A complete tablet buying guide is a must if you want to buy a tablet today. A tablet comes in as a midway between your smartphone and your laptop or desktop. It is portable, has a bigger touch screen, and is helpful with getting things done on the go. You can do almost everything on your tablet that you usually do on your smartphone and on your laptop.
You need a tablet to watch your favourite TV shows or movies, to browse social media, or for your kid’s online classes. And picking up the right tablet model can be a confusing deal. There are tons of tablets available in the market and it can be confusing to find the one with the right screen size, fast processor, and long battery life, all that keeping in mind your budget.
For many, Apple iPad is still one of the best choices but there are a lot of options available from manufacturers such as Samsung, Lenovo, and many others. Not only that but tablets have also become more than just the media consumption device and you can now also get your work done on many of these tablets. Now that you have more than enough choices available in front of you it is important to look for the right combination of specifications that can fit your requirements.
Tablet Buying Guide 2023: The Only Guide You Will Ever Need
So in this article, we have provided answers to some of these major questions that you might have while looking for a new tablet. And here is a tablet buying guide that can help answer all your queries.
1. Tablet buying guide: Convertible or stand-alone tablet?
When it comes to tablets the form factor plays an important role. A tablet is similar to an oversized smartphone and usually weighs around 300 to 500 grams. The tablets are typically less than half an inch thick so they are super compact and portable. You can easily control them from their touch screen display and you can also pair them with a Bluetooth keyboard to convert your tablet to an on-the-go laptop.
Convertible tablets provide the combined flexibility of a laptop with the convenience of a tablet. These devices come with a detachable keyboard that can snap onto the tablet using connector pins or there can be a keyboard case that attaches to your tablet. So when you need to work, you can snap on the keyboard attachments, and when you are playing games or consuming media you can snap off these accessories and use them as a normal tablet.
If a tablet does not have any official or 3rd party keyboard attachments you can even pair any Bluetooth keyboard and mouse to your tablet and get things done. This is a much better and budget-friendly option as this can work on almost all tablets available in the market.
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2. Which Operating System to choose?
The operating system plays a very important role in terms of content that you will get access to. The Android OS and Apple’s iPad OS are the ones dominating the market, but we also do have Windows tablets and Chrome OS tablets available in the market right now. But most of the market share is occupied by Android and iPad OS only. Whatever the OS you choose, you should always make sure that it comes with a promise of an update to the latest version of Android or iPad OS. With Apple, you need not worry about software updates, but for Android tablets, you need to be sure.
Apple’s iPad OS
iPad OS from Apple is basically a version of iOS but designed for iPads. It is much like a well-designed interface that offers you access to a lot of great games and apps via the Apple app store. The iPad OS is an excellent OS with the support of widgets, multitasking, FaceTime with a mouse, and keyboard support. You can even use your iPad as a second monitor for macOS, and if you own a MacBook this feature will come in handy.
Overall, if you are a fan of the Apple ecosystem, then any of the Apple iPad would be the best option as these cater deep integration into Apple’s ecosystem.
Android OS by Google is certainly the most popular one by volume. Most of the popular tablets available on the market run on Android. Some of the popular brands which manufacture Android Tablets in India are Samsung and Lenovo. The Android OS for tablets is exactly the same as the one we see on smartphones but there are a few customizations added by manufacturers to enhance the features. For example, you can see enhanced multitasking features, special widgets for tablets, and more. Also, the Google Play Store offers an abundant selection of apps and games that you might like to install on your tablet.
It is advised to look for Android Tablets that run at least on Android 10 or above and come with a promise of the next major Android update.
Tablets running on Windows OS are very limited and have negligible market share, but we do have some of these by Microsoft. We have the Microsoft Surface GO series as the only option and there are no other 3rd party tablet manufacturers that offer Windows OS.
Talking about the Windows OS, these are the ones that have the power to fully replace your laptop as you can literally do anything on these tablets. You can even run your software development tools and full-fledged Adobe apps as well.
So if you have been using any existing Windows program on your desktop you might find the same app in the Microsoft store for your tablet also. Although the Windows 10S for tablets is built specifically built by Microsoft as a lighter version of Windows, still you can find all the popular Windows features with a wide range of compatible accessories.
Chrome OS is made by Google and it is a stripped-down operating system that runs on Chromebooks. The main feature of this operating system is web browsing but you can also download files and run chrome apps as well as Android apps from the Google Play Store. While most of the Chromebooks are laptops there are also a few great tablets available on the market manufactured by HP. But these tablets are less powerful and provide low-quality screens but if you are in the market looking for something to just browse the web Chrome tablet might be the perfect fit for you.
Tip: If your budget allows then definitely go for the Apple iPad OS, but if there is some app that is specific only to Android then you can look out for tablets manufactured by Samsung.
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3. What is the perfect screen size for a tablet?
Tablets between 7 to 7.7 inches
If you already own a smartphone with a 5-inches to 6-inch screen size then a tablet with this size will make a lot of sense for you. It will be easier to carry all-around wherever you go and nothing beats the size in terms of portability.
- Nowadays most of the smartphones are in the size of 6 to 7 inches so this tablet will be a replacement for your smartphone and you can pick one that has a SIM card slot.
- Tablets with this size will provide you with the portability you have been looking for.
Tablets between 7.9 to 9 inches
Apple provides the iPad Mini 2 and it is 8 inches in size and has an aspect ratio of 4:3. While the new iPad mini 2022 is 8.3 inches in size and has a 3:2 aspect ratio, the overall dimensions remain the same as last year.
While we also have options from Lenovo in the form of the Lenovo Tab M8 and Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 which comes at an 8-inches screen size. These screen size devices make the perfect screen size for media consumption. But won’t be that good if you plan to do some content creation or edit a video on it. It will be small enough to hold in your hand and portable; while also being large enough to watch movies and browse the internet. So who should buy tablets of this size and form factor? Here’s the answer
- If you want portability as well as good battery life and want to do light gaming, browsing the intenet and watching movies. This is the perfect size of screen you would want to get.
- It is also great to to use as a book reader or if you are interested in comics. The form factor makes it comfortable to hold in one hand for longer periods. Also the screen is big enough in terms of screen size so that you don’t strain your eyes.
Tablets between 9.7 to 10.1 inches
This is the screen size where most of the tablets will be good enough to be used as laptop replacements. In some ways, many users would find it perfectly comfortable to be used between a large phone and a large laptop. So here is why you should buy these tablets:
- If you primary use your tablet at home and don’t carry it anywhere then this size works perfectly for you.
- If you travel a lot and need the screen space to do some productive work then you can use the tablet with bluetooth keyboard and keep your bulky laptop at home.
- It also makes it easier to use this tablet with stylus you can do a lot more productive work and it can easily replace your laptop.
Tablets between 11 to 13 inches
This is the screen size that mostly many people would avoid especially those who already own a laptop. Apple provides the iPad Pro at this size and it makes a perfect device to replace your laptop. Also, you can even play graphic intensive games on it. Here is who should buy these tablets:
- If you already on a laptop but it is too big to carry everywhere. Then this kind of size would be a perfect choice for you to carry everywhere. You can even carry a smaller size tablet along with a big one to do multiple tasks.
- If content consumption is your priority and you occasionally need to create content then this size perfectly fits your needs. Tablets of this scene screen size you mostly won’t even need to carry the attachable keyboard.
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4. What are ideal Specifications of consider while buying a tablet?
Tablet specifications can be a bit tricky as their use case is different from smartphones. So in this tablet buying guide, we have added a quick rundown on what you might want in a new tablet.
Wi-Fi vs cellular
There are mainly two types of tablets available ‘Wi-Fi and Cellular.’ The Wi-Fi tablets are straightforward as the user can access local Wi-Fi networks. It is important here to look at what kind of Wi-Fi support your tablet has. Most of the tablets today support 802.11n. It is advisable to buy a tablet that supports both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz radio bands. This is the most common option that users buy and it is quite less expensive than the cellular option.
A cellular tablet has a dedicated SIM card slot or maybe an e-SIM card slot that allows the tablet to connect to the local cellular network. This is essential if you are working on the go most of the time. But keep in mind that you would have to pay for a cellular connection every month to get going. Also with cellular tablets, you have cellular antennas and it uses the battery a lot more than usual, this the battery backup is reduced. Another aspect to look out for is 5G connectivity. We have seen the newly launched Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 that comes with 5G support, so if you find a tablet with 5G connectivity in your budget, it is best to opt for it and future proof yourself.
And since the 5G rollout still has a few months to roll out in India, you can still consider buying cellular tablets with 4G connectivity as well. This will help you reduce your dependence on public wifi spots if you are on the go most of the time.
Since Apple unveiled their line of M1 Silicon chips it is all that people can talk about. It provides users with a more powerful tablet experience. Recently Apple unveiled a new iPad Air in its March launch event with the Apple M1 chip. So obviously the latest processor means you will get better performance and improved battery life as that is what Apple devices are known for.
Now when we talk about Android tablets they include processors from a variety of manufacturers. Samsung is one of the most popular tablet manufacturers for Android and the tablet provided by Samsung includes Qualcomm Snapdragon processors. Look for the Snapdragon 800 series and even the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor which comes with the new Samsung Galaxy Tab S8. While in the budget price segment the Realme Pad comes with Helios G80 which is also a decent option at a budget price.
When it comes to Windows you will mainly find Intel processors including the i3, i5, and i7 processors. Tablets that include the Intel core processors are generally high-performing devices and will cost you more money. On the other hand, lower-cost Windows tablets are open convertibles and use old Intel processors.
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RAM: The More the better
RAM is not that much of a big selling point on tablets but for Android tablets, usually more RAM that you have, you get better performance. While the iPad Mini comes with 4GB RAM, the iPad Pro series comes with 8GB RAM, and the Apple iPad 10.2 comes with 3GB RAM. While the iPad OS has an excellent memory management system, the RAM storage size does not make much difference.
For Android tablets, you need a decent amount of RAM to get more apps in memory and experience the power of multi-tasking. Usually, 4GB RAM is the bare minimum that a tablet should have as Android OS is not that good at memory management. And to have a smooth experience this the what you should look for.
When it comes to tablets, the camera is not as important a feature as it is on your smartphone. The rear camera is rarely used and the front-facing camera is the one that is used the most. The front-facing camera comes in handy for video conference calls and should be of decent quality.
Your tablet should have at least a 5-megapixel or 8-megapixel front-facing camera. It should include autofocus and if possible should come with 4K video recording capabilities. The best way is to look for some reference videos to check the quality of the front-facing camera, or visit a nearby retailer and experience the quality yourself.
Another important thing to consider when buying a tablet is how long the battery on it will last. Being a portable device, it is important the tablet should last at least a day with heavy usage. Most of the tablets usually have good battery endurance and do not die for days or weeks if you don’t use them very often. But under longer use cases you might want to invest in a tablet that offers at least 8 to 10 hours of battery life in a single charge.
When it comes to tablets there are different activities that drain in their battery life at different rates. Playing graphically intensive games will consume your battery life faster than just browsing through the internet for example. If battery life is your priority then the iPad Pro series will provide you with a long-lasting battery life of over 14 hours on a single charge. And if you’re a fan of Android then Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 provides a battery life of over 13 hours on a single charge. Even some of the Lenovo Tab series provide a battery life longer than 10 hours. You should not settle down for a battery life of fewer than 10 hours for any of your tablets and a 5000mAh battery is decent enough for most tablets.
Most tablet users use them for the sole purpose of entertainment and therefore need a lot of storage. A tablet with sufficient storage will allow you to download a lot of apps, watch videos, play games and store a lot of photos on the device. All the media will occupy a lot of space and if you don’t have enough to meet you have to deal with the painful process of deciding what to keep and what to delete from your tablet.
So when you are choosing a tablet make sure you have one with at least storage of 128 GB and potentially more if you plan to shoot videos through the device in the future. Although if you consume all the media using OTT platforms, don’t play many games and prefer to keep all your data in cloud storage then even 64GB will be more than enough.
If you’re thinking about buying a tablet, it is preferred to get one that features an external storage card slot. With that, you can expand your storage using a micro SD card which is a good bonus to have. But make sure to do proper research on how much the memory card of your choice will cost you when you have to expand storage. Right now memory cards are pretty cheap and you can get them at a low price anywhere.
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5. After-sales service is important
When you buy any of the electronic devices there is a very good chance that you might face any technical difficulties within a short time of your purchase. Therefore it is also important to look at the manufacturer and whether it is reliable to buy the device from them or not. You might want to be careful with brands that have less number of service centres available in your city. In this case, stick to companies like Samsung and Apple as they provide reliable after-sales service in every city to customers who have bought any device from the company. And brands like Lenovo or Realme might offer tablets at a slightly cheaper price, but their after-sales service is nowhere close to what Samsung or Apple can offer.
6. What the your use case?
In general, if you are using a tablet at home for tasks such as web browsing, listening to music, email, watching movies, and so on then most of the tablets out there will fit your requirements. You probably don’t even need to spend that much money to get a tablet sold for tablets that cost around Rs. 20,000.
If you plan to use your tablet for work productivity or as a replacement to your laptop you will want one with at least one 9-inch screen. Here you can go for any of the iPad Pro models available in the market or iPad Air as well. Even the Samsung Galaxy Tab series will be a good choice.
If you have the budget then you can also go for the Microsoft Surface Go series. It will provide you with a lot of multitasking features, optional keyboard attachments, and pen input support.
Gaming is on your mind then iPad is probably the tablet that you should choose. The new iPad Pro series from Apple comes with the latest M1 chip and a Pro-Motion display. It will provide you with enough hardware that can handle any graphic intensive game you throw at it.
Talking about gaming on Android tables, you can easily play games like BGMI, Asphalt, Minecraft on your tab.
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For media consumption
Any of the tablets you choose provides can be a good choice; if your only purpose of using the tablet is watching movies or TV shows while listening to music. If media consumption is your only priority then you will go for iPad Air or the iPad Pro series. They provide stunning displays to view all your content in high definition and they also come with great speakers.
For Android tablets, Samsung is a better brand overall as they offer better build quality and display. Tabs that come with an AMOLED display are preferred and provide a better media consumption experience.
Which tablet should you buy in 2023?
Now you have an idea about all the features you need in your tablet. Below here we have provided some of the most popular tablets you can buy according to your needs:
|1.||Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 2021||Work, Study & Gaming||Rs. 19,999|
|2.||Realme Pad||Work, Study & Gaming||Rs. 16,000|
|3.||Galaxy Tab A7||Work, Study & Entertainment||Rs. 15,000|
|4.||Apple iPad 10.2-inch||Work, Study & Entertainment||Rs. 30,000|
|5.||Galaxy Tab S7 FE||Work, Study & Gaming||Rs. 40,000|
|6.||Lenovo Tab M10 HD||Study & Entertainment||Rs. 15,000|
|7.||Panasonic Tab 8 HD||Study & Entertainment||Rs. 11,000|