Can I give this tablet a second chance at life?
June 17, 2018 12:47 AM   Subscribe

I have a Galaxy Tab 10.1 from many years ago. 2011-ish? I’d like to use it for very simple kitchen things like looking up recipes and keeping a pantry inventory. Even after a factory reset, it’s unusably slow. Is there any solution?

Would installing a new OS help at all? Or is the hardware probably just too old for modern apps? I’d rather not waste time trying if so.

Thank you!
posted by greermahoney to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I think you've described the problem well - a new OS and most new apps just won't run at an acceptable speed. You might see some benefit if you can flash the tablet with an old version of the OS, but that'll just be full of security holes and the apps will still be slow, anyway. Unlike old PC hardware, you can't easily run a different OS on it.

The best uses I've seen for really old devices like this is something fairly static - a digital photo frame, desk calendar, weather station - something that you don't need to interact with much. It's admirable to want to make use of something like this rather than discard it, but I think you'd be happier with a cheapo new tablet or something secondhand that's only a couple of years old.
posted by pipeski at 3:07 AM on June 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

I have an even older Galaxy Tab (Tab E 9.6) and it still runs fine. It's not snappy but if I optimize using the built in tool (closes background apps, etc.) it's definitely OK for most stuff I do on it.

I mostly use it as a prompter for lyrics when I perform, so I'm going on the internet a lot, downloading lyrics, screenshotting them, cropping them and putting them in an app meant to manage setlists and lyrics.

But it's also fine for streaming audio and video. Maybe there's an issue with your memory or something?
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 5:18 AM on June 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: If the tablet's effectively useless, Lineage will give it a new lease on life — if the exact model is supported. Lineage tends to be a bit less stable than stock OSs, but actually receives updates. Installation is a matter of following the instructions exactly: not difficult, just don't skip any of it. Took me about an hour to get my OnePlus One flashed and usable again.
posted by scruss at 10:19 AM on June 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

it should be able to be at least as fast as it used to be. I would uninstall or disable as many unneeded apps as possible, and I would unlock it. It might be trying to connect to a provider? I keep my old phones in 1. the kitchen, as an emergency phone, 2. the car, emergency phone, camera, book.
posted by theora55 at 11:05 AM on June 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

If you can root it, you could try using an app like Titanium Backup to remove or disable pre-installed apps you don't want that are sucking up resources. You'd have to google "root Galaxy Tab 10.1" to see if rooting is possible. I've rooted past phones via apps like Kingo Root and TowelRoot, but my current Samsung Galaxy phone cannot be rooted, so I'm stuck. Otherwise, it may not be worth it. (Rooting is basically "unlocking" - meaning you have root access to the OS and not just what Samsung wants you to be able to control.)
posted by AppleTurnover at 11:59 AM on June 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks so much, all! I think I’ll give LineageOS a try. The instructions look straightforward and if it can be done in an hour, surely it won’t take me more than 4! And that’s reasonable, in my opinion. Thanks!!
posted by greermahoney at 4:51 PM on June 17, 2018

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