November and December are generally cited as a good time to buy electronics, including HDTV’s, laptops and the increasingly popular tablets. But tablet shopping can be a little (or a lot!) overwhelming, what with all of the many styles and variations out there, and more new ones all the time. In the last month alone, Apple introduced a new thinner, lighter iPad Pro, and Microsoft launched the new Windows 10 devices, including the new Surface 4 Pro tablet.  And don’t forget the $50 Amazon Fire Tablet, which is rightfully billed as a powerful tablet at an incredible price. The great news is that the tablet offerings are plentiful so you are sure to find one that meets your needs.  And with the holidays approaching, there are sure to be some great deals starting soon that will allow you to get a cool device for an even cooler price. In the meantime, we have put together some things to consider when buying a tablet.  By having a clear idea of how you intend to use the device and other preferences, you will be able to find the one that is just right for you.  For more detailed buying guides for tablets, click here to visit the ConsumerReports.org page.

Things to Consider When Buying a Tablet

Intended Use

When shopping for a tablet, first ask yourself “What will I be using this for?” Are you planning on using a tablet for just surfing the web and checking your email? Will you be using it for work or school? Will your new tablet replace your old laptop? Once you’ve determined how you plan to use your new tablet, you can figure out which features will work best for your needs.

Operating System

The operating system is the single largest factor when shopping for a tablet. The main players, in order of market share, are Google’s Android, Apple’s iOS and Microsoft’s Windows. Android supports a large variety of hardware with numerous screen sizes and features. It’s the most customizable operating system. On the other hand, iOS tablets have carefully planned screen sizes and limited features that have been rigorously tested. If you work on a PC, a Windows tablet may be the best choice for extensive work involving document creation and manipulation. Plus, its keyboard/cover combination has yet to be beaten.

Apps

The respective app stores for each tablet operating system are also an important consideration. Google’s Play Store currently contains the most number of apps, over 1.3M. The apps in the Play Store tend to be relatively cheap, with up to 80% being free. In comparison, Apple’s App Store offers over 1.2M apps and is by far the most well-maintained. This makes finding apps easier, and the apps themselves tend to be of higher quality, but a bit more expensive on average. Microsoft’s Windows Store is still in its infancy with the total number of apps around 170,000. Amazon has announced the new Amazon Underground, which offers $10,000 worth of apps and games for free, including 38 million books, TV shows, and songs.

Size

Tablets come in a range of sizes and weights. Smaller, lightweight tablets are optimal for commuters and students. Larger models with generous screens enhance work productivity, especially in lieu of a laptop. The best approach is to simply go to a local store and get your hands on a few different models. If you don’t have that opportunity, be sure to check weights and measurements online.

Price

Before making a purchase, check if there are similar models on the market that might be cheaper. In addition to the price of the device itself, you should also weigh the costs of accessories such as cases, styluses, and keyboards. 4G access also requires a monthly data plan, so that should be added into the other financial considerations too. While these factors may not cover every angle of tablet shopping, they will certainly help you narrow your focus. Happy tablet shopping! Corsica Tech can help you with your buying decisions and provide tech support and regular IT service on all your business devices.  For more information or advice, check out our service plans, or contact us at 877-367-9348 or service@corsicatech.com.

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