Bill's Genealogy Blog

Bill Buchanan is a long-time genealogy enthusiast, living in Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada. This blog will describe my experiences as I research my family history and help others.

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Location: Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada

I am a retired online school teacher. I love family history. Since 2007, I have spent much of my time providing part-time support for the world's largest free family history site This is very rewarding. I have helped others with the Family Tree and related FamilySearch products.
Since April 2010, I have served in the Edmonton Riverbend Family History Centre. I have a FHC blog at Bill's Family History Center Blog For information the Latter-day Saints and family history click

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Buying a Tablet Computer
Two weeks ago Judy asked me what I would like for my 70th birthday. I could think of nothing. "Is there any piece of computer hardware or software you would like?" Nothing came to mind. Later that day I said "I think I would like a smart phone like Andrew has, so I wouldn't need to carry a briefcase to church. I am always misplacing it." In my briefcase I carry two books of scripture, the Sunday School lesson guide, a study manual or two, and the manual for the family history class. Andrew has all of that on his smart phone.

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?


Blogger Teresa said...

For Christmas my husband gave me the Blackberry Playbook, 16G but then after a couple of weeks the battery wouldn't hold a charge. We took it back to Best Buy for warranty work. Blackberry would not accept it from Best Buy and because we live in China and visiting the States for Christmas we decided to return it for our money. A red flag went up if Blackberry wouldn't do warranty work.

I had also put in a request for help and about 6 weeks later the IT guy "found" my email. We chatted a couple of times and he admitted the IT guys would rather play with the other devices than their own Blackberry. Funny, huh?

Be interested in what you decide to get, let us know.


Monday, February 13, 2012 at 12:35:00 AM MST  

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