7 simple questions to answer before buying a tablet online

Buying a tablet online? and confused which tablet to buy? Then no worries. Here, we brought you a special guide to choose the right mobile tab for you.

The landscape of mobility device is changing significantly with the growing popularity of smartphones and tablets. Laptops and Notebooks are getting replaced with these sleek and portable tablets that now have comparable computing abilities to them. If you are planning to buy a tablet yourself, you first need to understand your needs and requirements and also about various options, you have. Here are some tips that will help you arrive at a decision:

7 Questions you should ask yourself before selecting, the right tablet

What are you going to use it for?
While we understand that you want your tablet to do everything but you should always consider how you are going to use it, most of the times.

  1. Business Productivity: If you are a business user and most of your activities on the tablet will be centered on reports, presentations, documents etc then you should go for a full-size tablet. Apple iPad Air 2 will be a good option with its neat iWork suite that comes free with it. If you are more comfortable with Microsoft Office features then Surface 3 Pro from Microsoft which runs on Windows 8.1 OS is your best bet. In Android’s kitty, Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 is the best candidate with its pen input features. Moreover, you should consider connecting an external keyboard to your tablet.
  2. Gaming: If you are buying your tablet primarily for gaming then Nvidia Shield is just what you are looking for. It is Android based tablet that comes with a controller giving you the feel of a console. iPads should, however, not be ignored as App Store is the clear leader in offering high-quality games with cool graphics. Quality of games available on Google Play store is definitely improving and may soon catch up with App store as developers are looking at increasing popularity of Android tablets. At this point of time, there is not much point looking at Windows tablet for gaming needs but it is important to mention that some popular Xbox games are available in tablets.
  3. Multimedia Content/eBook Reader: If video streaming or eBook reading will be the primary use of your tablet then you should consider Amazon’s Fire HDX 8.9. iPad Air 2 or iPad Mini 3 are also recommended. Windows tablets will bring you Xbox integration
What is your preferred size?
The device size determines the portability and weight of your tablet. We can broadly divide the tablets into three categories based on their size:

  1. Small: These are very handy and lightweight. You can hold them with a single hand while using but on the downside the 7” screen is not going to be a very immersive experience especially when high-end phones are coming with 5.5” screen.
  2. Medium: The screen size is 8” to 10” here and this size brings a significant improvement on an experienced front. Though you can no longer use your tablet with a single hand but still the tablets are very much portable and a good on-the-go companion.
  3. Large: Though they totally lose to their smaller siblings on portability quotient and you need to carry a bag or sleeve for them, yet they are tailor made to fit your productivity needs with their larger than 10” screen to browse internet or edit documents.
Which OS should you go for?
You have three major options in underlying OS of your tablets:

  1. iOS 8: This is absolute favorite of majority of users primarily because of its simple yet awesome interface and so many apps that would just keep you hooked up.
  2. Android: Android tablets may be a little confusing to start with, but it can be customized to your liking with many widgets and launcher options. Android Lollipop version has actionable notifications and many more cool features.
  3. Windows 8.1: Windows is currently one step behind Android and iOS, but it’s simple Live Tile interface is liked by most users. However, one significant disadvantage of going for Windows tablet is absence of many popular apps.
What Apps and Content do you want?
All the major vendors have stores from where you can purchase apps, music, books, magazines etc. Amazon’s Fire range of tablets will get you access to Amazon Video on Demand and if you have Amazon Prime membership then you have free access to video and music services as well as eBook lending library.
What technical specs should you pay attention to?
You need to careful analyze your needs and then decide for the tablet that you want, based on processor, RAM, and storage. You should check in advance if the tablet has expandable storage option or not.
How much consideration should you give to battery life?
Put simply, you do not want your tablet to ask you for charging the battery all the time, especially if you are traveling or have to run from one meeting to another. If you spend the significant amount of time at your home or workplace then you can perhaps go for a tablet with lower battery backup but in any case, you should not settle for anything less than 7 hours.
What is your budget?
It is straightforward that a higher priced product is most probably also better in features as compared to a lower priced one, but it is only a rule of thumb. You should keep your eyes open for “value for money” products. At the same time, remember that tablets are not merely a utility gadget but also the style statement. In any case, keep in mind your needs. For example, a high storage capacity tablet will cost more but the question is that do you really need the higher storage configuration. Same goes for RAM, processor, and screen size.

What are some other important points you should keep in mind, before buying the tablet?

Processor
Just like any other computing device, processors are the backbone of your tablet. It will determine your performance, graphics, and multitasking capabilities. The more the number of cores in the processor and the higher the clock rate, the better will be the performance.
Screen Quality:
Screen quality has two components to it: screen resolution and panel type.

  1. Screen resolution determines the sharpness of the image. Higher screen resolution means better image sharpness with 2560×1600 pixels as highest possible resolution for a tablet.
  2. Panel type determines the brightness range of the screen as well as image quality when viewed from an off-angle. In-plane switching (IPS) panel or plane-line switching (PLS) panels are two excellent choices here.
Storage
This is an important consideration especially since it affects the cost of the tablet. While unused storage space is unnecessary burden on your wallet, at the same time, a constant low memory will affect the performance of your tablet. If you plan to buy a low storage capacity tablet then it is recommended to get one with external storage capability. Some of the tablets also come with limited amount free online storage on cloud.
Design
This includes features such as look, balance and weight. Ensure that there are no sharp corners so that they don’t dig into your palms, when you are holding the tablet. Weight is another important consideration especially when kids are going to handle the tablet as they might drop and break the tablet. Balance is more about uniformity in weight distribution. A well-balanced tablet may seem lighter while handling as compared to an ill-balanced one even if both of them have same weight. Lastly, your tablet is also reflective of style statement and you should select a design and color suited to your likings.

What is the right place to buy tablets?

Direct
All the major manufacturers sell their tablets from their own website directly. The advantage of buying the tablet directly from manufacturer’s website is that you will get the product at rock bottom prices decided by the manufacturer but on the downside, you will not be getting any hands on experience to try it out, before you buy. You should therefore do your homework regarding the product before ordering it.
Online Retailers
While the direct offering on manufacturer is the lowest set price but that should not stop you from checking the price of the same product on other online retailers. If you are lucky, you might get discounts or promotional offers on one or more of these online retailers that will bring the cost down. If you are unsure about checking the prices on which particular websites, then you may use various shopping comparison websites to find out the best deal.
High Street
This has many advantages over online purchases. First and foremost, you do not have to wait for delivery of the tablet and you have it in your hands instantly. The best thing about making your purchase at a high street shop is that you get to try the device before purchasing. This assures you that you are buying what you have expected.
Auction sites
Finally, auction sites such as eBay provide platform to smaller retailers who offer tablets at significantly reduced prices. This may come as the cheapest option but there are some obvious trust issues. The reduced price may also be because of shortened warranty period or no warranty at all. You, therefore, tread cautiously with this option.

Conclusion –

Buying a tablet that best suits your needs requires you to take a careful approach and understand your needs first. You should not be in a hurry to order something that you might later regret. You should learn about different tablets out there in the market that serve your requirement and compare them for technical specifications and price. This will ensure that you select the best tablet for yourself. Once you have decided which tablet you want to buy, you can buy it online or from high street shops.

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