Kevin Bae

Non-Social in a Socially Networked World

What’s the deal with Android tablets?

Image by Csaba Nagy from Pixabay

Why on God’s green Earth is there such a dearth of Android based tablets? I need a new one. One that has a decent processor and runs the latest version of Android. The problem I’m facing is that they don’t exist and I want to know why?

Can it be that I’m the only one in the world that wants this? The last good Android based tablet I had was the Nexus 7 (See my review from 2012). Since that time and subsequent abandonment by Google there has been absolutely nothing to replace it. I tried to use Samsung tablets and I’ve tried to use Windows based tablets too. None of them are sufficient.

Right now I’m using an older model Apple iPad Mini. I hate it. I can’t stand iOS and I don’t use an iPhone so I’m not entrenched in the Apple ecosystem. It’s a pain in the ass to use. Switching between apps suck and the lack of a back button really frosts my ass. The only thing the iPad has over any Android tablet I’ve used in recent years is performance. Apple has done a good job of making sure the latest version of iOS runs on older devices. Too bad the OS itself sucks balls.

So, I’m on the search again for a new tablet. I use my tablet for reading the morning paper, reading books, scanning through e-mail, and light web browsing. The hassle of searching makes me want to smash the monitor I’m staring at while typing this post.

Asus, the company that manufactured Google’s Nexus 7 still has tablets and even in a similar form factor. But they are years behind. Their latest only runs Android 7. That was back when Google was still using dessert names. Asus is out.

Google recently had something called the Pixel Slate. The problem is that it ran on Chrome OS and not Android. Why? In any case, I would not have purchased it even if it did run Android 11 because I no longer trust Google to produce good hardware. I’ve been using their Nexus and Pixel phones since they introduced them and watched as they slowly lost interest in the product segment. So much so that I’ve stayed with my Pixel 3 instead of upgrading to either of the last two iterations of their phones. I’d rather have good hardware running the latest software than spend money on crap hardware just because it’s new. Google is out.

Lenovo has some nice looking tablets. However, the newest models they carry only run Android 9 at best. Why? It’s two generations old already. Why would I want to buy a device that’s running and old OS? They don’t run current apps that well and two years from now it will be even worse. So Lenovo is out.

Microsoft finally has an Android device called the Surface Duo. It’s a very cool device but it starts at $1,400.00. FOURTEEN HUNDRED DOLLARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! To top it off it still only runs Android 10. Give me a break. I’m not opposed spending more for a cool device but I’m not brain dead. Microsoft is OUT!

Amazon makes their own Android based tablets but they run a proprietary version. I don’t want some goofy fork of an OS. It would be like getting trapped in the bargain basement version of the Apple ecosystem. I’m an Amazon Prime member for the shipping and some of their video content. I don’t want to EVER get stuck in their system exclusively. Amazon is out.

Samsung also has some nice devices but theirs also only run Android 10 at best. This is not a deal killer because at least it’s only one generation behind. I’ve owned Samsung Android tablets before however and they never update the OS to the newest version. Spend money now to be stuck on one version of Android forever. Samsung is not out but I past experience with their Galaxy Tab A makes me hesitate.

So what is left? Chinese knock-offs from Aliexpress? Or just muddle through with a device and OS I hate?

I used to love technology and gadgets. But the years when they were cool and I could find a device that I liked and worked the way I wanted are long gone.

I think I may be the only one in the world that wants this device.