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Thread: What Android Tablet for video playback?

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    mush-mushroom b0redom's Avatar
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    What Android Tablet for video playback?

    Hi All,
    I'm off to Oz with my kids, the youngest of which is on the autistic spectrum so won't sit still for any period of time. We usually keep him engaged by letting him watch various Cbeebies programs and play iPad games.

    I've ripped a bunch of DVDs to MKV format, and am currently handbraking them into mp4s, but I'm not sure that they're all going to be ready before we take off on Friday. What is the best Android tablet for video playback? If it can play basic games too, that's great, but really video playback and a large capacity is where it's at at the moment.

    Thinking the latest Amazon Fire might be a good bet? Any other ideas?

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    Senior Member AETAaAS's Avatar
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    Re: What Android Tablet for video playback?

    Not many inexpensive tablets will have a battery that can survive a flight to Australia, not to mention the journeys to and from the airport and the time inbetween, so you are probably looking at a power bank or something anyway, unless the plane has charging points.

    The Fire tablets are nice but they do lock you into the Amazon ecosystem, which means the breadth and pricing of apps can be a little more stiff, as you won't have access to Google Play. If you are already invested with them or know what they have to offer, those tablets are solid for a good price. Plus, SD card expandability throws capacity concerns out the window. It is possible to get Google Play onto a Fire tablet but it takes a little doing.

    Otherwise, you are probably looking at Acer, Lenovo, Asus, Samsung or one of the many smaller makers. General points I guess, try to go for at least Android 6.0 or 5.1 (not sure if a 7.0 tablet is out there), a lot of hardware acceleration and support for the 64-bit ARM instructions was added making the OS more agile and easier on the processor and hence, battery. SD card is a must. Mediatek and Snapdragon processors are fine, but I'd avoid Intel like the plague. They run hot and slow on Android in my experience. Exynos is out there but those are distinctly high end tablets, much more expensive than the Fire tablets you were looking at. What size were you looking at BTW?

    A good video playing app like VLC or MX Player, which has proper hardware decoding acceleration goes a long way to maximising your battery life, as well as using the right codec for your device. If in doubt, x264 main is the way to go.

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    Don't feed the trolls... tiggerai's Avatar
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    Re: What Android Tablet for video playback?

    I took my Samsung Tab4 (7"/ Android 5.1.1) to the states with me and it's perfectly good for watching videos etc. I picked mine up second hand.
    Can be expanded with MicroSD card (I currently have a 32Gb one in mine)

    Can also recommend a chunky powerbank too. Mine is a heavy one (22400mAh/82.8Wh) but will do 2+days of charges for both my Tablet and phone. Just watch out as there are flying limits tho (100Wh). Just use that during the day, and charge up overnight.

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    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
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    Re: What Android Tablet for video playback?

    I have an Nvidia Shield tablet which is Android 7 with as you would expect excellent game support but mostly I use it for streaming video. I do have some downloaded Netflix videos on it, though have never used it in anger for that. Overall I am very happy with it though: good OS updates, fast CPU and a nice screen and at £170 it wasn't stupidly expensive.

    Edit to add: OK scratch that, looks like you currently can't buy them
    Last edited by DanceswithUnix; 02-08-2017 at 11:44 AM.

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    Senior Member Smudger's Avatar
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    Re: What Android Tablet for video playback?

    There is a dearth of decent Android tablets at the moment, don't know if you could get hold of a variant of Tab S? Or a 2nd hand Shield Tablet? As per DwU above, mine's superb, with 7.0, decent screen and SD card slot, so it ticks all the boxes, it's just not available at the moment brand new.

    There was an Asus I was looking at round about the same time as I got my Shield, can't remember what it was called though. And you have to be careful, as there's a rubbish version and a good one, and it's too easy to end up with the rubbish one.

    That's it - Zenpad S. Make sure you go for the Z580CA variant, more RAM, apparently. Seems to be on for decent prices in JL and Curry's... Only downside is, it's Intel...

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    mush-mushroom b0redom's Avatar
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    Re: What Android Tablet for video playback?

    <dons flame retardant clothing>

    OK in the end I bought a couple of iPad Mini 4s from the Apple refurb site at £359 for 128GB. I know I could probably have got something cheaper Android wise, but that seems like an OK price. I'd also completely forgotten that Plex will transcode and copy files locally for you, and seems to be doing it WAY faster than Handbrake on my iMac.

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    Re: What Android Tablet for video playback?

    Hope it all goes well, have a good trip.
    Deo Adjuvante non Timendum

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