Tablets bridge the gap between laptop computers and smartphones in size and functionality. Tablets are great for email, web browsing, and travel. Many people also use tablets as portable gaming platforms, we shall discuss the Best Tablet Buying Guide.
Tablets have started to rise in popularity once again thanks to devices like the iPad Pro and Galaxy Tab S8. These devices continue to remind us that tablets are highly versatile devices that are useful for media consumption, gaming, or even for work in some cases.
If you are in the market for a new tablet, you might be confused by the plethora of available options for the Best Tablet Buying Guide.
These devices substitute for many laptop tasks when high-performance isn’t required. This guide looks at the key specs and features for the Best Tablet Buying Guide.
8 Things to Consider When Buying a Tablet – Best Tablet Buying Guide
With so much variation, it’s hard to narrow down what’s most important in the Tablet Buying Guide 2023, but here are the main things to look at when shopping for tablets:
- How much should you spend on a tablet?
- What is the size and weight of the tablet?
- What types of displays do tablets offer?
- Which operating system (OS) is best?
- What are the connectivity and networking options?
- How long is the tablet’s battery life?
- What type of processors do tablets have?
- How much storage space do you need?
How Much Should You Spend on a Tablet?
The old maxim “you get what you pay for” applies here, so first, decide what you require out of a tablet, then see if you can afford it.
Tablets can vary heavily in terms of pricing. For example, the cheapest iPad (iPad 9th Gen) currently starts at $329, while the highest-end iPad (iPad Pro 12.9-inch) starts at $1,099. The Android market is even more diverse, with options ranging from low as $50 all the way up to $1,200 and beyond.
So, to set the right budget, you need to know exactly what type of experience you’re looking for. Then, decide on what you’re going to use the tablet for, how much time you’ll spend using it, and how much you are willing to pay for that usage as a whole.
Extra features such as a high refresh rate display are nice but might not be worth it if you have to increase your budget significantly. You can use the rest of the tips to help guide your budget expectations. If what you want is out of your price range, there are plenty of budget models.
|Price Range||What You Can Expect|
|<$100||Amazon Fire HD 8 (10th Generation), Amazon Fire 7, Amazon Fire 7 Kids Edition, Amazon Kindle (2019), Lenovo Tab M8, VANKYO MatrixPad S10|
|$100-$300||Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition, Samsung Galaxy Tab A (2019), Amazon Fire HD 10 Plus (2021)|
|$300-$500||Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2020), Apple iPad Mini (2019), Microsoft Surface Go 2, Apple iPad (2020), Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite$500-600|
|$500-600||Apple iPad Air (2020)|
|$600-800||Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+, Samsung Samsung Galaxy Tab S6, Lenovo P11 Pro|
|$800-$1000||Microsoft Surface Pro 7|
|$1000-$2000||Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2021), Lenovo Yoga 9i 15-inch|
|$2000+||Microsoft Surface Book 3 15-Inch|
What Is the Size and Weight of the Tablet?
Tablets are designed to be mobile. Accordingly, you should consider the tablet size and weight. In some cases, you will be holding the tablet for long periods, so you don’t want the device to be too cumbersome. The lighter, the better. Still, it should be durable enough to survive a drop.
Size is important as you might be carrying around your tablet with you a lot. A larger tablet might be better for you because of the bigger screen, better performance, and possibly better speakers.
However, bigger isn’t always better in this case. The iPad Mini might be Apple’s best iPad because of its excellent portability, impressive performance, and long battery life. This shows that the size of the tablet is not directly proportional to its quality.
Instead, you’ll want to figure out how big or small a tablet you are willing to put up with. Again, it comes down to personal preference, as some will prefer the bigger screen experience of a large tablet, while others may prefer the portability of a smaller one.
The dimensions are also key measures, as the size determines how the device fits in your hands. For example, a top-heavy, wide tablet may be challenging to hold in portrait mode.
What Types of Displays Do Tablets Offer?
Since the display is also the main interface on a tablet PC, it plays a vital role in your buying decision. Consider size, resolution, viewing angle, brightness, and coating. The size determines how big the tablet is. The screen’s size and resolution determine how easy or difficult it is to read text on the device.
Display quality isn’t something you want to overlook. Whether you’re playing games, getting work done, or just watching videos, you’ll spend a lot of time staring at the screen. If the display quality is terrible, you’ll likely stop using that tablet or replace it altogether.
However, consider that a high-quality and high-resolution screen will cost more money. A high refresh rate OLED display sounds nice, but tablets with such a screen can be expensive. So, you’ll want a tablet with the best possible display that falls within your budget.
The resolution matters if you watch Full HD (1080p) media on the device. A minimum of 720 lines (720p) is required in portrait orientation. Viewing angles are important when the device is viewed by more than one person or at odd angles.
Brightness is something to consider if the tablet will be outdoors frequently. The brighter the screen, the easier it is to see when there is a lot of glare. Coatings should be durable, so they won’t show scratches and be easy to clean.
Which Operating System (OS) Is Best?
The tablet market has more operating systems (OS) than the smartphone or laptop market. In addition to iOS and Android, there’s Amazon Fire OS and Microsoft Windows.
Android and iOS are the obvious OS choice when it comes to tablets. However, you can also get tablets that come with Windows, ChromeOS, or Amazon’s Fire OS.
Going with an iPad will give you the benefits of the Apple ecosystem and access to excellent apps such as Procreate. You will also get fluid animations, support for the Apple Pencil, and exciting updates that change how you interact with a tablet.
On the other hand, Android is more open and encourages more customization. You can personalize the home screen, side-load apps not available on the Play Store, and more. If you care about retro games, you can also easily install multiple emulators straight from the Play Store.
As for Windows and ChromeOS, they might be better if you want a more desktop-like feel from your tablet. Finally, FireOS is the most limited out of them all, but Amazon. Fire tablets are usually cheaper and great choices for children.
Each OS has benefits and drawbacks. The key is to look at how you will use it to determine which OS best suits your needs.
- Windows may be best if you want it to be like a traditional PC. Still, this may have issues.
- Media watching and gaming are probably best served by iOS, though iPads tend to be pricier.
- If you want a more open platform with better multitasking, Android might be the best choice.
Beyond the OS, you should also consider the types and number of applications available for each platform.
What Are the Connectivity and Networking Options?
As tablets are mobile devices, their ability to connect to the internet is critical. There are two types of connectivity found in tablets: Wi-Fi and cellular or wireless.
Wi-Fi is straightforward, as this is for access to local Wi-Fi networks. What matters here is which forms of Wi-Fi the tablet supports. Any tablet should support 802.11n. The best option is to support both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz radio bands.
Cellular is a bit more complicated. You must consider carriers, coverage, contract rates, and whether it is compatible with cellular networks.
Bluetooth may be used for local peer-to-peer connections between tablets or for peripherals, such as a keyboard.
How Long Is the Tablet’s Battery Life?
If you carry a tablet throughout the day, battery life is an important detail. This spec is hard to judge for tablets as different applications can draw different power loads.
There are two standard methods for measuring battery life. The first is through consistent web browsing, while the other is based on watching video. Video watching tends to draw more power. If you multitask heavily or play games, expect battery life to be shorter than advertised. Good running time should be at least eight hours of web browsing or video playback.
What Type of Processors Do Tablets Have?
The processors used in tablets can vary. It has to do with how the processors in most tablets are designed and licensed. Most companies only list the clock speed and the number of cores.
The design of a tablet comes down to personal preference. For example, if you’re looking for a tablet that you can use for work or for playing demanding games, you’ll learn more about the performance than the design itself.
However, it’s not just about looks. Tablets differ in terms of screen bezels, ergonomics, and of course, size. Sure, you’ll want to buy something that looks good, but it’s better to go for form over function.
You often need to know more than this, as the chip architecture can have implications on the performance, battery life, and size of the tablet PC.
How Much Storage Space Do You Need?
While you may not carry around as much data on a tablet as you would on a laptop, the amount of space on the tablet is a significant feature to consider. All tablets use solid-state storage because of their low power draw, small size, and durability. The downside is the limited storage space.
The need for storage once again directly depends on your case. For people who want to use their tablets to browse the web, stream videos, and play the casual game every once in a while, lower storage won’t be an issue.
On the flip side, if you’re a digital artist, someone who downloads a lot of content, or even someone who wants to play a lot of games, then you’ll want more storage. Of course, a tablet with higher storage will also usually cost you more money.
One thing to look out for is eMMC storage versus an NVMe SSD. While a tablet with eMMC storage will be cheaper, one with an NVMe SSD will be much faster in comparison.
Most tablets come with between 8 GB and 64 GB of space, which is small compared to laptops. If you only browse the web, stream videos, and read books, storage space isn’t critical. If, on the other hand, you store high-definition movies or lots of games, consider getting a higher capacity model. This way, you won’t have to shuffle data between your devices.
Tablets with flash memory slots can expand their storage space. You can also supplement storage with cloud storage, but this is only accessible when the tablet is connected to the internet.
Who Should Buy a Tablet?
Tablets are a great alternative to laptops for kids or anyone who needs a portable device primarily for media consumption. If you spend a lot of time on the go, using a tablet to watch movies and play games is preferable to lugging a heavy laptop. Tablets also double as e-readers. People who could most benefit from a tablet include:
- Casual gamers
- International travelers
- Avid readers
- Bored kids or adults
Tablets can also be helpful for school and work, but most students and professionals will also need a computer for typing and running specific productivity software. If you want a lightweight alternative to a PC, consider a Chromebook.
What Should I Do After I Buy a Tablet?
You must connect your new tablet to a Wi-Fi network to set it up. Once that’s taken care of, here are the next steps you should take for the Best Tablet Buying Guide:
- Secure your tablet. Be sure to password protect your device after setting it up.
- Access your data. If you already use services like Google Drive or iCloud, you can connect to those accounts using mobile apps to access your saved files, photos, music, etc.
- Connect to your computer. Transfer files between your computer and tablet via a USB cable. Bluetooth, or Wi-Fi.
- Buy tablet peripherals. Look for Bluetooth headphones, a screen protector, and a compatible stylus.
Tablets Can Now Do More Than Ever Before
There was a time when most of us were concerned about the decline of the tablet market. Fortunately, both iPads and Android tablets have gotten better over the years. While some may think they don’t need a tablet, you’ll find that they are highly enjoyable to use when the situation arises.
This is because the Best Tablet Buying Guide is great device for playing games, watching media, or getting serious work done, such as creating digital art or writing content. There are tablets out there that also work incredibly well for note-taking.