Tablet Buying Guide

Tablets have become a staple for a lot of families, with today's tech-savvy travellers and commuters looking for more and more ways to keep connected on the move. So many companies have released their vision of mobile computing perfection that choosing from all the available options can seem a bit daunting. These tablet tips should help give you the knowledge you need to have confidence in your next purchase.

1. Operating System

The operating system is the core platform your tablet and its applications will run on, each of which have their own specific layouts and features. The most common operating systems are:

Apple iOS – This is the standard for all Apple devices and has been tried and tested over many years - it is popular and easy to use.

Android – This OS in intuitive and simple to navigate, also having been around for many years. It may have options to sync other Android operated devices to your tablet for ease of use around the home.

Windows 10 – This operating system has an all-new browser that makes the web work the way you do, with comprehensive security for protection against viruses, phishing and malware. It also has InstantGo so you can boot up fast, it allows you to create multiple desktops and snap multiple apps on one screen, and has OneDrive free online storage for your photos and drives (using your Internet connection and associated charges).

2. Screen Size

It's the first thing you notice, so it's likely to be an important consideration. Tablets range from as small as five inches (measured diagonally from corner to corner) to over ten inches. Simply browsing the internet while out and about? You can probably get away with a smaller screen, but streaming TV shows and movies, reading and playing games will upscale your requirements considerably.

3. Screen Resolution and Sharpness

Image sharpness requirements will depend on how you're using your tablet. Around 1024 x 600 will be fine for surfing the web, but upgrading to 2560 x 1600 (like Samsung's Tab S Super AMOLED Display) will make text and images crystal clear. If you're a fan of ebooks, purchasing a higher resolution tablet is definitely recommended to make text more clear and to prevent overstraining your eyes.

4. Touch Responsiveness

A touchscreen is how users interact with tablets, so if you have a chance in store, play around with each tablet you are considering, or even borrow one from a friend. Picking a model that feels responsive and natural to you is extremely important. Factors to consider:

  • Grease-resistance covers
  • Multi-touch screen for better manipulation
  • Glare protection

5. Tablet Storage Capacity

There is a huge difference in storage capacity on tablets, ranging from as little as 4GB all the way up to 64GB. Your storage capacity requirements will depend on:

  • Budget – extra capacity can add significantly to price
  • How many films, songs, games and documents you wish to store
  • Whether you have external memory cards for additional storage

Memory is typically expandable by the use of a micro or mini SD card- check the specifications of the tablet you are considering for which size it takes, as you may want to purchase a memory card together at the same time.

6. Range of apps available

Apps just means applications, and apps are a central feature of tablets – you can find one for almost anything you desire, whether it's office work, news, streaming TV shows and movies, maps, social networking and more. Your choice in apps will depend largely on the operating system you choose, with each OS offering different app vendors, including Apple's App Store and iTunes, Windows Store and Google Play for Android.

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