A New Tech Low

Greg and I decided to try something new. These "new thing" efforts typically occur during a three-beer solution, brainstorming session. This time we may have actually doubled our efforts, since the outcome has been … tragic. We decided to try an affordable approach to tablets. With all the tablet hype and market growth going on, we wondered how a low-budget solution would fair. We opted to try two different pads on the android platform. We had basic criteria along the lines of recent OS (Android 2.2 or higher), decent processing speed, good storage, etc. I went with a 7 inch screen; Greg went with a 10 inch screen. We both chose "off brands" in order to keep the cost reasonable. My 7 inch pad was $150 – delivered. Greg's 10 inch pad was $190. Mine totally sucks. I don't know where to begin in my evaluation since I have yet to find anything I like about it. The biggest problem is likely the touch-screen. Attempts to activate apps, use apps, input info and browse websites result in the highest levels of frustration. My daughter was all excited when she saw it – calculating this might mean a tablet for her. I promptly handed it to her, with a hearty "good luck." Five minutes later it was back in my hands. Bottom-line: price-point tablets are not there yet. Hopefully the new Kindle Fire will bring this dream closer to reality. However, that model seems to be an "up-sell" environment. So up-front, low-cost may be a bit of bait-and-switch. I suppose the biggest lesson from this experience – is to stop at three beers.

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