Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Tips For Buying A Tablet

Considering buying a tablet computer? You are not alone. In fact, it is without a doubt the hottest selling computer platform. Thanks to Rick Georges at his futurelawyer blog, here are some thoughts to keep in mind as you go shopping.

While I have been buying and testing tablet computers, both from a love of gadget testing, and to help out you tech challenged lawyers who are being bombarded with ads for tablet computers, I have come to a bright line conclusion; if you think you will want a tablet, Rule Number One is never to buy one with a resistive touch screen. Run, don't walk, away, if an ad or a Seller identifies the screen as resistive, or if they won't tell you what kind of screen it is. Also, stay away from the 7 inch form factor. The screen is just too small for a decent video experience. Get an Apple iPad (9 inches), or a Gtablet (10 inches) or the upcoming Motorola Xoom (also 10 inches). All have capacitive touch screens, fast processors, and the latest tablet OS. The GTablet was my choice, because it was less than $400, and I like playing with and loading OS builds; but, it has a lousy interface out of the box, and requires a tech mindset and some willingness to learn about how to flash ROMs and to sideload and install software. However, it has a Tegra dual core processor, and a big, beautiful screen, and runs Android Froyo 2.2. I expect that today's announcement of Gingerbread (Android 3.0) will prompt hackers to get a build that I can install on it later as well. But, again, Rule Number One, You DO NOT WANT a resistive touch screen. It is a real pain to have to press down on a touch screen to get it to recognize a finger press. The tablets, like [certain ones at] are cheap ($99 to $199), but they are, in my humble opinion, unusable. In the final analysis, for real work, I am sticking with my Dell Inspiron Duo, which has a real keyboard, and runs Windows 7, for all of my law firm software, However, the GTablet has earned a place in my bag, and I carry it around for fast consumption of web, email, and video. It also works fine when I am in a supine position in a LaZBoy recliner. I refuse to divulge how much time is spent in that activity.

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