Before Christmas, I had 3 tablets at home: Original iPad (wife) iPad 3 (me) Microsoft Surface 2 RT (daughter) I've been studying for computer certifications for a long while. I use a test simulation app on my iPad. Unfortunately, the developers have decided to create a new pricing structure. The app, when I bought it, was $15ish. It's now $290ish for one year. That's a little outlandish. So, I did some Googling and found that there's another app out there that does about the same thing -- it has a bit different look and feel -- for $15. The only problem: it's only available for Android. I don't have a machine that runs Android. I found that there's a highly-recommended Android simulator out there called BlueStacks. I downloaded it and fired it up. It works ... but I have gobs of empty space on my screen that I have to use my trackpad or trackball to navigate. It's tiring and time consuming. If I had a touch screen laptop, it'd be OK. I then decided to search for an inexpensive name-brand Android tablet. Because I have the iPad 3 (9.7"), I decided I'd take a chance on getting a 7" or 8" tablet. Here are some things I learned: * If you want to get a Kindle Fire, make sure the app you want is in the Amazon store. If it's not, the app may require you to root your tablet (not for beginners) or it might just not work. That's because the Kindle uses the Amazon OS, which isn't 100% stock Android. * My app was on the Amazon store and I knew use Kindles were on sale on Amazon. By the time I got there, though, the only Kindles left were in "fair" condition. * You really, really need to check the resolution of the tablet before you buy it. I wanted at least 720p, because lower resolutions really don't look good. So, unless the item said "720p" or "1024x768" or higher, I didn't bother. * I also knew that not all Android tablets supported newer versions of the Android OS. The app I needed required OS 4.0 or higher. I then looked at the manual updating procedure for Android. Erm. Let's get something 100% compatible with Google Play, so updates are automagic. Yah. It's that bad. The updates require you to have a computer to do the update, if your tablet's not 100% Google Play compatible. I thus settled on the 100% Google Play compatible, Android 4.4.4 OS (will upgrade to 5.0 when Android 5.0 doesn't suck anymore), Google Nexus 7 2012 (made by ASUS). It has a better than 720p resolution (1280x800), 32gb of storage, and I got a used one for under $100. There's a new tablet from the same manufacturer with almost the same specs (16gb, only), so I know the Nexus 7's processor still has some good life left. Hey, the Nexus 7 2012 also won a bunch of awards and is highly recommended. I do kinda wish I waited a bit longer to get one. The 2013 version of the Nexus 7 is miles better (faster, better screen, etc.). Unfortunately, at the time, it was $60 more for a 16gb version. The2013 16gb versions are now selling for around $100, too. Post-Christmas sales and all that. I do have one major complaint about the Nexus vs the iPads or the Surface: the glass is very prone to fingerprints and surface scratches. IIRC, the iPad and Surface use some really high-end glass. Well, the iPad and Surface are a lot more expensive. They're also a couple inches larger. *Sigh* I had one minor complaint, that was fixed in the 2013 version: I have MAC security turned on for my wireless network. That means I need the MAC address before I can connect a device to my network. You can't find out the MAC address on the Nexus 7 2012 unless it's already connected to a network. That means that I had to turn off my Wifi security, add the tablet, then turn back on security. The Nexus 7 is a 7" tablet. That's not a terrible size, but I think that an 8" tablet would be a closer approximation to a paperback's size. Unfortunately, you're going to pay $100 more for a decent 8"+ tablet. I wanted to stay under $100. I could complain about the Android OS vs. iOS, but I really don't care: I bought the tablet for one app and that app runs just fine. I have to press one button and tap two things to get to the app. That's really not a problem.