A tablet is a touchscreen internet-enabled computer. They’re similar to touchscreen smartphones and equally handy for browsing the internet, but with bigger screen sizes of between 7 and 10 inches they are also popular for watching TV and films.
New tablets can cost anywhere from £150 to near £800. Which one is right for you depends on what you want to use the tablet for and whether you want Apple’s iOS, Google’s Android or Windows as your operating system.
Below we explain which features to look out for and how to decide which tablet is right for you.
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You can do most of the things you would do on a laptop or PC, but often quicker. Tablets can start up almost immediately so are ideal if you want to fire off a quick Google search, find somewhere on a map or read an email.
Their snappy start-up also makes them popular for watching videos and catch-up TV, such as BBC iPlayer, as well as reading ebooks.
While tablets are brilliant as a second screen, they are no replacement for a laptop or desktop. They don’t have enough memory or processor power to handle more complex tasks, can’t access full computer programs and usually lack keyboards – so they’re not suitable for work tasks.
Size - Opt for a 7-inch tablet if you want something super portable. Weighing in at around 300g, 7-inch tablets are slim, light and easy to carry around. Another bonus with smaller tablets is that they also tend to be cheaper than their 10-inch counterparts.
But if you want to play high-powered games or watch a lot of TV and film, a 10-inch tablet will give you a bigger, better screen for a more immersive viewing experience. The full-sized iPad and Google Nexus 10 both come with large high-definition screens and produce sharp, clear images.
3G or wi-fi - All tablets connect to the internet via wi-fi but some come with 3G mobile broadband too.
If you plan to use your tablet mostly at home, wi-fi will be fine. If you want to use it on the move 3G will suit you better - but be prepared to pay more for the tablet plus a monthly data plan.
Storage - Storage options range from 8-128GB. For browsing the internet and storing a few apps, 16GB will be about right. But if you plan to download space-hungry games and HD video you need at least 32GB.
The average price of a tablet is £297. While a top-end tablet can cost up to £800, there are decent 7-inch models for under £200.
Most 10-inch premium models fall into the £300-£400 bracket. Opting for one with a larger memory capacity or 3G connectivity will increase the price by around £100-£200.
You can get a good tablet ideal for daily use for around £200. For this kind of budget you can expect:
A premium tablet will cost upwards of £300. For this you can expect:
Apple iPads – pros:
Apple iPads – cons:
Android tablets – pros• Normally cheaper than rivals – it is thought that Google subsidises the cost of the tablet so that more people buy them. They then make this money back from users purchasing apps and content on Google Play. • Well-stocked app store – Android has grown quickly and there is a huge range of apps on the Google Play store. • Frequently updated OS – Android regularly makes tweaks to the operating system with the aim of providing a better experience.
Android tablets – cons:
Windows tablets - pros:
Windows tablets – cons:
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