Tablets forum: Budget Dilemma: eReader/Tablet?

by: slow_mo_panda November 18, 2012 2:36 PM PST

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Budget Dilemma: eReader/Tablet?

by slow_mo_panda - 11/18/12 2:36 PM

I am having a buyer's crisis of too many options!
Let me break it down so I don't write a 10-page 'help' post...
I currently OWN:
1. Desktop PC w/ MS Windows Vista Home Premium - Customized and updated periodically by my computer-savvy and PC-building Dad. Has been used almost solely for gaming (WoW & Diablo)
2. Acer Aspire Laptop w/ MS Windows 7 - 4GB Memory, 320GB HD, 15.6" Screen, Appx. 3 mo. old. Originally bought for easier/portable internet and ability to use around the home, also for writing and storage for music, small videos (watching TV episodes), and e-books directory.
3. Samsung Proclaim 'Smart Phone' w/ pre-paid 'Unlimited Talk + Data' by Straight Talk - Android OS, used mainly as a talk+text cell, only occasionally use 3G or Wi-Fi for Facebook, have been trying out the Aldiko e-book reader, use rear cam for pics and video rarely, do enjoy a few apps. Purchased after relic 'flip-phone' broke, realized paying $45/mo. for 'Unlimited Data' was being wasted on a phone with no web access.
4. 6-month-old basic 'Kobo Slick' e-reader, bought on a tight budget for ebook use. I am an avid reader and have a difficult time holding larger books. I do enjoy e-readers that have the e-ink style screen. This reader was very cheap, and I definitely got what I paid for. It is pretty much bricked right now, the buttons barely function, and the display routinely re-boots for no reason at all.
It's the need for a new e-reader that sent me searching the web for the best deal I can get on what I want in my device. I am looking for these features:
-Longer battery life
-Good e-reader, e-ink display if possible, Nook is preferred over Kindle, though any other brand would be acceptable.
-Smaller than a laptop, lighter and thinner would be nice
-Attachable or wireless keyboard is a plus (the feature that drew my attention to the MS 'Surface' tablet.)
-Does NOT need to be a complete full-color full-touch screen, although this will likely be unavoidable if I wanted to watch videos on it, which is another bonus.
-Plays music and videos
-HDMI output
-Front AND Rear camera
-Trying to avoid any Apple products, would rather have Android or Microsoft

My questions are:
+Does ANYONE know what device would have the most of my choice features for the best value? Where could I find devices like these online for the best price?
+Is it possible to find the MS Surface with keyboard for less than $400?
+Do you think I should just go ahead and drop $100 on a Nook Touch for the e-reader I desire the most? Or is it a good idea to try to find a decent tablet for a slightly higher cost?

Thanks for the advice, and I hope I can find a good deal online for these holiday sales before they are gone!

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