I need a bit more real estate

Part of having to travel with little weight means I must carry an ultra light laptop, they're very expensive, or a tablet. What I really needed for a tablet is more real estate so that I could do better artwork, so I began looking around to see what was available. The one thing avoided was any version of Android which would be complicated, hard on the eyes and take more time to process my blog entries.
rees00.jpg
Regardless of which digital device used, they all have one thing in common. The grabbing of the date and time from somewhere remote. Every one I have has to be connected via an Internet service provider or a phone company, once connected the correct date/time appear and are updated regularly. That's good, but it must not happen before then. I do not turn on Wifi or my fone provider during any set up and as a result have never had any problems.

VANKYO, a dangerous tablet

The first tablet was VANKYO MatrixPad S20, a 10 inch one with a 1280x800 pixel screen. Starting it up I was presented with something not at all good.
taba0.jpg
The company make a number of these (including ones for small children) and all of them have hundreds of good reviews. I wonder if those who wrote the reviews on Amazon even bothered to pay attention during the set up, because the S20 (and probably all of them) are very unsafe in regards to one extremely important function.

I am not saying this from a knee-jerk reaction or anything like that.

The first thing you do with a new device is set it up, fair enough, we all have to do that. My existing tablet is Wifi only, so figured the set up would be pretty much the same—it was not. This is what I did to set my S20 up:
  1. Initial start up
  2. I hit Start
  3. Connect to Wifi (Wifi was turned off on my router) - skip
  4. Skip Network connection? - Continue
    There should now be no connection to anything, anywhere.
  5. Date and time. The date and time were set!
    This is a big time no-no!! - next
  6. Google Services, did nothing - Accept (didn't matter by then, I'd already decided to reject the tablet).
  7. Set screen lock - skip - and skip anyway
  8. Home screen appeared
taba1.jpg
This is a screen shot from the tablet and viewed on my PC with Windows Photo Viewer. Notice the time at the top left.


That time showing, should not be there—until I personally connect!

During the Set Up, when I saw the Date and Time (for my time zone) appear, I became very concerned. These things broadcast and receive—without my permission!

I should have a default, generic date/time showing as happens on all my other devices (phones and tablet), which gets set once I am "online" in some form or another.

The tablet was listed as Wifi only (no place for sim), but go through all the apps and you will see a phone mentioned. Since it is Chinese, I am wondering if this is like Hauwei and being used to spy on people. Which could make it an invasion of privacy and/or outright dangerous.

There are a couple of others I'm looking at, they're Samsungs (I'll never touch another Chinese device), otherwise I'll just stick with my old 8 inch Samsung Tab 4, for now, at least I know it's safe.

The search continues

Another looked really good, a Galaxy Tab S 10.5, and offered a very good display (2560 x 1600 pixels). That pixel size gave me a lot more room for artwork. Unfortunately the dealer (Laptops Direct) did not respond to a message I sent in regards to the set up and I let them know they'd lost a sale (won't waste time on them again).

Finally I found one that should do the trick, a Galaxy Tab 4 10.1 inch.
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The size difference can be seen here.

My 8 inch Galaxy Tab 4 was basically a rip off, the dealer lied through their teeth about the thing (common practice in England) but, a little bit of work and it has lasted me 6 years and still going strong. So finding a 10.1 inch version of the same tablet that's immaculate, was good.

I hope I can set the thing up the same as the 8 incher (Android 5.1.1). With 5.1.1: I can do stuff quickly, create as many folders as I want (the Vankyo would not let me create any folders at all), grab my images and text files easily plus is not hard on the eyes.

During the first set up I saw it is an Italian version. So set the language to US English, fair enough. However, being made for Italy means I cannot upgrade the OS to Android 5.1.1, which is faster and for the kind of stuff I do, is ideal. I can do a lot of work, fast, on it. I've decided to just use the 8 inch one and lose the 10.1 version.

That's it, enough is enough—I've plateauxed on tablets. At least the weight on my back is still kept down.
Sep 03, 2020


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Normally I run a travel blog, but when I'm not on the road I do other stuff to keep from getting bored.
- Ted

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