We already have Christmas, the quintessential time for shopping and gifts. And if we talk about gifts, one of the most purchased this year will undoubtedly be that of the tablet . This technological device, a table-shaped computer, without a keyboard and with a large touch-sensitive screen , has emerged as an ideal support for many users, since they are intended to be used as a portable personal computer, in any situation and place, but taking advantage of new advances, such as touch screens, the Internet, GPS or long-lasting batteries.
On a tablet we can surf the Internet, carry our work, the calendar, the GPS, all our contacts, books, games, music and much more. Thanks to the development of wireless data networks (3G, Wi-fi), we will have at our fingertips all the power of the Internet. Bigger than a smartphone but smaller than a laptop, tablets – which, in turn, come in different sizes and features – have long been on the agenda.
The rise of tablets has incidentally caused the popularization of another related product, the result of combining its functionalities with those of the smartphone : the so-called phablets , touch terminals between 5 and 7 inches. In recent months, brands have been launched for sale to position themselves in this new market, but this is another matter.
Returning to tablets, given the great variety of brands and models on the market, it is often difficult to know with certainty which product is the most convenient for us to purchase. For this reason, in this article we will detail the most important aspects to consider when making the purchase. From the outset, we will say that the best option is one that adjusts to the specific needs of each person .
What do we want the tablet for?
When deciding which tablet to buy, we must ask ourselves a first key question: What will we use it for? Depending on its use, we will have to find a tablet with certain technical features. For example, if we want it to surf the Internet and social networks, look at photos, read books, check email and more, the most recommended are 7 or 8-inch tablets , easy to use and comfortable in hand. On the other hand, if what we will mainly do is play and watch series or movies, the safest option will be the 10-inch ones , with a larger and more powerful screen.
If what we are looking for is to give it a more professional use, to edit texts, set meetings on the agenda, save working documents, etc. surely we will also have to look at large 10-inch devices . We must bear in mind that many models of these dimensions can incorporate accessories that increase productivity, such as keyboards -which can be added to the terminal as if it were a laptop- or covers with extra batteries, for example.
Where will we use it?
If the intention is to take it anywhere, the ideal is to buy a tablet with a 7 or 8-inch screen, since the weight of the device is less: practically half a kilo less than those of 10 inches. In addition, they are priced lower and are more convenient for one-handed transport and handling .
On the other hand, if we will use the tablet mostly at home or in the office, surely the best option will be to look for a larger device. In this case, the ideal model is the 10-inch model; logically, the weight will be greater, but the fact of not having to carry it everywhere will allow us to enjoy a larger screen .
Depending on whether we use it at home or outside it -during our trips, for example-, we will have to decide on one type of Internet connection or another. If we keep it for our house it will be enough for us to have a Wi-Fi connection to connect. However, if we use it outside, it will be convenient to buy a tablet with a 3G or 4G connection and get a data rate with the telephone company that we want.
Here is a very interesting option: if we do not want to pay two data rates – one for our mobile and one for the tablet – there is the possibility of sharing the megabytes of the mobile rate with those of the tablet or other devices. It is called MultiSIM Rate , and is offered by most operators for a few euros per month. To benefit from this service, it will be enough to hire it and have a tablet compatible with 3G or 4G mobile networks, since only these have a slot where you can enter the copy of the SIM.
What operating system is suitable?
It is also one of the most important choices that we must make: do we prefer Google’s Android or are we more than Apple’s iOS ? These two operating systems are the most popular in the world and also in our country. If Android takes most of the cake, with penetration rates in the Spanish population of more than 60% , iOS has one of the most successful devices, the iPad , with 39% of total sales in its corresponding range.
The choice of operating system is important for the applications available to them . The functionality of the new equipment will largely depend on the possibility of finding tools for each of the tasks to be carried out with the tablet. In this case, both Android -with Google Play – and iOS -with the AppStore – have a market with an inexhaustible variety of applications for all tastes, most of them free.
The final decision will be more sentimental or intuitive than anything else. Although if we prefer customization and abundance, Android would surely be our option; On the other hand, if we want simplicity and exclusivity, we may opt for iOS. Here the selection is already very personal, knowing that in both operating systems, the different manufacturers offer very reliable tablets in all ranges.
What manufacturer do we stay with?
Manufacturers or brands are responsible for creating the physical device, assembling all parts of the hardware . If we add the different tablet models according to the brand, we find that Apple leads the market penetration ranking with 39% – thanks to the iPad, as we have said. However, it is closely followed and Samsung is treading a lot of ground , with 34%. These two are dominant in the market in our country.
The rest of manufacturers have a very minority representation and widely dispersed in the market. Far away there are other prominent brands, such as Sony, Asus, LG or BQ, a Spanish manufacturer that is having a great increase in sales since a couple of years ago. All manufacturers present in the Spanish market a wide range of models , whether high-end, mid-range or low-end.
The manufacturer of the tablet is also important for the technical service they offer in case of experiencing problems. It is recommended to choose brands with certain quality standards and efficient technical service. And, if you are in Spain, better than better.
High, medium or low range?
As with smartphones , the difference between a high-end tablet, a mid-range tablet, and a low-end tablet lies in the price and performance capabilities . Quite generic, the following could be said:
– The high-end devices are the Ferrari of the sector: those that present higher prices because they are the most leading, that is, they have the best features on the market (processing, screen size, memory, camera, storage, etc.) .
– Mid-range devices are one notch below in terms of price and capabilities. They are quality products with good characteristics; nothing is wrong but neither does it stand out.
– Low-end devices are those that with a more limited experience offer the best possible price. Regular characteristics, which does not stand out in its benefits but, depending on the frequency of use, can fulfill its purpose.
In short, the low-end tablet is acceptable, if what you are looking for is to have Wi-fi connection, web browsing, reading and periods of use do not require a higher capacity battery. However, the greater the use that we will give it and the greater the requirement for an optimal response time, the solution will go through the mid and high range terminals.
In conclusion, tablets are the most versatile technological devices on the market today. As we have seen, they are used for working, studying, reading, playing, entertaining and stand out for their ideal handling and portability. For all this, they have become one of the best gifts that can be made during the Christmas season.