Tablets With USB Ports
Buying a New Tablet with a Full Size USB Port
If you are looking for wide selection of new tablets with full size USB Ports, I am sorry to report that your selection will be limited. Most tablets do come with at least one Mini-USB port but normally do not include any USB 2.0 ports. Trying to find these tablets from all others is like trying to find a needle in a haystack.
If you had a Windows or Android tablet with a full size USB port, you could connect and use a regular keyboard to increase typing ease and speed or even use a normal mouse. You could also use things such as flash drives to transfer and store files or even connect a PlayStation 3 controller or Logitech game controller. Talk about the ultimate tablet gaming experience.
These tablets come with a full size USB connection.
Acer Iconia Tab A200
Android Honeycomb 3.2
Android Honeycomb 3.1
Windows 8 Pro RT
My Top Pick is the Acer iconia Tab A200
This tablet is difficult to find around town and most often needs to be ordered online. While not a cheap tablet, this is the best tablet for the price. The screen is one of the most impressive features as it is bright and crisp. The one detail that really stands out is how bright and white the color white is displayed. This tablet not only has the on-board full size USB but also includes a Mini-USB as well. The only bad thing I can say about it is that it does feel a little heavy (It weights in at 1.5 Lbs).
Toshiba Thrive 10.1" Android Tablet
The Toshiba Drive not only includes a full size USB port, it has nearly every other port ever found on a tablet. It comes with an on board SD card, a mini-USB port and a full sized HDMI ports. Of course they did not forget the front and rear side cameras. The 10" tablet's screen is nothing short of stunning which has an auto-adjusting screen brightness. Many tablets have a smooth glossy rear exterior that increase the chances of it being dropped. Not with this tablet. The rear exterior of the tablet is made of a durable rubber that has a smooth velvet type of feel and provides a confident grip. This tablet is also a little thicker than most at just a hair over half an inch (.6 inches). Also good to note is that this tablet also supports Adobe Flash.
Microsoft Surface RT (32GB)
With Windows 8 RT with a quad core processor and an incredible 10.6" screen, this tablet makes easy work of multitasking. You can expect to get 8 hours worth of use out of this tablet and if left and idling, up to two weeks before you deplete the battery. The USB port on this tablet is a USB 3.0 for the fastest transmission speed possible. Of course they did not forget the front and rear facing cameras. One of the best things about this tablet is that you can delete nearly any app that it ships with and in the event you miss one, you can easily download it again from the store. Choosing a Windows operating system over Android makes creating word processing, spreadsheet and presentations a breeze.
Did you know that you can often easily add one or more USB 2.0 port(s) to a tablet that does not have any?
USB Host is one of the most unknown and overlooked features when it comes to Androids. All tablets and smart phones with Android Version 3.1 or higher support the hosting of USB devices, even if a full size USB port is not on-board. USB hosting is supported from within the OS. USB hosting allows for tablets with out the larger USB port, one can be easily added. You would simply use an On-The-Go or OTG cable. It is essentially a Micro-USB to full size USB adapter.
Just like a computer, tablets can also support multiple USB devices all at the same time. You would just need multiple USB ports. By connecting a USB hub to create multiple USB ports, you could use multiple devices such as a keyboard and mouse at the same time.
Tablet with Micro-USB connection with a OTG Cable and a Mini USB Hub Connected using a Keyboard and Mouse.
What are you planning on doing?
There is good news and bad news.
The good news is that with Android tablets and cell phones running Android Version 3.1 (Honeycomb) or newer support the USB On-The-Go from within the Android OS. Just in case you have never figured it out, the versions of Android are in alphabetical order.
So for instance, Gingerbread would not work as that would be the version before Honeycomb. Ice Cream Sandwich or Jellybean would work as they are newer than Honeycomb. But having Honeycomb or newer does not necessarily guarantee that USB OTG functionality will work on that device though.
As we all know, there is a countless list of different hardware manufacturers using the Android OS on their different hardware platforms. It is possible that even though the Android OS version on the tablet or smart phone is capable of supporting the USB On-The-Go technology, the manufacturer of that device may have turned off the USB hosting functionality from within the hardware’s firmware.
This is not very common but should be considered. In the rare event that the manufacturer intended to use the Mini-USB as a power only port, an OTG data cable will not work on that device. Again this is not common and odds are a OTG cable will work just fine without an issue. Plus the cables are very inexpensive.
The video shows a regular full size USB keyboard and a wireless mouse being used on a regular tablet and how the tablet behaves from their input. If you look closely at the tablet you will see an OTG or On-The-Go cable connected directly to the tablet.
Because more than one device was to be connected (a keyboard and a mouse), the one USB Port on the OTG cable was not enough. To have two or more USB ports, you would then connect a Mini USB Hub to the OTG cable as show. You can also pick up a Mini USB Hub for under $5.00 with shipping included.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.