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A Tablet for Valentine’s Day: 10 Reasons It’s a Great Gift

Whether it’s Apple’s third-generation iPad, a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2, or Microsoft’s recently-released Surface, tablets are now top of our wish list when it comes to must-have mobile devices. Featuring smarter operating systems, thousands of custom apps and faster networks, they have quickly evolved from being luxury items into essential business tools, entertainment hubs, and more.

If you’ve been thinking about adding a tablet to your growing collection of tech devices or perhaps give one as a gift on this Valentine’s Day, it’s time to turn those thoughts into action. Here are 10 reasons why:

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  • 1. Watch movies, read books, play games 1 of 10
    1. Watch movies, read books, play games
    Let's face it: we can watch movies and read books on our smartphones, but those 4-inch screens can be a little limiting. For serious viewing we need the bigger screen and the higher resolution of a tablet. Plus, there are a slew of custom entertainment apps Hulu Plus, HBO Go, WatchESPN that are just perfect for tablets. 4G LTE networks have made instant movie streaming and multi-player video gaming a reality and a tablet screen maximizes the enjoyment.
  • 2. Fast as a laptop at a fraction of the size 2 of 10
    2. Fast as a laptop at a fraction of the size
    Tablets have replaced netbooks and are now serious alternatives to full-blown laptops. Higher end tablets have as much processing speed as a laptop and are far more portable, with many of them slipping easily into a purse or coat pocket. If you're not a big fan of on-screen keyboards, then newer tablets are making it easier to add peripherals and accessories.
  • 3. Improve your productivity 3 of 10
    3. Improve your productivity
    Tablets are the perfect devices for on-the-go e-mail, web surfing, reading, and more. With their improved processing power and 4G LTE network capability, tablets are also increasingly being used for office tasks, including video conferencing, planning, budgeting, and more. Apple, Google and Microsoft have all developed custom document, spreadsheet and presentation tools for tablets. Additional networking and collaboration tools allow real-time input from colleagues and third-parties, increasing the anywhere, anytime possibilities for business.
  • 4. Storage is not an issue 4 of 10
    4. Storage is not an issue
    With a host of cloud storage options, we no longer have to worry about tablets running out of space. Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon and third-party providers like Dropbox all offer a combination of free and paid cloud-based storage options. Cloud services also have the advantage of syncing your files photos, videos, media and more across all your devices, so you can access your content from anywhere and enjoy the security of independent backup.
  • 5. Over 400,000 custom apps 5 of 10
    5. Over 400,000 custom apps
    There are now over 400,000 custom apps for tablets, including 275,000 specifically designed for the iPad. Whether you are interested in education, health and fitness, travel or sports, there are literally thousands of apps to choose from. In many cases, newspaper and magazine publishers have specifically reformatted their content for all the popular tablets, turning those devices into the perfect showcase for news reports, opinion, photos and video.
  • 6. Sync with your HDTV and more 6 of 10
    6. Sync with your HDTV and more
    Many tablet makers recognize the need to interact with larger screens for movie night, photo displays, music and more, and include HDMI outlets for connecting with HDTVs. Apple, which doesn't include HDMI outlets on its iPad devices, offers AirPlay, which allows iPad owners to stream content to HDTVs and speakers via Apple TV.
  • 7. A great learning tool for kids 7 of 10
    7. A great learning tool for kids
    Everyone knows how young children just love tablets. Their bright colors and intuitive controls make them a favorite interactive toy, and their easy-to-hold size make them perfect for little hands. And developers have been quick to make the most of this opportunity, producing thousands of apps from coloring games to interactive picture books. Whether you're looking for a learning tool or just a temporary distraction, your tablet will always find a warm welcome among the youngest members of your household!
  • 8. Time to video chat 8 of 10
    8. Time to video chat
    Do you have kids away at college or family and friends in far-off places? A tablet is the perfect platform for a face-to-face catch-up. New apps and 4G LTE networks have combined to make tablet-based video chat easier than ever. See how grandma is doing or get a tour of the dorm room from your freshman student.
  • 9. Photos, video and more 9 of 10
    9. Photos, video and more
    Although tablets may never match smartphones in terms of pocket-sized convenience, most of them take surprisingly good photos and videos. The larger tablet size accommodates a bigger light sensor, and the additional screen space allows for more comprehensive editing tools. Plus, all those extra pixels make even average photos look stunning!
  • 10. More affordable than ever 10 of 10
    10. More affordable than ever
    And the biggest reason for buying a tablet? They have never been more affordable. Previous cellular pricing might have steered you towards a Wi-Fi-only tablet but now Verizon allows you to add a 4G LTE tablet to a Share Everything plan for just $10 per month with no long term contract and other carriers are catching up soon.

Did I miss another good reason why a tablet may make a great Valentine’s Day present?

Monica Vila is TheOnlineMom -a community devoted to promoting a healthy understanding and appreciation for the positive role technology can play in our lives. She’s constantly chatting on Facebook here or on Twitter @TheOnlineMom where you are more than welcome to join the conversation.

Photo sources: Apple, Verizon Wireless, Free Digital Photos, Reading Raven

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