Should I Buy a Tablet?

by Kevin on November 29, 2012

I know, I know. I just told you I can’t stand the holiday shopping mania.

And it’s true. I hate going to the mall and I can’t fathom ever standing or sitting in line, outside, in the cold, to get a discount off of anything that cost less than $5,000. (I will take discounts on luxury supercars and vacation homes…)

That having been said I am open to taking discounts on items I already planned to buy. We purchased a laptop from Newegg for my wife several years ago at a nice discount. But I knew what I was going to buy, I researched the deal, made a few clicks, and went on with my life.

I’m back to having that itch again, but I’ve held off thus far. I just can’t decide if I should get a tablet or not.

Pros and Cons of Purchasing a Tablet

Right now I’m leaning toward a Google Nexus 7 thanks to the handy size. It would be a breeze to bring with me on travels compared to a laptop. Then again if I am traveling for an extensive period of time I’m probably going to want my laptop with me. I wouldn’t consider an iPad Mini – the screen is garbage. (I imagine the iPad Mini HD will come out sometime next year and be a worthwhile device.)

And when you get to the 10″ screen size of the iPad and Nexus 10, it isn’t a tough decision. The iPad has the app ecosystem full of tablet-specific apps. The Nexus 10 is a Google device (my preference) and has an even better screen than that iPad. But I think a 10″ screen is getting into laptop size, and I’d rather have a 13″ Macbook Pro for something of that size.

Pros of Purchasing a Tablet

I Won’t Be Going Into Debt

This is the key to every spending decision I’ve made since starting this blog in 2008. We are no where near being in debt aside from our mortgage, and consider ourselves blessed for that. I can make a $250 purchase out of my spendable “allowance” that I get and save each month as part of our budgeting process without worrying about interest payments. If this would put me in debt I would never consider it.

It Could Be Useful

I may be traveling more in the future, and if that is the case having a larger screen than my cell phone to catch up on reading, compose emails on, etc. would be really nice. It is a luxury, absolutely, but it would still be nice to have.

Cons of Purchasing a Tablet

I’ve Never Used One Effectively

I purchased a Viewsonic gTablet a few years ago that turned out to be … okay. The pros of the device were it was hackable so you could put other versions of Android on it, but the screen turned out to be very poor to the point that there was only one good viewing angle in landscape mode. Because of this I ended up not using the device as much as I anticipated. Most nights if I am watching a sporting event or something like that I have my laptop up in front of me to do a little bit of work or reading.

I Can Do Without

This is definitely a luxury item. No doubt about it. I don’t need a tablet just like I don’t need a smartphone or a nice car. My needs consist of a roof over my head, food and water for me and my family, and the ability to get to work. In reality most things I own aren’t needs they are wants.

That having been said I don’t need a tablet. I can do reading on my laptop or smartphone. I can watch videos and compose emails on another device. It is more about the convenience factor.

Right now I am holding off, but every time I see a deal pop up on a Nexus 7 I get more and more tempted. Have you found yourself in this type of situation in the past? What did you do?

{ 3 comments }

Mark Monnin November 29, 2012 at 9:28 am

Good decision. Tablets are nice, but for me it’s only because the screen is much larger than my phone. The fact is, I can do everything on my phone that I can do on my tablet. I got mine from work, but I never use it because the screen is slightly too large, so the reflection of the two lights on the bus annoy me. Riding the bus is the one time I’d use it, since I fly about once per year, with my family, and at home I’d rather be on a laptop.

However, it’s a different story for my wife. She loves having the tablet around. I let her be the account for Facebook, and she uses it for Pinterest and for recipes on the kitchen. It’s easier than a laptop to pick up and quickly see what you were looking for.

Deacon @ Well Kept Wallet December 5, 2012 at 5:20 pm

I bought a Samsung Galaxy tablet and I barely ever use it. I can say that when I travel it comes in handy. When we were on vacation this summer I used it all the time. So I guess I would be a bigger fan of it if I traveled a lot.

Casey December 21, 2012 at 8:41 am

I just asked for Apple gift cards for Christmas two years ago and got enough (with the sale of my old laptop) to get an iPad 2. I have used my iPad every day since and haven’t regretted that purchase, and the way I did it made it really easy on the wallet.

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