Gift-buying is in full swing with Christmas arriving exactly two weeks from today. Tech gadgets are one again a very popular present, especially portable tablet devices like the Apple iPad, Kindle Fire, or Google Nexus.
Whether shopping online or in-store, you’re faced with an overwhelming number of different tablets to choose from. I’ve had numerous individuals call over the past two weeks seeking advice and guidance about which one they should purchase. Here’s some of what I shared with them.
First, tablets are not just mini computers. So if you’re looking to replace a desktop or laptop computer with a tablet, you’ll be seriously disappointed.
Tablets are designed mostly for checking e-mail, light Internet browsing, playing simple games, and reading e-books. You can do some simple word processing tasks, like writing a letter, on them, but many users find it more difficult due to the tablet’s smaller size and on-screen keyboard.
Second, you need to decide your preference of an operating system that runs your tablet: Apple’s iOS or Android. This is where the decision becomes a bit more difficult and really boils down to price.
Only Apple iPad and iPad Mini run the Apple iOS. Apple’s tablets are very user-friendly and easy to use. You also have access to a very large selection of programs (called apps) in the iTunes Store. If you use an iPhone, you will have no problem using an iPad.
The iPad and iPad Mini are at the higher end of the price spectrum – starting at $329 for the iPad Mini to as much as $829 for the iPad.
Apple’s tablets do have one significant drawback – they do not include built-in support for Adobe Flash. This can prevent you from viewing certain – and a growing number of – websites that use Adobe Flash to display portions of the site’s content. There are hacks and workarounds to resolve the issue, but not ideal to have to do this out of the box.
The Android operating system runs all other tablet devices. This includes Amazon’s Kindle Fire, Google Nexus, Asus Transformer, Samsung Galaxy, Barnes & Noble’s Nook, and a long list of others.
Most Android tablets are comparable to each other. Just like the iPad, the Android devices are very user-friendly and easy to use. A sizeable selection of games and other apps can be downloaded from the Google Play Store.
Android tablets are more affordable than the iPad – starting at around $150. You can find some cheaper tablets, but these are typically off-brand. I would strongly recommend staying away from them.
If you’re looking at purchasing an affordable, easy-to-use tablet, my choice is the Google Nexus. You can choose either the smaller 7-inch device or the larger 10-inch device. The Kindle Fire is a close runner-up, but the Google Nexus offers a better user experience, especially when it comes to the number of available apps that can be installed on the device.
The Android operating system is now being developed by Google, so its own devices are going to have the latest updates first.
I personally own a Google Nexus 7 and absolutely love it. It’s fast, easy to use, and is very lightweight.
To purchase the Google Nexus, you can order it directly from Google at http://www.google.com/nexus.