Choosing a Tablet


Except you’ve been under a rock for the past year or so, you’ll know that slates are all the rage particularly that from the fruit company. Although, it’s no longer plain sailing not if the South Korean chaebol has any thing to say about it.

Of course, you shouldn’t get one because you want to keep up with the Joneses or say “me too” to your boss (which could get you “redeployed”, even “downsized!”). It can actually do much more.

Beside’s the usual suspects of surfing the web, making video calls, emailing, did we say “Facebook-ing” or “twitting”…, it could also be an e-reader, your calendar (you won’t have to get a new phone) online diary, collection of your favourite e-books, a map (you may never have to ask for directions again), making your documents available anywhere…

In all, it helps you do so much more while avoiding the clutter of other stuff you would have to carry around.

You will bear in mind that all these are already possible on your ever-increasing mobile phones, but if you just have to have that capsule tablet, read on.

With quite a number to choose from, you will be asking yourself: which one do I get? that will depend on the following:

  • Cost: If you’ll be avoiding the “fruit”, then cost shouldn’t be a problem (although the older and heavier iPad is now cheaper) as you can get quite a bargain for a number of Android tablets (depending on the size) and the PlayBook.
    • PlayBook (RIM BlackBerry)
    • Android (Samsung, Asus, Sony,…)
    • iPad (Apple)
  • OS: There’s iOS which runs on all of Apple’s other portable devices; the iPod and the iPhone, Android (most recently in form of version 4.0.4 a.k.a Ice Cream Sandwich and 4.1 (a.k.a JellyBean) and PlayBook OS (naturally) for the PlayBook. PlayBook OS with iOS you can be almost sure of support in terms of update for quite a while… years so far) With Android, you may be cut off support the very moment you walk out of the store but with out being tied
  • Screen sizes: The iPad just recently became available in two screen size; the iPad and iPad Mini. The PlayBook is available in one screen size, there’s more choice with Android (well Samsung actually) as its exists in 7, 7.7 (which is a challenge to come by), the soon to be announced 8.0, 8.9, 9.0, 9.7, 10.1, 13 (the lines have been more blurred with the Note and Note 2 at 5.3″ and 5.5″ respectively).
  • Support: iOS leads by a margin with devices as “old” as the 3GS still getting updates. Android; depending on what make you buying, may stop getting support the moment you walk out of the store with your purchase! Now, If you couldn’t be bothered with what version of software your tablets runs, then you can go for the Android particularly if its a Samsung. Of course, there are other very good tablets…Acer and Asus (its Transformer line) to mention a few but they are not readily available as Samsung tablets are in Nigeria. A way around that is to order online or ask a friend to buy for you over there and you pay back (very important). BlackBerry has promised the PlayBook will get the new OS 10 at some point.
  • Apps: This is similar to the above. There’s a great deal of apps; paid and FREE (we know how much you like that word) available for can download from either the App or Play Store respectively. The PlayBook doesn’t score too well here 😦

Attached strings…

The 16GB PlayBook costs about N45,000.00 (the 32 and 64GB cost much more) without haggling! but its available in wi-fi option only. However, if you already own a BlackBerry phone, you can tether via the Bridge function or an use an Android phone so you can have your hotspot wherever you go….and there’s data coverage

iPads and Android tablets on the other hand, come in both wi-fi and mobile connectivity variants so if you are not near a wireless hot-spot, you can make yours with your phone…as long as you have a valid data plan else your call credit will discover in great detail what “Newton found out about the apple” much to your chagrin . Their prices range from N90,000.00 for the iPad and N53,000.00 for the 7 inchers from Samsung. The presumption is that you’ll be getting them new.

Also, Androids (except the Nexus line) and the PlayBook come pre-installed with document editors, the iPad doesn’t. You’ll have to pay for that, sorry 😦

Signing up for the App Store is (slightly) tedious while all you need for the Android is a Google account. Credit card details are only required for paid purchases.

Neither the PlayBook, iPad or the Nexus line of Androids have expandable storage. Virtually all other Androids (in their various incarnations) do supporting as much as 32GB and in some cases 64GB.

So, what will it be then?

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