Shopping Tablets This Year?

November 30, 2011

I would not have expected to be shopping for a tablet this year, except for the fact my eyes were telling me that I needed something different than what I had. I have an iPhone, however I knew I needed something bigger to view my email, Facebook, and other applications.

There were several issues driving me to my purchase. First of all, my eyes were getting worse trying to read such small print on my phone. Age, I'm sure, is part of my problem -- I am turning 40 in March. Besides that, I wanted a larger screen. I figured since I was considering a purchase of some kind, I'd rather have a tablet than have to get new glasses.

My next issue was paying for a data plan every month. You are required to have a data plan when you have an iPhone, or other smartphone. With our finances being what they are at the moment, I'm tired of paying for it. When you have a "two iPhone household", it's difficult to pay the extra $60 per month. With a tablet purchase, I am not required to have a data plan so long as I have WIFI connection. This is okay with me because we have two wireless hot spots at home, and we frequent places with WIFI.

My third issue relates to pictures and video. While I do have the capability to take pictures/video and watch video on my iPhone, again it's too small. A tablet solves this problem with a much bigger screen. The picture/video capability led me to which tablet to buy. Many tablets out right now do not have a camera. I wanted a camera, but I didn't want to pay iPad prices to get it.

The first option I considered was the Kindle Fire. Since it's the newest tablet on the market, and it costs much less than the iPad, I wanted to check it out. It is great for an eReader, however the operating system was lower than I wanted and it does not have picture/video taking capability.

Next I looked at the iPad. I wanted to see what others considered to be the utopia of tablets. It does everything I was looking for, however the cost outweighed the benefits in my opinion. I could not justify paying $499 for the WIFI only model.

The last option I considered, and purchased, was the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0. While the screen is not as large as the iPad, it was considerably larger than the screen on my iPhone. It meets my need for a picture/video capable tablet, and I am able to get the applications I need. Also, I don't need a data plan to use it. I was able to get a great deal at Best Buy and purchased my tablet for only $299 (currently selling for $399).

I plan to discontinue use of my iPhone when my cell contract expires and go back to a "regular" phone. (I will be switching my cell service, too, but that's a discussion for another day.) It may not be as cool as what people are using now, however, I will be saving some money. I have no need to have an iPhone and a tablet at the same time when my tablet provides the same benefits plus more.

**Note: This post is to share with you my process for selecting a tablet. I am not an expert on the subject, but I hope this helps someone who may find themselves in the same situation as me. Thanks!**

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