Best tablet for gaming around the $200 price point?


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LOC

So what with my, um situation and all, my good friend (who's helped me out countless times over the years) has decided to buy me a tablet for my birthday at the end of this month. He's asked me specifically if I want a Kindle Fire HD 7" tablet, or the Nexus 7. Having been watching tablets and mobile OS development for awhile, I already said the Nexus 7 because it's a straight android OS from Google itself, and for the $200 price point you get a pretty darn powerful tablet and all.

But my question is, at around this price point, what are some other good tablets that could specifically be used for gaming purposes? I've been watching a few companies (and no, not the Coby stuff or anything like that lol) like Ainol Novo and they have a few lower priced tablets with similar (and in some cases better) specs than the Nexus 7 and related products.

To be specific, if the tablet can play Dead Trigger, Dead Space and Unreal Engine 3 based games smoothly, I'd be happy. I will also use the tablet when I have no pain meds and have to be in bed for most of the day. So besides gaming, watching movies would be another plus for the tablet. I know the Kindle Fire HD might be a better option for media consumption, but I already pretty much ruled out getting that one. Watching movies, obviously listening/steaming my music, and possibly reading some books also. But I'm not a big e-reader kinda person, so that's not a big thing for me to worry about. Oh and browsing the web also might be an important considering I guess.

So if any of you have any advice on a tablet other than the Nexus 7 (and Kindle Fire HD) I'm all ears. I'll continue to look into these tablets and try to find one that may or may not be a better fit for me than the Nexus 7.

:)

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TokiToki

From a hardware standpoint, some may be better than the Nexus 7.

However, don't forget about the software perspective. Will you be happy with the upgrade cycle of the Android OS for that tablet? How about installing custom ROMs? Do you care whether you can only purchase all your apps on the Amazon App Store if the Google Play Store is unavailable to you? Keep in mind, most apps are updated faster on the Google Play Store than on Amazon.

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LOC

Isn't upgrading the OS on the Nexus 7 easy and seamless compared to having to wait weeks or whatever for other companies to put out the new version of android OS? Either way, doesn't bother me to upgrade. Custom ROMs don't bother me, but I also don't want to root the device either.

As for the Amazon app store if Google Play is down or something, that's fine with me. I've used Bluestacks here on the PC and it's fine. :D

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TokiToki

Yes, upgrading the OS on the Nexus 7 is easy. The upgrade cycle from Google is obviously the fastest. Many other tablet manufacturers don't even update the OS or are very slow in proving updates, hence the "need" for customized ROMs. The questions I asked were to make you think "Would I be happy with a tablet other than the Nexus?"

Google Play unavailability referred to no access at all. Only certain manufacturers/Tablets are allowed access to the Google Play Store (Though customized ROMs often work around this issue)

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LOC

Ah yeah, I know about that, that some manufacturers are locked out of Google Play altogether.

But yes, I wouldn't have any problem putting a custom ROM on to get access to it, or another app store (I know there are a few, but most kinda suck lol). Nor do I have a problem having a tablet that isn't a Nexus 7. It's funny you mention that though, the Ainol Novo lines of tablets all have access to Google Play now that I've been looking into them a bit more. Pretty good for them I guess? :p

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Chicane-UK

I recently bought a Kindle Fire (non-HD) as my entry point into the tablet market. Within a few days I was fairly happy a tablet was for me but really didn't like the Kindle Fire..

* It was a real brick in terms of weight

* No cameras

* Limited applications compared to Google Play store

* Significantly lower spec than Nexus 7

Within a few days I had sold the Kindle Fire and over christmas set about getting a Nexus 7. It seems to be a better tablet in every respect, and as has been pointed out it'll always get software updates the fastest as it's "googles own" device.

Obviously I appreciate you're talking about the Fire HD and not the regular Fire.. but essentially software issue will remain for the Kindle Fire HD. I think it's one of the biggest selling points of the Nexus.

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LOC

Yeah, after watching countless reviews of both tablets (and many others) the biggest complaint about he Kindle Fire line is that the Amazon app store just doesn't compare to Apple's store, let alone Google Play. Which I totally get mind you. But as long as I can get the game I've been looking at, and use Netflix etc it doesn't really matter to me which store it is I'm using in the end.

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+Frank B.

Another vote for the Nexus 7. It has a lot of oomph, and the vanilla version of Android is difficult to beat.

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f0rk_b0mb

Nexus 7. Just remember to reset Google wallet before you do a restore/root/rom flash on it. :D

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+LostCat

Yeah, after watching countless reviews of both tablets (and many others) the biggest complaint about he Kindle Fire line is that the Amazon app store just doesn't compare to Apple's store, let alone Google Play. Which I totally get mind you. But as long as I can get the game I've been looking at, and use Netflix etc it doesn't really matter to me which store it is I'm using in the end.

Google Play is crap for books or music mind you, but you can still install the Amazon app stores for those onto the Nexus 7.

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torrentthief

Gaming wise the nexus 7 is your best bet at the moment until tablets with the new qualcomm chips come out or the tegra 4 comes out or powervr 6 series tablets come out. In 4 months time the nexus 7 will be destroyed by all of these but for the time being it is your best bet. I'd be pretty sure the next nexus will have a tegra 4 if you can hold out for however many months until that is released. I'd also suspect that it would get a retina upgrade seeing as though so many smaller tablets and phones are getting 1920x1080 and higher resolutions.

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+LostCat

I'm planning to wait for the Tegra 4 (Project Shield sounds awesome) but I suspect there'll be a notable price bump on the early models.

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HoochieMamma

Without a doubt, Nexus 7.

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LOC

Yeah, I'd love to wait for the Tegra 4 based tablets, but since my friend is buying me this tablet for my birthday and he has a limited time table to do so himself, it's either the Nexus 7 (or whichever) or nothing. And I really want a tablet :D

And yes, Project Shield sounds great. Wish I could get one now!

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Growled

I don't think you can go wrong with a Nexus 7.

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+LostCat

Just as a side note, you'll want a Bluetooth gamepad of some sort. I was having a bitch of a time with some of the games without one.

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LOC

Hmmm, interesting, never thought of that. Thanks for the heads up.

Also, I know the Nexus 7 (nor the Kindle Fire HD) support mini/micro-SD expansion slots etc for memory, but a friend of mine was telling me you can hook up some dongle adapter or something to allow a USB stick to be used for storage or whatever. Anyone have any experience with this, or know what he was referring to? Since he never finished telling me, I don't know what he was talking about lol

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Brandon H

if you want to use a controller, I can tell you from experience that the ps3 controller works great with the help of this android app https://play.google....250cm9sbGVyIl0.

it's even got special setting you can set up so you can use the controller with games that only do touch controls

edit: and for usb you just need one of these cables (if you go with the Nexus 7) (doesn't need to be that exact one either as long as it's micro usb male to usb female) http://www.amazon.co...b+to+female+usb and you'll need to be rooted and use this app https://play.google....Glja21vdW50Il0. this will allow you to mount usb drives

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tsupersonic

Also, the OTG adapter is very useful - if you want to use other USB devices, like Xbox controller, keyboard, or mouse. It will work out of the box (with no root).

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KingCracker

The only downside to the Nexus 7 that I can see is the small HD size. I have a kindle fire hd and love it, you can always use websites to get apk's that amazon doesn't offer.

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KingCracker

another advantage of the Nexus 7 is it supports smart covers http://www.ebay.com/...984.m1497.l2649 works great for propping it up when playing games with the controller too :)

I have something similar to that for my kindle fire hd. http://www.amazon.com/rooCASE-Origami-Dual-View-Leather-Amazon/dp/B0096T97OG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1358131905&sr=8-1&keywords=roocase+kindle+fire+hd
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Brandon H

I have something similar to that for my kindle fire hd. http://www.amazon.co...+kindle+fire+hd

ugh, i hate those slip cases personally, they're just too bulky IMO

that's why i like the case i linked so much, it's minimal because it just snaps on yet it gets the job done :) took forever for a non bulky one like that to come out for the nexus 7 though

anyway, i didn't realize that the fire hd supported smart covers as well. it's really a nice feature when you can get a cover that makes use of it

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tsupersonic

The only downside to the Nexus 7 that I can see is the small HD size. I have a kindle fire hd and love it, you can always use websites to get apk's that amazon doesn't offer.

For you downside, for many others it's an advantage. The Nexus 7 is portable, can be held in one hand, fits in your jeans pocket, and offers pretty decent screen real-estate - 7" at 1280x800 (which is the same as kindle fire hd 7"). Nexus 7 is far superior than Nook/Kindle Fire without any doubts - there is no third part lockdown like Kindle/Nook and specs on Nexus 7 are better overall. Unless you are invested in Amazon Prime services, there is absolutely no reason to get the Kindle (same with Nook). You can just download the Kindle/Nook apps and use their marketplace if you wish to do so on Nexus 7.
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