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Using hardware to make your life easier

I’m not by any stretch of imagination a hardware junkie. I don’t buy electronics as toys, I don’t spend hours messing around with my computer or on my iPad or phone downloading apps. Instead, I look for simple, functional hardware that makes my life more efficient – and that’s fairly cheap, to boot. Working in nonprofits, efficiency is one of the names of the game and inexpensive is the other.

My opinion is that if you’re really going to dive into social media, you should either invest in a smartphone or a tablet. The good news is that we have increasing competition on both fronts.

iPhone v. Android. The debate continues but with the iPhone coming to Verizon on February 10, many of us have a new set of choices when picking a phone. My fav? The Droid. I have an Incredible and love the functionality. I don’t find the iPhone nearly as user-friendly. Main reason: on the Droid, the apps sit open. I know folks love their iPhones, though, so if you’re looking at smartphones, play around with both of them and see which one you like.

Xoom v. iPad. Apple’s iPad has dominated the market but as early as the end of the month, the Motorola Xoom is coming with the highly touted “Honeycomb” OS. Honeycomb is an Android platform so if you love the Droid, you’ll most likely love the Xoom. I have an iPad. I don’t love it for the same reason I don’t love the iPhone. Rumors have the Xoom showing up at Best Buy by February 24 for $799. That’s a bit higher than the iPad so I’m curious to see what the additional cost brings. Again, you really can’t go wrong either way so drop by Best Buy and pick your platform.

If money is tight, I don’t think it’s necessary to have both a smartphone and a tablet. Consider how you intend to interact with social media. If you’re going to be checking messages and updating on the fly, for example, taking pictures in the moment and uploading them to Twitter, go for a smart phone. If you’re more intentional and want to sit down with social media, try a tablet.

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