Can anyone recommend a good movie watching/web surfing tablet device for cheap?
November 7, 2007 7:52 PM   Subscribe

Can anyone recommend a good movie watching/web surfing tablet device for cheap?

I love my Macbook to death. Honestly, it is one of the best pieces of kit I've ever bought (next to my bluetooth headphones) and I adore it.

HOWEVER, recently I've been finding it a little heavy to tote back and forth to work, especially since I use a work PC at work, which means all I really use the Macbook for is watching movies on the way home on the train. I'd also love a device I could use to surf the web at home on the couch, without having to find my Macbook!

With this in mind, does anyone have any recommendations for a device I could get to do these two tasks? It occurs to me that what I want would appear to be a bigish LCD screen with wifi and a CF slot or something, but I can't find anything on the web. A tablet PC would do it, but I don't need another laptop and the price is overkill.

Does this type of thing exist? It would seem to be a marketable item, but I can't find them anywhere. Any suggestions? Thanks all!

(PS. I know about the various Nokia devices, but most of the ones I've seen don't have a screen much bigger than my PocketPC phone.. I'm really looking for a device with a 10" screen or something!)
posted by ranglin to Technology (16 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Hmmm, just found this question, which seems quite similar from earlier this year, but doesn't seem to have many options...

Are the comments in that thread still current, or has something really exciting come round the corner? :)
posted by ranglin at 7:57 PM on November 7, 2007

How much are you looking to spend?
posted by Good Brain at 8:15 PM on November 7, 2007

Best answer: Archos 605 WiFi or for an even bigger screen the Archos 705 WiFi

Personally - I'm still thinking about the Nokia N810 - sure the screen is smaller, but the built-in keyboard + GPS offset that.
posted by jkaczor at 8:34 PM on November 7, 2007

An iPod touch?
posted by streetdreams at 8:54 PM on November 7, 2007

Oops! Missed the part about the 10"screen. Damn my ADD!
posted by streetdreams at 8:56 PM on November 7, 2007

I've replaced my 12" Powerbook with an 8G Ipod Touch for couch surfing (RSS, IMDB, Wikipedia). It works great if you're amenable to the screen size.
posted by rhizome at 9:12 PM on November 7, 2007

Response by poster: Wow, the Archos devices look pretty cool! Didn't realise Archos made devices like that (always considered them an MP3 player company)...

What's the screensize on the touch? Is it actually any good for web surfing? I would think it would need to resize the content all the time!

Good Brain: Looking to spend as little as possible, but if something really tickles my fancy, then I might be convinced to spend more..

Other suggestions?
posted by ranglin at 12:37 AM on November 8, 2007

How about the Asus eee that has just been released? $3-400 for a mini-laptop which runs Linux (and can theoretically have windows installed if you prefer). Has a 7" 800x400ish screen.
posted by markr at 12:47 AM on November 8, 2007

You could try a second hand HP TC1100 - full PC ability in a tiny package that really works very well. Price wise they are a steal as well, at present... WiFi ready and so on; Only drawback is you either love the format or hate it... Ebay TC1100 Results
posted by DrtyBlvd at 2:19 AM on November 8, 2007

I know you said you didn't want a full tablet PC, but the Fujitsu P1610D is the sweetest machine you will find. It is pricey, but you must at least look at it and go "wow."

I have its predecessor, the P1510D, which I love as I have never loved a computer before. (For a Mac-head like myself, that really takes some doing.) You may be able to find a P1510D used at a somewhat reasonable price.

Of course, they now have an even smaller model, the U810, which may deserve your attention.
posted by kindall at 5:07 AM on November 8, 2007

Best answer: You might take a second look at the Nokia N800. With the new model coming out, the price cuts on the N800 make it pretty attractive. The screen in 800 x 480, so though it IS small, it's pretty darn sharp, and I've found websurfing to be mostly comfortable, if not quite comparable to a full screen. Video looks great, though you have to take the time to transcode them. For under $250, it's almost a laptop, but it fits in your pocket. It was the right solution for me, but no 10-inch screen, sorry. I don't think there's a 10-incher for sub-laptop prices.
posted by rikschell at 7:16 AM on November 8, 2007

I carry a Motion Computing LS800 for a similar purpose -- my full size laptop is just too bulky (and expensive) to carry every day. It does what I need it to fine, but 800px width video is getting painful for web surfing anymore... so now I'm coveting the Fujitsu U810 that kindall mentioned.

Tablets and UMPCs are one of those love/hate things: many folks buy them, decide they aren't ideal, and sell them off barely used after a month or two. Take advantage of this -- troll ebay, etc. for used/refurbed Tablet PCs and/or UMPCs until you can get a deal (~1/5th retail in my case).
posted by Pufferish at 8:35 AM on November 8, 2007

Best answer: FWIW, I second the Nokia N800 recommendation. I love mine, from which I'm responding now. It's big enough to read, has a great screen, fits easily in my purse, connects via wifi or my phone, and cost under $250 shipped. The Archos units are similarly worth a look and affordable.
posted by notashroom at 5:46 PM on November 8, 2007

Response by poster: Well, I just took receipt of a Nokia 770, which the is the N800's little brother! I bought the 770 because it was cheap and I figured if I like it but am hampered by the slow processor, I can sell it back on eBay and only be out $50 - $100...

We'll see how it goes! I think notashroom was the one that finally convinced me, with the "from which I'm responding now" comment... Any device that can surf MeFi is good for me! :)
posted by ranglin at 11:51 AM on November 22, 2007

Response by poster: .... and here i am making posts to mefi from it! So far so good and it's pretty easy to type on with your thumbs...
posted by ranglin at 1:56 AM on November 23, 2007

That's great, ranglin! :) Any portable web-surfing device that doesn't properly display the blue (or green) is useless, in my book.
posted by notashroom at 8:37 AM on November 23, 2007

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