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First Time Tablet Buyer: Budget Advice, Please?

I'm looking at purchasing my first tablet, and I think I may actually have a unique question for you all. What I am wondering is whether it is smarter to buy a simple yet reliable tablet, like a Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 7" or 8", to see whether I really use this type of device--and what I use it for--first, or whether I should jump off the deep end and get something more expensive like the Samsung Galaxy Tab s 8.4 or Galaxy Note 10.1" (2014) right after Christmas.

There seem to be pros and cons to both options. I'll list those below.

Buy A Simple Tablet Now:


-- I get to try it out immediately.

-- I am not risking as much money initially to see whether I will like this form of computing / entertainment; whether it will fit my lifestyle or not.

-- If this type of device isn't something I end up using a lot I have not invested, say, all my Christmas money on it.

-- If this type of device is for me and I like it, I will be more informed about what I actually use it for and will be able to make a more personally relevant decision about which more expensive tablet to purchase eventually.

-- Depending on what I buy, I may find that the device meets my needs and I don't 'need' a more expensive tablet for a while. (i.e. I didn't accidentally go "overkill" without realizing it.)

-- I can think of a whole slew of relatives who would love this kind of tablet if I decided to make a more pricey investment either at Christmas or further down the road.

-- If I have a nicely working 'starter' tablet for now, I am more likely to get involved in the Android community. This will result in knowing more about tablets / phones, and will lead to better care for my tech sooner.

-- The above would lead to me knowing more about how to handle a more expensive tablet when / if I eventually get it.

-- I would also be more willing to pay attention to when the *next* release of the designs I am interested in are coming out. By doing this, I would / will be able to save up for whichever model / version I want while still using, enjoying and learning from my starter device.


-- If I totally love owning a tablet and want something better, I will have ultimately have spent "more" money, regardless of any 'research benefits'.

-- I may miss out on discovering the true purpose I was / am meant to use the device for due to specs / limitations of getting a less expensive device.

-- Regardless of findings, I will likely need to upgrade sooner if I do this than if I get something more powerful from word go.

Wait 'Til Christmas and Get Something Fancy:

-- If I'm paying a premium, it only stands to reason that what I buy will work well and *should* work for a reasonable amount of time. (I'd like to get 2 years out of a high end tablet if I buy one. Is this reasonable?)

-- If I go this route, I will not have (as many) limitations on what my tablet can do right now. I will be able to fully explore what this type of device is capable of and see, absolutely and for sure, if it fits my lifestyle.

-- If I go this route I may be able to get an awesome deal on what I choose to get (holiday sales). (Although this could be a point for either side, really.)

-- If I buy one of these and don't end up using it, I can definitely say that it is me / my life, not the tablet, that is the part that didn't work out. I'll know not to buy another one.


-- I will have to wait until Christmas.

-- If I do this and get the wrong tablet / don't end up loving tablets, then I wind up with a $400-$600 paperweight. Ouch.

-- It's completely possible that I could buy a tablet that is totally wrong for me, and spend a lot of money doing that. (Since I don't know, having never owned one, what I will actually use it for and what I only *think* I'll use it for.) (ex. Buying the Note 2014 when the Galaxy Tab s 8.4 would have suited me fine.)

-- I'm wondering if a more powerful, high end tablet may actually be kind of overwhelming to a first time user.


Current Budget: 200--250 max (+tax)
Holiday Budget: $700 max (+tax)

Starter Tablets: Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 7" / 8" or Galaxy Tab 3 8" (Price would be better, but I know the processor and gfx would be behind the times.)

Storage Concern: I *know* I want 16gb of storage in the device, because I know (I own a Galaxy S3 phone) that apps can only go on the device. The 7" is more in my budget, but I prefer the 8" form factor and the extra space. ATM, though, the extra money is gonna hurt. *shrug*

Am I willing to look at other options?: Sure. Why not? Although I am suppose to be going tomorrow evening.

High End Tablets: Samsung Galaxy Tab s 8.4"; Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1" (2014); Samsung Galaxy 8.0 (I realize the 3rd one is older, but I am intrigued by the s-pen and I like the 8 inch size for a tablet best, personally.)

What I *think* I'll be doing:

-- Basic Stuff: E-mail, Facebook, Twitter, GoodReads, Skype, YouTube, Netflix, forums, web browsing, ordering Dominos pizza (couldn't resist.)

-- Writing fiction. I have arthritis in my fingers and have discovered, via my brother's tablet, that sometimes I can get work done without hurting myself on a touch screen keyboard that I can't on a normal one. May sound weird, but it is what it is.

-- Utilizing apps that help with creativity, brainstorming and improving language and thinking skills. (Jotterpad, EverNote, Dictionary / Thesaurus, Wikipedia app, mind mapping ap, index card app, etc.)

-- Using it as an e-reader that I can actually, properly interact with for editing stuff on the go.

-- Digital cookbook / comic book reader / magazine stand.

-- Hobbyist / entry level digital sketching / coloring. (I realize I may not be able to do this efficiently unless / until I get a Note tablet.)

-- Backup for my writing files. Always good to have my novels and concept documents in as many places as possible so they are never lost.

-- Light gaming. I'm more likely to play stuff like 7 Little Words, Angry Birds or Bejeweled than something I could get on my PS3 / PS4 / Gaming PC.)

-- And I'm sure I'll have a ton of music on an SD card, so suggestions for a good music app are totally welcome, too.


Anyway, thanks so much for reading through all of this. If any of you could please let me know what you think I should do here, that would be great. Have a nice day!
Get the bigger screen one. Honestly, since you already have an Android phone, you more or less know what to expect from the tablet, just that it's bigger. The main thing for the choice of screen size would be for typing. It's easier to type with a bigger screen. Plus the sketching you mentioned would make the Note 10.1 a better option that any other tablet on the market, whether iOS or Android, simply due to the WACOM digitizer and pen. The only ones offering that other than the Notes are Windows tablets.
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