Tablets are topping holiday wish lists for everyone from students to teachers to book enthusiasts to sports fanatics. You might even be considering purchasing one of the gadgets for yourself. Before you commit however, there are a few questions you should ask yourself. Below is a comprehensive guide that anyone considering purchasing a tablet should read.
1- Are You Looking For a Laptop?
Tablets may have come a long way since the unsuccessful clunky tablets of the early 2000’s, but that doesn’t mean that today’s tablets can replace your laptop. For starters, they simply don’t have the processing speed or power to handle the kinds of complex tasks a laptop or desktop computer is equipped for. Secondly, most tablets on the market today are designed for specific tasks such as media consumption or business interconnectivity. The fact of the matter is, if you get a tablet you’ll probably be using it in conjunction with a home computer, not as a replacement for one.
2- What Size Do You Need?
There used to be only one tablet ruling the market. Now there are many choices out there for consumers. When looking at different tablets, consider size as an important factor in your decision. Smaller tablets are more easily portable and often less expensive. However, you will be sacrificing storage at the very least, and possibly also processing speed as well.
On the other side, larger tablets can be ungainly but offer unparalleled media experience if that’s your angle. There is a range for pricing within each size group as well. Choosing your desired size is a great stepping off point, making it easier to narrow down your options before you start looking into features and additional costs.
3- Are You a Worker Or a Player?
As mentioned above, most tablets nowadays are geared towards a specific type of consumer. There are the media bigwigs, which can stream video on the fly and have larger hard drives to store music and other forms of media. Alternatively there are tablets geared towards productivity, with a wealth of applications designed to keep your data safe and well-organized. These types of devices are geared more towards professional types, and are often more equipped to multitask and handle more processes at once. Before you buy a tablet you need to figure out primarily what you’ll be using it for, and be honest. You may want to justify the purchase by claiming you’ll use it every day for work, but if you’re really looking for a device to hold all your seasons of Doctor Who, you’ll want to move on to a different type of tablet.
4- How Much Do You Want To Pay?
This question is more complicated than it initially lets on. You may have a pretty good idea of how much you want to spend on hardware, but for a tablet, the cost rarely ends there. No matter which brand you choose, you can expect to pay for at least some of your apps. Then, if you decide to purchase media from your tablet or computer you will accrue additional costs.
Finally, pretty much all tablets will work over Wifi, but if you want to have access to all your apps all the time, you will want to pay for 3G or 4G coverage through a wireless provider. This will accrue an additional monthly fee. All of these costs should factor into your decision to buy a tablet.
5- Where’s IT Going?
We’ve put a man on the moon, created an electric car, but we haven’t advanced too far in terms of creating more resilient electronics. There is a whole industry dedicated to fashioning protective devices for your tablets, phones and computers. If you’re someone who bikes to work, or spends a lot of time outdoors, you may want to think twice in investing in such a fragile piece of technology.
Tablets, with their large glass screens and thin frame, are especially vulnerable to drops and water damage. If you’re concerned that your lifestyle isn’t compatible with a tablet, research different brands’ resilience and what kinds of protective gear you can invest in for it.