Your Tablet & Pad Questions Answered Here!
It’s like we’re living in a science fiction movie! Right in front of our eyes, bulky personal computers are transforming into graceful pieces of magic glass that can do all sorts of marvelous things.
Once you’ve had one of these magic bits of glass in your hands, they quickly become engaging. Instantly understood and useful. But then come the questions; like:
— Should I get one for myself?
— If I have a smartphone do I need a tablet too?
— Which size? Which type? Which brand?
— If I get a tablet, do I still need a PC?
What I’m referring to, of course, are the already near ubiquitous hand-held electronica that look like a piece of glass mounted in a form-fitting frame. They come in multiple forms and sizes but roughly fit into three groups mainly defined by size: smartphones (3-5”), readers or minipads (6-8”), and pads (9-12”).
I’ll just say “pad” from here on, but I mean any of those.
Get one now or wait? This pad thing is a true social revolution so, as with cell phones, for most of us the question isn’t “if” but “when,” and in what form.
Smartphones sales now outpace basic cell phones for new and replacement phones. It looks like most of us are going to have one eventually. So the answer is; there’s no need to hurry to get a pad but, if you want to jump in, there’s also little reason to wait.
Do I need a smartphone and a tablet too? It’s true that a current smartphone can do almost anything that a larger Apple or Android pad can do. But there is a dramatic functional difference in size. If you’re going to regularly be doing a lot of reading, or if you’re going to be manipulating documents or data (like filling out forms), then a larger 7” or 10” screen will be useful. Maybe even crucially helpful.
Bigger is not automatically better and smaller is not always more convenient. Pick the size, larger or smaller, that is most helpful for you and your work.
If you can have only one, but need flexibility; this is where the 7-inch sizes shine – like the Kindle “Fire” and the Apple “iPad Mini”.
Which size, which brand? As just noted, size is important to you and how you use your pad device. Happily, because all makers now sell all sizes of pads, you can make that decision a purely personal one – based solely on your needs and preferences. Size is up to you.
Which brand or type is only slightly more significant, but the overall functionality of the top brands and models is so similar that your decision may come down to something as simple as the presence of a particular feature, or a significant difference in price.
Apple or Android or Windows? Some folks will insist that you must go one way or another here, and that you must stay forever true to your (their) choice. This is simply not so.
Many Apple and Windows computer owners have Android smartphones from Samsung or Motorola or some other maker. These devices all get along fine and quite cooperatively! Likewise, most iPhone and iPad owners, by far, are Windows PC users. (It’s a simple matter of market math.) Their pads can sync information perfectly with their Windows PCs – no problem.
So how to choose? If you have particular requirements, then let those guide your decision.
Perhaps there is a feature that is important to you; like a higher resolution camera, or a higher resolution screen? Or it could be that your workplace depends on an app that is only available for Apple products or for Android.
Or price – a deal from your phone company or a sale on a fancy pad at a local store (versus Apple generally not permitting sale prices on their products).
Or, if function or price aren’t issues, then go to a big box store and just try a few out. Believe it or not, the glass can actually feel different on different brands. So can the weight and balance.
By the way; here’s a warning. The market is about to become flooded with under $100 pads. They’re already showing up at CVS and Walmart. Be very wary of these. Not that all will be bad, but the simple fact is that this magic glass technology is expensive to make. Amazon and Google are both selling their $200 pads at a loss in order to entice you to buy other goods (books, music, and videos). Anything under that price is either very old, very slow, or poorly made. Or all of the above.
Do I need a PC and a pad? As with everything having to do with computers and such, the answer is “it depends.” Some folks will be able to get along with just a pad, but in general, the answer is going to be “yes” — having both the handheld device and the larger computer is going to be a good thing. It may be for ease of use, or more permanent storage or a combination of factors.
If you have any questions at all about deciding on a pad device or how to really put it to work for you, please give me a call any time. Mike Pepper ~ Pawling Computer Guy. 845-855-5824.