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Thursday, 22 August 2013 08:30

Thinking of Buying a Tablet? - Some Things to Consider - Featured

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post 57 picTablet sales are soaring.  According to the IDC (International Data Corporation) more tablets will be sold than PC’s by 2015.  Because of this, it makes sense that many of my readers are thinking about buying a tablet for their home or office. 

I have followed tablet vendor offerings for several years and would like to share my perspective on several considerations you should contemplate before taking the plunge.

Before we get into those considerations, I suggest you be very clear to articulate how you expect to use your new tablet.  Write these down and then put them in order by priority. 

When choosing a tablet you will be making a number of decisions and how you make these should be dictated by how you expect to use the device and the following points.

Tablet Size

Tablet sizes are generally designated by their screen size.  This is the distance between the screen corners measured diagonally.  I have counted eleven different sizes ranging from 5.3 inches to 10.6 inches and beyond.  Let’s break them down into three categories:  pocket-able (5” to 6”), grab-able (7” to 9”) and Sit Down (> 9”).   “Pocket-able” is best used for communication activities.  Grab-able are great for content consumption.  Sit Down generally has an optional keyboard and works well for content creation.  Look at your usage priorities and let that dictate the tablet size you choose.

Tablet Operating System

There are three main operating systems to choose from:  Apple’s iOS, Google’s Android and Microsoft’s Windows.  Look at your usage priorities and determine which operating system best supports those choices.  You may need to investigate the corresponding app stores to make this decision.  Here are some links you can use for that investigation.

     Apple App Store
     Android App Store
     Microsoft App Store

Tablet Battery Life

Surprisingly this can vary as much as the screen size.  Again, take a look at your usage priorities and ask yourself if you use it in this manner, how long will the device be un-plugged?  Compare this to the specs of the tablets you are considering and make sure your need is compatible with its promises.  Battery life is closely tied to the following consideration.

Tablet Processor (or Tablet Performance/Speed)

The faster the processor the more quickly it will drain the battery.  You are left to determine the compromise that is best suited for your usage.  Look at your priorities and imagine how often you will be able to plug in your tablet and then get the fastest processor that will give you that performance. 

Technology advances are regularly giving us faster processors with longer battery life.  I was recently on a Dell product roadmap conference call where they revealed some of their up-coming products.  To get on that call required a non-disclosure agreement so I have to be vague about their announcements but expect some new tablet products in the fall to take advantage of processor advancements that will improve speed and battery life. 

Count on other vendors to make similar announcements between now and the end of the year.

Who to Buy From

Again, many choices exist here.  Retailers (both brick and mortar as well as online) offer a wide choice of tablet models and manufacturers.  Choose one who will help you with repair and replacement should the need arise. 

The essence of a tablet is its mobility and with mobility comes risk – dropping, spills, and general mayhem that a desktop system would never encounter.  I am normally not a big fan of extended warranties, but they deserve special consideration with these devices.

Expect to make compromises as you work through the five points, above, along with your usage priority list.  Try not to be beguiled by the latest commercial with hip young people singing the praises of the latest device as they dance through a park.  Being systematic and careful in your evaluation will result in a right click, or in the case of a tablet “a right tap”.  

Might I need to change the name of this blog by 2015?

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Read 21999 times Last modified on Friday, 23 August 2013 13:53
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