What to Look for in a Tablet Computer

Tablet computers have all but wiped out the netbook, and it looks like the momentum is only picking up as time goes on. There are more choices right now than ever as manufacturers are entering the market with their own variations of the tablet form factor. Android, iOS, webOS, and others are being updated regularly as consumers start to weigh in on what they feel is important to them. Here are a few points that you may want to look for in a tablet computer:

It would be foolish to say that price isn’t a factor when buying a tablet computer. Prices range from small amounts to nearly a thousand dollars, and it’s important to consider your options carefully. A tablet computer with 3G / 4G capabilities may be subsidized by a carrier, but it can also cost you quite a bit in the long run during the term of your contract. Wi-Fi only tablets can be much cheaper, and offer you a decent experience. If you need to be connected on the go, you may want to consider a tablet that allows you to go on a month-to-month data plan with the carrier.

Operating System
Not all tablet operating systems are created equal. Android, iOS, webOS, and others are all living within their own ecosphere and you will want to do some research to find out which platform is best for you. Android and iOS are frontrunners in the market with each having an abundance of third-party apps. The difference between these two is openness versus control. The iOS is strictly controlled by Apple and every app that goes through the App Store has to be approved for quality and compatibility. On the other side, Android has an open marketplace where apps are more freely approved. Quality assurance is in the hands of the users where a bad app needs to be reported and removed. Even though the Android is more open, iOS has been around longer and has more apps available. Having a larger market share also contributes to more developers spending their time making software for the platform. It’s also important to make sure the tablet can sync with your home computer’s operating system.

It would be foolish not to consider form in your decision making process. If a tablet is bulky or heavy, it may not contribute to a positive experience in the long run. If you intend to buy one online, take a trip to a local retailer that carries the device and actually hold it in your hands first. If it doesn’t feel absolutely comfortable there, it will definitely be uncomfortable as time goes on. This point also extends to accessories. Make sure the tablet you pick up has a decent selection of cases and/or accessories for you to choose from.