The touchscreen tablet is the hot topic in the computer world at this time and set to be a top seller this Christmas. These are an really an extension of the smartphone device with bigger screens and loads of functionality and this market is heading towards maturity with literally dozens of new models arriving every few months. Let’s take a closer look…
Why do I need one?
A touchscreen tablet device is really just a big smartphone, designed for portability. It is extremely lightweight and the larger screen makes it easier to use for things like email, surfing the web, playing games or watching movies. This concept has been around for a good many years, however it was Apple’s game-changing iPad device that really revolutionised these devices. The iPad has a 10” touchscreen and is very easy to use. Prior to that portable touch-screen devices were more like laptops with swivel screens, pretty heavy and far too expensive. By eliminating the keyboard completely and using the exquisite touch screen first seen on the iPhone, Apple caught the world by storm and the iPad continues to have the lion’s share of this market. For the year 2012 to date Apple has 64.4 per cent share, Samsung in second place with 9.9 per cent and Amazon in third position on 4.9 per cent (other manufacturers share the remaining 20 per cent), according to market research firm iSuppli.
Which is the right tablet for me?
If you already have an iPhone or other Apple device like an iPod and have all your content on iTunes then the best choice has to be the iPad. The simple reason for this is that content on these devices are linked via your Apple ID, your iTunes account and more recently iCloud. This means that any apps purchased for one device are automatically loaded onto the other for no additional cost. Content such as music and movies can be synchronized to both and with Photo Stream, any photos taken with one device miraculously appear on the other device seconds later all via the cloud! It really is very clever and those people at Apple put a lot of effort into usability. It’s no surprise they are the biggest technology firm on the planet! The iPad comes in a number of flavours with the new iPad (with Retina display) starting at €509, the older iPad2 (still excellent) starting at €399 and the all new 7” iPad mini starting at €339 – they are still on the pricier end of the market but definitely the leader of the pack!
What about the competition?
Next time on Tech Talk we’ll take a look at the other tablets on the market and see how they shape up next to the iPad!
Eamon is a Senior IT Professional with PaqIT, an IT Service Provider with offices in Limerick and Galway. See www.paqit.com.