When you’re in the market to buy a new tablet, the selection process can quickly become complicated and end up frustrating – mainly because there are so many product lines, each with their own pros and cons. In this post I wanted to run through some of the key factors you should consider when having to choose the right tablet for you, including platforms (iOS, Android, Windows), product features & specifications, size and of course how you will be using it.
How You Intend on Using It
Think about your daily routine. How would a tablet benefit you? Will it just be a multimedia device for you to listen to music, play games, use social media and surf the internet? Maybe it’ll be your primary device for work & studies?
By outlining the ways you’ll actually be using your device, you can come up with a brief idea of what you’ll need in terms of platforms, product features and size. Importantly, you’ll also be able to prioritise what requirements the tablet must fulfil. It may seem like a bit much at first, but if you’re going to part with over £150 for a tablet – the least you can do is make sure it’s best suited to your lifestyle.
I thought that I’d get this one out of the way because debating what platform is best can go on all day! The truth is, every platform has its perks but at the end of the day the decision to go with iOS, Blackberry, Windows or Android is down to preference.
I came across this article for ZDNet by technology author Adrian Kingsley-Hughes who believes that the debate isn’t as much about what platform is better, but rather what ecosystem you’re already tied in to. As an example, if you own an iPhone and have already invested in services like iTunes Match for iOS, buying an iPad will offer the benefit of streaming your music to both your iPhone & iPad. On the other hand, if your entire work & personal digital life revolves around Google/Android based apps and services, then going for that platform makes the most sense.
– Point to consider: Do you want to buy the same apps you’ve already bought on one platform again?
Product Features & Specs
If you’re going for an iOS tablet, Apple’s iPad/iPad Mini, there aren’t many variations to choose from apart from the amount of storage space and deciding between WiFi or 3G connectivity. The screen resolutions are the same across each product line and so are the components inside.
Step in to the Android universe and it’s choices galore. Different manufacturers like Samsung, HP, Asus, HTC and Google themselves have all released tablets with different features – making it all more complicated, or versatile depending on how you choose to look at it!
I’d say more is always better when it comes to features like screen resolutions, RAM, processors, battery life and so on. Even so, the main advice I can offer is go and get a feel for the device yourself. Once you’ve compared the features & specs for different models (and assessed how you’ll be using the tablet), further shortlist the choices by getting hands on!
– Point to consider: A tablet that fulfils the needs for somebody else may not do the same for you. Try it yourself!
Tablets come in all shapes and sizes now, so it’s important to judge how you’ll be using it so that you can make a solid decision about the right tablet for you.
I for example own the latest iPad, but since I’ve started commuting on public transport more I feel like something smaller like a Google Nexus 7 or iPad Mini would suit my needs better.
Finally – the last point, saving money! When you’ve considered all of the above and shortlisted the right tablets for you, you need to look at pricing and ways to save money.
Will you need 3G access or would WiFi connectivity suffice? Do you need 32GB of storage or could you keep your photos and media stored on Dropbox or other cloud services? Again, these decisions will be dependant on how you’ll be using your tablet and why – but ruling out what you don’t need could end up saving you a lot of money in the process.
Getting The Best Deals
Once in a while, Apple will advertise interest free payments for a limited period of time so that gives you long-term flexibility to pay off your purchase. Alternatively, voucher and discount websites can sometimes have exclusive deals (mainly on Android devices) so it’s worth having a look at those too.
Hopefully this article was helped you understand what you should consider when choosing the right tablet for you. If there’s anything you’d like to add, or if you have any questions please feel free using the comments section below!