Seeking Tablet Recommendation - esp. long battery life for video

lynnalexandraMarch 12, 2013

The family is headed on a school trip to China soon. I am inclined to buy an android tablet - primarily for the benefit of having 10 or so hours of video to watch on the plane.

My husband has a Samsung galaxy tab 2 (or 10.2) - and loves it. I don't know if I need something that nice. Except for travel, I have a small laptop and nook tablet I can use much of the time. But the nook tablet seems to only be good for about 6 hours of video watching. I do have a Nook2android card in it - and it's running jellybean.

The Asus 300 and 700 look good - but are they better than the Samsung galaxy tab 10.2? Having a hard time finding comparisons. I don't need the greatest screen resolution.

Maybe I just stick with my nook tablet - and 4-6 hours less battery life? buy a used ipad? a new asus? with keyboard?

I don't really have a price range. It depends on what this will do. 3G/4g might be nice - as we do a lot of weekend trips away in the car. But not necessary - certainly not fo rthis next big trip. Maybe get a relatively inexpensive ipad 1 or 2 generation with 3g? I tend to prefer android over apple - but this purchase would be for ease of media consumption

If I do use an Android tablet (whether my nook or a new one), do they have built in apps to play video? And what file format for video. I have lots of shows and movies on my desktop (recorded on a Tivo). I can convert that to whatever format will work on an android - and then sideload it (I think that's the expression - basically copying the files from desktop to the storage card?


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I forgot this. Another reason to consider a tablet is the ability to do skype. The nook does not have that. I do some work meetings via skype. I'd love the flexibility to have a lightweight tablet to carry around and have skype meetings wherever I am.

I also noticed some of Raven's posts about her Asus. I'll look more carefully through those threads to get more info.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 7:20PM
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I have no tablet suggestions, but remember to get a few adapters that allow you to connect US plugs to China-style sockets.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 7:36PM
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I think its going to be rough if not impossible to find a tablet that would play movies for 10hrs or anywhere near that..playing movies is probably the most battery intensive procedure you can do on a tablet. I have a Blackberry 32GB and an Acer Iconia Tab A110, I dont run movies on them but battery life hooked up to wireless is about 5 hours or so..RC could probably shed more lite, she has a gazillion

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 7:46AM
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Here's the one Raven has, though she may have 32 gb memory built in. Great price with the dock too. The dock adds battery time to the tablet of up to 15 hours - so the description says.

Here is a link that might be useful: Asus

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 12:11PM
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But doesn't the dock still have to be plugged in to AC to provide power? Or am I really "off the wall"?

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 4:45PM
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Don't many planes, especially those on intercontinental flights, have power ports?

I seriously doubt you could find any tablet that would play videos for anywhere near 10 hours. I'd think 3-4 hours of continuous play would be the max.

Here is a link that might be useful: SeatGuru

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 5:00PM
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But doesn't the dock still have to be plugged in to AC to provide power? Or am I really "off the wall"?

The Dock runs on battery too and with the dock, the tf700t is supposed to get 14 hours on it.

QUOTE: The docking keyboard connects to a charger via a 40-pin connector port and houses a 19.5Wh battery, providing an additional 4.5 hours of battery life bringing the overall battery life up to 14 hours. With the docking latch, the keyboard can be attached or removed from the tablet with ease, allowing you to quickly change between tablet and PC modes.

Or this statement:Additional Battery Life
This docking station contains a 19.5Wh battery that provides an additional 4.5 hours of battery life. This brings the total battery life to 14 hours when combined with the TF700 tablet

This post was edited by urlee on Sat, Mar 16, 13 at 13:16

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 1:12PM
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Thanks for explaining that to me, urlee. I had tried a dock with the HP Touchpad that I bought, but I know that it does have to connect with AC, but I guess just to recharge the battery. Anyway, I didn't keep it.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 3:57PM
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Urlee, I would bet with the dock, that one wouldstill be hard pressed to get 10 hours of battery life..I would hazard a guess and say that their time predictions would be based on the tablet being left on and lying on a table..any usage of the tablet would decrease the battery level, depending upon the type of usage.. Playing movies is probably at the top of the list for rapid battery drain..maybe I am way off base but dont think so

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 7:51PM
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genes, You may be right.

Here is an interesting post I read that can be taken however you wish.
Battery: If I beat it REALLY hard, I can kill the battery (tablet only) in about 6 hours. My version of beating it really hard is multi-tab web browsing with Flash turned on, switching back and forth between several other apps, installing apps, downloading from my account, playing some games, using a remote desktop client, etc. All the while running either native movies or YouTube streams in Stick It Player (resize-able, floating, video player window that renders on top of whatever app you have open.) If I use it like most people would normally use a tablet, I can easily break the 10 hour mark (tablet only.) With the dock (I'm using the Prime dock,) I get anywhere between 9 and 16 hours of use out of it.

Here is something I came across this morning:
The new iPad's high-resolution display warranted a large 42.5-watt-hour battery. Asus went with a 25-watt-hour battery, and has a display that is considerably brighter, albeit with slightly lower resolution. In our battery rundown test, which loops a video with Wi-Fi on and screen brightness set to max, the Infinity TF700 lasted 7 hours, 17 minutes, which is better than the new iPad's 5 hours, 33 minutes in the same test. The original TF201 lasted 7 hours, 38 minutes in the same test, so expect the same all day endurance from the newest Transformer. And don't forget about the optional keyboard dock, which will add around 5 hours to that figure.

This post was edited by urlee on Mon, Mar 18, 13 at 10:22

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 9:49AM
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Thanks everyone. The more I learn the more uncertain I am.

The Asus' sound good - and I know Raven loves hers - but when I look at the negative reviews (on varous sites), there seems to be significant quality control issues. Lots of lemons - and defects - and terrible cusotmer service. There's enough of that type of review that I hesitate to buy an Asus tablet.

I saw a google nexus 10. I prefer it to have a microsd card slot - not have fixed storage like an ipad. It also just did not feel or look good to me.

Genes - you may be right about not finding that kind of battery life for video play. I thought that ipads were (at least older generations) got 9-10 hours of video play. On the one hand, i would expect video to be one of the biggest battery drains. But perhaps surfing the web - downloading content, etc also consumes battery life. Urlee - I interpreted that quote about really killing the tablet - and what battery life it gets - to suggest that even using it to the max - he gets 6 hours - and thinks "regular?" use could get 10 hours. Of course, we don't know what "regular is".

That kind of leaves the Samsung tablets - either galaxy tab 10.1 - or Note. The actual pen aspect of the note doesn't do anything for me (maybe I'd wind up loving it - but it's not on my list of desireable features). I just saw a refurbished note at Best Buy for about $330 (something like that - I had a small credit - and there was tax). 500-600. They're often closer to $So I decided to order it and give it a try. It's supposed to be fast - 2GB ram - with ICS. I have not seen one in person. This has just 16GB on board storage - but with a micro sd slot, that doesn't matter since I can add 64GB more.

For some reason, this Note doesn't excite me in theory the way the Asus tablets did. But the relatively large number of complaints (and consistent complaints) on Asus have made me pause.

Mike - I am aware that many international flights have power ports. But we have not been that lucky in our last international flights. These flights have been booked through an educational tour group - and therefore the airline has been very reluctant to give us any information. I know we're in a Boeing 777. But from Seat Guru it looks like there are 5 different versions. And the one that looks closest to the seating chart on Delta's website - does not have power ports in economy. One seating chart looked like it might. Another suggested just ipod/iphone charging in economy - no tablets or laptops. But none of the charts on seat guru quite match what's on Delta. If there were power ports, that would make this easy. But my experience is, don't count on power ports. First - they may not be in economy. And if they are, they may not be at every seat. And even if they're there, doesn't mean they're working. (Heck - 2 of the last 4 domestic flights I took - the readling light for my seat was not working - and the flights were full - no reading for me (this was before i had the Nook).

If I could really count on power ports that work - I'd just bring my nook tablet for now. But it's been acting up in terms of battery drain lately - and I don't want to risk this as my only entertainment.

I'll keep everyone posted.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 11:08PM
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I wouldn't take a chance with a high dollar tablet and a foreign outlet. Using a proper plug can still burn up an appliance. My friend fried a simple curling iron.

I have a laptop for watching movies when I travel. I wouldn't want to use a smaller screen than that.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 10:06AM
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China and Europe use 220 V (US is 110). It's a mix between 110 and 220 in other regions. A plug adapter only changes the shape of the plug, not the voltage.

Most PCs and tablets come with variable voltage 110-240 (50-60 cycle) adapters and can be safely plugged in anywhere. Hair dryers and other things people may want to take on foreign trips are available to work with 110-240.

Plugging in any type of 110-only device into a 220 outlet will fry it.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 11:03AM
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Snidely - you are right - China is 220 volts - and my electronic devices do have adapters that work for 110-240 volts.

However, I heard Emma's warning as the irregularity of current - and I know the wiring in some of these hotels is sketchy. So I am bringing a surge protector. Electronics will be plugged into the surge protector - which will be plugged into the proper plug adaptor.


    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 11:05PM
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