When it comes to buying a Tablet the first thing one should ask is, "What will I be using this for?" Is this a tablet that will be used for basic things, such as streaming movies, reading articles/books, checking emails, or will this be mainly for work related assignments and typing documents? Once the main purpose is established we can move on to looking at preferences such as brands, operating systems, portability, and extra features.
Choosing an Operating System
There are three main operating systems when it comes to choosing a tablet - Apple iOS, Android, and Windows. Apple's iOS is tailored strictly to the iPad, while Android and Windows are seen on tablet brands such as Samsung, Asus, Microsoft Surface, LG, Lenovo and many more!
If you have an iPhone then the iOS system on the iPad will be the most familiar. iOS is easy to understand right from the beginning and offers smooth interactions with intuitive menus. It's the best option for syncing across devices, if most of your devices are Apple. However, if you're into customizing the look and feel of your tablet, you may find fewer options with Apple iOS than with other operating systems.
Android is Google's popular operating system that offers an ever improving interface and lots of customization options, so you can tailor the look and feel of your tablet. On top of that, the Google Play store has a great selection of tablet-enabled apps, as well as music, books, movies and more. (Amazon Fire tablets use Android OS combined with the Amazon.com ecosystem for easy buying and downloading of movies, music and books.
Windows operating system based tablets, such as the Microsoft Surface, follow the familiar format you would see on a Windows PC or laptop. Windows tablets are great for work since many offer versions of programs such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and more. The Windows Store also offers a wide variety of apps, games and much more.
Once you've picked an OS its time to focus on the screen. Tablets come in a wide variety of sizes and screen qualities; here is a breakdown of the different form factors.
Smaller tablets run between 7 and 9 inches. They are great for anyone who commutes frequently on a bus, train or airplane. Their small, portable size makes it easy to carry and some are small enough to even fit in pockets.
Anything above 9 inches can be considered a large screen tablet. Larger screens offer great views and better resolution for watching movies and videos or when playing games. Plus, they also provide plenty of screen space for typing documents.
Resolution refers to the number of dots (pixels) on the entire screen. The highest-resolution of any tablet screen is 2,560 x 1,600 pixels, and the higher the resolution the sharper the images look on the screen. You'll see greater detail on a high-resolution screen, which is important when viewing HD movies and playing graphic-intensive games.
Many tablets provide a decent amount of internal storage space to house the OS, apps, music, photos, videos, games and books. However, if you plan on storing a lot of music or movies on your tablet, or simply already have an extensive collection, you'll want one with more internal storage space. Tablet storage spaces can vary anywhere between 8 and 512 GB, depending on what fits your needs, the more space you need the more expensive the tablet will be.
Another option is to store your media files on the cloud. A cloud is a location where you safely can store your files other than your hard drive and access them anytime via a WIFI or cellular connection.
Many tablets also offer the ability to expand memory if the built-in amount is not enough. If there is a microSD card slot, that means you can purchase a microSD memory card and have additional storage space to save files.
This is something to look at when purchasing a tablet. All tablets will state how long the actual device can run on one charge. The iPad for example gets around 10 hours of battery life, so set this as a benchmark goal when looking around. Keep in mind that if your tablet cannot hold a decent charge in the beginning for a few days, it's going to be much worse a few months down the line.
If you want a tablet that will run smoothly, we recommend going with a quad-core processor. The higher the GHz, the better and faster your tablet will work. You'll also want a decent amount of RAM, at least 2GB.
When it comes to connectivity, it all depends on what you will be using the tablet for, however, the more ports and ways to connect it has, the better. You want to make sure it supports the latest Bluetooth standard, expandable storage is always a plus, USB or microUSB is pretty much essential, and NFC support with wireless charging is a definite plus to consider, for utmost convenience.
Wi-Fi or LTE
When you purchase a tablet, most, if not all tablets will have the ability to connect to Wi-Fi. However, Wi-Fi is not available everywhere for example when one is commuting or outdoors. In such cases a cellular data plan would come in handy. There are many different options when it comes to cellular data plans, and it all depends on one's budget and need for it.