Should I Buy a Tablet?

Tablets are the latest revolution in the world of mobile computing, and they certainly have plenty of advantages to offer. But they also come at expensive prices, so you want to make sure that you really need one before you commit to buying. A tablet can be an excellent solution to computing on the go, but they’re simply not necessary for everyone. Today we’re looking at tablets, the pros and the cons, to help you decide if you really want one or not. If you’re thinking about buying one of the rapidly expanding array of tablets available to you, then read on to find out if you can benefit from owning a tablet.

The Pros of Tablets…
We said that tablets have a lot of advantages, and they certainly do. The main advantage of a tablet when compared to a smart phone is quite simply the size of its screen. On a top end smart phone nowadays, you’re looking at a screen size of around five inches. But tablets come with a minimum screen of seven inches, and some get as big as thirteen inches. Whilst a big screen is great for watching videos and reading whole web pages without having to do too much scrolling, there is one other factor. Most smart phones and tablets today come with interactive touch screens and don’t come with physical keyboards. That means that all your typing needs to be done on an on screen touch keyboard. Your smart phone on screen keyboard might be okay for sending a text message, but the far bigger keyboard you get on a tablet is much better and more comfortable for typing longer messages. There are other advantages too. A tablet tends to have faster internet connectivity than a smart phone, and usually has a bigger internal memory too. But the screen size is really what makes a tablet so special.

The Cons of Tablets…
The biggest disadvantage of a tablet is that it’s not a phone. It can’t make calls and it can’t send text messages. Of course, it can use online calling services, so you can make Skype calls, for example, but it lacks the traditional functionality that you get in a phone. That means that you can’t just have a tablet, you’re going to need a phone too. And for a lot of people that’s the deciding factor when choosing between a tablet and a smart phone.

Where to Get Tablet Deals…
If you do decide that you want to buy a tablet, you’re going to want to try and get the best deal that you can. A high end tablet is going to cost you around a thousand pounds, whilst budget models go for a couple of hundred. The best tablet deals are usually refurbished models. Just go to the manufacturer’s web site of the tablet that you’re interested in and see if they have any refurbished models available. These are tablets that have been bought and then returned, generally because the buyer changed his mind. Before being resold at a discount, refurbished models are cleaned and rebooted, and then undergo a thorough inspection and receive a certificate for reselling. In appearance and functionality, a refurbished tablet should be indistinguishable from a brand new model, which means that you’re really getting a bargain.

Another place to look for tablet deals is with mobile service operators. A tablet will generally have a 3G internet connection that will require a SIM card and data plan from a mobile operator. If you’re willing to sign a contract for a data plan then you can often get a tablet as an incentive, either for free or for a low, one-time payment. The cost of your monthly plan will be more expensive than if you just bought the data plan alone, since this is how the operator covers the cost of the tablet that you receive. But if you don’t have the cash to buy a tablet right now, this can be a good option for you. Finally, you can look at second hand tablets to get a good deal. This is a little risky, since you don’t know exactly what you’re getting and you won’t get a warranty. If you’re going to buy a second hand tablet you should try to buy in person, rather than online, so that you can check out the model before you agree to buy it. You’ll want to inspect the outside, including the screen, for scratches and dents, as well as turning the tablet on to make sure all its functions work. Being able to examine the model yourself before buying lessens the risk of buying a second hand tablet.

What to Look For…
When you look at tablets you’ll want to look at several features. The first is the screen size, which should be large enough for comfortable viewing but small enough to be easily portable. Then there’s processing power, the larger the processor the faster your tablet will be. You’ll want plenty of internal memory to store music, photos and data. Also look for 3G connectivity. Many low end models have only WiFi, which makes mobile internet surfing dependent on finding a WiFi hot spot. 3G will give you mobile internet anywhere that there’s a cell phone signal.

A Suitable Compromise…
If you want the tablet, but can’t afford a phone and a tablet, there is a compromise. These devices are commonly known as phablets, and the best known model is probably the Samsung Galaxy Note 2. A phablet combines all the features of a smart phone, including the ability to call and send text messages, with the larger screen size that you’re looking for in a tablet. Phablet screen aren’t quite as big as tablet screens, but they’re larger than the average smart phone screen. A phablet will cost you around the same as a high end smart phone, which is to say about five hundred pounds. But it does mean that you don’t need to buy both a smart phone and a tablet, so it can be considered a god financial decision.


Sam Jones was really pleased to find some great tablet deals by shopping online. Price comparison sites like uSwitch helped him to save a little money each month.


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