Tablet Computers

Don Trauger – Kennett

The current rage in the computer world is the tablet computer. Made popular by Apple’s iPad, this device fits in somewhere between
a smartphone and a laptop computer. Screen sizes are typically in the 7″ – 10″ measured diagonally. You operate it via a touchscreen
instead of a standard keyboard and mouse which makes it similar to a smartphone.

What makes these devices so popular? Is it battery life, portability, or ease of use? Actually it’s all three plus other features of
a tablet. A tablet can play games, surf the Web, check email, and many other things. If you download additional “apps”, you will
enhance the overall use of the tablet. Apps (short for applications) are programs that are specifically designed to work on a tablet
and smartphones.

In 2012 Microsoft will introduce its newest operating system, Windows 8. Windows 8 has been designed not only to be on laptops and
desktop computers, but also on tablets. In fact many gurus feel that a Windows 8 tablet will target Apple’s Ipad and given the proper
device, give Apple a run for its money. We’ll see if that statement rings true. In the meantime we have the iPad 2 which outsells all
other tablets at least 20 to 1. The others are Android based tablets. Android refers to the type of operating system used on the tablet.

If a tablet interests you I suggest you start with the iPad 2 and then compare other Android tablets against it. The iPad 2 carries a
premium price of $499 for a 16 GB Wi-Fi model and the price goes up if you want a built-in mobile phone. Android based tablets can be
purchased for less but may lack certain features important to you. A tablet choice is a personal choice.

Using it will require, of course, an Internet account with Comcast or Verizon and a wireless router connected to the cable modem or
connected to, or built into, a Verizon DSL modem. Typically tablets do not connect to the Internet via a cable. The iPad 2, for example,
does not have a USB connector so you can’t hook up a printer unless you have a wireless printer.

A tablet may not be for everyone but for those who are interested in something very portable and easy to use, a tablet can make for a
useful tool.

The PC Club meets the second Tuesday of each month at 7:00 PM, upstairs in the Ardmore room of the Community Center.