In response to our article, “What’s The Difference Between, Laptops, Tablets, & iPads?” Linda wrote:” OMG – this was really helpful!!! [Will have to print it off before I go shopping though] BUT I still dont know what to buy. I am really a dummy. I want something that I can browse the internet, maybe do emails (I use my HP home PC mostly); listen to music. Not really interested in camera stuff. Want to be able to use a calendar (for work appointments, social, etc) rather than the old spiral bound stuff; maybe reading, although I have Kindle, typing reports; and I want to input all my recipes and stand the thing up in the kitchen and view. Which is probably the most important reason I want a portable device.”

Linda, you are no dummy! You know what your needs are and you’re doing what smart folks do: investigating the options BEFORE you spend your money.

First of all, I’m curious as to what type of Kindle you own. Do you have the eReader or a Kindle Fire tablet? Because if you have the Fire tablet, it already does everything you have listed there. If not, since you no doubt already have some purchases of eBooks from Amazon, the Fire tablets could be a great option for you.

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I especially love my Fire HDX, which I use for reading, listening to music, watching videos, surfing the Internet, and frequently stand up in the kitchen to make recipes. One suggestion for that, put it in a Zip-loc bag. The screen still works and you won’t splatter it. There are nicer protective covers, but you can toss out the plastic bag when you splatter batter all over it.  You’ll have a choice between a 7 and 9 inch HDX tablet priced at $399 and $254 respectively. The Fire HD 7″ tablet runs $139.

Since you need to type reports, you’ll probably want a device that you can use with a keyboard. You can purchase a keyboard case to use if you need to do some typing and it won’t add much more weight, so your portability won’t be lost.

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You might also appreciate one of the lighter Windows tablets. Those tablets may feel a little more familiar when it comes to some of the programs. If you’re willing to spend a chunk of change, you could pick up a 10″ Surface 3 for $500 (keyboard is extra) or an iPad (but that involves learning an entire new operating system if you aren’t familiar with iOS.) I particularly like the Surface because you really are getting a full PC here.

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There are several nice Windows tablets available around the $200 mark or you can opt for an inexpensive Android tablet for less than $100. Just make sure that tablet has Bluetooth, so you’ll be able to use a keyboard with it. All of these devices will allow you to read books, send e-mails, listen to music and compose office documents.  All are extremely portable.

I hope you find the one that works for you!

~ Cynthia