10 Reasons to Buy a Tablet This Holiday Season
Whether it’s Apple’s iPad Air, the Kindle Fire HDX, or Microsoft's recently-upgraded Surface 2, tablets are at the top of everyone's wish list when it comes to must-have mobile devices. Featuring smarter operating systems, thousands of custom apps and faster networks, they have quickly evolved from being luxury items into essential business tools, entertainment hubs, and more.
If you’ve been thinking about adding a tablet to your growing collection of tech devices, it’s time to turn those thoughts into action. Here are 10 reasons why:
1. Watch movies, read books, play games
Let’s face it, we can watch movies and read books on our smartphones but those 4-inch screens can be a little limiting. For serious viewing we need the bigger screen and the higher resolution of a tablet. Plus, there are a slew of custom entertainment apps – Hulu Plus, HBO Go, WatchESPN – that are just perfect for tablets. 4G networks and faster home Wi-Fi have made instant movie streaming and multi-player video gaming a reality and a tablet screen maximizes the enjoyment.
2. Fast as a laptop at a fraction of the size
Tablets have replaced netbooks and are now serious alternatives to full-blown laptops. Higher-end tablets have as much processing speed as a laptop and are far more portable, with many of them slipping easily into a purse or coat pocket. If you’re not a big fan of on-screen keyboards, then newer tablets are making it easier to add peripherals and accessories. (The Surface tablet from Microsoft cleverly incorporates the keyboard into the cover.)
3. Improve your productivity
Tablets are the perfect devices for on-the-go e-mail, web surfing, reading, and more. With their improved processing power and the availability of 4G networks, tablets are also increasingly being used for office tasks, including video conferencing, planning, budgeting, and more. Apple, Microsoft and Google have all developed custom document, spreadsheet and presentation tools for tablets. Additional networking and collaboration tools allow real-time input from colleagues and third-parties, increasing the anywhere, anytime possibilities for business.
4. Storage is not an issue
With a host of cloud storage options, we no longer have to worry about tablets running out of space. Apple, Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Barnes & Noble all provide free cloud-based storage along with their devices and content offerings. Many cloud services also have the advantage of syncing your files – photos, videos, media and more – across all your devices, so you can access your content from anywhere and enjoy the security of independent backup.
5. Over 300,000 custom apps
There are now several hundred thousand custom apps for tablets, including 475,000 specifically designed for the iPad. Whether you are interested in education, health and fitness, travel or sports, there are literally thousands of apps to choose from. In many cases, newspaper and magazine publishers have reformatted their content for all the popular tablets, turning those devices into the perfect showcase for news reports, opinion, photos and video.
6. Sync with your HDTV and more
Many tablets recognize the need to interact with larger screens for movie night, photo displays, music and more, and include HDMI outlets for connecting with HDTVs. Even Apple, which has eschewed ports for the iPad, offers AirPlay, which allows iPad owners to stream whatever is on their device direct to speakers or an HDTV via AppleTV.
7. A great learning tool for kids
Everyone knows how young children just love tablets. Their bright colors and intuitive controls offer instant child appeal, and their easy-to-hold size make them perfect for little hands. And developers have been quick to make the most of this opportunity, producing thousands of apps from coloring games to interactive picture books. Whether you’re looking for a learning tool or just a temporary distraction, your tablet will always find a warm welcome among the youngest members of your household!
8. Time to video chat
Do you have kids away at college? Or family and friends in far-off places? A tablet is the perfect platform for a face-to-face catch-up. New apps and faster, more reliable networks have combined to make tablet-based video chat easier than ever. See how grandma is doing or get a tour of the dorm room from your freshman student. The iPad even lets you switch between a regular call and the FaceTime app with just the touch of a button.
9. Photos, video and more
Although tablets may never match smartphones in terms of pocket-sized convenience, most of them take surprisingly good photos and videos. The larger tablet size accommodates a bigger light sensor, and the additional screen space allows for more comprehensive editing tools. Plus, all those extra pixels make even average photos look stunning!
10. More affordable than ever
And the biggest reason for buying a tablet? They have never been more affordable. And we’re not just talking about Wi-Fi-only tablets like the Surface or the remarkable ASUS MeMO Pad HD 7 (just $150). Data share plans and less restrictive contract terms mean that you’re no longer required to commit to a carrier for two-years or pay up to $60 per month for 4G data service.
Comment by kristen mcveay, posted 12/12/2013, 10:58 AM:
wonderful read ! Thank you