With so many small computers and laptops available, you might wonder why you’d want to buy a tablet instead? It’s a valid question? Tablets are slim touchscreen computers that work in a similar way to smartphones. They are fantastic devices for content consumption, for example: watching movies, reading eBooks or browsing the internet. They normally feature a long battery life and are portable enough to take anywhere with you - whether that’s in bed or on the train. They’re also incredibly fast and easy to use. To open an app, all you need to do is tap, and a few simple gestures will help you move between features and apps in seconds. They can be personalized to suit your needs and have a wealth of apps and games available to use in seconds. If you write a lot and are worried about using a touch screen, Almost all tablets will also work with a Bluetooth keyboard, while some protective cases include a keyboard and stand all in one.
Factors to consider before making a purchase
The operating system is the first thing you should consider when looking at tablets. The operating system controls many of the tablet’s functions, and acts as an interface between the user and the microprocessor. The operating system will dictate which apps and games you can run and the way you interact with your device. These are the OS in tablet operating system arena: Apple, Google and Microsoft.
1) Apple iOS
Found exclusively on Apple’s own iPads as well as on their iPhone smartphones and iPod portable music players. iOS is incredibly easy to use. It features slick aesthetics, a simple interface and a massive range of apps and games available to download. iPads also come with Siri and iCloud installed, as well as a variety of other apps like Apple Maps, music, video and organization apps.
2) Google Android
Google’s Android operating system is featured on a massive amount of tablets as well as Google’s own Nexus tablets. Android offers you a more customizable experience that lets you choose how apps, games and information are displayed on your screen. Major system updates are named alphabetically after desserts, sweets and chocolates. With each iteration it delivers new and more intuitive ways to interact with your system. Android tablets come with a variety of apps already installed on them, with manufacturers adding their own software too.
Microsoft announced the newest version of Windows; Windows 10. Windows 10 builds on Windows 8 by integrating the start menu- so popular in versions of Windows before Windows 8- with the start screen to deliver a seamless interface, for apps and more traditional programs. Windows 10 is designed to be cross-platform, one operating system tailored for your device, whether it’s a PC, tablet or smartphone, with apps created to run across all three. It also includes your own personal assistant Cortana and a number of enhancements, such as the Microsoft Edge web browser.
Tablets are measured by screen size, diagonally from corner to corner. Smaller, palm-sized tablets come in at 7 inches or under and are great for web browsing, accessing social networks and reading eBooks. Tablets between 7.1 and 12.9 inches give you more screen space without adding too much extra bulk, making them better for watching videos and playing games. Tablets sized between 9.1 and 11-inches often come in around the 10-inch mark. These devices are much more useful if you plan on playing games, watching movies and working with documents.
The internal storage of your tablet is the amount of space that you’ll have to keep your own images, documents, videos and music. Storage capacity is calculated before the operating system or any apps are installed, so you can quite often end up with less than it first appears. The amount of space already taken up varies from tablet to tablet. Many tablets include a card slot, which can allow you to add extra storage space. With this available, you’ll be able to double or even triple your storage capacity, with some devices accepting cards as large as 64GB. You can also subsidize your storage space by using internet-based cloud storage services.
Processor & RAM (Random Access Memory)
The processor is the brain of the tablet, driving all of its functions. Processors come with a number of cores that they can dedicate to performing a task. Single-core processors are very basic, and only really useful for web-browsing, writing emails and accessing basic apps. Dual-core processors are much more widespread and will allow for smoother visuals and faster performance. Quad-core processors are needed to run more high-end apps, for tasks like photo & video editing and playing 3D games. RAM (or Random Access Memory) is the amount of brain space dedicated to running processes. The more RAM available, the smoother apps will perform when there are a number open at once.
Connectivity, Wi-Fi, Cellular, 3G & 4G
Internet access is essential if you intend to get the most out of your tablet. All tablets should generally come with at least built-in Bluetooth, Wi-Fi which can be used to access the internet through your home wireless router, or through public Wi-Fi networks. Cellular connections, 3G & 4G, use the same signals that mobile phones use to connect to the internet. These services require you to put a SIM card into your device and either sign up to a contract or choose a ‘Pay As You Go’ model through a network provider.
Most tablets should feature a minimum battery life of up to 7 hours. This value tends to be based on continuous web browsing over Wi-Fi with average settings for screen brightness and volume, you’ll find that if you’re browsing using a cellular connection, or watching high definition videos, the battery life can be substantially shorter. If you intend to use your tablet frequently throughout the day, we’d recommend a battery life approaching 9 or 10 hours. It’s worth remembering that battery life won’t go down so quickly when your tablet has been put to sleep, so you can get extra usage out of it by hitting the sleep button whenever it’s not in use.
All modern tablets will feature at least one camera in the front; many include a second camera in the back. The front-facing camera will primarily be used as webcam for making video calls through apps like Skype or FaceTime-(iOS device).The rear camera is great for taking snaps and short videos for sharing with friends on social media. The higher the megapixels count on these cameras, the more detail you’ll be able to capture in your photos and videos.
Accessories to consider
Bags & Cases
The first accessory you’ll want for your new tablet is a case. Although most tablets are made to be tough, they are still prone to the occasional scratch, bump or scrape, so an added layer of protection would be a worthy investment. The bonus is that many tablet cases also double as a stand too, so you can enjoy gaming and movies without having to grip your device or invest in a dedicated stand. Some cases even feature a keyboard built into them, which is perfect for those who love to type on their tablet.
Cables & Connectors
You may also want to consider cables and adapters which can be used to connect your tablet to a variety of different devices, from televisions and speakers to computers and even electric instruments.