13 – portable

wpid-PaperCamera2014-03-30-13-00-29.jpg

So I recently upgraded my hacked Nook Tablet (rooted, running a custom ROM with Android Jellybean 4.2) to an Acer Iconia A1-810. There’s such a tremendous difference, it’s not even comparable. Here they are, in order of importance.

1. 1024×768 screen resolution, 8″ diagonal. Sure, it’s not high-definition, but it’s a much more usable 4:3 screen ratio rather than a movie-friendly 16:9 ratio. The 4:3 ratio is perfect for web-browsing and picture viewing and PDF’s – which is what I primarily use the tablet for. 8″ is probably the biggest I’d want to get a tablet screen – anything bigger is too cumbersome to carry around.

2. Bluetooth. I can finally use my bluetooth keyboard that I bought for my Tapwave Zodiac (geek cred ++ for you if you know what a Zodiac is) over ten years ago. A folding keyboard and this tablet make a great on-the-go note-taking and/or document-editing platform. This post is being typed on this setup right now.

3. GPS. I can load maps on the tablet and use it as a portable navigation device. I sure could have used this a while back when we were in the desert for work.

4. Built-in front and rear cameras. The picture above was taken with the 5-MP camera of the tablet and processed using the “paper picture” app. Nice. It’s not the best picture quality, but it works in a pinch. For most pictures, that’s why I have two dSLR’s.

5. micro-SD card, USB-OTG, mini-HDMI. Expandable storage, the ability to use USB peripherals, and the ability to display my screen on an HDTV? These are all great options to have.

6. Bone-stock. I don’t plan on hacking this or getting a new ROM or a new kernel. It works as delivered and with a quad-core processor, it’s already fast enough.

7. 12GB of usable memory. For my purposes, it’s plenty…but I also have a 16GB micro-SD card installed with books, music, and pictures.

8. Cheap. This tablet was only $109. It’s a refurb, but whatevs. It works.

Anyway, that’s it. Hopefully the development community on XDA doesn’t develop ROMs too soon – I’m actually digging the stock experience.

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