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What is the Best tablet computer for traveling?
This is actually a subjective question. The best tablet for you is the one that meets YOUR needs. Different people like different things for different reasons.
Using a travel analogy - my husband LOVES Southwest and I can't stand them, preferring Delta. They both do the same thing but we like what we like for different reasons.
Research the different tablets, go to the electronics store of choice and see how each one feels in your hands. Look at the apps that come with it and see how many of them you currently use and how many of them you've always wanted to use.
In the end, it's going to end up being what you like and no one else.
Well, I am really going to upset everybody by saying the following:
As it stands today - There is no tablet market, there however an iPad market. Examine carefully the hype around Android based tablet. The most anticipated Xoom by Motorola Mobility out of the box was sluggish. The sales lackluster, and finally Motorola Mobility was bought out by Google for obscene amount of money. The tablet by HP, the largest PC manufacturer imploded on arrival and its well publicized exit from the marketplace. Subsequently HP board fired the CEO within one year of his taking over HP.
So ? Who is left ? Samsung ? Blackberry ?
It is now common knowledge that tablets are all about Apps. There are probably more apps available on ipad than on android, or blackberry or maybe both combined. Are Android tablets cheaper than an ipad2 ? I do not know, last I researched it in early summer, it was nearly the same.
Answer: Buy an ipad, you cannot go wrong.
[PS: As of today, I personally do not own any tablet, whicle have played by a couple of them]
Let me start by saying I'm a diehard Mac man. That's all I've ever owned. However, since my life (plus manuscripts to four books and thousands of articles, plus a couple of decades of research) are on my harddrive, I don't travel with my MacBook Pro anymore. It moves around the house and province, but that's all.
I considered buying a iPAD, but was talked out of it by my technical advisors. Their message was wait for the version three or four.
What I have done is buy an Acer Netbook. It takes some getting used to. The keyboard is smaller, it's PC-based so I have relearn how to work. But I picked it up for $110 in a hardware store! It has a battery that lasts for four hours. It fits in the small day pack I use when travelling and is really lightweight. And at $110 if it's lost, stolen, damaged or confiscated at a border, I don't care. I have some files on it, but mostly I travel with a memory stick that carries a duplicate of my address book and all current files.
Tablets are sexy, but I've been to Europe twice this year and noticed that on my flights all anyone has used their tablets for were playing Angry Birds and Solitaire. The netbook is probably too slow for Angry Birds, but okay for Solitaire.
He said he loves his iPAD but for the apps and for playing around. Our business, email accounts, google docs and booking tools work far better on the driod/pc based tablets. Compatibility is the main issue. The gentlemans name is Jim Spellos.
BTW and FYI, a propos today's news re the new Amazon tablet, initial word sounds like it's not going to be an iPad killer; it's more for enhanced media consumption. Here's an excerpt from a writeup that appeared today:
"As far as hardware is concerned, the Kindle Fire looks more like a cross between the Nook and the Blackberry Playbook than an iPad copycat. Yes, it's a full-color, touchscreen tablet with an app store, but the Fire's similarities with the iPad don't go much further than that. The device has no camera or 3G connectivity. No microphone. No accelorometer. At 7 inches, its form factor is smaller than the iPad, although Amazon is reportedly considering launching a 10-inch model if this one works out."
I agree completely with Anil ... there is no tablet market. There is only an iPad market. Run, don't walk, and get an iPad 2 with 3G from AT&T. While Verizon has a better domestic network, AT&T has the world. I say this not because I've owned one iPad... I've owned two.
I purchased the wifi version of the iPad (first gen) before 3G was available. While I loved it, I sold it almost immediately and bought one with 3G when it arrived. Why? GPS, which I think would be why you would want one for travel. The 3G versions have a hardware GPS unit that works even if you don't have a 3G data plan. Wifi-only units do not. With the wifi iPad Google Maps (which is free and installed) was able to pinpoint my location within 1500 yards. With the hardware GPS in the 3G version, you can watch youself move from room to room within the house. Amazing.
As mentioned, there are Android tablets but it is the depth and breadth of Apple's apps (100,000 iPad specific and over 400,000 iPhone that can be used on the iPad) that make the difference. Purchase the wireless keyboard and you can write just like you were at your laptop. Yes, you can type onscreen but we're writers. We type fast. With the wireless keyboard, you'll be typing as fast as you can. (I also have a travel case that holds both the iPad and the Apple wireless keyboard, all in one nifty package.
HP's TouchPad is dead. (I liked WebOS and purchased a Palm Pre, but there were so few apps it wasn't worth it.) The Blackberry Playbook requires that you have a Blackberry phone to get online. (What a pain.) I don't know much about the Motorolla Xoom or any of the others except that they have not made a dent in Apple's lead. No one knows how good the Kindle Fire will be, since reviewers were only allowed to hold it to judge its weight, but I'll guarantee that it will be optimized to purchase content from Amazon.com. Apple won't own the market forever but right now they do. (And will until 2015, according to recent coverage.) They are the only choice in my book.
I didn't buy the iPad 2 when it came out because, while it is much (much) lighter, the only other advantage was a camera. I'm a photographer. I have my own cameras. You can still buy refurbished iPad (1st gen) on the Apple Store website. (Scroll down the left side of the home page to the refurbished area.) Today they have the refurbished iPad wifi +3G 16GB for $399 with free shipping and one year warranty. I always buy their refurbished gear. (Never buy refurbished from Phillips, just so you know.)
You can also buy a data plan for just one month, then stop, or up it to a higher bandwidth. Right now I have no data plan. I'm traveling on Monday, so I'll purchase the plan then. GPS in the car is a wonderful thing. I love my iPad. You will, too.