Buying a cheap Tablet with adequate features has become a mission impossible. The large number of options makes it easy to get lost in the huge amount of data, acronyms, and features. If we don’t know what we’re buying, we can end up buying a bad product… or worse yet, the Tadeo Jones Tablet (which costs 89€ and is sold by Telecinco for 129€).
In view of the Christmas shopping, I had to go through several large stores (Carrefour, MediaMarkt, etc…) and I have seen people ignoring quite good quality/price models to buy other worse and more expensive ones. We tend to associate more expensive with better, and this is not always true.
This was helped by the advice of the shop assistants who, either due to lack of time, lack of knowledge, or because they are interested in selling the most expensive model, didn’t always make the best recommendations for the customer. This is compounded by the poor quality of the product information sheets, which usually show the most striking features and hide the really important ones.
So that you don’t get ripped off and can choose the most suitable Tablet for you at the best price, I am writing this series of 3 articles. In this one, I explain what to look for when buying a Tablet. In the other two, I will make recommendations and examples of good Tablets to buy, in 7” and 10” respectively.
Size matters, 7” or 10”
The first thing to decide is whether you want a 7” or 10” Tablet. It is a very personal decision, which depends only on you to decide which size is better. Statistically most people prefer 10”, but there are also great defenders of the 7”.
- 7” Tablets are smaller and therefore weigh less. Generally, the battery lasts a little less, they are easier to transport and manipulate. They are also somewhat cheaper.
- 10” Tablets have a larger surface area, which makes them more comfortable for reading documents, plans, images, and videos. On the other hand, holding them for a long time can be tiring.
As I said, the decision can only be made by you. My advice is to take advantage of looking in a large store, play with various sizes, and determine which one fits best with your tastes, needs, and the intended use.
What we should look for
To choose a good Tablet, you should focus on 4 aspects.
- Screen: The screen is fundamental on a Tablet, because it represents the majority of the user experience. A bad screen, with low resolution, will make it difficult to read, images appear blurry, and letters poorly defined. The minimum resolution you should ask for is 1024x600 for 7” and 1200x800 for 10”. Usually, resolution is a feature that shopping centers tend to “forget”. Ask for the information. If you see a Tablet with a resolution of 800x480, leave it on the shelf.
- Processor: The other most important aspect is the processor. If you buy a Tablet with a bad processor, you will have an unpleasant experience, full of jumps, waits, and crashes. I’m going to make it easy for you, two words. Dual Core, if it has less, you don’t want it. It doesn’t matter if they tell you it has 1.5Ghz, that it’s an A15, blah blah… you want dual core, and upwards. Logically, if it has 4 even better, and the faster they are, the better.
- Operating system: Minimum Android 4.0. The higher the number, the better. Although it is starting to be difficult to find lower-end Tablets, don’t accept anything older.
- SD card: Being able to expand storage through the use of SD or micro SD cards is an essential aspect in a Tablet. It is a cheap way to expand memory almost indefinitely. For example, it is not uncommon to find that the model of a 32GB Tablet costs 100€ more than the 16GB model… they charge you 100€ for 16GB!!! A 16GB card costs 16€. And if you still run out, you can buy several and change them.
These four aspects, while not the only ones, are good indicators of the overall quality of the Tablet. In particular, pay attention to the screen resolution and the processor. Of course, there are other factors that can influence, such as having GPS, having HDMI (to connect to the TV), having 3G (although you will have to contract a data plan or make a SIM card swap), having a camera (I don’t use the Tablet’s camera, but to each his own). Each person must prioritize if any of these aspects are important to them.
In the next two articles, we will see recommendations and examples of Tablets to buy. [Link to recommendations on 7-inch tablets].(/en/buying-a-cheap-tablet-2-of-3-recommendations-in-7/)[Link to recommendations on 10-inch tablets].(/en/buying-a-cheap-tablet-3-of-3-recommendations-in-10/)