Monday, December 06, 2010

Gifts Fit for a Geek – Tablets

 Apple iPad

The iPad is probably one of the more hyped devices we’ve seen in the past many years but it’s also a pretty useful device.  It’s only real competition right now is the Galaxy Tab.  If you’re shopping for a tablet device and not sure what to get, here’s some advice:

  1. Look at the Apple iPad and the Samsung Galaxy Tab.  Don’t even look at the others as they aren’t in the same league.
  2. Expect to pay a lot.  Prices are still at early adopter rates:
    • Galaxy Tab is $399 with a Mobile Contract or $599 without
    • iPad is $499 for the 16GB WiFi-only or $629 for the 16GB Wi-Fi + 3G.  More for those with more memory
  3. If you’re buying for an avid novel reader who is looking for a device primarily for reading books, don’t buy a tablet.  Instead get a Kindle or Nook with e-Ink technology as they are superior for that function.  If you’re buying for someone who reads books some, but wants something for browsing the web, reading magazines and newspapers and for games & other apps, the tablet is your thing.
  4. If you’re buying for someone who already has an iPhone and likes it, pick the iPad.  Alternatively if you’re buying for someone with an Android-based phone go with the Galaxy Tab.
  5. The iPad has a bigger screen but because of its larger size is less mobile than the Galaxy Tab
  6. Know you’re buying an early adopter device.  Expect to see the next new thing in tablets sometime in the first four months of 2011.  If that bothers you, wait.
  7. The tablet isn’t good enough to act as a complete laptop replacement.  It’s not as easy to print (sometimes you can’t print at all iPad), touch-screen keyboards aren’t great for lots of typing.  Blogging with one is painful at best.  But as a consumption device it’s pretty awesome.  And they turn on almost instantly.

Galaxy Tab

If you’re still not sure, check out the Engadget review of the Galaxy Tab and their review of the iPad (Original iPad Review and Updated Software Review)

Bottom line, if you’re looking for a “wow!” gift for someone this season, check out the iPad and Galaxy Tab.  It’s very likely to be the best gift they’ll get this season.  I was skeptical of my iPad when I first picked it up, but I honestly use it daily.

Apple iPad

Samsung Galaxy Tab (Verizon)