Buyers Guide: Tablets for Farmers
As technology advances, farmers are stepping up to take advantage of all the new equipment and applications. For farmers, a tablet makes for a handy device. Its size makes it more practical than a Smartphone, yet easier to carry around than a laptop. With a tablet, a farmer can tap into all kinds of valuable resources and current information. They’ll be able to get up to date weather reports and trending farm prices. The issue might not be, “does a farmer need a tablet?” but rather “which tablet should they buy?”
There are many styles of tablets to pick from; the differences mainly come down to the operating systems. Here you’ll have three options: Windows, iOS or Android. Before choosing your tablet, look into which operating system works best for your circumstances. Continue reading to see the differences between the various options between tablets for farmers.
iOS is the operating system used exclusively on all Apple products including the iPad. For someone who is already using an iPhone, adapting to the iPad is a snap. The exact same features, apps, and systems are used across both platforms.
The iPad Air sells for $499. That is for a Wi-Fi only unit with 16 GB of memory. It’s a very smooth system to operate, with few complaints from its legion of users. It is especially adept at loading desktop-only websites, an important feature for any work related sites you hope to use while on the job.
Because of the “competition factor,” you won’t be able to load Microsoft Office onto your iPad. However, there is a wide range of work-around apps that can deliver the exact same capacity of creating and editing documents. Best of all, when you email those documents they are automatically converted to a Word file. iPad is also the top selling tablet out there; this means you’re sure to find other iPad users and a wide range of online forums and websites that can provide helpful hints. Of course, there is always the “genius bar” standing by to offer support.
If you’re already a big fan of Microsoft products, then it makes sense to stick with the Windows operating system for your tablet choice. Although the touch screens look a lot like the Apple and Android pads, you’ll find that you’ll be able to upload and adapt your Microsoft Office programs rather effortlessly. This means you can utilize Outlook, Word, and Excel from any Wi-Fi hotspot. There are also hundreds of applications available in the online Windows Store that can be of huge benefit for the working farmer.
The most popular Windows tablet is their Microsoft Surface 2 model, which comes fully loaded with Microsoft Office. The Surface Pro 2 edition of the tablet is the next step up in technology and price. It can serve as a de facto laptop, but is double the price of the Surface 2.
Google, the world’s leading search engine, has gotten into the tablet game with its Android operating system. You’ll find this operating system being used on tablets manufactured by Samsung and Asus. Android is considered an open source type of software. This means that certain manufacturers can produce an inferior tablet model and load it with Android. This puts them in the tablet arena, but means you need to do your research so you don’t select a lower end device. This is why you should be wary of Android tablets selling for under $200. The best pick for Android is the Samsung Note 10.1 tablet. A favorite feature of this table is the S Pen which lets you write out a note with the stylus pen, then converts your writing into a text. You’ll also find a decent lineup of apps to use with this system.
If you’re buying a farmer a tablet as a gift, see if they are already using certain apps on their Smartphone or computer. You’ll want to make sure you gift them with a tablet that supports those apps. This will ensure that your farmer friend won’t have any complications putting their new tablet to work. Whatever system you go with, for yourself or for a friend, you can be certain that the many features of a tablet will be beneficial and helpful for work; while the convenience and variety of apps will make for plenty of fun.