Tablet market is an over-crowded place and it’s getting harder and harder to select the right device for your specific needs. We want to help you out, and we’ve prepared no less (and no more) than 8 questions to answer before pouring out a single dime out of your pocket. Our goal is to assist you in finding the tablet you’ll be happily using throughout the year, relying on it for both business and pleasure. So let’s roll with our questions, shall we?
1. Which screen size you prefer?
Tablets come in different forms and sizes. Knowing which tablet size works for you best is crucial. To answer this question you should think about usage scenarios – how often you intend to carry your future tablet around. Are you looking for a device you’ll be using almost exclusively at home, or you want a device that will rather follow “every step you take.” If the latter option better describes what you want, you should go for a tablet with 7- or 8-inch screen.
2. Want a contract? And mobile Internet?
Buying a tablet with a carrier contract has two benefits: you don’t have to pay the full price upfront, and you also get mobile Internet connectivity along with some amount of megabytes/gigabytes to use while on the go. This option, however, comes with a caveat as you will be forced to pay for the service for the duration of the contract (typically two years). Then again, during that period you won’t have to worry about finding hotspots around the city.
3. Does the brand matter?
I think it does matter, but you may disagree. What you want is a device made by the company that will keep releasing updates long after the sales process. On the other hand, if you’re savvy enough, you can always cram the latest software version to your tablet even if it’s not made by the likes of Samsung, HTC and LG. We’ll also add that buying a well-known brands comes with an appropriate warranty, ensuring you can get things fixed in case something goes wrong.
4. What’s your platform?
As I’m writing this, you should be looking between the following 4 platforms: iOS, Android, Windows RT and Windows 8.1. Some folks prefer Android, while others can’t live with a non-Apple made product. And there’s also a subset of users who prefer Outlook over any other task management / email client app — these users should look at Windows-based tablets.
5. Do you want an iPad?
Related to previous question – Apple fanboys don’t care about any other platform or product but iPad. As far as they’re concerned, it only comes to choosing between the iPad Air, iPad Mini or perhaps some older iPad. A similar Nexus crowd is emerging but they’re still in minority… though a vocal minority who’s ready to fight for their right to have the “pure” Android experience.
6. Need a tablet for work?
Apple’s iPad is still the single most popular tablet, hence its owners can access more apps than users of any other tablet. Most business apps are available for the iPad… except for the Outlook which is exclusive to devices running Windows RT and Windows 8. It’s important to determine which apps you’ll be using and only then get the one that will allow you to run them [apps].
7. Want a physical keyboard?
You can buy a physical QWERTY keyboard for some tablets. The handy accessory can come either in the form of a thin cover (think: Microsoft Surface), thick cover, keyboard case cover or keyboard dock. Again, you can’t lose with iPad, but there are accessories available for other devices, as well. Various Samsung tablets have their keyboards, and let’s not forget ASUS’ Transformer series which can even be transformed into small laptops (with a keyboard dock).
8. What’s your budget?
Finally, how much money you’re willing to spend? Even if you don’t get a tablet with a carrier contract, you can use your credit card and finance your purchase that way. Or you may not want to make a big deal (financially) out of this. In any case, you should determine the amount of money you’re willing to spend and let that figure guide you through other questions.
So where do you start? We suggest checking out Amazon’s tablets section. Most of the popular models are there, and you get to benefit from free shipping on many products. Plus, you can browse tablets by brand, price and see which items are offered for less…
[Image from PCAdvisor.co.uk]