Which Tablet offers the Best Value

At one time 'Tablets' were something you took for a headache, now the term means something else entirely. From being an almost unknown quantity, the Tablet is taking the world by storm. The choices are huge, with choices come decisions.

Do you go with Apple and grab yourself an Ipad? Or are Apple prices putting you off and you are more inclined to buy an Android. It can be a nightmare trying to pick your way through the ever increasing number of great performing Tablets.

So which Tablet did you choose? What swung it for you? Are you happy with your choice or would you go for something different next time? share your thoughts and help someone who is banjaxed by the sheer number of choices out there.

At the end of the day it all comes down to price and running costs.

I went the Android route because I had an Android Samsung phone which I was very pleased with. I also had the basic Amazon Kindle that just allowed you to read books on it.

For my first venture into tablets I looked at the second hand market. I bought a Google Nexus 7" (2012, we are now on version 2013 which has a forward facing camera) second hand from Ebay France for about 60 Euros (plus p&p) with 32mb of memory. Ok it does lack a couple of things like forward facing camera and you can't plug extra memory into it but it is not a bad machine.

There are gallons of free apps available for Android devices. You don't need to use another medium to load music and films on to it you simply plug it into your (Windows) computer and use Media Player to transfer music.

Basically there is little difference between Apple and Android tablets, they look and function much the same. If you want to go to the top range of products the Samsung Galaxy 10" and IPad are virtually the same price.

he things I don't like about Apple (as opposed to the physical IPad) is you have to use ITunes to copy your music onto it (there are hacks to get round that), far less free software on App Store which they control.

They both come with very little software to enable you to do anything. The Android devices come with all the stuff to connect you to Facebook etc has a calendar and browser. Both have voice recognition although with the Android version you need to be online which I think is the same as the Ipad.

The only thing I have added to my Nexus is the following.

MX Max Pro - Allows you watch films in ANY format. (Free)

EX File explorer - Allows me to copy files between my PC and Tablet over WiFi (Free)

Printshare Pro - Allows you to print anything to a wireless printer. (€3)

Aldiko - Reads any book in any format (€3) - I use this in conjunction with Calibre on my desktop although not required. You can use the Kindle software for free if you already have Kindle books.

QuickOffice - Create or edit MS Word, Excel and Powerpoint documents (Free)

Handrite - Allows you to 'write' quick notes using your finger or stylus (Free)

MyPhone Explorer - Allows you to synchronise your calendar, notes and contacts with MS Outlook over WiFi (Free)

I don't play games on it so there is none of them although there are loads of free ones if you want them.

So my tip is to look for a 'branded' second hand product on Ebay so if you don't like it you can resell it.

If you have not used eithr product before then you will find it a little strange. If you have either an Android or IPhone you will find it easier. You need to stick with it for a week or two before decidng if you like tablets or not.

Neither replace a desktop or laptop computer, they are just an extension that allows you to take stuff away from home and use anywhere.

Both come in two versions, one with just WiFI and the other with WiFi and a SIM card so you can use the mobile phone service to download or send data and emails. I didn't bother with the SIM version because data prices are so high in France and I can always pick up a WiFi connect somewhere. The SIM version of course costs more. Each product comes with different sizes of memory. I have 32Mb in my Nexus and hae never managed to fill it up. I could actually get away with a 16Mb version but as you can't plug extra memory in t it I decided to get the biggest and there was not much difference in price secnd hand.

I had thought of getting a newer model but to be honest mine does everything I want so why bother. Would I buy another if this went bang, yes I would and I would buy an Android device because thats what I have at the moment and it works for me.

So at the end of the day there is no massive difference between the two it is down to personal choice.

One tip, look at the reviews on Amazon before you buy (not through them of course, go for the cheapest deal) keep in mind that there are always people you can't use or don't like things but if a product has a lot of 5 star ratings it is normally a good buy.

Best of luck.

well I always find android to be confusing for the novice to set up, and there is always too much customisation .....Apple make things symple and safe for a normal user so its easy to understand and not possible to make a mess of your settings .....imho of course but i have been a IT consultant for 30 years now in and out of industry

I feel an inevitable flameware coming, but in my order of preference :

Asus Transformer Pad T300, with additional battery/snap on, real keyboard - Android OS

Nexus 7 - Android OS

One might guess that I am not an Apple iPad fan, more to do with price/functionality than anything else

You can get a decent Android OS tablet in Carrefour these days for 149 Euros, with 8Gb onboard memory 2gb fr the OS, and 6Gb for user apps/data, expansion slot available to expand available storage with up 32Gb microSD card - no brainer !

Which problems, in particular, Simon do the alternatives to the iPad have for novices ?

Thanks for all your replies...if I wasnt confused before...I certainly was after...(joking) good that there are so many different opinions out there but also so many people who can give first hand evidence of using different tabs. My OH has plumped for an ipad, which initially surprised me as he doesnt find any Macs easy to use...counter intuitive he thinks. Anyway, he is very happy with it, though must say he really doesnt use it to full ability....he uses the camera, downloads his daily paper, does emails and web searches, but has avoided the apps which to me is where the fun is.

Ive gone for a Kindle Fire this time around. We love computers and had the first BBC and first sinclair which are both knocking around our loft somewhere. We have a couple of Dell laptops, and I have to say I love Dell, two full size macs, and a basic Kindle. What I love about the Fire is that it does almost everything my OHs ipad does, certainly well enough for me. Watching a film or TV on it is a delight, the clarity of the screen is second to none...and the sound is better than on my MacBook....and will go up much louder as well. I use it as a radio in France...listening to my beloved Radio 4 Extra. I have some games and quizzes, and lots of added on apps including camera and alarm clock....but I think the ipad wins out with the made to measure keyboard you can add on...I dont like typing on a tablet, too small!

Thanks for everybodies input, was very helpful and have shared this thread with friends who are looking to buy a tablet.

I've been happy with my Archos 80 G9 Turbo -- a couple of generations old but it does the job for email, storing and viewing photos, checking forums and the odd online purchase. It has the advantage over many tablets of allowing the use of USB devices and connecting to the internet through an optional 3G "dongle" that slots inside the case rather neatly.

Most of my pals have iPads and love them, but I can't justify the cost, given that I mainly use a netbook or a tower PC.

Coincidentally, I convinced a friend to buy a cheap GoTab tablet from a TV shopping channel because I'm convinced it will do everything she needs. Going over today to hook it up to her WiFi and check it out. I suspect I'll be impressed with what £99 buys these days. Or perhaps not. Will report back.

I have a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 (10 inch) which is of course Android. I can't fault it and goes everywhere with me. I could not justify the more expensive ipad. I would recommend getting a cover for it whatever your choice. Enjoy.

Carol - if you just want to look at the internet and watch the odd movie - the HUDL will do the job for you. It's easy to pop into your handbag. Daughter has the cheapest tablet as she is a bit accident prone. She is really thrilled with it - no problems with using it at all & it seems to do everything my Nexus does (but at nearly half the price!)

Agree with Annemarie comp!etely. There is no discernible difference between my Hudl and recently deceased Nexus7 bar the price. Daughter raves over her iPad, but I break stuff so often I can't justify the expense. Value for money? Hudl! Not a nightmare, very intuitive and I am a novice.

Son has an iPad; husband a kindle fire HD; daughter a Tesco HUDL and I have a Google Nexus. For value - the HUDL is brilliant (£129) but if money no object - the iPad is fantastic.

ipad ...no question , the rest will give you problems and a nightmare for a novice 1