With the holidays fast approaching, many of us are already thinking about buying gadgets for our loved ones. One of the most popular products currently on the market is the tablet computer. This marvel of technology has been a huge hit and now the selection of tablet computers has increased just during the past few months. So which tablet will be the perfect gift and provide many happy hours of pleasure to the recipient?
I believe the first step is putting your own personal preferences aside and making a decision on which tablet would be the best for the recipient of the gift. Is this a person who needs a compatible device with Windows, or will an Android or iOS tablet work fine for them?
The Apple iPad has become the most popular tablet computer because it is so simple to use. Apple boasts 275,000 applications, which makes the Apple iPad one of the best tablets on the market. However, Google has introduced its new Nexus products with other Android-powered products also available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Microsoft has just hit the store shelves with its own tablet — the Microsoft Surface — loaded with Windows 8 RT. The choice of which operating system you select for the recipient of your gift will dictate the ecosystem into which they will be locked.
The next task for you is to decide which size tablet will be right for the recipient of your gift. Tablet sizes range from about 7″ all the way to about 10″ in size or slightly larger. It is my opinion that the 7″ tablets are great for those who consume content, like games such as Angry Birds or books. Larger tablets, those above 7″, are better suited for those who want to be more productive, and some are choosing to use the bigger tablets as laptop replacements.
You will also need to know if a child will be using the tablet and if parental controls will be needed. Tablets from Amazon, like the Kindle Fire HD, come with parental controls that even limit the amount of time a child can use the unit. With its Nook tablet, Barnes & Noble offers different profiles for family members that can be controlled by the parent. When gifting a child, keep the parents in mind, since they will be the ones who will actually be critical of or applauding your purchase decision for their little one.
Will a Wi-Fi model be enough, or is the person you are buying for in need of 4G? If 4G is needed, do you know which service the person is currently using? Can the person afford the expense of a 4G data plan? Are you planning to pay the monthly bill for 4G? Believe it or not, there are some people who don’t even have Wi-Fi and without it, tablets are no more than a brick. Will the person need a Wi-Fi router to take advantage of owning a tablet computer?
Finally, there is a price consideration that we all have to face. Pricing for the current crop of tablets range from a low of $199 to upwards of $1,000 or more. But there are tablets available for under $200 that you may wish to consider. I bought an inexpensive 7″ tablet computer called the AGPtek from Amazon in July of this year and was actually surprised at how fast this tablet was and it only cost $87. The tablet came with Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich, and was preloaded with plenty of applications. This is an option to consider when trying to determine how much you are willing to spend on a tablet as a gift.
Even at $200, I love my Nexus 7 tablet computer and I can’t say enough about it. However, when a friend asked me which tablet he should buy for his wife, who I know personally, I knew she would want something larger than a 7″ tablet. I also knew they were Amazon Prime members and that they could take advantage of Amazon’s offering of free videos and free daily applications, so the 9″ Kindle Fire HD seemed just right for her. I had to put my personal preference aside and it was difficult not recommending the Nexus 10″.
So there you have it. You have plenty of choices out in tablet land to make and plenty of different options to consider. No matter which tablet you select, I am sure that, with the information that I have provided, you will be able to make an informed decision.
Comments are welcome.
CC licensed Flickr photo above shared by Saad Irfan