How to Choose a Tablet PC
Never did we think that it would be possible to surf the internet and play our favourite games on public transport or even in a park. But Tablet PCs mean that we can now use most of a standard computer’s functionalities from the palm of our hands. Getting the correct tablet PC that can optimise the user’s experience in business, communication or entertainment needs to be an informed choice, so here are the different elements you should consider before purchasing:
What specifications should my tablet have?
Operating system: Not all tablets have the same operating systems, which are required to perform the most basic tasks (like watch where your mouse goes), to running other programs. In order to find the right one for you, think about where your current content is and remember that systems are often updated, so be sure to buy the latest version!
If you already have lots of music on iTunes, you may choose the popular iOS. This operating system remains the market leader thanks to its design, ease of use and huge choice of applications, but with the cheapest iPad mini starting at £269, it is also a more expensive option.
Developed by Google, Android is becoming increasingly popular and is continually increasing its choice of applications on GooglePlay. However, remember that some manufacturers may add their own interface layer, so this is why some Android operating systems may look different from one another. Android-based systems are cheaper with the Acer Iconia starting at around £100.
Having deep roots in the computing world, a Windows interface means that your tablet will run and feel more like a traditional computer. Features include the possibility to have multiple users and support powerful programs such as CAD and Photoshop.
The Processor’s Power: A Tablet PC with a processing power above 1.3 GHZ or even 1 GHZ flat can guarantee efficient performance for the user throughout its lifespan. It can perform all native functions of a machine ranging from fast set up, efficient initialisation process such as that for heavy-duty games, besides allowing fast connectivity to the web.
RAM: Like a standard Personal Computer, a portable gadget that has over 512 megabytes worth of RAM always provides a user-friendly interface. Besides, it is quite efficient when in works in conjunction with a fast processor. Some models such as the Microsoft Surface RT allow the addition of extra RAM to improve speed, however check in advance how much extra storage the tablet can hold before adding any more.
HDD Size: Hard drive capacity can improve or slow down the speed of a device depending on its size. The size can start from 8GB although more modern tablets range from 16 GB to 74.5 GB or even more in many current models. As you may have already noted, a larger number means more storage. You may choose a larger option if you want to store multimedia files such as graphics, music and movies on their local disks. As an example, 16GB is the equivalent of around 9000 photos or 3,500 songs.
Screen Size: Select the screen size that suits the viewing experience. Normally a size of 10.1 inches will offer a wide viewing interface but will come at a higher price than a smaller one. Currently, 10.1-inch devices start from £80.
Devices with screens of 7 inches are more suitable if you require a portable tablet or tablet that will double up as an eReader. These smaller tablets are available from £60, though more popular brands start from £120.
Weight: Consider the weight of the tablet, especially if you plan on carrying it around with you or holding it in your hand while browsing. The average weight of a 10-inch tablet is 600g, though adding a case will considerably add to the total weight you will have to hold.
Battery life: Think about battery life if you don’t want to charge your tablet frequently. Battery life can range from 5-10 hours of video playback time, but remember that having a 3G or Wi-Fi internet connection will make the battery go down even faster.
Accessories for tablets
Cameras: One of the optional accessories of a tablet PC is the onboard camera. This can be front-facing (on the same side as the main screen) or back-facing (placed on the back of the tablet). The first option makes taking photos of yourself easier and is great for applications such as Skype, when the person you are calling wants to see your face. A back-facing camera operates much like smartphone camera allowing you to take photos or videos of other people or objects.
Internet Connectivity: This can be a Wi-Fi port or a subscription to a 3G or 4G network. If you plan on using your tablet at home or at work, a Wi-Fi connection should be enough, but if you want to browse the Internet on the go, you will need a subscription.
USB and memory card slots: Being able to transfer music and photos to your tablet without connecting to a PC is a huge advantage. Consider what type of connections you may need and find a tablet accordingly. Apple’s iPads do not have any integrated slots, but adaptor accessories are available for purchase separately.