Tablets, smartphones and laptops today all do similar things – but there are advantages to each different type of device. So, taking some time to identify how you will use a new tablet before you buy will result in you being happier with your purchase, or you might find you’d be better spending your money on a laptop or a smartphone instead. At Pick Your Best we spend a lot of time looking at how different technologies suit different lifestyles to help us match people to the right devices. We want to help you identify the main reason you are buying a tablet first, as this will help us to match you to the right type of device when you use our Product Chooser.
This article outlines different uses for a tablet – if you have another idea please do contact us and tell us – we’d love to hear from you. If you need help choosing a tablet use our Product Chooser to match three tablets that are right for you.
Tablets will never compete with laptops or consoles designed specifically to give a full-on and immersive gaming experience, but they do provide a great way to play games on the move. When looking at tablets for gaming we have identified devices that will deliver the best performance with some of the faster and more demanding action games.
Today a tablet is a great alternative to the more traditional TV for watching movies and TV programmes through streaming services. More flexible than a TV you take your tablet with you wherever you go and still benefit from a viewing screen that’s much bigger than your smartphone.
There are apps for any type of computing device that let you read books – so you could use your smartphone or laptop if you have one, however there is something about a tablet’s size that makes it a good choice for reading. If you don’t need all the capabilities a tablet brings, there are also some devices – often called e-readers - such as the Kindle or Kobo that have been designed specifically for reading. Their screens do a fantastic job of mimicking the look of ink on paper.
Web browsing for shopping, paying bills, checking information and engaging on social media can all be done easily on a tablet and as they are simple tasks in computing terms you don’t need a high value device. However, if you think you will end up wanting to use it for work or more heavyweight entertainment, it might be worth considering a different scenario.
Tablets can take photos, but generally the cameras found in tablets are not as good as those in smartphones. So, while you most certainly can take pictures on them, you might want to consider upgrading your smartphone before splashing out on a tablet. But if you like the thought of a bigger screen to frame your photographs, or you want a bigger screen to view them on a tablet might work for you.
Younger children love tablets and Pick Your Best will help you shortlist devices that meet their needs. We have specifically considered pre-teen children, because older children are likely to have more demanding needs, or have made the switch to smartphones, laptops and game consoles. Primary aged children want to be able to watch TV, play simpler games and access some educational websites.
Tablets are an easy way to take computing out and about with you and that’s why a lot of people choose a tablet to take on their travels. With larger screens than smartphones they are better for watching movies and TV and they can let you carry out work tasks as well.
The line between laptop and tablet can be very blurry and there are a number of devices that switch from laptop to tablet. For work tablets Pick Your Best has considered devices that have special attachments for keyboards or pens that make them better for working on than a standard tablet.
When using your tablet some things will be more demanding on the technology inside than others. If you are likely to do multiple things at once, stream lots of movies or play fast moving games then tablets with higher performance will really make a difference.
Controlling everything you do on the device there are 4 operating systems to consider and its mostly a personal preference. Apple's iOS - consistent, lots of apps and easily updated. Google's Android - available on lots of devices with great apps. Amazon Fire - easy access to your Amazon books and videos. Windows - if you're replacing your laptop and using office apps.
Think about how you will use it - at home a large screen will give you comfortable browsing and a better movie-watching experience. If you are on the move a smaller screen will be more portable and easier to carry around in your bag.
Camera quality in a tablet tends to be on the low side - the decent cameras are usually only in the more expensive models - for most other models the quality of your smartphone may produce better results.