Saturday, 16 April 2011

My First Tablet

Today I bought my first tablet: an Agora one from Kogan at $160, delivery included. According to the website we are a month and a half away from receiving our tablet which is probably yet to be manufactured.
As tablets go, this one is probably not going to knock you off your feet; Kogan specializes in having getting technology stuff delivered at dirt cheap prices by cutting corners, so I am not holding my breath to receiving the flashiest thing out there that would bring iPads to their knees. To name but one example, I am not expecting stellar performance from the battery. I am, however, looking to receive something practical, through which my three year old can have a smooth introduction to the world of technological gadgets so dear to his father. The price obviously has a saying there: I would think twice before letting my son touch the latest flashy tablet or smartphone, but at $160 I’ll take the risk.
Having set the expectations down it is now time for me to raise them again. This new tablet we’ll be receiving is not exactly a piece of junk, specs wise: it’s got a 1Ghz single core CPU, like the first generation iPad; a 7” screen, like the first generation Samsung Galaxy Tab; it’s running Android 2.2 as its operating system, the currently dominant Android version for phones although not the newest (2.3) and not the one aimed specifically at tablets (3.0); and unlike the iPad it’s got a memory card slot and a USB input (albeit a mini USB input, which would be a minor pain). If you ask me, the whole thing smells like a polite version of the current first generation Samsung tablet.
The main thing that held me back from jumping on the iPad bandwagon thus far was the lack of use, as in justification, for buying an expensive device. The Kogan’s cheap price makes it easy to justify the expense:
  1. It’s going to be a good quick Internet browsing option. Unlike the iPad and the rest of the Apple folk it can deal with Flash, too; the main limitation is going to be the screen size. My 7" netbook and I know that 7" is not enough for a satisfying long term experience; then again, it's not like our household is short on proper Internet browsing facilities; the tablet's advantage is its instant turn on ability.
  2. It can be used for watching videos. My three year old would love it.
  3. It can be used for listening to music. We can connect to our main hi fi and listen to music, for example.
  4. It can be used to play games. There are tens of thousands of them available on the Android platform – did I mention the three year old would love it?
  5. It is an easy to start / quickly available platform for running Skype calls, our main venue for international calls (and a very viable option for local calls, too).
  6. Given that Android can easily accommodate for VPN connections we can tap into the infinite resources of the American web. For example, we can have Pandora deliver us our music.
  7. It doesn’t have 3G capabilities, but coupled to our wifi hotspot we will have Internet browsing abilities wherever we want without carrying a mountain.
  8. It will serve as a nice introduction to the Android operating system for me.
All in all I would say we will be getting our money’s worth. You can count on me to still be on the lookout for a tour de force tablet that can replace my netbooks in doing proper computing stuff like managing photos and, for what it’s worth, blogging. For now, though, I’m happy with my first affordable step into the realm of the tablet; I hope my happiness won’t turn sour when I actually receive the gizmo.

Image copyrights belong to Kogan

1 comment:

Moshe Reuveni said...

Kogan announced today that it's tablets will be delivered with Android 2.3 installed (instead of the originally promised 2.2). That's great news: 2.3 is the latest Android operating system for mobile phones.