So much to do, so much to do.
I love the holidays. The food, music, gatherings, celebrations, giving, eating, decorating, and the down time with family.
In this digital age, planning and organizing for the holiday is a breeze with these essential items.
Samsung SM-T700 Tablet
My smartphone and tablet are my brain, especially during the holidays. Housing all of my to-do lists, it keeps me sane and on track. If you are looking for a tablet to keep you organized, or as a gift for someone special, consider the Samsung Galaxy SM-T700 from Staples.
Highlights of the Samsung SM-T700
8 megapixel rear-facing camera, 2.1 megapixel front facing
16 GB storage
Android operating system
8.4 inch screen
Colour (of review model): Titanium bronze
Right away, I was very impressed with the light weight, processing speed and bright display of the Samsung SSM-T700.
This is advertised as a light weight and ultra-thin tablet and that is the absolute truth. The Samsung weighs less than 300 grams and it significantly thinner than a standard CD jewel case (less than two-thirds the thickness). The unit powers up quickly, and the Samsung is lighting quick when using some basic apps, including Facebook and Spotify. Prior to this I used an older Android tablet, which I now find absolutely sluggish in comparison. The display is bright and graphics are very clear. Videos, streamed from both YouTube and Netflix, were sharp and the motion was smooth. Considering their size, the speakers did an adequate job. The tablet comes with a headphone jack which offers improved audio.
It’s easy to set up WiFi and the connectivity is excellent. A cool feature of the Samsung is the ability of the device to synch with other devices, including Smart TVs and streaming devices like our Roku 3. This, for example, allowed me to control the YouTube videos the kids were watching on TV right from this tablet.
For a tablet, the Galaxy takes excellent photos and video (but certainly won’t replace your SLR camera). Image quality suffers under low-light conditions but this is aided greatly by a built-in flash. Video is clear, detailed and smooth.
It took me a couple of days to get used to the “back” button, which is located on the lower right of the unit, and brings you back to the previous screen. But once i got used to it, I appreciated the easy access to this function. The “recent apps” button on the lower left is also very convenient.
Due to the light weight and slimness of the Samsung Galaxy SM-T700, I would recommend purchasing a protective case. The unit seems durable enough, but the extra protection offers some peace of mind.
Tablet / Smartphone Accessories
Using your tablet over the holidays often means drained batteries before your day is done. Carrying a mobile device charger with you can extend the life of your battery while on the go. Check out the TP-LINK 10400Ah Power Bank on the Staples site which will simultaneously charge two devices at once. So you can keep going while your tablet charges.
Not ready to give up your checklist yet? Like the feeling of using your pen to cross an item off your list. You can pick up a Staples Touchscreen Stylus for $9.98 each. At that price, these also make great stocking stuffer ideas.
All of these items are available at Staples stores across Canada, or online at Staples.ca.
Christmas Organizational and Fun Apps For Your Tablet
These apps are all free to download on your tablet, and I will mention where in-app purchases are available.
Christmas Gift List
Who doesn’t need to keep track of your gifts? The Gift List app lets you easily track everyone on your ‘Nice’ list, your budget, the gifts that not yet been bought, and even when you’ve wrapped them. Use this app and never run out on Christmas Eve again because you forgot something.
The free version does the job and it offers in-app purchases.
Elf Adventure Christmas Countdown 2014 (Advent Calendar)
This is a fun app to help countdown the days until Christmas. Like an advent calendar, you can open one tab each day until December 25. Since we are into December already, you can open all of the days that have passed, but future days will open once the actual day has started.
There is a paid version that removes ads, but I don’t find them too intrusive on the Samsung Galaxy.
Santa’s Twerk Shop
I can’t go a Christmas without busting out JibJab and making everyone in my family dance. Simply add photos to the app and it will create a fun holiday video you can share with friends and family. The downside of this app is that you need five photos, or it will fill in the same person to fill it. Once the video is done, you can email it or share it on Facebook.
There are in-app purchases and you can create an account at JibJab, but I enjoy the free version.
Disclosure: Items in this post were provided free of charge to
facilitate this feature. Opinions are my own.