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What to consider before buying a tablet

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Updated: November 26, 2012 11:49AM



Tablets are the must-have portable computing devices of the moment. In just a few short years, the number of people with tablets has increased dramatically. Computerworld magazine reports that tablets beat out PCs on this year’s holiday shopping lists. Within a year of the iPad’s introduction into the technological lexicon, 11 percent of Americans already owned one. As other tablets and upgraded versions of the iPad entered the market, tablets became increasingly popular. A study from the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism in collaboration with The Economist Group found that the majority of tablet owners (77 percent) use their tablets every day for about 90 minutes, on average. When shopping for a tablet, consider the many different features.

Size

Tablets come in different sizes, weights and screen offerings. The first iPad weighted slightly more than a pound; the screen was around 10 inches. Tablets made by other manufacturers range in sizes from 12-inch screens to 5-inch screens, which gives shoppers the ability to choose a device that is as mobile as they need it to be.

Battery Life

Many tablet users are interested in the portability of the device. Battery operation makes that portability possible, so it makes sense that battery life is a big draw for consumers. Many tablet reviews cite Android products and the iPad as the best for battery life.

Flexibility

Flexibility is also important to prospective tablet buyers. Tablets that are only able to connect to the Internet via a WiFi service will be much more limited in use. Many tablets now come with 3G or WiFi capabilities, which enable the device to work even when you are away from home or a WiFi connection.

Storage

Some consumers are interested in the amount of data they can store on their tablets. Some reviewers have complained about the inability to add more storage space to the Apple iPad, which forces consumers to purchase a more expensive device just to add more storage. Android and Windows-based tablets have removable storage options and may be better buys for those who need to save a large number of apps or photos and video.

Price

As with any purchase, price is often a big component of decision-making. Therefore, the tablet that offers the most features at the most affordable price may win out.

Courtesy of Metro Creative



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