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Targeting the right tablet

May 30, 2011
Adelle Whitefoot - Journal Staff Writer ( , The Mining Journal

MARQUETTE - When choosing the right tablet to buy there are plenty of options but there isn't much of a difference other than the operation system and size.?The biggest difference is price.

There are many places in Marquette to buy a tablet and the prices and brands vary from place to place. Most tablets also require a contract with either AT&T or Verizon for them to work. The Samsung Galaxy Tab, 3G Motorola Xoom and the 3G iPads require a plan from either AT&T or Verizon that can cost any where from $10 to $80 a month depending on how many gigabytes the plan allows.

The Blackberry Playbook, Motorola Xoom Wi-fi, Acer Iconia Tablet, HTC Flyer, Huawei S7 Slim, and the Wi-fi only iPads do not have to have contract plan from any company. As long as there is Wi-fi available where the device is being used the tablet will pick it up and the user can surf the web as well as do many other things, said Tanner Wagner, mobile manager at Best Buy.

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"And there is no tablet that is just for business or for home because they all do pretty much the same thing," Wagner said. "Whether it's watching movies or laying out a spreadsheet any of them can do it."

So the only thing a buyer has to decide on is a budget for price, the operating system, whether they want just Wi-fi or 3G and whether they want a monthly contract. Other than the iPads, which run on Apple IOS, and the Blackberry Playbook that runs on the Blackberry OS, the rest of the tablets run on Android. All of the systems are very similar except for a few small differences.

Blackberries don't have as many applications as the Android Market and Apple's App Store. Android tablets allow the user to customize the home screens the way they choose and the iPads are just like the iPhones and only has the list of applications downloaded as the home screen. So if you like to customize your tablets, phones or computers then the Android tablets and the Blackberry Playbook would be the perfect choice.

The cheapest tablet available right now is the Huawei S7 Slim, which runs on Android, has Wi-fi capability and is only available at Best Buy for the price of $299.99. The most expensive tablet available is the iPad and iPad2 ranging from $399.99 to $829.99 and ranging from 16 GB to 64 GB of memory. The cheapest place to by a 64 GB iPad2 is at Walmart but the cheapest place to by a 16 GB iPad is at Verizon or Best Buy.

If you already have an iPad and want to upgrade to an iPad2, Target offers a trade-in option. They will give you a Target gift card for the amount of the trade-in price that can vary from $171 to $300 depending on the size of the memory and the condition of the device. That gift card then can be used toward buying an iPad2 and then the buyer would only have to pay the difference.

There are many different options when it comes to tablets that are affordable for those not looking to spend a lot of money. As the customer you just need to set a budget and stick to it.

Adelle Whitefoot can be reached at 906-228-2500. Her email address is



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