Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tech Notes:-Buying A Tablet

Now a days every big manufacturer has their on branded tablet. When we plan to buy one, there are lot of options and we need to know what to look for in a tablet. I hope this articles helps in arriving at a decision.

Screen Size

As far as the screen size is concerned, we have choice ranging from 5-inch to 11-inch.Although I prefer something around 10-inch, its a choice that can be based on ease of use and convenience to carry around.

Technology

As far as technology is concerned there are few things to watch out. First one is the screen resolution.More pixels per square inch generally means a sharper picture for movie-watching and clearer text for reading. The next one to lookout is the screen responsiveness. Tap and see how responsive is the screen.Next thing is that a glossy screen might look great in even lighting, but can cause horrible glare in bright light or sunlight, especially once you have smudged it up with your fingers.

Connectivity Options

WiFi

Although most tablets come with a WiFi options, you can have more than that in a tablet.

3G-CDMA or GSM,Locked Or Unlocked

You can look for 3G which allows you to use a SIM card in your tablet to browse even if you are outside the WiFi hotspot range.You need to select the 3G option carfully, there are tablets which offer 3G through CDMA and 3G through GSM. So if you are planning to use the SIM from your mobile phone occassionally, you need to choose the same connectivity technology as your mobile phone. Another important thing to consider is to buy a unlocked tablet or the one which has a service contract with the service provider like AT&T ,T-Mobile etc although personally I would prefer to go with an unlocked one so that you can put the SIM of your choice.

GPS

You also might want to consider a model with GPS, since a tablet’s larger screen size makes it to read than a smaller GPS-enabled phone.

Bluetooth

Bluetooth can be useful, as well. For one, it offers easy wireless data transfer. Connecting a Bluetooth headset or headphones can also be useful for chatting and listening to music. You may also want to use a Bluetooth keyboard  or mouse. 

Operating Systems

The main choices here are Apple's Iphone OS,Google's Android,Microsoft's Windows 7 and HP WebOS(looks like HP is going to get rid of this soon). Apple’s iOS offers a large number of  apps through their app store as well as very good hardware and software integration, but lacks support for Adobe Flash, limiting the web experience.Android as well as Windows 7 got an app market and  has a lot of great apps, but the quality control isn’t as tight as Apple’s. But personally I would prefer Android.

More comparison can be found here


Input/Output Options

Obviously you cant expect all the I/O options that you have in your laptop in a tablet. But you can expect some decent minimum options that include

3.5 MM Headphone Jack

This option is available in almost all tablets.

USB or Mini USB

Although most tablets have this port or the mini USB port I have noted that Apple iPad don’t  have a USB port, so you are limited to gadgets that work with its proprietary iPod connector.

Ethernet

You can plugin directly to the router instead of using WiFI.This is useful if you dont have a wireless router or you have one with week WiFi signal.

HDMI

With most of us having big HD TVs at home, HDMI is a good option to have in a tablet.This option allows us to show videos/photos on a TV screen with good quality.

Additional Connecters

Some tablets allow connectivity through custom connectors mostly for attaching external monitors or for for storage.Docking stations are available for few of them,

Storage

Flash-based storage used in most tablets are expensive, meaning we might  have to settle for a fewer GBs. A tablet with an SD or microSD slot is a big advantage, since it will let you upgrade your storage by adding a removable memory card.Also a tablet with USB or Mini USB will also help you to add more storage by connecting external hard drives.

Speakers And Camera

surely, most of us like to use headphone especially on tablet, but there are times when we like to use a speaker or wish we could attach an external speaker. Surely quality of speaker is an option that we should consider while planning for a tablet.

We should be looking for a Front facing and a rear facing one. Front facing one obviously for video chat or video calls.

Finally my personal opinion is that the choice of tablet should always depend on our need. For example a person who uses a tablet just for browsing internet and reading emails need not bother about camera,OS etc.

Here is an easy comparison chart for tablets currently available in market.



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