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Is a Tablet Computer on Your Christmas Wish List?

Front-santatabletby Ted Saul


As usual, the Christmas marketplace is full of really cool techie gadgets. You can find everything from bright colourful speakers to wireless ear buds to smart phones and of course tablets.   Yes, this market continues to grow and expand. About two years ago I wrote on how to purchase a tablet. At that time I found an exhaustive list of ten to twelve devices that were available. Today however, the same list contains over 60 different types and manufactures. Tablets come in two basic sizes; the seven inch screen and the ten inch screen.


The smart phone might be included in this hand-held category since it runs many of the same applications. There is the choice of operating systems including Android, IOS and Windows 8. The best one for you will be dependent on personal preference and business need. On my Christmas list however is the mid-size seven inch tablet.   It’s small and compact making it easy to carry in a backpack, briefcase or purse, yet large enough to work on without the eye strain I feel staring at my smart phone for long periods of time.   If I find one of these under my tree this year here are some ways I’ll put it to use.


Keeping current – The nature of my work requires me to continually be reading trade magazines, white papers and other documents. With a hand-held and a cloud application like Google Drive, I can stay current anywhere I can connect to the internet. I can also load it up with PDF files to review.


Reading books – Devices like the Kindle and Nook started out as book readers and evolved into much more. As more libraries lend books online, your reading capabilities are almost limitless. And to save money, I’ve been able to rent college books for my son to use on his Google Nexus. One example is a $200 text book that rents for about $50 a semester.


Have a conference call – Skype runs on most of these devices and provides a clear HD picture so one can attend meetings on the road.


Take a picture or video – Yes cameras are included. Capture documents, marketing ideas competitor products and other visuals that may help with business decisions.

Organize data – Apps like Evernote can help keep documents, pictures and lists in order making them easy to find and archive.


Monitor and control your home – My thermostat is wired to the internet but you can take it further with cameras, locks on doors and checking on appliances.


Stay up on Social Media – Keep up with tweets, followers and networks on a tablet.

Sure, these same functions and apps can be used on the larger 10 inch tablets and many smart phones. It really comes down to preference and price. The typical 7 inch tablets are found in the range of $199-$249. To help in the decision making process, visit CNET.COM where you can find video reviews of many devices.


Ted Saul provides business consulting that assists start-up and small business with organizational and planning needs. Ted holds an MBA from Regis University out of Denver Colorado and can be reached at, teds787 on Twitter and on LinkedIn.