How Do I Go About Buying a Tablet?

The tablet market is growing fast, and if you’re looking at getting a new devices there are more and more choices coming on sale all the time. This can make the process a little confusing, just how do you know which tablet is right for you? Today we’re telling you how you should go about choosing a new tablet, so you know that you’re making a good decision. From operating system to screen sizes, we’ve got all the info you need right here…

1. Operating System: Windows, Apple or Android Tablets…

One of the biggest decisions that you’re going to have to make is which operating system to go for. Many people already have a system preference, and a lot of customers simply decide to go with the same operating system as they have on their smart phone. But each system has its own pros and cons. Windows tablets tend to be high end and expensive. They have many great features, and are very compatible with most office software. This makes Windows a good choice for most business users. Android tablets are more entertainment devices. There are lots of apps and games for these models. But the biggest draw of Android tablets is that there are so many to choose from in many different budget ranges. You can get a decent Android tablet for around a hundred pounds or so. Apple tablets, or iPads, are popular choices. They’re basically bigger and more powerful versions of the iPhone. There are again lots of apps and games to choose from. But iPads are a little pricey for budget shoppers, though they are easy to use. Also an iPad will not support Flash player, which will be a problem for many internet surfers.

2. Screen Size: Big or Small?

You’ll also need to decide on a screen size preference. The smallest tablets have screens of around seven inches, whilst the largest models get screens of over ten inches. A smaller screen will be lighter and more portable, but a bigger screen will give you a better viewing experience for documents and web pages, as well as making on screen typing more comfortable. You might want to get some hands on experience with demo tablets at your local electronics store to see which size works best for you. Obviously, the larger the screen is, the more expensive your device will be.

3. Internal Memory: More or Less?

The next factor in your decision is how much memory you want. Tablets go from 8 GB to 128 GB of internal storage, so there’s a wide range to choose from. How much memory you have will determine how much data you can store on your device, including videos, photos, apps, games and music. However, memory is expensive. Many people choose not to store large amounts of data on a tablet anyway, preferring instead to transfer data to hard drives or laptops. You’ll also want to take a couple of other things into consideration. Does the tablet have a Micro SD card slot? If it does, you’ll be able to easily add a cheap memory card to expand the amount of internal storage on your device. Do you use cloud storage? If you use services like Google Play or Drop Box for data storage then you might not need so much internal memory, since you can simply access your data online when you need it. And finally, is there a USB port? This will make transferring data fast and easy. Unfortunately, many low end tablets are not equipped with a USB port.

4. WiFi or 3G: Which Internet Connection?

Tablets come with two kinds of internet connectivity: WiFi and 3G. WiFi models are cheaper, and will connect through any WiFi hot spot. WiFi connections are generally much faster than 3G connections. But this will mean that you have to find a WiFi hot spot every time you want to connect to the internet, which isn’t always an ideal situation when you’re on the go. A 3G connection, on the other hand, will give you internet access everywhere that there’s a mobile phone signal. But, this will mean that you’ll need to sign up with a mobile operator to get a SIM card that will give you access to that operator’s 3G network. You will also need some kind of data plan.

You can get a pay as you go plan that works in the same way as a pay as you go phone works. You load credit onto your SIM card and use your device until the credit runs out, at which point you’ll need to top up. Many people find this the best option for tablets, since it’s flexible and you only ever pay for the data that you actually use. But you can also sign a contract with an operator for a mobile data plan. This will give you a monthly limit for the amount of data that you can use for a fixed monthly fee. If you’re planning on connecting to the internet over 3G frequently, a contract is probably going to be a better option for you, but don’t forget that you’ll be getting monthly bills.

5. Budget: Cheap or Not?

With so many devices on the market, you’ll have a wide range of budget options. You can get a decent tablet for around a hundred pounds, or spend a thousand pounds on a top of the line model. The bigger the screen and bigger the internal memory the more expensive a tablet will be. It’s best to have a budget in mind before you go shopping, since it will help you determine which tablets you have to choose from.

6. Which Manufacturer?

With Windows and Apple models you’re not really going to have a manufacturer choice. However, with Android models you’re going to need to look at brand name to make sure that you’re getting a quality product. ASUS, Samsung and Google are all good brand names to look for in an Android tablet.

Sam Jones wanted to make sure that the deals he was seeing on Android tablets were the latest ones. With the help of sites like uSwitch he could make sure that he was getting as much as possible for his money.

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