Android or iPad? Tablet buying guide

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arm-based_ipad_clone_3With the ability to browse the internet, play immersive games, connect to social networks, display online videos and stream live music, tablets are revolutionising the world of entertainment.

What’s more, these powerful portable devices are also capable of creating documents, increasing productivity and sharing files over multiple platforms, with tablet shipments set to overtake a dwindling PC market by 2015.

However, for those interested in purchasing a tablet, knowing which one to go for is a troublesome dilemma. Android or iPad? 3G or Wi-Fi? Compact screen or expansive display? Here are some common questions answered.

Android or iPad?

Since its introduction in 2010, Apple’s iPad has been the world’s dominant tablet. Combining a slick user interface with stunning design, the iPad is incredibly easy to use and beautiful to look at. The amount of content available on iTunes and the App Store is seemingly endless as well.

However, Apple’s iOS cannot be customised and does not support online Flash content, which at times can be frustrating. Each and every generation comes with a hefty price tag too.

With big brands including Samsung, Google and Amazon producing Android tablets, the choice for consumers is vast. The highly customisable operating system allows apps, shortcuts and the home screen to be modified and changed to suit the user.

Although not as much content is available on Google Play, Android tablets uk are incredibly cheap in comparison to the iPad.

3G or Wi-Fi?

3G and even 4G connectivity enables tablet users to browse the Internet at any time even if no Wi-Fi hotspots are available. However, you will need to purchase a 3G data only plan from a mobile network provider, which start at around £10 per month.

The price of tablets with 3G/4G capabilities are also more expensive that Wi-Fi versions. For example, cellular Apple iPads come in £100 more.

Although most people will find a Wi-Fi tablet meets their requirements, 3G connectivity is recommended for those who need access to online content on the move. Nevertheless, numerous smartphones now come with the ability to share their Internet connection through a personal hotspot, effectively rendering tablets with 3G useless.

Big or small display?

Size isn’t necessarily everything when it comes to tablets, so think carefully about how you will use your device.

Smaller tablets are obviously cheaper and suit those on a budget. Even so, compact devices have additional benefits too, as they are usually lightweight, easy to carry around and can often be used with only one hand, making web browsing or reading books a pleasurable experience. Processing power and battery life may suffer though.

If you’re concerned with entertainment and productivity, a larger screen will suit your needs. Movies and television shows always look better on a sizeable screen, while typing is much easier thanks to a bigger onscreen keyboard. Although built-in memory and storage will inevitably be superior too, be prepared to spend out more cash.

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