Tablets – What To Look For When Buying One

A few weeks ago I became the proud owner of an ASUS tablet.  Before I purchased the tablet I spent hours reading reviews, playing with them in stores, and researching the many different aspects tablets have to offer.  No tablet is perfect, but I’ll run through some of the more common areas of concern and talk about my purchase decision.

Operating System

This is a big one. You can pretty much start off your search by picking one of the big three operating systems out there which are Windows, Android, or Mac OS.  Mac OS is only available to Apple products so you can only choose from one of the iPad models (there’s what? 3 or 4 now?).  For Windows and Android, they are open to more manufacturers like Samsung, ASUS, LG, etc.  I already have a desktop with Windows 7 installed on it and I didn’t see a need for a smaller version of that as my tablet.  I do have a Samsung Galaxy phone, and I always wanted to have its bigger, older brother.  This led me to choose Android as my operating system of choice.  Windows also has the reputation of being buggy and crashing all the time, something that Android doesn’t have yet.

Battery life

I really don’t like technology running out of battery life. If I fully charge something I expect it to last a full working day unless I’m overworking the device.  Every tablet faces the same problem that most smartphones do these days, and that is powering the large screen.  Batteries last somewhere in the 9-12 hour range, except for mine anywaysJ. I have the additional dock that acts as a full keyboard as well as a battery pack that gives me a total of 15 hours of battery life.

Cost

I’m not one of those people who wait in the long lines at Apple stores whenever a new product is being released. I’m certainly not the kind of guy to fork over the kind of cash they are expecting either.  At the same time, I understand that you get what you pay for, and I think I have made a good investment. At $400 (just for the tablet) I couldn’t complain, and after adding in the dock, case, and screen protector I was up to $615 after taxes.  I wondered if getting extended warranty was worth it, but in the end it didn’t cover anything that my credit card couldn’t.

Functionality

When you include the dock, you basically have a fully functional laptop. The only thing missing is unfortunately the most important thing in a laptop, Windows 7.  However there are alternatives to all of the “monopoly- type” programs that Microsoft has you hooked on.  With Android as the operating system you have Google Docs for all of your writing needs.  The keyboard works great for typing and it makes it much easier than using the touchscreen. You can even hook up a mouse to get more control than the track pad.  What I like the most is that you can use your mouse and touchscreen to make your on screen selections.

What Didn’t Concern Me, But Was Still Cool

I can record in 1080 HD, although I don’t know when I’ll ever use that feature. It has a front-facing camera as well as a rear-facing one which is great for Skype.  It has surprisingly good speakers too, which outperform any laptop speakers I have come across. The tablet has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth installed which is standard in all tablets now. This particular one also has GPS which again, not sure if I will ever use, unless I want to mount it on my dash in my car.

With my brand new toy I’m able to work on websites, write articles, watch movies, Skype my family, and play around with all the apps the Google Play (Android equivalent to iTunes) has to offer.  It’s not a laptop and I find that it’s great for showing pictures and small videos to people. To see what all the fuss is about take a look at link below to check out all the features.

http://eee.asus.com/eeepad/transformer-300/features/

Readers, do you own a tablet? Did you juggle between a few options?

8
Leave a Reply

5 Comment threads
3 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
6 Comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Drew

I’ve got my eye on the ASUS Transformer. Had a go on a collegue’s IPad today and although a polished experience it was a bit like having a straight-jacket on! I like to tinker around a bit more under the hood, and I already have ICS on my smartphone, so looking forward to getting my first tablet soon!

I got a Kindle Fire for Christmas this year and I enjoy having it around but don’t use it a ton. I had no idea I was getting one and now that I am getting a Samsung Galaxy Skyrocket phone so that may cut down in the use on the Kindle Fire.

I got a IPad for my blogging business. I couldn’t be happier. I am even considering investing in an additional computer to increase efficiency. I have to keep reminding my wife that it’s for the blog, not for her enjoyment. ;) I am happy with the ipad. It cost me about $600, if I remember correctly with an additional keyboard. It definitely doesn’t replace a computer (stupid google docs doesn’t work as easily) but it’s good for 90% of stuff.

I won a Kindle Fire from a blog contest a few months ago and I actually use it a lot more than I thought I would. It’s small, light enough to take just about anywhere and I can do pretty much all the web browsing/email/ and light note taking that I need to. Of course it doesn’t have some of those standard options you mention – like bluetooth and webcam.. Sigh. And I think having a keyboard might be nice in some applications where more extended blogging or note taking was necessary. I’ve actually considered the Asus table if/when I… Read more »

Sam

Thanks for the article. I think in the near future everyone’s “laptop” will essentially be a tablet with a separate keyboard. I am not a tech pro, but I realize that I need to upgrade my old PC and am looking at a small laptop (13/14 inch screen), or going the route of My University Money and getting a modern tablet with keyboard. I know some have said that it is not a replacement for a computer, but all I really do is internet, word processing, basic needs. My University Money, which model in particular did you get? I noticed… Read more »

Share This