Tablet computers are the latest computing innovation, with some people opting for a tablet to replace their laptop of PC, while others are purchasing as a handy extra. Whatever your wants and needs are regarding tablets, picking the right one for you in regards to your budget, what you intend to use it for, etc is essential. So here is Dove’s buyer’s guide to tablets for home and business users alike.
The Apple iPad
Choosing your operating system
Tablets are available on a variety of operating systems, each one offering individual pros and cons. The most well known and popular at the moment is the iOS operating system, Apple’s operating system designed for the iPad and iPhone. You will find that although the Apple iPad tablet may not be cheapest choice, it has been rated the best tablet on the market by many technology reviewers, and seems to be the number one choice for most business and home users.
Fujitsu Lifebook Tablet
But that isn’t to say that Android, the Google backed operating system isn’t just as good, with recent rocketing sales showing it creeping up the popularity charts, and looking like knocking Apple off the top spot. The Android operating system has equal benefits to Apple’s iOS, and can be found on a variety of manufacturer’s tablets including Samsung and Acer. This means it is easier to find Android for a cheaper price than that of the iPad.
HP Palm Touchpad Tablet
Then there is also Blackberry, HP, and Windows 8 all bringing out their own operating systems for tablets, which at the moment have not been rated well, but are constantly being updated, so keep an eye out for the latest updated versions if you want a tablet for a lower end budget.
Display Size Matters
Screen size is extremely important when you consider what you want to use the tablet for. On one hand, a larger screen makes it easier and more enjoyable to use, but a smaller screen would make the device much more easily portable.
If a big screen is something you are wanting, then the iPad 2 and 3′s screens are some of the largest on the tablet market at 9.7-inches, and the latest Android 3.0 tablets have increased some of their display to 10.1-inchs due to popular demand.
BlackBerry Playbook Tablet
For those who want something slightly more pocket sized but bigger than a mobile display, the Dell Streak 7 and Blackberry Playbook to name but a few have 7-inch displays, some of the smallest on the tablet market.
To 3G or not to 3G?
All tablets will support Wi-Fi, to enable connection to home and office networks or free Wi-Fi hotspots. Having a Wi-Fi only tablet does significantly reduce the price, but also limits when and how you use it.
Dell Inspiron Duo Tablet
Opting for a 3G tablet means you can connect to the internet with Wi-Fi when it is available, and by 3G network when it isn’t. It does add a large chunk onto the tablet price if you pay up front, but means you don’t get tied to a contract. Alternatively, many mobile network companies now offer contracts for tablets. Like a mobile phone contract, the device is often free or at a reduced price, and you pay a monthly tariff for your usage.
Smile for the camera
A camera is something that may be just an added fun extra to some, but essential to others. Most tablets now come with a back and front facing camera, the latter to enable video conferencing, and ideal feature for business users of people who make use of video calling apps such as Skype. Most tablets do have a camera these days, but if it is an essential feature for you, be sure to check before you buy, especially on low budget tablets.
Samsung Galaxy Tablet
How much storage space do you need?
Depending on what you intend to use the tablet for, you may need more than the lowest standard tablet storage, which is 16GB. If all you do is load music and photos, it will be plenty, but if you intent to use large applications and watch/store HD video, you will require considerably more.
The iPad comes with fixed storage, however most other tablets have memory card slots for expandable storage. If you choose an iPad, be sure to get the maximum memory you expect to need otherwise you may have to compromise. If you are unsure how much memory you will need in future, it may be best to opt for an expandable memory device.
Many people want to connect their tablet to TV sets and monitors for various reasons, such as presentations, slideshows, streaming, and more. Most tablets can connect using a HDMI cable, but some require a special cable as they do not have a full sized HDMI input port, meaning you need to fork out top dollar for the extra piece of kit.
Motorola Xoom Tablet
If you plan on using the tablet with the TV often, and don’t want to have to buy extras, look at a tablet with a full size HDMI port such as the Motorola Xoom.
Laptop v Tablet
If you are considering buying a tablet as an alternative to your laptop or PC, it is important to remember that tablets, as amazing as they appear, have their limitations. Although there are ample apps like image editing and Google Docs that allow you to do what a laptop does but in a portable form, its important to remember that you can’t create documents on a tablet, and the apps will be nowhere near and feature rich as a full PC or laptop version software.
Check out Dove Computer Solution’s extensive tablet services at http://dovecomputers.com/home-users/mobile-a-tablet-services or call us on 0845 22 605 22
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