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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Why I did not buy a Samsung tab...or an iPad

Last Saturday, I walked into an electronic store to purchase a Tablet, a tab. My preference was for the Samsung 10.1; in the store I also came across the iPad 2. And in this section was also on display an array of laptops.
Why do I need a tab? My usual practice is to surf the net after dinner, possibly read an e-book, catch up with people on Facebook or LinkedIn. I do it on a laptop connected to the net through Wi-Fi, sitting at a table in the living room. And I doze off most of the time. It would be so much more comfortable if I could do all of these propped up in bed, and doze off without a care.
The Samsung 10.1 on display was a 3G+ Wi-Fi 16GB version priced a little over Rs 33,000. Its cover, a necessary accessory, was an extra Rs 3,500 or so. Which meant that the tab would cost me between Rs 36-37K. The 3G+ Wi-Fi 16GB version of the iPad2 with cover was Rs 37,000. The one with 32GB was around Rs 41,000.
At this point I began to wonder if, at this price, it made any sense to buy this device. At a price of Rs 40-45K one could purchase a much, much more powerful laptop with oodles more hard drive space, and do more on it than is currently possible on a tab. [Don’t believe me? Check out the Dell Vostro 3750 which sells for about Rs 41,000 all inclusive.] And of course, any worthwhile laptop can connect to the net through a Wi-Fi connection, or a wireless device from your favorite mobile service provider, or can be tethered from a 3G phone. So what would I miss? The touch screen for one, its light weight, and certainly the convenience of surfing or reading propped up in bed.
Didn’t I know all this before I visited the store? I guess I did, but the heart went like “Let’s get one, let’s get one”; and it was only after we actually fiddled around with the tab that the head asserted “Come on. This gizmo is not worth 37K. A 40K laptop is more value for money any day. Get a hold of yourself. You want to spend 37K so you can surf lying down, and push things around the screen with your finger? Shame on you!” The heart didn’t have an answer.
So I am back at my laptop. The heart is disappointed. And so is the head. This innovation did not match up to expectations; or perhaps it wasn’t created for me.