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In my last post I looked at the different factors that would affect someone’s decision when going out to buy a smartphone. Today, it’s all about the tablet. Why would you choose a tablet over a smartphone and what really is the point of these thin and pretty pieces of kit?

ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity

For many people the cost of buying a smartphone, a tablet, a netbook and a notebook, or any combination thereof, is prohibitive. In fact, they can only justify spending their cash on one of these items. So, which one is right for you?

The checklist:

If you do not own a smartphone, then it is worth looking at a tablet if you:

  • Want a device that can handle pretty much all your emails and internet requirements
  • Want to stay on top of your social networking, and work, no matter where you are in the world
  • Would like to avoid buying an e-reader but fancy having electronic books that you can enjoy on the go. Tablets such as the ASUS Transformer let you use the Kindle app, along with other e-reader apps, that work just as well as the real deal albeit without electronic ink and with a back light. Whether or not you can read with those is a personal call, but if you’re on a budget there is no reason why your tablet cannot stand in as an eBook reader for now
  • Want productivity and power. Most tablets are built to deliver solid speed while working with productivity apps and are easily navigable so you can work on the go. They will not compete with the power or productivity software of a notebook or ultrabook though…
  • Need to be networked and up-to-date. A tablet offers all the calendar and syncing features of a smartphone but with more power
  • Need a bigger screen. All that lovely desktop real estate is so nice to work with and far easier to manipulate than the small smartphone screen
  • Want to take notes, take snapshots, upload and download information, quickly navigate the screen and work unobtrusively while commuting, at meetings, travelling or working
  • Hate technical glitches and just want things to work. Tablets tend not to crash and only need a quick reboot to get back on their feet. This makes them reliable and easy to use, a big plus for anyone who wants a simple solution
  • Like shiny multimedia. The latest tablets, such as the ASUS Transformer Infinity, have beautiful high resolution screens that make them fantastic for gaming and watching movies and appreciating high definition entertainment
  • Want a lot of features without spending a lot of money. Most tablets are cheaper than high-end laptops and can still do a lot of the same work. Not all, mind you, and this is also a very personal view, but with a docking station on a Transformer you have a lot of productivity at good value for money

Consider an alternative to a tablet if you:

  • Already have a smartphone that syncs your calendars and emails and does your social networking perfectly well and you won’t really use your tablet for anything else
  • Really do want extremely light and portable kit, which a tablet, in spite of its size and weight, is not. It is ultra portable, yes, but it won’t fit in your pocket while you run out the door. If you cannot compromise on that, then a tablet is not for you
  • Can’t work with a touchscreen and without productivity software you recognise and have grown used to
  • Will only use it at home and rarely for much more than surfing the web – rather invest in a lovely notebook or desktop PC
  • Only want to watch movies on a TV and play high-end games on a PC
  • Need your powerful and portable device to work with high graphic, high-end materials such as presentations and large files. You should look into a powerful ultrabook or notebook instead

To see our reasons for and against investing in a smartphone, see the feature here, and use that checklist against this one to make sure you are buying the right kit for your lifestyle.

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