Suggestions for a Travel Tablet - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums

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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 2017-08-14, 04:54 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Ottawa
Posts: 13
Suggestions for a Travel Tablet

Hello everyone, loving that there is a site for Canadians to talk about computers and other gadgets. I have come across so many similar forums but for the States so finding this with such a large community is a pleasant surprise.

I am going to be doing a lot of travelling in Canada this year as I move into consulting (have to take the train across the country at least once, and might have to go up North for a bit as well) and I am looking to purchase a tablet to make things a little less boring for those long rides. I previously had a first gen iPad that broke a couple years ago, I quite liked it but there were too many restriction so I was looking at Samsung tablets like the Galaxy Tab. Most of them have a big screen and run quite fast so I could watch my football games or play something on them which would be my biggest priorities. I am also looking for something with high connectivity, a lot of the areas I will be staying in have very bad cell reception and internet is spotty so being able to connect and stay connected is a must. Durability and a good battery and also things I am looking for, but that seems to be pretty standard among Samsung tablets. Are these the ones I should be looking at, or does anyone here have some better suggestions for what I will be needing? Thanks in advance guys and gals!
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 2017-08-14, 10:08 AM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Toronto Downtown, Bell VDSL Fibe
Posts: 250
Very happy with my Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 (great for library books, newspapers and web), but only wi-fi. Connect via hot spotting my cell if necessary, which works fine if you have a generous data plan on the cell.
If both wi-fi and cell coverage can be spotty, you may be forced to compromise in some way, but cost wise I'd suggest hotspotting on your cell account.
Also, get a rechargeable USB battery pack (aka portable charger) or two for trips where you don't have a mains charging outlet.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 2017-08-14, 10:26 AM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Stratford, PE.
Posts: 3,588
I too would suggest the 9.7 inch Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 or the newer S3. Both have a great screen for downloaded movies and games and are very reliable on WIFI. However if you can find one on E-bay or somewhere like that, the original Galaxy Tab S with its larger 10.5 inch screen would be even better. That screen by the way was not only larger but also had a default landscape orientation that made it ideal for movie watching. Beginning with the S2, Samsung switched to portrait and reduced the screen size to make it more IPAD like. Why they took a good idea and wrecked it is something I've never been able to find out.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 2017-08-14, 10:31 AM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Calgary, AB
Posts: 4,427
I'm super impressed by my son's NVDIA Shield Tablet K1, 16GB.

The screen on these are amazing.

I paired it with a COOPER TOUCHPAD EXECUTIVE 2-in-1 Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard Mouse Leather Travel from to make it a full travel computer that runs Android.

Edit: Appears these are now discontinued

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Last edited by magnet; 2017-08-14 at 10:49 AM.
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 2017-08-14, 10:45 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Winnipeg, MB
Posts: 12,442
I'm also very happy with the Galaxy Tab I've had since 2015 and occasionally use a USB battery pack as well. It's the only tablet I've owned so it's hard to compare, but I noticed I have much better Wi-Fi range than relatives with an iPhone or iPad.

It gets several hours of use per day and I download videos to watch/listen to when I'm on the go and especially when I'm out of Wi-Fi range. I like that it has an SD card slot for additional storage, although I've never needed to use it.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 2017-08-14, 11:43 AM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Kitchener, ON
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The Samsung Galaxy Tab series of tablets are great for media consumption. You can't beat the OLED screen. I'm uncertain if a cellular network-capable version is sold.

If you're taking the train across Canada, you'll likely be taking the Canadian, which does not offer WiFi service (unlike most other VIA trains). The train itself travels through many remote and northerly regions, so cell service will be spotty at best. As VIA's Wifi uses cellular networks, this would explain the lack of WiFi facilities aboard the Canadian. You won't be able to stream live sports unless you are in a more urban area or at a station.

I recommend downloading any content that you wish to view prior to your trip. For example, Netflix now allows you to d/l shows onto your device.

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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 2017-08-14, 12:50 PM
Join Date: Jun 2011
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Posts: 6,369
Yet another vote for the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 SM-T813. As already mentioned, it's a 4:3 tablet but works well in both landscape and portrait mode and is great for books. It has 32GB of storage and a microSD card expansion slot so it can really be loaded up, especially when using extra cards. The 8 core CPU helps with performance and extends battery life. It's very thin but it's best feature is the amazing screen. It's a fair bit cheaper than a comparable iPad as well. I've seen them on sale occasionally. Mike's computer shop has it on right now for $499.
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 2017-08-15, 04:07 AM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: BC Interior
Posts: 1,669
No I am not recommending this but right now I am out of town with a 1GB 16GB windows Insignia 8 inch tablet with a cheap Dell keyboard and mouse and except for the small screen the 1 GB memory is doing the job!

under $100 tablet and $20 wireless keyboard and mouse.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 2017-08-15, 05:24 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Ottawa
Posts: 13
Well this seems pretty unanimous. I am looking at some Galaxy Tabs for sale around me right now, I don't know whether to buy new or used right now as I have a sinking feeling that it might get ruined towards the end of the trip (I tend to be quite clumsy) and I can get some good bundles that people are selling, plus that would allow me to get the original with the huge screen as mentioned above. I already have a USB powerbank, but I think I will get another one so I can have my phone and (soon to be ) tablet charging at the same time. Thanks for all the advice, I now know what direction to be heading in.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 2017-08-15, 08:06 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Whitby, Ont.
Posts: 944
I see they don't make Lifeproof cases for the Tabs. I would certainly suggest an Otterbox case.
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 2017-08-15, 12:00 PM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: 43░ N, 81.2░ W
Posts: 6,369
A cover would be a good idea. It kind of defeats buying an ultra thin tablet but can provide good protection. I purchased a "MoKo Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 Case" from Amazon and recommend it highly.
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 2017-08-17, 05:13 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Ottawa
Posts: 13
Thanks to the great advice that I got on here, I will now be travelling in style with my recently purcahsed Samsung Galaxy Tab 2. I bought it from someone online that included a case with it, but I think I will look at otterbox or the other companies mentioned in here so I can get a nice tough case. I always remember my surveyor throwing the tablet into the truck with the case on and ending up denting the truck with it. Thanks again for all the help guys, will be recommending this to the guys I work with if they are having troubles buying electronics.

Last edited by 57; 2017-08-17 at 10:45 AM. Reason: Unnecessary Quote Removed.
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 2017-08-17, 10:53 AM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Calgary AB
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Hope it was the Tab S2 and not the Tab 2. The Tab 2 is a much older tablet and not nearly as good as the S2
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 2017-08-18, 04:11 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Ottawa
Posts: 13
I realized that after looking through about a page of postings online. I ended up with an S2 as the used price is not much different than the used price of just the Tab 2, although today I see lots of listings for S3's at a similar price. Oh well.
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 2017-08-18, 10:00 AM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Stratford, PE.
Posts: 3,588
@CannuckleHead : If you don't mind, where did you make your purchase? I've got the original Tab S but it is having battery issues (after only 3 years?) and I'm looking to upgrade.

Another open question. Does anyone know of a reputable source in Canada for Sony Experia tablets (10 inch)? I'm interested in their waterproofing feature and can't find anyone in Canada who sells them.

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