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Hi Gang,

I fancy treating myself to a 7" Android tablet, but - which one?

Has anyone got any recommendations with a bias towards Astro uses? Are there any with USB ports etc. that can be used for scope control? If you are recommending one can you tell me what apps you find useful, and whether or not you use it for control etc - eg can any be used for recording video from a webcam?

In essence I suppose I'm looking for something that will replace my laptop, with the advantage of less bulk, power drain, weight etc.

And I apologise for using "etc" too much in this post :-)

Thanks,

Neil.

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I have a 10" Samsung Galaxy tab pro and use it with the Canon dslr controller ap for imaging with my 700d.

The 10" screen in conjunction with live view and 10x mag practically makes my Bahtinov mask redundant.

The time lapse function in the ap allows the shooting of multiple subs and so far the tablet battery is proving much longer lasting than the camera one.

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The 10" screen tablet is ideal. But Asda have a quadcore polaroid 8" tablet under £50.. Really, set your budget first and then go and have look see if you can get hands on in pcworld, tesco or asda etc(!). Then check price on line.

Hwyl!

Edited by damnut

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It's much better to pick a x86 Windows 8.1 tablet that will allow using all the software you have on a laptop/PC - ASCOM and alike. Chinese tablets of that type are just slightly more expensive than Chinese Android tablets of similar size/features :)

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It's much better to pick a x86 Windows 8.1 tablet that will allow using all the software you have on a laptop/PC - ASCOM and alike. Chinese tablets of that type are just slightly more expensive than Chinese Android tablets of similar size/features :)

Good point. Any particular one you would go for?

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I have this one: http://www.banggood.com/Teclast-X80h-Z3735F-Quad-Core-1_83GHz-8-Inch-Windows-8_1-Tablet-p-954143.html it handled Atik 314L+ and ASI120MM at the same time. The only problem of that model is that it can't be charged when using USB devices. If you need very long operation time then charging would be needed.

There is a lot of them: http://www.banggood.com/Wholesale-Windows-Tablet-c-1835-0-1-3-45-0_page1.html?sortType=asc so you can check which one has better connectors (separate charging if needed). Pick those with 2 GB RAM instead of 1 GB. USB OTG is a must, but it's rather in every model.

I've noticed that they even have USB 3.0 Ainol - http://www.banggood.com/Ainol-inovo8-Intel-Z3735D-Quad-Core-1_8GHz-8-Inch-Win8-Tablet-p-941700.html :)

Edited by riklaunim

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Several of us have been using the HP Stream 7 Windows 8.1 Tablet...  With the an OTG hub it can be as a complete mount/camera(DSLR) control system with guiding and plate solving... as Zak said make sure it's an x86 one not and ARM one running RT or your limited to app store apps... even though the processor is 64 bit the installed OS is 32 bit as this is the version Microsoft provided "free" to manufacturers of small screened devices..

7" is a bit too small to use comfortably  but adding a Bluetooth keyboard/trackpad means you don't lose any screen real estate to the onscreen keyboard...

In the winter I was getting 4 hour battery life running APT... You can't charge the battery at the same time as using USB devices but  USB devices can be powered by an external power source through the OTG hub helping prolong the internal battery life..

Peter...

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I have a 10" Samsung Galaxy tab pro and use it with the Canon dslr controller ap for imaging with my 700d.

The 10" screen in conjunction with live view and 10x mag practically makes my Bahtinov mask redundant.

The time lapse function in the ap allows the shooting of multiple subs and so far the tablet battery is proving much longer lasting than the camera one.

I have the canon 650D (mod'd) and the Samsung 10'' tablet, I am going to give this set up a go with the app'.

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I've just had to Google USB OTG!

Sorry some of the TLA's (Three  Letter Acronyms) get bandied about assuming everybody knows what they mean - it's normally good practice to either use the full form followed by the acronym or vice versa on first use...

I have used both Android tablets and smartphones for DSLR control but the Windows 8.1 tablets mean you can run Astrophotograpy Tools (APT) or BackyardEOS  both of which offer sophisticated capture plans or the Canon  EOS utils that came with the camera control,

IIRC Photosbykev had Mount control from Cates Du Ceil (CDC), Guiding via QHY5 II &  PHD, plate solving with Astrotortilla (local catalogs)  etc all running on the HP Stream 7...

It's in this is a reasonably long thread http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/234107-anyone-using-cheap-windows-tablet-with-apt/page-1?hl=+stream

Peter...

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thumbs up for a windows device more flexible and have better support and compatibility.

but most importantly, what is your budget? are you willing to go as high as 500 pounds?

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The HP Stream7 was  £79... It was after the smallest practical controller for the camera  that could run APT/BYEOS and possibly mount There's no need to go for something like a surface...

Peter...

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Peter, A-N-Y,

£500? No, way too much!  The HP Stream7 is much more within my budget. If I buy one, how do I tell whether or not I am getting an x86 version? ('scuse my ignorance).

As I said in my profile, I admit that I go for the gadgetry rather than concentrating on the goal, i.e imaging/observing. I already use a HP pavilion notebook, maybe I should stick with that, I was after something a little less bulky. The Stream is still tempting me though!

Erm, *cough* , what did you have in mind for £500?  (I can tell my wife anything is £19.99 and she believes me).

Neil.

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You want one based on an Intel Processor ... AFAIK there isn't an ARM ( which run Windows RT) version of the Stream7.

Peter...

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Had a look at the canon remote app', sadly a no go as the 650D does not have wireless comms......back to the drawing board.

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Had a look at the canon remote app', sadly a no go as the 650D does not have wireless comms......back to the drawing board.

You can cable control though, which is still a huge advantage.  

Helen

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Any device have limitation, and a time spam. PC are no exception, when thinking about buying a device I would always suggest to start your search based on the manufacture that you really trust and like. I could give you to PC all made in china one is a Mac and the other is an Acer, and you would find the Mac do sell for way more than the other. The reason for that is the components and specs that are not put into the sheet in front of the consumer or they don't under stand them, as most buyers may only understand, how fast, how much storage and screen size. And if they have a little bit of knowledge on PC they might dig into what type and brand the CPU is, what graphic card it has and what is the RAM size. And there are those components where it is really hard to know how good they are until tested, like the quality of the battery, screen, keyboard, storage unite, and usually these are the things that affects the price a lot from one brand to another.

I'm not hear to ask you to go and pay as much as you could and get the best device, but you need to know your budget and what devices you already have. When you put your eyes on one divece always investigate its limitation before learning what it could do. See if those limitation would bother you or not, would be paying more and getting over these limitation would benefit you more.

You told me that you already have a laptop, so if and only if that laptop is a little bit old. I would really advise you to wait until it would crash and buy your self a really decent light weighted 2-in-1 laptop, such as the MacBook Air (but needs to install windows), Microsoft surface or Lenovo (Yogo/Flex/X1 Carbon). If waiting is an issue and you would really fancy buying a tablet soon I think your best choose is to go with either HP Stream 7 (5701), based on Psychobilly recommendation (check his thread a lot of info and feedback their) the price is real bargain, but if you feel that 1 GB of RAM is not going to work with you could go with the Lenovo MiiX 3 that usually have a 2GB of RAM.

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Any question about whether or not any particular PC tablet is capable and/or fast enough in our current year of 2015 can only result in buying a tablet that will very soon be outdated - tablet capabity/speed is currently very similar to what desktop PC's were like maybe 5 years (or more) ago.

Which simply means, any tablet you buy this year, will be left behind by whatever tablet there is next year.

Edited by Cath

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I do agree with you Cath, you have a really good point this is way IMO it is always good to delay the purchase of such devices to the last minute as their is something new out their every day. But most Astronomy related programs are not that demanding (with few exemptions) and any 3 or 4 year old device would be enough for it.

Peter I'm really interested in knowing if you have tried running Stellarium 0.13 on the HP stream 7, would it handle it well? as I think Intel Atom only support OpenGL ES (a small version of OpenGL).

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How I envy you young folk with your good eyesight.

A 10" screen just wouldn't work for me, I use a 19".

And my 10 year old XP PC runs everything just fine, so although it's outdated and left behind, it's still fit for purpose.

And when the cold and damp finally get to it, it's £30 to replace , not £200.

Besides, can you operate a touchscreen with your gloves on - I genuinely don't know?

Michael

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You can get gloves with metal fibres into the weave then enable touch screens to work

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I use a capacitive stylus - It makes life  a lot easier on the smaller screens especially if you have fat fingers!!!

I tend to do typing intensive tasks like setting up exposure plans on the pc or laptop and transfer them across to the "stream"...

Peter...

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I have a Samsung Galaxy 3 10.1 Tab. Its a great machine. IIRC, it only came with 16GB of storage so i added another 16GB SD card to it.

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Thanks folks, all replies read, plenty of food for thought. Hp Stream may be favourite!

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