What is the best tablet with USB and Android 3 currently on the market?
Question by Tina /

What do you think is the best tablet with USB connectivity out there and what devices should I avoid? Is there anything coming out worth waiting for?

I’m looking for a tablet with the following key characteristics:
– MUST have USB port or other way to attach external storage and external keyboard
– preferably runs Google Android 3.x (Honeycomb)

I want to use it for:
– browsing
– playing music via external storage
– storing photographs
– occasional writing, possibly via external keyboard
– stylus support a big plus

The iPad obviously disqualifies, unless I can get myself to look past the lack of a USB port and other limitations. What’s in store for the iPad 3, though?

Thanks a lot in advance for your help!

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Answers (12)
  • james

    one solutions: LENOVO THINKPAD TABLET 10″ everything you need

  • Jessica Cam W.

    I also recommend the Iconia A500, which is a bit heavier than other tablets, but it feels very sturdy and well-built. 

    Also, any capacitive stylus should work on tablets, but even if you have the best/most expensive stylus, not all apps display inking smoothly as you’d think, (unless you get something like the HTC Flyer, which was made for using with a stylus). For instance, I have the Wacom Bamboo Stylus for iPad that I use on the A500, and even though the stylus has high ratings, writing on the tablet can sometimes be frustrating since the tip is fat (though smaller than most other styluses on the market) and my writing ends up being sort of ineligible (I usually have good cursive handwriting!)

    I have found that it’s sometimes easier to user my finger, and a lot of times (if not all times), it’s just easier to write with pen and paper. 

    If you still want to get used to writing with a stylus, an app I can’t recommend enough is the Honeycomb-optimized Sketchbook Express, which smooths out your handwriting more than other sketching/note-taking apps.

  • Tina

    Well, I’m strongly in favor of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 now. I played with the 7″ version (Android 2.x) yesterday and it was convincing. Have played with an iPad 1 before. I might still wait for an upgrade or a holiday deal, though.

  • Sonny Bass

    Here is a review and comparison of Galaxy / Ipad 2 http://deviceguru.com/galaxy-tab-10-1-vs-ipad2-smackdown/

    • Tina

      Great article, thanks for sharing!

      According to this article it is possible to attach USB devices to the iPad with an adapter!? Guess I have to do more research on that!

  • Susendeep Dutta

    According to your requirements Asus Eee pad transformer is a good tablet.See below link for full details.

    http://www.asus.com/Eee/Eee_Pad/Eee_Pad_Transformer_TF101/#overview

    Samsung galaxy tab 10.1 is also good but is a limited edition device.

    For ipad 3 it’s being rumoured and evident that it will sport a retina display.See below link for sources who claim this information.

    http://news.softpedia.com/news/iPad-3-Retina-Display-Evidence-Found-in-iOS-5-SDK-206190.shtml

  • Mike

    If I had to make a pick today I would go either with the Motorola Xoom or the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

    Both happen to run Honeycomb and have pretty much the same specs altogether. 

    I guess the benefit of the Xoom is that it features USB 2.0 and HDMI out of the box wherein the Galaxy Tab only sports a dock connector (like the iPad) and USB/HDMI connectivity via an adapter. 
    In return the Galaxy Tab is ~170g lighter, almost 5mm thinner and has a 1080p display (720p for the Xoom).

    • Mike

      I decided to also give my cents about the iPad (whichever version).
      Although I like my iPhone I really think that the iPad is kind of lost within the tablet market and sort of useless ~ my points being:
      (1) absence of Flash
      It’s ok for a phone [since the screens are too small anyway] but I do think Flash does add to the value of a tablet in terms of internet experience.
      (2) very restrictive App Store
      I see a tablet as a very multi-functional device and with all the restrictions on the App Store it really hurts the (possible) usability of a tab. I also don’t see jailbreak as an option because as a user I don’t want to be in the position where I have to hack my device [and void my warranty] just to make it “usable”.

    • Tina

      I agree regarding Flash, completely forgot about that. But don’t most sites that work with Flash offer iPad apps, which kind of is a workaround?

      Regarding apps, I thought that was a plus of the iPad!? I keep hearing that there are not enough good apps for Android and that many (if not most) are very bad because there is no quality control as with the App Store.

      PS: I hope James doesn’t see your comment. ;)

    • Mike

      I guess overall it’s a preference question ~ if I had to make a choice I would love a device like the Xoom but with an open Linux or just a Windows XP on it. It would give you so much more options to use the device.

      As for Flash ~ I’m not a fan of Flash because most people abuse it for stuff like the site navigation or other useless things. But the least thing I want to do is download an App every time it is being used.

      I’m not up to date on the current Android App Market so I can’t really make a judgement there.

      It is true that there are tons of Apps for the iPad and they all offer a certain quality in terms of stability and stuff but at the very same time you are also restricted to what’s on the App store ~ which often is 20 Apps doing almost the same thing just looking different.
      I was once looking for an SSH app [to remote manage server] and the cheapest App I found was ~1$ with most of them being 4$ and above.

      Until now it isn’t even possible to view personalized information on the lock screen like the weather, preview of new messages or maybe the latest twitter updates without jailbreaking. We will have to see what iOS 5 will bring in that regard.

      As I said ~ I like my iPhone and I do have all the Apps I need (which would be iPod, Mail, Phone, Messages, Echofon and SynoDS for my NAS). But in terms of a tablet I can’t see myself being satisfied with iOS and the App Store.

    • Mike

      I guess overall it’s a preference question ~ if I had to make a choice I would love a device like the Xoom but with an open Linux or just a Windows XP on it. It would give you so much more options to use the device.

      As for Flash ~ I’m not a fan of Flash because most people abuse it for stuff like the site navigation or other useless things. But the least thing I want to do is download an App every time it is being used.

      I’m not up to date on the current Android App Market so I can’t really make a judgement there.

      It is true that there are tons of Apps for the iPad and they all offer a certain quality in terms of stability and stuff but at the very same time you are also restricted to what’s on the App store ~ which often is 20 Apps doing almost the same thing just looking different.
      I was once looking for an SSH app [to remote manage server] and the cheapest App I found was ~1$ with most of them being 4$ and above.

      Until now it isn’t even possible to view personalized information on the lock screen like the weather, preview of new messages or maybe the latest twitter updates without jailbreaking. We will have to see what iOS 5 will bring in that regard.

      As I said ~ I like my iPhone and I do have all the Apps I need (which would be iPod, Mail, Phone, Messages, Echofon and SynoDS for my NAS). But in terms of a tablet I can’t see myself being satisfied with iOS and the App Store.

    • Susendeep Dutta

      I agree with you Mike totally.Truth is truth.Even if James read this comment he will not mind as he must be knowing this and he highlights the good qualities of apple products.Every thing has its own pros and cons and knowing the cons will not prevent people buying ipad.Preferences and needs matters most.