Sunday, November 25, 2012

How to Choose a Tablet

Christmas is coming and I am being asked which tablet to buy.   Of course, it depends on what you will do with it, including what you may not have thought of until later when you know more about what you can do with it.

Here quickly are some factors to consider, a checklist to evaluate alternatives:

(Since no tablet will fulfill all your needs, number the following in order of importance or priority, then check out how well different tablets best meet your requirements.)

will it have the apps you want or need?  (check Apple, Amazon, Google)
how good is your vision? (larger print and tablet size needed)
how much do you travel (and need storage away from Wi-Fi)
is it to be for reading? music? movies?  (amount of storage – stream or store)
where you will use it? near Wi-Fi?  (with Wi-Fi storage is on the cloud)
or will you need storage away from Wi-Fi (traveling away from built-up areas)
your pocketbook and cost? ($200+ for a fast enough device)
need GPS? (travel a lot)
need wires or wireless speaker or phones? (music and movies)
need wireless keyboard or jack for keyboard?
use with TV or computer monitor HDMI jack? (such as for creating documents)
do you want it for photography? (the iPad is a must for serious photographers)
will you need Skype? (maybe a front camera (facing you)
a back camera,(facing away) scanning, QR codes, Barcodes, Pix and video
will you need extra help? (best: Apple, next Nook)
will you be creating documents? (size, good speech recognition, display)
will it help otherwise  to have voice recognition? (I like the Nexus 7 for this)
need to remote control a TV? (best with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7)
need 3g 4g? (variable by location, and usually slow)
will I need Wi-Fi in my place (yes, for streaming apps)
do I want the latest versions of software (Nexus and iPad)
whose music and/or storage – Amazon, Apple, Google

I will expand this list.

Generally, I like the Nexus best for its speed and portability, the Kindle Fire HD for use with media and an external display, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7 for its use as TV remote via the Peel app, and tentatively the iPad Mini.      My big iPad is a slick machine but much too heavy.