Tablet features guide

While some users rely on their tablet for staying connected on the go, others use on them for storing important files and preparing documents - whatever your needs, there is something for everyone in our range.

Whether you're buying a tablet with a purpose, are a complete newcomer, or just want to keep up with the latest technology, we've prepared a guide to the key features you'll need to consider before buying.

Screen

There are three main aspects for you to think about in terms of your tablet's screen and these are size, resolution and touch.

Size

Tablets come in a range of screen sizes, the most common being 7 and 10 inches. For those who want a device for web-based tasks such as social networking, researching or downloading eBooks, a 7 screen is more than enough. If you're looking to watch movies, play games and work with documents, then a larger screen will deliver a better overall experience.

Resolution

Screen resolution determines the crispness of your photos, videos and games, and is measured in Pixels Per Inch (PPI). PPI is an indicator of overall clarity, measuring how closely pixels are packed together on screen. As PPI increases, the screen is able to show more detail. Pixels Per Inch should be a key consideration for those who are looking for a tablet with entertainment in mind.

Multitouch

All tablets are touch-enabled which makes them fun and convenient to use. Multitouch screens allow you to use several fingers to swipe, resize and zoom. 5-point touchscreens are perfect for all your tablet needs, however if you’re striving advanced control, a 10-point touchscreen will give you the option to use 10 fingers, ideal for gaming.

 

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Apps

The major stores for applications include Apple's App Store, Google Play and the Windows Store.

App Store

Apple’s App store has over 475,000 tailor-made apps, which is the world’s largest collection of apps purely designed for the mobile experience. Every app you purchase is conveniently saved in the store, so you can download them across all your Apple devices using your Apple ID. Once an app download has started it will automatically be placed on your home screen and can be deleted and re-downloaded at any time. On iOS 7 your apps will automatically update themselves, taking the hassle out of tablet maintenance.

Google Play

Google Play is a hub of entertainment with over 1,000,000 app and games titles including the world’s largest eBook store as well as games, music, movies and more. Google Play is cloud-enabled, allowing you to enjoy your entire collection across all your Android devices, as well as on your laptop or desktop. Got a train to catch? No problem. Simply pause the movie you were watching on your laptop and then continue to enjoy it from your tablet - no syncing, no wires and no fuss. Google play also allows you to store 20,000 songs for free.

Windows Store

The Windows Store is a rapidly growing marketplace with instantaneous access straight from your Windows home screen. The Windows Store has over 100,000 apps on offer with many of them completely free. As well as all your favourites such as social networking apps, photo apps and banking apps, you’ll also find a huge collection of others from sports apps, to cooking apps. What’s more, all content can be filtered by price, rating and category.

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Connectivity

Your tablet was built to be portable, but leaving the house shouldn't mean leaving the internet behind. Stream videos, send emails, browse social networks and shop online, even when you are out and about. There are a few options to stay connected.

Mobile WiFi

Mobile WiFi is by far the most popular solution for Mobile Broadband on a tablet and works with all Wi-fi tablets.

Mobile Wi-Fi is like having an internet cafe in your pocket. It is a pocket-sized product that gives you your very own internet hotspot. You can share this hotspot between all your devices, offering great value for money. Mobile WiFi routers have impressive battery life, so you can stay connected all day.

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Contract mobile WiFi

If you're interested in purchasing a new tablet and want to stay online wherever you are, a tablet with a broadband contract is a great option; particularly for the more expensive tablets.

Just like a mobile phone contract, you pay a smaller amount for the tablet at the point of purchase, then pay per month for the broadband contract.

Contract mobile WiFi

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Memory / Capacity

Internal storage varies from device to device, with a range of capacities from 4 GB to 64 GB. Storage also comes in other forms such as memory cards and web-based cloud storage.

Internal

The amount of memory you choose will determine how many songs, photos and videos you can store on your tablet. It’s important to remember that your operating system will use capacity too, so the overall memory you choose will in fact be slightly less than what’s you first thought. If you plan to use your tablet for demanding applications as well as storing lots of multimedia look at 16GB and 32GB devices. As a rough guide, 12 albums of music will take up around 1 GB of storage space, whilst a 2-hour film will take up 3.6 GB on average.

External

Some tablets boast a microSD slot which is a great way to expand storage. For example, a tablet may only have 8 GB of memory but by purchasing a microSD card you can increase this to 32 GB - ideal for those who have a large music collection or those who want to store movies.

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Cloud

Cloud storage grants you wireless access to your files, even when you're away from home. By using cloud storage you can free up more room on your tablet which is especially important for those who like to download content. Some operating systems will feature some kind of cloud storage but you can also purchase your own storage in store or online.

Storage - what it holds

Photos

Songs
8 GB 2500
OR
2000
16 GB 5000
OR
4000
32 GB 10000
OR
8000
64 GB 20000
OR
16000
*These numbers are a guide only, your actual usage may vary.

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More storage will let you keep more of the content you love to hand.

Performance

Processor

At the heart of a tablet you'll find its processor. Single-core processors support basic tasks such as browsing the web, writing emails and playing games. Dual-core processors enable extremely fluid multitasking, smooth streaming and rapid navigation. Quad-core processors suit high-end applications such as photo editing, design work and 3D gaming.

Battery life

Most people will pick up their device throughout the day, but there is nothing worse than when you're out and about and your battery dies. This is why it's important to consider how many hours of battery life a tablet has. For extended battery life, look for a high-end processor that will support all-day power. At the other end of the spectrum, single-core are perfect for those who want a quick browse of at lunch time or of an evening. Some tablets also feature an extra core dedicated to battery power, making even basic tablets hugely efficient.

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Camera

Most tablets host a rear-facing camera for shooting photo and video. Some devices also feature a front-facing camera, or webcam, which is designed for video chat.

Rear-facing

Tablet computers have quickly evolved, so seeing someone use them in place of a digital camera is fast becoming the norm. Nearly all tablets feature a rear-facing camera, for taking quick snapshots or shooting video. The higher the megapixel resolution of the camera, the more clarity your photos and videos will have.

Front-facing

Social media is becoming a vital portal for keeping in touch with loved ones, so if you want to video chat with friends and family using programmes such as Skype and Face Time look for a tablet with a front-facing camera.

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