It's been a big couple weeks for tablet computers with the Big 3 all announcing new products. Tablets are the fastest growing segment of the computers-without-practical-uses market. But how should you decide which tablet to spend a few hundred bucks on and then leave sitting around the house? With this handy guide, silly!
Price range: $329 - Holy $hit
What's new: Steve Jobs famously said nobody wants a 7-inch tablet. Like the second mouse button, Apple knows what you don't want but they'll eventually give it to you anyway and pretend it was their idea. Last week, despite protestations from Steve's beturtlenecked ghost, Apple went ahead and released a mini tablet. But don't worry, they somehow managed to get a smaller tablet into the same huge price! Amazing!
Where you'll leave it: iPads are aimed at middle aged women who don't have laptops. So you'll probably leave yours at your mom's house and she'll use it once a month to check Facebook but will never get the hang of typing on it.
Price range: $199 - $499 (Additional savings: there are no apps you'll want to buy. Cha-ching!)
What's new: Google's Nexus 7 set sales records for Android-based tablets by being more than a dozen. It was similar to the Kindle Fire but with enough processing power to actually turn the device on. Yesterday, Google announced the Nexus 10. It's just like the Nexus 7, except heavier and more awkward. Note: they also released the Nexus 4, so named because it has a 4-inch screen, not because it's the 4th Nexus phone. Even though it is. Naming devices is still something no Android manufacturer seems capable of doing well.
Where you'll leave it: Nexus tablets are aimed at Google nerds. You'll probably leave it on your coffee table made out of scrap lumber next to the Bawls energy drink.
Price range: It doesn't matter.
What's new: The Surface is the first tablet and, for that matter, Windows device that Microsoft is manufacturing themselves. Microsoft heard you all clamoring for them to make more stuff on their own, unless you weren't clamoring, in which case they heard your complete apathy about them and mistook it for clamoring. Like Windows Phone, Surface might be great, but you'll never know because the only time you'll ever see it is in a Microsoft announcement. The cover that is also a fully usable Qwerty keyboard would be a cool accessory if it came with an iPad or Nexus 10 so it would get some use.
Where you'll leave it: The Microsoft store.
Of course, you don't have to drop big money on a tablet you aren't going to use. You can always just buy a Kindle for $69 and then feel guilty you aren't more into reading books.