Wednesday, August 28, 2019

How I Research a New Purchase...To Death

This is my new tablet. It is a Galaxy Tab S5e and so far I love it!  In fact I am writing this blog post from my new tablet (doable but much slower than on my laptop!).

I've been looking for a new tablet for a while. My Tab S2 was amazing but I had it since 2015 and the battery life was declining daily (it was lucky to last four hours on a charge).  What I really wanted was a high powered 8 inch tablet with a fast processor and lots of memory. So I started to research. And research some more.

The best tablets, IMHO, are from Samsung. I am a huge Android fan, and really don't like Apple products, so Samsung it is.  After hours of online research and watching copious YouTube review videos, I finally went to Best Buy to check out the tablets they had in stock.  Unfortunately there are no high end 8 inch tablets on the market now (Apple has the 8 inch iPad mini 5 which is apparently a great device if you are an Apple fan, and Huawei has a well reviewed 8 inch tablet but I was worried about what would happen to it after the ban against Chinese tech products goes into affect in a few months).

At the store I decided I really liked the S5e tablet, it seemed pretty fast and was amazingly thin and light so even though it was a 10 inch tablet, carrying it around with me everyday wouldn't be much heavier than carrying the 8 inch tablet.

So back home I went to research prices (I told you I tend to research things to death). I checked prices at all the online stores (Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart,  B & H, etc), as well as prices for the device at military stores, open box deals, and Costco. It turns out Costco had the best price ($429 versus $479 at all the other stores for the 6gig/128GB with a bonus 128GB memory card) so off I went to Costco to buy it. Besides saving money over the price of the tablet at other stores, Costco also has an amazing return policy if I decide I don't like it.

After a few days of use, I still really like it. The extra screen real estate is nice, I ordered a great tablet cover from Amazon for it for $12, it charges really fast, and I have yet to use up all of the battery even using the tablet for an entire day and evening. The screen is amazing and the sound is amazing too, the only downside for some people would be that it doesn't have a headphone jack (it comes with a dongle for the jack in the box) but I have some inexpensive wireless earbuds which work great with it that doesn't physically teather me to the device which I really like. 

Galaxy will release the Tab S6 next week which is supposed to be the exact same size and weight as this tablet. It will have a faster processor chipset and be better, spec-wise, than this tablet but after considering this, and the extra cost (the new tablet will run around $650), I decided that it wasn't worth it to me to have a marginally faster tablet and the included S pen which I don't use anyway.

So that's how I tend to consider every new purchase. Do I really need it, are there other alternatives, what will for my needs, do I need the very best item or will OK work well for me, which store had the best price, can I find review videos to get other people's opinions on the item, etc. Ad nauseum.

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