So I checked out smart phones and consulted with Andrew. I discovered that a smart phone could cost me $500 or a minimum 2 year contract at $50-60/month. I already have a cellphone and use it maybe twice a month. And the screens of smart phones tended to be 3"-4" in size ... very portable but very small. Is there a better option? Maybe a 7" tablet computer instead of a telephone? But what is available?
I researched the Kindle Fire and the Nook Color, either one would probably meet my needs but they are not available in Canada, and neither one has access to the Android Market. What is available in Canada ... that I can afford? I decided that I would not pay more than $300. I needed something that would support the LDS Gospel Library, otherwise it could not replace the briefcase. The Blackberry Playbook 16GB is on sale for $200 (originally $500) and from a hardware perspective is an unbelievable deal. But further investigation showed that it does not run the Gospel Library, or Android at least not yet. I looked at various other tablets. Some were too large and some were too small. Some were too expensive and some were too "cheap". At present I am looking at the Acer Iconia 7" tablet for $280 and the Lenovo IdeaPad 1a for $200. The Iconia is the better hardware. But for $80 less, the IdeaPad 1a still has good hardware and comes loaded with interesting software. Both have full access to the Android Market, Gospel Library, have a microSD memory card slot, GPS, and are built by major manufacturers. Either one should meet my needs nicely.
Or should I just keep the briefcase that has been serving me since 1985? The computer geek in me keeps screaming "Here is your perfect chance to get a tablet computer so that you can teach others how to use it for family history! Your kids have already donated over $100 to the project. You can't let them down!" My Scottish blood keeps screaming, "But Laddie! $300 for a toy that you don't even know how to play with???" Which voice will win?