5 questions to ask before buying a tablet



Big or small? Apple or Android? Netflix-binging or web browsing? Here are the key questions to consider before buying a tablet…

Tablet for home

1. Where will I use the tablet?

Will you be chilling out on the sofa with your tablet, or watching on the train to work? Think about how you’re going to use the tablet before choosing the right size for you. Tablets come in different sizes – the 2 most common ranges are 7-8 inches and 9-10.5 inches.

 

Out and about - smaller tablet

Smaller tablets are perfect for your commute. They're small and lightweight – great for web browsing and reading e-books, but not so much for watching movies and working. At just 7 inches, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A is small enough to take with you on the move. The lightweight, compact design means it won’t weigh you down.

Have the best of both worlds with a screen that’s big enough for watching videos and working on, without feeling too bulky. With up to 11 hours of battery life, it’ll last you all day.

Get the Samsung Galaxy Tab A

 

At home - larger tablet

If you're more likely to use the tablet at home look at larger devices. Go for one with a big screen for watching movies and TV or gaming. A more powerful processor will keep it running smoothly – especially if you want to use it for work or running lots of apps. 

With a screen resolution that’s better than a lot of HDTVs, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 is a good choice. It has a super AMOLED screen that’s much brighter and clearer than other tablets. Watch films, stream TV series or browse the internet with vivid colours, crisp lines and sharp contrast.

Get the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2

 

2. Apple, or Android or Windows operating system?

Get a tablet with the same OS as your smartphone or laptop for effortless syncing between devices. The main operating systems are:

 

Apple

Apple iPads and iPhones are powered by iOS. Sync all your Apple devices to share movies, music, calendars and contacts between them. Choose from over 2 million apps, and download music, TV shows and films from iTunes.

 

Android

Android runs on Google tablets as well as those from Samsung, Asus and more.

You can customise your home screen with notifications and widgets for weather, music and news. Download apps, music and movies from the Google Play Store. And sync your tablet and Android phone to share calendars, settings and apps.


Windows

Windows tablets are great for work. They're compatible with Microsoft Office, and Windows 10 OS, so you can run Word, Excel and PowerPoint. You can also sync with Windows phones and laptops to share calendars and email.

 

3. Am I buying a tablet to watch movies and TV?

Plan on streaming Netflix and BBC iPlayer? Look at tablets with high-resolution screens.

A screen resolution describes how many pixels are on the screen – more pixels mean a clearer, sharper and more defined picture. Full HD resolution is 1920x1080p. Feel like you’re watching on an HDTV with the Asus z300M. Its display has been optimised for contrast, clarity and sharpness, while colours will look rich and vivid. 

Enjoy cinematic audio on the premium speakers, or send virtual surround sound direct to your headphones when you’re watching on the go.

Get the Asus Z300M

 

4. Is it powerful enough?

A processer is your tablet's brain. It determines how fast apps load and run as well as how well the tablet can multi-task. If you’re seriously into gaming, or like to work with several apps open at once – look for a tablet with a powerful processor. The same goes if you want to use it for photo and video editing or design.

More powerful Windows tablets run on Intel Processors – Intel Core i3, i5 and i7. The latest of these - Intel Core M - combines this efficiency with an incredibly thin design.

Find out more about the different Intel processors

If you just plan on web browsing, watching Netflix and updating Facebook and are on a budget then look at tablets with Intel Atom processors.

 

5. Do I need internet access when out and about?

If you plan on using your tablet mainly at home, then a Wi-Fi model will be fine. But if you want to access the internet when out and about, opt for a 3G or 4G-enabled model – you’ll need to pay for a monthly data plan to use it though. 

See our guide to connecting on the go

Ready to start looking for a tablet? See our range