Tech News and Commentary
Steve in Lake Villa, Illinois listens to the podcasts and is calling via the AskDave button on the IT siteFrom 05-20 and asked: “I kind of invested in Google smart speakers. My wife bought me a smart screen for Christmas, I have I don’t know how many little hubs around the house. I kinda do a surround sound throughout the house so I can listen to music wherever I go. I was thinking I might need a tablet to go with this. So the question I have is what tablet would work in the Google ecosystem with the smart screen and speakers? I have Chromecast but I prefer the Roku. Thought you guys might have an answer.”
Steve, any tablet will generally work well with Googles ecosystem, even iPads play nice with most Google services, but if youve fully bought into Google ecosystem, you might as well go for the closest to a Google tablet you can find.
At the moment, Google is not listing any Made by Google tablets on their site. You can still find the old ones online, but the fact that theyre not listed on their site doesnt send the best sign about the companys willingness to support them. Tablets are not very popular anymore, so they may have just decided that its a market segment that they dont need to address directly.
Since Made by Google is not an option right now, you should probably look at the second best thing to that: stock Android tablets.
Its hard to find truly stock tablets that dont come with any extra bloatware from the manufacturer, but there are some out there that may work for you.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7, for example, has a bright 11-inch screen, 13 hours of battery life, and its compatible with Samsungs keyboard cases if youre interested in that. The tablet does use a Snapdragon 865+ which is largely ok, but not exactly the fastest processor around these days. You can find the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 for around $550 online.
You can also look at a Lenovo Tab P11 Pro, its also an 11-inch tablet with a good OLED screen. The Lenovo Tab P11 Pro has two particularly attractive features: the 8,600mah battery, and its $400 price tag, which isnt bad for a decent tablet. Its not the best around in terms of performance or cameras, but its good for the price.
You should probably avoid Amazon tablets. They do run a customized version of Android so they may still play nice with Google devices, and they are also very cheap. Its not rare to find the 10-inch version for little more than $100.
But, theyre designed to push Amazon services from the store itself, to its video, music, and other offerings. That doesnt mean that you wont be able to make it work if youre determined, but it will always try to steer you towards Alexa or Amazon Music over Googles Assistant and YouTube Music, for example.
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