It is just a few years back that the Apple iPad hit the scene, but today you may find it hard to think of a time before tablets. The sleek design and successful marketing has made the iPad the must-have item for gadget lovers.
The growth of tablets has been so rapid that people claim they will take over half the PC market.
Tablets have become so popular over the past few years and there are vast swathes of possibilities for a would-be buyer.
However, before buying a tablet you should know which is suitable for you.
Here are a few factors to look out for when shopping for a tablet.
Know Your Needs
Tablets are fantastic devices that are portable with easy to use interfaces and long battery life. However, you should answer plenty of questions before you choose to buy a tablet, and the most important among them is “What are you going to use it for?” Do you look for a device that might replace your PC or do you want a tablet to watch movies while traveling or is it for more general home use?
Your specific needs will help you make your choice of tablet. Tablets are a great choice for checking Facebook, surfing the web, reading, playing games and checking your mail, but it is not a wise choice to replace a laptop. Typing on a tablet for a whole day is quite difficult, so if you decide to work on it for a whole day, you may have to buy a Bluetooth keyboard.
It does not mean that an expensive tablet is a quality product and a cheap tablet is a worthless device. So try to see beyond the price and think about what you get in terms of hardware and software.
You should choose a tablet manufacturer wisely, because if the tablet has some problems, you should be sure that you have chosen a vendor who will address the problems with frequent patches. To avoid frustration, choose someone whose tablets do not require frequent patches.
Tablets are tactile devices and you should make sure how they feel in your hands before you buy them.
Weight, dimensions and balance play a major role in deciding their feel.
While two tablets may be of the same weight, one can feel lighter; this is because of the evenly distributed internal components. See to it that there are no sharp edges, which might dig into your palms.
So, touch them before you buy, as this will help you make an informed purchasing decision.
Apps are the main point of having a tablet and your choice of apps will determine what your device can do. Choose an operating system that has more apps that appeal to you and your budget. If you want most of the quality apps available, then iPad that features millions of programs and games comes on top.
The two main size categories are the large 10-inch models and the smaller 7-inch. While 7 - inch tablets are known as small-screen, 8.9 to 10" are referred as large screen. 6-8-inches tablets are cheaper and more portable. They fit easily into your purse or small bag, and some of them can even fit into your pockets.
The 7-inch models can be easily held in your hand. The 8-inch models have become popular and they are a good choice if you are struggling to decide between the larger or smaller versions.
Another important spec is pixels or ppi per inch-which shows the details of the display and the clarity of the text. Anything over 200ppi is good, but it gets better as you go higher. A sharp and bright display is the key and today the sharpest you will get is 2,560/1,600 pixels featured in the Amazon Fire HDX 8.9-inch. A higher resolution offers sharper images.
The panel type determines the quality of the image when you view it from off angles and they also determine the accuracy and vibrancy of colours.
The tablet weight is definitely advantageous over a laptop; but large-screen tablets weigh around a pound and they are not as light as a mobile phone. Your hands will get tired after you hold a tablet using a single hand for 20 minutes. However, for people who want to do some work on their tablet, the bigger models are the better choice.
Storage is a very important option to consider before buying a tablet PC. If you choose to store all your music collection and videos on the device, then you will have to get the biggest model you can afford. Although Cloud storage is a great option for many tablets, a tablet with more on-board storage is always better as all those apps can take a lot of space.
Generally, most tablets have 16, 32, or 64GB varieties, and some like the iPad - Air and iPad mini lines have up to 128 GB memory. If your needs are very modest, a lower capacity model should be fine for you, but it is not wise to go lower than 16GB because the operating system and the pre-installed apps will take up a few gigabytes even before you start. Many tablets have microSD memory card slots, which help expand storage up to 128GB more. These SD cards are cheaper than the upgraded storage options on a tablet.
Wi-Fi-Only or Monthly Contract
Most tablets offer a Wi-Fi-only option however there are a number of tablets that can be bought on a pay monthly contract similar to a mobile phone. If you want to work on your tablet anywhere, then a pay monthly contract tablet might be ideal for you.
Currently, the three major operating systems on a tablet are: Android, iOS from Apple and Windows. While each on has its own pros and cons, Android is the most popular OS and boasts an excellent choice of apps and devices. Although it is not as simple as Apple’s iOS, Android is being given equal priority. IOS is a very simple and user-friendly interface.
Although the new Windows may discourage some people, it is a very powerful tablet interface if you are ready to spend some time on it. Its built-in music streaming service is wonderful and offers a rich support for TV shows and movies.
All the models are sealed and needs professional help when something goes wrong. While Apple has a one year warranty and all Apple stores repair its devices for free, you can also get an additional two years support through the Applecare policy. Android and Windows devices are covered for a year by the manufacturer, but you have to send the device back to them for maintenance. You can also shop around for good deals, as some companies offer two year warranty on devices purchased from them.
Finally, before you decide upon a tablet, visit the local electronics store and get a hands-on time with different tablets. This will help you see which is the best.