A tablet is a modern device with smartphone and laptop functions. It cannot be called a phone due to the lack of a GSM module for calls, and a laptop because of its size and shape. Tablets are as good as both gadgets, while they fit in a bag or even in a jeans pocket. They are useful on the street, at home, on the road and at work.
Each tablet has dozens of characteristics, how to choose the perfect one? Many will say that the device should be small, powerful and functional. We will figure out what these epithets really mean and go through the main characteristics For Choosing A Tablet.
Android, Windows or iOS?
How to choose an operating system for tablet?
The operating system refers to the utilities on the tablet. It determines how ordinary applications will use the functions of the gadget, respond to user actions, load, etc. The most popular operating systems these days are Android, Windows and iOS. Recently, tablets have appeared with two systems at once: Android and Windows. IOS stands alone and does not interact with other OS.
The choice between the three systems depends on the purpose of buying a tablet, each has its pros and cons:
- Android devices are inexpensive devices with good performance and quality materials. Thousands of applications and games from the Android store are available to users. You can buy such a tablet for home and work and customize the capabilities for yourself. However, Android devices are rarely updated, as a result, modern functions come with a delay, many are not available at all.
- Windows is considered the easiest to use, even a child can figure out the settings. Many tablets are inexpensive, and all scanners, printers, and other hardware support this OS. Knowledgeable people can customize Windows for themselves, the program code is open. However, a known problem with this OS is viruses. You will have to buy an antivirus, although it does not guarantee data security.
- IOS is considered a premium system with unique features, design and applications. The manufacturer regularly releases updates and improvements, such a tablet will remain relevant in 2-3 years after purchase. However, the price for the device is too high. In addition, the iOS code is closed, changing the functions of the tablet will not work. The system is limited in the ability to exchange data with other users.
Scope of application
How to choose a tablet depending on the purpose of use?
Manufacturers divide tablets into categories, focusing on several characteristics depending on the needs of the buyer:
- For home and internet. The convenience of finding information on a tablet directly depends on its display. The larger the diagonal, the easier the fine print will be to read. Such a device is also suitable for work, for example, for reading mail. Performance is not very important, the main thing is support for Wi-Fi, 3G and 4G. The operating system does not matter, an inexpensive model is fine.
- For drawing and creativity. The operating system is of paramount importance here. Windows has many applications for creative people (creating pictures, banners, logos, etc.). In this case, the tablet must be powerful enough to run Photoshop and other programs. IOS has its own digital creativity apps, but not all extensions (png, jpeg, etc.) are supported. Android is more powerful than Windows, but not as well optimized for graphic design and painting.
- For games and entertainment. The main thing here is a powerful processor and a large amount of RAM. Many games have high demands on graphics, and in order to see its beauty, the display needs to display colors well. An added bonus will be a large battery that will allow you to play for longer than 4 hours.
- For kids. Many inexpensive tablets have a kiddie mode that prevents kids from going to adult websites and downloading inappropriate apps. These devices have a colorful interface and large buttons. Many models are able to “grow” with children. By adding accessories and giving access to new sites, it is easy to keep the child interested.
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Which brands make the best tablets?
Most tablet buyers have probably heard of manufacturers like Asus, Google, Apple, Acer, and Samsung that have popular models with detailed features and specifications. However, almost all devices from these companies are in the middle or high price range.
There are dozens of low-cost tablet manufacturers, mostly from Asia. They release new models every day at a very attractive price. The difficulty in choosing is that it is not easy to understand such firms, and the quality of products is unstable. It happens that for one buyer the device fails in a week, while for another it works for years.
The only thing that can keep the user safe is a good warranty. For at least a year, the repair of factory breakdowns should be free, including delivery to the service center and back. Customer reviews can be one of the selection criteria, but it is not recommended to rely on them completely.
It has long been rumored that expensive and cheap tablets are made at the same Chinese factories, and this is partly true. It will no longer be possible to assemble the device on your knee in the basement, so you can count on good software, high-quality images and fast program response. Among the inexpensive manufacturers, Prestigio, 3Q, Wexler and Irbis stand out. They have been producing tablets for several years now and give a good guarantee.4.
How to choose a tablet screen size?
Even those users who do not understand the characteristics of the tablet will notice the difference in the display size. There are 3 standard aspect ratios in inches, on which not only image quality depends, but also cost:
- 7-8 inches. Small and inexpensive tablets are suitable for work or study and can be easily thrown into a briefcase or bag. It is convenient to read books, watch movies and listen to music from them. Despite the low cost, 7-8 inch tablets are made of high quality materials and can run undemanding applications. They are suitable for children, weigh a little and hold the battery well. However, 7-8 inches is not enough for games, painting and any kind of creativity.
- 10 inches. These screens are considered the best for the home. Despite the large diagonal, the tablet remains light and thin, it is comfortable to hold in your hands and leave it on the stand. A powerful battery and a good speaker system are placed inside the device. However, many manufacturers do not add 3G and 4G modules, 10 inches is not suitable for outdoor use. And tablets with more functionality are much more expensive. Some customers report graininess on low-end models, especially on Windows.
- From 10 inches. Such devices are called tablet computers, the screen diagonal reaches 13 inches. IOS and Windows have large gadgets, and less often appear on Android. They are designed for creative people and games, they can load any application, give a bright picture and hold the battery. The price of the tablets is appropriate, it is inconvenient to take them with you.
How to choose a quality image Tablet?
Modern technologies will not save a tablet that produces poor quality images. The end result directly depends on the type of matrix chosen by the manufacturer:
- TN. This matrix appeared a long time ago and is still present in inexpensive tablets. The technology is considered outdated, as the viewing angle and color reproduction are inferior to modern options. The only advantage is the price, many Chinese manufacturers offer powerful processors for a small price due to the average picture.
- IPS. This matrix can be found in modern tablets of any price category. It offers rich hues, excellent color reproduction and a 180-degree viewing angle. There are several ways how to choose a high-quality display with this matrix: check the contrast of the image, the picture should be matte, without gray and purple reflections.
- Amoled. Unlike IPS, where the entire display area is highlighted, here each pixel gives its own color independently, regardless of the neighboring ones. This makes some colors appear more colorful, especially in black. However, Amoled’s LEDs burn out faster, and dead pixels appear. The display consumes more battery power in order to produce a better picture.
If you want pure tablet for graphics and drawing work you can look at our 10 Tips For Choosing A Graphics Tablet.
Characteristics of a good tablet processor.
Processor power is one of the main characteristics of a high-quality tablet, since outdated hardware will not allow you to quickly load programs, switch between browser tabs and skip movies. In other words, usability depends on it.
The most popular among manufacturers are ARM processors under the Cortex license. The first place among the companies producing hardware for tablets is MediaTek. It is not difficult to understand the speed of processors, since the whole variety of models falls into 3 categories:
- 2-core. The weakest processors that can display movies, open a browser and run 2D games. Two cores are enough to play HD and FullHD, higher quality will fail. It is not recommended to take less powerful processors (even at a low price), since they are very outdated and work very slowly, almost all applications take several minutes to start.
- 4-core. Faster processors that can simultaneously run a browser, movie or music player, and most 2D and 3D games. It is recommended to pay attention to tablets with such a processor if there is no need to run complex heavy programs.
- 6-, 7-, 8-core. The most powerful processors found in expensive tablets. They are too powerful for watching movies, photos and reading the Internet, most of the possibilities are revealed in 3D games and applications like Photoshop, which are demanding on performance.
Despite the number of cores, the final performance depends on the full equipment of the tablet. Even a powerful processor will not help if there is not enough RAM and a small dim display.
How much memory does a tablet need?
Random-access memory stores information on the tablet and issues it at the user’s request. If the volume is not enough, the gadget will start to slow down and use internal resources. This leads to rapid wear on the tablet. The more applications and tabs the user is going to open, the more RAM should be. It is used when launching a messenger, games, player, social network. All tablets have approximately the same amount of memory:
- 1 GB. Now this value is the minimum, below which one cannot go down. This is enough for a couple of simple applications to work. The tablet is suitable for home use as an e-book or player. The cost of the device is very low, most often they are released on Android.
- 2 GB. Standard RAM for many inexpensive tablets. They are able to run applications in the background, keep 7-8 open tabs in the browser, show movies and pictures in Full HD. Complex programs will open if you stop all other processes and wait for a long time to load. Best of all, iOS tablets do their job, there are decent options for Windows and Android.
- 3 GB. Users call this amount of memory the most comfortable. 3 gigs is enough to not think about the number of open applications. The main thing is a display with an extension of 2K, otherwise the picture will not be able to keep up with the work of the system. There are delays, but rarely, mainly with large games.
- From 4 GB. It is very rare on rather expensive devices. This volume is sufficient for any number of applications, movies and music. Tablets for speed will give odds to many stationary computers.
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Tablet Battery and weight
Choosing a battery for your tablet
Inexpensive tablets usually have a 2000-2500 mAh battery. It is capable of working up to 4 hours under light load (listening to music, watching movies or pictures). If WiFi is on or the brightness is set to maximum, the battery lasts for 60 minutes. This may be enough for a child but is unlikely to be suitable for work or travel. In addition, the operating time is gradually reduced as all batteries wear out.
Modern tablets have batteries with a capacity of 4000 mAh. This is enough for 7-10 hours of battery life. The more expensive models are supplied with an 8000 mAh battery, it can hold a charge for 24 hours. For long journeys, it is recommended to pay attention to powerful batteries. You can extend the battery life by excluding WiFi and lowering the display brightness.
If a consumer is interested in battery performance, it is also important to consider the processor model. Even an inexpensive tablet can have modern hardware that quickly opens applications and requires less battery to work. The 14nm and 16nm processes are best suited for their task. The maximum value is considered 28 nm, others quickly consume the charge.
An easy way to determine battery capacity is to pick up your tablet. Batteries make up the bulk of the weight of the device, the more powerful they are, the heavier the model. A very light cheap tablet should raise suspicion, there is probably a small weak battery inside. Many gadgets from Apple and expensive Windows variants weigh more than a kilogram. However, such a tablet will most likely not work for a child, as the hands will quickly get tired.
Wi-Fi, 3G or 4G
Which data transfer method should I choose for tablet?
For most users, it is important that you can access the Internet from your tablet at any time. To do this, the following modules are installed in the device:
Cheap tablets only work with WiFi, they don’t have slots for interacting with mobile networks. The more expensive ones are able to connect to 3G. Some people find networks of the fourth generation, and premium models work with any kind of Internet connection.
When buying a tablet, it is important to check the LTE bands that the device communicates with. Many low-cost models understand B3, B7, B20, B38, and B40. 4G cheap gadgets will not be able to identify.
The last thing you should pay attention to when accessing the Internet is at what frequency the interface works. There are only two popular ones: 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz. The second option is better if the tablet is used at home or in large shopping centers/offices. 5 GHz appeared first and is now very congested and interferes more often. Now illegal networks operate in this range, especially often they appear in the regions.
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What additional characteristics does a tablet need?
The cost of a tablet directly depends on additional features. We looked at 4 main parameters that determine the price:
- Possibility to insert microSD. Any tablet has an internal memory for storing information, it is called persistent. It is loaded with the operating system, music, applications, documents and any user files. The memory can be expanded using microSD, a small card with capacities ranging from 1GB to 64GB. However, Apple does not make tablets with such slots; it will not be possible to increase the amount of stored information. Devices on Android and Windows are almost all friendly with memory cards.
- GPS navigation. Most modern tablets have a GPS function, but some still have a built-in radio module. This means that navigation will be available only when there is access to the network.
- Camera. There are not many tablets on the market with a decent camera, and even the expensive options do not match the quality of smartphones. The most popular extension is 8 pixels, in cheaper models it is 5-6 pixels. Budget gadgets are generally not able to take a high-quality photo, there is a lot of noise and little sharpness in the images.
- Possibility to connect a keyboard. This function depends on the Bluetooth module and the availability of a USB port. The first does not require a wire, which is convenient when using the gadget outside the home. However, Bluetooth increases power consumption and cannot guarantee a stable pairing. In other words, sometimes the keyboard will detach. For typing, it is recommended to take the traditional version with a wire or any other mechanical connector.