Thinking About a Tablet for Christmas?

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Purchasing a Tablet…more Christmas IT Advice.

Tablets have had an amazing run in the Tech world. Can you remember a time when you wouldn’t see a gaggle of people sitting in a coffee shop poking away at their touch screen tablets? The crazy thing about the thought is that tablets have only been in use for 3 years, when Apple’s 1st generation iPad took the computing world by storm.

Tablet use has grown at such a rate that IT analysts and computer manufactures are forecasting tablets to overtake laptop and notebook sales & use. And the selection, available resources, and industry use has increased exponentially. Heck they even give them to all of the children in my kid’s school district Farmington Area Schools ISD 192. All in three short years.

Because of this Tech companies have been on overtime trying to present viable options to offer to the public as well as corporate America. The IT Retail industry has done its best to make Tablets attractive and affordable options for gift giving as well.

With this in mind, and it being the Christmas season we wanted to give you a few questions to consider as you seek to purchase a tablet or ask for a Tablet as a gift.

Is a Tablet going to meet your needs?

This is an especially important question when are working with a limited budget. The main concern you have with computing is function, will the device work for you. Will you be able to carry-out all of the processes and projects necessary in your work and private life with a Tablet? If not than a Tablet is not a need, it’s a want and perhaps a laptop is a better choice. The only problem with purchasing a tablet rather than a laptop, is that Tablets are not yet replacements for PCs (or Smartphones for that matter). And the newer tablets that are beginning to have the abilities to be a productivity tool are almost as costly as a laptop, while not have all of the functionality of a full PC.

Even so Tablets have the advantages of portability over laptops and a larger screen that a smartphone. Both of which are convenient, but almost never ‘must haves.”

Chances are that you don’t “need” a Tablet, but I bet you sure want one!

 

Apple or Android?

If you currently use an iPhone, Macbook, or iMac/Apple Desktop…this is a silly question. You have to get an iPad, I think it might actually be a universal law. And you will find everything is compatible with one another in the Apple universe.

If you use an Android smartphone and a PC, you may wish to use an Android type of Tablet. If you are using a Windows based phone we recommend the MS Surface. Not only is there compatibility, but you can get a Surface with full versions of your most used windows application (MS Office)

 

Screen Size and Storage

This goes back to the question about need. What are your needs? Can you read small print? What will you be doing with the Tablet? 7-inch tablets are considered small, 8 to 10-inch tablets are considered large screen.

What type of Data will you need to hold on your tablet? There are Cloud storage options available depending on the Tablet you are considering

Cloud storage is an option for many tablets (iCloud for iPads, Amazon Cloud Storage for Kindle Fires, and SkyDrive for the MS Surface tablet are a few examples), but when it comes to on-board storage, more is always better.
All those apps, when combined with a typical music, video, and photo library, can take up a lot of space. Right now storage tops out at 64GB of flash-based memory, with most of the tablets we’ve tested available in either 16, 32, or 64GB varieties. Larger capacity models can get as expensive as full-featured laptops, though—the 64GB Wi-Fi-only iPad rings up at $700, add 4G service, and you’re up to $830

Wi-Fi-Only vs. Cellular Models

If you have a smartphone and it can generate a HotSpot/wireless connection for your Tablet, I’d recommend going with a Wi-Fi-only model. Having a 4G tablet and a 4G smartphone is a bit redundant and may not be the place you wish to invest your budget.

Answering these questions will help you narrow down your choices before you before you make a Tablet purchase and hopefully help you get the most bang for your buck. That’s a twofer, not a bad way to buy Christmas presents!

Have a Great Week
John

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