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How to Buy a Tablet

óè mashable.com

Whether you're still doing some last-minute Christmas shopping or planning to hit up the Boxing Day madness, if you're looking for a tablet but have no clue what kind of device you should be looking for, this informative guide from Mashable is a good primer.

Once thought of as a high-priced device, tablets now come in range of price points with sleek new hardware options and a number of really solid choices using Google's Android operating system, Microsoft's new Windows 8 platform or from industry leader Apple. Mashable's guide covers all the bases, looking at your budget, what you plan to do with the device and who will be using it (is this for you, your kids or the whole family?), along with comparing size among models, explaining the difference in screen resolutions, storage and camera functionality, and also introducing you to the wonderful world of apps.

If you're a few steps behind what's been happening in the tablet market over the last few years, this is the perfect introduction to the next phase in the evolution of the computer. According to the Online Publishers Association, nearly one in 10 people in the world will own some form of tablet by 2016. That's a staggering number, considering the devices only took off a few years ago. Although technology moves very quickly, with strong products in a number of different price ranges from Apple, Microsoft and Google, there has never been a better time to buy for the first time or upgrade from the older model you have.

Quiz:

Are These 2012 Headlines Real or From "The Onion"?

óè bit.ly/real_or_theonion

The Onion is a popular online and print parody newspaper that has been doing too good a job lately -- everyone from China's state-run news agency and the Iranian media to respected North American news outlets such as the New York Times and ESPN have fallen for its sharp lampooning of the news.

Some gems from this year include a piece about North Korea's Kim Jong-un as the Sexiest Man Alive, a mock poll that suggested "77 per cent of rural Caucasian voters... would much rather go to a baseball game or have a drink with Ahmadinejad than spend time with Obama" to their Abortionplex hoax that fooled a Louisiana congressman.

The link takes you to a quick quiz to see if you can tell the real headlines from ones that appeared on The Onion.

MP3 of the Week:

Imaginary Cities -- Hummingbird

óè bit.ly/ imaginary_cities

This has been a big year for local indie pop band Imaginary Cities. It released an EP and its debut album in the U.S., toured North America, played a high-profile gig at the Red Bull Sound Stage at Lollapalooza, was a finalist for the SiriusXM Emerging Artist Award, released a couple of videos, toured all over Europe and did a well-received session for respected music website Daytrotter. It'll finish off a busy year with a homecoming show at the Pyramid on Thursday, Dec. 20. Cannon Bros. and Federal Lights are also on the bill.

Video of the Week:

JP Hoe -- Nothing's Gonna Harm You

óè bit.ly/JP_Hoe

There have been some fantastic videos by Winnipeg acts this year and none is better than this imaginative and cleverly put-together stop-motion animation piece by Procter Bros. Industries for local singer/songwriter JP Hoe. Multidisciplinary artist Christian Procter's painstakingly created miniature sets include familiar Winnipeg landmarks and capture the spirit of the Prairies and the city in nostalgic and wonderful ways.

Anthony Augustine is a freelance music, technology and pop culture writer who spends way too much time in front of a computer. Got a site you think he should see? Email him at anthony.siteunseen@gmail.com or follow him at twitter.com/anthonya.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 20, 2012 C18

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