A few years ago you had very few options in terms of tablet computers, in fact, you might not have even known what one was let alone contemplated buying one; but the market today is becoming increasingly saturated with all kinds of manufacturers attempting to expand their client base and increase their reputation and position within the technology industry by producing their own range of tablets.
Undoubtedly, the one that has not only set the bar but has control over the level of it is the iPad from Apple. Released back in 2010, it was the first to hit the market and it made such an impression, like with most other products from their catalogue, that they had to keep making more and developing them to satisfy the insatiable consumer appetite for the tablet. This got other brands thinking and now you’re losing out if you’re not making your own version.
Those who have attempted to do so have been investing in research and development departments to help them create not only good quality tablets, but those that will rival the iPad for the position of market leader and to offer something truly unique and better than the other options, without costing much more.
That has been the real challenge for many manufacturers, developing products that have all of the essential ingredients, and finding the right market. They have had to weigh up whether to aim at the budget market – producing a low cost alternative to the big guns, or going toe-to-toe with them in terms of spec and price.
Figure The iPad, Kindle Fire HD and Samsung Galaxy Nexus 7 are the current market leaders
While it’s evidently difficult enough for the manufacturers to develop and market their products, it’s equally difficult for the consumers to choose between them. You might have done some research or seen a friend, family member or colleague using a tablet computer and thought, “I like that, I want one”, only to be utterly baffled by all of the options available to you. To help you make that all-important decision, here are five tips that you should consider before handing over your cash.
First of all, what do you want to use your tablet for? Many people use theirs for professional purposes, showing their presentations to board members or potential clients, while others use their for more recreational purposes such as surfing the Internet on the move, reading, updating their Facebook, checking the football scores or playing games. Your answer to that question will determine the sort of tablet you choose. For example, the Kindle Fire HD is designed as an e-reader as well as a tablet, meaning you can read your books electronically with a friendly interface and use the Internet.
Some people have a favourite operating system that they like working with on a regular basis, and a sheer hatred of others. For example, smartphone users will appreciate the difference between a Windows Phone, iPhone on iOS and Android. You can buy tablets that work on roughly the same kind of system, with widescreen display Android tablets perfect for watching movies, those that run iOS which are great for games, and all kinds of others.
Having narrowed your options down significantly now to the type of tablet, and the operating system you prefer, it’s time to work out exactly what you want from your tablet. Specifications such as Wi-Fi access versus 3G or even 4G with the newest models, battery life, storage capacity, camera, processing speed and more, really affect the quality of the product, and you’ll find that each model offers a variation or combination of the essentials. For example, the latest iPad offers front and rear-facing cameras so you can see what you’re snapping on the screen, while others let you take the picture and hope! Others come with a variety of additional bits and pieces, such as stands, external speakers and keyboards, and even wall mounts and remote controls for gaming, watching movies and presentations.
Compare in the Flesh
Whether you’re buying your tablet online or in store, it pays to compare them physically as opposed to looking on two different website windows or different stores, (where possible obviously, you won’t find many Kindle Fire HD’s in the Apple store). Checking the size of the display can be highly beneficial, particularly if you need it for a certain reason – if not, you’ll be fine! But if you want to watch movies, you don’t want to be straining your eyes, and you don’t want to be boarding the train to work only to realise that it’s too big to fit in your bag, (that kind of defies the point in having the tablet for work purposes as you may as well stick to your laptop!) By comparing the various models in your shortlist, you can monitor the brightness and contrast to see which performs best, or at least rules a few out!
Of course, the most important factor that anyone should consider is the price. If you only have a certain amount that you can spend, don’t go above it. As mentioned earlier there are plenty of devices that are aimed at the budget market, and those that are filled with the more elaborate tech aimed at those who want everything and don’t mind paying to have it. Establish your budget and then compare the various components and specifications to find the one that suits you – and your bank balance – best.
Whichever tablet you choose, you should ensure that it really is the best for what you want it to do, and for the price you can afford. Spending over the odds for features you’re never going to use is essentially throwing money down the drain, so doing your research will pay off practically as well as financially.
Which tablet you are using ? Do you have any experience about tablet computers please share in your comments below.
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