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Tablets can make the trek outdoors
Several friends who hunt said my recent column on taking technology to the deer stand omitted their favorite new devices: e-readers or tablets. When the hunting activity slows down in the woods, some hunters slip out their tablets and quietly read till it’s time to spring into action.
With the launch of the new iPad Mini in October and seven new Kindles from Amazon, consumers are on the hunt to decide which tablet-sized option is best for them. The deer generally don’t have a preference as long as the tablet keeps hunters from focusing on them.
Most hunters take Amazon’s Kindle to the tree stand. The newly released Kindle Fire HD comes in two sizes, the traditional 7-inch model and the new 8.9-inch model. The 8.9-inch model is meant to rival the 9.7-inch screen on the iPad. Google also has a tablet on the market called the Nexus 7 and is preparing to launch the Nexus 10 (a larger-screen tablet). The smaller tablet is easier to slip into the bib of your camouflage overalls, but if you have trouble seeing the screen and don’t fancy reading it with your scope, the larger models might be best.
Prices vary widely on these tablets, with size, memory and connectivity determining the final cost. When you’re looking to purchase a tablet, you might see a description that reads something like this: “Apple iPad 9.7 (inches) 16 GB Wi-Fi Black.” The first part of the description is simply the manufacturer, such as Apple, Samsung or Kindle. The “9.7” is the size of the display on the tablet in inches. Common display sizes are 7 inches, 7.9 inches and 10.1 inches.
The second number, in this case 16 GB, refers to the number of gigabytes of memory the device has. The more gigabytes the tablet has, the more books, music and movies you can store. Common storage sizes for a tablet are 16 GB, 32 GB and 64 GB. The last term refers to whether or not the tablet can use a cellphone signal or if you must have a wireless network nearby. If you are out in the woods, the ability for the device to use a cellphone tower would be more practical.
Before purchasing a tablet, consider what it will be used for. Tablets that are primarily used for reading e-books and magazines while in the deer stand can be much more cost-effective than high-end tablets that let you check email or watch high-definition movies. There are three classes of e-readers: the basic black-and-white devices; the smaller, handheld Kindle Fire HD and iPad Mini; and the larger tablets such as the iPad, Nexus and Kindle. Prices for tablets such as the Kindle Fire hover around $159, while the iPad Mini starts at $359. A Nexus tablet starts around $400, while the iPad can cost around $700.
The difference in pricing comes down to options. The iPad Mini has the same access to the Apple iTunes store as the iPod and iPad, giving it access to more content. The Kindle and Kindle Fire HD have access to Amazon’s wealth of books. Both are great products, so it depends entirely on what you plan on doing in the deer stand.
This season, as you wait for the next burst of activity, take your tablet and catch up on that book you’ve been putting off reading.