When choosing a tablet, especially if you are a first-time buyer, you can be easily overwhelmed by the multitude of choices available on the market, since almost every major maker of electronic devices has a tablet in its offer. With so many alternatives to consider, it is not hard to get distracted and purchase a tablet that receives the most advertisement at given time. This, however, may not end well.
How to pick the right tablet
Tablets, like smartphones, are personal devices which will serve you for many months or maybe even years. For this reason you should feel comfortable using it. Tablets come in different sizes, hardware and software specifications and additional accessories. Finding perfect combinations of these parameters will help you make sure that the device addresses all your needs.
In order to do so, you can ask yourself a number of questions to determine what is essential and which features you can do without. Will you use your tablet for work or mainly for fun? How intensively are you planning to use the tablet? How much data will you store on the tablet? Etc. When you know what you need, you can start searching for your new tablet with confidence.
Which tablet size to choose
Tablets come in several sizes from 7 inches to over 12 inches measured diagonally, with several other sizes in between. Smaller tablets are easily portable, since they can slip into a purse or even back pocket of your jeans, thus being perfect devices for entertainment on the go like keeping tabs on friends on social media or reading a book at a bus stop. More advanced tasks, like professional work, may require more screen space. The general rule is that the bigger the tablet, the heavier it is. If you opt for a larger tablet, you may also need to consider additional accessories, for example a kickstand to ensure comfortable usage without straining your wrists.
Choose operating system
The most popular platforms used in tablets are Android, Windows and Apple’s iOS. Each of these systems offers entirely different user experience and comes with an assortment of dedicated apps and services. Go over pros and cons of each platform and decide which one would be the best in your situation. However, at this point you may want to consider if you will need to pair the slate with other devices, since buying a tablet with a different operating system than for example your smartphone may make communication between these two devices very difficult or even impossible.
How much storage will you need?
The amount of internal memory will determine how much content you will be able to store on the tablet. Internal memory in tablets ranges from mere 2 GB to as much as 128 GB and directly reflects in their prices. That is why it could be a good idea to estimate how much storage you may need in order to avoid situation where you run out of space or, on the contrary, pay for storage you may never use. Some tablets also have microSD slots which add extra memory. This feature, however, may be missing from some models.
Consider battery life
The idea behind a tablet is that the device is designed to be used on the go. For this reason, battery life is one of the key factors to consider when choosing a tablet. Nothing can ruin your day like a tablet dying on you an the least opportune moment when you are far from any source of power. Tablet makers provide information on how ling approximately you will be able to use the device on one charge; however, exact usage time will obviously depend on how intensively you use the tablet.
What connectivity do you need?
Standard connectivity features include USB, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. Some models also offer cellular 3G or 4G connectivity. Tablets with cellular connectivity are usually more expensive than Wi-Fi only models. In addition, they require purchase of monthly data plans, which further increases the costs. On the other hand, cellular connectivity allows for constant access to the internet without having to worry about Wi-Fi hotspots. If you, however, have constant access to Wi-Fi in the places you are most likely to use the tablet, a more affordable model without cellular connectivity may be a wise choice.
Question about camera
Most tablets are equipped with two cameras – the main camera on the back and secondary camera located on the front panel. However, some more basic models may lack the front-facing camera, so if you video chat often you may want to make sure that the tablet you want to buy has a front-facing sensor. Camera features may differ from model to model, but all offer basic functions such as shooting photos, recording video and more or less advanced editing options.
Other tablet features and accessories
In addition to the above mentioned, there a number of other features you may want to go over before you purchase your new tablet, such as resolution of the screen, type, waterproof capability, number and placement of slots and ports, size of bezels, supports for stylus, design or color.
Availability of additional accessories can also be an important factor in deciding on a particular model. For example, if you are a parent of a small child, you may want to consider a bumper case to protect the tablet. Other accessories you may find useful include kickstand, protective case or detachable keyboard.
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