, can you hook a Transformer up to your computer using the proprietary port to transfer files? If so, does it come with the necessary cable to hook it up to a USB port on your computer?

I'm not getting the keyboard accessory, so I'm asking just about the tablet.

Yes, you can.
However Honeycomb devices do not detect as disc drives, they use MTP access instead. (That allows the device to access it's internal memory at the same time the computer does). It's not a big issue, you can use gMTP to transfer the files.

...or better yet, do what I'm doing and set up a Samba share and install a network-capable file manager on the Transformer. It's much nicer to just pick the files I need to transfer using the tablet itself while sitting comfortably on a couch or something instead of having to mess with the cables and the computer. ;)

forrestcupp
October 21st, 2011, 12:23 PM
The power charger cable is actually a usb cable that connects to a usb plug power adapter. You can use that same usb cable to connect to a computer. Unfortunately, connecting it to an Ubuntu computer is somewhat difficult. The transformer doesn't simply load as an external drive. There are some posts in the ubuntu forums about this.Thanks for the info.


I would wait for the just announced ASUS Transformer Prime.Like I said earlier, I heard that they're not planning on competing pricewise with the original, and they're not even planning on lowering the price of the original. It sounds awesome, but I don't want to spend that much more. I'm looking at my best bet for around $400. I also checked out the Acer Iconia. Probably going to end up with the original Transformer because of its IPS screen. I concluded that IPS is more important to me than a full sized USB slot.


Yes, you can.
However Honeycomb devices do not detect as disc drives, they use MTP access instead. (That allows the device to access it's internal memory at the same time the computer does). It's not a big issue, you can use gMTP to transfer the files.

...or better yet, do what I'm doing and set up a Samba share and install a network-capable file manager on the Transformer. It's much nicer to just pick the files I need to transfer using the tablet itself while sitting comfortably on a couch or something instead of having to mess with the cables and the computer. ;)
Thanks for the info. I'll probably end up using dropbox for smaller files, but if I want to put something huge on there, I'd want to be able to hook it up with a cord.

BHEJU
October 21st, 2011, 02:01 PM
I have used almost all the tablet in the market currently. I like the ACER Iconia with custom ROM (similar to Samsung galaxy).
Reasons:
Build quality of acer is very good (I like it more than xoom, galaxy, transformer)
The stock android interface is not that great, but its very very easy to slap good custom ROM on it.
And I really love the full USB port. I didn't think I would use it much before buying one and full usb was just afterthought, but now, I use it all the time.

Regardless of any tab you get, I suggest you get the one with full USB port.

cprofitt
October 21st, 2011, 03:57 PM
Another thought not on your original list - http://www.lenovo.com/products/us/tablet/thinkpad/

This has a full size USB connection and some business software included.

newbie-user
October 21st, 2011, 04:08 PM
Yes, you can.
However Honeycomb devices do not detect as disc drives, they use MTP access instead. (That allows the device to access it's internal memory at the same time the computer does). It's not a big issue, you can use gMTP to transfer the files.

...or better yet, do what I'm doing and set up a Samba share and install a network-capable file manager on the Transformer. It's much nicer to just pick the files I need to transfer using the tablet itself while sitting comfortably on a couch or something instead of having to mess with the cables and the computer. ;)

gMTP is an option. I sometimes use andSMB to do samba transfers. Bluetooth is the transfer method I use most often, followed by andFTP.

forrestcupp
October 21st, 2011, 04:18 PM
I have used almost all the tablet in the market currently. I like the ACER Iconia with custom ROM (similar to Samsung galaxy).
Reasons:
Build quality of acer is very good (I like it more than xoom, galaxy, transformer)
The stock android interface is not that great, but its very very easy to slap good custom ROM on it.
And I really love the full USB port.I seriously considered the Iconia just because of the USB port. I was about ready to go with that until I sat down and thought about what my needs are. I concluded that for my personal needs, the IPS screen is more important than the USB port. It was a tough decision, though. I also heard that the Iconia's video codecs don't cut it, especially for HD stuff.

But as far as the custom ROM thing goes, I don't get why you would downgrade from Honeycomb, which was made specifically for tablets, to Gingerbread, which is for phones. When Icecream Sandwich gets out there, it will be a different story.


Another thought not on your original list - http://www.lenovo.com/products/us/tablet/thinkpad/

This has a full size USB connection and some business software included.Looks pretty nice, but I have a problem with spending more on an Android tablet than what an iPad costs. I'm looking around the $400 area.

krapp
October 21st, 2011, 04:20 PM
Seriously, what's the point of getting a touchpad if it's not an iPad?

forrestcupp
October 21st, 2011, 04:28 PM
Seriously, what's the point of getting a touchpad if it's not an iPad?
You mean a tablet? There could be tons of reasons. Expandable memory, possibility of host USB ports that actually work, hdmi, more open OS, you're not bound to iTunes, GPS, more free apps whereas some of the iOS versions are paid, works better with Linux and Windows, more choice of style, lower prices, easier to transfer files and access the filesystem (especially if you're not using a Mac), newer models have better specs than the iPad, Android phones are more popular than iPhone so it makes sense to get a tablet with the same OS, and the list could go on and on.

There are also plenty of good reasons to buy an iPad, but that's not what you were asking about.

edit: I guess iPad2 has hdmi

BHEJU
October 21st, 2011, 05:16 PM
for HD vid:
I use my Iconia mostly for vids. The only thing is it does not play MKV files with default apps. I saw an app to play mkv files. but other than that, I never had any issue with any vids.
for ROM:
custom rom does not mean that you have to downgrade. There are custom roms available for 3.2. I mention this because the native interface of Iconia did not work for me and as I like some elements from samsung's interface, I found a rom with it. Of course, the interface is very subjective thing so it's really up to you.

I hope you find "The One".

Cheers,

krapp
October 21st, 2011, 05:17 PM
Touchpads in general are useless. iPads are less useless. What is a touchpad good for but for iTunes and company. It's not like you're going to install Gnu Emacs on your more open Android OS.

newbie-user
October 21st, 2011, 06:16 PM
Touchpads in general are useless. iPads are less useless. What is a touchpad good for but for iTunes and company. It's not like you're going to install Gnu Emacs on your more open Android OS.

Well, see, that's what it really boils down to...what you're planning to use it for. Most of my friends who own tablets (iPads mostly) only use it to surf the Internet and play games. They very rarely do anything productive. So my thinking is why spend $500 on an iPad if all you're going to to is surf and play games? Just get the cheaper tablet which allows you to do the same.

forrestcupp
October 21st, 2011, 07:01 PM
custom rom does not mean that you have to downgrade. There are custom roms available for 3.2. I mention this because the native interface of Iconia did not work for me and as I like some elements from samsung's interface, I found a rom with it. Of course, the interface is very subjective thing so it's really up to you.That's interesting to know. How do they make custom ROMs that work on other hardware when it's not open source?


Touchpads in general are useless. iPads are less useless. What is a touchpad good for but for iTunes and company. It's not like you're going to install Gnu Emacs on your more open Android OS.You're thinking with a very limited mindset. You're only thinking about what you would use a tablet for, and not the possibilities of what others would use them for. If you don't have a need for one, then they are indeed useless to you.

But I have real things that I will use mine for, and a tablet is going to work for those needs where a laptop or netbook wouldn't be as sufficient. Also, Android is going to meet those needs better than an iPad would based on some of the many reasons I gave you in my previous post. And the fact that Android is "open" is not one of my reasons.

Just because something is useless to you doesn't mean it's useless to everyone. Tampons are pretty useless to me. ;)

krapp
October 21st, 2011, 08:08 PM
Well, see, that's what it really boils down to...what you're planning to use it for. Most of my friends who own tablets (iPads mostly) only use it to surf the Internet and play games. They very rarely do anything productive. So my thinking is why spend $500 on an iPad if all you're going to to is surf and play games? Just get the cheaper tablet which allows you to do the same.

There's nothing productive to be done on a touchpad that can't be done more productively elsewhere. Reading? Nope, not if you value your eyes. Writing? Uh where's the keyboard?

If you're going to play with a computer screen with your thumbs, you might as well do it the funnest way possible.

forrestcupp
October 21st, 2011, 08:24 PM
Again, you're thinking is limited to your own needs and imaginations. Just because you can't think of any practical purpose for a tablet being a better solution to a certain problem doesn't mean there aren't any.

I'm going to be using mine for notes during public speaking, and lyrics and chords for public music performance. I can't really use a laptop or netbook as efficiently because I'd have to try to unfold them flat. They wouldn't fit on a music stand, anyway. For my speaking notes, I can just have them in a pdf and lay it right on the lectern without having to print them anymore. For the music, I can put each song on its own page in a pdf, set it on my small music stand, and just swipe it quickly with my finger to get to the next song. Much better than having a hundred printouts lying all over the place and having to shuffle through them for the set I'm doing any particular day.

Of course there are many other things I'll use a tablet for, but those are a couple of examples of why a tablet is better for that purpose than a laptop or netbook would be. I'll be doing all of my typing on my laptop and transferring it to the tablet.

Plus, how many laptops have accelerometers and touchscreens that are good for games driven by those input methods?

krapp
October 21st, 2011, 09:20 PM
Motion sensors & mobile gaming: pure novelty and nothing else presently. Get a Wii if that's what you're into.

I am undecided about the sheet music thing, but notes for speaking? Use paper! Sounds like you're making up excuses to get a touchcomputer. I don't know how many carefully prepared presentations needlessly based on powerpoint slides have been thwarted by "technical difficulties."

newbie-user
October 21st, 2011, 10:18 PM
Again, you're thinking is limited to your own needs and imaginations. Just because you can't think of any practical purpose for a tablet being a better solution to a certain problem doesn't mean there aren't any.

I'm going to be using mine for notes during public speaking, and lyrics and chords for public music performance. I can't really use a laptop or netbook as efficiently because I'd have to try to unfold them flat. They wouldn't fit on a music stand, anyway. For my speaking notes, I can just have them in a pdf and lay it right on the lectern without having to print them anymore. For the music, I can put each song on its own page in a pdf, set it on my small music stand, and just swipe it quickly with my finger to get to the next song. Much better than having a hundred printouts lying all over the place and having to shuffle through them for the set I'm doing any particular day.

Of course there are many other things I'll use a tablet for, but those are a couple of examples of why a tablet is better for that purpose than a laptop or netbook would be. I'll be doing all of my typing on my laptop and transferring it to the tablet.

Plus, how many laptops have accelerometers and touchscreens that are good for games driven by those input methods?

Using a tablet for music is actually a really good idea. Unfortunately for me, my poor eyes wouldn't be able to read the music on anything smaller than an 8.5x11 sheet of paper.

I use my tablet for quick family videos mainly, as well as SSHing into my servers. I shoot a video with the tablet, encode the video with the tablet, then quickly upload it to my webserver from the tablet. Quick and easy.

forrestcupp
October 21st, 2011, 10:30 PM
Motion sensors & mobile gaming: pure novelty and nothing else presently. Get a Wii if that's what you're into. The Wii is a completely different experience. But I do plan on getting a Wii U when it comes out. ;)

Novelty isn't necessarily bad. Sometimes it is ok to lighten up and enjoy a novelty every once in a while.


I am undecided about the sheet music thing, but notes for speaking? Use paper! Sounds like you're making up excuses to get a touchcomputer. I don't know how many carefully prepared presentations needlessly based on powerpoint slides have been thwarted by "technical difficulties."I've used plenty of paper over the years, believe me. :)

I hear you on the "technical difficulty" thing. But there's not much involved in the technical chain of viewing a pdf on a tablet, as long as you make sure the battery is fully charged. I'm not making excuses; I really think it will be handy. Plus I like tablets. That's my right, isn't it? ;)

I didn't really start this thread to argue about whether tablets are useful or not. I just wanted some input on different brands before I go buy one.


Using a tablet for music is actually a really good idea. Unfortunately for me, my poor eyes wouldn't be able to read the music on anything smaller than an 8.5x11 sheet of paper.That's why I'm not getting anything less than 10 inches. ;)

My printer broke, and I just got one of those wireless ones that you can print to by sending it an email. It's pretty cool because now I'll be able to easily print from a phone or tablet.

mcduck
October 22nd, 2011, 08:07 AM
gMTP is an option. I sometimes use andSMB to do samba transfers. Bluetooth is the transfer method I use most often, followed by andFTP.

I'm using File Manager HD (https://market.android.com/details?id=com.rhmsoft.fm.hd), it's not the pretties of the tablet-optimized file managers, but it's very nice to use on the tablet and stores network shares as bookmarks just like any directory on the transformer itself, which makes it really effortless to move files between the tablet an my computers wirelessly. And of course it can handle the transfers in background so you don't need to wait for your movie to finish copying before you can use the tablet for something else. :)

I don't think I'd want to move a HD-resolution movie to the tablet through bluetooth... :D

forrestcupp
October 31st, 2011, 12:27 PM
I ended up getting a Transformer and I couldn't be happier. I'm typing on it right now. The Transformer has the best screen out of all tablets, by far, with the possible exception of the Galaxy Tab.

I have already used it for my intended purpose, and it worked great.

Thanks for the discussion, guys.

mips
October 31st, 2011, 02:35 PM
Isn't there a new Asus Transformer coming out real soon or maybe even out already?

forrestcupp
October 31st, 2011, 02:54 PM
Isn't there a new Asus Transformer coming out real soon or maybe even out already?

It may come out in November. But it's going to cost more than I wanted to spend, and I heard they're not planning to lower the price of the original. That's why I didn't feel bad about going ahead and buying the one I got.

The Transformer Prime definitely will be awesome, though. But honestly, what do I need a quad core in a tablet for? Does it make Facebook scroll imperceptibly smoother? :)

mips
October 31st, 2011, 04:18 PM
It may come out in November. But it's going to cost more than I wanted to spend, and I heard they're not planning to lower the price of the original. That's why I didn't feel bad about going ahead and buying the one I got.

The Transformer Prime definitely will be awesome, though. But honestly, what do I need a quad core in a tablet for? Does it make Facebook scroll imperceptibly smoother? :)

In all honesty if I had to buy a netbook/tablet right now the Asus one would also be my choice so good buy I reckon.

How's the battery life treating you seeing it's got two batteries and the keyboard/dock charges the tablet as well?

forrestcupp
October 31st, 2011, 05:55 PM
In all honesty if I had to buy a netbook/tablet right now the Asus one would also be my choice so good buy I reckon.

How's the battery life treating you seeing it's got two batteries and the keyboard/dock charges the tablet as well?

Well, I didn't buy the dock, so I only have one battery. I really only needed the tablet, but I might get the keyboard sometime down the road. It's good to have that option.

I haven't done a real test on the battery yet, but I was able to get a day and a half of moderate use out of it. I hear they get about 8-9 hours on the one battery, and I wouldn't be surprised if that's true. Its IPS display is definitely miles ahead of any of the other tablets I looked at at Best Buy. A good display was one of my top priorities, and it definitely doesn't disappoint.