help me buy a tablet

I think I'm finally up for buying a tablet.

I have a little Lenovo IdeaPad netbook that I bought for school. I thought if it made it through four years of grad school, I'd consider it a good buy. It did, and it was. By non-tablet standards, it's light and portable, and I love the keyboard, which is 90% of full-sized.

I never wanted a tablet before. I always saw them as toys. Sleek, good-looking, fun, but non-essential, more for play than work, and lacking the crucial component: the keyboard.

Now my netbook is getting cranky, and nearing the end of its (stupidly short) lifespan. Since I originally chose the netbook for its lightness and portability, a tablet seems like the natural progression: lighter and more portable. I'm not hugely into eBooks, but it's nice to have the option. And I am clearly being seduced by the "this is where things are going" feeling. Getting a new netbook feels a bit antiquated.

The drawback is the keyboard issue. I really don't like typing on those flat, virtual keyboards. I've never had any problem typing on small keyboards, including the one on my antiquated BlackBerry, but the onscreen keyboards are awful. (As I've noted before, I dislike touch-screen technology altogether. I wish it would go away.) Several friends who use iPads use the little USB keyboards for heavy note-taking, but obviously it would be best to adapt.

I won't buy an iPad - not even considering it - so I imagine I'll get a Samsung Galaxy of some kind. There are many models and I haven't done any research yet. I'll be using a Galaxy in programming at the library, so I'll have a chance to fiddle around before buying anything. Also, I definitely do not want a so-called phablet, or an over-sized phone.

So, are you using a non-iPad tablet? How do you like it? Is there one you have your eye on?


How To Get the Right Tablet the First Time (WikiHow)

Tablet Guide for Newbies (ZDNet)

Tablet Buying Guide Round-Up (CNet)

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