Introduction

In the beginning was the book, and it was good. There were books carved into stone and books inscribed on papyrus and eventually books made on printing presses in sizes small, medium, and large.

We skip forward to modern times and the invention of the computer, which began in sizes extra large (the first models were the size of houses, with snapping switches and whirring reels of tape). Eventually computers got smaller and more personal.

Then we entered the time of the tablet and the age of the smartphone, each of which are handheld computers. The first tablets were pretty good as a way to display electronic books, and some basic computer tasks including email and Internet access. The first smartphones connected to cellphone systems for telephony and had tiny screens that could be used to connect to the Internet and display fragments of pages of books.

And now … almost everything has converged.

Smartphones have gotten larger and smarter; the biggest of them are nicknamed a bit awkwardly as phablets: phone tablets. You can make and receive calls, read eBooks and newspapers, and watch TV and movies on the go.

At the same time, tablets have gotten smarter and quicker and thinner and lighter. And using a wireless connection, you can even make phone calls from a tablet.

Today’s buyers, then, have a choice between a relatively large phone or a relatively small tablet.

The full name of the device we’re gathered to explore is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 NOOK. It’s very much ...

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