14 factors to consider before buying a tablet computer

The market is saturated with tablet computers in different sizes and price ranges. How you intend to use your tablet computer is an important consideration when shopping for a device. The best tablet for you doesn't have to be the most expensive. Choose one with the features that best meet your needs, at the price you can afford, and you'll get better use from your new device. Consider these key factors before making an investment.

14 factors to consider before buying a tablet computer

1. Size

Screen size ranges from six to eight inches (diagonal) in smaller models and up to 12 inches on the largest tablets.

2. Processor

Larger tablets tend to have more powerful processors but be wary of the drain on battery life.

3. Display quality

For movies and multimedia, look for HD resolution of at least 720p and a 16:9 aspect ratio.

4. Storage

  • Most mid-size models come with 8-64 GB of storage.
  • Some can also be expanded with a flash drive or extra memory slots.

5. Ports

  • Most tablets have a headphone jack and USB port (except iPads).
  • Consider how you'll want to transfer data and files to and from the tablet.

6. Battery life

Average battery life is about eight hours on a single charge, depending on usage.

7. Camera

Avoid anything below 5 MP if your tablet is your primary camera.

8. Primary purpose

Entertainment is one thing, but most work applications require at least a 10-inch tablet and access to office software.

9. Compatibility

You may be more comfortable with a device that shares the same operating system as your computer, smartphone or other electronics.

10. Portability

A 7-inch tablet is a good compromise between ease of handling and display size.

11. Connectivity

All tablets support Wi-Fi, and some can also use 4G/LTE wireless networks if you subscribe to a service provider.

12. Tablet case

This is highly-recommended for protecting your tablet screen from scratches and scuffs caused by routine bumps and contact

13. Tablet keyboard

Larger tablets will often have detachable keyboards for running office applications such as spreadsheets and word processors.

14. Travel charger

A travel charger connects to a power source to recharge your tablet battery as needed.

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