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A consumer’s guide to buy tablets

, February 20, 2013, 3 Comments

It is a wonder slate that redefined the way we look at computers. While tablets are nothing more than larger Smartphones for people with specific computing needs, they are a practical investment for the majority who do not require a full-sized computer for their daily functions. If you are scouring the market for that perfect slate to suit your requirements, here are some tips to buy the right tablet.

What are your needs?
Before you decide to look at the top sellers in the market, analyze if you really need a tablet. Are you looking for a device that can be both your phone and your desktop/laptop? Does your computer need go beyond just browsing and HD movies? How important is storage and a bigger screen to you? Is this device just another device that joins the mobile device collection in your household? Once you answer all of these questions, you can figure how much money you are willing to put on a tablet.

What is right for you?
Buying a tablet is not about going for the most expensive one in the market. Scour the market and you may find yourself holding a brand new tablet that has features just as good as the best ones in the market for a lesser rate. Consider the following factors to help you choose what’s best for you and your family.

  • App store – The first and most important thing: Appstore. One of the main reasons that influence decision making when buying a tablet is the app store that comes with the tablet. Does the app store allow users to download applications that cater to every need – be it official, games, networking. Compare different app stores to see which app store best suits your need.
  • Design – You must be happy with the overall look and feel of the tablet. Go to the nearest electronics store and play around with the tablets available today to see how comfortable you feel with each one.
  • Internet connectivity – Ask yourself if you want a tablet that is wifi only or one that comes with a 3G/4G connectivity option. This helps you narrow your list of tablets that have these features.
  • Hardware – If you know something about technology, look into the features of the tablets or ask someone that knows technology well to tell you which product has the best hardware that won’t give up on you in the long run.
  • UI – User interface is very critical in deciding a product. Just like design, the user must be able to connect with the interface. Play around with several tablets to know which suits you best.
  • Cost – Finally, is this product within your budget range? If not, are you willing to go the extra few hundreds to gain something better?

Here is a list of some of the best selling tablets today:

iPad – Expensive yet worth every penny if better than before is what you are looking for. The latest iPad is the fourth generation iPad that comes with a powerful Retina display that gives you resolution much powerful than your television screen. When Apple says, “Stunning. Twice as fast”, they are not kidding. The new A6X processor launches apps noticeably faster than the previous iPad and delivers a hassle-free performance. The new lightning connection is the one thing that is different about the new Pad that charges when connected on either side. Cost: $ 499 for 16GB

Microsoft’s Surface – Priced similar to an iPad and works just as good, this new tablet comes in trendy new covers that also work as an external keyboard. For those of you who like the comforts of a keyboard to type out documents or emails, this will come in handy and is not an additional cost compared to the Pad. The surface’s file management system allows users to manage their files just like they would on their laptops/desktops. This feature makes the Surface a well-rounded tablet that functions just as well as your own personal computer.

Google’s Nexus 10 – This tablet boasts a dazzling 2560X1600 display and a powerful graphics dual-core ARM Cortex A15 processor. The Nexus 10 brings the best of Google providing the user with the latest version of Android preloaded with the best Google apps like Gmail, Maps, Google+, YouTube and Chrome. And like many products in the market today, a lower price does not mean bad quality. Priced at $399, this tablet is a bang for the buck.

Nook HD – Nook’s attempts in revamping itself has not addressed two very major issues most users have had previously – Apps and Sound. Neither have been fixed and it definitely lags in these key departments that make it a substandard tablet on the market today. Add on to that, the tablet lacks a camera as well. While the Nook is not as good as the iPad, it is a tablet that satisfies your tablet craving considering its low price at $199 for 16GB and $269 for the 16GB Nook HD+.

Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD – Better than the Nook and not as good as the Pad or the Nexus, this tablet comes with a front-facing camera that allows you to make Skype calls. Amazon’s app store is definitely not as extensive as the Apple app store or the Google app store. Nevertheless, it has pretty much the main apps that get downloaded so frequently today like Skype, Facebook and Twitter. Adding on to this, the user also gets a month’s free Amazon Prime membership. While I’m not sure how useful this is to ship physical products to India, it definitely has the advantage of having the latest HD movies and music that are available exclusively to prime members. For $299 for the Wifi only version, this tablet is definitely a cheap and satisfying buy.

The above mentioned and many others have tablets that are either portable or packed with exciting features on HD. Many brands today have screens varying from 7 inches to 10 inches making each device more portable while also respecting the resolutions provided by the manufacturer. Apple and Android-based products are the clear leaders  in UI, graphics and most importantly, an app store that boasts collections that are so deep there is something in it for everyone. Other app stores such as the Windows and the Amazon’s are relatively competitive and make available the most popular apps

  • Amit

    Not sure why all the prices are in $. Assume this article targets consumers in India.

  • Amit

    I got it..the author is based out of US..although article published in India 🙂

  • Ramesh

    I am not sure this is analysis is complete as you have omitted Samsung Galaxy Tab from the analysis.