Tablet for Comics
July 28, 2014 1:27 PM   Subscribe

I want to get a 10" tablet just for reading comics. There are a LOT of cheap options out there. I don't want it for gaming or drum machines or word processing or really wifi connectivity. Just reading comics in HD with smooth touch controls. Any recommendations?

I would get a Nexus 10 but would prefer to spend less.
posted by kittensofthenight to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
If you want something substantially lower than the $340 Nexus 10, your best bet is probably a first-generation 9" Kindle Fire.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:29 PM on July 28, 2014 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: I've never used a Kindle, is the OS as open as android? I would prefer direct access to the files and choice of different reading apps because I primarily older scans of comics unavailable for purchase, even in the big reprint TPBs.
posted by kittensofthenight at 1:42 PM on July 28, 2014

I've been using a Xoom (10", 1280x800 screen) for a couple years now, and it's a great reading device, but I'm looking to replace it soon.

The 9" Kindle Fire HD has an amazing screen for the price, and it's regularly on sale for $200 or less, but (and this is a big but), it's running Amazon's fork of Android: this means you don't get play store access, but you can often sideload things that aren't offered through amazon's store, like the Marvel Unlimited app. On my (original) Kindle Fire, I used Comicat (which is available through the amazon store) to read cbr/cbz files, and it's totally fine.
posted by Oktober at 1:46 PM on July 28, 2014

I'm waiting for the HTC Nexus 9 in the fall (rumored to be $400 for a 9-inch tablet) although the 8-inch Nvidia Shield for $300 seems like an awfully good deal too.
posted by Oktober at 1:49 PM on July 28, 2014

The Nexus 10 works fabulously well for comics. It has good resolution and very vibrant colours. It is getting long at the tooth though.
posted by bonehead at 1:52 PM on July 28, 2014

I totally forgot about that bigger original KFHD. there is no higher bang/buck ratio available. Amazon warehouse has it for $134. Seriously, one hundred and thirty bucks. Sit and think on that one before you move on to anything else or fixate on getting 10in. Also, it has an hdmi port(!) which is getting increasingly rare. This is Totally Awesome if you stay in a hotel room, since you can then jack in your tablet and play whatever videos(or video services, netflix, etc) that you want to without needing to bring a laptop or any other extraneous adapters or bits and bobs.

Don't worry about it being "older", your use case is well under redlining any of the components it used. You basically want the best screen for the least $ for this sort of thing, and that's where you're going to find it.

You can also absolutely root the thing/install custom roms and just have normal android. It's been out for a while, so i'm sure the modding community is fairly mature. Poke around in here. Then you basically have a cheaper, lighter, and only slightly smaller nexus 10 once you ditch the amazon modded android build.

Another good option i've heard people mention is the sony xperia tablet Z(1, not 2) coming up SUPER cheap on randomly. It's popped up like 3 times now for under $200. They also regularly have new customer coupon codes for 20% off or whatever, even though it now seems to be floating at $250ish.

You'll notice that the kindle fire isn't 10in, that's because "10in retina" and cheap are a hard combo to hit. I think your best bet if you really want something 10in for sure is to wait for a deal on the xperia Z. I think the kindle is probably your best instant bet, though. That's so cheap, and really a good amount of money to spend if this is all you want to do with it.

I'd recommend the ipad 3, since i still like mine and disagree with all the haters who say it's "laggy" and slow(i've never had any real issues), but the used market for those is totally inflated and BS. And it's also quite heavy and gets uncomfortable to hold after a while. It's never bothered me enough to get a different tablet, but it's noticeable. It's just not worth the like, $250-300 they still go for.
posted by emptythought at 2:10 PM on July 28, 2014

If all you want is comic reading (and perhaps light internet, etc.) I would recommend the Nook HD+. It's a bit long in the tooth in technology terms, but I've had mine for over a year now and it works like a charm. I really like mine.

It has expandable memory which is useful if you want to carry around a lot of bigger CBR files. It has full access to Google play and you can *very easily* (as in it doesn't even require root) put cyanogen on it. (That's what I did.)

As a bonus it's screen resolution is a very pretty 1920 x 1280 (256 PPI, 1080p Full HD).

It's a really underrated machine.

Full retail is $179, but you can get them refurb for $129 on Amazon.
posted by oddman at 3:57 PM on July 28, 2014

Another vote - if you're going older / inexpensive - for the Nook HD+.
Pros: Nice size and format for display, MicroSD storage expansion, native access to Google Play Store Apps (such as Comixology), and easily wiped & Cynanogen'd into a generic Android device.
Cons: proprietary charger cable (connector resembles the old iPad cable but is not)
posted by bartleby at 4:38 PM on July 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

Another satisfied Nook owner here -- it's not the Cadillac of tablets but the build quality is very good for the price, the screen is quite nice, and the software loaded on it is not obnoxious and is easily replaced with another Android distribution if you choose. I have the Nook HD, which is the 7" version, you'd want the HD+ if you want a 10" tablet. Resolution is good, but CPU power is a little on the low side, it has no camera or GPS, and as bartleby mentions, the proprietary connector is not a great thing, but in general it's far, far better than the profusion of bargain-basement Android tablets that are just a few dollars cheaper.
posted by Nerd of the North at 5:25 PM on July 28, 2014

Think about what will work for you five years from now. Is there anything else you might use a tablet for?
posted by oceanjesse at 3:44 AM on July 29, 2014

A 9 or 10" screen means it's about the size of a manga digest, thus 75-80% of the size of a standard American comic comics page. So I'll note that there are some low-end 13.3" 1280x800 tablets in the same price range as the devices talked about above: Kocaso M1400, Hannspree T7. Archos FamilyPad 2. Being bigger and lower-resolution means they have about half the PPI thus 1/4 as quality as pretty much everything else under discussion, but they'd display a comics page full-size.
posted by Zed at 10:53 AM on July 30, 2014

Response by poster: Fwiw I got a new lg pad , 10.1 inches, and a 32gb SD. I've been reading suicide squad (how is that not collected?) And its amazing. Cost about 230 total. Syncs w my phone sobi can answer texts w/o switching devices. A bit lower resolution than some of the nicer options, but for out of print scans its so amazing. Definitely rec'd.
posted by kittensofthenight at 5:09 PM on August 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

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