Tablet
Last updated: September 25, 2020

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Falling somewhere in between laptop computers and smartphones, tablets make a superb alternative or companion to both. They’re ideal for browsing the web, reading e-books and getting the most out of your favorite multimedia content. Thanks to their light weight and ease of use, tablets are also the perfect travel companions.

In recent years, tablet performance has continued to improve. There’s an increasingly wide array of models available on the market, and you can find devices with unique features tailored to various users. Some tablets are even designed for particular fields of work, such as art, engineering and healthcare.

Key Facts

  • Tablets are ergonomic, lightweight devices that can be easily transported, making them ideal for travel. The most popular tablets feature 7- or 10-inch screens. However, you will find a wide range of other sizes available as well.
  • Tablets are most commonly used for surfing the web, reading the news or ebooks, checking email and playing games.
  • Newer models are constantly flooding the market, offering new features and more apps than ever before. Still, there are three primary operating systems that you’ll find on tablets: iOS, Android and Windows.

Our Selection: The Best Tablets on the U.S. Market

In this section, we’ve selected four of the very best tablets currently found on the US market. Each one stands out for certain features, but all of them are devices that offer great value for price. We hope you’ll find one that’s just right for your needs.

The Best Android Tablet

The Samsung Galaxy Tab is a top-rated, bestselling tablet that comes with a handful of amazing features that are sure to please. The 10.1-inch Full HD, corner-to-corner display is ideal for streaming videos, looking at stunning photos and browsing the internet. Immersive Dolby Atmos surround sound adds that extra punch that your entertainment deserves.

The Galaxy Tab is made of lightweight premium metal, so it’s easy to transport and hold while in use. Choose from internal memory options of 32, 64 and 128 GB, and then expand that with microSD cards to up to 512 GB. Don’t worry about having to delete your favorite songs, pictures or videos any more! You can also pick from three beautiful colors: Black, Silver and Gold.

The Best Tablet for Professionals

The Apple iPad was among the first tablets to gain recognition on the global stage, sparking a revolution in this type of tech. The latest iPad Pro is a top-quality option for the most serious users. It packs an A12X Bionic chip with the Neural Engine, which has the ability to run a whopping five trillion operations per second. This is the smartest, most powerful chip Apple has ever designed.

The iPad Pro also features a new Liquid Retina display that stretches from edge to edge and provides true-to-life colors that are easy on the eyes. This iPad offers Face ID, a secure, practical way to unlock your device in a snap. On top of all that, this tablet has two amazing cameras that offer the ability to capture incredible 4K video, 12 MP stills and, of course, selfies.

The Best Tablet Under $50

Getting a great tablet doesn’t need to set you back several hundred dollars. Luckily, Amazon makes the sleek, fast Fire 7. This tablet features a 7″ display, 16 or 32 GB of storage, 1GB of RAM and a 1.3 GHz quad-core processor. With the long-lasting battery, you can enjoy up to 7 hours of web, video and music.

The Amazon Fire also comes with hands-free Alexa software that allows you to access information, entertainment and much more, all with just the sound of your voice. The Fire comes in Black, Plum, Sage and Twilight Blue colors that won’t disappoint.

The Best 10-Inch Tablet

Vankyo’s 10.1-inch MatrixPad Z4 is Amazon’s Choice in this category and packs in many of the best features available. This high-performance tablet comes with an energy-saving 64 bit Quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM and an Android 9 Pie operating system. Use voice control through the built-in Google Assistant to quickly answer phone calls, choose songs and check the weather, and get creative with the 8MP rear camera that will capture your best memories in stunning images.

The MatrixPad has a 4500mAh battery that will last for up to 6 hours of mixed use, and 32GB of storage. You can expand that up to 128 GB using a microSD card. At just under $100, this mid-range tablet is a perfect option for users who want high quality, but aren’t quite ready to invest in the top-of-the-line products.

Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Tablets

Figuring out which tablet to buy can be a very overwhelming task, since there are so many different kinds of tablets, each with unique features and specifications. In order to help you out, we’re going to address the most frequent questions from buyers like you.

Tablet

Tablets are versatile devices that can be used in many different ways.
(Source: Racorn: 47438817/ 123rf.com)

What exactly is a tablet?

A tablet is a digital device with a touch screen and no built-in keyboard, shaped like a panel. Tablets have become mini computers, providing somewhat lower performance than most computers, but offering a lightweight build that’s easy to bring anywhere. Tablets tend to be significantly smaller than a computer, but still larger than most mobile phones.

What are the main uses for tablets?

There are countless ways to use a tablet. Some of the most common include: checking Facebook or Instagram, browsing the web, checking and responding to e-mail, catching up on the news and playing games. Tablets also have educational applications, and, of course, they can be used to watch movies and listen to music.

If a tablet is going to be used by children, it’s always a good idea to have a parental control system. Most tablets come with this option built-in, and they offer the possibility of creating specific user profiles for minors.

Tablet

Launched in 2010, the Apple iPad was the first major tablet, and it revolutionized the market.
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What are the advantages and disadvantages of tablets?

As we already mentioned, tablets are very comfortable to hold and easy to carry with you wherever you go. Additionally, the screen is usually large enough to watch multimedia content without straining your eyes, as is often required with smartphones.

Another advantage of tablets is that they don’t require the use of a keyboard or mouse, and they have a very user-friendly, simple interface. Some disadvantages include relatively limited performance, compared to that of a computer, and limited storage capacities.

Who are tablets designed for?

Tablets are popular among all kinds of people, including some who just want to surf the net and enjoy videos, as well as professionals and educators.

Advantages
  • They don”t need a keyboard or mouse
  • They are very lightweight and practical
  • They are easy to transport
  • They usually have very user-friendly, intuitive interfaces
Disadvantages
  • Their performance capabilities are lower than those of a computer
  • They don”t often have large storage capacity

What storage capacity do I need for my tablet?

This will largely depend on your specific needs. Most choose not to store too much on their tablets, so a smaller capacity is fine. Others like to have tons of apps, photos and music on their devices, so they require more storage. You should look for at least 16 GB of storage to cover your basic needs, and ideally get a tablet with at least 32 GB to be extra safe.

Which operating systems are available?

Currently, there are three common operating systems for tablets: Android, Windows and iOS. Each one offers some advantages and disadvantages. Android is the most widespread option, so there are many apps available for it. Still, the user interface is considered to be less seamless than Apple’s iOS.

Furthermore, Android devices are generally cheaper than others, and the Google Play store offers a multitude of free apps. However, if you can afford it, Apple’s iPad provides great features with the iOS operating system. Windows-based tablets are tailored to more professional use.

Type Characteristics
iPad They offer great features. The operating system is seamless, simple and easy to use.
Android They are compatible with many applications, including a number of free options.They tend to be cheaper. They offer wide-ranging customization possibilities.
Windows They are tailored to professional profiles. Their operating system is powerful, although it requires more time to get used to.

Which microprocessors are best for tablets?

Some of the most powerful microprocessors available are Apple’s A10x, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 and Huawei’s Kirin 960. It’s a good idea to invest in a quality chip that will guarantee you good performance for an extended period of time.

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Don’t neglect other key elements such as the RAM memory!

What care does a tablet require?

Like any electronic device, tablets require some basic care. Firstly, you should always keep your tablet away from water. You’ll also want to avoid bumps and falls, although many models are designed to resist minor impacts. Finally, keep your operating system up to date for optimal performance.

Shopping Criteria

Before you go out and purchase your very own tablet, there are some important factors that you should keep in mind. Some of these are general buying criteria, while others are specific to tablets.

Personal Use

You should think about how you plan to use your tablet prior to buying it. If your primary goal is to browse the web and read email, then a low-end device will be more than sufficient. However, if you’re planning to use the tablet for professional purposes, you may want to go for a high-end tablet.

Similarly, if you’re primary use of tablet is watching videos, you may want to look for one with a large screen and a quality sound system.

Design and Quality of Materials

If you care about aesthetics, you’ll find a range of design options with tablets. Yes, design matters—just ask Apple. The quality of the materials is similarly crucial. Most tablets are made of metal or plastic, or a combination of both.

Generally, metal is more resistant, and some people find that it offers a more elegant look. As far as the glass on the screen is concerned, the best option is to use a “Gorilla Glass” protector. This guarantees that you’ll have fantastic screen protection. Finally, the color of your tablet is up to you!

RAM Memory

RAM memory impacts the number of apps you can have running simultaneously, as well as the tablet’s general speed and overall performance. Most tablets have 1 to 2 GB of RAM. However, the some higher-end models can reach 3 GB or even 4 GB. You can’t go wrong with RAM memory: the more you have, the better.

This factor is especially important if you get an Android device. RAM is the key element that allows multitasking with Android tablets. RAM is not a particularly expensive component and the difference it makes can be huge, so it’s worth investing in more RAM up front.

Tablet

Tablets are perfect for reading and browsing the internet.
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Microprocessor

A tablet’s microprocessor is fundamental to its performance. This is the component that determines the fluidity and speed of response in the device. It’s also responsible for the quality of the graphics. As far as microprocessors go, the power and efficiency of each core is more important than the quantity.

The best microprocessors are usually made by these brands: Apple, Qualcomm, Huawei, Intel and MediaTek. Like with smartphones, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon is very common. Apple’s “A” microprocessors, China’s Huawei Kirin and Samsung’s Exynos and also widespread.

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“Technology, like art, is a soaring exercise of the human imagination.” – Daniel Bell

Storage capacity

Most tablets have relatively limited storage capacity. Luckily, some models offer the ability to expand the capacity via SD or micro SD cards. It is usually more affordable to buy a micro SD card than to buy a tablet with more built-in storage.

As we mentioned earlier, we suggest getting a tablet with at least 16 GB of storage.

Tablet

One of the drawbacks of tablets is that many have limited storage capacity.
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Screen Size

In general, most tablets come in two screen sizes: 10-inch and 7-inch. A 7-inch screen may be preferable for anyone looking to take their tablet with them on the go. Otherwise, frequent tablet users may want to look for a 10-inch model.

Larger models have been developed in recent years. There are tablets with 12-inch screens, like the iPad Pro or the Microsoft Surface Pro. These tablets are generally geared toward professional use. Given their unparalleled performance, they can even replace personal computers for some tasks.

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“Those who cannot sustain the rhythm of the technological revolution will end up realizing they have become obsolete themselves.” – Katherine Neville

Resolution and Size of Screen Pane

The higher the screen resolution, the sharper the image and the better the viewing angles. Basically, that means better overall image quality. HD (1200 x 800) is a standard value. Still, don’t let yourself be guided by this number alone. Pixels per inch are also crucial: more pixels means better resolution and a sharper image.

Bear in mind that the same image resolution on a smaller tablet screen equals a larger number of pixels. Thus, 1200 x 800 pixels on a 10-inch tablet is not equivalent to 1200 x 800 on a 7-inch tablet.

Tablet

Tablets are user-friendly and easy to transport.
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You should also consider the kind of panel on the screen, since it will impact image quality at oblique angles. It also affects how vivid and clear the colors appear. We suggest looking for IPS or PLS technology.

Autonomy

A portable device isn’t very useful if it doesn’t have a good battery. In that regard, the capacity of tablet batteries is measured in milliamperes-hour (mAh). We suggest getting a tablet with a minimum of 5,000 mAh. Fast charging is an added bonus.

Internet Connection

Virtually all tablets offer an internet connection via WiFi. However, some models also allow you to connect via cellular networks. You should expect to pay higher phone bills if you use this type of  connection.

If you plan on using the tablet away from home or in a place with limited WiFi access, then a tablet with the ability to connect to cell service is a good idea. Otherwise, don’t pay extra for this feature, since WiFi is available in most homes and offices.

You should also consider the kind of WiFi and Bluetooth on the tablet. A newer version of Bluetooth will provide better range, improved synchronization and higher energy efficiency. The vast majority of high-end devices integrate Bluetooth 4.2. However, the 5.0 standard is becoming increasingly available.

As for WiFi, the preferred type is 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, which uses 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz frequencies, with a range of 30 meters and a transfer speed of 7 Gbps.

Operating System

The operating system and model of a tablet are linked. Our recommendation is to choose a tablet with either iOS or Android. Windows-based tablets tend to be quite expensive for the features they offer.

Nonetheless, you may be interested in a Windows tablet if you’re looking for a specific, professional function or certain applications. In general, the Android operating system is more flexible than iOS.

Durability

We all want our electronics to last as long as possible. This is no simple task, especially at a time when it seems like our devices need to be constantly renewed. Still, there are certain factors that may help.

Firstly, be sure that the operating system will be supported and updated over the next few years. Regarding the hardware, choose a device with a quality microprocessor and sufficient RAM. Keep in mind that upgrading any component of a tablet can be very difficult and costly.

Accessories

The tablet you buy should be compatible with accessories like keyboards, mice and styluses. These may be made by the same manufacturer or come from third parties. As far as accessories go, the Korean manufacturer Samsung is a leader; the Samsung DeX system found in many of its devices can transform a tablet into a small PC.

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Brand

The brand of a tablet is important for several reasons. When you buy a tablet from a reputable brand, you’re sure to get a quality product and good technical support. Make sure that the tablet you choose comes with a guarantee of at least two years. Some of the most prestigious tablet brands are: Apple, Google, Amazon, Samsung, Microsoft and Huawei.

Summary

The tablet trend started several years ago, and now the market is saturated with many different models. In these circumstances, it can be a challenge to determine which one is best. That’s why you need to think about how you plan to use your tablet and which features you would like to have.

Price and manufacturer are two fundamental criteria to consider. Similarly, screen size and image resolution will have a big impact on your experience. In terms of performance, it is essential for your tablet to have a quality microprocessor and sufficient RAM.

We hope you found this guide helpful. If so, please share it with your friends via social media and be sure to leave us a comment with your thoughts!

(Source of Featured Image: Thongwattana:15415164/ 123rf.com)

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