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#1 PhaedrusUpshaw

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 12:37 AM

I have just recently started shopping for a tablet pc to be used principally as an astronomy tool. As I have absolutely no experience in this area, I would appreciate advice from the learned posters here in the Starry Nights forums regarding must have features and pitfalls to steer clear of. I am looking for really good screen resolution; a stable fast platform and you tell me what else I need to pay attention to in this aforementioned shopping research endeavor. Budget is a consideration; I will have to keep it under $400.00.
Clear skies and of course, “Keep looking up!”
Bill

#2 StarWars

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 01:43 AM



You can buy new tablets from Ebay... :grin:



9" inch Google Android 4.0 Tablet PC 8GB 512MB Computer Netbook WiFi

http://www.ebay.com/...12MB-Compute...



9" Inch Android 4.0.4 Dual Camera 8GB Tablet PC Netbook Computer Black..


http://www.ebay.com/...et-PC-Netboo...

#3 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 07:20 AM


You can buy new tablets from Ebay... :grin:



9" inch Google Android 4.0 Tablet PC 8GB 512MB Computer Netbook WiFi

http://www.ebay.com/...12MB-Compute...



9" Inch Android 4.0.4 Dual Camera 8GB Tablet PC Netbook Computer Black..


http://www.ebay.com/...et-PC-Netboo...


I do not recommend buying tablets like these, they are inexpensive but they are lacking in Ram, 512MB is quite restrictive and the one only has 4 GB of storage Ram. Both of these have screen resolutions of 800x480, that's passable on a smaller phone but for a 9 inch tablet, it's just not enough pixels.

They also lack the sensors like a compass, accelerometers, GPS that allow the tablet to align with the sky, one of the real bonuses of a tablet/phone.

There are a variety of choices out there that are well within your budget. For the Android market you definitely want Google Play and a minimum of a 1 GHZ processor, those are the minimum to run Sky Safari. But a decent tablet will have at least a dual core and probably a 4 core processor. 1 GB of system ram is a minimum, 2 is better.. 8GB of Storage is good, 16 is better.. As previously mentioned the full load of sensors is nice.. screen.. more is better.

My personal preference is for a 7 inch tablet, that way it fits in my coat pocket and I can have it with me, protected and right there ready to go.

In terms of a 7 inch Tablet, the 2013 model of the Nexus 7 is pretty hard to beat.. I bought one.. It's got a 1.5 GHz 4 core processor, a 1920x1200 screen, 2GB of system Ram, 16 GB of Storage, it's got all the sensors and a GPS... It's fast and has a great screen.. Runs Sky Safari like a dream. The battery life, a problem with less expensive tablets, is very good, I use the heck out it and I charge it every two or three days... It's $230...

Jon

#4 Cliff Hipsher

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 07:29 AM

The first question you need to answer is, "What EXACTLY do I want to accomplish?"

FWIW, I have a Samsung Galaxy 2 10.1. Its a good device, but because I am wandering down the astrophotography road, I use a Windows based laptop for mount control and image capture. For post processing I have a choice of either a "better" laptop (more ram, faster CPU, bigger hard drive), or a "better" (dual monitors, faster CPU, more ram, bigger hard drive) desktop.

Additionally, if the temps get too cold I have some VPN software that lets me control my imaging laptop from my other laptop or the desktop... Can't do that with a tablet...yet....

#5 derelicte

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 08:00 AM

Nexus 7.

#6 PhaedrusUpshaw

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 09:51 AM

You can buy new tablets from Ebay... :grin:





9" inch Google Android 4.0 Tablet PC 8GB 512MB Computer Netbook WiFi

http://www.ebay.com/...12MB-Compute...



9" Inch Android 4.0.4 Dual Camera 8GB Tablet PC Netbook Computer Black..


http://www.ebay.com/...et-PC-Netboo...


Thanks for the reply, however I am looking for something with a bit more screen real estate than 4 inches. I shall keep this in mind though.
Clear skies and of course, "Keep looking up!"
Bill

#7 Bob Griffiths

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 09:54 AM

Well a blue tooth keyboard (and case) an an iPad 7 inch tablet would be my first choice ..with the keyboard/case you are darn close to your budget...

SIZE is important...I have a 7 inch tablet that gets more use outside the house then my regular full sized IPad because as noted I can shove it in my pocket. Plus as a e-reader ...I very much prefer to use the 7

At one time I controlled the scope with my desktop computer in the observatory but I found it more work then it was worth (to me as a visual only observer) ..never tried to run any scope with the tablet...

Bob G.

#8 PhaedrusUpshaw

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 09:57 AM

The first question you need to answer is, "What EXACTLY do I want to accomplish?"

FWIW, I have a Samsung Galaxy 2 10.1. Its a good device, but because I am wandering down the astrophotography road, I use a Windows based laptop for mount control and image capture. For post processing I have a choice of either a "better" laptop (more ram, faster CPU, bigger hard drive), or a "better" (dual monitors, faster CPU, more ram, bigger hard drive) desktop.

Additionally, if the temps get too cold I have some VPN software that lets me control my imaging laptop from my other laptop or the desktop... Can't do that with a tablet...yet....

Hello Cliff,
I already have an EQMOD/XP desktop PC in my observatory and use my W7 laptop to control camera shutter speed etc. I want to add a tablet to to my arsenal primary to help me locate stars and satellites and confirm sightings. Thanks for the input.
Clear skies and of course, "Keep looking up!"
Bill

#9 PhaedrusUpshaw

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 10:03 AM

Well a blue tooth keyboard (and case) an an iPad 7 inch tablet would be my first choice ..with the keyboard/case you are darn close to your budget...

SIZE is important...I have a 7 inch tablet that gets more use outside the house then my regular full sized IPad because as noted I can shove it in my pocket. Plus as a e-reader ...I very much prefer to use the 7

At one time I controlled the scope with my desktop computer in the observatory but I found it more work then it was worth (to me as a visual only observer) ..never tried to run any scope with the tablet...

Bob G.


Good morning Bob,
An iPad was my first consideration, however I am not fond of its file management system and the lack of USB support without a costly adapter. Your comments concerning the 7 inch format are well taken.
Clear skies and of course, "Keep looking up!"
Bill

#10 PhaedrusUpshaw

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 10:16 AM



You can buy new tablets from Ebay... :grin:



9" inch Google Android 4.0 Tablet PC 8GB 512MB Computer Netbook WiFi

http://www.ebay.com/...12MB-Compute...



9" Inch Android 4.0.4 Dual Camera 8GB Tablet PC Netbook Computer Black..


http://www.ebay.com/...et-PC-Netboo...


I do not recommend buying tablets like these, they are inexpensive but they are lacking in Ram, 512MB is quite restrictive and the one only has 4 GB of storage Ram. Both of these have screen resolutions of 800x480, that's passable on a smaller phone but for a 9 inch tablet, it's just not enough pixels.

They also lack the sensors like a compass, accelerometers, GPS that allow the tablet to align with the sky, one of the real bonuses of a tablet/phone.

There are a variety of choices out there that are well within your budget. For the Android market you definitely want Google Play and a minimum of a 1 GHZ processor, those are the minimum to run Sky Safari. But a decent tablet will have at least a dual core and probably a 4 core processor. 1 GB of system ram is a minimum, 2 is better.. 8GB of Storage is good, 16 is better.. As previously mentioned the full load of sensors is nice.. screen.. more is better.

My personal preference is for a 7 inch tablet, that way it fits in my coat pocket and I can have it with me, protected and right there ready to go.

In terms of a 7 inch Tablet, the 2013 model of the Nexus 7 is pretty hard to beat.. I bought one.. It's got a 1.5 GHz 4 core processor, a 1920x1200 screen, 2GB of system Ram, 16 GB of Storage, it's got all the sensors and a GPS... It's fast and has a great screen.. Runs Sky Safari like a dream. The battery life, a problem with less expensive tablets, is very good, I use the heck out it and I charge it every two or three days... It's $230...

Jon


Jon,
Your reply is, as usual, very informative and I have come to respect your opinion a great deal. The Nexus 7 is at the top of my short list. Thank you for the comprehensive and prompt reply.
Clear skies and of course, “Keep looking up!”
Bill

#11 PhaedrusUpshaw

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 10:18 AM

Nexus 7.


derelicte,
That is what I am presently thinking!
Clear skies and of course, "Keep looking up!"
Bill

#12 Cliff Hipsher

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 10:33 AM

At one time I controlled the scope with my desktop computer in the observatory but I found it more work then it was worth (to me as a visual only observer) ..never tried to run any scope with the tablet...

Bob G.


Check this out: http://www.southernstars.com/

#13 Cliff Hipsher

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 11:05 AM

Bill:

There are several Android apps available, including a version of Stellarium. I have Stellarium Mobile and one called PlanetatiaX Pro that I like, and there are three versions of Sky Safari to choose from...

I'm a little disappointed with the Stellarium port. It takes a while to load, and it took me some cussing to get my location correct, but I still find it useful.

#14 derelicte

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 11:16 AM

Nexus 7.


derelicte,
That is what I am presently thinking!
Clear skies and of course, "Keep looking up!"
Bill


The nexus 7 is a great, inexpensive tablet. A n7 + cheap bt serial adapter + sky safari plus = wireless control of your mount. Really simple.

#15 Qwickdraw

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 11:16 AM

Having been using it with SS pro via Bluetooth I would highly recommend the Galaxy Note 8. It has plenty of real estate and performance has never been an issue as long as I have used it. Wireless and the S Pen are just the icing on the cake.

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#16 Sean Wood

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 11:57 AM

I am a total Android FanBoy but my largest concern with the Nexus line and SkySafari is the on screen software based navigation buttons. On most apps they become well hidden in "night" mode due to minimizing down to small dim dots but my experience with my nexus phone and N7 is that with SkySafari in night mode they don't minimize as with other apps.. they actually increase in brightness intensity and cut into your dark adaptation when using it at night. If you plan on using the tablet with an actual red screen filter this probably wouldn't be an issue. I'm also not sure if Southern Stars have a planned patch/fix in the works for a future release. Just adding my 2 cents and opinion. Loved my tablet, before it got filtched at a club outreach event, and hands down you can't beat Skysafari but they don't seem to play well together with the onscreen nav buttons. What's odd is I don't have the same issues with my Asus Transformer which is a 10" tablet.

#17 PhaedrusUpshaw

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 12:05 PM

At one time I controlled the scope with my desktop computer in the observatory but I found it more work then it was worth (to me as a visual only observer) ..never tried to run any scope with the tablet...

Bob G.



Check this out: http://www.southernstars.com/


Thanks for the link Bob, no matter what tablet I end up buying it looks like a copy of Sky Safari might very well be in my future.
Clear skies and of course, “Keep looking up!”
Bill

#18 PhaedrusUpshaw

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 12:08 PM

Bill:

There are several Android apps available, including a version of Stellarium. I have Stellarium Mobile and one called PlanetatiaX Pro that I like, and there are three versions of Sky Safari to choose from...

I'm a little disappointed with the Stellarium port. It takes a while to load, and it took me some cussing to get my location correct, but I still find it useful.


Bob,
Thanks again, you have given me quite a bit to think about and that is a good thing...
Bill

#19 PhaedrusUpshaw

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 12:11 PM

Nexus 7.


derelicte,
That is what I am presently thinking!
Clear skies and of course, "Keep looking up!"
Bill


The nexus 7 is a great, inexpensive tablet. A n7 + cheap bt serial adapter + sky safari plus = wireless control of your mount. Really simple.


Well I hadn't even considered controlling my mount with the Tablet, however it is something I will consider when I make my final decision regarding a Tablet purchase.
Thanks again and Clear skies,
Bill

#20 PhaedrusUpshaw

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 12:20 PM

I am a total Android FanBoy but my largest concern with the Nexus line and SkySafari is the on screen software based navigation buttons. On most apps they become well hidden in "night" mode due to minimizing down to small dim dots but my experience with my nexus phone and N7 is that with SkySafari in night mode they don't minimize as with other apps.. they actually increase in brightness intensity and cut into your dark adaptation when using it at night. If you plan on using the tablet with an actual red screen filter this probably wouldn't be an issue. I'm also not sure if Southern Stars have a planned patch/fix in the works for a future release. Just adding my 2 cents and opinion. Loved my tablet, before it got filtched at a club outreach event, and hands down you can't beat Skysafari but they don't seem to play well together with the onscreen nav buttons. What's odd is I don't have the same issues with my Asus Transformer which is a 10" tablet.

Thank you for your 2 cents worth, you have made some valid points that I shall consider. Every post is appreciated as I am gaining knowledge in the Tablet pc arena and an informed decision is the only kind I like making.

Clear skies and of course"Keep looking up!"
Bill

#21 Cliff Hipsher

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 12:30 PM

Bill:

There are several Android apps available, including a version of Stellarium. I have Stellarium Mobile and one called PlanetatiaX Pro that I like, and there are three versions of Sky Safari to choose from...

I'm a little disappointed with the Stellarium port. It takes a while to load, and it took me some cussing to get my location correct, but I still find it useful.


Bob,
Thanks again, you have given me quite a bit to think about and that is a good thing...
Bill


Actually its Cliff, but my shipmates call me Chief.. And you're welcome....

#22 PhaedrusUpshaw

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 12:32 PM

Having been using it with SS pro via Bluetooth I would highly recommend the Galaxy Note 8. It has plenty of real estate and performance has never been an issue as long as I have used it. Wireless and the S Pen are just the icing on the cake.

Well as a matter of fact Qwickdraw, the Galaxy Note 8(it receives very high ratings) and the Nexus 7 II are the two tablets at the top of my short list. Could you elaborate a bit more on the advantages of the S pen as I am intrigued by the possibility of note taking with it.
Clear skies and of course, "Keep looking up!"
Bill

#23 PhaedrusUpshaw

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 12:38 PM

Bill:

There are several Android apps available, including a version of Stellarium. I have Stellarium Mobile and one called PlanetatiaX Pro that I like, and there are three versions of Sky Safari to choose from...

I'm a little disappointed with the Stellarium port. It takes a while to load, and it took me some cussing to get my location correct, but I still find it useful.


Bob,
Thanks again, you have given me quite a bit to think about and that is a good thing...
Bill


Actually its Cliff, but my shipmates call me Chief.. And you're welcome....


OOps!! sorry Chief, I shall not make that mistake again.
Oh, and thanks for the timely reply to my posts. Thanks to The Starry Nights community I am quickly becoming well informed regarding this subject.
Clear skies to all and of course, "Keep looking up!"
Bill

#24 Qwickdraw

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 01:16 PM

I'm also not sure if Southern Stars have a planned patch/fix in the works for a future release.


Southern Stars is planning a major new release sometime "soon". I would not purchase anything but the base version of this until after SS4 is released.

#25 derelicte

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 02:27 PM

I'm also not sure if Southern Stars have a planned patch/fix in the works for a future release.


Southern Stars is planning a major new release sometime "soon". I would not purchase anything but the base version of this until after SS4 is released.


SS4 is for iOS devices. The android app is at 1.8.2.






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