I need a new tablet for gaming

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| October 29, 2013

It took me a very, very long time to find a tablet that I could actually keep for longer than seven days. And yes, the longest I had kept a tablet during my streak of going through them like cookies (I like cookies) was seven days. There were bets being made! I didn't mind, though. I just couldn't find one that mattered enough to keep. I used it for a couple of days, and then I completely forgot about it.

I sort of chronicled my experiences with this over time, but for the most part it just boiled down to the fact that tablets didn't meet my personal expectations. I had this grandiose image in my head each time I saw a tablet I wanted to buy, about me using it as a second screen, watching videos while I did other things, or basically just keeping up with social media as a whole as I continued to write.

Unfortunately, none of that worked out.

It wasn't necessarily the tablets, per se. I could blame them, yes, but the truth is I had just grown accustomed to doing things one way, and interrupting that workflow just to add another device didn't seem to make much sense. I like to buy gadgets, but I don't mind returning them if they don't serve a purpose after the first day or two.

I thought it could have been the fact I couldn't quite find the right tablet size, which is why I reached out to all of you quite awhile back, asking you what you thought the perfect tablet size is. You all had great reasons why some bigger tablets would be good, but most seemed to suggest that smaller tablets, right around the eight-inch size, were just about perfect.

And I agree with you. Anything under 10 inches is a good size for a tablet, as long as it isn't too heavy. There's enough screen size to get things done when you need to, and plenty of real estate to watch videos when you want to. As long as it's light enough, then it's easily transportable, too, which is a huge bonus.

In the end, near the end of July (and right around the my birthday) I finally found a reason to keep a tablet: my daughters. I know that it's pretty common knowledge that kids love tablets, simply because they're awesome, but I had never given my girls a chance to show me that. So, when they finally got their hands on an iPad mini and played plenty of games themed with their favorite characters, they were hooked. So, I downloaded more educational and Disney-related games, and now they love spending a little bit of time once in a while during the week playing and learning on their tablet.

When they aren't using it, though, the tablet's with me and I try to find reasons to use it myself. My usage patterns haven't changed, sadly, and there are days when I don't touch the thing. (Yes, I've thought about getting rid of it, but I just can't now. There are two little girls that'll get mad at me. Haha) However, I force myself to pick it up and find new things to do on it. That ultimately just turns into playing games.

I've been playing a few competitive multiplayer games on it, but most recently I've picked up titles like MADFINGER Games' Dead Trigger 2 and I've been having a blast with it. That is, until the iPad mini decided it didn't want to play it anymore.

I haven't experienced a lot of lag, stuttering or force closes on my iPad, playing any game, so this is a new experience for me with an iOS-based tablet. Unfortunately, it's just as painful there as it is on other platforms. Maybe even more so. Dead Trigger 2 has closed on me three times in the last couple of days, and the lag while playing the game is frustrating on an always-rising scale. I've died so many times in the game simply because I've tried to turn around, but couldn't because I was frozen in place.

Which is why I can't help but look at the iPad mini with Retina display that Apple just unveiled. After the Cupertino-based company announced the device, with all of its changes and new features, I wasn't all that set on picking it up. After all, my girls just don't care about pixels or processors. They want their games to work. And so does their dad, which is probably why I'll end up picking one up. Because I want my games to play.

And if this is a growing trend with new games on the "old" hardware, well, then, I'll probably just end up throwing it out the window in frustration anyway. Better to put it towards something new, right?

So, this is where I need your help. I've got my sights set on the iPad mini with Retina display, yes, but that doesn't have to be the tablet I get this holiday season. I want to know which tablet you think I should pick up for gaming, whether it's gaming with children's games (both educational and not), as well as some high-end titles like Dead Trigger 2. Should I go with a regular iPad Air? Or should I go with something like the new Nexus 7? Let me know what you think.

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