“Which tablet should I buy?” Superman asked.
“Do you really need a tablet?” I replied.
He can accomplish any task faster than a tablet (in a hypothetical way). It’s because he is the Superman.
Actually, we all should first ask ourselves, if a tablet is necessary when a laptop, a desktop, a smartphone, and other electronic gadget in our possession that does more or equal job. Tablets are in its fourth year of ‘finding its place’ in both personal and professional computer world. To help you further, narrow it down one more step: what is your profession? Depending upon your profession, some tablets may not fit it right for maximum productivity.
If you are still reading, I get it; a tablet is on your buying list!
Operating System (OS)
There is Android by Google, iOS by Apple, and Windows RT by Microsoft. Each OS has its own features that ultimately determine the capabilities of a tablet. Ensure the OS can be upgraded when there is a software update is released. New apps and most existing apps will release a new version that require latest OS edition.
- Android: now it’s a fact that Android is the most popular mobile platform in the world. Somewhat because of the Google’s power engine behind it. There are over 600,000 apps out there and counting to run on Android. People have found it to be very powerful and useful on there mobile devices. Global partnership network with over 300 carriers in over 169 countries gives anyone broad choice of smartphones, tablets that includes some of the best devices out there today. The latest version is Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.
- iOS: as Apple described, “The world’s most advanced mobile operating system.” Apple’s iOS has got this clean, crispy, elegant and intuitive interfaces that make its devices stand out. This is the iOS that turns a smartphone into a iPhone, gave birth to the revolutionary tablet device like iPad. iPod from Apple runs on iOS too. The built in very intuitive features, ease of accessibility, share-ability within the Apple’s hardware family, high safety and security with automactic encryption definitely empower the iOS itself. The latest iOS 7 – to be most advanced yet – is in the pipeline to be released this fall. Mark your calendar and visit DMG to find out more when it comes out.
- Windows RT: Have you used Windows 8 yet? This OS, in a simple way, is a modified version of Windows 8 for tablet. Windows RT is relatively very new and has long way to find its place in the tablet market. However, it has got the full capability of Microsoft Office and all other goodies from Windows 8. Devices that only designed to run OS by OEMs are pre-loaded with Windows RT. Not many devices are out there made with Windows RT; so, considering to check out the Windows RT can be good start.
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Features do matter:
Having many choices can result in confusion; especially when choosing a new type of electronic device such as tablet. The display, processor, camera, color, weight and many other features distance one tablet to another. So, lets go over some key features that really matter.
- Display: as the saying goes, ‘seeing is believing’. A display with best detail and true colors is very important. Some displays degrades the image quality if viewed from off-angles, rotated to portrait mode. For the best display consider highest resolution is available. Apple iPad has one of the best display to-date.
- Processor: most of the consumer usually overlook the importance of an efficient processor when it comes to tablet. A powerful processor can provide a faster, smooth experience while consuming more power out of the tablet’s battery. That means battery life may considerably be shorter than a tablet with less powerful processor. Manufacturers usually state the number of cores and the speed on tablet’s box. Multiple cores in a processors is key to boost its efficiency. When multitasking like surfing web, listening to music, and replying to an email, the processor delegates the tasks to different core for faster execution. So, dual-core and quad-core processors are highly desirable. The ARM and x86 processors are the type that are used widely in the tablet industry.
- The A-series processors from ARM are used in tablets/e-readers. This series consists of single and multicore processors such as the Cortex-A5, Cortex-A7, Cortex-A8. Cortex-A15, Cortex-A53 and Cortex-A57. Such designs deliver extended performance and option to scale up with ability to implement up to four cores. The Cortext-A50 series processors extended the Cortex-A series to used in 64-bit operating systems.
- The x86 processors are the second kind that are used in tablets. Intel and AMD are the top two suppliers for this type of processors. In comparison to ARM based chips, this x86 processors are less efficient; however the performance is satisfactory. The x86 proccessors made by Intel are more popular than AMD due to their low powered Atom processors. From low to high powerful in terms of performance of the x86 processors, they are Intel Atom Z Series, AMD Fusion Z Series, Intel Atom N Series, AMD Fusion A Series, Intel Core i3 ULV Series and Intel Core i5 ULV Series.
- Storage: usually the tablets have the capacity of internal storage with 16GB, 32GB, 64GB; some do have 128GB like Apple iPad and Microsoft Surface. If the tablet has USB connectivity, moving the data to an external HD is always an option.
- Weight: depending upon what you choose, the weight of tablets ranges from 1 lb to up to 2 lbs. If you plan to hold your tablet on your palm for longer time, choosing a light weight tablet can be wise.
- Screen size: many different screen sizes are now available in the market. For simplicity, small size ranges 7 to 7.9-inches, medium size ranges 8 to 10.1-inches and large size goes bigger than 10.1-inches. Reading books, checking e-mails, surfing web, and many other tasks like these can provide a pleasant experience on the go in a small size tablet without heavy weight.
- Screen Resolution: after all what you see is what you believe, right? If that is the case now, for brighter, sharper and great viewing angles, make sure the screen resolution is high and the panel type is either Plane Line Switching (PLS) or In-Plane Switching (IPS) screen. Because the high resolution screen produces sharper images; then the panel type controls the brightness of the screen and determines the image quality when viewing from different angles. Google Nexus has the highest screen resolution and Apple iPad2 has the best panel type, so far.
- Thickness: in compare to laptop, tablets are already much better in thinkness. However, some tablets do test consumers’ capacity. For the mobile computing purpose, consider a tablet with thinner in size. For instance, Sony Xperia tablet Z has done a terrific job in this case.
- Video camera: are you looking for alternative to your camcorder? Tablets aren’t there yet! Most tablets lacks in quality and in pixels. But, it does come handy at times when you can quickly do your 6 seconds Vine video. For now, Sony Xperia tablet Z has won in this race too; it has whopping 8.1 megapixels in back camera.
- Connectivity & Port: not all tablet has your favorite connection medium like bluetooth, data plan 3G/4G feature; nor the HDMI or USB port to connect with other devices. Some tablets require a data plan that can add a monthly cost from $20 and more. Check to see if the data plan is necessary; otherwise, Wi-Fi only tablet should do the job just fine if the wireless connection is available around you.
- App: depending upon the tablet’s factory set up, some tablets require additional purchase of apps to make the tablet fully useful (functional – in a sense). And that can varies individual to individual. Apps are reasonably cheap, but it can add up quickly if you end up buying several or more a week. There are plenty of FREE apps in almost all categories. With combination of Apple apps and Android apps, over 1.5 billion apps to expand usage of your tablet.
Tip: Check out the related items for cheaper price or filter the search result for free apps only.
Click the image below for detailed specifications of top six tablets!
Which tablet would you buy now after reading this article above? Tell us your pick in the comment.