Christmas Shopping Advice

I’m often asked about my recommendations for students, faculty and staff when it comes to personal technology purchases at this time of year. Some of the advice is clear (don’t buy a Blackberry), but more often there is a subtle judgment. Right now for the Pepperdine School of Law community I would like to offer some advice about bargain Android tablets.

I love my Android phone and I am a fan (though not without reservations) of Google’s product design and support. However, for those of you looking to make the extra investment in time as well as money to try some of the less expensive alternatives to the iPad provided by Google-partnered manufacturers, there’s good reason to be cautious.

Right now the Android eco-system is very much like the early days of Microsoft’s Windows environment. Google is dependent on the manufacturers to deliver on what they promise and the reality is that some can and some won’t. There was a time when folks would make some poor purchases on PCs because the Windows logo was showing on the screen.

As much as I would like to see Android develop into something as similarly successful in computing market as Windows, that takes time and commitment to do better than Microsoft did at keeping the customers happy. The stakes are higher and the expectations of users are more discriminating.

Most importantly, unlike last time Apple has a product that, as it stands right now, is the best option for enterprise users. Microsoft never had to face that. Google needs to do better. Buyer beware on all these bargain tablets.

The article that prompted this post: $99 Ice Cream Sandwich Tablet Available, but Buyer Beware