By PowerBuy // 10 January 2013 // Related Categories: Tips

Recently we reviewed two popular 7” tablets and in response we got a lot of requests for a tablet buyers guide. Here is a simple summary of the 8 things to consider when buying a tablet:

  1. Size and weight
    There are many different types of tablets on the market, ranging from 7” to 28” in screen size, and whilst 10” is the most popular size there is no right answer. When choosing your screen size you should consider how and where you will use it. Is it for the office, the couch or the train? Do you need to hold it with one hand?
  2. Design and quality
    Apple pride themselves on design but many of the popular brands are now producing, ultra-thin, ultra-slick and ultra-durable designs. Have a play around with a few models at your local retailer because when you are looking for a well-built product there is no substitute for first-hand experience.
  3. Storage
    Tablet storage starts at 16GB. Obviously the larger the storage capacity the more movies, photos, documents and downloads you will be able to store on your device. Some tablets accept removable storage cards (e.g. SD) so you can add more storage, but others, such as the iPad, do not.
  4. Performance
    What level of performance do you require from your new tablet? For personal use (Internet surfing, emails and basic apps) you’ll want at least a 1GHz processor and 512MB RAM. For work use you probably want to consider a hybrid tablet with a full-blown Intel Core i series processor and 4GB or more RAM.
  5. Cameras
    Not all tablets come with built-in cameras but several do and this can be nifty for taking photos and videos when you are out and about. Some tablets also offer front-facing cameras which can be useful for video calling and self-portraits.
  6. Connectivity
    Most tablets have the ability to connect to the Internet over a 3G/4G cellular data which is ideal if you’re out-and-about because you don’t need to connect to a WiFi Access Point. Basic models are “WiFi only” which means you can’t connect to the Internet in the same way that you do with your smartphone.
  7. Software
    Apple has built a familiar, intuitive interface (called “iOS”) that most people can use straight away with little practice. Most other tablets feature Google's Android operating system which allows for more customization than the iPad so you can make your tablet run exactly the way you want to. These days more tablets run Android than iOS and recently Windows 8 RT, Microsoft’s new entrant, has been gaining ground and receiving good reviews.
  8. Price
    You’ll pay a premium for Apple because its… well… Apple. Also, the bigger the screen the more you’ll probably have to fork out. 3G and 4G capabilities can also demand up to a $100 price premium compared to standard WiFi connectivity. The most expensive tablets on the market are the hybrid models because they are far more powerful and they double as a laptop.

Do you have any other tips to share with our readers?

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