Tablet buying guide
A tablet’s operating system (OS) is designed to help you navigate around your apps and programs, and can offer the ability to customise backgrounds, menus, and icons. The main operating systems are Android, Windows, Apple’s iOS, and Amazon’s Fire. Each is designed with a smooth, intuitive interface and access to a large number of apps.
Each operating system offers unique qualities that appeal to different users.
Google’s Android is a versatile OS that is used by a number of different tablet brands, which means you can shop around for an Android tablet with the right look and price for you. Android provides enhanced personalisation and you can choose how to layout your home screen, select themes, and add widgets to your menus.
Apple’s iOS is designed for ease of use, with the most straightforward controls and hugely known apps like iTunes and the App Store.
Windows tablets have the same features as the familiar PC operating system, so you’ll find a similar layout and easy access to your favourite Windows programs like Word or Excel.
Amazon’s Fire OS is designed to give you easy access to all of Amazon’s products, including eBooks, music, and TV shows.
Each operating system is beneficial in its own way, and your preference will depend on what you look for in a tablet.
If you choose a tablet with the same operating system as your phone you’ll be building a great eco-system to view all your content across both platforms. However, if you pick a different operating system, you can experience everything the new format has to offer.
Tablets come in a range of screen sizes, from 7” to 12.9”. Some tablets are sized to feel comfortable in your hand, while others are large enough to be propped up and used for working and typing comfortably.
Picking the right screen size depends on what you use your tablet for. 13” tablets are great for watching movies as well as working, 10” tablets are ideal for playing games and using apps, while 7” tablets are great for browsing on the go and reading eBooks.
Screen qualities for tablets vary from Standard Definition to Full HD, and even above Quad HD, which is as good as some TVs. If you plan to watch video content then a higher quality screen is best for you.
You can save photos, videos and files on your tablet in three different ways. Internal storage is the amount of memory that comes built in, which can vary from 4 GB to 512 GB. External storage can be added with a memory card – if you want more storage space look out for a tablet with a memory card slot. And if you want to save photos, music and more online, Cloud storage provides wireless access to your files that can be accessed from any of your devices.
Internal storage is built into your device, while external storage can be added whenever you want more room. Most tablets have memory card slots so that you can expand your internal storage.
If you plan on taking your tablet out with you for a long journey or your morning commute, it’s important to look at tablets with a long battery life. Even if you just shop online, play games and watch videos from home, it’s worth considering how much use you’ll get out of each charge.
This depends on how much you use your tablet, but most tablets come with around eight hours of battery life – so you can use it for a full day without needing to recharge.
If you want to extend your tablet’s battery life for trips away from home, power banks provide a great solution for charging back up without needing to find a plug socket.