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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,Need your opinion on what information would you like to see in reviews. My blog will be reviewing tablets/slates in the future. I want to provide as much information as possible to help you decide whether the tablet is worth buying or not. I have setup the following sections that I will discuss:
  • Screen - sharpness, colors, responsiveness, etc.
  • Speed - boot up time, lag when moving from app to app, ability to multi-task, benchmarking scores.
  • Software - Both internal & external apps.
  • Ease of Use - how easy it is to use (although Android is standard so there should not be much variance among Android Tablets but if there is, I will note.)
  • Battery Life - Will be tested with & without WiFi. Both lengths will be noted.
  • Quality - Materials, feel, does it look cheap?, external speakers, etc.
  • Value - Considering everything, is it priced right?
  • Multi-media - how tablet handles pictures, videos & music.
  • Hardware - Android version, RAM, processor, etc.
If there is anything else you want to see or you do not want to see, please post. One item that I will be including is a scoring system that will be based on the sections above. It will be a weighted averaged based on key sections (such as battery life, speed, screen & multimedia application). There will be a score ranging from 1 to 5 where 5 is the best. Pics and videos will also be included in my review.So let me know what you will find useful. Thanks to all!
 

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I think you've got most things there really. Only thing I'd suggest is having a range of different profiles that your media has been encoded in. So you could test the same video but at different bitrates etc. across a range of different devices.
 

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Hi Mike,Re: Ease-of-use - Suggest you write separate pieces for A2.1 and A2.2's EoU, and link to those as needed. These are baselines, and if the pad uses a proprietary UI, then note any difference from the baseline UI.Re: Battery life - Suggest you do full run-down test and not rely on battery indicators as those are notoriously unreliable. Tests should be automated and standardized to minimize variance. The one use w/o requiring wifi is e-reading, so a no-wifi test, if done, should concentrate on that.One consideration often ignored is support. It's important considering that many of these things will come out of the oven not fully baked. Support here doesn't mean customer support in the traditional sense, but things such as online support availability, and the responsiveness of peers or staff to resolve issues.There's a need for a point system, simply because it's a good shortcut on the assessed quality. But because many of the categories you cite have no quantifiable metric (eg quality, value), I'd suggest keeping it simple and have one score for the whole thing. Let's face it, other than the quantifiable stuff, scoring is all a fudge anyway. KISS.Lastly, consider your audience. If you are US-based, stick to tablets available to US users (read: skip the offshore stuff). Ditto if you're EU or AU-based. Other regions will have their own coverage. Don't try to be everything to everybody.Good luck.HP
 

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Votes out of ten.Hardware specification.future updates?price range.durability
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for your [email protected] - Great idea, I will make sure to have videos encoded in different formats to see how each tablet is enable to handle [email protected] - Thanks for your input. Really helpful. Yes, definitely Android 2.1 tablets will only be compared to same 2.1 version. Comparing a 2.2 to 2.1 is not a fair comparison. As for the battery life, yes the tests will be done as a full run-out (until the unit shuts off). The tests will be standardized. Following the testing method of a popular PC magazine, I will run a movie at 50% brightness (assuming I can change the brightness). The movie will replay until the unit shuts off. This will be tested with and without WiFi. Each test will be done twice and averaged out. The battery test will be done only after the unit has had 2 full charges. Regarding support, that is a good point. However, the majority of the units tested will actually be from "brand name" manufacturers like HP, Blackberry, Samsung, etc. Support should not be an issue but I will note support (maybe I will call them with an "issue" and see how they respond)/warranty. My concentration will not be on the current lower tier Chinese tablets. As for the point system, only one score will be published. You are correct - except for quantifiable results, a review is mostly subjective. This is why I am using a 5 "star" system rather than a "10" point score as it gets more difficult to assign a score on subjective [email protected] - Can you clarify what you mean by "votes out of ten"? As I mentioned to H.P., I will be using a simple 5 point scoring system rather than 10 because it gets difficult to assign a score to things that a test or benchmark cannot quantify. The hardware specs & prices will be noted in the reviews. As for future updates & durability, that is a great suggestion but is not going to be available in the first review. Because of time constraints, I plan to take about a week or so to conduct testing. I will try to provide updates later on regarding durability and future updates.If you have any future questions or suggestions, please let me know. Thanks.
 

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By minimizing variance, I meant the usage pattern tested, not the Android versions. It's completely fair to compare 2.2 against 2.1, if that's what comes on a tablet at that time.If your goal is to establish your blog ahead of the pack, then waiting for big brands like HP to put out their tablets is probably not the way to go. Firstly, some will stick with their own OS, i.e. HP with WebOS, Blackberry with its eponymous OS. Secondly, "lower tier" or rebranded Shanzhai-made tablets will be here in volume, eg the Augen pad, and that's what the public will have their first experience with, if only because of the low impulse-buy price and the convenience.As you noted on your blog, BestBuy will have its own house-brand tablet line, which will be rebranded Chinese products. From the buzz the Augen pad created, I've no doubt other big-box retailers--Sears, Walmart, CostCo--will follow suit. Kmart itself has stated on its blog that it will expand its tablet offerings. "No-name" tablets will be widespread. These are worth covering, and all the established blogs will cover it with reviews, etc. As a startup, you'll have to do a better job than them to get noticed. I'm assuming that's your goal.Unlike what another said, I'd stay away from the tech esoterica like testing different H.264 profiles or levels. Of course, it depends on your intended audience. Are you writing for techies or Joe Blow consumer?Really, I think you're dwelling too much on the minutiae rather than focusing on the end goal. The only questions worth asking are "what is the takeaway I want to convey," and "how can I do a better job than the next guy"? There's no shortage of Android blogs now, and all of them will have reviews. What's your angle?BTW, You missed the point on support.Anyway, good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
H.P. - Thank you for all your input. You are right. I cannot ignore the Shanzhai-made tablets especially as more are introduced in the US market. My target audience is Joe Blow consumer not techies. You are right that I should not worry about testing multiple video formats, just stick to a common video profile (say 1250 bitrate) and be done. Like you said KISS. I just want to help "Joe Blow consumer" make a correct purchase.
 

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Use a standard cpu test so you can compare apples to apples and FW updates across all platforms.
 

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Make sure your reviews are independent. Get someone to check for any bias! This is the single biggest gripe I have whenever I watch/read ANY tech review.I am not interested what the iPad can do when I am looking for info on an android/windows tablet. I also dont care whether one tablet is a micro second faster than the other. I am more interested in knowing how well it can perfom the tasks I want to use it for!IF you look at the uses the "normal" person has for these devices then you should concentrate on those (WebBrowsing, Email, Twitter, Facebook, MSN, Gaming, Photo Editing/Browsing, Video Playback, Music and Sound, etc) and leave the tech spec filled nonesuch to the *cough cough* experts :cool:
 

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From H.P. "BTW, You missed the point on support."Email response from vendor and/or manufacturer?Does the vendor and/or manufacturer have a responsive support group where the buyer can ask questions?Thanks,
 
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