Buyer´s guide for buying the right tablet PC

Tablet PCs are the current darlings of the technology industry. Not only do they provide a quick, easy, and convenient web-browsing experience, but their vast collection of apps enables your tablet to become a multipurpose work and entertainment hub.

17 Jan 2013


Tablet PCs are the current darlings of the technology industry. Not only do they provide a quick, easy, and convenient web-browsing experience, but their vast collection of apps enables your tablet to become a multipurpose work and entertainment hub.

There are many reasons to own a tablet. As well as being sleek, stylish, and more practical than a laptop, they also allow the user to save copies of documents, take pictures, play music, and watch videos.

But there are many things to consider when purchasing your first tablet, including screen size, battery life, Wi-Fi vs. 3G, hard-drive space, audio, memory, and flexibility. So be sure to do your research before you splash out on a tablet PC.

Operating Systems

Yet one of the key things to think about when purchasing a tablet is the operating system that it is running on. This is because different tablets will use different system software, notably Apple iOS, Google Android, and Windows 8:

          1.       Apple iOS

Found on all of the Apple iPads, the iOS is famed for its fantastic App Store. With over 140,000 apps available for the iPad, you are certain to find an app for everything.


The latest version of Apple's operating system boasts many exciting features including the iCloud, which enables you to store all of your content on a secure server. This will give you access to all of your apps, media, and information across all of your Apple products. Signing up for an iCloud account is fairly simply, but for those looking for more information should follow this handy guide.

The iPad also excels as a media player. This is because it is very easy to synchronise your new slate to your iTunes, which will give you access to all of your music, movies, and TV shows.

          2.       Google Android

The Android operating system can be found on a variety of tablet PCs, including the Advent Vega, the Motorola Xoom, the HTC Flyer, the Samsung Galaxy Tab, and the Sony S. And while there are many versions of Android available, the very latest tablets (including the Nexus 10) will run Jelly Bean 4.2.

There are a couple really cool features that have been added to Jelly Bean 4.2, including the option to enable lock screen widgets. So if you want a quick preview of your messages or calendar without unlocking your tablet, all you need to do is glance at your screen. But if you're not a fan of random strangers viewing your upcoming appointments, you can always download an app to disable your lock screen widget.

There is also a Quick Settings menu that will give you a list of your most often used toggles and shortcuts, as well as an updated Gmail, and improved camera options.

          3.       Windows 8

The Windows 8 OS runs on several tablet PCs, including the Microsoft Surface and the ASUS Transformer AiO.

The main benefit of the Window 8 OS is that you can have all the functionality of your home computer, but on your tablet. This means that you have access to all of your Windows software, including Microsoft Office. This makes Windows 8 tablets extremely useful for individuals who like the idea of word processing on the go.

On most Windows 8 tablets, there's a virtual keyboard that can be accessed by tapping and dragging the tab on the left side of the screen. But if you would prefer to use something more tangible (and that works!), you can always purchase a plug in keyboard for easier typing.

Essential Apps for your Tablet

Dolphin Browser HD: If you are running Android 2.1 or above, you'd do well to download this browser before you do anything else. It's an advanced web browser with features that include tabbed browsing, multi-touch to pinch zoom, bookmark folders and many more.

Dolphin Browser

Dropbox: This app allows you to share files, pictures, videos, and more. It is a common server that is accessible from anywhere with an Internet connection. Dropbox is great for those with an Android or Windows 8 device, as they don't have access to the iCloud.

Kindle: Lets you download and read any of the 750,000+ books available on the Amazon Kindle store on its easy-to-use interface. With thousands of free eBooks on offer, along with more than 100 newspapers and magazines, the Kindle app is essential.

Google Maps: You're never lost with this fantastic navigation app. It can even give you a voice guided GPS wherever you want to go.

Flipboard: The Apple iPad App of the Year in 2010, Flipboard is an extremely popular app that allows you to easily check the latest news, photos, videos, and updates that your friends are sharing on Facebook, Twitter, Google Reader, Flickr, and Instagram. All of your social media activity is then displayed in an engaging magazine-type interface that's easy to scan and fun to read.


BBC iPlayer: This app is fantastic, particularly with a larger tablet. The BBC iPlayer is very easy to use and browse, with two quality settings and an option to include subtitles.

Get your Tablet Protected

Tablets can be very expensive, so you need to consider getting it protected, and I'm not just talking about screen protectors as you will also need to get some anti-virus software. You can buy anti-virus software for your beloved tablet, including Norton Mobile Security or McAfee Wave Security. But if you would like something a little cheaper, there are a various apps that you can download to keep viruses at bay.

Remember that your tablet still browses and accesses Internet downloads like a desktop. So it is important to be careful and get your tablet PC protected. 

For more information on how to use you tablet, be sure to visit the KNOWHOW Knowledge Bank.