Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Gadget Bag: Time For A Tablet
Incredible high-resolution screens, an ever-growing number of photography apps and an undeniable cool factor make a tablet a must-have accessory for every nature photographer
The tablet has changed the way the world uses photos. The high-resolution backlit screens make your images look rich and luminous, and a bevy of apps give you all sorts of control over the photographs. There also are a lot of apps that will help you get to the right place, calculate time-lapse sequences and share photos with the world. In short, the tablet is revolutionizing photography.
The OS (operating system) is a predictor of the number of apps that can be downloaded. It's also a matter of personal taste that can be influenced by the OS that runs on your smartphone or notebook PC. Connectivity is the choice between simple Wi-Fi (your access to the Internet depends on your proximity to a wireless network) and an essentially boundless nationwide 3G or 4G network.
Screen resolution varies by model, so check the specs. The yardstick of comparison for outstanding performance is currently the Apple Retina display, which features 2048x1536 resolution and an amazing 3.1 million pixels arranged in a just-right 9.7-inch space. Display size also influences weight and portability, of course.
Cost is another factor and depends partially on area and retailer, but most tablets are quite affordable. Some older models can be found at downright bargain prices. Apple still dominates the market, but several competitors offer outstanding products. Many are available with and without nationwide carrier service.
The Apple iPad was the first to appear and met meteoric success. It singlehandedly created the tablet category. Offering a generously large display and tipping the scales at just a pound and a half, it was available in 16 GB, 32 GB and 64 GB storage configurations, each with or without 3G connectivity. Screen resolution of 1024x768 made it ideal for reviewing photos in the field. The original iPad was equipped with a 1 GHz A4 CPU and 256 MB of RAM, and could run for up to 10 hours between charges. Starting at just $499, it may prove to have been the most successful electronic device of all time.
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