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Tablets are fun, useful and save energy

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Posted by Tony Mauro

I can't think of a technology that's been getting more press time lately then the tablet. The technology is evolving at a rapid pace, adding features and capabilities that are making the tablet a great choice for a second (or third, or fourth) computing device.

Wondering why a BC Hydro blog is talking about the benefits of tablets? Well, not only do they satisfy a lot of computing needs, they also reduce the amount of energy required.

Typically, tablets consume between 10 and 25 watts, while laptops use around 60 watts, games consoles 180 watts, PCs 185 watts, LCD TVs 213 watts and plasma screens 339 watts.

That's a huge difference. Watching a movie on a tablet is a 33 times reduction in energy use compared to a traditional TV.

Still not sold on it? Well according to the research group EPRI, the cost to charge an iPad daily for a year is $1.36!

Now, on to the fun stuff.

Windows 8, Apple, Android? So confusing

As all the big players get into the game, it can be a challenge keeping up.

If you're a diehard Windows lover, it's probably music to your ears that Microsoft is launching the Surface. This looks like a great tablet for people who need to access their Office documents and even create new ones.

The Apple iPad is the hottest of all tablets and with the new Retina display it really does make reading on it — and viewing photos and video — a joy.

If you're looking for broad selection, Android tablets are the way to go. With so many vendors in the space, there are plenty of innovative ideas at play. And you can find tablets of almost any size, which is great if you have specific needs.

GPS and beyond

Some tablets now come with GPS and do in-car navigation, while others feature displays that make reading enjoyable on screen.

All have advanced media playback for taking your videos with you. You can watch videos on the tablet or plug into a big screen TV for better viewing. All this and you can connect to the Internet and do your daily Facebooking or searching.

Tony Mauro is a Power Smart engineer and regular contributor to Unplug This Blog!