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Kettchy

Is a Vega in the hand worth Vega 2 in the bush?

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Wotcher, Vega people.

My magpie mind has become convinced that I should buy myself a tablet. I don't want to spend too much because I'm completely aware that between my android-powered phone, beefy desktop and portable netbook I really am doubling up on equipment here. At £200, the Vega looks like an excellent buy - not least because if I can get it performing similarly to more expensive tablets I can tell myself that I saved £200 by not getting a Tab... rather than facing up to the fact I actually spent £200 by not being a strong-willed person.

My question for you educated folk is this: as the tablet appears to be nearing the end of its shelf life (though it appears not its usable life, what with Vegacomb only getting more and more exciting), should I rush to buy it now before it vanishes or wait to see what the next generation of budget tablets are like - particularly the rumoured Vega 2? The speculation/rumour thread on these forums seems to be full of nothing but Tegra 3-powered 16GB wet dreams right now, and it's hard to establish whether it'll be a hardware upgrade or just a price upgrade. I'm afraid the new model will be back up at the £250 price point.

As a side question, does anyone have a strong opinion of the usefulness of the Vega as a pdf reader? A facet of my justification for buying one is that I hope to use it to read academic papers on - something I can't stand doing on a desktop. Without PDF support out of the box it's impossible to tell in the shop whether it's any good... I'm a bit apprehensive of the narrow aspect ratio for reading in portrait.

Anyway, all opinions are welcomed, and thanks for your time :)

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Wotcher, Vega people.

My magpie mind has become convinced that I should buy myself a tablet. I don't want to spend too much because I'm completely aware that between my android-powered phone, beefy desktop and portable netbook I really am doubling up on equipment here. At £200, the Vega looks like an excellent buy - not least because if I can get it performing similarly to more expensive tablets I can tell myself that I saved £200 by not getting a Tab... rather than facing up to the fact I actually spent £200 by not being a strong-willed person.

My question for you educated folk is this: as the tablet appears to be nearing the end of its shelf life (though it appears not its usable life, what with Vegacomb only getting more and more exciting), should I rush to buy it now before it vanishes or wait to see what the next generation of budget tablets are like - particularly the rumoured Vega 2? The speculation/rumour thread on these forums seems to be full of nothing but Tegra 3-powered 16GB wet dreams right now, and it's hard to establish whether it'll be a hardware upgrade or just a price upgrade. I'm afraid the new model will be back up at the £250 price point.

As a side question, does anyone have a strong opinion of the usefulness of the Vega as a pdf reader? A facet of my justification for buying one is that I hope to use it to read academic papers on - something I can't stand doing on a desktop. Without PDF support out of the box it's impossible to tell in the shop whether it's any good... I'm a bit apprehensive of the narrow aspect ratio for reading in portrait.

Anyway, all opinions are welcomed, and thanks for your time :)

the vega is amazing, but if your using reading pdfs as a way to justify the purchase, I would say no.

the screen really is the downfall of the vega. esp if used in portrait:

because of the terrible viewing angles, in portrait each eye see's a slightly different coloured image. and it feels a little weird... possibly even weird for extended periods.

If the vega2 does appear i hope they improve the screen.

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Wotcher, Vega people.

My magpie mind has become convinced that I should buy myself a tablet. I don't want to spend too much because I'm completely aware that between my android-powered phone, beefy desktop and portable netbook I really am doubling up on equipment here. At £200, the Vega looks like an excellent buy - not least because if I can get it performing similarly to more expensive tablets I can tell myself that I saved £200 by not getting a Tab... rather than facing up to the fact I actually spent £200 by not being a strong-willed person.

My question for you educated folk is this: as the tablet appears to be nearing the end of its shelf life (though it appears not its usable life, what with Vegacomb only getting more and more exciting), should I rush to buy it now before it vanishes or wait to see what the next generation of budget tablets are like - particularly the rumoured Vega 2? The speculation/rumour thread on these forums seems to be full of nothing but Tegra 3-powered 16GB wet dreams right now, and it's hard to establish whether it'll be a hardware upgrade or just a price upgrade. I'm afraid the new model will be back up at the £250 price point.

As a side question, does anyone have a strong opinion of the usefulness of the Vega as a pdf reader? A facet of my justification for buying one is that I hope to use it to read academic papers on - something I can't stand doing on a desktop. Without PDF support out of the box it's impossible to tell in the shop whether it's any good... I'm a bit apprehensive of the narrow aspect ratio for reading in portrait.

Anyway, all opinions are welcomed, and thanks for your time :)

Hi and welcome to our little community.

You would at least have to install Android Market as it doesn't come with Android Market out the box due to licensing issues. If you install a custom rom you get the Android market and a few other features.

I use the Adobe PDF Reader which can be downloaded from the market. I use it all the time as I travel on buses quite a bit it's handy to have bus and rail timetables on the SD card. All you do is download your PDF document from the website straight onto the SD card, open the PDF Reader and the PDF doc is will show up.

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I read pdfs on my vega loads. I bought ezPDF Reader for 70p from the market and the screen res isn't an issue at all, doubletap and it cuts the white space and zooms to text colum and sticks to it, amazing reader.

If you really want a tab I'd suggest possibly a cheap vega off ebay and use corvus5, Cyanogen7 or VegaComb. I would like to upgrade, but for the price of a mid spec phone these are a steal. Your looking at £400 for a reasonable improvement.

Edited by jimmy191

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See, this is where I get confused - half the people on the internet seem to say the display is rubbish and the other half think it's fine. I'd not realised the view angles are so bad that you get a different image in each eye, though.

Are you reading in portrait or landscape, Jimmy?

Phil, I'm aware I'll have to give it a bit of a makeover before it's the way I want it - but then that's half the fun ;) As a matter of fact one reason I want a tablet is so I can satisfy my android tweaking cravings without having to take my phone out of commission all the time. As an aside, that bus timetable idea is actually a damn good one. I always faff about trying to find times on websites, but downloading the timetables makes a lot more sense :P I'll probably do that with my phone even if I don't get a tablet in the end.

EDIT: Oh, and thanks for the feedback! And the welcome.

Edited by Kettchy

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I've been reading pdf's (as well as ppts) no stop for the past few weeks (resits and left laptop at home) while on one of the vegacomb test roms using the official Adobe app and have nothing negative to report, obviously most of what was in the pdfs was text, as would be the same with your academic papers, so didn't really notice any issue in terms of the viewing angles. Scrolling works really well and smoother that with other apps.

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Another vote for ezPDF Reader. I just love the page turn animation.

No problem with the screen (bearing in mind how inexpensive the Vega is), but I usually read in bed with lights off. Use it daily and no eye problems or headaches! Not the best in bright conditions/outdoors but still usable with the brightness cranked up.

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I think the viewing angle thing is subjective. If two or more people are trying to look at the tablet and it is being viewed from a slight angle, then it can be difficult to see properly. However, one person viewing directly onto it should have no problems with it. It is designed for one person to look at it straight on, not for two or more to sit around. You don't have the viewing angles that an Ipad has, but an Ipad makes a bigger hole in your pocket!

Again, welcome to the forums, Kettchy.

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I read portrait, usually with tablet in a bookstand next to my laptop and pc. I hated the adobe reader, manual zoom sucks and no text reflow or other options, ezpdf made a massive diff.

I'm writing this viewing from about 45 degrees portrait and the image is just going funny, landscape you get about 30 degrees. The viewing angles arent amazing, but its not an expensive tab. Just gotta prop it up right if you're using it slobbing about, lol.

Mod wise this tab is quite exciting with all the devs making mods and rom choices. Stock, Android 2.2 or 2.3 stable, 3.0 or 3.2 eta, take your pick. :)

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Screen is rubbish in portrait but perfectly fine in landscape, the reason is that its a standard LCD of a netbook so obviously not designed with portrait viewing in mind.

I use mine for reading academic papers and its great for that purpose. Because its so narrow I tend not to use it in portrait mode anyway and use landscape. This suits PDFs and academic papers in general as it makes everything clear and readable and you get a bit more than a third of an A4 page on the landscape display depending on the zoom so not too bad at all. You can still use it in portrait it works ok its just not close to as good.

The other option is a large screen ereader which would also do the job.

Honestly the vega is a good choice. I would be tempted to wait but really it depends on you and whether you will actually need something more powerful later on. If there is a vega 2 it probably isn't going to be a huge amount more powerful. Most likely its just going to be the same processor with an internal memory and RAM upgrade maybe a better screen its doubtful to be anything more than that as they will want to keep the price low.

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The question you have to ask yourslf is how much you want to wait and spend.

At the moment, for £180-£200 vega is the best of the bunch.

If you are wiling to spend £380 to £450 you will get something with a better screen gps and 3g. There are many others in-between these prices but nothing to my mind that beats the vega for value and spec.

If you are willing to wait a few months for the new raft of tegra 2 tablets from china like the Vega 2 (shuttle) and too many others to mention you will get something for about £280-£300 with a better screen and maybe gps or 3g. We will have to wait till maybe september for these to hit the market to asses if they are worth the wait.

There are also many Vega clones being manufactured in china as we speak. I think at the moment they are overpriced pretenders trading off the hard work of others (Team newco).

In a couple of months the public will get wise to this and they will be reduced in price and every where (like the superpad is now). So even if DGG run out of vegas and dont make any more they will be around in some form for a long time to come. Vega was well ahead of its time and is only now getting used to its full potential.

Edited by richardmlea

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Wotcher, Vega people.

My magpie mind has become convinced that I should buy myself a tablet. I don't want to spend too much because I'm completely aware that between my android-powered phone, beefy desktop and portable netbook I really am doubling up on equipment here. At £200, the Vega looks like an excellent buy - not least because if I can get it performing similarly to more expensive tablets I can tell myself that I saved £200 by not getting a Tab... rather than facing up to the fact I actually spent £200 by not being a strong-willed person.

My question for you educated folk is this: as the tablet appears to be nearing the end of its shelf life (though it appears not its usable life, what with Vegacomb only getting more and more exciting), should I rush to buy it now before it vanishes or wait to see what the next generation of budget tablets are like - particularly the rumoured Vega 2? The speculation/rumour thread on these forums seems to be full of nothing but Tegra 3-powered 16GB wet dreams right now, and it's hard to establish whether it'll be a hardware upgrade or just a price upgrade. I'm afraid the new model will be back up at the £250 price point.

As a side question, does anyone have a strong opinion of the usefulness of the Vega as a pdf reader? A facet of my justification for buying one is that I hope to use it to read academic papers on - something I can't stand doing on a desktop. Without PDF support out of the box it's impossible to tell in the shop whether it's any good... I'm a bit apprehensive of the narrow aspect ratio for reading in portrait.

Anyway, all opinions are welcomed, and thanks for your time :)

Here are a few thoughts.

On whether to wait or buy now

In my experience this is what happens. You decide to wait for your "dream" machine, which is going to be available in just 3 months. When the time comes to buy it you get your credit card out and you're just about to place your order when your eye is drawn to a press release about a really good new device which is going to be available in just 3 months! If the device you are thinking of buying will do what you want to do now, and will continue to do it reasonably well for the next 12 months, my policy is to buy it now.

Vega or Vega 2 or not-Vega

As has been pointed out above, the next round of budget tablets isn't going to be radically different from the current Vega. Maybe it will have more RAM, a slightly better screen, and a better camera. The new VegaComb 3.2 really does transform the Vega; it's seriously fast! The next version of Android (version 4, Ice Cream Sandwich) has supposedly been designed to run on any device from a phone to a tablet, including low-end devices, and therefore should run on the Vega. As an Android 3.2 tablet for only £200, the Vega cannot be beaten, especially considering the amazing support available in the Vega forums. The one criticism that is often made of the Vega is the viewing angle of the screen. As has been pointed out in previous posts, if you look at the screen square on, it's quite acceptable.

Do I really need a tablet

I've got 3 desktop PCs (Windows, Linux and Hackingtosh - I never sell my old ones) and a 9-cell netbook used as a portable device. My reason for getting a tablet was to see what all the fuss was about. I wasn't prepared for how much it has changed the way I relate to computers. Reading ebooks has become a pleasure for the first time (I've read more in the last 9 months than in the previous 5 years), I use email a lot more, and it's a lot easier to carry around than my 9-cell clunker. There is an amazing difference between having devices that you to have to go and sit down in front of, and something you can hold comfortably in your hand.

What my Vega does now

Browse, email, read ebooks, live TV (using tvcatchup.com), TV on demand, radio, watch movies (unlike the IPad, the Vega has a 16:9 screen, so no "letterbox" effect), music (PowerAmp has a 9 channel equalizer), games (if you can call X-Plane a game), download torrents (movies from the 20's and 30's that are difficult to buy; I'm turning into a Buster Keaton fan), view and edit my MS Office documents (using QuickOffice), remotely control my desktop PC (using Splashtop), securely communicate (with OpenVPN), etc.,etc. As it gets older my Vega isn't going to do any of these things worse than it does now, and no tablets that are due to appear in the next few months are going to do them radically better.

EDITED for spelling and grammar. Oops.

Edited by xathras
  • Upvote 2

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Thanks for all the advice, guys - especially xathras for the in-depth review :P

I think I'm going to take the plunge and buy one. It's not that much money and I'm pretty well convinced that the next-gen budget tablets will be more or less indistinguishable from the Vega. The screen is the expensive part of a tablet after all, so why improve that when you can cram a bit more memory in, stick Gingerbread on and pretend it's a major upgrade?

Of course, now it's out of stock at my local PC world, so I've got a bit of a quest coming on. Nevertheless, thanks everyone for helping me make my mind up - although thinking about it when you ask a forum full of vega enthusiasts whether you should get one or not it's pretty obvious what kind of answer you're going to get!

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Thanks for all the advice, guys - especially xathras for the in-depth review :P

I think I'm going to take the plunge and buy one.

Of course, now it's out of stock at my local PC world, so I've got a bit of a quest coming on.

Available now from the Dixons website.

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Available now from the Dixons website.

Also available from Currys too:

http://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/advent-vega-tablet-pc-4-gb-08258762-pdt.html

My partner originally bought his from Dixons online but had a nightmare of a job returning it when it was faulty. Curry's and PC World didn't want to deal with it, as it wasn't bought through them. They eventually agreed to take it back via a Currys/PC World megastore, after various long conversations with the head office. It worked out fine in the end, but it was a lot of hassle. We have found that Currys and PC World will work together for returns and faults, but they see Dixons almost as a different company. If it's bought online it must be returned online seems to be the policy. It's up to you which route you choose to make your purchase, I am just pointing out potential pitfalls of going via the online route.

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I'll resort to ordering online only if I can't find it in a store - I'd rather not waste three days waiting for the postman, not to mention the returns issues.

Edited by Kettchy

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