Tablets & eReaders

Tablets and eReaders range in prices from as little as $79 to over $599. They have similar appearances, battery life of 6-8+ hours, and weights of around a pound or less but are different not only in price but in what they can and can’t do.

Generally speaking, tablets are small computers that can double as an eReader whereas eReaders tend to be just a personal electronic library of books and other reading or viewing content.

While eReaders are designed to be read in the sun, tablets tend to have glare in direct sunlight but eventually, and probably much sooner vs. later, newer versions of the two gadgets will morph into one blended gadget.

Both of these gadgets will grow in popularity such that they’ll be found in many homes much like microwaves, televisions and cell phones are today.

Amazon Kindle (5 Models)

$79 eReader – $259 Tablet

5.7″ X 4.7″ and smaller

14.6 ounces and lighter

7.5 – 8 hours on battery

WiFi, 3G on select models

2 – 6 GB for user content, Cloud based storage on some models for streaming content

Kindle Video

 

 

Apple iPad

$499 Tablet and up

9.5″ x 7.3″  1.3 lbs

9 – 10 hours surf time on battery

16 – 64 GB and Cloud

WiFi or w/3G on AT&T, Verizon, Blue Tooth

2 cameras for face to face chat

Apple Airplay accessory allows you to mirror the diplay of your iPad onto a TV screen. Interconnectivity with iPhone and other Apple gadget. Fewer flash video support than some other tablets.

iPad2 Video

 

 

Barnes & Noble Nook (3 Models)

$99 eReader – $249 Tablet

8”X 5”Up to 14.1 ounces

8 – 11.5 hours of battery

1 – 13 GB for user content

WiFi + AT&T hotspots

Sharing to Apple, Android powered products & PCs

Nook Video

 

Samsung Galaxy Tab (13 Models)

$379 –$599 Android

Flash support for viewing most online video content

7” up to 10.1”

16 – 32 GB

Some models w/ Blooth Tooth

WiFi, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T

Galaxy Video

 

 

When deciding on which to buy there are a few key distinctions between the brands & types to consider. Here are some considerations involving 4 of the most talked about:

Apps & Accessories.

In my opinion, Apple by nature of its sheer product popularity will have the largest selection of both apps and accessories like keyboard, interfaces etc. However, just as in the computer world there are two camps, the Windows PC people and the Apple people. This dichotomy translates to the tablet world too but the lines are slowly beginning to blur with the onset of these new devices and offers. In my opinion, the less you pay upfront the more limitations on the overall device capabilities. If you just want to read books consider a basic eReader but if you want all the web surfing and computing power go for a full blown tablet with full connectivity.

Capability: Storage, Speed, Flash

Although speed will vary some based on processor, connections etc in my opinion it’ll be the preference between cloud storage as opposed to on device storage that drive many people in their decision. Let’s take a simple example: Ask yourself this questions “If I decided, today, to stop using my old cell phone and begin using a brand new cell phone what exactly would I do to get the contents from my old cell phone transferred onto my new cell phone?” Well, regardless of how you answered that question it’ll help you decide the answer about on board storage versus cloud based. If you lose or break or upgrade a device, cloud based service lets you do it without skipping a beat because your information isn’t stored on the device rather its stored in a sever somewhere and typically you pay a small monthly service fee. If you prefer to keep your content on the device then more storage will become an important consideration. In either case you will pay now for more onboard storage or later for cloud based storage and with cloud based you always need to be close to active internet access.

Connectivity:

WiFi – All the devices are WiFi so two key questions come into play. (1) Do you want to access the internet when you aren’t nearby a hotspot? For example, in the parking lot, a friend’s home, traveling etc? (2) How important is it to broadcast your small screen onto a larger TV screen or transfer information and data between devices such as with the iPhone to the iPad?