Tablet Wars - Choosing Your Battles is What it Takes to Win the War

By Carl Weiss

Microsoft Surface Tablet
Microsoft Surface Tablet (Photo credit:
If you are thinking about buying a tablet PC, you should be aware that there are now many variations of the device that was first brought to the world by Apple Computer on April 3, 2010.  It’s hard to believe that in less than three years the tablet PC market has exploded to the point that there are tablets galore being manufactured by everyone from Acer to Vizio.  As a result it is getting more and more difficult to decide which tablet is right for you.

Apple, Google and Now Microsoft?

While Apple did invent the tablet PC, Google quickly followed suit.  In fact, in a CNet interview in October, Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt admitted that , "The Android-Apple platform fight is the defining fight in the industry today."  He also went onto intimate that within a year, more than one billion devices were expected to be running on Android.  So when it comes to choosing one platform over the other, it is simply a matter of preference, since both offer millions of apps from which to choose.

The problem is that another mover and shaker, Microsoft, has just entered the fray with their Windows 8 compatible Surface. This has also spawned a whole slew of other hardware vendors from Dell to Samsung creating their version of a Windows 8 compatible Tablet.  Microsoft Surface is their first real foray into the hardware tablet/PC platform arena.

Even though Microsoft is a late comer to the Tablet wars, they could prove to be a player! With Microsoft’s worldwide distribution channels and large installed customer base, they will make inroads quickly. If the sell out of their first manufacturing run is any indication of this product sell ability it will be one to watch. Microsoft's  design is innovative, high tech and offers many features not available on competing models. Plus it runs Microsoft Office, the number one office suite in the business world. Microsoft’s entry is not a cheap knockoff, it’s a real hybrid with high end competing features and it is priced accordingly. Currently the MS Surface is only available in a 10.1 inch model but if you love Microsoft it’s worth a look.

Size Matters

Size Matters (CN)
Size Matters (CN) (Photo credit: bfishadow)
While there are variations on a theme, for the most part tablets are most commonly available in either 7-inch or a 10-inch models.   While size matters, it’s not in the way you would at first think.  While many people deride the 7-inch tablet, Steve Jobs having been chief among them, there is most definitely a time and a place where less is more.  To make matters worse, there are hybrid devices that blur the line between smart phone and tablet. Both Samsung and LG have release smart phone in the 5+ inch size that have all the capabilities of full size tables (and of course they are cell phones too). Not to be out done Apple recently released its new IPad Mini with a 4 inch format.

A report from CNet: "Nearly 60 percent of units shipped this year will be 9-inch screen tablets with the iPad at the top of the list, according to the firm. But the 7-inch tablets are cutting into the iPad's hold on the market -- those shipments account for 32 percent, up from 26 percent last year."

Other than size, seven-inch units are decidedly cheaper.  Google’s Nexus 7 which is one of the best in the business can be had for right around $200, while typical ten-inch tablets retail for $400 - $500.  Besides, seven-inchers are much more portable, which is a huge advantage when carrying around other gear.  Seven-inch models  can also be slipped into a pocket.  Ten-inch tablets are closer to a laptop in size versus a smartphone.  This means that if you want to do a lot of typing, a seven-inch tablet isn’t for you.

How Low Should You Go?

Walmart $4.88 laptop
Walmart $4.88 laptop (Photo credit: zieak)
While size, operating system and speed are three of the variables that many people use to make a final decision on the best tablet to buy, there are always bargain hunters.  With the sheer amount of competition in the marketplace, you would think that prices would start dropping.  To a certain degree you would be right.  But price shouldn’t necessarily be the final arbiter in choosing a tablet.  You still need it to perform the tasks that are near and dear to you.  For example, while I have seen tablets such as the Archos Arnova 9 G3 for as little as $149.95 on Amazon, the question you have to ask yourself is, “How much performance do I need to get out of my tablet?”

A review of the Arnova 9 from PC Advisor states: "The Arnova 9 G3 display has a 1024x768 resolution but as with the iPad 2, it lack crispness. Text is readable in larger fonts but falls foul of pixelation when browsing text-heavy websites. Video playback can also look patchy at times with colors not blending seamlessly. Colors weren't as vibrant as on the best budget screens, such as Samsung's Galaxy Tab 2.  We managed to squeeze only 5 hours of viewing out of the Arnova 9 G3 before the battery gave in. That's not to say you couldn't use it for casual YouTube perusing, but you'll have to do this via the browser as Arnova hasn't installed the Google Play app store and no YouTube app is pre-loaded.”

So if you are looking for a powerhouse, don’t necessarily expect a bargain.  You may find that the bargain tablet you purchased doesn’t have the speed, battery life, resolution or app availability that you desire.  Besides the differential in price between the low and high end of the spectrum is only a few hundred dollars for the most part.  So why split hairs?

Need a Tablet You Can Get Wet?

Deutsch: IFA 2010, Berlin
Deutsch: IFA 2010, Berlin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Of course, if you are looking to take your tablet on the high seas or into the rainforest then you definitely need to find a tablet that’s up to the task.  AT& T’s Pantech Element is designed to be submerged in up to three feet of water for up to 30 minutes.  While you can’t exactly take it scuba diving, it’s tough enough to take boating or camping.  While most Android tablets come in either a 7 or 10 inch variant, the designers of the element decided to go with an 8-inch screen.  Other than that, it’s a fairly straightforward 16 GB Android Honeycomb tablet that is available for $299.99 with a two-year contract, or $449.99 without.

 Winning the Battle but Losing the War

Remember, choosing the best tablet for your needs is not something you should take lightly.  The last thing you want to do is buy a tablet online based on your research only to find out once it arrives that you absolutely hate it.  So before making a purchase, take the time to go to a retailer that carries the unit in order to hold it in your own two hands and put it through its paces.  If you fail to do this then you might wind up in the unenviable position of winning the battle only to lose the war, in which case you could wind up putting your latest purchase up for resale on EBay or Craigslist. Actually if you wait till after Christmas you may find the tablet of your dreams in the same place for half the money.

If you would like to find more articles like this type in your key phrase in the search box at the top left of this blog. If you found this article useful, share it with your friends, families and co-works. If you have a comment related to this article, leave it in the comment sections below.  If you would like a free copy of our book, "Internet Marketing Tips for the 21st Century", fill out the form below.

Since 1995, Carl Weiss has been helping clients succeed online.  He owns and operates several online marketing businesses, including Working the Web to Win and Jacksonville Video Production. He also co-hosts the weekly radio show, "Working the Web to Win," every Tuesday at 4 p.m. Eastern on

Seven Secrets of Social Media Magnets

anthony earnshaw - seven secret alphabets - abc
anthony earnshaw - seven secret alphabets - abc (Photo credit: uair01)

Listen to internet radio with workingthewebtowin on Blog Talk Radio

By Hector Cisneros

Every year I look back and try to put in words the social media principle I have discovered over the last seven years. I call these principles the seven secrets of social media magnets because using these secrets produces magnetic positive results. In other words, using these principles draws followers to you in a way that is good for them and for you. My secrets don’t use trickery or black hat techniques to game the system. Conversely I pride myself on using universal principles and techniques that provide real value to both the audience and the player alike. So read on and enjoy the seven secrets of social media magnets.

English: Wordle Cloud Definition of Social Com...
English: Wordle Cloud Definition of Social Commerce - All Definitions of "Social Commerce" added to from (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Secret #1: Add Value to the World – Only Post Useful Content What is useful? Content that is deemed useful by your particular audience! Your post must be purposeful, entertaining, meaningful, connecting or visually/audibly pleasing. People join social networks to get something out of it for them! No one joins to be sold to! If you want to sell, have your happy customers “sing your praises” by asking them privately to post testimonials, recommendations or positive stories of how you helped them. Your only other option is to
                                                                                  participate in pay per click advertising.

proactive logo small
proactive logo small (Photo credit: s_falkow)
Secret #2: Be Proactive This means take the time to learn more than the basics of each social network. There are tons of free video tutorials on YouTube covering the most popular social networks. Every major social network has built in self-help services for their subscribers. Even a Google search will yield free sites that offer tutorials.
Also, be ready to help other first and be willing to share your knowledge with your audience. Helping others learn the ropes is a great way to build an audience and to spread good will and attract followers.

This image was selected as a picture of the we...
This image was selected as a picture of the week on the Czech Wikipedia for th week, 2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Secret #3: Be Positive  Positive people are like magnets. They draw others to them. Nobody will follow a negative person for very long. Being hateful, cursing and airing your dirty laundry will only get you “un-followed”, “un-friended” and “disconnected”. Being negative just scares people away. Being positive will draw followers to you. Then, if provide your followers with useful post, (positive value added information) they will stay and look forward to more. Then they will invite others to follow as well.

Thank You
Thank You (Photo credit: mandiberg)
Secret #4: Give Thanks! Always thank those who follow you, communicate with you or comment on your post. Giving thanks is a universal way of connecting with people. It fills and inner need not filled in other ways. Just imagine how you feel when someone thanks you! Always thank others for their contribution, questions, and engaging posts. A “Thank you” is a great way to engage people and to get them started in your conversation.

Secret #5: Be Consistent Posting in social media should be more like the tortoise than the hare! It's not about the race, it’s more about the journey. Posting too much too often and too soon is not the way to go. A steady stream of posts spread out over many hours, days and weeks is much better than a flood! The same is true for generating followers and fans. Just inviting five people a day to follow you will normally yield more than 1,300 followers in a year, (5X365=1,825) even if you receive a 25% drop out rate!

Budapest: Heroes’ Square: Andrássy Avenue: Kin...
Budapest: Heroes’ Square: Andrássy Avenue: King Stephen and his Magyar Followers (Photo credit: bill barber)
Secret #6: Follow the Leaders! Always follow the leaders in your industry. Then follow the followers of the leaders. If you focus on an industry, a niche, you are on the right track. Every industry has leaders who everyone pays attention to. That is your target audience. By first following them, you will get their attention. Then by inviting them to follow you, you will grow your audience.

Secret #7: Use Leverage to multiply your effectiveness!  There are two types of leverage in social media. The first is inside leverage or what I call leverage techniques. Things like using hash tags on Twitter or inviting followers in one social net to follow you on another are good examples. Things like posting links to all your internet properties on every social network you belong to or combining blog posts, with video and social links to amplify reach, are a few more examples. Even simple things like posting pictures, videos and podcasts on your social sites and then sharing them across multiple social platforms all are ways of leveraging your efforts.

Logo der Fernsehserie Leverage
Logo der Fernsehserie Leverage (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The second type of social leverage is the use of software tools. This includes tools like aggregation programs like Hoot suite and Tweet Deck for individuals, agency software tools like Hoot Suite Pro, Hub Spot all in One, or Google’s Wildfire and any of the Smartphone or browser applets like Hootlet or Social Hub to get things done. These tools can easily cut your work time in half. All of these tools allow you to leverage your time and efforts by either allowing you to quickly create posts, scheduling your post in the future, or by allowing you to post to multiple social nets simultaneously.

Following these seven secrets will guide you to success. As a matter of fact, following these principles will help you find your social media voice. These principles allow you to be a positive influence in the world. They will help you establish your social media style! You will be “real” to those you touch and in turn, they will appreciate your contribution. This appreciation will lead to trust and credibility, which in turn leads to sales! As an internet and digital marketing professional these principles guide my digital life. I have followed these principles for more than three years now and I am amazed how they have positively affected my career and life.

If you liked this article, share it with your friends and associate. If you have a different opinion, share it with us in the comment section below. I always give thanks for being able to share my opinion with you and since it's Thanksgiving time, I give thanks for all I have and I hope you give thanks too. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

That’s my opinion, I look forward to reading yours!

If you would like to find more articles like this type in your key phrase in the search box at the top left of this blog. If you found this article useful, share it with your friends, families and co-works. If you have a comment related to this article, leave it in the comment sections below.  If you would like a free copy of our book, "Internet Marketing Tips for the 21st Century", fill out the form below.

Hector Cisneros is COO and director of Social Media Marketing at Working the Web to Win, an award-winning Internet marketing company based in Jacksonville, Florida.  He is also co-host of the weekly Internet radio show, "Working the Web To Win" on, which airs every Tuesday at 4 p.m. Eastern. Hector is a syndicated writer and published author of “60 Seconds to Success.”