- Created on Tuesday, 25 December 2012 17:00
Tablets have been a huge aspect of the mobile market recently. It seems as if most people have their smartphone, a desktop/laptop, and now need something in the middle. The iPad is really nice, but it simply doesn't have the power features I desire. I see the new quad core processors in tablets, but then those tablets also are missing what I want. If I decide to replace my Toshiba Thrive, it must have the following features:
Feature #1: Expandable Storage
Let's face it. 16gb is more than enough internal storage for a tablet. My 8GB Toshiba Thrive holds more than enough space for core apps and immediate items. However, I decided to plug in a 32GB SD card to hold images, movies, photos and apps. With Android 4.0 running on it, the device runs apps great from external storage. If I can't plug in a SD or micro SD card into my future tablet, it is a deal breaker.
My tablet runs music, movies, apps, and everything else perfectly from an SD card slot. While I wish it was a micro-sd slot(maybe even ask for 2 of them?), I am very happy with the ability to carry "movie cards" with me for thing such as plane flights, car rides, situations where I travel and don't bring a laptop, etc.
Feature #2: Future Proof Resistant Specifications
When I first thought about what I wanted in a tablet, I wanted it to be future proof for 2 years. Probably not something that will happen. Instead, having a tablet that can keep up with technology and still be low-ended after 2 years is a better thing to wish for. All too often, technology gets outdated before it should be replaced, and we are moving at a rate that is accelerating as time goes on. My i3 processor is already somewhat outdated and I feel that I am outgrowing it. Do I need a faster processor? No, I don't. Would I like an i7? Absolutely.
I would love for a tablet to come out with a quad-core, or even an 8-core processor that blows the competition out of the water. It needs to be fast, yet still cost-effective. Same goes for RAM, a graphics processor(this is HUGE with the gaming development coming for Android), and even things such as screen resolution and battery. I would love for a 5-day battery. My Thrive lasts me for most of the day, but sometimes needs a little boost to stay alive.
Feature #3: USB Port(s)
Having a tablet with a USB port is like getting a smartphone. You can never go back. Sure, cloud computing is making a strong case for dropping physical storage devices, but what about if you don't have an internet connection. I love being mobile, but there's no way I'm paying extra for another data connection for a tablet. Also, those speeds are never guaranteed to be as fast as a USB connection, nor will dead zones help you much. I carry flash drives on keychains, in my car, and even lying around at work. I also like backing things up to a large external hard drive every month just in case.
Having access to these devices from a tablet is necessary in my opinion. This may mean a laptop-inspired charger as the power source, but that's something I'm willing to work with. If you cannot have a full usb port due to spacing and motherboard layout, that's fine. Just simply make an adapter. My Samsung Galaxy S3 has a small usb adapter that lets me access flash drives from the device, saving a lot of time and frustration when someone wants to copy some pictures or video.
Other uses for USB ports include accessing other electronics and connecting a controller or other input device to the tablet, such as a mouse/keyboard. I realize that bluetooth is making a strong case for tablets, and I will gladly adopt them as long as I can charge my bluetooth devices through my tablet's USB port.
Feature #4: External Buttons
I love my Samsung Galaxy S3 for many reasons, but one of the huge things I like is the Home button being physical. If I wish to end an app and jump to the home screen, I have to press a button. No more mistakes mid-game/app that causes me frustration. I would LOVE for a new tablet to have multiple buttons on the edge of it to let me customize. Even having a 1, 2, 3, and 4 button would be great. Do I want to open a browser? Press 1. Do I want to check my Gmail? Press 2. Do I want to open Skype? Press 3. How about ending all running tasks? Press 4. This would seriously make my Android experience easier and more efficient.
Feature #5: Replaceable Battery
This will be the last time I glorify my Toshiba Thrive, I promise. The device has a removable battery, meaning if I foresee a long trip ahead of me, I can bring 2 or 3 batteries with me to keep the device alive. While this is not practical for most users, I could seriously see myself using this feature all the time. I have one additional battery for my Thrive, and I have used it before. While camping, I ran one battery dead watching a movie, and then was able to pop in my second battery for another movie. It wasn't an absolutely necessary feature, but I found it useful on more than one occasion. I could purchase an external battery, but those take up a lot of space. While it could charge my phone at the same time, my Thrive took care of that as well with its USB port.
So there you have it. My dream tablet will support expandable storage, be way ahead of its time for specifications, have at least one full USB port, external buttons that can be programmed, and a replaceable battery. That's not too much to ask for, right? Let's add that fact that I would like to spend less than the cost of a laptop of similar stats, so let's say under $500.
Which companies could pull this off? Let's look:
Apple: Ha! No.
Samsung: Possible, except this device would be very expensive, which is reasonable.
HTC: Possible, they did make the first HTC Evo, which is the best phone for its time.
Asus: Definitely a possibility. They have been known to make cost-effective devices and packed them with good stuff. Transformer line is sufficient evidence.
Microsoft: Nope. Moving on.
Sony: Once again, cost will be a major factor. They charge a lot for their products, but they do give quality.
Huawei: Interesting company, they are trying to jump into the game in the U.S.. I could see them making a super-tablet that really gets their name out. I have played with some of their lower-end phones and they are actually pretty fast, and well-made. Definitely worth looking into.
Google Partnered with Another Company: Yeah, this will probably happen.
What features does your "Dream Tablet" have? Let us know in the comments!