We had a great test of the judging tablets at Michigan Quarter Horse Association’s Fall Harvest. They had four judges and used another tablet at the gate. That means it’s time to start thinking about getting your tablets for next show season!
We chose the Android platform because it’s the best bang for your buck but you do need to check specs, make sure that the WIFI receiver is strong enough for your environment, and that they have not modified the Android operating system. There are so many devices out there and we have seen a few that didn’t fully work.
Many factors have us listing these specifications. The tablets will be used off and on all day long in a somewhat harsh environment. Scribes/Judges will move around while using the tablets which makes a stable connection at different distances very important. Distances can’t be tested until you have the actual device in hand and, as noted, each device is different.
Specs to look for are:
Android tablet with at least Android version 4.x
Sturdy tablet (not the ones recommended for children’s usage as they are not as hardy)
Wireless type: possibilities are 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
b/g/n with 2.4GHz support will work fine in most environments
With a noisy wifi environment, a/b/g/n or better – adding 5GHz to that separates your network from any others and keeps it clean
Further higher end tablets have /ac which gives you more power and speed
Battery life: at least 8-10 hours unless you are planning to also purchase battery chargers for the scribes/judges to keep charged and carry around
Screen resolution: 1280×800 (less important but good to have)
Below are inexpensive devices that we know work as they have been tested – the links for the first group are to Amazon but you can often find deals on other sites under $100 (OfficeDepot, BestBuy, eBay, etc). Google any of the name/types and you’ll get hits all over the place!
If you end up with something different that matches these specifications, let us know how they do. If they work well, we will add them to our list!
And if you find a good deal, share it on our Facebook page so others can find it.
- ASUS Nexus 7 (2012 – 1st Generation) – Amazon (used and new starting ~$60)
- ASUS Zenpad 7 – Amazon ($87 right now)
- Samsung Galaxy Tab A 7 – Office Depot ($99 right now) (thanks to show secretary Carla Peacock for this hot tip!) – Amazon ($98 right now)
- ASUS Nexus 7 (2013 – 2nd Generation)
- Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8