Mom is busy. She's working and making and doing and raising you, among other things. In return, it's probably time for her to upgrade her aging PC or laptop. Hint, hint.
To that end, I've found and tested three products with all the latest touch-screen creature comforts: one tablet, one laptop and one all-in-one, which is a computer where the crucial components (CPU, optical drive, hard disk drive, RAM) are all built in to the housing of the display.
Asus VivoTab Note 8 ($299, Windows 8):
Your mom is probably like a lot of busy moms who use their smartphones for nearly everything to do with staying connected. But occasionally a little more screen size would do nicely. The Asus VivoTab Note 8 is a solid pick for a tablet.
The Note 8 has an 8-inch display, measured diagonally, and can quickly go from easy, breezy light-use mode to professional environment workhorse.
Popular social media apps such as Facebook and Twitter are just a touch away. But when it's time to get productive, that's where having a full version of the Windows 8 system comes in handy. Strong, office-ready apps, such as Microsoft Office, deliver the utility mom is accustomed to, in a way iPads and Android tablets can't.
The Wacom stylus pen is an attractive bonus. It tucks away in a hole near the base when not in use. But you'll use it on some Windows applications that have less than finger-friendly menus, or to doodle some notes in the margins of documents.
I tested it out with various drawing apps, like Pen Sketch. Its sensitivity and ability to vary the weight and thickness of the strokes was really impressive.
When I took some notes at a city hall meeting using Microsoft's OneNote, it looked exactly like smooth pen on paper. There were no jagged, pixelated edges on my lines, and the stroke weight of my jotted notes matched the various pressure I applied while scribbling.
The VivoTab Note 8 battery boasts 8 hours of life and comes with Microsoft Office for free. It's typically free only on tablets with a lightweight variant of Windows called RT. The Note has the full version.
It also has a MicroSD slot for expanded storage, which can come in handy if your mom shoots a lot of video. The base model has just 32 gigabytes, typical for Windows tablets. The quad-core Intel Atom processor is strong enough for any tablet tasks. The display is sharp. There's a lot for mom to like here. (continued...)
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Posted: 2014-05-04 @ 4:04pm PT
Another Android tablet to launch this week that really stands out is a new 8.9" mid-size tablet, the Pipo T9 ($277) -- which features a Full HD 1920X1200 8.9" display and is one of the first tablets to offer an Octacore processor -- plus GPS, MicroSD, Bluetooth, a 7300 mAh battery (8 hours); along with a SIM card slot with 3G/4G access with both Internet and phone call function that works like a smartphone through speakerphone or Bluetooth headsets with service through most GSM network carriers worldwide, including AT&T, T-Mobile and Straight Talk in the U.S.
One of the first sources the Pipo T9 is available through is -- iProTablet.
iProTablet also features six other new Android tablets to launch this month, including the new iFive mini4 ($199) - which is the first 8-inch Android tablet on the market with a retina-quality, 2048x1536 display; plus the new Ramos i10 Pro ($399) - the world's first Windows 8.1 - Android O/S Hybrid which easily switches between the two operating systems... spec wise, the Ramos i10 Pro offers a 10-inch full HD 1920X1200 display, an Intel Bay Trail 64-bit processor, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS and an 8000 mAh battery (up to 9 hours active use).