Simple Tablet Summary
It’s been quite a few years since we’ve seen tablets come of age. First they came off as over-sized unnecessary iPhones and now everybody has to have one. And there’s all kinds, shapes and sizes. So with all these different tablets and different Operating systems for all of them? What’s the difference? Why should I buy a $400 iPad? A $1000 Surface Pro? Or what about those cheap $50 no foreign brand tablets?
To understand these questions we must learn that everyone needs a computer for different reasons and a tablet is no different. My opinion is condensed in the following statement.
What kind should you buy?
The one you really want, don’t cheap out and buy whatever your heart desires, you will be enjoying your tablet much more that way. Most people who own iPhones or like apple products I recommend an iPad. If you’ve never had a lot of experience with computers, get an android since it’s a great starting off point for anyone, especially those on a budget. And if you like the power of a portable laptop, get a Windows one.
But enough of the short explanations, here’s some more details.
The iPad has to be the most useful as an introduction for those who who are new to computers. (Yes many people like these still exists and helps them learn about applications, passwords and GUI interfaces. (See my GUI post for more about this) and it goes to show that the iPad has the most user friendly user interface I’ve ever seen for newcomers to modern technology, an art form lost thanks to Microsoft since Windows 95. Again just my opinion.
But on the other hand iOS is also familiar enough for those who just want to get things done and the App Store has enough applications to replace the family computer, with an iPad.
Microsoft RT Tablets.
Any tablet with the RT letting means it is an ARM based tablet and runs a completely different operating system than what Windows usually is. Let’s say it looks like Windows, but it really isn’t Windows. So what is it? It is Microsoft’s test to see if they can make an operating system for phones and tablets, and while on it’s own it may be alright, it’s a very new OS that doesn’t and cannot compete with iOS nor android due to the already present support in apps made for iOS or Android so Windows RT is not going to have many apps, but on the plus side it is cheap. it’s best to think of it as a really advanced Windows phone.
Microsft Pro Tablets.
Some manufacturers like Dell, and Lenovo also make tablets that run regular Microsoft Windows and i put this in a separate class because it is nothing like Windows RT except in looks. This OS will be the same one your desktop or tablet will have, meaning that yes, it “CAN” replace your desktop, but there is one huge drawback. Intel Atom. Some windows tablets may come with Intel core processors, but as you may have seen, there’s a few cheap ones for even $200! That’s a great deal for a powerful OS on an 8 inch screen. But consider it running on an Atom, in the past it’s been given a bad name due to its power on netbooks. However Intel has been hard at work making an Atom processor that has the power and low power to compete with ARM processors. And do you know what? it’s great. The One year old Atom Z3795 processor is a powerful quad core 1.6 Gz mini beast that has similar power savings that blows current ARM CPUs out of the water. The only problem is Android has to be ported to the x86 architecture Atom has, as well as Windows OSes that need to be optimized for small screen real estate. So there’s not as much choice when it comes to Windows tablets. but the Apps and hardware is there now, we just need to wait and see if they become popular enough.
Android has become an excellent contender as a tablet OS, as Samsung has proven. And while Android tablets may not be as polished or familiar as iOS, they come in just about any shape, size and quality you could want. Pay $400 and you get a really good Android Tablet. Pay $100 and you get a really cheap one. I don’t really have much to say except that since it’s a mostly open source OS which means that the manufacturer can and will change it to fit their tablet’s needs and sometimes they cut corners when doing so, perhaps making it terrible experience so be weary of really cheap tablets. That’s all I’m saying. All in all, they won’t go away, there’s just too many of them!
Some people only need a tablet for one thing, like reading, notes or toy. Since smaller tablets usually mean a smaller prices these end up being lower quality tablets that are deemed, “Disposable” after a year or two? So why do they exist? Like I said, not everyone needs the screen real estate nor the power of a full blown tablet, and these mini ones are cheap enough to be gifts, and worry free devices for the kids. However some of these tablets can be pretty bad. I’ve seen $40 ones that just serve no purpose in life except to boot to the OS. So you get what you pay for.
In the end, enjoy the tablet craze!