As it’s an investment purchase, you know you want to make the best decision you can and accordingly, there are certain features to consider when buying a tablet. You’re never going to make the perfect decision because this is an area of technology that moves so quickly. But if you pay heed to the features to consider when buying a tablet, you can feel satisfied you did your best to get the right machine for you.
1. Battery Life
Most tablets are designed to be portable, and this is why these tablets have a long battery life. If you are planning on using your tablet when you are out and about, then one of the most important features to consider when buying a tablet is the battery life. Battery life ranges from only a few hours to over ten hours, depending on the make and model of the tablet and also on your usage.
The sorts of tablet applications that you are able to download depend on the operating system of the tablet. This is why the operating system is one of the key considerations when buying a tablet. Generally both iOS (the Apple operating system for tablets) and Android come with a healthy marketplace offering plenty of different apps. Other tablet operating systems such as Windows 8.1 have yet to match what the more established mobile operating systems have to offer.
3. Storage Space
There is a wide range of different storage spaces available. The most popular tablets have storage space starting at 8 GB, and can be as high as 128 GB with the premium models. If you only intend to use your tablet to browse the web, then you won’t need much space. However, if you are planning on downloading lots of apps, games, videos and music, then you should opt for more storage space.
4. Wi-Fi or Data
This is one of the main connectivity features to consider when purchasing a tablet. Tablets either come with the ability to connect to Wi-Fi, or Wi-Fi and mobile data (eg. 3G, 4G LTE) through a cellular network such as Verizon. With Wi-Fi you can connect to your wireless router, as well as wireless hotspots in malls, fast food chains etc. However, with mobile data you can get online wherever you have a signal. Always remember: you must sign up for a mobile data plan with a carrier if you want to go with a tablet with data connectivity.
Screens come with many different features to consider when buying a tablet. First there’s the resolution – the minimum HD resolution example is 720p (1280x720), which should be a minimum if you want clear, sharp text and visuals. Then there’s the screen size, which ranges from about 5 inches to about 10 inches (measured diagonally). If you want portability and a longer battery life, it helps to go with a smaller screen.
6. Processing Power
The processor is the heart of the tablet, used to power all of the tablet’s many functions and operations. Modern mobile processors come with multiple ‘cores,’ and the more cores a processor has, the easier the processor is able to deal with multiple tasks at the same time.
In terms of weight, the current generation of tablets can weight 400 grams at the low end, and 700 grams at the high end (some of the largest premium multimedia tablets can weigh over 1 kg). The weight of the tablet is one of many important features to consider when buying a tablet if you plan on taking it around with you a lot.
Almost all tablets have a camera on the rear for taking photos and recording video, however some tablets also have a front-facing camera. This is a very important feature if you want to use video-chat applications such as Skype.
The Random Access Memory (RAM) is the memory that computers need to run applications. The higher the amount of RAM, the faster your tablet will be able to run applications, as well as multiple applications at the same time. Tablets currently offer RAM between 1 and 2 GB for Android and iOS, while for Windows tablets the available RAM is mostly between 2 and 4 GB.
If you’re yet to purchase your first tablet, I hope these tips help. And I wonder, existing tablet owners, do you think you made the right choice in the one you use? What do you think are the most confusing things about buying a tablet?