This blog is about Graphic Design, Vector Art, and Cartoon Illustration BradHallArt.com


Should you get a tablet, like an iPad, or a Kindle Fire?

If you've seen Kindle Fires, or iPads, or any other type of tablet, you may be wondering if they are worthwhile for you. And, like all pieces of technology, you have to ask yourself what it would do for you? So, rather than focusing on all of the *shiny* stuff these devices can do, let's look at function. That is, after all, the underlying reason why we pay good money for things like cars, houses, etc. They do stuff that we need. So here are some things that you may, or may not need:

Nook ereader
• Reading books. Personally, I love to read ebooks. I started many years ago reading them on my Palm Pilot (remember those?). I would say that it's the most basic function that you could request of a hand-held device. And while you can read books on iPads, Kindle Fires, etc., they have a LCD screen and, because of that, the reflections are not just annoying when you read, they're painful, like strobe-lights being flashed into your eyes all of the time you're reading. So don't buy an iPad or a Kindle Fire to read books. Instead buy an inexpensive e-reader, like a Nook. True ereaders don't have a reflective LCD screen, and they are a pleasure to read on. And no, they don't play movies, or anything like that, they're for reading books. So, if all you want is to read books, do yourself a favor and get an inexpensive ereader. My Nook was $80, as compared to an iPad, which is about $400. And it works better for reading books, as there are no reflections and it is feather-light. I can read for hours on my Nook, even outdoors, but only a few paragraphs on my iPad, and never outdoors.

Apple TV
• Watching movies. If you have Apple TV, or something similar, in your house, there is no need to buy a tablet so that you can watch movies on it at home. I can watch movies here in my home office on my computer, or in the living room, or in my workout room using Apple TV. But if you're like me, and go away for long periods of time (I visit friends, and do some house sitting), and would like to watch movies without having to try to learn their complex system of multiple remote controls, etc., a tablet is wonderful. Turn on your tablet, ask for their Wifi password, and you're watching your movies. I have Netflix, which I use a lot. Since I have an iPad, I can also access my iTunes library of movies. Sorry, you can't do that on a non-Apple product.

I don't travel much, but when I do, I like to be able to stay connected with my email, etc. Since I don't use a Smart Phone, I wanted a device that would allow me to do that, and also let me watch movies. That's how the iPad works for me.