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Decent tablet for a college student?

  • Android
  • Tablets
Last response: in Laptop Tech Support
March 27, 2012 5:45:21 PM

My laptop is close to kicking the bucket and I'm thinking about picking up a tablet. Is there a decent tablet out there that is good for college students. I'm only looking for wi-fi, microsoft office, and a usb port or two. I'm not looking for fancy apps, games or 3G. Tablets are very portable and I would prefer to pick one up over a laptop. I know this may be a stretch but is there anything out there for under $450?

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March 27, 2012 7:15:38 PM

Is the laptop just running sluggish or are there issues with the components? A SSD and maxing out the RAM can be a big facelift when you reload the operating system.

Tablet has a pretty wide definition - if you want USB port(s) from the mainstream tablets, you're looking at either a Toshiba Thrive or a Asus Transformer Prime. The Prime gives you the option of a keyboard dock to make it more user friendly for note taking. The Thrive is a little more cost-effective for a college student but as in all things, you get what you pay for.

I would honestly look a smaller laptop or netbook if you want to use Microsoft Office - all the tablets on the market have the capability to look at MS Office documents through a reader but you don't have the full office suite functionality unless you go to something like the Samsung Slate or Dell's Latitude ST which will cost you twice as much but get you a full desktop operating system experience. If I were in your shoes, I would get the XPS 13 for the XPS 14z - light weight, very portable and a full size keyboard and OS. Better to spend the money once and not have to feel like you need to upgrade every year.
March 27, 2012 8:52:35 PM

Yea, the laptop is pretty much done. The fan gets louder every day, it overheats quickley, among other things. It isn't the age of the tech that os making me replace my laptop
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March 28, 2012 3:02:28 PM

There is definitely a time and place for every type of system out there - you can definitely get by on a tablet for note-taking and minimal document creation. I am an iPad fan myself, but if you want a USB port that's definitely not the direction you want to go.

If you wanted the USBs for storage sharing, you could try either a cloud-based storage location like dropbox or you could use a wireless hard drive like Seagate released last year. If you're wanting to just use a headset, keyboard or mouse, you could always go bluetooth.

The Transformer Prime's keyboard dock also has an internal battery which adds a little weight but makes a huge difference in battery life. Pick you poison, there is more than 1 way to skin that cat.

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November 22, 2012 6:25:24 AM

Maybe this is an old thread, but I figured it's better to reply to this than add a new one that is completely the same. I'm a student in Mannheim, Germany and I've bought a Nexus 7 to help me study better. And you can't imagine what success I've had since I got it.

I've filled it with schoolbooks and fiction books, a few productivity and time management apps, a few apps for gaming and browsing better. And this is the only thing I carry to university now, not the heavy schoolbooks or similar. And I get to research on the internet right away.

This is the best 7 inch device on the market at the moment, it has great hardware and excellent support as it's a Google device. I'd suggest you take a look at a few others if you want to, or if your wallet is starving:

But investing in a Nexus 7 is a really really really wise choice for a student!
February 5, 2013 6:11:05 PM

Best answer selected by josh5890.
a b Ë Android
February 6, 2013 1:50:51 AM

Yeah, the Nexus 7 is pretty good. I use it to study for the CFA exam (Certified Financial Analyst) during my commute to and from work. I converted my e-texbook from Vital Book format to PDF and I use Mantano Reader to read it; it can also be used to write notes. Not directly onto the page but in a tab that references the page that the notes were written for. The paid versions have more functions.

There is no MS Office for the Android OS. If you need to run MS Office on a tablet then you need to get a tablet that runs Windows RT. They start at around $500.

I bought my 32GB Nexus 7 from for $249 + 2 shipping. Don't bother with Amazon they sell the 16GB version for around $220 when it should be $199 and the 32GB version for around $270 when it should be $249. Amazon's "price-bot" must have gotten a virus or something today 'cause I saw the 32GB Nexus 7 jump to $329.