Tablets, tablets, tablets.
There used to be just one, but suddenly now there is a huge selection. With so many choices it can become a real trick to know which one to buy.
If you are shopping for a tablet, one thing you need to know is that they are truly apples, oranges, bananas and blackberries. This means that it is honestly hard to do direct comparisons.
If you have decided it is time to buy a tablet, you have also probably read many reviews on 'which tablet is right for you'. I will not be so bold as to predict which tablet is going to be your new companion by provide some long list of pros and cons. The reality is that you need to go Future Shop and spend 10 minutes with each tablet. Just like the right magic wand will find its owner, the right tablet will also form an instant bond.
Should you make the move to invest (yes invest, they are a little expensive) in a tablet, I want to suggest that you not overlook the Blackberry Playbook.
I have to admit that I like the smaller size of the Playbook. Large real estate is always great when you need it, but the small size of the Playbook means that it fits in my jacket pocket, hides in my laptop bag and even fits in some pants back pockets. While I have carried many devices over the years, I find that the Playbook is with me more than any other tablet because of that smaller size.
A Playbook runs a unique operating system called QNX - sorry, BBX - sorry, BB10 - well, whatever it is called now - that is very powerful. You may have never heard of QNX, but it is an operating system that has been around for more than 20 years and has likely been a part of your life already. It is fast, knows how to multitask, is (more or less) secure and is Canadian.
Apps are starting to emerge faster and faster on the Playbook. The device comes with Need for Speed, Tetris, a word processor, spreadsheet, PDF and more of the basics that every tablet needs to have. Most of those basic apps need to be purchased on any other device but with the Playbook they are included.
A very unique feature that is seldom mentioned is the clever way that you get music, movies, pictures and other files onto the device. If you connect the Playbook to your computer with a USB cable, it automatically installs a bit of software and then maps itself as an X: drive. All you do is copy the files you want onto the tablet. You can even do the same thing through WiFi by finding the Playbook on your local network. No extra software or complicated process is needed. There no other device makes it this simple.
Plus - the high-definition screen works in sunlight, the battery lasts for days, the case has a solid rubber backing, the music and video players work for a ton of file types, the HD camera takes amazing 5 MP pictures, the web browser has Flash, multitasking is easy and the HDMI output is handy.
Tablets are expensive, but RIM seems to know that the Playbook was overpriced the day it went on sale. With these current price reductions, you need to give the Playbook a test-drive before you buy any other tablet.
(Jan 4 - Corrected the comment on the camera, it is indeed 5 MP and not 8.)
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