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Making your tablet beach and vacation ready

The days of lugging heavy books, magazines and newspapers to the beach are gone. As fast and reliable WiFi networks and mobile hot spots become increasingly more common, eReaders and tablets have become standard beach and vacation equipment.

According to the Book Industry Study Group, book lovers are turning to tablets more frequently to satisfy their reading needs. But, unlike print editions, tablets require a few supporting characters to develop their full potential and protect them on the beach.

The first step is to consider two factors: weight and the screen. A good beach tablet should be thin and light and have a screen that can be read in the sun.

The Motorola Xoom meets these requirements. Its sleek and lightweight and large enough to both read and comfortably watch video.

An app or two is necessary to develop the potential of the tablet. Kindle for Android has over 775,000 books to choose from (even a lot of free offerings) and many newspapers and magazines can be delivered straight to your device. NOOK for Android provides access to over 2 million books, newspapers and magazines, all updated with an optimized design for tablets. Both apps are simple to download to your tablet from Google Play.

To keep the tablet from getting sandy or scratched, a protective case is a must. A silicone cover case is light and flexible while providing an effective barrier against the elements. A screen protector is also a must have to keep the screen clean and also help reduce glare.

Which leaves the hardest decision of all to the beachgoer: What to read?