Now that the market is abuzz with tablets, it's important to understand what to expect from these devices and what not to. There are some things that tablets are extremely efficient at, and others that they can't be used for. Understanding can help determine whether to buy one or not, or select the right one.
Let's start with what tablets are extremely good at. They have very high style quotient, and provide excellent out of the box functionality for email, web browsing, social networking, book reading, taking/watching photos and videos, listening to songs, etc. There are lots of applications, both free and paid that you can download from their app stores, or even get custom apps developed for your business needs.
These are all things you would already have heard about tablets, so now let's look at things you don't typically hear. When you buy a tablet, be ready to incur significant running costs -on accessories, paid software, and Internet bandwidth. It's like buying a car and later spending on its maintenance, fuel, etc. So you'll need to buy one that fits your pocket.
Let's start with accessories --after buying a tablet, you'll need a protective cover/sleeve for it. Later, you would feel compelled to buy a separate keyboard because you can't type fast enough on its virtual keyboard. How about a good pair of Bluetooth headsets to listen to music without being wired to your tablet? The list of accessories is endless and you'll keep wanting to buy more.
Moving to apps, it's a nice feeling to know that when you buy a tablet, you get access to hundreds and thousands of apps from the various app stores. Unfortunately, the best productivity apps are mostly paid for, and the free ones have very limited functionality, to the extent that you can't do the most basic tasks with them. Install a free office suite for instance, only to find that you can't edit documents you import to it. Install a free visiting card scanner, to find that it lets you scan and OCR only one card in a day. Install a free file transfer utility and transfer files to your tablet, only to discover that you can't open them from other apps on the tablet unless you upgrade to the paid version. Even basic things like printing from your tablet require you to buy an application. Every free app will have some catch.
The bandwidth issue is pretty much self-explanatory, because you'll need lots of it to install all those great apps. Plus, many of them would also access the Internet as one of the features. So long as you use Wi-Fi from your office or home, you're fine, but move to 3G and you'll start getting hefty bills!