In this age of technology, I am probably one of the few people living in an industrialized nation who does not have a Smart phone and really feel no desire to get one. Since I do have a side of me that is a little geeky, I did want a gadget in addition to my laptop.

 Earlier this year, I was looking for a computer device that was easy for travel, smaller than my laptop, but could provide access to websites and email on a screen that was actually readable.

 I decided to get one of the latest electronic gadgets – a tablet. I began my research and read hundreds of tablet reviews. I travel a lot and while I still lug my laptop on longer trips, I enjoy having something that makes it simple and quick to access the Internet. A tablet could almost fit in my purse, which makes it convenient for quick overnight trips or a long weekend getaway.

 In the end, it came down to two options – the iPad 2 and the Motorola Xoom.

 No, I did not get an iPad 2. Instead, I bought a Xoom. The Xoom for me made more sense than an iPad. There were several reasons and maybe in the end, I just didn’t want to be part of the iPad craze. Here are some of the non-psychological reasons:

  •  The browser was just like a computer browser unlike the iPad.
  • It was faster than the iPad.
  • The speakers were better
  • There was a lot more customization.
  • As much as I love Apple (I have a MacBook), the proprietary applications of their brand just does not exist on the Google/Android platform that the Xoom features.
  • It was virtually the same price.
  • I liked the user interface on the Xoom better than the iPad (ex. ability to brose multiple sites with tabs)
  • More memory and better resolution than the iPad
  • Flash on the Xoom camera (minor, but a nice option)
  • Xoom includes a micro SD interface for additional RAM.
  • HDMI video capability without an additional accessory that the iPad requires

 In the end, both tablets were great and the differences were not that significant. If you are not computer savvy and just have to have all of Apple’s devices and more app options, get the iPad. 

While the Xoom is pretty easy to setup and use, some people want a no kidding, take it out the box, ready-to-go device. This is what the iPad offers.

The choice is a personal one and I encourage you to research before you make a purchase.  I have included a couple of articles for further reading.

 In my mind, a tablet is not replacement for a laptop. Having a physical keyboard, a mouse interface, AC power, and more software options makes it necessary for most people to still have a desktop or laptop. This may change down the road, but for now, my tablet is in addition to my laptop and serves different purposes.

In October, Amazon came out with the Kindle Fire for a much lower price than the iPad and Xoom. I don’t know much about this new tablet, but it could change the prices of tablets, making it more affordable for people.

 A tablet is not a necessary device, but a fun addition to the tools you can use for business or pleasure.  

Note: This review was based on the iPad 2.  Apple may be working on a newer version or even have one available on the market, depending on when you are reading this article.