First look at a tablet purchase
About a month ago, I purchased a 7″ Samsung Galaxy Tab. We were preparing then for NEOEA’s annual Summer Leadership Conference, which included a technology track. Part of that track was Session 4A, which we were calling “Mobile Technology Picks and Pans.” I thought that I’d brush up on the Android apps and be ready to share at that session.
As it happens, fate intervened. A family emergency required me to miss the Summer Leadership Conference altogether, but while traveling I found myself using the little tablet quite a lot. By the time of the Summer Leadership Conference, I had acquired some pretty good hand-on reactions. Since I wasn’t able to share those observations there, I thought I’d post them here.
First, some explanations of the purchase decision.
- I got the 7″ tablet. Since I generally travel with a laptop: I thought I wouldn’t need the larger screens of 10″ tablets, and the smaller tablet would be easier to tote along. (A 7″ tablet can fit in a jacket pocket, although you wouldn’t want to carry it there for long.) This is perhaps the first decision a buyer has to confront because few brands have multiple sizes. Since my purchase, Vizio has introduced an 8″ tablet, and PC World has run an article suggesting that 7″ tablets may be the “sweet spot” in the market.
- I got the wi-fi only version. I have a cellular hotspot, and I wasn’t interested in taking on an additional data charge and/or cellular contract.
- I’ve read reviews of tablets, including an excellent one in PC World. The market changes all the time, so articles become outdated almost as soon as they are written; but author Melissa J. Perenson‘s observation that “what makes or breaks a tablet is its operating system” will probably remain true. Four tablet operating systems are currently in competition: iOS, Blackberry Tablet OS, Web OS, and Android. The Apple iPad is the sales leader among tablets; the Galaxy is an Android 2.2 device.
- The result was a one-time cost of $350, which included a silicone sleeve bundled in by BJ’s.
I’ll write about my apps in a separate column, but I thought this might provide some background for friends considering similar decisions.