Which Tablet to Buy

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Tablets are one of the hottest products on the market. Which tablet is right for you? When you consider all of the features they offer, you can understand why so many people are using them to not only supplement their laptops but also to replace them entirely. Indeed, the trusty tablet is predicted to outsell laptops by 2016, and some say the laptop is already well on its way out.

But what’s so great about tablets, you ask. Well, let’s take a quick look at some important features:

  • Instant On – no waiting for lengthy boot-ups
  • Versatility – Entertainment, Games, Videos, Music, Content, eBooks, Web browsing, emails
  • Easily transported and light-weight
  • App Stores make it easy to add programs
  • Less worries with regards to security, configurability
  • Easy to use
  • Pricing – even a top of the line tablet cost less than typical laptops

In another article, we covered how to select between iOS and Android. In this article, we concentrate on selecting the appropriate tablet size. Measured diagonally across the screen like a television, there are four basic categories of tablets according to their screen size:

  • Sub-7-inch mini tablets 6" GoTab DIG!T)
  • 7 -inch compact tablet (iPad Mini, Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0, Nexus 7)
  • 10-inch tablet (iPad, Nexus 10, Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10)
  • Oversized > 10-inch tablets (Lenovo 27in Tablet)

Each of the four categories of tablet size has its own benefits and drawbacks. The two best options for tablets are the 7-inch and 10-inch sizes.

-Sub-7-inch mini tablets

There are some Android based minis that are mainly manufactured by relatively unknown Chinese firms. Low-cost, entry level tablets like these may be suitable for kids or computing beginners, however, they are not recommended in general because their limited functionality means you are likely to outgrow them rather quickly.

Tablets

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    Best price. eBay (always.deals, 100,400 feedback) has the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Core i5 128GB Tablet Sale Priced for $569.99 with Free shipping. Highly rated at 4.3 out of 5 stars. Around $800 at amazon.  Add it to your cart to see the lower price.  Accept the couple day delay in shipping.

    Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Review

    Cnet review is largely positive. This works as a fast tablet as well as a traditional notebook. All the power and performance of a laptop in an incredibly lightweight, versatile form.

    Microsoft Surface 4 Pro Features

    • 12.3" Pixelsense HD Plus touch-screen display
    • 1920 x 1080 resolution, 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio
    • Intel 5th generation Core i5 Processor
    • Pen input and Pen (included with purchase)
    • 8GB RAM ; 128GB storage
    • Full-size USB 3.0
    • microSDXC card reader
    • Weight: 1 lbs
    • Windows 10 Pro
    • Type cover sold separately
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    Sales tax in: Depends on seller
    Posted: April 23, 2017 9:52 AM PDT


Asus Google Nexus seven tablet

-7-inch Tablets

A 7-inch tablet, like the above-pictured Asus Fonepad Intel-powered Android tablet, is much easier to hold in one hand as compared to its bigger counterparts. Due to its light weight, these tablets are a favorite with people on the go, especially women, since these smaller tablets can easily fit in a purse.

When it comes to power, the 7-inch tablet typically beats out the larger tablets in size-to-function ratio, but the reality is: the smaller the tablet, the smaller the battery. So, although you may have more efficient use of the battery, the battery itself if inherently limited due to its smaller size.

Only a few 7-inch tablets are able to display full HD (1080p – 1920 x 1080) resolution. However, some great options include the iPad Mini with 7.9-inch screen, capable of 1024 x 768 at 163 pixels per inch resolution, while a Nexus 7 tablet has a 1280 x 800 resolution at 216 pixels per inch.

This 7-inch sized tablet is kid-friendly, and appropriate for the following applications and contexts:

  • eReader
  • Email
  • Gaming
  • Social Media
  • Education-related purposes

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1″ Tablet Sale

-10 inch Tablets

Larger tablets, like the 10.1-inch Samsung ATIV Tab (pictured above), are designed to be more stationary. They are too big to fit in a purse, and weighing in at approximately 1.5 pounds, too heavy to use as a one-handed eReader.

Despite typically shorter battery lives than the smaller 7-inchers, this class of tablets usually has the fastest processors available, lots of storage, cellular options, and highest resolution screens.  The Nexus 10 has a very high resolution (2560 x 1600) at 300 pixels per inch, exceeding even the iPad 4th Generation’s 2048 x 1536 at 264 pixels per inch resolution.

Here are some good applications for a 10-inch Tablet:

  • Watching videos
  • Playing games
  • Browsing the web
  • Shopping
  • Catalogue Viewing
  • Viewing Photos
  • Productivity Applications
  • Graphics Applications
  • Content Creation
  • Presentations

When all is said and done, the perfect tablet for you depends on what you intend to use it for; choose the screen size based on your specific needs. For example, if you are looking for a laptop supplement, a smaller tablet will probably be the best choice. However, if you intend to taper off your laptop use entirely, the larger tablets will allow you more flexibility and functionality.

What are some other things you factor into your tablet selection? Do you have any clear favorites out of the available options on the market today?

-Oversized > 10-inch tablets

On the other end of the spectrum, tablets greater than 10-inches are still relatively scarce and suitable for only a narrow range of applications. For the most part, one mainly finds these at trade shows and other industry conventions. The bottom line is that once a tablet is too large, it becomes too difficult to transport and you may as well stick with a laptop.

Blurring boundaries

The release of Windows 8, the separation between laptops and tablets are beginning to blur.  Many of the latest offerings are Detachables, Touch-Screen Laptops, Tabletop Computers, and Convertibles.

Detachables - These units are basically tablets with removable keyboards, like the Microsoft Surface Tablet or Asus Transformer Family. They are best for people who want a tablet. This type of tablet/laptop hybrid makes it easier to carry the tablet around.

Pros:

  • Can have relatively long battery life
  • More Portable, because it can detach from the keyboard

Cons:

  • The performance may be slower than other types of hybrid laptops and tablets.
  • Must be able to use it without a keyboard to benefit from its detachablity.

Touch-Screen Laptops - are best for laptop users. The name speaks for itself. These are laptop computers with touch-screens. Prices range dramatically, there are less expensive touch screen laptops and there are expensive ones.

Pros:

  • More expensive models have higher processor performance
  • Utilizes tablet touch features with out sacrificing performance

Cons:

  • Can be expensive for better performance
  • Keyboard is not detachable
  • All the drawbacks of a laptop including start-up time, security software, updating, etc.

Tabletop Computers - are best used for home use. Like the touch-screen laptops, these are PCs with touch screens. However, these are typically fully loaded all-in-one computers. Examples include HP TouchSmart computers.

Pros:

  • All-in-one entertainment computer
  • Good processor performance

Cons:

  • Usually less portable than tablets
  • Battery life may not be as good as other laptop/tablet hybrid options
  • All the drawbacks of a laptop including start-up time, security software, updating, etc.

Convertibles - are laptops that can fold into a tablet. These are the laptops that can push, twist, and turn the touch-screen monitor into multiple positions. Examples include Dell XPS Convertable Touch Ultrabook, Lenovo Yogapad, etc.

Pros:

  • Most use Intel Core processors for good performance
  • Able to put the laptop into different positions
  • Tablet and laptop abilities

Cons:

  • Can be expensive
  • Usually heavier than Detachables because the keyboard does not come off
  • Usually less portable than tablets
  • All the drawbacks of a laptop including start-up time, security software, updating, etc.

Which tablets have you bought in the past? Which tablet are you planning on buying? Check out our tablet section to find brand name cheap tablets.

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