e-Life Advisor: Choosing a Tablet

Charlie Hoover


Helpful information regarding your Electronic life- all the computers, smartphones, tablets, home entertainment and internet tools you rely on to be productive and entertained.

Stephen from Lexington asks, “I’m thinking of getting a small tablet of some kind but I don’t know which one to get. My wife loves her iPad but I’m not sure I need one that big or that expensive. I really just want to have a good screen to read books, check email etc. I’ve been looking at either the Kindle Fire or the iPad Mini. If I go for the cheaper one will I regret it?”

Well Stephen this is a great question! It’s also pretty subjective but I’ll start off by saying that you wouldn’t regret getting the Kindle Fire. As smaller tablets go it’s a very well designed device. You’ll have access to pretty much every major app you could want as well as a direct link to Amazons catalogue of books, movies, TV shows and physical goods. If you’re mostly focused on the books though, I would recommend looking at the standard Kindle Paperwhite. It won’t run apps but you’ll be hard pressed to find a better reading experience anywhere.

On the Apple side of things we have the new iPad Mini which is their first foray into the smaller tablet arena. As such while it’s a very beautiful device, it doesn’t completely fit into the existing lineup yet, mostly due to its lack of what Apple calls ‘Retina’ resolution for the screen. If you’re already deep in the Apple ecosystem then it may be worth considering though, especially if you’ve purchased a ton of apps or content through iTunes already. In general you’re better off spending the extra money for the full sized iPad Retina since you’ll be getting more for your money and a better reading experience.

If it’s a matter of getting the most for your money, I’ll recommend something you might not have heard about: The Google Nexus 7. It’s a 7” Android tablet that’s a fantastic compromise between the Kindle Fire and the iPad Mini. It’s fast, cheap, and can run almost any of the 700,000 apps in the Google Play store. It’s only real down side is the lack of a decent camera but if that’s not your priority it’s going to be your best value. Whatever you decide to go with let me know if you’re enjoying it!


Charlie Hoover is a Senior e-Life Technologist at Geek Housecalls of Lexington.

If  you have an e-Life problem or concern of your own, you can contact me via email (elife@geekhousecalls.com ), Facebook or Twitter (@elifeadvisor). I look forward to helping you! For those of you, who want more information about windows 8 or new tablets, visit our blog


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