The world of tablets can be confusing. Here’s what you need to know if you’re thinking of buying one...
Tablets perfectly bridge the gap between a neat smartphone and a bulky laptop. But if you find yourself asking “which tablet should I buy?” or even “what iPad should I buy?,” we’ve put together this tablet comparison guide that outlines the top features of the very best tablets around.
What size tablet do you need?
This is a great place to start, because not everyone wants the biggest tablet out there. Screen size is measured from diagonal corners, and typically, tablets come in three screen sizes: 7, 8 and 10 inches. Though the iPad Pro also has a 13 inch edition.
If you love streaming video, watching TV on the go, or need your tablet to work on documents, a 10-inch screen is hard to beat. But an 8-inch screen is a happy medium, and a 7-inch works if you are on a budget and want to travel light.
Is expandable memory a clincher?
If you want to make your own movies and edit and store photos, music and files, then storage should be high on your list of priorities.
It’s important to look for internal memory stats, but don’t forget to keep an eye out for tablets with an expandable memory, such as the Samsung Galaxy S2 Tab. This nice-looking tablet has 3GB RAM of internal memory and supports a microSD card of up to 128GB storage.
Don’t forget there’s also the option to save things to The Cloud. See our full guide on Cloud storage options for more info.
3G, 4G or Wi-Fi?
The connection speed and capability of your tablet is important. Getting a “connected” tablet means you can pop in a SIM and enjoy the full benefits of mobile internet wherever you go. Plus, if you’ve got a 4G-ready device and you’re in a 4G area, the performance of your tablet will be hard to beat – and it won’t cost you a penny more on Three, as we offer 4G at no extra cost.
Both 3G and 4G connected tablets mean the internet is always at your fingertips, so no more hunting for hotspots or worrying about Wi-Fi passwords and the security of public networks.
That said, Wi-Fi only tablets are generally cheaper, so if you’re strict on price, you could opt for one of these – then pair it with one of our Pay As You Go Mobile Broadband products so you’ve still got a connection when you need one. See our guide for more about tablets and Mobile Broadband.
Choosing an operating system
The operating system your tablet runs on is another feature that should be taken into serious consideration.
iOS, Android and Windows operating systems tend to evoke the type of love/hate emotion that you get with marmite. And if you already have a smartphone on a particular system (iPhone = iPad sort of deal), you’ll probably benefit from the familiarity and ease of your preferred user experience.
But it’s still worth putting in some thought. You may love Windows on your laptop, but will it do what you need it to on a tablet?
Can I replace my laptop with a tablet?
A common question, indeed. With a slightly complex answer. Tablets are undeniably on the rise. According to Ofcom, more than half of UK households now have a tablet (and one in 10 children aged between three and four do, too). Of those, 36% use them to watch TV, 58% view video clips and 15% play games. Strangely enough, though, most people don’t take their tablet out of the house (even though they’re way more portable than laptops.) Laptops are generally better for hardcore typing stuff, like working or writing that novel. But if you watch films, listen to music and basically have a casual relationship with your laptop, a tablet might just be for you.
iPad? Galaxy Tab? Amazon Fire? MediaPad?…
Not meaning to brag, but like we said before, we’re currently stocking all the hottest tablets on the market. We’ve got pretty much every type of iPad, a Huawei MediaPad and the new Amazon Kids Fire Tablet. And that’s just the start.
Hopefully this article will help you get your head around some of the different tablet options. But if you’re still undecided, pop into your nearest Three store and where you can road test the latest tablets for yourself.
Main pic credit: Via Pixabay/stokpic.com