July 2014 | By Michael Antoniak
Think about how a tablet will empower you to be more productive on the go. Here are some criteria to consider that will better prepare you to make an informed choice.
Primary use: Prioritize the features and functions these offer. Will your tablet be your primary mobile PC or just a means to access the Web while you’re out? Are you looking for the best app catalog, the biggest screen, or the fastest processor with the most storage?
Essential real estate apps, cloud services: Mobile productivity requires some combination of apps and cloud services. Expect to use the tablet to pull and share listing information from the MLS; view maps; create and share tours; compose, retrieve, and sign documents; access the Web; and communicate with clients. Ask your peers about the most useful apps and services. Their answers may narrow the selection or point to new options.
Easy integration: If you like your smartphone or desktop computer’s operating system, consider the most compatible tablet. For iPhone and Mac users, that’s an iPad. Windows devotees should look at tablets running the latest versions of Android, Windows 8, or the tablet version, Windows RT.
Ergonomics: Since you’ll be carrying it around with you, your tablet should be light and small enough to easily carry, yet large enough to comfortably hold, view, and use. Those are subjective considerations and benefit from hands-on experience, so explore the features of several models before making your choice.
Budget: There’s a broad selection of tablets starting at less than $500. You can upgrade to a larger amount of internal memory or compatibility with a specific cellular network. Before you decide whether 3G or 4G compatibility is a feature worth having, see if your smartphone can serve as a Wi-Fi hot spot for tethering your tablet to the Web.
Sources for shopping: You find the most choices online. Major electronics retailers and discounters stock only a few brands, and the selection is more limited when buying through your cellular service provider. If you want to customize your tablet with a faster processor or more memory, you’ll have to shop the manufacturer’s website. There, you may also be able to buy refurbished tablets with full warranty for significant savings.
Reprinted from REALTOR® Magazine Online, July 2014, with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. Copyright July 2014. All rights reserved.