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I am looking for an Android tablet which can easily run multiple weeks or even months while being hooked up to a power source.

I want to use the tablet for automatically taking screenshots of websites, taking from a queue which is being filled constantly.

The (no-name) tablets I am using currently get really hot very fast and seem to slow down as a result, so the Android phone (Samsung S3 Neo) are taking three times as many screenshots per hour than the tablets.

Requirements

  • a decent processor and RAM
  • battery life irrelevant, it will be powered
  • must sustain working a long time without getting too hot
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    Your major problem here is that you're leaving them plugged in. Many tablets don't like being left plugged in for more than a few hours when fully charged; they tend to heat up. – ArtOfCode Jun 6 '16 at 10:29
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    @Marv Have you tried virtualization? You don't need to emulate ARM, you can virtualize Android x86. – Revetahw Jun 6 '16 at 17:32
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    I would go with a time switch and try to find a good middle across all devices so you never run out of battery and do not charge 24/7. It depends on the workload and the devices itself but 3 Hours loading, 3 Hours on Battery should be enough to keep the devices powered – Kimmax Jun 6 '16 at 22:06
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    @Marv that's why I mentioned a time switch. Easy not to expensive device which enable or disable a socket on specific times – Kimmax Jun 7 '16 at 7:04
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    I decided to go for your solution, if you write it as an answer I will accept it @Kimmax – Marv Jun 7 '16 at 11:57
3

This does not answer your Question directly, but provides another approch:
I would keep the current device and go with a solution wich cuts the 24/7 charge to some hours per day. This stops the overheating and you do not need to buy a new tablet.
To do this I would buy a time switch, which is a device that switches a socket on and off based on the times you set on the device. This way you can keep all devices plugged in and the device disables the power source without further do.
To have this work perfectly you have to find a time span which holds your charge at your desired level across all devices, as an example 3 hours loading, 3 hours on battery should keep your devices over critical battery levels. However if the power consume across all devices is to far part you should consider using a second time switch for this device/s.
I would group the devices based on battery capacity and charging speed and aim to keep the battery level between 20-80%. Also note that the Li-Ion battery does not charge in a linear way and significantly charges slower from about 80% charge level.

6

I have a first generation Asus Transformer (TF101) that I leave plugged in constantly. It is used as a digital picture frame and wall mounted home automation control panel.

It is a bit aged at this point, but it does run Chrome (versus the default browser from a few years ago). My assumption is that Chrome will work for you, as I have very few problems with Chrome on the large variety of sites I utilize. Prior to it becoming a permanent fixture to my wall, it was used to watch flash videos (yes, it can handle flash) in addition to other web surfing duties.

Asus Transformer TF101

Amazon currently sells this tablet for $70 (used) for the 16GB model and $290 (new) for the 32GB model.

There are several newer generations, but I do not know the differences between them and this first generation one.

I have had no problems with heat with this tablet.

My one complaint has been that the speakers are very poor. Even at full volume, it can be hard to hear when the tablet is sitting on a coffee table 4 feet from you.

The tablet can be upgraded from Honeycomb (3.1) to Ice Cream (4.x) for sure. I have a version of CyanogenMod installed.

5

A new tablet (versus my previous answer) is the Samsung Galaxy Tab. This is several years newer than the Transformer and faster. It is also thinner.

When my Transformer became a wall fixture, this was the replacement I purchased. The Amazon review says that it comes with Honeycomb (3.0), but I assume that is outdated because mine arrived with Lollipop (5.0).

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 inch

I don't keep this one on constantly, but I do use it for multiple hours at a time watching Netflix, Youtube or other video streams. The battery is great. When I have it plugged in while watching these videos, there is no excessive heat. As a bonus, the sound is a lot better than the Transformer too.

Amazon currently sells the 16GB version for $150 new and the 32GB version for $150 used.

4

An alternative option, if you are willing to use something other than an android tablet, would be to use a Raspberry Pi.

  • It can run for weeks without any problems

  • It's very power efficient, since it lacks a bult-in display, battery, and a lot of the other hardware typically found on Android tablets

  • It's cheap, with the cheapest model, the Pi Zero, costing just $5, and the one with WiFi, bluetooth, and a 64-bit quadcore processor costing $35

The Pi can also run Android, so you can use the software you already wrote, but can also run Linux. It can also run "headless", i.e with no display connected, and can still do graphics processing. It's something I'd definitely look at.

1

What does exactly "taking screenshots" mean?

1) You are using the tablet's camera while looking at the monitor, or

2) capturing the tablet's screen (so that the page is rendered on the tablet itself?).

In the first case, you could be better off with different kind of hardware (e.g. raspberry Pi with PiCamera which you can program at will). In the second case, you might open the tablet and put a heatsink on (again, Raspberry Pi heatsinks with self adhesive thermmally conductive tape would probably fit a tablet's SoC nicely).

Otherwise, I think that having the consumer-grade tablet plugged in 24/7 is very hard on the tablet. As alternative, you could use professional-grade Android hardware, which is used for electronic cash registers, such as:

http://www.customamerica.com/en_us/scheda-prodotto.jsp?codice=240

(don't know about the specs of those, but I assume they are built do be plugged 24/7, I could be mistaken)

  • I am taking the screenshot programatically, I have developed an app that uses Android WebView to display a website and take screenshots. So jeah, it is dependent on the tablets screen. I have tried emulating Android for that cause, but I got better results using real devices. – Marv Jun 6 '16 at 17:22

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