TABLETS: THE PROS & CONS
Tablet PCs have arrived and they are here to stay! They are certainly handy for a multitude of things: surfing the Web on the go; accessing email on a larger screen; watching video; gaming; performing productive tasks such as word processing; learning to play piano and just about anything you can think of... There are so many tablets on the market it can be confusing as to which one to get for yourself or for a tech-savvy teenager!
Here’s a rundown of tablets explaining their pros & cons.
7 to 8 INCH
iPAD MINI, APPLE
WIFI ONLY VERSION: 16GB £269 32GB £349 & 64GB £429
WIFI + CELLULAR: 16GB £369 32GB £449 & 64GB £529
Yes, the iPad mini is a curious device that is more or less the recycling of the old iPad 2. It’s a contradiction in terms of Apple’s derision of the competition for not having a Retina display. Therefore, by Apple’s reckoning they have proven that it doesn’t really matter too much about having a very high definition display (or does it?). It has given the competition more of an unintended boost!
It has a good build that is prone to scuffs and dents. The iPad mini’s saving grace is the apps that are available for it (see outro). Where the price is concerned, I do not think that it is competitive enough. It’s got a 7.9” screen that looks good – especially as it is framed by a thin bezel, but for the price? I don’t think so!
NEXUS 7, GOOGLE / ASUS
WIFI ONLY VERSION: 16GB £159, 32GB £199
WIFI + CELLULAR: 32GB £239
This has been a runaway success for Google and Asus! It’s not hard to understand why! You can see straightaway that the price is just right! Like the iPad mini, you aren’t able to expand the memory with an microSD card. According to the user interface designer, Matias Duarte, “People get confused over where to store their data... They don’t seem to recognize the difference between internal and external storage...” I am just paraphrasing for expediency but this more or less the context in which Duarte spoke of regarding not including a microSD slot! Personally, I think the idea is silly! Put it this way, if you run out of memory you’ll soon find out soon enough about your external storage! Also, could this be indicative that the Android operating system is for geeks? No! But I think this move is to keep the costs competitive and to encourage users to take advantage of cloud storage! It’s a bad move to make such as statement because it adds weight to the idea that Android is just for geeks, which is totally untrue! I think 16 to 32GB of storage should be enough! Also, be aware that there is said to be a docking station for the Nexus that could very well add USB ports whereby you’ll be able to store data externally!
The 7” screen is decent – it’s HD unlike the iPad mini. 1280 x 800 display! It features a quad-core processor compared to the dual-core in the mini! And, in my mind, the Jelly Bean Android 4.1 operating system is superior to Apple’s iOS!
Be aware that it hasn’t got a back-facing camera, but I personally don’t need any more cameras beyond getting a decent compact!
There are enough apps on Google Play to entertain!
This is my favourite tablet so far! It certainly one that I would be after! I would go for the 32 WiFi + cellular version!
What I like about the Nexus 7 is the rubberized back-plate; it’s built for handling! It’s robust!
KINDLE FIRE HD, AMAZON
WIFI ONLY VERSION: 16GB £169.00, 32GB £209.00
Here’s an alternative to both the Nexus 7 and iPad mini! It too boasts an HD display – the same resolution as the Nexus 7, but to my eye, the Nexus 7 is more vivid! But the Kindle Fire HD screen is better than the iPad mini! I don’t like the rather wide bezel. That’s just me! I like the way it handles though! On the other hand, no pun intended, it doesn’t have me touching the screen inadvertently!
The plus side is that it serves its own eco-system that is Amazon App Store! This means that Android (a version of) is kept in the background! You don’t get the full Android experience, which, to me, is preferable! But the interactivity is good – not as good as the full Jelly Bean Android 4.1 experience.
It is also features a 1.2 dual-core processor! Obviously, the Kindle Fire HD processor doesn’t trump the Nexus 7!
The Kindle Fire HD is a good choice for entertainment purposes i.e. film, eBooks / magazines, games, etc.
It’s a cost effective alternative to the iPad mini, but there’s not enough on it to beat the Nexus 7!
Fair play to Amazon for carving out a niche for itself in this crowded market place!
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