Last week, our LD Experts covered the best school laptops of 2016. But what if you want a device that’s more practical for schoolwork than a smartphone, but lighter and generally cheaper than a laptop?
Of course, you’ll be interested in tablets. These days, that also includes convertibles or hybrids – with hideable or detachable keyboards. That way, they function as either a laptop or a tablet, as needed.
But which are your best options? As always, that depends on your needs and also your budget. Here are some of the best tablet options for 2016.
Join our tech team for a Twitter party on Tuesday, August 27 to learn more about the evolution of touch screen technology, why it’s so prominent in today’s devices, and some of the latest and greatest products in touch screen technology available at London Drugs. You’ll also have a chance of winning one of several $50 London Drugs gift cards.
Date: Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Time: 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. PST
Location: Online – Twitter
Watch Jeff and Julian talking about some high tech stocking stuffers. Link
When you see it raining outside, which happens often in Vancouver, you put on a raincoat or bring an umbrella. When it is snowing, you put on heavy coat, gloves, hat and boots. That is the most natural thing to do: choose the right wardrobe items for the conditions.
What does that have to do with electronics and computers? As it turns out, a lot.
As the neighbourhood Geek, I am often asked:
What’s the best computer around?
What should I get: a tablet or a notebook?
Is the desktop computer history?
From my own 30+ years of experience with computers, choosing the right computing device should start with the conditions, not the device. In fact, it is not that different from your mother telling you to dress warmly when the weather is cold.
I’ll use myself as an example. I work in an office most of the time; I travel for business and for pleasure, on trips that range from overnighters in North America to longer trips to Asia or Europe. I need to keep in touch with family, friends and colleagues through email, video and internet conferencing. My work follows me all over the globe. I am also an avid photographer.
Based on my decades of experience in computing devices, here are my recommendations:
For the office: I use a desktop. You simply cannot beat the investment value of a desktop. It is the most upgradeable and longest lasting format. Add a pair of decent sized monitors and I have a work environment that is secure, powerful, and productive for years. My choice is a Certified Data PC with Windows 7 and a pair of ViewSonic monitors.
For the short road-trips or vacations: I bring only my tablet. I will not have enough time to do too much else other than email, so why bother with gadgets and weight I don’t need? For this, my choice is either the Apple iPad or the RIM PlayBook. The larger screen of the iPad is nice and the email app is reasonable. The fact that it runs Netflix just makes it that much nicer. The 7 inch format and the PlayBook Operating System make the PB an absolute joy as a traveling companion. I took the Playbook on vacation last year and managed to bring it along everywhere I hiked and did not do irreversible damage to my back.
For longer trip: Since I need to bring my office environment with me to stay productive for the two weeks on the road, I take my notebook. A tablet is no longer an option. It simply will not allow me to be fully productive for that stretch of time. I need a real keyboard, fully functioning suite of Microsoft Office apps and access to corporate network. My choice is a Certified Data notebook.
For the photographer in me: I sometimes go on extended trips to shoot photographs. Since I like to see and edit my shots at night in my hotel, I take along the notebook.
Now, before you say that I have too many computing devices, hear me out: all my equipment listed here costs less than one single Apple Macintosh when it was introduced 28 years ago.
The price of that original Mac was $2,495.
For the complete nerdy set up describe above? Let’s see:
Total price comes to between $2099.95 with the Playbook to $2419.94 with the iPad. So, instead of a computer with a 9 inch black and white screen, no hard drive, a single floppy drive and 128K RAM, I can get all of the above and treat my electronics like my wardrobe: wear what is appropriate for the conditions.
The main reason for doing this?
I can be more productive when I use the correct wardrobe item that fits the conditions.
Written by Cedric Tetzel