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How to choose a tablet

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With such a wide range of models available, each with a variety of equipment and features, choosing the right tablet can be a tricky process. To help make it easier, we've prepared this handy guide to choosing a tablet, which provides a summary of the most important tablet features and parameters.

With such a wide range of models available, each with a variety of equipment and features, choosing the right tablet can be a tricky process. To help make it easier, we've prepared this handy guide to choosing a tablet, which provides a summary of the most important tablet features and parameters. 

Advantages and disadvantages
  • Compact size and weight
  • Easy to use
  • Instant startup and fast operation
  • Shorter battery life during heavy use
  • Word processing is less easy
  • SIM card slot is not standard on all models

Key parameters when selecting a tablet:

Display size and resolution

Display resolution

The resolution tells us the number of pixels found in the display, and thus how sharp the image will be. The higher the resolution, the more pixels, and thus the sharper the resulting image.

Current tablets have display resolutions ranging between 800 x 480 and 2560 x 1600 pixels.

For smaller tablets we recommend a resolution of at least 1024 x 720 pixels, whereas for larger tablets the minimum standard should be 1920 x 1080, i.e. Full HD resolution. 

Display type

The different display technologies compared

TFT LCD
Among the cheapest to manufacture, TFT technology is mainly found on low-end models. This display type uses more power than other display technologies.
 

IPS LCD
IPS technology offers better quality than TFT displays, with improved viewing angles and reduced energy consumption. IPS is still a popular choice and is found on many tablets across different price categories.

AMOLED
In many respects, AMOLED technology is seen as an improvement on LCD. AMOLED offers superb colour reproduction (black is really black!), faster response times, better viewing angles, better readability in sunlight, and higher brightness and sharpness levels. Unlike LCD technology, it doesn't require a backlight – AMOLED uses individual light-emitting components – and thus it improves battery life. The main disadvantage of AMOLED displays is that they age relatively quickly, i.e. colours gradually fade with time.

Super AMOLED


Super AMOLED is the name given by Samsung to its AMOLED displays. The only difference is improved response times, as the touch sensors are built into the display. Newer Super AMOLED versions feature improved brightness and smoother transitions, due to a different number of subpixels.

Retina
Retina is the IPS LCD display from Apple. It is characterised above all by its excellent resolution.

Operating system

iOS
iOS is generally seen as the best choice for the average user, but it is only installed on Apple tablets. Compared with the competition, it guarantees a minimum error rate and faster response times, even with less powerful hardware.

One of the biggest advantages of iOS is the ability to access the Apple Store, where you can download a wide range of games and apps, the choice and quality of which clearly surpasses the competition. iOS is, however, a more closed operating system in terms of its advanced settings and the transferring of data from your computer (which is done via iTunes). Another disadvantage is price: Apple tablets are not the cheapest.

Android
Android is the most popular choice when buying a new tablet, perhaps due to its wide availability on tablets across all price categories.

The design of Android is similar to iOS; however, its optimisation, and thus the speed of the tablet, differs from model to model. A tablet's speed depends mainly on the version of Android installed, whether it was modified in any way, as well as the tablet hardware itself.

While the selection of apps and games on Google Play is slightly smaller than on Apple Store, there's still an excellent range to choose from. Although some apps may appear on Apple Store first, it's usually only a matter of time until they are available on Google Play.

Windows
Windows is the most recent player in the field of tablet operating systems. Its design differs from iOS and Android systems as it uses the familiar Metro tile layout from the desktop version of Windows.

Since it is possible to install regular computer programs (e.g. the Office packages), some Windows tablets can be converted into small laptops. As a result, many Windows tablets have the option of purchasing an external keyboard for more comfortable typing.

The major drawback of Windows is its limited selection of applications and games compared with iOS and Android. While the most famous and successful applications are usually available, you just don't get the same level of choice.

Hardware

Memory size
Storage capacity is another important parameter. Make sure that the tablet has enough internal memory to accommodate a sufficient amount of multimedia.

Many tablets have a slot that allows you to expand the memory. The major exception is Apple tablets, whose internal memory cannot be increased.

CPU, graphics, RAM
When it comes to performance, the number of processor cores is not the only important parameter.

If you are into gaming, make sure you buy a tablet with sufficient graphics capability. These days, RAM capacity ranges from 512 MB to 4 GB (4,096 megabytes). Generally, "the more the better" applies in this case. While a capacity of 1 gigabyte is normal, better models have 2GB and higher.
 

Battery
Pay close attention to battery life. After all, it doesn't matter how good a laptop performs if it runs out of power after a few hours. As an indicator, the best models last more than 10 hours.

Connectivity

A WiFi module comes as standard on every tablet. In addition, tablets usually come equipped with a miniUSB connector or one of its replacements, such as the latest USB-CSome tablets allow a SIM card to be inserted, giving you the option to connect via the mobile internet. Many smartphones allow you to share your internet connection using the HotSpot feature.

Price

Naturally, price is one of the most important parameters when choosing a tablet. Apple tablets are generally the more expensive option, whereas tablets with Android and Windows are available across the whole price spectrum. Hybrid devices, which combine the best features of tablets and laptops, are naturally more expensive than standard tablets. 

iOS tablets

  • Feature the high-quality iOS operating system
  • Excellent high-resolution display
  • Generally more expensive

Android tablets

  • Affordable for everyone
  • Huge selection of apps on Google Play
  • Models available across the price spectrum

Windows tablets

  • Feature the familiar Windows operating system
  • Available with the Microsoft Office suite
  • Models available across the price spectrum

There is a wide range of tablet accessories available, such as keyboards and docking stations, which further enhance their features and capabilities.

Glossary - tablets

USB OTG

TUSB OTG (On-the-Go / On the Road) technology allow you to connect a flash drive directly to mobile devices that support this feature. This allows you to access files without connecting to a PC. Of course, you can also use the flash drive as a standard data storage device.

Fingerprint reader

This biometric technology is an alternative to the classic security password and offers higher levels of authentication and security of personal data. 

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