Instead of saying, “I know, right?!” when someone tells you about all the cool features they have on their first smartphone, you’re likely to say “it’s about time!” That’s because 91 percent of American adults now own a cell phone and 55 percent of these are smartphone owners, according to a January 2014 Pew Internet study.
But today’s essential gadget has to be the tablet—they’re bigger than phones and everyone in the family can find a use for them. Tablet ownership is also growing. The same study found that 32 percent of adults own an e-reader and 42 percent own a tablet, which when combined, mean 74 percent of people own a non-phone device.
If you’re considering taking the plunge and investing in a tablet this year, you might be interested in learning what they can do beyond the basics, and then finding a deal on the tablet that suits you best. Here are four reasons why buying a tablet is a wise move.
Take Photos and Video
It might seem bulky at first to pull your tablet out and tell people to say cheese. But tablets offer clear, steady images that can go beyond simple snapshots. In 2010, a group of wedding photographers broke ground by showing it’s possible to document a wedding with an iPhone 4, and today’s tablets can do even more. Nicole Chan, a Boston-based photographer, recently shot an engagement session remotely with the help of her iPad. She was several cities away, but gave directions and watched through Skype. Access to photo editing apps and photography training via your tablet can also help turn you into a pro.
If you’re a small retailer who doesn’t have your own business space, it’s now easy to take your wares on the road. There are a variety of apps and hardware add-ons (dongles) that allow your customers to securely swipe credit cards. The software also can help track your income and expenses, making it easy to see how effective your entrepreneurial efforts are. Set up shop in flea markets, festivals or trade shows. Most of these services require a 2 to 3 percent transaction fee and Internet access.
Bring the Internet
No matter who your carrier is, once you go mobile, you’ll start running into gaps in wireless coverage from time to time. In these cases, you may be able to find a free or cheap Wi-Fi zone, like a coffee shop, hotel or airport. Or you can turn your pad into a mini hot spot. T-Mobile offers a variety of devices that let you create hot spots.
Get More Out of Your Battery
According to Computer Geek Blog, portability is definitely a big plus for tablets vs. laptops. Tablet batteries generally last much longer than laptops. Though you might be used to lugging your laptop and its bag and battery charger around, you’ll quickly get used to the convenience of being able to throw a tablet directly into the bag you’re already carrying.