How To Buy The Best Tablet [2022]

Which Tablet is Right For Me? Apple, Android, or Windows:

Tablet computer sales have overtaken laptops, the former king of portable computing, over the years. They are lightweight, easy to use, and highly portable, and they are designed to handle common tasks such as web browsing, ebook reading, playing music and video games, and video calling with ease. There is a lot of hype about the different brands and models available. So how do you make sure you’ve bought the right tablet for your needs? Knowing what features you want in your tablet before you buy can save you money in the long run. IMPORTANT: We prefer branded or bare links without anchor text.

Is the Tablet Right for You?

You might already have your heart set on the tablet, and if so, feel free to skip this bit. If not, it’s good to know that there are other tablet-like options that you may not have considered:

  • Ultrabooks: They’re ultra-portable, affordable, and designed to have excellent battery life, but with most of the speed and features you’d expect from a full-size laptop.
  • E-reader: If you use your tablet primarily for reading books, you may want to consider a Kindle eReader or Kobo.
  • Convertible Tablet: Also known as a two-in-one or hybrid laptop, it has the power and performance of a laptop computer, with the convenience and versatility of a touchscreen tablet via a removable or foldaway keyboard.
How To Buy The Best Tablet [2022]
How To Buy The Best Tablet [2022]

Android, Apple, or Microsoft?

The OS affects which content ecosystem you are connected to – Google Play (Android), iTunes (Apple), or Windows (Microsoft). Each has its own app store and although they may all have some similar apps, they are not interchangeable between platforms. So if you have an Android, Apple, or Windows device, you’ll probably have to buy the same app three times to run on each platform.

  • Apple’s iOS Apple’s App Store has more than a million apps, about half of which have iPad-specific versions.
  • Google’s Android OS Android is available on a wide range of tablets from different manufacturers, so you now have a wide choice of hardware with as many apps
  • The Microsoft full Windows 10 environment is available on most Microsoft tablets and two-in-one, so you can easily use existing Windows programs. There is also a cut-down version (Windows 10 in S Mode) that you can use and upgrade to the full version but only once.

What to look for in screen size

Like laptops, the screen size on tablets is measured diagonally from corner to corner and is usually expressed in inches. Tablets generally fall into three categories: compact (over 8-inch by 5-inches), medium (over 11-inches by 8-inches), and large (over 11-inches).

How To Buy The Best Tablet [2022]
  • A compact tablet is particularly portable, lightweight, easy to carry, as well as generally inexpensive.
  • Medium and large tablets offer a larger screen area that can be especially useful for productivity apps, games, and web browsing.

Screen Resolution

Display resolution is expressed in pixels-per-inch (PPI) and the higher the resolution, the sharper text, and images will appear. Display resolution typically ranges from 1024 x 600 pixels to 2560 x 1700 pixels. Higher-resolution screens require faster processors to manipulate all those extra pixels and consume more power, which affects the battery life of the device.

Storage Space

The capacity of most tablets varies from 16GB to 128GB. How much space you’ll need depends on how you want to use the tablet. All tablets are fine for general use such as checking email, browsing the web, and streaming video and other content over the Internet, as it doesn’t require much information to be actually stored on the tablet itself.

Unlike most tablets from Microsoft and Google, the storage in the Apple iPad cannot be upgraded using an expandable microSD card.

If you like to carry your music, videos, and a lot of apps with you, however, storage capacity will be an important consideration on the tablet. For light use, 16GB might be enough, but remember that the tablet operating system and essential apps will take up a good chunk of that space even before you can put your stuff on it. For many people, 32GB is becoming the starting point, especially when you consider that many games can now exceed 1GB in size.

Tip: If your tablet has external connections like an SD card or USB slot (as much as Android and Windows tablets do), you can get away with less storage internally. Additional storage can be added via memory cards, USB flash drives or even external hard drives. There are also wireless storage devices for tablets without a hardware connection, like the iPad.

Online Access

Most tablets have Wi-Fi built-in, and many offer a version including mobile broadband — 3G or 4G — for data, but that means signing up for a different plan. The other option is a Wi-Fi-only tablet. These can be used, as the name suggests, over a Wi-Fi connection, but can also use your smartphone as a mobile hotspot (available on most recent models). However, if your phone plan is limited to 3G, a 4G tablet with its own plan may be worthwhile.

Hardware Connection

Although connections are a major consideration for PCs and laptops, they fall short for tablets, most of which use a combination of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and apps for storage and transfer. Apple tablets have little in the way of hardware connections, although some devices can be connected via adapters to the tablet’s dock port, or wirelessly by purpose-built devices. Android tablets generally offer more variety in hardware connections, with a USB port, HDMI-out, or memory card slot with additional storage being common.

Battery Life

Battery life is important because of the tablet’s ultra-portability. Ideally, they should last a full day of normal use before you need to recharge.

Processing speed (GHz)

Your tablet’s processing speed, measured in gigahertz (GHz), is not as important a decision in your tablet choice as it is when choosing a desktop or laptop computer. This is because there are not so many processor options. iPad models have the same processor in each generation but it is very difficult to compare speeds between models due to the different processors used with Android-based tablets.

Have you considered a convertible?

If you’re looking to do some computing on the go, obviously the first choice is a laptop or tablet. But there’s a third option that promises the best of both worlds – convertible laptops. Also known as a two-in-one or hybrid laptop, this versatile combo computer looks like a laptop but quickly converts to allow use as a keyboard-free touchscreen tablet.

But is a two-in-one computer better? Do you get the best of both worlds or is it a case of “jack of all trades, master of none”? The tablet has the notable advantage of a portrait-viewing mode, which is especially great for reading books and magazines. They are also generally the thinnest and lightest mobile computing solutions.

A laptop is only stuck in landscape view – but laptops are generally more powerful, run all of your desktop programs, and have the only advantage of a built-in hardware keyboard and trackpad.

A convertible laptop should have all these advantages in a compact package, plus the ability to quickly switch from laptop to tablet mode.

cost

Tablet prices range from as low as $150 to more than $2000 depending on size, capacity, and connectivity options. The convertibles we tested ranged in price from $500 to $1700.

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