Tools of the Trade
Mobile Farmers Add Tablet Computers to Toolbox
Apple created a lot of excitement when it released the first tablet computer, dubbed the iPad, early last year.
Since then, there have been numerous competitors to follow suit. Available at price points ranging from $199 to $999, technology junkies can pick and choose among their options, depending on their intended use.
On the Farm
On the farm, tablet computers have quickly become the go-to replacement of the laptop computer in tractors or combines. Their easy, touch interface allows farmers to navigate data, music and images all while driving through the fields.
With a larger screen than a smart phone, and an easier handling size than a computer, tablets are a wise choice for farmers who need to manage their operations while mobile.
However, tablets do not eliminate the need for a personal computer just yet. The obvious downfall is the lack of connectivity options while actually in the field. Wi-Fi is typically not available in the fields, and 3G and 4G networks are unpredictable at best. Farmers need to transfer their needed files back and forth between their home computers and their tablets – which can be easily done with applications like Dropbox.
Out on the Market
Farmers’ options for tablets are becoming more plentiful as the months progress. As recently as November, Amazon’s Kindle Fire was released, boasting an inexpensive tablet option for just under $200. Smaller than its iPad counterpart, the Kindle Fire makes it hard to not take the technology out for a test drive. When considering which tablet to purchase, take the following into consideration:
Amazon Kindle Fire
Apple iPad 2
Samsung Galaxy Tab
Next Issue’s Tools: Toolbox for the Home Office