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Should you prefer a tablet or an eReader for Christmas?

With so many tablets and e-readers in the market it’s a tough job for the consumers to decide for which device to go for

Well the holiday season has arrived once again and a lot of the crowd out there is hoping for a decent tablet to be left by you till it ends. But just buying any device won’t be your concern as I feel. Most of you might be in a state of confusion for days as which device to opt for in this long list of devices.

Although the market is already flooded with the Apple’s iPad but there are also a lot of other devices you can opt for like the Kindle Fire. The Kindle Fire from Amazon is already a major concern for Apple. Other competitors won’t give much competition to Apple.

Amazon is also feeling the heat in the dedicated e-reader market. Products like Barnes & Noble’s Nook and others also in the market and are also offering a good competition. Although for the first time there is a real contender for the second position in the market and it is the Kindle Fire. According to a survey by Change Wave Research in Bethesda, 22 percent of the consumers are willing to buy Kindle Fire. This might be a blow to the companies in the tablet business like the Motorola, RIM, Dell, HTC and even Toshiba.

According to another survey by PriceGrabber, 79 percent of the consumers will go for tablets rather than a laptop and 72 percent of the shoppers even believe that tablets would replace e-readers as gifts.

Starting with the e-Readers, they are E Ink devices which are represented by the Kindle, Nook, Sony Reader and a few others. In these devices the display is easy for the eyes and it also don’t drain a lot of battery. The page turning is quite faster and the text is also prominent. The hardware is light and pocket-size. If you also have Wi-Fi or cellular connectivity you can also download e-books. Some libraries also let you borrow books from the library and in case of Nook you can even lend books to a friend.

The devices do a tremendous job in replicating paper but they are of 6inches in display size. However one thing important to mention is these devices are not backlit, or we may say we can’t read the books in the dark. But this also leads to a superior battery life.

The Kindle which made a debut about 4years ago comes for a price of $399. But now they are also available with some offers for just $79 or pay $109 for a version without the offers screensaver and home screen adds. Amazon added touch screen controls with a Wi-Fi only $99 or $139 Kindle Touch.

Again the Barnes & Noble Simple Touch Nook Reader is available for $99. And same is the price for the entry level Kobo reader. The Sony reader Wi-Fi device is available at $150 and it is ad-free.

Now for tablets, these are the devices with interactive displays and perform most of the functions of the PC. However, the heavy duty tasks are not possible with these devices. These devices are represented by the iPads, Samsung Galaxy and a never ending list. The kindle Fire and the Nook tablets come with a 7inch screen while others like the iPad and Galaxy comes with a 10-inch screen.

The Nook and Kindle Fire is both tablets built on Google’s Android operating system but are a bit different from the normal tablets as they have less features. Their interfaces are also quite different from the usual Android slate available. The application of the Android Market store is not available in these two tablets.  They don’t even have a camera if you want to do a video chat. But the price of these two models is very low as compared to the other tables. We can say they are priced according to the features they provide and are priced at $249 for Nook and $199 for Fire.

Other Tablets which are offered at a range of about $450 and above have quite more features than the above two. They include the iPads, Samsung Galaxy, RIM Playbook, and others from different manufacturers. These devices can be called as fully functional tablets as they are capable of doing most of the tasks as done by Computers.

They have an interactive display with high resolutions. They are offered in mostly two sizes of 7inches and 10inches.  The Samsung Galaxy and iPad are quite similar in most of the factors and there has also been an appeal by apple claiming Samsung of copying the device. But both the devices are among the best in the list of devices.

Lenovo has also a model called the ThinkPad in the market which can be called as the business tablet as it is more business friendly. It also includes a digital pen and a keyboard folio for the help of the users. This model comes at a price of $499 and above.

Toshiba another big name I the electronics industry has also in the competition with their Thrive tablet which is offered at a price of $380 and above. Although it provides most of the same purpose as other tablet but its design looks quite bulky.

Sony has also come up with their S range of tablets and is quite unique in its wedge design. Another from their stock is the tablet P which has a dual 5.5inch display.

RIM’s Playbook a handsome 7inch tablet is now offered at a discounted price of $200. As it could not make way in the market because it lacks some basic features like native e-mail cellular connectivity and a low collection of applications as it is not an Android based tablet.

The 10.1 inch Motorola Xoom an Android tablet is offered in the market at a price at $359, although it is quite good but still it could not make its way in the market.

All the tablets mostly faced the sale factor of the Apple’s iPad. They have been the most desired tablet of this year and also lead the sales list. iPad also has the same fate and its sales are still counting.

So we can say there are really great options for the consumers to decide which tablet or e-Reader to opt for, and there are also a lot of factors that are going to affect the consumers while taking the decision while going for a particular device.


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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2011 11 > Should you prefer a tablet or an eReader for Christmas?
Pallab Jyotee Hazarika, 2011-12- 1 (Update: 2012-05-26)