Choosing a... Tablet
All tablets rely on an operating system (OS) to run apps. You have three main choices: Apple’s iOS, which runs on the iPad, Android, which Google licenses to various manufacturers, and Windows 10, which is slowly becoming more common in hybrid tablets and convertibles. If you own an Apple or Google smartphone, you can download your apps, music and so on to a tablet that runs the same OS, so it makes sense to stick with a compatible device.
It’s important to pick a tablet that has a good-quality high-resolution screen. Many budget tablets have 1,280x800resolution displays, but better tablets have Full HD 1,920x1,080 panels, and we’re starting to see tablets that have even higher screen resolutions. Some are as high as 2,560x1,600 or even 4K. Entry-level tablets typically use TN panels, which don’t have particularly good viewing angles. The viewing angles of IPS panels are much better.
If you want to listen to music, watch films and play games, make sure your tablet has plenty of storage. Many tablets come with 8GB or 16GB of internal storage, although some budget models have less. You’ll typically pay more for a higher storage capacity. Many tablets also have microSD slots that let you add extra storage, although you won’t find one on an iPad. This is a cheap way of boosting storage capacity.
Tablets rarely include a SIM card slot. This means you’ll have to rely on Wi-Fi to get online, although some tablets let you access the internet through your smartphone. If you want mobile access to the internet, look for 3G- and 4G-ready devices. These almost always cost more than Wi-Fi-only models but they’re great if you use your tablet while commuting or travelling.
Your choice of tablet determines the apps you can use on it. You may find that some of the apps you want are available on iOS but not Android and vice versa. Windows 10, meanwhile, runs traditional desktop applications.