If You Are Thinking About Buying A Tablet in 2012

Real Estate Agent with Burch & Co. Real Estate

What you should know before taking the plunge

This Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which showcases the newest, most innovative and dreamiest technology, featured well over two dozen tablets — from budget models, to the lightest, to highest definition, to waterproof — this year.  How’s a person to choose?

Pick Your Operating System

Tablets come in three basic flavors — iOS, Android and Windows (not including RIM’s BlackBerry OS).

geekcom android-ios-windows.png

Image from Geek.com

When it comes to device selectionAndroid wins hands down — there are literally hundreds of devices operating on the Android OS, while only 11 currently run on iOS and about 20 run on Windows mobile.

When it comes to sheer number of apps available, iOS is the winner, with over half a million apps — the Android marketplace is hover just under 400,000, while there about 40,000 apps for Windows Mobile. Chances are pretty good, however, that you won’t want half a million apps. Or even 400 thousand. It’s likely that the apps that are most important to you are available on more than one mobile OS. Check out the app stores and the app reviews — see if what you want is available on the OS of your choice.

Freedom of choice — unlike the Windows and iOS platform, the Android platform places no restrictions on the available apps. You can sideload (download) any app onto your device, unlike iOS and Windows devices, which require that you jailbreak them in order to install “unapproved” apps.

For more comparisons among the three operating systems, see A Mobile Showdown on Geek.com.

Find Your Size

Choosing a tablet is like the Goldilocks and the 7 (or 8 or 9) Bears — tablets come in sizes from 10” (like the iPad, which comes in at 9.7”) to 9” to 8” to 7” to 5” (where the line between phone and tablet becomes so blurry, Samsung has coined the term “phablet”).

galaxy tab.png

Samsung owns the size variety offered by a single manufacturer — Samsung’s Galaxy line comes in five different sizes:

·        Galaxy Tab 10.1 — 10”

·        Galaxy Tab 8.9 — 9”

·        Galaxy Tab 7.7 — 7.7”

·        Galaxy Tab 7 and 7 Plus — 7”

·        Galaxy Note — 5”


Samsung Galaxy Note– first “phablet”

The introduction of the 7” to 8” tablet — ushered in by Amazon’s 7” Kindle Fire last fall — is the biggest change in the tablet game since  the iPad. Lighter, smaller, easier to hold, more portable — the mid-size tablet has been a huge hit, despite Apple’s original and total rejection of the viability of the size as too big to compete with smart phones and too small to compete with the iPad (for Steve Jobs’ 2010 rant against the seven inch tablet, check out this blog post on the Wall Street Journal).

Current rumors in the industry are that Apple is investigating testing a new tablet that will be about eight inches (via The Wall Street Journal).

Some tablets to choose from

Leading entries in the 10” tablet category include:

In the mid-size tablet category, you’ve got:

Next week: evaluating tablet specs to find the right one for you.


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Debbie Laity
Cedaredge Land Company - Cedaredge, CO
Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO

The choices are overwhelming. I talked with a friend that has an Ipad before I purchased mine. I ended up with one that uses the Android OS because that is the same system as my phone. So far I've been able to get any app I've wanted. I'm happy with the Android OS and my choice of tablet, but it was a difficult decision to make. If your needs aren't too specific, I think most users will be happy with just about any of the choices out there.

Feb 22, 2012 09:27 PM #1
Carol Zingone
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Florida Network Realty - Jacksonville Beach, FL
Global Realtor in Jax Beach, FL - ABR, CRS, CIPS

Eric - thanks. Looking forward to your next post on this, as I'm debating if I need a tablet, ,or just wait for the ultrabook phenom....I'm accustomed to a fully functioning device, and actually have a 1st generation HP tablet with the rotating screen and stylus...

Feb 22, 2012 09:29 PM #2
Ralph Janisch ABR CRS Broker
Janisch & Co. - Conroe, TX
Selling Northwest Houston to good people like you!

I've been thinking about it for a while now.  I'm leaning for the iPad but not sure yet.  We'll see what the iPad 3 does when it comes out next month.

Feb 22, 2012 10:05 PM #3
Mike Dobbins
West USA Realty - Cave Creek, AZ
Scottsdale, Cave Creek, Carefree

I love my iPad, just wish they flash issue would fix its self. Our MLS changed tax systems and the new one uses flash now.

Feb 22, 2012 10:41 PM #4
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