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Rummy

Maybe find me a cheap tablet?

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So I've been giving some consideration to @MoogleViper's suggestion in my laptop thread about getting a tablet for general quick use in the living room and media streaming to the TV - so now I'm after any recommendations! I may still get a laptop later down the line, so for now I don't mind a maybe slightly more dated tablet if it can do what I'm after at least.

 

Essentially what I'd want is something sub £150(even sub £100 if it wasn't too crap) with HDMI out(ideally full size rather than mini or anything, though I can easily get a cheap adapter it seems). I'd most use it for living room browsing/streaming/watching of things. My current temporary solution is a 6-7 y/o laptop with linux that likes to freeze up on occasion - so really I imagine anything is a step up from that.

 

 

Also any nooby guides to chromecast and ting would be handy too, and I'll likely pick one of them up at some point(though I'm still after a tablet with HDMI out regardless).

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If you don't mind a "manufacturer refurbished" one

 

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Asus-Google-Nexus-32GB-Wi-fi-7-Inch-Tablet-Black-/331179860330

 

There are absolutely no other cheap tablets worth buying and none, as far as I'm aware, with HDMI out. However, there is a solution to HDMI out:

 

https://play.google.com/store/devices/details/Chromecast?id=chromecast

 

Chromecast will let you send streams from apps. YouTube, iPlayer and others support it. You can even set up home streaming (although it takes a few more steps):

 

http://thestreamingadvisor.com/2014/03/21/how-to-cast-xbmc-from-an-android-phone-or-tablet-to-the-google-chromecast/

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Love my Nexus 7 but not sure I'd settle for a Gen 1 refurb now. They have issues with memory and screen discolouration.

 

Personally if my budget was £150, I'd stretch to £159 and get the 2013 Nexus 7 new

 

http://www.carphonewarehouse.com/tablet/asus/new-asus-nexus-7-wifi-16gb/handset

 

Apparently you could possibly pick this up instore in Sainsburys for £149 (worth giving them a ring)

 

You can "expand" the memory with any USB stick, an OTG cable and Nexus Media Importer app

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If you don't mind paying £9 more than your 150 budget, the 2013 Nexus 7 model is 159 at Carphone Warehouse. As an owner of both Nexus 7 models, the newer model is definitely worth getting due to it feeling far more snappy and having a better screen.

 

Edit: Ninja'd by Shorty. Agree on that front though - the old model is just not worth it if you can get the newer.

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If you don't mind a "manufacturer refurbished" one

 

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Asus-Google-Nexus-32GB-Wi-fi-7-Inch-Tablet-Black-/331179860330

 

There are absolutely no other cheap tablets worth buying and none, as far as I'm aware, with HDMI out. However, there is a solution to HDMI out:

 

https://play.google.com/store/devices/details/Chromecast?id=chromecast

 

Chromecast will let you send streams from apps. YouTube, iPlayer and others support it. You can even set up home streaming (although it takes a few more steps):

 

http://thestreamingadvisor.com/2014/03/21/how-to-cast-xbmc-from-an-android-phone-or-tablet-to-the-google-chromecast/

 

What's wrong with the tablets with HDMI out? How's Chromecast do with a regular ol' laptop or so? I might just swing by Currys this evening and pick one up and have a play round with it.

 

As for the tablet budget of £150 - that was a bit more the ultimate higher end of the budget :p. I get paid tomorrow, though I need to pay for lots of house bits, but depending I might see what I have to throw around.

 

If we were looking closer around the £100 mark, would there be anything you'd recommend @Shiekah or @Shorty?

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What's wrong with the tablets with HDMI out? How's Chromecast do with a regular ol' laptop or so? I might just swing by Currys this evening and pick one up and have a play round with it.

 

I mean that I'm not aware of any tablets with HDMI out at that price, or any other good cheap tablets apart from the Nexus 7.

 

As for Chromecast on a laptop, these are some Chrome add-ons that you can check to see if it's what you want.

 

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/search/chromecast

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What's wrong with the tablets with HDMI out? How's Chromecast do with a regular ol' laptop or so? I might just swing by Currys this evening and pick one up and have a play round with it.

 

As for the tablet budget of £150 - that was a bit more the ultimate higher end of the budget :p. I get paid tomorrow, though I need to pay for lots of house bits, but depending I might see what I have to throw around.

 

If we were looking closer around the £100 mark, would there be anything you'd recommend @Shiekah or @Shorty?

 

It'd have to be the original Nexus 7 then, which is still a decent tablet if somewhat outdated now.

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I mean that I'm not aware of any tablets with HDMI out at that price, or any other good cheap tablets apart from the Nexus 7.

 

As for Chromecast on a laptop, these are some Chrome add-ons that you can check to see if it's what you want.

 

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/search/chromecast

 

Thanks. I'd actually thought hdmi out wasn't all that common myself, but I searched 'hdmi tablet' on eBuyer and a few turned up(some seemed mini). Notably it was this super cheap £70 ex-display tablet that brought it to my attention - http://www.ebuyer.com/624968-exdisplay-hannspree-hannspad-tablet-pc-dual-arm-cortex-a5-1gb-ram-8gb-flash-ebr2-sn97t41. I think Dedede's just picked up this 10.1 Hanspree with mini-HDMI which I might check out when I get a chance too. My problem is I've never gotten on board with the whole tablet thing yet and I've no idea what's good or bad spec, really.

 

As for Chromecast I've been checking out some of the stuff and info around it - tab casting seems interesting enough as well as some of the other app stuff(Plex and XBMC for example, though I've never used either on any platform) - reckon I'll def pick one up tonight and see how well/badly tab casting from my ancient laptop works in the interim.

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I would take the 1st gen Nexus with a Chromecast over that.

 

If you're going to use the tablet as a tablet, not just a hdmi media device, that Hanspree would just wind up frustrating you. Even at a bargain price, I think you would regret the purchase. Unless of course, you have zero experience with a quality tablet in which case you might achieve blissful ignorance!

 

If you're not going to use it much as a tablet, have you considered a totally different approach? How about a Raspberry Pi with a memory card, HDMI cable and Openelec? Costs <£40 and hundreds of guides on the internet. You could then stream your media from your laptop or similar. Wouldn't be suitable for netflix, but guessing you consoles have that covered.

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I honestly have nothing to say about that tablet. I've never heard of the make before and that particular tablet doesn't seem to exist outside that ex-display model, and the 10.1" one isn't mentioned on any tech sites - the last one they reviewed was one a few years ago running an incredibly dated version of Android (for the time).

 

It's not so much the specs, but how well Android runs on it, bloatware and how responsive the touchscreen is.

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I honestly have nothing to say about that tablet. I've never heard of the make before and that particular tablet doesn't seem to exist outside that ex-display model, and the 10.1" one isn't mentioned on any tech sites - the last one they reviewed was one a few years ago running an incredibly dated version of Android (for the time).

 

It's not so much the specs, but how well Android runs on it, bloatware and how responsive the touchscreen is.

 

Hmm. Sounds like I'll def need a hands on then - so far I've been told the pricier one runs slower than an iPad lol. However Shorty's correct - I'm operating in total ignorance on the tablet front, with my only closest experiences being that of my phones. I did try seeing what the Revoo scores were like but there wasn't a mass of reviews to make me feel confident. That said I did pick up a Hanspree 32" TV 3 years ago for what was then quite a bargain £200 - I can't say I've ever found too much fault with it(bar lacking any usb support) - is currently operating as my main TV too(though I'm just about to replace it with an equally small brand Cello TV).

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What are you going to be using it for? If you're just browsing the net and hooking up to TV then that Hannspad will work just fine. A lot of people will tell you that you need to spend x amount, but a cheap tablet is fine for low-level use. One thing I have heard from Hannspads is that they have a very low viewing angle, and the battery isn't great. So check with Dedededededede', and compare to the sort of use you're after (i.e. whether those things are important/worth the extra money).

 

@Cube I'm surprised you haven't heard of Hannspree. THey've been in the budget tablet market for quite a while.

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Well, not quite related to the tablet front but so far I've purchased myself a Chromecast and tried down the XBMC route that @Cube posted about - has taken me some working and appears to possibly still be a bit temperamental, however I can see that if I got such a setup actually working nicely this could maybe be good. Biggest barrier/next step for progression would be having some decent sort of media server(so maybe Plex) setup in order to make the most of this - so far I've turned to putting a few video files on my phone the long way to then test it out(the only one I had on there didn't work). Or an alternative option of somehow being able to 'cast' these files straight from my laptop/computer instead(it doesn't seem to be taking the phone's processing or failing to render them nicely, and it's not a mirror, so I'm not actually sure how it's working).

 

I can see a lot of potential for Chomecast, only it doesn't quite seem to be there yet. This old laptop can't seem to handle youtube tab mirroring - hoping to try it out with a better laptop tomorrow.

Edited by Rummy

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For YouTube, you shouldn't need tab mirroring. Do you see this button:

 

ZPlXsX3.jpg

 

If not, go to https://cast.google.com/chromecast/setup/

 

That button will sent the YouTube video link to Chromecast, and Chromecast will stream straight from the internet.

 

Ah yeah, I did the whole youtube from phone/from chrome thing, then I tried tab mirroring for youtube just to see how it fared as well as other sources because basically very little seems supported for Chromecast right now(say 4od and ITV player, I found articles saying they've no immediate plans but ironically they were what I was interested somewhat in). I should have articulated that point better really.

 

I think Computer-to-XBMC streaming could be quite interesting if I get it working(or even tablet/phone consistently, overlooking size limits) - the simple/easy wireless nature whilst not completely disabling the device seems interesting. I though I was almost there/getting somewhere doing it from my laptop - but I think I've realised there's a minor flaw doing it from a windows guide on a linux system(there's a replacement file, much like the android/tablet version, which I've guessed would likely be different in a linux environment).

 

So far for a first evening messing about with Chromecast - I can see a lot of potential if it can be made to work with ease. I don't really know if it will though. It'd be nice if it got some more mainstream and commonplace support. Tomorrow as said I'll try tab mirroring with something more up to date, see how it is, and also try and get XBMC from laptop/PC to chromecast working.

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The Tesco Hudl is well reviewed.

 

Very true, I'd forgotten about the Hudl, and you can use double value Clubcard vouchers etc on it if that's your thing.

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Ah yeah, I did the whole youtube from phone/from chrome thing, then I tried tab mirroring for youtube just to see how it fared as well as other sources because basically very little seems supported for Chromecast right now(say 4od and ITV player, I found articles saying they've no immediate plans but ironically they were what I was interested somewhat in). I should have articulated that point better really.

 

I think Computer-to-XBMC streaming could be quite interesting if I get it working(or even tablet/phone consistently, overlooking size limits) - the simple/easy wireless nature whilst not completely disabling the device seems interesting. I though I was almost there/getting somewhere doing it from my laptop - but I think I've realised there's a minor flaw doing it from a windows guide on a linux system(there's a replacement file, much like the android/tablet version, which I've guessed would likely be different in a linux environment).

 

So far for a first evening messing about with Chromecast - I can see a lot of potential if it can be made to work with ease. I don't really know if it will though. It'd be nice if it got some more mainstream and commonplace support. Tomorrow as said I'll try tab mirroring with something more up to date, see how it is, and also try and get XBMC from laptop/PC to chromecast working.

 

This Acer seems fairly decent, well for £100 anyways. 8" screen as well, it has video out according to a review I read.

 

http://direct.asda.com/Acer-ICONIA-A1-810-81251G01nw---tablet---Android-4.2-%28Jelly-Bean%29---16-GB---7.9%22/000518002,default,pd.html

 

http://www.trustedreviews.com/acer-iconia-a1_Tablet_review

 

Download the bubble UPNP app and it will stream any movies except .avi from your phone/tablet to your chromecast, easy peasy lemon squeezy.

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This Acer seems fairly decent, well for £100 anyways. 8" screen as well, it has video out according to a review I read.

 

http://direct.asda.com/Acer-ICONIA-A1-810-81251G01nw---tablet---Android-4.2-%28Jelly-Bean%29---16-GB---7.9%22/000518002,default,pd.html

 

http://www.trustedreviews.com/acer-iconia-a1_Tablet_review

 

Download the bubble UPNP app and it will stream any movies except .avi from your phone/tablet to your chromecast, easy peasy lemon squeezy.

 

Bubble UPNP? Will have a look into that this evening. Wanted to try the chromecast with a better laptop so took it to my mum's this morning - just my luck it won't work connect on my bloody network there -.-. I can see a good potential in the device if it gets some good and solid workarounds/options for media streaming. At the moment the Youtube thing is quite nice, but comparing it to my Wii U's capability it isn't any major difference except maybe saving a tiny bit more of faff.

 

We got any other forumites on here with an actual Chromecast yet?

 

If you're not going to use it much as a tablet, have you considered a totally different approach? How about a Raspberry Pi with a memory card, HDMI cable and Openelec? Costs <£40 and hundreds of guides on the internet. You could then stream your media from your laptop or similar. Wouldn't be suitable for netflix, but guessing you consoles have that covered.

 

I think I'm going to consider looking into this option a bit now - my issue is the difference between local media streaming and online streaming, I'd kinda like something that can do both.

 

Playing with the Chromecast a bit more, I think right now it isn't up to what it could potentially be. Tbh stuff like flash streaming I can do equally well(and better as it'll handle all flash video and not just Youtube) via my Wii U - Chromecast wins out however in terms of ease and portability on that front, it's good for the price and I can certainly see the Youtube aspect being worth it when you've got everyone around a TV and everyone's wanting to throw on their Youtube videos. Tab streaming seems to suck even on my mum's laptop(admittedly it might not from my PC) and I didn't think it was all that crap.

 

A plus point - if I've multiple TVs the portability aspect makes it somewhat handy, IF I get both online streaming and media streaming down(surely doable with a tablet anyway) then I'd be happy with it. I can see a lot of potential with Chromecast, but right now it doesn't feel quite up to it for me, personally. Might be different if I had a decent media server set up for it to stream off, of course.

 

My next concern is whether to try returning it, or keep it given that I doubt it's really gonna go up or down in price in the future...

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@Rummy did you get any where with this?

 

Nexus 7 2013 refurb - 1 year warranty + claim 50 pound in google play vouchers. it's a steal!! You get 10% off when added to basket making it 125.99

 

http://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/nexus-7-16gb-2013-refurb-with-12-months-warranty-125-99-ebay-argos-1905008

 

I ended up getting that ubuntu laptop in the end instead, though tbh it seems a bit shitter than I had hoped so I half wish maybe I hadn't, but what's done now is done. Does the things I'm after though.

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To anyone thinking about a tablet, the 2013 Nexus 7 16GB model is now only £130 new at GAME. Brilliant price for what it is.

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