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Cheap android tablet for astro needs

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#1 grzesznypl

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 01:21 PM

As my never ending quest for astro tablet continues (had to return Galaxy Tap S2 because of battery issues) I am curious which tablets you guys use for your astro needs. This would be astronomy only so what would be minimum android tablet I can go with?

I already have Galaxy tab 2 (10.1 with 4.2.2 Jelly Bean). It was state of the art in 2012 but now it will not even install Stellarium Plus or any version of Sky Safari. frown.gif frown.gif bawling.gif


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#2 Thaeland

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 01:47 PM

How big of a screen do you need?

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#3 grzesznypl

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 01:52 PM

9.7" to 10" would be fine.



#4 sg6

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 02:24 PM

I use a somewhat old Nexus 7, that does all I want/need, has compass, GPS accelerometer etc. Not sure what Android version it runs but Skysafari 5 Plus runs fine as does stellarium.

I think the Lenovo 7" is the equivalent now.


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#5 markb

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 02:33 PM

A newer one would be best, but SkySafari 6 Plus runs fine on my Samsung Tab 4, originally a Nook reader, 10 inch screen.

 

The breakpoint for the OS minimum requirements on most apps is Android 5.0x, and this just makes it.

 

GPS and Bluetooth (I hook up to my Nexstar with StarBT, zero issues for me). Speed is fine, battery life too.

 

That must be close to the oldest/minimum needed. Pretty bulletproof despite constant use as a reader and browser (Brave ROCKS, best 'privacy browser yet), and occasional scope use.

 

That said, Amazon has some crazy low holiday pricing on much newer Android Fire tablets. Never used one though. See Jon's caution, below.

 

Repurposed Nooks from Barnes and Noble seem okay, and used low mileage ones are pretty cheap.

 

I would not buy anything without GPS for astro use.


Edited by markb, 12 November 2019 - 03:08 PM.

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#6 Thaeland

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 02:43 PM

In response to the Fire tablet suggestion. From personal experience I would stay away from them for Astronomy use. While they are great for what they are designed for they are generally not good for anything else. They do run Android but they are usually considerably locked down and some of them cannot be rooted. They also are very low powered when comparing them to other tablets on the market. My Fire I had, until I got rid of it earlier this year, didn't like doing more than one thing at a time.

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#7 grzesznypl

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 03:13 PM

Thaeland, if it was 10incher I would take it right away .... hmmm let me think about it, thanks


Edited by grzesznypl, 12 November 2019 - 03:15 PM.


#8 grzesznypl

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 03:20 PM

I use a somewhat old Nexus 7, that does all I want/need, has compass, GPS accelerometer etc. Not sure what Android version it runs but Skysafari 5 Plus runs fine as does stellarium.

I think the Lenovo 7" is the equivalent now.

is 7 inch screen sufficient for you???


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#9 grzesznypl

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 05:36 PM

I noticed that Jon, thanks


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#10 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 05:52 PM

is 7 inch screen sufficient for you???

 

I have several tablets including a Nexus 7 and a Nexus 10.  For star hopping, I use the Nexus 7 (2013 second generation.)  The good thing is that it's small enough to fit in a coat pocket so I always have it with me.  I wear readers because I'm farsighted and I just use high powered readers.  

 

I am on about 3rd or 4th Nexus 7 2013.. Each one has a story.. The first one:

 

Hum, I thought I brought my tablet out here.  Jon goes inside to look.  Finds nothing.  Thinks about that oddly crunchy first step on the way inside.

 

The second one:  I roll over on these in bed all the time, they're not supposed to break... 

 

I think the third one just wore out, the on-off button barely works etc.

 

One good thing about the Nexus 7 (2013), it was one of the tablets Bill Tshumey used to test SkySafari as he was writing the code... 

 

I buy them used on Craigslist. 

 

Jon


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#11 AradoSKy

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 06:28 PM

Hello,

Anything Amazon is geared to Amazon Content. I use Apple products to manage AstroBerry. With any current Fire Tablet, accessing astronomy software one must clamor past countless ad “opportunities”. Stay clear.
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#12 lphilpot

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Posted 14 November 2019 - 06:36 PM

I have a Samsung 8" Galaxy Tab A (SM-T380). Perfect size and runs SkySafari 6 fine. About $280 a year ago.



#13 grzesznypl

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Posted 14 November 2019 - 07:08 PM

I've just purchased Samsung 8" Galaxy Tab A (SM-T290) which is almost identical to yours from one of fellow members in this thread flowerred.gif 
It will be delivered tomorrow. Cannot wait!!!



#14 yowser

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Posted 15 November 2019 - 08:30 AM

I use the Samsung 10" Galaxy Tab A (SM-T580) and it's a fine tablet.  However, I do miss having the compass. 


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#15 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 15 November 2019 - 09:07 AM

I have an 8 inch Samsung Tab A T350.  Its older than the 290 and 380. I like it for general use, I'm writing this post on it. It runs Sky Safari 6 Pro fine.

 

For astronomy though, I find the smaller, higher res screen of the Nexus 7 is preferable. The Nexus 7 has a compass which is nice but I rarely use it.

 

The one thing all these four Tablets have is a GPS which is very nice.. Sky Safari knows your location.

 

Similar to the Tab A' s are the Lenovo Tab 4's, available in both 8 and 10 inch. They're less expensive.

 

For someone looking for a very inexpensive Tablet, the Wal-Mart brand ONN Tablets look good.  My wife has the 10 inch, it's $79, it seems fine though battery life is shorter than with the others.

 

But I never have issues with battery life when stargazing. The screen is very dim and it's not streaming data.

 

Jon


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#16 grzesznypl

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Posted 26 November 2019 - 08:36 PM

This story has a happy end, and it is called Samsung Tab A SM-T290. With 8" screen, 32GB, WiFi, Android 9.0, Samsung Tab A SM-T290, the tablet is smoking, so happy!! One of its best features (it may be new android not tablet itself) is that you can completely hide navigational bar. So when you touch screen while inside Stellarium or SkySafari bright navigational bar or navigational buttons do not show up severely interfering with dark adaptation. Once again big thanks to Jon for nice tablet. 

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