Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Buying a Tablet? – Here Are a Few Things to Consider

The tablet fever is taking a toll as the device is becoming popular amongst users of different age groups, across the globe. The recent survey by Accenture shows that there were only 4% tablet users in the year 2010, when Apple introduced the revolutionary iPad in market and the number grew to 7% next year. 2012 is expected to see a significant rise in the demand of tablets and the percentage might rise to 17%. 

So, what is it that makes tablet preferred over smartphone or PC or laptop?
·         58% think that tablet is more portable than laptop, while for 34% it's the latest innovation in consumer electronics devices.
·         For 15% people, a tablet is more fun to use than laptop or desktop because it's portable, sleek, and have almost the same features that are present in Pcs.
·         It's the lower cost of tablets like Spice Mi-720 that makes it desirable amongst 9% people, while 7% say that owning a tablet creates a style statement.

Are you one of those who have included this flat & keyboard less device in their 2012 wishlist?

Well! Navigating the tablet market is a tricky affair. With so many options out there in market, you might end up getting confused and taking a wrong buying decision. So, here's a quick rundown of features you should consider before shelling out a hefty amount:


Screen is considered as the most important factor while buying a tablet. If the screen size of the device is small, you will find difficulty in typing and tapping but a bigger screen will make the tablet heavy. So, settle down for a mid-sized screen, for example a 7-inch one. Remember that even a half-inch bigger screen can make significant difference. If your main objective is to watch movies or play HD games, 10.1 inch tablet is an ideal buy.

Opt for a tablet with higher screen resolution because more the pixels per square inch, sharper will be the display of the device. Plus, check the responsiveness of the screen because you will always have to use the touch interface to operate the tablet.

If possible, take the device out under the sun for the visibility test. When you will compare each tablet under sunlight, you will be able to do actual comparison on the basis of screen.

Operating System

Android and iOS are two consumer favorite tablet OS. If you are considering an Apple device, remember that iOS has massive application store plus solid hardware & software configuration, but doesn't support Adobe Flash. This might end-up limiting your web experience to some extent.

Next is Android, which is an open source OS. What Android offers is plenty of great applications with most of them being free. Market is captured by Android devices because the OS is free and is the first choice for tablet manufacturers.

It's a good idea to go for OS that is specifically made for tablets for example BlackBerry Tablet OS (QNX), Honeycomb etc.


The performance of your device majorly depends on the processor as well as the OS it comes with. Gone are the days of single core processors. We want our devices to be really powerful. And when we talk about powerfulness, processor is the word that clicks us. This is the era of dual-core processors that have up to 2.5GHz speed. Well! It is expected that tablets with quad-core processor will hit the market soon. You better extract the information about the processor present in the tablet before buying it.


Most of the tablets come with 256MB or 512mb RAM, but higher the number, better will be the device performance. RAM is the memory for storing temporary data in the device and once the device is turned off, the data stored in RAM automatically gets deleted. If the RAM in your tablet is higher, you will be able to perform multiple apps at the same time. It’s recommend to at least settle for a 512MB RAM device, if you don’t want to buy a 1GB tablet.

Data Connectivity

Go for a tablet with 3G connectivity, so that you stay connected even when you are out of the hotspot range.

One more thing to consider while buying a tablet is the Wi-Fi version it supports. Some tablets only support Wi-Fi 802.11b/g, which is not ideal if you are planning of doing heavy downloads and media-streaming. It is always better to buy a device with Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n support.

Bluetooth is useful because if offers easy wireless data transfer without shelling extra few bucks for staying connected. Moreover, you can connect your Bluetooth headset or headphone to the tablet for chatting or even listening to music. The option to connect to Bluetooth keyboard is useful to many who are not very comfortable to use the touch-screen keyboard.


The more you get, the more you crave. Storage is one thing you can never have enough of and its demand increases if you are planning to use tablet as more of an entertainment device. Look for a tablet with microSD slot, so that you can upgrade the storage if the device has less memory. Remember that storage memory is different from RAM.


Tablets are thinner in comparison to laptops, therefore you will find various connection restrictions in the device. Most of the tablets only have a 3.5mm headphone jack and a USB port. Apple's iPad don't even have a USB port, so you have to use gadgets that work with the iPod connector. Some tablets do come with HDMI out port, so that you can connect your TV to watch videos or photos.


There are a very few tablets with amazing camera quality. Yes, when we have a high-end phone with 8MP or 12MP camera or a DSLR, why should we bother about the camera present in the tablet. But, you should give it a thought because an additional camera is always handy. Moreover, editing images on bigger screen of tablet will make things easier & better.

A tablet with front and back camera should be preferred as it enables you to do video chat.

At the End

Tablets undoubtedly are future of portable computing, but the way we interact with them is different than we do with our laptop, PC, or smartphone. It is true that these devices are less powerful than laptops. Right now, a tablet is perfect for web-surfing, reading e-books, or watching a movie, but not for performing powerful tasks like working on Adobe Photoshop.

There's no harm in adapting yourself to the changing technology trends, but don't expect that the new, flashy, sleek tablet you have recently bought will serve as your PC with powerful desktop software.

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