Microsoft and Google Create Tablets; Attempt to Rival iPad


Image Credit: Tsubaki Kaworu

When it comes to the iPad, Apple must be doing something right, because other tech giants such as Microsoft and Google are creating their own tablet computers in an attempt to grab a piece of the tablet market.

Originally released in April, 2010, the iPad took the tablet world by storm. A short two years later, Apple has sold over 58 million units, and their staggering growth isn’t predicted to slow down anytime soon.

That is, of course, unless Microsoft or Google have their way.

In early June, 2012, Microsoft unveiled their answer to Apple’s iPad – the Microsoft Surface tablet. In what as seen as a first for Microsoft, the hardware for the Surface will also bear Microsoft’s name, as it will be produced in-house. This is a departure from Microsoft’s typical norm, where their software works with a whole range of hardware manufactured by other companies.

The Surface features a 10.6-inch wide display, consisting of the scratch-resistant Gorilla glass, a multi-touch keyboard and track pad, a full-size USB port, dual Wi-Fi antennae, and more. Models will come in a variety of colors, and will come with either 64 GB or 128 GB of storage space. Microsoft’s Surface tablet is expected to cost around $599.

Then, in late June, 2012, Google unveiled their rival tablet – the Google Nexus 7 tablet. Built by ASUS, the Nexus 7 will be the first of Google’s devices to ship with the much anticipated Android 4.1 OS release – Jelly Bean.

While it is attempting to gain market share against iPad, many early testers have noted that the features are similar to the Kindle Fire, suggesting that perhaps Google is angling to take over more than one area of the market.

The Nexus 7 features a 7-inch display, a 1.2-megapixel front facing camera, a micro-USB port, and comes with either 8 GB or 16 GB of storage space. Unfortunately, there is no storage expandability at this time. The Nexus 7 starts at $199.

Regardless of which company you favor, all of this extra competition in the tablet market should help to drive down the cost, making it more affordable for consumers.

Already use a tablet? We’d love to hear from you. Leave us a comment telling us what you use, and why you like it.

Julie Strier is a freelance writer who enjoys helping you understand your technology options. Email:

Are Tablet Computers a Viable Option for Work?

Using a Tablet for Work

Image Credit: IntelFreePress

Tablet computers are a hot topic, and with good reason. Tablets, and touch screens, are revolutionizing how we interface with our computers and how we do business with clients.

But are tablet computers better suited for play, or are they a viable option for work too?

Android Tablets

When Android phones came on the scene, they made a big impression. So how do the Android tablets stack up?

As far as work productivity goes, the Android tablet is not a good fit, yet. It is basically like using a larger version of your Android phone. While the larger screen and keyboard is nice, you may find that you experience the same frustrations working on your Android tablet that you do when working on your Android phone.

Unfortunately, at this time the Android tablet is better suited for play. However, manufactures of Android products stay competitive, so don’t be surprised if they find a way to boost the work functionality of these types of tablets.


Apple users love their Apple products, and the iPad is no exception. Aside from being an entertainment device, the iPad has some great apps which help increase work productivity.

The Ipad is a viable work tablet option for some, depending on what you need to accomplish. Keep in mind, however, that most work networks are Windows based, so you may have issues switching between the two environments.

Windows Based Tablets

A Windows based tablet is probably your best bet when it comes to a tablet that allows you to both work and play, because of how easily it integrates with other Windows products.

However, the Windows based tablets are still catching up to all the fancy touch screen capabilities. While Microsoft focused on some of these features with Windows7, they have much better tablet support in Windows8.

Another drawback with the Windows tablets is price – they are comparable to the price of a laptop.

Click here to read a comparison between the iPad and Windows8 tablets.

Do you use a tablet for work? How well does this arrangement function for you? Leave us a comment letting us know.

Julie Strier is a freelance writer who enjoys helping you understand the ever changing technology landscape. Email: