The pill has fallen on hard times lately, with falling sales and heated debate about whether we even need tablets in the modern enormous smartphone-driven world.
But there are still lots of good reasons to look at purchasing a tablet computer. Maybe you desire a device to occupy your free time or to supplement your TV watching with Twitter. Maybe you don’t require a full-fledged laptop, but want something which’s larger than a smartphone. Or perhaps you’re thinking of buying an easy-to-use device for the technophobe in your lifetime.
No matter the reason, there is a tablet available for you. Read on and we’ll help you find the right one for your needs.
Convertible or Stand-Alone Tablet?
When it has to do with pills, you have a choice — do you go with a typical tablet or do you go with a”convertible” pill?
Stand-alone pills take the kind of oversize tablets: They consist of one large touch screen, a small number of buttons on the instance, a charging connector and little else. They generally weigh between 1 and 2 lbs and are typically less than half an inch thick, so they’re supercompact and portable. You control them with the touch screen, but you can normally pair them with a Bluetooth keyboard.
Convertible devices attempt to combine the versatility of the PC with the convenience of a tablet. All these 2-in-1 devices either include a detachable keyboard or they’re really just a full-size notebook that features a touch display.
Detachables look and work like standalone tablets, but snap on to a specially designed keyboard attachment, and you can use them as laptop replacements. Some detachable arrive with the computer keyboard, while some ask that you purchase the keyboard separately, like using the iPad Pro and its $169 Smart Keyboard.
Microsoft’s Surface Book takes the concept a step farther, in that it is a full-size notebook with a detachable display which you may use as a stand-alone tablet.
Tablet display sizes vary from 6 inches on the very low end, all of the way up to a gargantuan 18.4 inches on Samsung’s Galaxy View tablet. You’ll find that most pills fall to the 7- to 10-inch range: If you’re looking for something small and light you could take with you everywhere, a small tablet such as the iPad mini or 7-inch Amazon Fire tablet is the best way to go.
Pills at the 10-inch selection, such as the iPad Air two, offer a good balance between portability and productivity: They aren’t as easy to use with one hand, but they are still plenty compact and light. Larger pills, like the Galaxy View or even the 12.9-inch iPad Guru, are less mobile, but they can result in appropriate laptop replacements.
Notebook-tablet hybrids normally feature display sizes approximately 11 to 13 inches, however, they are usually bulkier, so that they aren’t ideal if size and weight are the most important priorities.
Which Operating System?
The most up-to-date and greatest version of Apple’s portable operating platform is iOS 9. It powers all Apple’s current-generation iPad models (in addition to smartphones ). Plus it comes with a number of additions that provide your iPad a tiny bit of extra flexibility, because of new split-screen multitasking features.
Your hardware options are restricted with iOS, comparative to Android and Windows because you have just Apple’s iPad line to choose from. The choices include the iPad Pro, iPad Air 2, iPad Air, iPad mini 4 and iPad miniature two. On the other hand, iOS users have hundreds of thousands of programs at their disposal via the App Store.
If it comes to Android pills, you don’t have any shortage of options — both in terms of hardware and software.
While Android is, apparently, Google’s mobile operating system, there’s absolutely no unified Android. The company releases a new update to the OS every year or so, and a few tablets become upgraded while others don’t. Plus, most tablets manufacturers customize Android to suit their needs or add attributes to distinguish their pills from the contest. Samsung tablets, for example, come with a customized interface that incorporates lots of Samsung-specific programs and features. Amazon’s Fire tablets run a heavily customized version of Android that Amazon calls Fire OS.
You also have plenty of hardware alternatives, too — from the aforementioned Fire pills to Samsung’s wide-ranging offerings to the Asus ZenPad series, to name just a couple.
Windows 10, the newest version of Windows, builds upon the foundation Microsoft laid in Windows 8 and 8.1. The new OS is easier to use on traditional PCs compared to Windows 8 has been, and it makes using Windows to a tablet considerably more seamless than before. Windows 10 offers many concessions to tablet computer users, including big, touch-friendly window controls and buttons, a Tablet Mode (that expands the Start menu to fill the whole display ) and various touch-screen gestures.
Windows stay heavily oriented across the mouse and keyboard, though, so some apps and features could be awkward to work with by means of a touch screen. It makes sense, then, that most Windows pills are of the semi-automatic kind.
How Will You Use It?
For general home use — such as Internet surfing, email, listening to music and so on — most any pill out there will fit your bill. You probably won’t have to go with a super high-end tablet, so look for tablets that cost less than $300. The $179.99 Lenovo Tab two A10 is just one of our favorites.
If you plan to use your tablet as a business machine — or as a laptop replacement — you will want one with at least a 9-inch screen. The iPad Air and iPad Air 2, Google Nexus 9 and bigger Samsung Galaxy versions are good choices.
If you have the funding, the 12.9-inch iPad Guru ($799 and up), Microsoft Surface Pro 4 ($899 and up) and Samsung Galaxy Note Guru 12.2 ($649 and up) are very good choices. Each of these includes useful multitasking attributes, optional keyboard attachments, and pen-input support.
Considering that iOS is the middle of the cell gaming world, an iPad is a good wager. The iPad Air 2 provides a good balance between power and portability, but starting at $499, it is not affordable. Other options abound, however, such as the $199 gaming-centric Nvidia Shield tablet K1. This Android tablet is constructed around Nvidia’s Tegra K1 quad-core mobile chip and features an 8-inch, 1920 x 1080-pixel display and 2GB of memory.
How about Windows-based convertible tablets? Since these devices run full-fledged Windows, you are able to play a good many PC games on them. They won’t maintain high-end gaming heaters, but many are more than suitable for more casual PC gambling.
For the Kids
With pills for kids, you will want to consider dimensions, price, durability and parental-control attributes. A 7-inch tablet will probably be more suitable for small hands, and given the risk of a broken tablet, you’ll want to stay on the lower end — no more than $250. The $99 Fire Kids Edition is a good choice, with its own rubber bumpers, compact dimensions, parental controls and kid-friendly interface. Plus, it includes a two-year warranty that says the company will replace it in case your child does severe harm.
For Media Consumption
Any of the tablet ecosystems are good choices for watching films or TV shows and listening to audio, but if you’re a true media junkie, the Amazon Fire HDX 8.9-inch may be for you personally. Another great option could be the iPad Air two, which incorporates iTunes and sports a 2048 x 1536-pixel screen.
What About Programs and Content?
All 3 big tablet operating systems provide digital storefronts from which you can buy and download apps, music, movies and other sorts of content.
Apple retains fairly tight controls over what programs you’ll be able to purchase via its store, which lessens the probability of downloading something malicious, but somewhat limits the types of things apps can do. The iTunes Store enables you to purchase songs, videos, and TV shows, while the iBooks app manages all things pertaining to e-books. The Music program lets you listen to your tunes or stream audio via the Apple Music subscription service.
Google Play is the official one-stop-shop for getting apps, music and other content on your Android tablet. However, Android’s more receptive nature means it is not the only way to acquire apps along with other articles, and Android device manufacturers occasionally package their own digital shop on their devices.
Android devices may additionally sideload Amazon’s Underground app shop. It includes $20,000 worth of Android apps, games and in-app purchases that are free. It is a curated — and thus smaller — version of Google Play.
Speaking of Amazon, if you’re an Amazon Prime member, the company’s Fire pills come with built-in aid for Amazon Prime content. They also include a 30-day Amazon Prime trial. Apps are available for downloading through the Amazon Appstore or via the Underground app.
Because this is Windows, but you can download programs from just about anyplace. Still, certain software titles may only be accessible via the Windows Store, and since Microsoft vets everything in it, you’re at a lower chance of malware disease if you go via the Store.
Which specs matter?
Tablet specs can be complicated to discern since not all manufacturers completely disclose their devices’ innards. Following is a quick rundown on what you could find, and what it all means.
Apple uses its custom A-series chips within its iPads. Present-day models use either the A7, A8, A8X or A9X chips: Greater numbers denote a newer processor that offers better performance, and also the X suffix indicates a more potent version of a given chip. The A8 is newer than the A7, for example, while the A8X is a more powerful version of the A8.
Android tablets pack chips from many different manufacturers. Nvidia’s Tegra chips are observed on Nvidia tablet computers, and you’re going to come across some Android machines with Rockchip CPUs.
On the Windows front, you will find mainly Intel processors, for example, Core m3, i5 and i7 chips. Tablets based on Intel Core processors tend to be higher-end devices, and will normally charge you more. Lower-cost Windows tablet computers and convertibles frequently utilize Intel Atom chips.
RAM is not quite as big a selling point on tablet computers because of how iOS and Android handle memory. Broadly speaking, however, the more you spend, the more RAM you’ll get, and on many pills, you can expect anywhere between 1GB and 4GB of memory. Laptop/tablet hybrids and other Windows-based convertible tablets, such as the Surface Pro 4, typically offer more memory, occasionally up to 16GB of RAM. More RAM often equates to snappier performance.
Storage and Expandability
Stand-alone pills normally arrive with 8 or 16GB of storage to the low end, as well as 128GB on the high end. Convertible Windows tablets often have storage capacities more in line with standard notebooks, so it isn’t unusual to find a person with 256GB of storage or longer. Some tablets include SD card readers that enable you to enlarge your device’s storage capability. If you don’t do not use your tablet much, you may find 8 or 16 GB to be somewhat too constraining for your requirements, which means you are probably going to need to pay a little more and receive at least 32GB of storage space — or look for you with an onboard SD card slot.