Is there a tablet or a tablet OS that doesn't suck?

Micro Center had a $25 refurbed Brand Z Android 4.2 7" tablet. I already hated my wife’s iPad, having been through all of the stages of “Why won’t this do what I tell it to do?” short of throwing it into oncoming traffic, but I figured Google speaks my language and if I got some video-viewing fun out of it it would be cool and I’d get another for my daughter. And it handled Netflix and Hulu fine, though YouTube was surprisingly iffy. However, my language includes phrases like “easy text selection,” “the ability to change your time zone so it’s reflected in the clock, too,” and “you are fucking Google; what is this POS off-brand browser that isn’t Chrome and defaults to search by Yahoo, FFS?” Okay, that last one was probably a choice made by the factory because somebody got a kickback, but the other two required lots of wasted time and I never got the text selection to work.

Still, the two tablets I’ve used, one expensive and one stupidly cheap, shared a reluctance to operate as I would expect products to perform that were designed by some of the best minds in computing for neophytes who just want to watch TV and read and send emails. I am a longtime power user who is defeated by their “user-friendly” interfaces.

Epilogue: 28 hours after purchasing the Android tablet I dropped and broke it. I don’t drop computers, but this may have been subconscious because I was about five minutes away from throwing it into oncoming traffic. While trying to repair it I found a 32gb micro SD card in it, and the charger fits my phone, so all is not lost.

the cheap tablets like that suck

I have a Kindle Fire I got for $139 and it works well. That’s the cheapest tablet I would recommend. It doesn’t have as much functionality as the android and iOS tablets but the stuff it does, it does well.

if you want something good you have to pay for it

Why don’t you like the iPad?

It is notional and stupid and made me want to kill it. The Kindle has intrigued me. Most of the things the iPad and Android can do are things I have no use for.

Most of my objections to the tablet I broke were with the OS. As cheap pieces of shit go, functionally it was not bad. Just had a glass jaw.

I dislike tablets in general. Smartphones too. I find them too small to interact with. I dislike the lack of a standard size keyboard and mouse.

For people who post here using a smartphone/tablet… is their a learning curve you get used to with the no keyboard thing or doe sit remain problematic? I had an Iphone once for a couple of months but returned it…

If you don’t like tablets, but still want something small(ish) and lightweight and relatively cheap, and you use Chrome, consider a Chromebook? I have a Toshiba Chromebook that I got from one of those “deal” sites, new, for like $160. You can run Netflix and Youtube and check email and whatever. It’s good.

I never liked tablets until I got one and it’s very convenient and portable for using around the house and on the go

it’s a lot better for reading content than typing content though. It gets a little easier typing with practice, but if I have to type anything longer than a few sentences response on a message board, I try to wait until I get to my PC and can use the keyboard/

I use another person’s ipad on occasion and like it only because I can read stuff or watch videos on the internet without sitting in an upright chair. Because I tend to be doing other things interspersed with those things, I prefer not using it unless my back is aching and I don’t feel like sitting up any more and have something in mind to do when using it. That’s what it’s good for: doing very specific things that are designed with the device in mind. Trying to use it as one would a full-featured computer with standard input devices and such is not going to make you happy in the least.

So really, they’re great if you want to watch an internet video or play some stupid mobile app game while laying in bed. And that’s all that a lot of people want.

If you want Google all the way, get a Nexus tablet:

If you like Amazon, get a Fire.

If you like Windows, get a Surface Pro.

If you don’t like any of them, don’t get a tablet, because the rest are littered with third-party crap and will probably never see regular updates from Google.

You bought a $25 tablet and are actually surprised it’s a piece of shit?

What exactly do you want it to do?

If you’re expecting a little computer you can walk around the house with, you’re out of luck.

Buy a Microsoft Surface. It’s not cheap, but it IS a real PC you can walk around with.

And the tabletty features work great. I also have an iPad issued by my employer and the power and ease of use of my Surface is night and day superior versus the crippled stupidity which is the iPad.

The only downside, and it is a real one for some use cases, is that most businesses do not offer apps for Windows tablets / phones. Your bank, brokerage, favorite airline, etc. only have Android and Apple versions of their apps.

The offsetting good thing is the browser on a Surface tablet is real. So you can successfully use the company’s main website like a grown-up.

I do about 90% of my PCing on a Surface now. This post is written on my Surface. My laptop is more or less just an email archive device. I can even do serious developer work via RDC on the Surface. And connect external monitors, etc.

Well, it’s still worth asking what your complaints were. A cheap piece of shit tablet is going to be underpowered and give shoddy OS performance as well as likely not running the latest and greatest updates. I’m sure someone out there is still selling shoddy 512 meg tablets running Honeycomb but they’re not really representative of the current market.

Nexus runs the “cleanest” version of Android since it’s by Google. I have a couple Lenovo tablets supposedly running clean Lollipop (the Android versions are alphabetically named after sweets). I couldn’t say if it’s 100% clean or not but I do know that it’s lacking the bloatware I’ve seen on other tablets.

Edit: Out of your initial remarks, I’m not sure what you mean by “easy text selection”, time zone selection should have been part of the initial set up and Android these days tends to come with both a stock browser and Chrome installed. There’s also a bajillion 3rd party browser options.

Not at all. Just surprised that the interface was so bad.

I got “long-tap” to work once, and would not have known about it at all if I hadn’t had Google to ask.

What is this “initial setup” of which you speak? In Refurbland such fripperies cannot be assumed. You get dumped in the deep end and told to swim. Part of the fun.

The advantage of a netbook, like I usually use, is that when I am prone it sits on my stomach, hands- and cramp-free. And stays there, even when I fall asleep. And has better battery life. And can be typed on. And can use a mouse. I collect small computer thingies and have a couple nearly old enough to run for US President–like I said, I don’t drop computers. I had already experimented with Wife’s iPad and wanted to see if Android was less hateful, but I try to keep my experiments in the $25 range. This one didn’t pan out, but I’m not surprised. Again, it’s part of the fun. Like griping afterward is.

I wasn’t at all sure I needed or wanted a tablet or that it would do what I needed it to do. I had a hand-me-down 7" tablet from my son that I used mostly for Kindle reading and wasn’t all that impressed. But then my employer bought us Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1" tablets and that all changed. It took a little bit of finagling to get the right software/apps to do what I needed, but once I did it was great. I get daily hacks on a newsletter, so I continue to tinker with it, customizing it as I go along. I’m at the point where I like it better than my laptop in some respects.

I think if you give a good quality Android tablet a try, you might be surprised at how much you like it.

Even a refurb should be reset to factory defaults and have you do a set-up. Android is linked to your Google account so it’s going to want to know your Google login for Gmail and Play Store. Part of that set-up is setting your time zone.

Note that it also contained a 32gb micro-SD card that is not standard. It doesn’t look like they gave it more than a quick once-over before tossing it into a new box.

The 7" Kindle Fire HD is a really good deal for $50. Of course, you’ll probably hate the interface on that one, too. But tablets are not laptops and expecting them to work like laptops is irrational.

Of course, you still haven’t explained what it is you’re trying to do and how the other interface let you down. Other than change the time setting, I guess, which, if you can’t find that setting you should probably stick to paberbacks. (Protip: check your Settings menu.)

If you describe what it is you want to do and what brand/model you’re using, I’m sure we can find some help for you.

The best available one is the ipad. This is pretty much universally agreed on. Android tablets are inferior but cheaper, and offer an overall worse experience but are more flexible in some ways.

That’s your answer, and it’s pretty much the consensus opinion worldwide. If an ipad is not good enough for you, no tablet exists that is good enough.

I’m pretty sure all mobile OS’s suck. I’m needing to replace a damaged iPhone and I may not bother with a smartphone at all. I have an underpowered Android tablet and my wife has a first-gen iPad, and I honestly think I’ll replace both with a touch screen convertible laptop running a real operating system, and replace my cell service with a mobile LTE hotspot. That’s a little more expensive, but I’m as fed up with Apple as I am with Google.