Alright, the holidays are over. The tree’s been taken down, the ornaments put away, and the “Charlie Brown Christmas” DVD has been pushed back into it’s out of the way location on the shelf. Since there’s no more Christmas shopping that needs doing (for now), and most people are probably broke, why is there talk of buying a tablet?
Well, a lot of people get gift cards over the holidays, and some get cash. With that in mind, what better time is there to consider a new piece of electronics? So in order to help you navigate through the treacherous waters of tablets, here are some ideas on how to zero in on the right one.
Otherwise known as “Why do you want a tablet in the first place?” That’s not to say tablets aren’t worth it; they are. They fill that nice niche between a laptop and a smart phone. But the question still remains: what are your plans for it? Ascertaining the why goes a long way towards figuring out what you need.
Some folks like giving their kids a tablet as an introduction to computing and electronics (if this is the reason, you’d do well to look into models that have a good reputation for taking abuse). Others simply want a convenient way to read e-books and check their email and/or social media accounts. There are even some people out there who prefer tablets for playing online games.
Once you have your reasons for a tablet figured out, ask yourself …
This becomes an important point if you have any intention of having your devices share information. For instance, iPods, iPads, and Macbooks work fabulously together, sharing files and other information effortlessly. The same can be said about Android-based devices and PCs and Windows-based laptops. If you’re already settled in the iOS versus Windows department, you may want to narrow your search to a device that uses the operating system that your other devices use.
Tablets have the advantage over smart phones of just being easier to manipulate, without having to lug around a notebook PC. Fair enough, but screen sizes can vary from a mere six inches to over ten inches. In the latter case, you’re starting to venture into “close to laptop” territory. A smaller tablet is definitely more portable, but the bigger ones have more room for a stronger processor. Also, a tablet with a larger display screen costs more as a rule, so you get what you pay for. Speaking of cash …
Remember that expensive isn’t necessarily better. You can easily find a tablet for under $100, and if you’re not expecting it to do anything complex, then it will serve you well and you don’t need to break the bank. This leads back to the first point: what do you want it for?
Are you using a tablet to watch videos, listen to music, or do some novel reading? If so, storage will factor in. Tablets begin at 8GB, then increase in increments of times two (e.g. 16GBm 32GB, etc). Naturally, that increases the price as well. Regardless of your device, be it phone, laptop, or tablet, storage costs! Of course, you can always the option of expansions such as microSD cards. Some tablets even come with limited time free cloud storage.
All in all, there are a number of reasons to get a tablet. Before you spend those gift cards or take advantage of after-holiday clearance sales, figure out what your particular reasons are for getting one, and then go from there.
Photo Credit: Old Shoe Woman
Kimberley Laws is a regular contributor to HowDoYou.com and the author of two blogs, The Embiggens Project and Searching for Barry Weiss. A "Jill of all trades," she is a High School English Teacher and Certified Career Counselor with a background in makeup artistry, retail banking, and graphic design. She is also a scrapbooking, PEZ-collecting, car enthusiast who loves travelling and New York City.
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