Buying a tablet is an exciting endeavour. The variety of options shouldn’t be overwhelming. It is, in fact, an opportunity to find the one that fits right into your budget and need.
So we can figure out the best for you, let’s dive in.
What is a tablet?
You’ve got your laptops and smartphones. The missing piece? The tablet.
Whenever the word comes to mind, I always think of it as a technological invention that bridges the laptops’ functionality and smartphones’ portability.
Hold yourself, though, before you think that it’s a replacement for either. It’s not.
Stick, read on below, and we’ll see why while we dissect six essential tips on buying a tablet.
1. Define its purpose for you and be keen on its hardware
What role will the tablet be playing in your life? How will you use it?
It is crucial that before you get your hands into anything that you have a great idea of its purpose to you.
You can use tablets for entertainment or to supplement your career or studies. Ask yourself questions like, “Will you be using it to listen to podcasts, play games, read articles?” On a rather serious side, do you need it for your studying, reviewing, reading or taking down notes?
Not all of them are created with equal strengths. Some entry-level types will do well, not more than a repository of document and media files. Flagship ones will be powerful and will allow you to do most of the things more efficiently than when you do them on entry-level or mid-range desktops or laptops.
If you are purchasing because you want it to entertain, then basic types will cut for it. It’s a whole different story if you want it to make you more productive, depending on your profession – or if you are on a collegiate level, your concentration.
2. Be mindful of the screen resolution and size.
Gone are the days when size means display. What accurately measures the quality of the device’s screen is its resolution. To go for the gold, aim for a higher pixel density. The higher it is, the better is the visual quality. Images are more precise and eye-friendlier.
- Resolution: 180-300 PPI
- Standard: 200 PPI
Portability comes to mind too, when as far as the size of the tablet is concerned. And like the rest of the technological devices, its size varies too either because of function or – again – portability.
- Size range: 8-13 inches
- Standard: 9-11 inches
If you’re the type who likes to keep everything minimal and handy, you may want to bank on the smaller ones. This is particularly applicable when you can sacrifice other aspects in favour of lightness.
3. Battery stamina and charging length before the battery matter a lot.
- Battery life: 4-10 hours
Charging length is a tad variable depending on the wattage of the charger that you’re using. So, to simplify this, the charging range is the estimated time that the charger can fully charge the tablet.
Under the hood, the battery is another competitive area that can give a tablet an edge over its close rivals. The longer the time it can withstand being used, the better. It is a no-easy feat as only the most expensive ones can last longer than eight hours being used nonstop of moderate-intensity.
- Charging length: 1.5 – 3 hours
Please take note that the battery capacity also varies. High-end ones may take a couple of hours to be filled because they have larger batteries. Hence, it’s relatively reasonable that you couple the speed that the tablet refills its energy depending on how long it can last without being connected to a power source. To give you an idea, an impressive built is one that can last for more than eight hours after being fully charged for two hours.
4. Consider the accessories.
- Wireless keyboard
- Wireless mouse, trackpads
- Cases, stands and screen protectors
- Cords and connectors
So you can get the most of your device, you will surely be wanting to buy third-party or in-house accessories. Although tablets are readily useful on their own, paying a premium to take advantage of its extra functionality is often rewarding. This is essential when you factor in convenience and efficiency.
Wireless keyboards, for example, makes it easier to type. Styluses, on the other hand, allow you to jot down notes, scribble, or doodle like you will do on a notebook. Other connectors enable you to make a screen extension to other devices like LCD screens. If you would like to make the most of your devices, accessories will play a huge role. The ones mentioned above are just some. There are more of them that you can explore.
5. Think about the design.
Now, we talk about the design, because it weighs in too. Great design often comes with a lofty price tag. You can splash more money if you’d like to get one that looks and feel premium. The remarkable thing is design is a representative of what’s inside. So, if you think that ‘this one looks expensive,’ mostly that is because it has excellent specs and top-rank hardware.
6. Plan your budget and be ahead of the game.
- Price range: About $300-$1000
- Standard: About $400-$600
Last – but not the least of importance – is the price. Your budget should give you a healthy headstart. It provides you with the direction and helps you filter what you need and what you don’t. If money is not a concern, then you can always bet a grand for the most elegant type. It is durable and will last you for about two years. It will be able to do so many things that you may find substantial later on.
On a standard scale, you can get a decent performing tablet at about $400-$600. It will do not do well with highly intensive activities such as video editing or graphic design. Nonetheless, it will answer to the demands of regular productivity tasks such as document editing.