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Top 10 Reasons To Buy A Tablet

There are countless tablets on the market, but which one is right for you? Whether you're eyeing an iPad or one of the many Android models available, we detail the key factors you need to consider when shopping, along with some of the top-rated tablets we've tested.

top 10 reasons to buy a tablet

You should enjoy the Fire HD 8 if you want a budget-friendly device with a larger screen than your phone. It doesn't compete with high-end iPads or Android tablets on performance metrics, but it's more than fast enough for casual use.

The kid-friendly version of the Fire HD 10 impresses us for the same reasons as the regular model. The hardware is the same, but this variant comes with parental controls and a heavy-duty protective case. The package also includes a free year of Amazon Kids+ (ordinarily $48 per year for Prime members), which offers access to a large library of age-appropriate books, games, videos, and apps.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus has competitive specs, a roomy display, and every other feature we expect from a high-end tablet. It also offers stellar 5G connectivity, so you don't need to hunt for Wi-Fi.

Broadly, Android tablets make great media players, ebook readers, and kids' devices (if you want a tablet specifically for children, check out our story on the best kids' tablets), but they rarely compete with iPads when it comes to versatility and performance.

Google's Android OS gives you a choice of hardware from several different manufacturers and offers maximum customization, a top-notch notification system, fast and smooth web browsing, and seamless integration with Google applications such as Gmail, Google Maps, and Meet for video chat. Android also includes support for multiple user profiles, so you can share your tablet with a friend or family member. (Apple's Family Sharing works the other way around, giving multiple people access to shared data and services.) That said, most Android tablets ship with an older version of the OS and few get updates.

What's a tablet without quality apps? If you want third-party apps that work with a touch-screen interface, nothing beats the iPad's massive library of programs and games. The App Store is well curated and monitored, offers a deep selection, and includes every popular app in existence. Apple is your best bet if a wide range of compelling apps that look good and work well on your tablet is your main priority. For more, see the best iPad apps and the best Apple Arcade Games.

Android has made great strides in app selection, but it's still not home to as many as Apple offers. It's tough to say exactly how many tablet-optimized Android apps are available, but it's far fewer than on the iPad. You can use Android phone apps of course, which look decent on a 7-inch tablet, but less so on a 9- or 10-inch device. Check out the best Android apps for our top picks.

Amazon tablets don't have access to the Google Play store, so they work with considerably fewer apps. Plenty of people have hacked the Play store onto Amazon tablets, but that violates both Amazon's and Google's terms of service and isn't a reliable solution. With these tablets, you should likely stick with the subset of apps that Amazon considers appropriate.

We consider 7- and 8-inch tablets as small-screen devices and 9-inch tablets as the start of the large-screen category. Apple's iPads, Amazon's Fire tablets, and Samsung's slates all come in small- and large-screen versions. And more than ever, big phones blur the distinction between what is and isn't a tablet. Folding phones such as the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 can easily do double duty as tablets if you're willing to pay a hefty premium.

Screen resolution is important, too, especially for ebook reading and web surfing. A sharp, bright display is key. If you're in the market for a 10-inch tablet, look for a display with a resolution of at least 1,280 by 800 pixels.

Cloud (off-device) storage is an option for many tablets (Amazon Cloud Storage for Fire tablets, iCloud for iPads, Google Drive for Android tablets), but when it comes to onboard storage, more is always better. All those apps; your local music, video, and photo libraries; and system updates can take up a lot of space. Some Android tablets feature a microSD slot for additional storage, but it's worth noting some apps won't work from those external cards.

Some tablets can connect only over Wi-Fi, but others can take advantage of always-on cellular service from a wireless provider. Unless you constantly use your tablet in an area without Wi-Fi or are a frequent international traveler, you're probably better off using your smartphone as a Wi-Fi hotspot and saving the extra money you would spend on an LTE tablet. You can also buy a dedicated mobile hotspot, which won't kill your phone's battery life. Some even double as backup batteries to charge your tablet.

The tablets here represent the best Amazon, Android, and Apple options across a variety of price levels. That said, plenty of other great tablets exist that might be better for you. For the latest lab-tested reviews, check out our tablet product guide. And if you're looking for a good deal, head over to our roundup of the best cheap tablets we've tested.

In a recent survey, we asked subscribers about how they use their mobile devices. One finding: Twenty-eight percent of tablet owners said children 17 or younger also used their tablet. Some portion of parents who share their tablets with their kids surely must long to get the kids their own devices.

Most have comprehensive, robust parental controls. The Nabi tablets we tested have a separate mode for parents that let them access full Android settings, and from there, add apps for kids, put time restrictions on app use, and filter websites. And the Polaroid Kids Tablet has a filtered Safe Mode and the Maxthon Safe Browser: Parents can add the sites they want kids to be able to access, and it creates clickable icons to take them to each site. The Vinci Tab MV offers optional password protection for specific apps, but no browser security.

Of course, you can choose and download a huge array of games, e-books, music, video, and apps for kids to any tablet. But having appropriate content preloaded lets children enjoy the kid tablets right out of the box, and saves parents a lot of curating time.

Tablets; not quite a laptop, not quite a phone - but far from being the weird middle child, tablets have come a long way and can be a useful device to have in your technology arsenal. Tablets offer great style, power, portability and can be put to a range of good uses, both around the home and out and about. But while they may come cheap (cheaper than a laptop, anyway!) a tablet is still an expense worth thinking about before taking the plunge.

Whether you like getting work done or getting entertained on the go, tablets offer one clear advantage: they're portable. Tablets are often about one third the weight of a standard laptop, so the physical strain of carrying a lightweight tablet is far less.

This makes tablets a great asset for students, travellers, commuters and professionals who have to travel a lot on business. Who wants to stream their favourite shows on a bulky laptop while they're travelling? That's right, nobody. A tablet is the perfect middle ground.

If you have things to do online and your phone can't handle it, the great thing about a tablet is it can get the internet anywhere. That is, as long as you get a tablet with cellular connectivity (ie a 4G tablet or a 5G tablet). No lugging your laptop around cafes and libraries hunting for free WiFi. Just power up and get online.

This makes tablets particularly handy for professionals. Whether you need to check emails, edit documents on the cloud or just stay up to date with the latest news in your industry, a tablet can help you get it done easily anywhere. It's just like your mobile phone - connect to the internet anywhere on the go.

These days it seems like having a home computer is compulsory. But actually, if you're only using your computer for light web browsing, some email, Facebook and Netflix, a tablet might do just as well.

Tablet prices typically range from $100 to $1,000, whereas you're looking at between $400 and $3,000 for a laptop. So depending on what you want to use it for, a tablet could save you quite a bit of money, and offer more portability to boot. Check out our full guide on replacing your laptop (or not) with a tablet here.

Most laptop computers generally take around 10-30 seconds to start up. However, the initial start up on a tablet is generally around 2-10 seconds. Once powered on, a tablet can "wake" from a sleep mode instantaneously. Nothing makes you feel like you're living on the cutting edge quite like a lightning-fast tech.

Want an ebook for your long flight? Games on the bus? A bit of Netflix in bed? Sure, you can use a phone for all that but it's all so much better on a bigger screen. No matter where you go, with a tablet you'll never have an excuse for boredom.

Portability and fast start-up combine to make the tablet a first choice for quick web browsing, especially when you're away from your desk. A good example would be looking up a recipe for a meal. Set up the tablet in the kitchen, find a recipe online, and get cooking!

A rising trend in business is the use of tablets to run presentations. With presentation files on a tablet, it's relatively simple to share the content with a large screen in meeting rooms. And if you're travelling around to clients and giving presentations outside of the office, they're a lot easier to lug around than a laptop.

If your kids are hankering after their very own computer or smartphone to play games, watch TV and just generally surf the web without having to queue up for your laptop, a tablet could be the answer.

Tablets, especially iPads, are now widely used and accepted by education institutions to boot. Interactive education is the key to the tablet's success in the classroom, where children can engage with learning materials in real time. 041b061a72


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