There's something to be said about the "Apple effect" where each year Apple (and other vendors) release a new variant of their products and within seconds of the launch event finished and the blog posts, youtube videos and news articles going live. That device you have feels outdated.. its the "old" phone, the "old" Macbook with the old Intel chip in it..
The Apple EffectThe effect of a new version of a product being released by apple that is no better than the previous one. Everybody freaks out thinking, "HOLY SHIT, IT'S NEW AND IT'S MADE BY APPLE! LET'S GET IT!" People are oblivious to it being no better than the cheaper version already out.HOLY SHIT BOB! IPAD... 2! It's got a camera, and like, that's the only new feature. My iPad sucks. I WANNA IPAD2 NOW!
That's totally you being taken over by The Apple Effect...by proudyellowman April 26, 2011
The reality is in most cases vendors, especially those in the mobile space, are currently releasing iterations on an existing device. There has been very little in the way of innovation in consumer IT for a long time. So each release might be a millimetre thinner, the battery might last a few minutes more (or just be a bigger battery that lasts the same time) the processor might support a few things the industry doesn't really deliver on yet.
I'm acutely aware of this and as such, I've not bought a new phone in 10 years, I'm about 2 years usually behind the curve, I don't have the latest android release and I save an absolute fortune and in most cases, its the same with Laptops (barring a recent Chromebook purchase) a 3-year-old I7 with 4 to 8 Gb ram will do in most cases.
This leads me to "the little tablet that could" the Samsung Tab A 2019 edition..
I was looking for a 7 or 8 inch tablet with 4G connectivity and with all the "large screen" 6.5 inch phones around these days the love for the tablet in this size area is low.. let's face it the love for the android tablet full stop is pretty terrible...
The reason for this article however is a simple one, this little 8" 2-year-old tablet cost £100. It's running Android 10 and just got a Samsung security update today...
It's not going to win any speed awards, it takes a couple of seconds for apps to open and any more than 3 or 4 apps and it starts task swapping so there is a pause when switching between multiple open apps.
So what's the point?
Well, what it will do is take a zoom/google meet/teams call while you're on the go. It will play movies on Netflix, Amazon Prime or HBO on the go, it will play music lots of it with an SD card installed on the device.
It will provide you ssh access to servers in a pinch, on the go.. It will connect to a VPN and give you access to services or open office documents...
It will show google maps in real-time or open ebooks or PDF's stored on the SD card..
It will do this on a screen bigger than your phone, and in most cases will do this for 4 days straight with no need for a recharge...
This is a tablet designed for doing a couple of tasks at a time on the go.. over 4G and not needing recharging every night.
This is coupled with the refurb price of circa £100 on eBay (March 2021) makes this a great second on the go device with a larger screen you can plug into a car, use during travel (when that becomes a thing again) and consume using the larger screen.
I've been using this for a month or so now as a second screen at home, or to listen to music on the train and it's a great little device for the price.
There is a moral here, and it's a simple one.
Ignore the Apple effect
As I said at the start of the post, modern technology, in general, is just iterating a theme at the moment. Vendors cannot afford to take big risks on design, OS or anywhere else, other than the occasional Samsung/Huawei flip screen phone/tablet hybrids no one is being adventurous out there.
As a consumer this is great because there will always be people who want the latest and greatest, for the rest of us a 2-year-old phone, tablet or laptop will in many cases be both a great purchase and you will more than likely end up with something of better spec than if you'd bought new.