Friday, 13 December 2013



Good evening, Synapse Circuit Readers! Have you done your Christmas shopping yet? You and I both know that when it comes to tech it’s best to wait until the last possible minute for bargains or wait until the following year for the latest products!

In part one we looked at tablets aimed primarily at entertainment. Now we are going to take a look at tablets for productivity!

For some reason the tech media can’t get their reviews right. Recently I saw a TV tech show compare the iPad Air to the Nexus 7 2013 along with other Android and Windows RT tablets; you can’t really do that. It doesn’t make any sense. They should have had the iPad Air compared with the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 10.1, Nexus 10, Asus Transformer Pad 10.1 and so on... Anyway, here are the best tablets for productivity!

GALAXY NOTE 3 10.1” Wi-Fi
£449 (16 GB)
Again, with the (UK) tech press in mind, I don’t understand why this tablet doesn’t get the accolades it deserves. It is a great alternative to the iPad Air and it trumps the retina’s modest 2048 x 1536 resolution at 264 ppi with 2560 x 1600 298.9 ppi! The Galaxy Note 3 10.1” also features an octo-core 1.9 GHz processor to shift those intensive apps and 3 GB of RAM! Awesome! Not to mention the S Pen as you’d find within the Galaxy Note 3 phablet handset.

I think the price is just about right! Now that quality of Android apps are getting every bit as good as what can be found on the Apple App Store the Galaxy Note 3 10.1” Wi-Fi is a desirable tablet indeed!
It also rocks an 8MP main camera and 2MP secondary front facing camera! What’s there not to like? You can even expand the storage capacity up to 64 GB via microSD!

NEXUS 10” 2012
£389 (32 GB)

The 16 GB version wasn’t available at the time of compilation. However, the 32 GB version of the Nexus 10” is awesome and comes in at a wonderful price! It’s made by Samsung and the spec is very similar to the Galaxy Note 3 10.1”! It also features a brilliant screen resolution of 2560 x 1600 300 ppi, 5MP main camera and 1.9MP front, plus 2 GB of RAM! The processor is a dual-core 1.8 GHz which should be fast enough to cope with demanding apps.

The price is definitely right and I am sure there will be a Nexus 10 2013 or 2014 version, so it may be worth waiting for. Unless you absolutely need a tablet right now I would wait for a bit!

The Nexus 10 is a remarkable 10” tablet that stands out in this crowded market!

£429 (16 GB)
Here’s a fantastic Android tablet from Asus featuring: A 2560 x 1600 300 ppi ultra high resolution, NVIDIA Tegra 4 quad-core 1.9 GHz, 2 GB DDR3 RAM (1600MHz), 32 GB storage, microSD expansion up to 64 GB and 5 GB Asus Web Storage for life! In addition there’s a main 5MP camera and 1.2MP front facing! What’s more is that it features a USB 3 port! Cool!

The Asus Transformer Pad (TF701T) is powerfully tripped out as the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 10.1” and coming in at a similar price. I like it a lot! It comes with a detachable keyboard which makes it close to a laptop experience!

Apple’s Tim Cook has tried to deride the efforts of Microsoft’s tablets, “What? They are doing a PC and a tablet?” Or words to that effect... In some ways I can understand the dismissive attitude... Windows RT? C’mon! Microsoft has enough problems with Windows 7 let alone 8! Sure, I understand that RT is for the mobile phone but considering Microsoft initially had the concept of a tablet way before Apple so I reckon Microsoft would have been better off in restricting RT to handsets and leaving Windows 8.1 to run on tablets. Microsoft is in a position to mass produce Windows 8.1 tablets to make them inexpensive enough to undercut Apple’s iPad.

The reason why I would go that extra expense for a Windows 8.1 tablet is purely because I am able to run real programs as opposed to apps!

£529 (64 GB)
Not to be confused with the latest Surface Pro 2 tablet that is a major improvement, the Microsoft Surface Pro 10.6” tablet has very impressive spec: an dual-core Intel Core i5-3317U 1.7 GHz, 4 GB RAM, 128 GB storage with a 64 GB capacity via microSD and rather mediocre main and front cameras of 1.2MP!

It is quite expensive but you do get the power of a PC in a tablet. Then the question is: why not get a laptop instead? Laptops these days, if you have been observing, have become thinner, more powerful and inexpensive! The latest Surface Pro 10.6” 2 starts at £719! Gosh! You get a better camera at least!

If money is no object then the Surface Pro 10.6” 2 is the ultimate tablet – if you are a PC user! With the USB 3 port I would imagine that it would be easy to connect a DVD / Bluray drive to install the software that you have amassed over a period of time and get to use them on the go!

It seems to me that Android has the advantage of not having a PC platform like Apple and Microsoft. Apple has essentially two operating systems: OS X Mavericks and iOS and Microsoft is the same with Windows 8.1 and Windows RT. Microsoft appears to be coming off worse for adopting the Apple model because the apps for Windows RT cannot compare to the Apple App Store.

The high-end tablet, at the moment, comes across as a vanity device; you may think you need it but a decent laptop makes more sense. If money is no object then why not spoil yourself?

For me, as an Android and PC user, I have a wider choice. I could go for a decent 7” Android tablet such as the Nexus 7 2013 model that I can use in conjunction with a PC and still have some money for a desktop or laptop. Or I could go for a high-end Android or the top of the range Windows Surface Pro 2! Either way I feel a winner!

Watch this space!

Take good care!

Thank you for watching and reading!

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