5 questions to ask before buying a tablet
Big or small? Apple or Android? Netflix-binging or web browsing? Here are the key questions to consider before buying a tablet…
30 Jul 2018
1. Where will I use the tablet?
Tablets are ultra-portable due to their size, weight and ease of use. But different tablets suit different needs.
So, will you be using yours to binge-watch series on your couch at the weekend? For immersing yourself in an e-book on your morning commute? Or to keep on top of emails and work?
Think about how you’re going to use the tablet before choosing the right size for you. Tablets come in different sizes – the 2 most common ranges are 7-8 inches and 9-10.5 inches.
Out and about - smaller tablet
Smaller tablets are perfect for your commute. They're slim and lightweight – great for web browsing and reading e-books, but not so much for watching movies and working.At just 7 inches, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 7" is small enough to take with you on the move. The lightweight, compact design means it won’t weigh you down - and you can tuck it safely into any bag or pocket.
Have the best of both worlds with a screen that’s big enough for watching videos and working on, without feeling too bulky or being to heavy to carry. With up to 11 hours of battery life, it’ll last you all day.
At home - larger tablet
Tablet likely to stay homebound? Then you might want to go for one with a bigger screen for watching movies and series or indulging in serious gaming sessions.
A more powerful processor is also essential – especially if you want to use it for work or running lots of apps.
With a screen big enough for fully immersive entertainment, the Tab A 7's bigger brother - the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1" - is a top choice.
It has 32GB of storage space, which is enough to let you watch films, stream TV series or play games at home or when you're out and about.
2. Apple, or Android or Windows operating system?
Want effortless syncing between devices? Go for a tablet with the same OS as your smartphone or laptop to share all your data, docs and apps across all devices – easy-breezy. The main operating systems are:
Apple iPads and iPhones are powered by iOS. Sync all your Apple devices to share movies, music, calendars and contacts between them. Choose from over 2 million apps, and download music, TV shows and films from iTunes.
Android runs on Google tablets as well as those from Samsung, Asus and more.
You can customise your home screen with notifications and widgets for weather, music and news. The Google Play Store is home to all your favourite apps, films and music – and you can share these across all your Android devices, so nothing gets lost in the woodwork.
Windows tablets are great for getting work done, whatever that may be. They're compatible with Microsoft Office and Windows 10 OS, so you can run Word, Excel, PowerPoint – the entire Office Suite. Make sure you never miss a trick by syncing your tablet with Windows phones and laptops to share calendars and email.
3. Will I need it for movies and shows?
Plan on streaming Netflix, BBC iPlayer and more? A tablet with a high-res screen is essential for the best viewing.
A screen resolution describes how many pixels are on the screen – more pixels mean a clearer, sharper and more defined picture.
Feel like you’re watching on an HDTV with the Acer Iconia One. Its display has been optimised for contrast, clarity and sharpness, while colours will look rich and vivid.
Enjoy cinematic audio on the premium speakers or send virtual surround sound direct to your headphones when you’re watching on the go.
4. Is it powerful enough?
Your tablet’s processor is like its brain. How powerful it is determines how fast apps load and run, as well as how well the tablet can multi-task.
If you’re seriously into gaming, or like to work with several apps open at once, look for a tablet with a powerful processor. The same goes if you want to use it for photo and video editing or design.
More powerful Windows tablets run on Intel Processors – Intel Core i3, i5 and i7. The latest of these - Intel Core M - combines this efficiency with an incredibly thin design.
If you just plan on web browsing, watching Netflix and updating Facebook and are on a budget then look at tablets with Intel Atom processors.
5. Do I need internet access when out and about?
If you plan on using your tablet mainly at home, then a Wi-Fi model will suit fine.
But if you want to access the internet when out and about, opt for a 3G or 4G-enabled model – though you’ll need to pay for a monthly data plan to use it though.
Ready to start looking for a tablet? See our tablet range