If you struggle to understand technology – or even if you understand it but just need to upgrade – choosing a new computer or device can be a challenge. It is my goal for you to get what’s best for you, so this article offers some tips for choosing your next computer. It is separated in to two parts part one will cover tablets and part two will c
First, I want to clarify what I mean by “computer.” Because our world is so overflowing with technology, almost everyone carries around some sort of device. It might be a cell phone, tablet, laptop, etc. For the sake of this article, all the above devices are included i
n our “computer” discussion. Everyone’s needs and desires are different, so remember there is no one-size-fits-all solution! Whatever it is you’re lookin
g for, consider the following four criteria:
- Easy to use – Any product you’re going to use every day should be easy for you to use. You still may have some challenges learning a new system, but in the long run, it will suit your needs better.
- Meets your needs – What do you need this device for? Write down everything you need it to do; this will help as you’re shopping around.
- Respects your budget – What are you willing to pay? What are your above needs worth? Figure out your budget ahead of time.
- Proves dependable & durable – Everyone wants their device to last, especially if they need it to stand up to wear and tear of traveling. Do your homework to find a reliable option.
This article we’re going to talk about tablets. These may be the only thing you need or they may be a great additional tool to your already existing computer or phone.
Tablets are small, portable, and quick with internet access, and they offer apps for both productivity and enjoyment. They make great secondary devices because they increase mobility and let you temporarily work on projects started on or to be finished with your main computer. However, they are limited in their ability because their apps (ex. Microsoft Word) are generally weaker than PC/Mac versions. They also do not support extensive document and photo creating/editing. Personally, I think having a tablet along with a phone and computer is great. I use mine regularly, but I could not rely on it as my primary device. Following are some different kinds of tablets you might consider.
The Apple iPad is a great option for browsing the internet, writing emails, playing games, and reading. It also supports some document writing apps (ex. Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint) if you have an Office365 account. These apps are limited but work great for basics. Most iPad models can print to newer wireless printers.
Picking an iPad model is pretty straightforward (see link below), and the learning process is very intuitive. Here are some sizes and price comparisons:
- iPad Mini 2 – (7.9 inch screen) $269 – $449
- iPad Mini 4 – (7.9 inch screen) $399 – $729
- iPad Air 2 – (9.7 inch screen) $399 – $529
- iPad Pro – (9.7 or 12.9 inch Screen) – $799-$1229
Android tablets are a little harder to choose from because they have multiple hardware manufactures. You generally can’t go wrong with a new Samsung, Lenovo, or (in some cases) a main PC manufacturer like Toshiba, HP, or Dell; but to ensure you’re buying good hardware, check out the product reviews and/or ask us for help.
Here is one place you can find reviews for 2016 -http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2483566,00.asp
Also note that the Android OS is “open,” which means almost anyone can create software for it. This is both good giving more variety but it can also be bad because there’s no one really over seeing quality of the products offered.
Prices for Androids generally range from $70 to $400. They’re great for both basic users and those who want to tinker more with software.
Kindle Fire –
Amazon also makes a tablet called the Kindle Fire. There are 5 different versions ranging from a 7” screen at $50 to a 10.1” screen at $230 to a 7 inch kids screen (rubberized version) for $100. Fire products are fully functioning tablets with email, apps like Netflix and Hulu, and games. When you add an Amazon Prime account, you get even more access to movies, books, and music. These devices also play Netflix, Hulu and others subscriptions services. The operating system is pretty straightforward and easy to use. Check out the Amazon Fire page https://www.amazon.com/Kindle-Fire-Amazon-Tablet/dp/B0051VVOB2for comparisons of each of their products.
Microsoft Surface Pro –
The Microsoft Surface Pro is a versatile tablet with the power and abilities of a fully functional PC. It came out in 2012 (with Windows 8) with a full working version of Windows running on it. New versions can be hooked up to screens (monitors and projectors) and run just like a computer with a mouse and keyboard (not-included) If you’re a PC user, this could be a great option for you.