Using a tablet to read newspapers and stream music (Week 27, 2023)

Sound Advice
By Don Lindich

Week 27, 2023

Q. My husband wants a basic tablet that he can use to read newspapers. Is there such a thing? He was reading newspapers on his Amazon Fire 8 for a few years up until now, but it seems that the Fire does not support the papers anymore. Even if he gets our local paper to come up, it just doesn’t work right.

-C.B., Muskego, WI

A. Before you give up on your Amazon Fire 8 tablet I would try the PressReader app. It is available for Android, iOS and Kindle Fire tablets. I looked up your local newspaper and it is available on PressReader, and there is a good chance using the app will solve your problem.

If your are looking for a basic Android tablet (or even a premium model) I really like the TCL Android tablets. I was re-introduced to them at the 2023 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and got some one-on-one time with them afterwards. I was very pleased with the sharp, colorful displays, clean installation of the Android operating system and the wide array of models. One thing that I do not like about many Android tablets is they come with unique Android installations with lots of superfluous, proprietary apps and features commonly called “bloatware.” Google Pixel phones and tablets are known for avoiding this, and I was pleasaed to see that TCL has also chosen to implement a clean, simple Android installation.

A large screen is the way to go for reading online publications, and the TCL Tab 10S will provide a nice 10-inch screen that will be a noticeable upgrade from his Fire 8. The Tab 10S sells for $199.99 but I was able to find it for $149.99.

While researching your answer I came across Amazon renewed (refurbished) TCL Tab 8 inch LTE and WiFi tablets with 32GB of memory for only $59.99 on Amazon. That is a pretty irresistible deal for anyone looking for a first or second tablet from a respected name brand. I do recommend you spend a bit more to get the bigger tablet if the Tab 10S is within your budget. I read a lot of publications on my iPad Pro 12.9 and after experience the bigger screen, you will never want to go back. My iPad Air seemed like an iPad Mini (though it was not) once I got used to my iPad Pro 12.9.

Q. What device do I need to transmit the sound via Bluetooth from my traditional audio stereo amplifier to wireless Bluetooth speakers?

-J.R., Minneapolis, MN

A. The easiest way to do this is by connecting a Bluetooth transmitter to the tape loop/tape output on your amplifier. Most vintage receivers and amplifiers have this connection,as do many newer stereo models. They are much less likely to be found on home theater receivers. If you do not see a tape output connection look for an audio out or auxiliary out connection. The transmitter will take the analog output from your amplifier, convert it to a Bluetooth signal and transmit it for reception by your Bluetooth devices. The speaker on your main amplifier will continue to play as you transmit the signal.

I have not tested many Bluetooth transmitters so do not have a specific one to recommend. There are many listed on Amazon, some for under $30. I would start there and let the consumer reviews be your guide.