My Favorite Tablet?
I have almost gotten to the point that new tablets and phones are passé. Every week is a new device, and they all have similar features: 7″ screen, apps, voice activation, and high definition / retina. Choosing which one is right for you or your business is getting more difficult. Here are the pros and cons of three popular tablets and why features and services can be more important than design.
First things first: I will always be a fan of Apple devices. I love the design of their products (spoiler alert: I used to work for the company). However, more of my clients are asking me questions about the dearth of other products available. Since my accountant told me it is a tax write off, I started buying other tablets “just to compare.” What do I really think?

Given my training and development work, I prefer the smaller devices. Therefore, I am reviewing only the 7″ tablets.

iPad Mini

Apple iPad Mini

I originally didn’t like the concept of a smaller iPad. However, with the number of presentations I do, the iPad Mini makes the most sense. My audiences view my screen when it is wirelessly projected on a wall or television – up to a 100″ image. I can easily hold the iPad Mini in one hand and use the other hand for gestures and control. This eliminates the need for large tablet real estate – for me or them. The iPad Mini is best if you need lots of apps and product design is important to you. However, you will pay for the privilege of being part of the Apple “ecosystem.” Is owning the Porsche of tablets worth it to you?

Pros: Retail stores, sleek design

Cons: Price, not customizable

Kindle Fire HDX

Remember when Amazon only sold books? Where the iPad is wonderfully laden with apps, the Kindle Fire HDX exceeds with services: Amazon Prime. This membership gains you access to more than 350,000 books to borrow (free), movies to stream and the basic apps you already use. Cost? Only $79 / year. It comes with a hi-res screen (323 pixels per inch), fast processor and easy to use interface. After the iPad, this is my go to tablet.

Pros: Amazon Prime, Tech Support

Cons: Apps, Power / volume button location

Nexus 7

In a former life I hated all Google products; then I met the Nexus. Right out of the box it was incredibly easy to use. Log in with your Gmail account and you are in business. This device is best if you need email, internet and 5 – 6 apps you consistently use. The Google Play store has more than 1 million apps (just like Apple). The breadth of services also makes this a desirable product for businesses and consumers: Gmail, Google +, Calendar, Contacts, Google Play, Books, News, etc. Finally, the sub-iPad price ($229) gives the Nexus 7 a seat at the table of tablets.

Pros: Larger screen, Google Play

Cons: Tech support, cheap look

According to a report by IDC, Apple still leads the tablet battle, but Samsung (Android OS) is gaining ground (report). Look for businesses to continue to drive growth for Apple and consumers to consider other devices for their reading and viewing. As much as I respect Apple’s design leadership, features and services are a growing factor for consumers.

Scientifically Speaking, of course.

Next Week: 4 Misperceptions about Social Marketing