Best Gifts for Freelancers, pt 2

I know, I know. This was originally supposed to be about the types of gifts to get your freelancers for Christmas, but due to a Comedy of Errors in which I had no Internet service until after the holiday, this is now gonna be a list for gifts for the new year, kay? Good news is, if you hurry, you’ll catch them on sale thanks to the after holiday sales.

So in my last post, I talked about things to look for when it came to getting a brand, spanking new computer for your freelancer. In this post, I’m gonna talk about tablets or what I call, ‘tabtops’ (copyright pending to me); tablets are all the rage right now and will continue to be as long as people have a use to be mobile. I fully admit that I’ve been gunning for a tablet for years now, but with new ones coming out on the market, the decision to find the right one has been daunting.

So what should you look for in tablet/ultrabook/tabtop?

Productivity

Obviously, you’re getting this for your freelancer, so they have to be able to be productive on it. Now, I’m not a fan of Apple, so don’t expect me to recommend any iPad, but along with that, I’ve heard from enough iPad users that working on an iPad – like actual work – is the pits. And that goes for any type of tablet.

The best bet for this is an ultrabook or what I call a tabtop. Okay, so what the heck is a tabtop? Essentially, it’s a tablet that can turn into a laptop, thanks to a keyboard; now before you say “any tablet can be a laptop with a keyboard”, no they can’t. The reason being that tablets, in general, are just for small tasks – playing games, reading, checking email, etc – while tabtops can do that, but would also allow you to, say work on a website in Dreamweaver or Photoshop.

That’s a tabtop.

Dell Tablet and XPS Launch London

Dell Tablet and XPS Launch London (Photo credit: Dell’s Official Flickr Page)

For me, I’m looking hard at the Dell Venue 11 pro and the Lenovo Yoga series. The Venue is on the cheaper side, compare with the Surface Pro 2, while the Lenovo is more ultrabook, but has a swivel to make it a tablet. Unfortunately, no matter what you do, you’re gonna force your freelancer into using Windows 8 or 8.1; there are very few good things I’ve heard about Windows 8/8.1 and as someone working in tech support, trying to find anything on this new system is the pits (which is the nicest thing I can say in a blog post).

The upside however, especially considering the Venue 11 pro, is that it comes with Office 2013 and for your freelancing writer, that’s important. Sure, it’s a student edition, but it’s a $250 less cost when considering the hinderance of having to use the cloud version.

What about Android tablets? You know I love love love me some Android and it would make perfect sense to tie all of my Google love together, however I’m not a fan of Google Docs, especially in writing in Docs. If I could find a way to get Office on an Android, I’d go that route, especially when Android tablets are much cheaper.

Eco System

As with any type of multi device environment, getting your freelancer the tablet/tabtop that fit in that in paramount. As much as I would never get a Apple device, I still think it’s better for people to stay within that environment, in order to make their lives – and tech support’s – easier. Obviously being in a Windows/Android environment, I want to go for something that will pair nicely with that; that’s my big issue with getting tablets/tabtops with Windows 8/8.1 – it’s difficult to get my Google stuff on there.

The reverse is true if I went with an Android – how would I get Office on there? Yes, I could go either way, but when out and about or on the go, a freelancer needs to be able to connect to their things. My writings are in Google Drive, not SkyDrive and I use Word, not Docs; I need to be able to pull these from the device I’m on. That’s what makes my decision very hard indeed.

There are other things to consider when getting your freelancer a tabtop, but these two I think are my most important in making a decision. Obviously storage, screen, and apps are good, but in the days of cloud storage, HDMI, and app stores galore, it comes down to pricing, production, and eco system.

Next up, we’ll check out the phones a freelancer should be carrying, as well as those all important apps.

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About Writer 66

Writing since the age of seven, managed to get a job as a copy writer, while enjoying the unsung awesomeness as a creative fan fic writer.

Posted on January 1, 2014, in gifts, The Business Side and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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