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My notebook stopped working and, seen that I mainly use it as a desktop computer, I'd rather buy a desktop computer this time.

This leaves me with the need to buy a tablet, that will be used for the following tasks:

  • Reading PDF files. The task involves continuonusly switching between different pages (views) and files, without hyperlinks.
  • Showing pictures to people.
  • Browsing the Internet, in wi-fi covered areas (and possibly on a stand). Mom will probably browse recipes while cooking, I hope she won't smear the poor thing with food.
  • Writing in sites like this one.
  • Use my desktop PC through some app.

The only one that is really necessary is the first one, most others I can do at the desktop PC if necessary. As a consequence, I have been suggested to aim for at least 10" and good resolution. Note how I don't need a camera or phone connectivity and I don't care much about weight or to how the device looks.

I would like to spend as low as I can without sacrificing durability.

The device will be used at home mainly, so a battery that does not degrade over time is better than a battery that lasts a lot for each single charge (and then, power banks to the rescue if it needs be).

The item must be available for sale via Internet, from a reliable supplier (I consider Amazon to be reliable).


Feel free to ask me for more details if needed.

  • "Use my desktop PC through some app." Would Teamviewer work? – JMY1000 Jan 2 '18 at 0:03
  • For physical keyboard: is Bluetooth fine, or would you want wired? If so, is a wire poking out the side fine, or do you want a seamless connection? Given that almost every tablet uses a glossy screen, would an aftermarket matte screen protector work? – JMY1000 Jan 2 '18 at 0:13
  • @JMY1000 No keyboard is fine, I can use the desktop PC if I need to write, after all. I will use a matte screen if I see that being glossy really is a problem. I think teamwiever is fine, anyway it's a low priority requirement. – Zachiel Jan 2 '18 at 14:01
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TL;DR: The All New Fire HD 10.

Since price seems to be a major concern for you, I'm going to sacrifice in it's name. However, I think this should still pass quite fine for what you're doing, if not excellent.

With the Fire, some cons are:

  • Low res screen (only 1920x1200 for a 10.1" device = 224.17 PPI, about 85% of an iPad Pro 10.5" and about 48% of an iPhone X)
  • Fairly low storage capacity
  • No cellular capability
  • Very slightly slow (roughly 75% of the Apple A10X Fusion in the most recent iPad Pro, only 2GB of memory)
  • Runs Fire OS, and getting "normal" Android things (like the Google Play store) is very possible, but takes a bit of extra work.

Besides that though, it's actually a surprisingly good device. It has an IPS display, proper dual band AC wireless solution, Bluetooth, a microSD slot (a real rarity these days) to mitigate the storage issue, a surprisingly good battery, is very rugged, and costs a mere $150 for the 32GB model, basically creaming anything at that price point and size. Compared especially to the old Fire HD 10, it's amazing.

Going over your requirements briefly then:

  • Reading PDF files: Yes. It's a Kindle. If there's one thing it can do, it's read books.
  • Showing pictures to people: Yes, though your app of choice may not be available without a little extra effort.
  • Browsing the Internet: Yes, and has a pretty good wireless solution to boot
  • Use a desktop PC remotely: Yes; I recommend TeamViewer, which is available on the Amazon store as well (free!)
  • 10" screen: Yes
  • Resolution: Not awful, but not great
  • Cheap price: Yes, incredibly.
  • Durability: Yes, it's actually market heavily as a durable tablet.
  • Battery: It's going to degrade as much as any other lithium-ion (they're all basically the same), but it should do a solid 8-10 hours on a charge. It also won't throttle when the battery begins to degrade too much (looking at you, Apple.)
  • Reputable retailer: It's literally an Amazon product.
  • Physical keyboard: Yes, either with the (rather expensive) $60 official flush keyboard or any generic Bluetooth keyboard.
  • Anti-reflective screen: Very few devices use matte screens these days, your best bet is a matte screen protector. They're available on the extremely cheap (from Amazon as well.
  • I have a single critique on all this: most e-readers I know use e-ink and e-ink is B/W only AFAIK. Reading books (which is what I'd expect a Kindle to do) and reading PDFs in general look like a different thing to me ;) – Zachiel Jan 3 '18 at 17:33
  • @Zachiel Missing how that's a critique; it's got a good IPS LCD, so PDFs should be fine. It's "just another Android tablet." To be fair, the real advantage of E Ink is really battery life only though, and there's no reason you can't read books as well on an LCD display, and by extension, this tablet. There are tri-color E Ink displays, but Amazon doesn't even bother making a Kindle with one. – JMY1000 Jan 3 '18 at 20:16
  • Well I just wanted to point out (but I'm probably being pedantic here, and you're in no way required to change your answer) that "being a kindle" does not automatically mean it can read all books, since some books are in color and not all kindles can show color, e.g. mono-color e-ink. Nothing to worry about, and thanks for your research effort! – Zachiel Jan 4 '18 at 10:30
  • True, but they're purpose built for it, so they'll generally be pretty good at it. If you like the answer, if you'd like, go ahead and vote up; if this satisfies what you're looking for, go accept it. – JMY1000 Jan 4 '18 at 17:38
  • I waited for a bit to see if other votes came in but I guess it is time to cast mine and accept. – Zachiel Jan 5 '18 at 19:13
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As all these kind of questions...there is no 1+1 answer...and honestly any 10", $150 and up, tablet should be good enough.

But for really good resolution and adequate battery size, I'd suggest one of the 2 (depending on how much you're willing to shell out):

  1. The ASUS ZenPad 3S 10 9.7" for $284
  2. The (flagship) Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 9.7" for somewhat below $500

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