Tablets: Tool or toy? (2011 Tablet Countdown)
In the market for a tablet, but not sure what’s out there on New Zealand shelves? We round up tablet devices, put them to the test and rank them from the regrettable to the unforgettable.Siobhan Keogh & Zara Baxter | Tuesday, June 21 2011
A cheap tablet in stores or online may appear to be a thing of beauty, but not all tablets are created equal. Tablets vary from terrible to tremendous, and it’s not always easy to pick out which ones are good. Fortunately, we’ve done the groundwork and tested eight tablet devices for you, so you can make an informed choice – whether you’re looking for a tool or a toy.
The question we’re most commonly asked about tablets is, “What does it do that my smartphone doesn’t?” A reasonable question: tablets are, in many ways, overgrown phones. They won’t replace a phone or a laptop, but as an in-between device, they’re useful for those people who want something more portable than a laptop, or who travel a lot and want to read, write and play comfortably.
Are tablets just a toy? We think so, unless you’re really determined to use it for productivity. Most people buying tablets plan to use it for six, seven, or even fifteen different tasks, and in reality end up using it for one or two – usually web browsing and casual gaming. Read our account of two weeks with a tablet online, written by a new user (and gadget lover), to see how the reality matches the expectations.
But let’s be honest – if you want a tablet, hearing that you don’t need one isn’t going to be a deterrent. You’re never too grown up for exciting, if expensive, toys, and if you can use it as a tool as well, so much the better.
We'll be posting our eight tablet reviews over the next four weeks, one each Tuesday and Thursday. Keep an eye on this article, or the carousel on the PC World front page.
ViewSonic ViewPad 10s
ZTE V9 Light
ViewSonic ViewPad 7
Samsung Galaxy Tab (7-inch)
Acer Iconia Tab A500
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v
Apple iPad 2
How to choose the best tablet for you
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