So far, we have been playing with the commander life-wheels and used D20 to signal commander damage - while command tax was usually displayed by a d6. Now I'd like to upgrade our life/ tax / poison / storm / and so on counting to a tablet - but I realized our tablet is too old. Now, before I put the effort in researching tablets to go with the mtg life counter app - maybe someone can suggest something?
- Big Screen
- Long Battery life
- Fast enough to run the app
- Reasonable priced
- Whatever I forgot.
Onn branded (a Walmart in house brand) has a 8in tab for ~$59 and a 10.1 in for $79. There's also a 7in version of these running AndroidGO (a slimmed reskin of the Android OS for function, with slightly worse specs) for $40 if you can find it. Check your local stores for listings as not all Walmarts carry the same products on the floor. These tabs last ~5.5hrs (the 7in one lasting about 4hrs), which is more than enough for a game or two of commander. Otherwise they do come with an AC adapter you can plug into the wall.
If you have some kind of aversion to Walmart's unbranded electronics, you can also look into LG and Samsung, these are starting at $149 and are going up - Samsung's top tablet model for the current year, which to it's credit is boasting stats and hardware at least equal to, and in some cases greater than - Chromebook laptops. These top models, with all the bells and whistles, are running you just above $300 out the door.
Lastly, if you have a flagship phone (mine is an s8+ I got on launch day) those typically have good, long lasting battery life. I use MTG Tracker on mine, and it is a beautiful interface with no ads, and has paid functionality (I don't use it, but others might care for those services). This you can find on the Google Play Store, though I don't have any idea if it's on the App Store because I refuse to use any iOS products. If you have an aversion to Google products, then instead of the Play Store, you can find MTG Familiar on the F-Droid repo, which is a fully free and open source program and is a great life tracker app. Being open source and free of course, means there's never any intrusions or awful screen covering ads, or developers trying to shill their patreons or whatever at you.
starting at 100% battery, it should last several hours, especially if you have the brightness down and airplane mode on so it's not wasting battery sending and receiving wifi and roaming signals.
Oof, this is great advice. We forget just how frequently devices are phoning home and constantly searching for wifi, airplane mode is a terrific suggestion to preserve battery life. And also a great way to not get distracted with any obnoxious interruptions in random texts or discord servers during your game. Quality.