3 Essential Questions Every Tablet Shopper Should Ask

If you picture a tablet, do you think about Apple’s iPad? If you’re like a lot of Americans, the answer to this question will be “Yes.” This is because the revolutionary technology behind tablets is often attributed to Steve Jobs, but interestingly enough, another company started making tablets one decade before Apple… In 2000, Bill Gates released the first tablet. Two years later, he created the world’s first color tablet.

This brief history might seem to be superfluous, but it is very important … It shows there are many things about tablets that the average consumer doesn’t know. Furthermore, without an understanding of current and past technology, it’s hard to evaluate options fairly. Luckily, with the help of this article, you’ll understand more about tablets and learn how you can select the ideal one for you.

The Three Questions

All kinds of people use tablets. Some simply have them to fill up some of their free time, and others run their entire companies from them. Overall, regardless of why someone starts to use a tablet, one thing is clear: all kinds of people love them.

If you’re interested in buying a tablet, whether you’ll use it for business or pleasure, there are three questions you must ask yourself.

What Do I Need It to Do?

First, determine who will be using your tablet. If it’s for personal use, you can feel confident investing in a tablet that’s completely catered to you. On the other hand, if you’ll be sharing it with your partner or your family, you’ll want to keep every user’s needs in mind. You can share a tablet with anyone, but one of the most popular ways is to share it with a child.

There are a lot of tablets that you can purchase and use in conjunction with a younger individual. Kids tablets are made to be durable, and many of them come with pre-installed games and learning applications that are designed to help kids expand their knowledge. These tablets are also beneficial because they allow you to remain in control at all times. As the tablet’s owner, you can set different blocks that’ll help keep younger users safe online.

Once you determine whether or not you’ll be sharing your tablet, think about what features your tablet needs to have. Will you be playing games and surfing the internet with your tablet? Will you be using Microsoft Office Suite on your tablet to run your business? There are many options, here, so take time to determine the exact features you need.

How Much Storage Space Do I Need?

After you understand who will be using your tablet and what they’ll be using it for, you’ll want to ask yourself about storage. In general, tablets start with around eight gigabytes (GB) of storage. For reference, this is enough storage for a light user. If you will use your tablet to do things like surf the web, use a few applications and save songs, you’ll probably be well-suited with a laptop that has eight to 16 GB of storage.

If you want to store a multitude of songs on your tablet or save spreadsheets and other documents, you will need more storage space. Look for a tablet that has around 64 GBs of storage space. Ultimately, the most storage space you’ll find on a tablet is about 128 GB.

Another important thing to know about storage space is that it can sometimes be expanded. Select tablets have special ports that allow you to plug in memory cards. You can download information from your tablet onto a memory card for storage, or you can use it to transport information from your tablet onto another device.

Will I Use the Internet?

There are a few ways people connect to the internet, but one of the most popular is Wi-Fi. Many tablets can pick up wireless signals, which makes them ideal to use in a variety of locations—from your home to a coffee shop.

If you want the benefits of Wi-Fi without having to connect to a signal, you can purchase a 4G LTE tablet. This technology allows users to connect to the internet anywhere they have cell phone service. With these types of offerings, you’ll need to buy a data plan. This plan is very similar to the type of data plan that you might buy for a smartphone, but it’s important to keep in mind that people often use more data on their tablet than they do on their smartphones.

Technology experts often recommend that you purchase a larger data plan than you might feel is necessary at first, so you don’t get blindsided by large bills. Once you have a better understanding of your average data consumption, you can alter your plan to fit your usage needs.

Think About Brand

As mentioned above, many people think of Apple’s iPad when they think about tablets. Although many people do like this option, every brand offers different features, so you need to look at each one individually before you can understand which one is the best fit for you.

Apple’s iPad is a great option if you’re already familiar with their operating system. If you use one of Apple’s features regularly, like iTunes, or you have other Apple devices, it will be convenient for you to get an iPad. That being said, people that have never worked with Mac products can still consider purchasing an iPad.

Individuals that like to use Microsoft Office and are familiar with Windows might want to consider purchasing a tablet from Microsoft. Although iPad’s can run Microsoft Office and Windows, too, users may feel that they work best on the platform they were designed for. Another great feature that’s included with many Microsoft tablets is a USB port. This port allows you to easily connect to other devices, such as a television.

As you shop for tablets, another brand you’ll come across is Samsung. People that use their tablets to listen to music and watch TV often prefer these devices. If you plan on using your tablet for light usage, Samsung is a great option.

Another brand light users will want to consider is Amazon. This company offers a variety of tablets that they call “Fire Tablets,” and they start as low as $49.99. Amazon is running an extra 20 percent off warehouse clearance deal on their Fire tablets now, so if you’re looking for a light use tablet at a great price, you might want to take advantage of their sale.

Screen Features Matter

When people buy a new television, one of the things they consider heavily is its screen features. Size and resolution matter greatly, so people often invest their time into comparing options. When it comes to tablets, many people overlook the importance of screen features, but this shouldn’t be the case. In fact, people should put about the same about of thought into their tablet’s screen features as they would for a television.

The first thing to think about when it comes to your tablet’s screen is size. If you’ll be using your tablet in a variety of locations, you might want to go with a smaller screen—about seven or eight inches. This size will provide you with ample viewing space, but it’ll still be small enough that it can easily slip into your pocket or commute in a bag. If you plan on using your tablet to type documents or watch movies, you’ll want a larger screen—about 10 inches or more.

The next screen feature you’ll want to ponder is resolution. Simply put, the more resolution a tablet offers, the better its detail will be. So, if you want to view/edit photos or watch HD movies on your tablet, a higher resolution will be a must-have feature.

Last, but Not Least …

At this point, you’re ready to compare, test and purchase a tablet for yourself. You can try a wide variety of tablets online from companies like BestBuy.com, or you can call stores near you to determine the selection that’s available close to your home. As you look into your options, keep the above questions and features in mind. Remember, a tablet is an investment, so shop around until you find one that’s right for you.

Once you have your tablet in hand, you’ll find that purchasing it was only the first step. As you use it more, you’ll need to also shop for things like fraud prevention and data backup services. Luckily, a few companies offer around-the-clock service on every system and device.

Shopping for a lightweight, portable and easy-to-use tablet isn’t always fun and games. There are a lot of options on the market, and deciding between them will take a fair amount of consideration. That being said, after you make your decision, the world will be at your fingertips. When you’re using your new technology and benefiting from its many advantages, the hard work will be well worth it.

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About the author

Photo of Erik Fullmer

Erik Fullmer

Erik was raised in many places but has long since called Utah home. Rooted in mountains, he spends a lot of time with his dogs in the mountains and in the winter he skis… a lot.

Erik is actively earning the necessary certifications and training to become a certified AMGA Ski Guide.

With over a decade of content writing experience, Erik finds passion when writing for the tech and outdoor recreation industries.