Analysis - Sam Wambugu manufacturers rush to capitalise on the attention given to the Apple iPad, there seems to be new tablet computers coming out every now and then.

And although one cannot keep track of every slate thrown into the wild, if you are curious to know what your options are, here is a general overview of the tablet landscape.

If you love watching movies and listening to music while you are out, but don't need to do other work, then a tablet is for you. If you want constant way to your emails and the world online then a tablet is for you.

However, if you are planning on doing a lot of work and having loads of documents, spreadsheets and web browser windows at the same time, then the superior horsepower afforded by a laptop would probably be beneficial.

There are two types of Tablet PCs - the Convertible and Slate. Convertible Tablet PCs are the ones that look like laptops or notebooks but can be swivelled or folded.



New generation

Let's not forget about its technical design capability that allows for easy mobile compatibility.

And this is not all; the whole concept of the Tablet PC is created keeping in mind the style conscious and technology eager generation of today.

And don't think that only those who are techno-whizzes can use a tablet PC. The tablet PC is quite simple to use, almost like a laptop just more advanced.

The benefit of the tablet PC is that it's portable and allows for easy surfing, which is what makes it so popular.

In the world of tablets, the iPad reigns as king. It has everything that makes an Apple product stand out -- sleek design, posh feel, debonair look, innovative technology and is sizzling cool.

Lots of Android models beat the iPad 2 in specific respects. Some have longer battery life, for instance.

Others make it easier to get work done. Some are simpler to use with a camera or TV. Others may come in a size that you find more convenient.

Android tablets come in varied screen sizes: 7 inches, 8 inches, 8.9 inches, 9.4 inches, and 10.1 inches.

Some have screens of a higher resolution than the iPad 2's display, some offer the option to add more storage with a memory card, and some boast integrated ports.

Generally, these are not the only tablets in the market. There are many others and with great features.

While looking out for a tablet PC, some of the features to look for include one that allows for flexibility; for example one that use the digital pen, stylus or a mobile keyboard.



Battery life

Handwriting capability should allow you to write and store information with digital ink and Windows Journal.

Ensure that it is easily portable, it should be ultra-thin and light; the battery life should be long -- over four hours is considered a good battery life.

speech recognition software is great. Make sure it has the latest in wireless capability that is an integrated wireless LAN 802.11b and Bluetooth.

Look for the audio system; it should include built-in speakers, headset adaptor, microphone input and the facility to attach external speakers.

Sam Wambugu is a monitoring and evaluation specialist.

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