GNcareers, from Gulf News

Tablet buying for beginners

Tablet buying for beginnersImage Credit: Supplied

When shopping for a tablet, the less-informed could be forgiven for assuming that all the options were iPad if everything seems to look like an iPad. While the Apple giant is still the most popular design on the market, those who are looking for something a little bit different or with a slightly lower price tag, there are more options available out there.

Your first decision when shopping for a tablet should be which size you want: compact, mid-range or large. The compact tablet has the smallest screen and lightest weight, making it the most portable but often with fewer features at a higher price. These include the Google Nexus 7 and, of course, the iPad Mini. Mid-size tablets could be anything from 7.5 inches to 9 inches across which offers plenty of choices for the range. Finally, a full-sized 10-inch tablet from manufacturers like Sony, Samsung and Apple is often just a keyboard away from performing like a compact laptop which can be reflected in its price.

The second decision you need to make is whether you want the tablet to include 3G facilities or simply run on Wi-Fi. The final decision will then, of course, be brand. Will you choose your tablet for its price and features, or do you have a preference for a brand?

In the UAE, examples of budget tablets in the mid and full-sized ranges are the Archos 80b Platinum and 97b Platinum HD respectively. Both are a good deal cheaper than higher end versions, and run Android Jelly Bean 4.2.

But whichever tablet you choose, there will always be a trade-off between functionality and cost; the more powerful the tablet and the more sophisticated its software, the higher the price tag will be.

Handy Hints:

• Size is a major consideration in buying a tablet

• Check whether or not you want 3G functionality

• Know if the brand you want meets your requirements

Source: Nicholas Baker, Special to Classifieds,

The writer is a freelancer