Tablets – what’s all the fuss about then?

I don’t have a tablet. In fact, I’m not sure I see the absolute need for one in my day to day life and will continue to rely on my smartphone and lightweight notebook!
That said, I seem to be somewhat in the minority as they continue to grow in popularity among consumers.

So, am I the odd one out here?

In a word, yes! According to information gleaned whilst researching this blog, broadly speaking of course as the information I read differed slightly from report to report, but worldwide tablet shipments are set to grow by over 30% on an annual basis, this to somewhere in the region of 210 million units next year and topping notebook shipments for the first time! Branded tablets are expected to make up two-thirds of overall tablet shipments in 2013, the iPad at the forefront but with Android powered tablets pushing ahead due to growth in unit shipments of white-box tablets.

Now, when the word tablet is mentioned the mind generally pictures the larger of the devices available, something like the iPad or the Samsung Galaxy Tab, with the smaller, more recently released smaller tablets being somewhat secondary. However, as an Account Manager for a London based IT Support Company, I am often asked by my clients for alternatives to the norm. It came as no surprise then when, having bumped into one of my clients on the train during my commute to work, that he mentioned the fact that his iPad was a little too large for his liking and that he was now looking at a smaller device, asking my advice on which device he should choose. In questioning his motivation, it was discovered that all he needed from his device was the ability to receive e-mails and read them, along with any attachments – mainly in Word or PDF formats. This on the face of it seemed a rather strange request as he had an iPhone, however, as the conversation unfolded it appeared that as part of his daily routine he needed to read quite large documents, some of which included architectural type plans.

What’s out there?

Alongside our IT Support Team, I spent some time researching what was out there and, not too surprisingly, found quite a few options that would suit this particular clients needs. As I have a slight penchant for Samsung product, I started by looking at the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (retailing for just over £150.00 plus VAT). As a comparison I then had a quick look at the iPad Mini (retailing at around £269.00 to start and going upwards depending on specification) and then onto the Nexus 7 (starting at around £159.00 at the entry level) and then the Acer Iconia Tab A110 (averaging around £160.00).

With so many to choose from which one then?

Well, that is the millions of Euro’s question isn’t it! In conclusion then, this blog is not really aimed at advising on which device is better than any other, after all, in my opinion part of the ‘fun’ for any ‘gadget’ enthusiast is in the checking out of what’s available and comparing the functionality of each device before deciding on the one that is most suited for the need. Also, as is seen from my client’s request, the need varies enormously from situation to situation. However, what I would suggest though, this in order to make life easier, is that each individual decision takes into consideration the operating system that runs the device. For example, if a user is looking for a new device and has an iPhone and/or an iPad, then in order to not have to learn to navigate their way around a new OS another device with the same operating system would be the first option. Likewise, I am an Android man and when I go a looking for a tablet of any size it will be an Android device that I will consider first and foremost. That said, having read my delightfully verbose colleagues blog about the new Microsoft Surface (with an operating system that I do know!!) that could be a contender!

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