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Have you considered buying a tablet computer? There are certain advantages in owning one. Tablets handle all of the functions that smart phones do, but have much larger screens. If you want to watch videos, or you need to examine documents while away from home, a tiny phone screen might not be enough. And with a wireless mouse and a plug-in keyboard, a tablet can function like a full-size laptop or desktop computer. No other electronic device is as versatile.

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How do you pick the right one, though? You have multiple options, with widely varying specs and features.  You’ll need to consider operating systems, battery life, screen size, memory, and accessories.

What will you use it for?

If you want to use your tablet for graphics, you’ll need a large screen size, high resolution, and support for a stylus. If you plan to use your device for watching videos, screen size and battery life could be crucial- especially if you use your device away from home. If portability is important, you’ll want one of the smaller and lighter models. If you need to process huge amount of data, you’ll need plenty of memory and processing speed.

Operating Systems

If you want advanced graphic functions, an iOS device is probably your best choice, though Android and Windows 10 are beginning to catch up. In our view, the iPad Pro with the Apple Pencil would be the ideal combination for graphics. If you’re accustomed to Windows, Microsoft’s Windows 10 OS offers a complete desktop operating system in a tablet. Android devices are compatible with a wide variety of other devices- and they usually cost less than Apple devices.


Apple products tend to cost much more than Windows or Android devices. The iPad sells for $329 to $559. Tablets in the iPad Pro line sell for $649 to $1279.

If you’re budget conscious, an Android tablet would be a better option. The Amazon Fire HD 8 version is a bargain at just $80 through Amazon. The Lenovo Tab 10 costs just $119. The Asus ZenPad 8 costs $128. At the upper end for Android tablets, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 starts at $598 (Amazon); the Google Pixel C sells for $685.

Windows 10 tablets tend to fall into the middle of the price range. Microsoft’s Surface Pro tablet, which functions almost like an iPad Pro, sells for $719. The HP X2 Detachable sells for $250.

When evaluating price, consider the cost of accessories. For most Windows 10 tablets, keyboards are included.

Our Choices

For graphics, and the most complete range of functions, we’d choose the iPad Pro with the Apple Pencil.  If you don’t like the Apple system, the Surface Pro is a solid alternative.

For tight budgets, we recommend the Lenovo Tab 10 or the Asus ZenPad 8. The Amazon Fire HD 8 is cheaper- just $80. But Amazon Fire users lack access to the Google Play Store. For us, the more limited selection of apps is a disqualifier.


(To get the most from your computer, you need the right internet service. For the best deals in home internet, shop with Satellite Country. Talk to us. We can help.)

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Have you been backing up your computer? If you’re like the rest of us poor sinning mortals, you probably haven’t. It might not have even crossed your mind.

And why should it? Very few people suffer the theft of their laptops or the crashing of hard drives, so it’s easy to assume that our files are safe. We have nothing to worry about, right?

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Still, it’s wise to take a few precautions. Given what’s at stake, we should be backing up our computers routinely. If a power outage or accident destroys your computer, you could lose years of photos or business files, and if someone steals your laptop, you could lose all of the data for a project you’ve been working on for months. As a writer who has rough drafts for up to a dozen clients in my computer at any one time, I certainly couldn’t afford to take chances.

Data backup might not be as critical for your career, but you’ll probably feel the pain from data loss if your computer fails or is stolen.

What can you do, then? What means do you need for backing up your computer?For the most complete protection, you’ll need to combine local backup with cloud storage.


PCs and Macs already have built-in backup systems that are highly reliable, but you’ll need an external hard drive to use them properly. Seagate and Western Digital offer reasonably-priced models with solid reputations.. As a rule, your external drive should have at least as much capacity as your internal drive. Ideally, it will have 50% to 100% more.

Windows 10  (File History/ Backup and Restore)

Microsoft offers integrated backup with Windows 10. Plug in your hard drive, and find your File History setting. Select the folders you want backed up, and how often you want Windows to do it. You will need to keep your hard drive plugged in for the backup function.

Mac OS X  (Time Machine)

Mac offers a unique tool called Time Machine. Just plug in your hard drive and open Time Machine for configuration as your backup drive. The software will handle the backing up of your files automatically, at scheduled intervals. If you need to reset your Mac, or you buy a new one, OS X will prompt you to enable Time Machine backup to restore your files from.


Local backup is important, but it’s vulnerable. Like hard drives and other hardware, local backup is subject to destruction, theft, or loss. For complete protection, then, consider cloud storage. For individual files, the simplest means of cloud backup is with online systems such as Dropbox, iCloud, OneDrive, and Google Drive. All enable scanning of local folders and simple uploading of them to the cloud. Then, even if your computer is destroyed, you can log into your account and open your files from anywhere.

If you need even more protection, you might consider a subscription service such as Backblaze. It costs $5.00 per month or $50.00 per year. It’s not as convenient for casual use as Dropbox or Google Drive, but it is highly secure full-service cloud storage.


With a few simple precautions, backing up your files and preventing critical data loss will be easy.


(For the internet service that works best for you, talk to us. We can help.)