Smart phones seem to be getting bigger, and laptops seem to be getting smaller. All this tech meets somewhere in middle with tablet computers. For many truck drivers who rely on cell phone plans for connectivity, tablet computers are now getting affordable enough to be considered viable options.
Most tablet computers use stable and quick solid state hard drives (SSD), and they can now use cloud-based file services like iCloud or Google Play. These services were started so people wouldn’t lose music, movie and book files they bought when their computers were damaged. Hard drive failure is still one of the biggest problems when it comes to computing, so this is a quick and easy way around that problem. If you have an Amazon account, just use mobile apps like Amazon MP3 to find out how the cloud services work.
Basically what we’re saying is, that tablet computers have a few advantages over traditional laptop computers for people who are on the go, but they still don’t quite match up with laptops for processing power. The answer to that is – for the most part, as long as you have a strong data network or WiFi connection, tablet computers will perform on the road just fine for nearly any application.
So let’s get to it – here’s some tablet computers that offer power, precision and a price within many truckers’ budgets (at least, we hope).
The current king of the tablet computing world. Apple has sold millions of these devices over the last 3 years because they’re intuitive, they’re quick and the display is super sharp and colorful.
The iPad features a 9.7-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit glossy widescreen Multi-Touch display with IPS technology. Processing power comes from a 1 GHz dual-core Apple A5 custom-designed processor. Forward facing and rear facing cameras are the most popular feature because truckers love to connect with their family through mobile apps like Skype and FaceTime.
iPad killer or just killer tablet? Probably more of the latter. It won’t do everything, but it can do enough with a good performance curve. The Asus Transformer Prime sports an iPad 2-inspired design that’s even thinner and nearly as light, while also managing to include microSD slots so you can take your pictures and music files with you everywhere if you wish.
It also features Micro-HDMI support that makes it a snap to send your video signal out to a TV in high-def vibrance. The Prime delivers smooth and clear 1080p video, and the 8-megapixel camera captures detail and color more accurately than any other tablet camera we’ve reviewed.
It’s a bit bulky for people who are into the whole “slim = sexy” school of thought, but drivers with larger hands probably won’t notice a difference at all.
The Toshiba Thrive’s very aggressive pricing gives it an advantage over most other tablets. Its grooved back, full HDMI and USB support, full SD card slot, and replaceable battery justify its very bulky design.
Also, its built-in file management system makes finding and accessing files from anywhere on the road hassle-free.
Android’s answer to the industry-topping iPad back in 2009 was this little gem. The Motorola Xoom had a lot of hopes heaped on it by PC lovers who weren’t quire ready to switch over to the iOS.
Critics are split over whether this computer is an actual “iPad killer,” but early adopters seem to like it. This is the Wi-Fi only version of the Motorola XOOM, company’s first ever tablet computer.
It features a 10.1-inch capacitive screen with a resolution of 1280×800, a 5MP HD camcorder (front-facing cam included) and the mandatory dual-core ARM-based Tegra.
From a design perspective, no Android 3.0-based tablet has matched the iPad 2’s no-nonsense aesthetic. Every Android tablet released so far has struggled to match that appeal.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 is the first Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) OS tablet that is not only as thin as the iPad 2, but is actually lighter. It’s got a full bank of ports for media transfers, a 3-megapixel back camera and a 2-megapixel front camera for video conferencing with your family, and powerful dual speakers.
Since it’s Android, it also has excellent voice command capability for calls, GPS, etc.