The tablet market is exploding, and the competition this holiday season is especially fierce as many manufacturers are introducing new models or are drastically reducing prices. Figuring out which tablet to choose can be tricky, especially since so many of them are comparable in price and design. Instead of just picking the one that looks the coolest, or has the most brand recognition or costs the least, consider these factors when determining which is the right tablet for you,
Why do you want a tablet? Are you a gadget guy who loves to have the latest technology? Or do you think the mobility of a tablet will offer convenience for your work? Thinking about how you will use the tablet in your everyday life will help you prioritize the list of features and specifications that the tablet must have. If the tablet’s for fun, one that has a lot of apps, Web connectivity, and style may be a better choice. If the tablet’s for work, one that has ample storage space, a strong processor and appropriate software and peripherals is a better choice.
Unlike a computer, the size of a tablet monitor is often irrelevant to its use. After all, tablets are designed to be small and mobile, not to offer you an in-home theater experience. Most tablets are either 7 inches or 10.1 inches, making them comparable in size. However, if you will use the tablet for a lot of high-definition graphics or video work, then choosing one with a larger screen is preferable.
Memory and Speed :
Just like with a computer, a tablet’s processor and RAM will determine its overall performance and ease of use. Higher-end processors and more memory will offer you ease-of-use for any purpose. However, if you don’t need advanced software or tools on the device, a high-end processor and additional RAM will only enhance your experience by letting you surf the Web faster or watch movies in higher quality. Make sure you need the additional power before you shell out the additional money.
Operating System :
Other than the iPad, most tablets run on the Android operating system. A few exceptions run on Blackberry OS, HP (now defunct) and Windows. Unless you know how to crack the tablet, choosing the tablet operating system that you like is very important as it will determine your accessibility to programs and apps. Read more about comparison of Tablet operating system, the Apple OS is linked to the popular iTunes marketplace, which has a wider variety of apps and content. However, the iPad costs a premium over other tablets, and many apps are developed simultaneously for iTunes and Android, helping to narrow the gap for content.
Is the tablet Wi-Fi capable? Does it operate on the 3G or 4G network? Do you have to purchase a data plan to connect to a network? Determining Web connectivity should be a big consideration when choosing a tablet since most of the selling features of the device require this connection. Be sure you understand how your tablet can connect to the Web, where and whether it will cost you.
The amount of storage on a tablet varies widely and will significantly influence price. Most models start at 16GB, with a few offering as much as 64 MB. The models with the most storage will cost the most. However, you can also look for a tablet with an SD slot for additional external storage, which can offer you more space without the premium on price.
Some other features to consider when deciding on which tablet to purchase include peripherals such as wireless keyboards, USB ports, plug-ins for external devices like headphones, cameras, video capability and battery life. Remember to evaluate which of these features is a need or a want to determine how much priority to give them. Every extra will add on to the price, and you can save a considerable amount by choosing models that have only the features you need.
Still confused about which tablet to choose? The Geeks Club has created a handy side-by-side chart ) comparing the specs on 10 top-selling tablets this season.
Amanda Tradwick is a grant researcher and writer for CollegeGrants.org. She has a bachelor’s degrees from the University of Delaware, and has recently finished research on money for college for adults and student grants in massachusetts.