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A new survey by technology news site CNET finds that tablet computers such as the iPad mini are the most popular item this holiday season among shoppers, with 40 percent of respondents saying that they plan to purchase such a device either for themselves or as a gift for a loved one this year. Of the 1,182 CNet readers who were surveyed, 23 percent planned to purchase a smartphone and 20 percent were looking for new computers.

These results are hardly surprising. Tablet computers have been quickly overtaking PCs and laptops as the preferred method of computing for many technology users. But something to keep in mind if you're shopping for someone else this holiday season is that, although tablets are trendier these days, they may not necessarily be the right choice for every person.

You should first consider the computing needs of the recipient. Do they use their current computer as a media consumption device (watching movies, listening to music, playing casual games, reading eBooks, etc.)? Or are they power users, in the sense that they need to be able to create documents and media, either for work or for a hobby?

If the person you're buying the tablet for falls in the latter category, you may want to consider getting them a customized laptop instead. Although tablets are wonderful devices that provide hours of enjoyment, they're more complementary for traditional computers rather than replacements. The more powerful processor, larger storage options and keyboard/mouse combination make notebooks such as the MacBook Pro more useful for those who work or dabble in video, graphics and other hardware-intensive applications.

To learn more about the latest notebook technology, make sure you set aside some time this holiday season to look at PortableOne's latest offerings.

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