Tablets Buying Guide
1. What is a Tablet?
When buying a new Tablet, there are a few things to consider. Each have advantages and disadvantages with different prices, shapes, memory sizes and Operating Systems (OS). It is always good to understand what you want in a tablet before making an informed decision.
Simply put a tablet is a portable touchscreen display/computer. Tablets are one of the most portable devices apart from phones that allow for excellent computing power in a portable device. With Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G/LTE which runs on a SIM card, internet connectivity will be accessible to you everywhere. Tables also offer apps, music and many other things you can download on your smartphone, this gives you the best of both worlds as a tablet is not quite a phone or computer, it sits right in the middle of the two.
2. Types of Tablets (OS)
There are many types of Tablets on the market, the three most common are the ones below. So please take a good look at each one to get a better understanding of what will suit your requirements best.
a) iOS Tablet
iOS Tablets (or iPads) has millions of apps, games, movies, music, audio books, TV shows all accessible form the iTunes and App Store, the range of options are almost endless to the iPad user. The user experience is very good as the Tablet interface is friendly, easy to use and navigate. Apple iPads are typically or at least considered the easiest and most user friendly phones on the market. However, given this they don’t allow many of the customisations and tinkering that other operating systems do. So if you are after a reliable, easy to use Tablet and don’t want to tinker or customise, the Apple iPads are a great choice.
b) Android Tablet
Android Tablets use an operating system developed by Google, allowing third-party applications to be developed which gives a wide variety of apps to choose from in Google Play and many other app stores. Android Tablets are not made by one company as the iPad so there are variety of company’s making Android tablets which is great for you, more options. The customisation of Android tablets and applications is something to look at in more detail as the possibilities are endless. Additional hardware like USB keyboards and other devices are able to be paired with it as Android is ‘open source software’.
Developed by Microsoft, Windows Tablets run on a preinstalled operating system called Windows Runtime (RT). It is extremely user friendly as the navigation and overall experience is clean and simple. The compatibility with windows computers is once again excellent as the apps on the Windows Tablet are the same ones used on Windows 10 computers. The cross compatibility allows you to use software like Microsoft Office with Word, Excel and PowerPoint with ease. With the Windows Phone App, you are able to sync with both Windows and Mac/Apple computers allowing for more flexibility. The main disadvantage with Windows Tablets is that they are not as dominant in the market as the Apple’s or Androids, therefore there are less apps to choose from.
Some of the things to consider when looking for a Tablet.
Touchscreen displays come in many different configurations, IPS LCD, Retina and AMOLED. The difference between displays varies in clarity in sunlight, image sharpness and power consumption. All do the same job with pros and cons with all. Also consider screen size, Tablet screen sizes typically range from 6 Inches to over 12 Inches. This is purely a personal preference, some people prefer smaller, some prefer larger. But keep in mind as soon as you move past the 10 – 12 Inch size your virtually within the smaller laptop screen size range.
Most Tablets have at least one camera on the back but many also have an additional one on the face to allow for selfies. The quality of the images varies with different brands creating different lenses to deliver the best image quality possible. Image size measured in megapixels’ ranges between 2 and 22 megapixels.
Memory in many Tablets will be split into different levels, built in memory goes as follows, 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB. The jumps in memory double the previous sizes and as such allow for more music, photos, videos and apps to be installed. Some Tablets allow for expandable memory; this means that you are able to add additional memory on top of what was originally there with a memory card. Some examples of what certain Tablet memory sizes can hold are below:
Great for lightweight tablet users. If you don’t want to use your tablet to hold most of your files these are great for you. As an exercise assume; 4MB per photo, 5MB per song and 4GB per movie, 16GB of memory (your tablet will have less) can hold; 1000 photos, 800 songs and 2 movies.
Great for medium tablet users. If you want to use your tablet often for holding files and simple games these tablets are a good option. As an exercise assume; 4MB per photo, 5MB per song and 4GB per movie, 32GB of memory (your tablet will have less) can hold; 2000 photos, 1600 songs and 4 movies.
Great for tablet phone users and If you want to use your tablet all the time for holding files and larger games. As an exercise assume; 4MB per photo, 5MB per song and 4GB per movie, 64GB of memory (your tablet will have less) can hold; 4000 photos, 3200 songs and 8 movies.
Great for super heavy tablet users. If you want to use your tablet all the time for holding thousands of files and extremely advanced games these tablets are great. As an exercise assume; 4MB per photo, 5MB per song and 4GB per movie, 128GB of memory (your tablet will have less) can hold; 8000 photos, 6400 songs and 16 movies.
d) Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G, LTE (Internet)
With 3G and 4G/LTE compatibility some tablets allow you connect to the internet with a SIM card via a mobile internet network. Wi-Fi will allow you to connect to any internet through wireless, this requires you to be near a hotspot location accessible through a password, or at home with a wireless rougher.
e) Battery Life
Some of the better specification tablets can go for up to 10 hours or more on one charge. If the brightness of the screen is turned down it can be extended even further. If you use your Tablet all the time or for work keep an eye out for the battery size as it may come in handy to get a Tablet that lasts longer on one charge.