This past week or so has been a major week of upgrades and new products. I was recently in a BestBuy store and took a look at all the tablet computer offerings. Hmm. Here is probably a partial list of the just the different brands:
- Barnes & Noble
- Double Power
- Oregon Scientific
- Visual Land
I probably missed a couple but you get the idea. On the BestBuy.com website it lists about 874 models of tablets in this impressively long list of manufacturers. I you have read much of my blog in the past, you know I am a strong Apple fan, so my choices were extremely limited. But in any event, I ended up buying an Apple iPad Air with special deal from Target. They gave me a $200 trade-in for my old original iPad.
So what is my tip? Unless I were looking for a cheap tablet for my grandchildren to use and break in a week, I would certainly stay with one of the big manufacturers. I have to be honest, I have never heard of many of these companies and I am not sure what I would be getting by buying a sub-$100 tablet. If you go online and look up a few of these unknown companies, you will soon find plastic devices with low resolution screens, no memory to speak of and an old Android Operating System. In many cases, you get exactly what you pay for.
On the other hand, even with my overwhelming prejudice for Apple products, I was impressed with some of the other devices. All of the main top ten manufacturers have extremely compelling products. Most of the reviews would list one or more of the following manufacturer's tablets in the top ten:
If I weren't already saturated with devices, I would have to admit I really liked the Amazon Kindle Fire HD as a device, but not the operating system.
What this boils down to is how you are going to use the tablet? When I got the Apple iPad Air, I seriously considered getting a keyboard and substituting that device for most (if not all) of my present laptops uses. That was a real consideration and I spent a couple of days staring at accessories and trying to make up my mind. Then I realized that I use the laptop for production typing and I use dozens of programs that have not yet been seriously ported over to the tablet format. In addition, most of the genealogy programs have, in essence, read-only programs on the tablets. Although tablets are now as powerful as most desktop computers, I have yet to see Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop in the full versions running on a tablet. I will seriously consider substituting a tablet when that happens.
One development in the software industry that is going to make my life even more interesting than it is now, is the movement to Cloud-based software. Adobe.com is the prime example. They have discontinued shipping their software in boxes. You either subscribe to the Creative Cloud or you don't buy their products. They are only sold in "rental" versions that are downloaded from the Creative Cloud and you pay a monthly connection fee to use all of the programs. This is a pretty good deal if you are using more than one of their rather pricey programs, but seems pretty expensive for just one or two.
Well, now that I am back in the mode of writing about technology, I guess I had better start defining my terms and giving out some basic information.