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Take Your Tablets

Dean Nicholas - Wednesday, May 30, 2018
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"Ten million strong, and growing" You always looked forward to chewy, sweet goodness of a Flintstone tablet but these days should you be taking the plunge for the tech version?

Tablet computing is easily becoming one of the most sought after technologies today. It allows users to do a multitude of things you would have done on a laptop and packed them into an even smaller, lighter and more portable solution. So what can you do with a tablet and should you get rid of the laptop you may already have?

The first successful iteration of the tablet was undoubtedly the Apple I-Pad in April, 2010. Although only three years ago and yet they are so prevalent it feels like they have been around for at least a decade.

What did Apple do right? Apple created more than just a portable screen you can touch, they created an experience. An experience so good and so easy to pick up and learn that the world went mad to have one. You could type documents, email co-workers and friends, play and create music and videos, browse the internet, download files and most importantly for some, play a host of innovative games. The I-Phone and Android phones were already on the market with touch screen technology and people had already begun to warm to using swipes and gestures to navigate their smart phones. The tablet was the next obvious step and it came in with a bang.

Here's a scenario that many of you may have encountered. You book a flight to New York perhaps and get to the airport with your laptop carry-on. You check in and head to the security area where you are asked to remove your laptop from its bag and place it in a separate container. You still have to remove shoes and belts and coats etc. Hassle. You get through security put the laptop back into the bag, put on your belt, shoes etc. and get on the flight. Midway through the journey you feel bored and want to watch a movie so you pull out the laptop and place it on the food tray, which is probably too small to hold the laptop, but you power up and start a movie none the less. Forty Five minutes in, the familiar BEEEEP! The battery has ten percent life remaining. You knew this was going to happen so you resign and place the device back in its bag and sit back for the rest of the journey. This is possibly all too familiar, but imagine that entire scenario minus the hassle at security, the cramped space in the airplane and the battery running out before you could enjoy the movie. This is what a good tablet can provide. The entertainment value and usually more than 8 hours of battery life (on a well made tablet) eliminate a plethora of problematic situations and gives you convenience, portability and usability all in one.

We have seen in the article Android vs Apple vs Blackberry that these companies are fighting for your dollar in the smart phone arena and in recent years they have been increasing their fight into the tablet sphere. Google's Android most notably has come the closest to matching Apple's I-Pad with features and Applications so the choice for many is not whether to buy a tablet, but when to buy a tablet.

As with any product there are three things to take into consideration before actually putting your money in the register. Reviews, reviews, reviews. And not just any reviews, the ones that users write about a product are most valuable. They have more than likely used it and experienced the features first hand therefore giving you valuable information towards making a purchase. On top of that, when it comes to tablets, here are three rules for buying a tablet as written by Eric Franklin of CNET.


  1. Know your needs
  2. There are plenty of important questions you should ask yourself before you plop down cash for a tablet, but the most important is, "What are you planning to use it for?" Are you looking to replace your PC or do you simply want a device to indulge your movies and TV show watching impulses while traveling? Either way, the specific needs you have for a tablet will factor heavily into your choice. Will you need constant Internet access? Is the ability to expand your storage capacity important to you? All important questions to ask.


  3. Price doesn't tell the whole story
  4. Just because a tablet is expensive doesn't mean you're getting a quality product worthy of your dollar. Conversely, not all cheap tablets are worthless throwaway devices with screens designed to induce glaucoma. There's usually a good reason behind the price of each tablet. By taking a loss up front, Amazon can offer its powerful Kindle Fire HD tablets at affordable prices. Also, despite the fact that the I-Pad has no special connection ports or storage expansion support, Apple's flagship can justify its $500 starting price thanks to its world-beating performance, incredible app support, refined interface, and robust ecosystem. Look beyond the price.


  5. The manufacturer matters
  6. Choose your tablet manufacturer wisely. Computers aren't perfect and tablets in particular can be even less perfect. If there are problems, you'll want to make sure you've chosen a vendor that will address issues with frequent and effective updates. Also, if you'd rather avoid headaches, you may want to choose a manufacturer whose tablets aren't known for requiring frequent and effective updates.If you're planning to buy an Android tablet, choose a vendor that has a reputation for updating to the latest version of Android on a timely basis. Asus and Motorola have good track records with this; Samsung, not so much.


Remember, reviews, reviews, reviews. Nothing beats a firsthand experience of a product so learn as much as you can and don't forget to take your tablets.

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