Thursday, 7 August 2014



Good evening, Synapse Circuit Readers. I hope that all is well with you and yours! I am feeling good – especially that you are enjoying my articles! Some reviews and competitions are coming very, very soon!

Yesterday a Synapse Circuit Reader inboxed me regarding a video she had seen by The Verge regarding tablets and was left confused after viewing...

#Samsung #SamsungGalaxyNote4 #GalaxyTabS #GoogleNexus72013 #NVIDIAShield #SamsungUNPACKED2014Episode2 #ArchosGamePad2 #iPad #iPadMiniRetina #GalaxyNote10.1Pro

“Hey, Blue! I’ve just watched a video on tablets and I am confused. The presenter recommended the iPad over all the tablets covered in the video but I am not sure if I want to spend so much money on an iPad especially as I have a PC. Can you help?”

The video in question is entitled: ‘The best tablet you can buy. This is my next tablet...’ and it lasts for 3 minutes and 23 seconds. Let’s look at what is wrong with the information imparted to viewers...

The video starts off on a good footing to state that, “tablets are great for everything from playing games to watching videos, reading books / magazines and all sorts of other stuff...” Good... “Some people like to use tablets as their only computers... And for many of us tablets are secondary devices – they complement our smartphones and laptops...” And it goes downhill from there... Why?

The presenter cites the iPad and iPad mini retina as being the best because of iOS being the most “simplest and easiest” of operating systems to use... He goes on... “There are countless other tablets on the market too but most of them are not worth your consideration...”

He then skims across Samsung efforts stating that they “suffer from software issues making them confusing and frustrating to use...” and “they are plasticky chintzy compared to the iPad...” He touches upon Microsoft’s Surface, “Microsoft has been working on a tablet for years...” Of the Google Nexus, “Has software issues...”

As you can probably see there is a problem with his presentation (which really looks like an ad for Apple and the iPad) and reasoning.

The biggest issue that I have with the presentation is that he does not go into many detail whatsoever regarding “software issues” that appear to be hampering the competition. This man presents himself as a journalist and he has a responsibility to his viewers to impart information as accurately as possible. Yes, he can be biased as he himself is also a consumer but he must reason his biasness out! He does not do that. I find his presentation laughable. Let’s look at some of the “issues” that he raised...

The presenter does not clarify what the “software issues” are with any of the competition. With Samsung it can be assumed that he may have an issue with its TouchWiz overlay that is added to the Android operating system. While it is true that some Android consumers aren’t huge fans of TouchWiz it does not mean to say that it (being TouchWiz) complicates matters. If you can use a Samsung smartphone then you can use a Samsung tablet. What TouchWiz does that the iPad cannot do is offer customization of the interface; the Samsung range of tablets (as well as smartphones) offer the user useful widgets that can populate the TouchWiz interface such as the Flipboard magazine style app which as a widget that informs of news / article updates. You know the usual widgets such as weather, time and so on. And if you do not like TouchWiz it is possible to download a more favourable launcher (alternative user interface overlay) from the Google Play Store.

I have tested many Android tablets and I couldn’t find any “software issues” as such - none whatsoever. And through testing many Android tablets I will definitely get one this year! Within the next 3 months!

When the presenter skips across the Google Nexus 7 tablet he also mentions “software issues” and, again, fails to be specific. I find that strange. I have used a Nexus 7 tablet and I couldn’t find any issues with it. Does he mean that he has issues with Android in that it gives the user more freedom and therefore such freedom can send one spinning with delight? "Oh, I have so many choices that I don't know what to do..." Give me a break! I know that I would rather have the freedom that comes with Android than to be stifled with iOS. Also, iOS 8 borrows heavily from Android and I do not know how the presenter can state that iOS is the “simplest and easiest”! Yes, for children and mature folk that may find technology a little intimidating at first but I can say that Android is ultimately the best for customization and sharing media and web links with others!

The one grain of truth in the presentation is that the iPad has a wide range of excellent applications in comparison to Android tablets. I can tell you that the gap is narrowing all the time between Android tablet and iPad apps just like there are great apps for the Android smartphone today where the iPhone was once ahead. Also it depends on what it is you want to achieve with your tablet; you have to ask yourself, “Just how many of the same type of app can I use at one time?” There are many apps on both platforms (iOS iPad & Android tablets) that can do the same task. There are so many alternatives to Microsoft Office; music making apps, video editing and so on. Just pick one! Some people are like app junkies in that they are never content to make the most of what they’ve got but always looking for the next best thing and as a result they never make the best use of any app! And if your tablet is secondary to your computer wouldn’t you be better off just using dedicated software for the task whereby the tablet is used as a sketchpad of sorts i.e. you could work on a PowerPoint presentation on your tablet on the fly and when you get home you can finish it on the PC or MAC!

Of course, with either the iPad or Android tablet you may not need a PC or MAC. And in that situation the iPad does have a slight advantage of having a better range of apps but as the iPad sales continue to decline I would imagine that iOS app developers will eventually turn to Android because it is a stronger market. I believe that Apple will utilize the iPad as a form of PDA (personal digital assistant) to businesses with its partnership with IBM; the iPad could be used in restaurants as a digital menu and ordering service. As a result iPad app developers will find that iPad users will return to the MAC computer and / or the 5.5” iPhone 6. Android simply works better as a standalone computer and it is just a matter of time before users will have high-end productivity apps!

When I get my tablet I will see for how long I will be able to leave my PC alone!

Yes, the presenter dismissed the Samsung tablet as “plasticky and chintzy” in comparison to the iPad aluminium sleek unibody premium feel... What do you wanna do with your tablet? Make love to it? Notice that “plastic” is not an issue with ”the year old” Google Nexus 7! Incidentally the iPad mini retina was released on November 12, 2013 and the iPad Air, November 1, 2013. The Google Nexus 7 was released in July 26, 2013 (USA), August 13, 2013 (Canada), August 28, 2013 (UK) and November 20, 2013 (India). You’d think that some of these tech-journalists (sic) would want to represent accuracy. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S was announced in May 2014! There you go!

The presenter failed to state that the Galaxy Tab S models have a superior screen compared to that of the iPad Air and mini retina. Gee, I wonder why that is? Lol! And as mentioned above, plastic isn’t an issue with the Galaxy Nexus 7 or any other tablet presumably because these tablets cost considerably less compared to both iPad Air and mini retina. However, you do not have to possess a degree in physics to understand that metal does not absorb shocks from hard impacts well compared to plastic. Do the test yourself: take a metal sheet and a plastic sheet of equal weight (if you can) and drop them both onto a hard surface such as concrete – in fact test different surfaces! Anyway, you should hear the impact of the metal sheet hitting the hard surface more. It’s that transference of energy that increases the chance of a shattered or broken screen. When you drop an iPad it could be very disastrous compared to dropping an Android tablet with a plastic body. And I am not saying that an Android tablet is indestructible because they are currently not. As you know from dropping your plastic Android handset you can be very fortunate that it comes off without a scratch but if it fell on the screen it can be game over! Whereas the metal iPhone and iPad devices will result in dented and scratched bodies as well as possible cracked or broken screens when dropped upon a hard surface. Jeez! I must have written this a thousand times! Lol! But this is just for Kim and people like her who are confused about such matters.

The presenter fails to state the price of an LTE 4G enabled iPad and mini retina in comparison to the competition. I can tell you right now that the cost of an LTE 4G iPad costs considerably more than the competition! The presenter claims to find himself on trains and planes on a regular basis but he does not bring up the subject of being connected to a 4G broadband whilst travelling. Yes, you can use your smartphone as a Wi-Fi hotspot by sharing its data connection from the network provider but some handsets aren’t suited for this purpose due to heating problems! I think you should know that I have seen the 8 inch 4G LTE enabled Galaxy Tab S retailing for £314.95! How much is the iPad mini retina LTE? £419! A whopping £104 difference in price and the retina screen is inferior! Gosh! The presenter fails to mention that the Samsung Galaxy Tab S supports additional memory via microSD up to 128GB! With the iPad you are pretty much stuck with the memory configurations: 16GB, 32GB and 64GB and boy do you pay!

It gets even funnier that he just glosses over the 8MP camera on the Galaxy Tab S! Bizarre! Sure, the quality of the pictures may not be on par with the awesome premium handsets on the market but the 8MP camera on the Galaxy Tab S models will more than suffice for social networking, sharing via email and messaging apps!

Do you? Do you really get what you pay for? It’s not that cut and dry with Android because the Google Nexus 7 display is brilliant for a 7 inch tablet and you have the choice of great applications from games, office, music, video editing and so on for £299 which buys you 32GB and 4G LTE – mobile broadband! The Nexus 7 is powerful for most uses as the 1.5GHz quad-core processor is fast and the Adreno 320, 400MHz graphics processor is great for games and graphics!

Read my articles on ‘Tablets’ & ‘Phablets’ to understand why the Android tablet can take just about any shape or form and will be around for years to come!

But the beauty of Android tablets is that they can be very inexpensive compared to the fixed iPad devices. The presenter quite rightly stated that the tablet can be used for many things and you have to ask yourself a few questions:

“Do I need an expensive tablet that hasn’t even got a 4G connection just to play games and watch videos?”

“If I’m going to transfer files to be completed on a PC or MAC do I really need to have a pin sharp screen?”

“Should I spend over £300 on a tablet just to keep my child or children off my phone and / or computer?”

“Wouldn’t I be better off with a cost effective 3G or 4G enabled tablet that can receive and make calls instead of taking out another phone contract?”

The presenter in the aforementioned video certainly had one agenda and such opinions are not in the interest of the viewer! What do you think?

If you need help in picking a tablet please drop me a line via my email or G+! Best wishes to you!

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