Last week I stopped by our local Best Buy store to take a look at the tablet computers it had on display. No matter if you are a Best Buy fan or not, you will have to agree that the company has a wide offering of electronic products for viewing, compared to other brick and mortar electronic retailers. I personally have found Best Best an asset for researching products, trying the products before buying, and to give me a feel as to how a product feels in my hand prior to ordering the product online.
While looking through the assortment of tablet computers, I spotted an Insignia Flex, which is a tablet made specifically for Best Buy. I stopped to examine the tablet computer, which has a 9.7″ form factor, housing a dual core 1 GHz processor, 1 GB of RAM, a resolution of 1024 x 768, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, front-facing 2.0 MP webcam, 8 GB storage, and a micro-SD slot for added storage. In addition, the Insignia Flex comes preinstalled with Google’s Android Ice Cream Sandwich and a price tag of $249. (At the time of this writing, Best Buy is offering the Insignia Flex on sale for $229. This is a limited time offer.)
At this price point, The Insignia Flex is one of the lowest priced tablets in the 9″+ size category. The next closest tablet in this category is the Amazon Kindle HD, which is approximately 8.9″ in size, has a 1920 x 1200 display resolution, dual core 1.5 GHz processor, 16 GB of storage, dual-band Wi-Fi, and Dolby audio, but lacks a microSD slot. Priced at $299, the unit is approximately $50 to $70 more expensive than the Insignia Flex.
There was a time when buying a computer was a lot simpler. One either bought a system that used the Windows operating system, or one purchased a system from Apple. Personal computers using the Windows operating system were less expensive and gained in popularity. Today, with a variety of tablet computers from companies such as Apple, Google, Amazon, and others, the choice of which computer to purchase is more complicated.
We no longer can depend on pricing or specifications to be the primary reason for all we purchase. Instead, we now have to look at which ecosystem we want to use as our primary source for applications. The two main contenders, Apple and Google, each have their own operating systems that are distinctive and separate. Inside of Google’s Android operating system are many variants and distinctions from which one must select.
In comparing the two tablets mentioned above, the Insignia Flex and the Kindle Fire HD, we can agree that the Kindle fire HD has the superior hardware and warrants the higher price. But a purchaser needs to consider not only pricing and hardware differences, but also the differences these tablets offer when it comes to operating systems. The Insignia Flex offers Google’s Android operating system and a user can install any application from Google’s Play Store. With the Kindle Fire HD, users are limited to applications provided by Amazon only.
When you purchase a tablet computer from any company, you need to be aware of the limitations that each of the ecosystems provide as well as their benefits. A purchaser entering into the tablet computer market must now consider price, size, hardware, and quality of build as well as the operating system.
I would recommend the purchase of the Kindle Fire HD over the Insignia Flex. I base this opinion on the better specifications, at a reasonable price, that the Kindle Fire HD offers.
What do you think?
Comments are welcome.
CC licensed Flickr photo above shared by appsmanila