Choosing the Tablet That Is Right for You

Since Apple’s introduction of the original iPad over 2 years ago, the tablet market has exploded. That’s great for techies, but knowing which tablet to choose can be a challenge if you aren’t familiar with the ins and outs of different models. There’s a tablet for every type of person, though, and with a little bit of direction you’ll be able to choose the tablet that’s best for you.

Although the market currently has a glut of tablets for sale, there are only a few key models that need strong consideration. The Apple iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab and Kindle Fire are each leaders in their respective categories. Each of them offers some unique combination of price and benefit that you’ll want to consider.

The user interface is important to keep in mind. The iPad uses iOS, Apple’s own custom operating system. Virtually every other tablet on the market, including the Galaxy Tab and Kindle Fire, uses the Android operating system. With the iPad, you get access to Apple’s ecosystem of apps and easy-to-use functionality. The Kindle Fire is similarly customized by Amazon to be straightforward, while the interface of the Galaxy Tab is admittedly a little more complicated. If your desire is to have a gadget that you can pick up and use immediately with no background in using tablets, then the iPad or Kindle Fire will be a good fit for you. However, if you want a little more control over your device and like to learn how to use new technology, the Samsung Galaxy Tab offers a little more functionality.

Connectivity might be the most important feature of a tablet if you’re in the trucking industry. Unlike smartphones, it’s not uncommon for a tablet to lack a cellular data connection. This is the case for the Kindle Fire, which has no native 3G connectivity. This means that you’ll only be able to do things like browse the web and stream media when you’re connected to Wi-Fi or a hotspot. The iPad and Galaxy Tab feature 4G and 3G connections, so they might be the preferred option if you want to use data on the go. Then again, not having a cellular connection can keep the cost low since you don’t have a monthly bill for it. If you’re not planning to do a lot of web browsing on your tablet, you might be better off getting a tablet without a data plan. If you decide to add it later on, you can just call your carrier or purchase a mobile hotspot.

Screen size is one of the most distinguishing features of a tablet. Manufacturers have generally stuck to making 10-inch or 7-inch tablets. Apple’s iPad is only available with a 10-inch display, while the Kindle Fire by Amazon packs a 7-inch screen. The Samsung Galaxy Tab has models of both 7 and 10 inches available. A 7-inch tablet makes for a more portable experience, which can be beneficial if you’re on the road a lot. At the same time, having a 10-inch screen is useful if you’re going to be using your tablet frequently or if you plan to use it for media.

Overall, a lot of the shortcomings in each tablet are offset by the advantages they have over each tablet. Basing your decision on price might be the best option here. The Kindle Fire is only $199, whereas the Galaxy Tab and iPad will run you anywhere from $400-$600. Although you’ll be happy with either purchase, spending the extra money means having a few extra features that might be absolutely worth it to you. As long as you stay within your budget, chances are you’ll be happy with the tablet you choose.

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