2020 DartConnect Tablet Buyer’s Guide

,

UPDATED FOR 2020!

Take advantage of this year’s Black Friday & Cyber Monday for the best deal on a new tablet for DartConnect. Holiday deal guides will be posted closer to Black Friday, check back in November.

Keep reading for advice on what to look for, what NOT to buy and links to our top recommendations and the hottest deals.

NOTE: Tablets recommended here are intended for use with the DartConnect scorekeeping app and not other services such as video or audio for online matches which require more modern equipment.

Our Top Low Budget Recommendation: Refurbished iPad 2
Reliable quality at an affordable price

Note: Currently, the only iPad model that we DO NOT recommend is the first generation iPad 1.

In our experience, a refurbished Apple iPad 2 is the most reliable and ruggedly built tablet for the lowest price that is perfect for DartConnect. By purchasing an authorized refurbished unit from Amazon or eBay (which are often “Like New” but returned units), you can have the highest confidence in the best technology and industry-leading battery-life — at a price point similar to much more inferior tablets.

Although increasing in age with official support waning, the iPad 2 is a great bargain with DartConnect as its main purpose, but not if you want a tablet with other modern apps and features.

Deals can be found as low as $60-$80 USD.

2020 Update: Prices have risen due to higher demand because of Covid-19 (home schooling, work from home, self isolation), but we are still able to find deals as low as $60, we advise you not to hesitate if you find a good deal or it may disappear.

2019 Update:  Amazon still has the occasional deal but prices are much higher now. eBay remains your best choice for a great refurb deal.

What are the experts saying?
Buying Guides & Black Friday Articles 

THIS SECTION WILL BE UPDATED CLOSER TO BLACK FRIDAY WHEN DEAL GUIDES ARE PUBLISHED BY THE TOP TECH ADVISORS

What Android tablet specs should I look for?
Why an “IPS” Screen is Important

Screen display quality is the most important thing to consider when looking at low-priced Android devices for DartConnect. To make sure the tablet you choose has a quality display that can be seen clearly from side-angles, we highly recommend devices that specify an “IPS” screen type. Be sure to look for this in the listed hardware specifications before purchasing any low-priced tablet.

What size is best?

  • For casual and personal use, such as solo practice, a small size tablet such as 7” or even a smartphone can be acceptable.
  • For league and tournament use, we recommend the 10” screen as it is ideal for portability and seeing the screen from beyond the throw line.
  • For events and tournament stages, you might consider a large screen tablet such as the Nabi Big Tab (make sure you read our updated notes below about the Nabi’s biggest drawbacks). To date, we have not found an alternative affordable solution for a tablet with an extra large screen such as this.

 

 What about Kindle or Surface?

Amazon’s Kindle devices are currently among the most popular budget-priced tablets, but please note that only Kindle “Fire HD” models have been found to work with DartConnect.

For Microsoft Surface tablets, to use DartConnect you must download and install Google Chrome or Firefox as DartConnect is not recommended for Microsoft browsers.

Please note that saving the app to the home screen will only work on mobile devices using Apple Safari or Google Chrome for Android and is not supported by Microsoft browsers or Silk on Kindle (see update below).

2019 Update:  For the Kindle Fire HD, we’ve heard from a number of users that installing the “Nova Launcher” from the Amazon app store will allow you to install Google Chrome and then permit saving DartConnect to the home screen.

 What’s that giant tablet I’ve seen on Facebook?
Nabi Big Tab – Buyer Beware…

The impressively sized 20″ and 24″ Nabi Big Tabs are great for tournament stages or a novelty, but the 13+ lb weight and 40-min battery life aren’t practical or high enough quality for regular use. You can still find deals on eBay and Amazon for around $200-$300+ USD, but be aware that buyers report a high incidence of receiving units with faulty components such as the battery or power supply.

2020 Update: Used Nabi tablets can still be found on eBay and other places, but are now much harder to find, will be in suspect condition and  with very few bargains. The fact that they are no longer supported means “buyer beware” as you’ll have no options if the tablet does not work or you encounter a problem down the line.  We have gotten a few reports from users whose Nabi’s stopped working with DartConnect and can no longer be recovered.

2019 Update:  Big Tabs were officially discontinued by Nabi in 2017, but you can still find units at the links above.  Be aware that various problems still exist with the faulty battery/power supply, plus the device is no longer supported at all putting long-term use at risk.

I got a great deal on a tablet, now what?
Check out the “How To” section of our website

DartConnect’s website includes helpful guides, videos, tutorials and answers to frequently asked questions. Once you’ve signed up for your Premium membership, learn more about: