Perplexed by the array of choices when it comes to buying a tablet? These tips will help you choose like an expert
Screen size, performance, operating system, processor and brand all matter when buying a tablet computer. Yes, the Apple iPad feels beautiful, the Samsung Galaxy Tab is easy to use and the iBall Slide is affordable, but which tablet suits you best?
Take a look at our detailed guide and make an informed choice.
- Screen Size: Typically, tablets come in three sizes, 7”, 8” and 9”. While the 7” tablet is ideal for frequent travelers who may prefer to read on the go, the slightly bulky 9” tablet makes for a richer gaming and video experience. These are the preferred platforms for voice calls and for composing and editing documents. The 8” tablet, meanwhile, offers a balance between portability and functionality. In terms of aspect ratio, tablets with 4:3 ratio are better suited for reading e-books, while the 16:9 and 16:10 ratios work better for games and movies.
- Operating System: There are three operating systems available today: Google Android, Apple iOS and Microsoft Windows. With close to 1.3 million apps and availability across all price ranges, Android is perhaps the most popular OS in the market. It’s easy to use and highly customizable, often making it the preferred choice over its two competitors. The iOS, on the other hand, is only for the Apple iPad. While this platform boasts of 1.2 million apps available, devices using this OS are expensive and offer limited customizability. The Windows OS, used by a limited number of tablets, has a library of only around 3,00,000 apps.
- Resolution: Display resolution is the measure of the clarity and sharpness of images on the screen. Greater the pixel density, sharper the quality of the images formed. Here, the variants of screen resolution vary from SD to Full HD and Quad HD. The kind of display technology in use also makes a difference to the picture quality. For instance, the world-renowned Retina Display found on Apple devices is often considered the best in the market. Other devices use Super AMOLED and IPS LCD displays, which vary in quality accordingly.
- Processor and RAM: The tablet’s speed and performance are determined by its processor and RAM. The two work together as an engine, helping the device perform multiple tasks simultaneously. Greater the RAM, better the tablet’s ability to run apps. The 512MB RAM is generally found on low-end devices, which are slow and less responsive. 1-2 GB RAM tabs offer a better option, combining performance and cost effectiveness.
- Storage: If you plan to use your tablet for entertainment including movies and games, pay attention to the memory storage. Greater the memory, more the space to store your favorite movies, sitcoms, photos and music. Most tablets have internal and external storage capacities. Usually, internal storage comes in 4, 8, 16, 32, 64 and 128 GB capacity variants. External storage is via a microSD card slot. Note, however, that Apple devices don’t offer external storage slots but do offer storage on the proprietary iCloud.
- Connectivity: Depending on your requirement, you can choose between Wi-Fi only or Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity devices. If you are a frequent traveler, it makes sense to use a tab with a SIM card slot. This way, you won’t be dependent on your home or office Wi-Fi to stay connected. Wireless connectivity is further enhanced with NFC and Bluetooth. The two technologies work best for file transfer between multiple devices.
- Battery: A tablet with 8 to 10 hours of battery backup is ideal if you want to enjoy uninterrupted use of your tab. But that often depends on the make and specifications of your device. Typically, a 2,600mAH to 4,000mAH battery lasts up to 4 hours, while a 6,000mAH device works upwards of 8 hours. Look out for Li-Poly batteries, which provide better battery backup than Li-ion batteries.
- Camera: The bulky size of most tablets often makes the camera one of the least important considerations while buying a tab. You are more likely to reach for your smartphone than your tablet to click a photograph. But it makes sense to have a decent camera on your tab anyway. Keep an eye out for the number of megapixels in the camera. Higher the megapixels, larger the size that the image can be printed over. A good quality front camera has applications for video calling and taking selfies.
The most popular tabs in the market include the Apple iPad series (which comprises the iPad Air 2 and the iPad Mini) and the Galaxy Note Pro, all of which are available on Flipkart.