Now is the time for lawyers to invest in a tablet device
Has all the buzz around tablets set
your head spinning? Not sure what to
make of it all?
You’re not alone. Early adopters
define them in techspeak and leave the
other 95 per cent of us to struggle with
Don’t let the techspeak discourage
you — tablets are worth checking out.
What are tablets?
Essentially slate-like devices, their
touch screens have proven intuitive
enough to sell millions of tablets over the
past year. Basic email, web surfing and
social media, as well as entertainment
and gaming, work well on tablets. Bat-
tery life tends to be stellar, and the whole
package is far lighter than notebooks.
The biggest drawback? Unless you
get a separate keyboard, you likely won’t
write your next brief on a
tablet. (I wrote drafts of three articles
about the iPad using an iPad and Apple’s
Pages word processor, but I wouldn’t
want to handle revision on it.)
The market leader (no other tablet is
even close at this point), the iPad has it
all: great performance, thousands of
apps, a wide selection of accessories,
and a price point which competing tab-
let makers are struggling to meet.
While not necessarily failings, some
people knock the iPad for:
n;not including a USB port to handle
things like external storage devices;
n;Apple’s “walled garden” (aka App
Store) approach, in which Apple con-
trols the applications you can put on
BlackBerry fans (in other words,
just about every lawyer I know) will
at least check out the PlayBook. The
larger screen, even if it’s smaller than
the iPad’s, makes using applications
far more pleasant, a less squinty
A PlayBook won’t give you email or
PIM apps if you don’t have a BlackBerry
to tether it to, but the flip side of that
limitation is that if you lose the Play-
Book, you don’t lose that information.
Less forgivable: while the Play-
Book’s screen is smaller and third-
party apps scarcer, its price is compar-
able to the iPad’s.
Google Android-based tablets
Google makes its Android phone
and tablet operating systems free to
hardware makers, so you can pick up
models from Motorola (which, at press
time, Google is trying to buy), HTC,
LG and others.
Tablet shopping: a primer
The first question many people ask is
“Which tablet should I get?” Let me sug-
gest a better one: “Can a tablet prove
useful to me?” This second question
leads to more questions which, once
answered, provide the answer to the first.
So let’s flesh out the second question.
What tablets can handle
the tasks you perform daily?
If you only want to perform generic
tasks like web browsing, email, calen-
daring and contact lookups, just about
See Tablets Page 23
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