Wednesday, July 16, 2014

My Cheap Android Tablet

When I was in 8th grade I took a computer class.  The nature of topics covered in elementary computer classes varies from generation to generation as technological innovation keeps advancing.  My computer class was in 1984, so we had limited technology - compared to today - and used BASIC programming language.

Recently I met one of my classmates from 8th grade.  He told me that back in 8th grade, I pointed to all the computers and said, "One day, you'll have a device in your pocket that is able to do a lot more than these computers."  I wish I had pursued that dream, because I'd be a billionaire today. 

The tablet - between the laptop and the phone

The best working definition of a tablet that I've seen is from Walmart:
Tablet PCs are compact, ultra-portable entertainment devices that let you read email, surf the internet, read eBooks, view photos, play games, listen to music and watch video files. Most tablets are based on a smaller operating system, which allows you to purchase and download additional applications from supported stores. 

 The vast majority of tablet computers, or tablets, either use the Apple's iOS operating software or Google's Android software.  The approaches of the two companies is completely different and the result has been a transformation of how we approach portable computing.

Apple only uses the iOS operating system in its own devices.  At the time of this writing those include the various models of iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad, and iPad Mini tablets.  The advantage of this closed system is that the quality of software is more consistent and higher.  Additionally, because Apple manufactures its own products, the products are usually more technologically advanced with better cameras, touch surfaces, and so on.

Google has licensed Android so that anyone can use it with a device.  While the standard software works the same on any Android Device, the price can vary based on the quality of materials used to manufacture the tablet products.  Lower-priced tablets can be expected to have fewer features such as a high-resolution camera, storage space, or stronger case.

Cheap tablets

Not too long ago I received an e-mail from Walmart listing a variety of tablets in the $70 range.  I was intrigued and performed some online searches for Android tablets.  I was surprised to find tablets as low as $30.  I purchased one, which I will be describing in a future post.  Below are the results from two companies, T-mart (where I purchased my tablet) and Amazon.

For the price of dinner out for a family, you can own a tablet.  This has a lot of potential because now this technology can be available to almost anyone. 

I will be sharing my experience with my $30 tablet and comparing it with my higher-functioning iPad tablet.  For me, learning about the Android tablet is new, and each software approaches tasks differently.  Additionally, I expect that there will be a difference in the capabilities of my new tablet when compared to the iPad. 

Note:  I am an affiliate for Tmart, so if you purchase from there, I will earn a small commission. 

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