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Woot, I got a Viewsonic gTablet!

05/08/11

  06:10:13 pm, by The Dreamer   , 1575 words  
Categories: Stuff, Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, Android, Nintendo 3DS

Woot, I got a Viewsonic gTablet!

Many years ago, I got my first eBook reader device. It was an REB1200 (RCA, Gemstar, TVGuide, something, something something). It seemed like the thing to get. It had color and it could connect to the net without requiring a computer. And, it had a compactflash slot for expansion. And, Barnes & Noble was going to sell content for it.

However, Barnes & Noble never materialized for it, content was expensive...especially magazines. If you buy a magazine subscription online, its cheap...really cheap, and they send you a magazine that you can do just about anything with. But, the eBook version was the raw undiscounted price (like lots of subscriptions will tell you your getting a special deal...instead of somewhere around $120, you're getting a super discount rate of like $12....does anybody actually pay the $120 rate? Apparently they thought DRM laden eBook readers would....)

There was hope though, when Gemstar merged with TV Guide....perhaps they would bring TV Guide to the eBook reader. Sadly they didn't.

Originally there was no way to put personal content on the REB1200, but eventually ways were found and before Gemstar pulled the plug on it....they opened it up. Somewhere after that I sold my REB1200.

More recently, I picked up the Amazon Kindle...I had waited for the 2 to come out, being somewhat more cautious this time around. And, it didn't look like a color version was going to materialize anytime soon. I guess it'll be a while before eInk displays get to good color. The kindle is nice, but its magazine content is just the text content. The pricing at least was reasonable. And, it was possible to put own content onto the Kindle and at it was self contained (not computer dependent), etc. But, I like magazines because they have pictures. Especially important for a gadgetaholic....also the pretty advertising was missed. In some magazines, the advertising is more important than the content....at least in finding out about gadgets.

Meanwhile over at Barnes & Noble, they have the Nook...and they came out with a color version. And, reports are that magazines are real and complete on there.

Though, most Kindles and all the Nooks have one flaw...they are small. It is okay for reading a novel...where it is the right size for that, but not so much for reading magazines. (Also not so good for PDF content, particularly ones that can't be reflowed/reformatted). Kindle does have a DX model, but its pretty expensive, monochrome and still limited to the same kind of content of other Kindles. But, both companies do offer software to access its content on iPhone, iPad, PC, Mac and Android devices. Though I wish I had done more research into those options first....but I had assumed that everything that I could buy for the device was also available through these options, just not as convenient as the purpose built eReader.

So, I dreamt up the idea that I would someday get an Android Tablet in the 10" or larger range and install the Nook software and read magazines again.

Just as I original envisioned that I would get an eBook reader and get back into reading novels again.....

I had been looking around for an affordable Android Tablet in the 10" or larger....and most of them lacked many important things, or were from mainstream vendors and rather expensive. Then in March, the Viewsonic gTablet appeared on Woot...for about $100 less than what most places were selling it for. While it was a little bit more than what I had intended to spend on such a leap, it seemed like a good deal...and I had considered it in early research. It now had Android 2.2, so that should make it better....though I guess there was a lot I still didn't know about Android devices.

After I bought it, I started reading reviews and comments about it...and started questioning whether I should've gotten it. Though the consensus was that it was a really great piece of hardware, but the OS/software it came with was sorely lacking. But, fortunately, it was easy enough to load other ROMs on to it and get missing things like Flash and Market on to it. And, while I was doing that research, I eventually settled on VEGAn TAB as the ROM that I would likely want to install when I got my Viewsonic gTablet. And, there was a Gingerbread version in the wings (2.3)....

I received the Viewsonic gTablet on March 29th...but with all the things going on with me and other gadgets then, all I did was plug it in to charge and the forget about it. But, I kept checking to see when the first beta release of the Gingerbread version of VEGAn TAB would appear. Eventually what did appear was RC1.

But, I was still busy with other things...so it continued to sit off in the corner charging, waiting for me to turn it on for its first time.

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3 comments

Comment from: The Dreamer [Member]  

That reminds me…I wonder if SlingBox works on my mod’d gTablet? Don’t really want to buy it to find out that it doesn’t.

Though I don’t recall seeing if it supported the TiVo Premiere, but I’ve sometimes thought that it would be nice if i could watch TV from somewhere other than in front of my Home Theatre setup at home (i.e. when I’m sick in bed)

Perhaps I’ll come up with some other more complicated solution….or not.

I do have the unused ethernet jack in my bedroom, though its not in a very usable location and would involve work (and buying the desk I’ve been meaning to get), etc. First I should replace broken bedframe….new one has been sitting in hallway for (5-ish) months now.

05/12/11 @ 08:08
Comment from: The Dreamer [Member]  

Recently B&N release an upgrade to their Android app to allow magazines on Android Tablets….

I can browse Magazines in the shop now…but haven’t tried it yet. Might be easier if there were a free magazine to test with. Though I’ll probably just bite the bullet and subscribe for a year to something and see how that goes.

Could always use the PC app if I have to….wonder if it work on my ubuntu laptop w/Wine?

05/15/11 @ 17:59
Comment from: kingkong5 [Visitor]
kingkong5

I have a GTablet bought from Woot as well, and also rooted and using VeganTab 7.0.0 (whatever the Ginger Edition is). I can confirm that Slingbox works on it, and it works really well. I think the resolution could be a little better, probably due to the application being meant for a phone display and not the bigger tablet, but the quality is more than acceptable.

My only qualms so far with VeganTab is the lack of ability to play HD files in Youtube, and you have to use Rockplayer or Moboplayer instead of the generic videoplayer if you want to see videos on it. Skype also doesn’t appear to work, and if it does it doesn’t do video chat. yet.

05/24/11 @ 13:37
Now instead of subjecting some poor random forum to a long rambling thought, I will try to consolidate those things into this blog where they can be more easily ignored profess to be collected thoughts from my mind.

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