Microsoft Surface 3 Tablet
Microsoft is renowned for their achievements in both hardware and software development, and the Microsoft Surface 3 Tablet is a perfect example of those achievements. It is an all-purpose device capable of dealing with virtually any task from multimedia playback to gaming to working. There is a 10.8" IPS LCD display that will allow you to watch Full HD video, a built-in Dolby Audio stereo speaker for your favourite melodies, a variety of apps to enjoy multimedia content and to study. The tablet PC comes with the pre-installed Office 365 Personal of which you get a year of free use. For extra convenience, the manufacturer additionally offers a special Surface Pen stylus, however, you can also choose another stylus if you find it more suitable for your needs. All-in-all, we dare say this tablet can even pull off the same tasks as an average netbook or even some laptops. Yet it is much more convenient to carry around and use wherever you are.
Apple MH0W2FD/A iPad Air 2
The iPad Air 2 retains the stylish look of its predecessor but when it comes to functionality and performance it wins hands down. As for design changes, there are none but two: this model is 1.4 mm thinner than the previous one and you can buy it in one of three colours (silver, space grey, gold) as compared to two in the original model. The most changes are related to performance. The 9.7" display with 2048x1536 resolution is the same, good enough to watch your favourite video in the highest quality without a hint of grains. Then, what we were all waiting for, the TouchID sensor is finally implemented now. Safety has increased, as has the simplicity of use. New A8X processor loads your apps and operates 40% faster than the A7 of iPad Air, and M8 Motion Coprocessor enhances the graphics 2.5 times. These two parameters provide excellent gaming experience and overall comfort of use. Additionally, if you use iPad to type a lot, you can purchase the special keyboard instead of the one on the display.
Samsung Galaxy TAB A SM-T550
Samsung creates devices for family use, it is a well-known fact. And the Samsung Galaxy Tab A is no exception. Children will find here a fascinating variety of games to make education and development fun. For socially active individuals there is a 5MP main camera with auto-focusing in photo and video and a continuous shot feature to share your life with family and friends. The display here has 4:3 aspect ratio making this Samsung tablet model the best choice for scrolling web pages and reading. And if you own a Samsung TV (Tizen released in 2015 or later), there is an option for seamless connection and media playback from the tablet to your TV.
Lenovo Tab 2 A10-70F
If you can't live without movies, follow a number of YouTube bloggers, or you are simply a picture person, come closer. The Lenovo Tab 2 offers you a 10.1" IPS screen with 1920x1200 resolution to get all the possible satisfaction from video content. The Dolby ATMOS soundbar will make music videos from your favourite bands a treat for your ears. Gaming is mind-blowing too. It is so good it is distracting to those around you, you might want to buy earbuds to keep it all to yourself. As for the software, the tablet can be easily upgraded to the newest Android version so that all the latest apps were within reach. Built-in 700 mAh battery allows 10 hours of continuous operation, be it Internet surfing or video playback. And let's not forget that Lenovo has premium offers to expand the tablet possibilities even more. You'll love it!
Amazon Fire Tablet
Small and Adorable
Despite its price, which may seem suspiciously low, the Amazon's own 7" Fire Tablet has a range of functional advantages. First, the size. You can fit it in your bag pocket without problems and carry around at any time. Amazon video, Netflix, BBC iPlayer and more are within your immediate reach. When you activate this tablet, you receive 30 days of Amazon Prime for free, meaning you can download some movies and enjoy them later without having to connect to the Internet. The Amazon Prime also offers access to the Prime Music library. Add a variety of gaming apps and you'll never get bored with this tablet. If the 8GB storage space is not enough for you, there is also a possibility to buy a microSD card for expanding.
What is a Tablet?
Tablets today are almost PCs when you look at the features. Short of playing some games or working in specialised apps with really hardcore system requirements, everything you can do on a PC you can also do on an up-to-date tablet. And tablets are so much more mobile and portable, even compared to a laptop. Internet surfing, working with office documents, social networking, audio- and video-calls, making high-quality photos and videos, etc. — all this and much more in a device the size of a book (and thinner than that). No surprise that more and more users prefer tablets with every passing day. Here in this review, we would like to offer you some tips on how to choose the best tablet for you, and the description of 5 best tablet computers in our opinion to narrow down the list of options a bit.
If you are looking for a tablet specifically for drawing, we suggest you visit our drawing tablets review. And in case you are an avid supporter of particular operating systems, we have reviews on Windows tablets and Android tablets.
What Features to Compare
The brain of any computer-like device is its processor. It is responsible for data processing, apps launch speed, video and games playback, etc. How fast the processor works largely depends on the number of cores it has. We recommend you to look at quad-core 1.5GHz processors and more if you wish to have a cutting-edge high-performing device. Then there is also RAM, an extremely important parameter as well. With the world constantly requiring multitasking, the RAM can be considered enough often starts at 2GB. With this, your tablet will be able to process massive loads of data and work several apps at a time. As for the storage, it depends on what you are buying a tablet for. If you would like to store your data inside permanently, it will be better to look for greater storage space and/or the option to either expand the internal storage or use memory cards.
Today you can encounter 7" to 12.2" tablets most often, though there are 5" and 20" ones too. The plus of the 7"–8" tablets is that they are lighter, more compact, and, therefore, more portable. Good enough for Internet surfing, playing, taking a device with you wherever you go. At the same time, it is probably more convenient to work with documents, read for a prolonged time, and use multi-window mode with a tablet of 10" or bigger. And then there is also the panel type. Panels affect viewing angles, clarity of picture, and response time. At the top of the list is the IPS panel type, but TN and TFT are still very popular, too. And, finally, you will need to look at the resolution. For a realistic and highly detailed picture, to start from the Full HD 1920x1080 pixels is a perfect choice.
Interfaces and Extra
There is hardly any user who'd buy a tablet without an option to connect either earphones or speakers, so there is that, the standard 3.5mm input is apparently a must. Also, it would be convenient to have a microUSB port to both charge your tablet and connect it to the PC. If you are going to use the device with an external monitor or TV, you will need an MHL, miniHDMI, or Mini DisplayPort. Wi-Fi is also fiercely important, the latest version being the 802.11ac. Bluetooth can be a really nice extra. We think you will be also happy to have a tablet that adjusts the brightness according to the lighting around, rotates the displayed image when you rotate the device and recognises when something other than a finger or stylus is closing up (like going to sleep mode or shutting up when you close the cover). There are tablets that can be used as a metal detector if you are interested. A good camera will allow making high-quality photos and video, and if you have a front one it means you can video call your friends and relatives. Built-in speakers let you listen to anything without earphones, and a microphone is necessary for calls.
There are three most used operating systems for tablets and they differ quite a bit. So, what do you get?
- Android — a vast selection of apps and games, easy to use and quick to get used to.
- iOS from Apple — stability, high level of personal data security and protection against viruses.
- OS Windows — well-known, full Office support, interface and services we are all accustomed to.
Lastly, if you are clumsy or have kids or pets at home, surely you'd want a device that is not so easy to break. The choice between metal and plastic is a no-brainer in this situation. Plastic is often cheaper, though. And it would be awesome to have a tablet that works for 10 hours on a single charge, right?
That's it, roughly. We hope it helped. Now let's proceed to some really remarkable representatives.
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2. Nick Mediati Tablet Buying Guide: 8 Essential Tips, Laptop Part of Tom’s Guide. February 24, 2016.
3. Ed Hardy How to Choose a Tablet Operating System, TabletPCReview. August 14, 2016.
4. How to Choose a Tablet Computer, wikiHow.
5. Beth Brindle 5 Tips for Choosing the Right Tablet, HowStuffWorks.