These days, tablets are extremely versatile and have the ability to replace laptops for students, employees, and general use.
But if you’re used to laptops and desktop computers, how do you find the perfect tablet? Depending on your use cases and personal preferences, you have a number of options that you can narrow down with assistance from our comprehensive guide.
What’s Your Budget?
Before you begin browsing tablets, you must set a realistic budget for yourself. Otherwise, you risk finding your dream tablet that’s out of your price range. These are the typical price ranges you should expect between high-end and budget tablets:
- Average Budget Tablet Cost: $40-$300
- Mid-Tier Tablet Cost: $300-$900
- Average High-End Tablet Cost: $900-$2,000
Higher-end tablets often give you more processing power, battery life, and storage options. If you’re looking for a powerful device, you’ll most likely need to set a high budget.
Mid-tier tablets are great for those who don’t need a lot of processing power but want high-end features. If you’re happy with a simple device for basic web browsing and reading, your budget can get away with being much lower than a high-end tablet.
When comparing models and pricing, make sure to look online and compare the prices of different brands for a better idea of what you’ll get within your budget.
What Are You Going To Use it For?
The primary question you should ask yourself is, “what do I need a tablet for?” Tablets offer various uses, but some tablets are more useful for certain tasks than others. Take a look at these common use cases for tablets and choose one or more to narrow down your options.
If you plan on using your tablet exclusively for storing and reading books, you should consider a low-budget tablet tailor-made for reading. These tablets often don’t provide web browsing and other core features of typical tablets.
However, they tend to be the cheapest option and range between $30-$100. This is the perfect tablet choice for those who don’t care about extra features beyond reading books.
For Web Surfers
Web surfing consists of using mobile applications and internet browsers, like social media and news outlets. If you are looking for the perfect tablet for web browsing, consider a low-budget or mid-tier tablet. You don’t need a lot of processing power and storage for web browsing, so anything high-end would be a waste of money.
Tablets for education purposes vary depending on your field of study. Engineers and computer science majors most likely need a high-end tablet with good processing power to handle the various coding and projects involved.
Career paths that involve heavy software usage, like presentation or word processing software, can splurge on high-end tablets but may consider mid-tier tablets.
Creative tablet users need a tablet with high processing power, plenty of storage, and a stylus-responsive screen. Since applications like Photoshop and Illustrator use a lot of processing power, so a high-end tablet is the best choice for graphic designers and artists.
For Video Streamers
Heavy streaming relies on internet bandwidth more than tablet quality. But you may want a tablet with a vivid screen with an LED display to get the most out of your 1080p streaming.
Like students, employees should consider what their daily tasks require out of a tablet. STEM and tech careers often require tablets with plenty of RAM to handle big projects and tasks.
For many employees, tablets will ultimately be an add-on piece of technology alongside higher-processing machines. In this case, tablets are perfect for tasks like video calls, presentations, and internal communications.
What Screen Size Do You Need?
Tablets range widely in size—some people prefer phone-sized tablets, others like big screens that rival desktop monitors. The size you choose depends on your budget and your personal preference.
Even though large screens are ideal for streaming and working, they’re not always the most portable. Small-sized screens offer a nice on-the-go substitute for a laptop, but if you plan on only using a tablet for every task, a larger screen size is more ideal.
The larger the screen is, the more expensive the tablet. When weighing your ideal features, the screen size shouldn’t be top-of-mind, but it’s still an important factor.
What Operating System Do You Want?
You basically have two operating systems to choose from: Apple iOS and Google Android iOS. If you already own an Apple device or an Android device, it’s best to stick to the same operating system to keep all of your important files together.
Most people choose Apple devices for their usability and application availability. However, Apple devices are on the pricier side, so consider this when choosing a device within your budget.
Android devices are less costly and are offered by various brands, so you have more device options available.
The type of operating system you end up choosing may also depend on your workplace preferences, so double-check with your employer before committing.
What Are Your Must-Have Features?
Now that you’ve figured out why you need a tablet, it’s time to figure out your specific tablet preferences. The perfect tablet offers all of the ideal features you need and want to get your tasks done. Whether you’re picky or not, knowing your ideal features helps you narrow down your tablet choice even further.
Strong Battery Life
Strong battery life is essential for people who plan on using their tablet on-the-go frequently. Certain software and applications take up a significant amount of processing power, which eats up battery life.
If you’re on a budget and can’t afford a tablet with good battery life, consider investing in several charging cables in case you need to charge up your tablet.
For streamers, artists, and designers, a vivid and interactive display is vital. A vivid display offers many more pixels and often drives up the price of a tablet. Some brands also offer high-quality LED displays that offer a breathtakingly vibrant browsing experience.
Processing power is a make-or-break feature for certain tablet users dependent on their use case. Someone who browses the web, streams videos, and works in several applications at once need more processing power than a lighter-load user.
Processing power is typically the feature that makes a tablet out-of-budget. But if you are a heavy user, the investment will prove useful.
For photo hoarders or those who simply have a lot of files, storage is key. However, more storage tends to mean more expensive.
If you can’t afford a tablet with a lot of storage, consider purchasing an external hard drive or a cloud storage option for your files. Otherwise, a tablet with plenty of storage is well-worth it for those who need all that space.
Typically, you won’t buy a tablet and call it a day. You’ll want some accessories, too. Some brands offer external keyboards and mice to make it feel more like a laptop.
Other accessories range from covers and screen protectors, to stylus pens and presentation remotes. These accessories help bypass some of the missing features you may find in desktop or laptop computers.
Either way, accessory availability depends on the brand, so take a look at what’s available from each brand before committing to one.
Where Will You Use Your Tablet?
Having a perfect tablet is useless if you can’t use it where you need to. If you plan to use your device on your train commute, on a plane, or anywhere without a wireless internet connection, you’ll need to weigh your data options before purchasing one.
If you want to use your tablet on-the-go frequently, you should consider getting a data plan with your telecom company before committing to a tablet. You’ll need to purchase the tablet via the telecom company due to the extra data fees involved in some cases.
Another option is to purchase a wireless hotspot from your telecom provider as an add-on. This option is ideal for those who have already purchase tablets but haven’t set up a data plan yet.
Most people use their tablets at home, school, or work, where there are reliable Wi-Fi connections, so if this is the case for you, you don’t have to worry about getting a data plan for your device. However, it’s vital to make sure your main Wi-Fi connection is good enough to handle whatever you’re purchasing your tablet for.
For example, if you are purchasing a device for streaming 1080p videos, your tablet might handle it, but your Wi-Fi might now. Check the quality of your Wi-Fi before committing.
Getting Your Perfect Tablet
The perfect tablet should meet all of your wants and needs. Above all, it’s essential to choose a device that you’re happy with. Once you’ve decided your budget, use case, and ideal features and must-haves, your perfect tablet will finally be in your hands.
If you’re still interested in browsing comprehensive tech guides, take a look at the rest of our blog. Our posts cover hardware insights, gaming guides, and more.