Which tablet is best?
Tablet computers are used for countless reasons. They can be portable entertainment centers for everything from movies to books. They can be cheaper than laptops for college students. Even professionals, especially in the creative fields, are using tablets over standard computers.
If you want the absolute best, look no further than the Apple iPad Pro (Generation 5). There is no more powerful tablet available, though it can be overkill for casual use.
What to know before you buy a tablet
Tablets are designed for a massive array of uses. The easiest way to find the right one for you is to separate them by intended ages and intended intensity of use.
- Age: Tablets are usually designed for use by either young children or teenagers and up. Kids tablets always feature limited, well, everything: processing power, connectivity, storage and features. They have small screens, too. But they’re usually built tougher, to assist in lasting through hard physical use.
- Intensity: Adult tablets have three intensities of use: recreational, semi-professional and professional. Recreational tablets are usually used as no more than an entertainment center and have smaller screens and processing power, but are the most affordable. Professional tablets are powerhouses that rival desktop computers, with every feature under the sun. Semi-professional tablets are weaker than professional ones, more affordable and typically purchased by people such as college students.
Most tablets fall under two operating systems: iOS or Android. iOS is Apple’s proprietary system, used only by Apple devices. It’s streamlined, simple to use for all ages and designed to connect seamlessly with other Apple products. Android tends to be more intricate and allows for extreme customization. Most non-Apple tablets run some form of Android OS.
What to look for in a quality tablet
All tablets should connect via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, but some tablets offer cellular connectivity through your phone carrier as well. This lets you connect to the internet anywhere and is most beneficial to those who travel often. Some tablets can connect to 5G networks, but these are limited and usually expensive.
Exclusive to non-Apple tablets is the ability to add extra storage space through options such as SD cards. Choosing a tablet with low internal storage and upgrading it later can save you a decent sum of money.
Tablets have a range of accessories that make their use easier or improve already great options. Common accessories are Bluetooth keyboards and pencils, with some tablets including one or the other at no extra cost.
How much you can expect to spend on a tablet
Tablets are available in a wide range of prices. Budget tablets for kids can cost less than $100, with budget tablets for adults costing less than $300-$400. Tablets for more rigorous use cost $500-$1,000, with high-grade professional models costing as much as $2,000.
How long does a tablet’s battery last before needing to be charged?
A. That depends on a multitude of factors. There is also a distinction between in-use battery length and standby battery length. In-use battery length typically ranges between two to five hours. Models with lower processing power drain batteries slightly more slowly, which may squeak in an extra hour or two. Other factors, such as how intense your activity is, how many activities you’re performing at once and how bright your screen is, also affect total length.
Batteries can last for several days on standby — meaning powered on but not in use — without needing a charge, but you may find your battery nearly dead by the time you pick it back up again. Batteries also age over time, meaning your maximum battery length in both modes will only get worse.
Do I need to purchase physical protection for my tablet?
A. Yes and no. Older tablet screens, and smartphone screens for that matter, were highly prone to scratching and required purchasing a screen protector. Today, most tablets have screens strong enough to resist almost anything. Their bodies have improved too, becoming better able to resist drops from a few feet up. The body may still chip, scratch, dent or shatter, depending on its material, however, so it’s usually recommended to buy a case.
What are the best tablets to buy?
What you need to know: There is no better tablet than Apple’s flagship, professional-grade tablet.
What you’ll love: It’s available in Wi-Fi-only or W-iFi-plus-cellular connectivity. It offers five storage options ranging between 128 gigabytes and 2 terabytes. It comes in two colors: space gray and silver. It offers equal strength and performance to a laptop. It’s designed to interact flawlessly with other Apple products.
What you should consider: Even in the lowest storage option, it’s more expensive than any other tablet on the market. It’s overpowered for recreational use.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top tablet for the money
What you need to know: This budget tablet from Amazon is perfect for casual users.
What you’ll love: It’s available in two storage options: 32 or 64 gigabytes. It comes in four colors: black, denim, lavender and olive. A cheaper model supported by ads on the lockscreen is available. It connects seamlessly with Amazon Alexa and other Amazon services.
What you should consider: Professionals should avoid this casual-only tablet. It can only connect via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Even the 64-gigabyte model can fill up fast.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This tablet is a must for those who prefer Android over iOS operating systems.
What you’ll love: It offers three storage options: 128, 256 and 512 gigabytes, with the option for expandable storage through microSD cards. It comes in four colors: black, bronze, mystic navy and silver. It’s powerful enough to serve as a laptop. It includes a pencil.
What you should consider: There is no cellular connection option. Certain colors are restricted to specific storage sizes. It does not include a 3.5-millimeter audio jack.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Jordan Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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