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CSA Online

by Andrew Moore-Crispin

Fire Amazon US$50 or US$250 for six amazon.com/fire

The sub-$100 tablet isn’t a new thing. Manufacturers whose

names you wouldn’t likely recognize or remember (you’re better

off for it, really) have beenmaking creaky, cheap-o tablets since

the iPad cracked the tablet category wide open.

This is the first sub-$100 tablet that you’d actually want...and

it’s considerably sub-$100.

There are certainly sacrifices to be made in reaching this kind of

crazy price point. The 7-inch screen is small by tablet standards

(the iPad screen is 9.7 inches, the iPad Mini’s screen is 7.9

inches). It’s not the brightest screen going either. The Amazon

Fire tablet is powerful enough to run many games and apps

in the Amazon App Store (which contains more than 350,000

titles), but it’s not the cutting edge.

That said, it has the distinct benefit of being so relatively

inexpensive that you can entrust even a particularly clumsy

kid with it.

Maybe think about it this way: You could get 12 Amazon Fire

tablets (two six-packs at $250 each) for the same price that

you’d pay for the entry-level iPad.

A tablet for everyone on your list, a

tablet for every room in your house

and a couple left over to use as cut-

ting boards, to prop up a wonky

table leg or any other application

you can dream up.

This tablet runs Amazon Fire OS,

which is a branch off Android’s

tree, but it doesn’t offer access to

the better-than one million apps in

the Google Play Store, alas.

A Tablet to Cure the Winter Blahs

Tablets have gone fromnewly minted novelty to living roommainstay.

The speed at which they reached ubiquity is impressive and speaks

to the gap between smartphone and full-on computer. Now, at the

higher end of the market, they’re blurring the line between tablet and

laptop, and doing it well.

The original iPad launched in April of 2010. It wasn’t the first tablet,

strictly speaking, but it was the first to really hit the public conscious-

ness. Now, you can buy a six-pack of tablets for $250. Seriously, you can

buy tablets like you buy beer. That is a thing. A thing that you can do.

Galaxy Tab S2 8.0 Samsung US$399 samsung.com/tab

This is a premium

tablet that’s as nice to

hold as it is to look

at and use. It weighs

a mere 9.3 oz and

is just 0.22 inches

thick. It’s not “paper

thin” but, man, it

sure feels like we’re

getting close.

We won’t over-

whelm you with

too many tech

specs; if you’re

p a r t i c u l a r l y

tech-minded, you already

know that Google has that which you seek.

Suffice it to say that no cutting-edge game nor

resource-intensive application in the Google Play

Store is out of reach of this tablet. With 32GB of

storage as compared with the smaller-screened

iPad Mini’s 16GB at a similar price, the value

proposition becomes that much more clear.

The screen is the main star of this show. Its Super

AMOLED (read: Spectacularly bright, high-reso-

lution and vibrant) screen makes things like

movies, games and photos pop.

Running a modified (“skinned”) version of

Android, this tablet gives the benefits of that oper-

ating system along with some Samsung-specific

add-ons to boot.

Here are a few tablet options that are sure to be a hit this winter. We’ll start at the bottom and climb up. Seems a logical-enough approach.

These prices

are in $U.S.

All of these products

are available north

or south of the 49th

except the Amazon

Fire tablet, which

only ships to the U.S.

at the time of writing.

ALSO NOTE:

some

Fire apps that work

in the U.S. may not

work in Canada.

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