How to choose a tablet: an instruction for those who do not want to be mistaken

From the operating system to the capacity of the battery: Lifhaker dismantles the main details, which should pay attention when choosing a tablet.

Think about what you need a tablet for

Tablets are well suited for the following tasks: online communication, mobile games and content consumption (reading books, browsing sites, videos, serials and movies). Some devices are also very convenient for office work.


The best tablet is the one that best suits your needs. From them, and need to build on, so as not to lose. Think about what you are going to do on your tablet. This will help you choose the right characteristics of your future gadget.

Select an operating system


Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet

Among the Android-devices is the easiest to find an inexpensive, but at the same time, a productive and high-quality tablet. In addition, users are available a huge number of services, games and programs for a variety of tasks. And enthusiasts have a lot of opportunities to customize the system for themselves.


At the same time, most gadgets on this platform do not receive timely updates. As a result, the latest functions and fixes of software errors appear on the devices with a delay or do not reach at all.




Apple iPad Pro

All new devices on iOS are in the upper price segment. But this is always a premium-class device with current characteristics and fashion design. Owners of iOS-tablets, to put it mildly, are not deprived by programs, games and services. Devices on this system get regular updates for several years after they appear on the market.

Windows 10

Microsoft Surface 3

Windows did not get accustomed to smartphones, but on the tablets, things are much better. The tenth version of this system turns the tablet into a full replacement for the laptop. Especially if you connect the keyboard and mouse to it.


Tablet owners can use fewer applications on Windows 10 than users of other platforms. But they can install full-fledged desktop games and programs, including the Microsoft Office suite. And this is a huge plus for those who need a tablet for work.


If you use a Windows computer, then quickly sort through the tablet on the same OS.

Windows 10+ Android

Chuwi Hi10 Pro

There are also such tablets on which two operating systems are installed at once. By purchasing one of them, you can switch between Windows 10 and Android at any convenient time.

Determine the size of the display

Starting from the length of the screen diagonal, you can conditionally divide the tablets into three categories: compact (7-8 inches), medium (9-10 inches) and large (11-12 inches).

  1. Compact tablets are great for communication, most games, reading books and surfing the Web outside the home. For these tasks, they are more convenient than smartphones when you are not on the go. But still the diagonal of the display length of 7-8 inches is not always enough to view PDF documents or enjoy TV shows and movies.
  2. Mid-size tablets are an optimal combination between mobility and affordable features. Such devices are not put in a pocket, but they are often more powerful than their smaller counterparts and are more convenient for viewing multimedia content and games. They also really work when the laptop is not at hand.
  3. There are not so many large tablets yet. They are the most productive, and also best suited for business tasks due to the size of the screen and accessories. But they are difficult to call portable. In addition, such devices are the most expensive.

Choose form factor

Classic tablets are monolithic devices without moving parts. To many of them you can connect accessories like keyboards and mice. A case in point is the iPad Pro on iOS, to which they sell a keyboard case with a stand. By purchasing such a device, you can use it for most business tasks.


In addition, there are hybrids of tablets and laptops. They are also called transformers. An example is the Lenovo Yoga Book on Windows 10 or Android. The device looks like an ultrabook. But you should take the panel with the keys to the back of the screen - and the gadget will become a tablet.

Lenovo Yoga Book

Owners of hybrids can easily switch between work and entertainment functions, but classic tablets usually cost less.

Understand the characteristics


Resolution and screen matrix

  • The screen resolution is measured by the number of pixels of which it consists. The higher this parameter, the sharper the image. Therefore, it is very important for the tablet.
  • Precisely do not take a device with a resolution of less than 1 920 × 1 080 (or Full HD) points. And if you are interested in tablets with a diagonal display of 9 inches or more, it is very desirable to choose an even higher resolution. But remember that the cost of the gadget depends on this indicator.
  • The matrix is called the technology on which the screen is based. On it depends the overall quality of the image, so this parameter is better not to be neglected. Look closely at tablets with matrices IPS (PLS) or OLED (AMOLED, Super AMOLED). They provide the best picture. The other options are cheaper, but they lose a lot in quality.
  • Pixels working OLED-display can be turned off completely. Thus, they transmit the image with a true black color. In this respect, the OLED matrix has no equal, and in addition, it consumes less energy than IPS. On the other hand, OLED displays are more expensive.
  • The best way to choose between IPS and OLED is to put two plates next to each other and view the same images on them. If you notice a difference, choose the type of matrix, which, in your opinion, better cope with the task.


The speed of the tablet depends largely on the architecture and frequency of the processor, as well as the amount of RAM. But if you are not going to use a gadget for 3D games or professional work with graphics, then do not get hung up on these components.


Even the average by modern standards of hardware filling is sufficient for most user tasks. In addition, if the manufacturer has poorly optimized the software, then the tablet can brake even with a top processor and a large amount of RAM on board. Especially this applies to devices on Android.

To determine if the power of the device is enough for your needs, it's best to take it before buying into the hands and test: touch the interface, open several sites, run a video or game.


In extreme cases, you can see how the tablet reacts to these actions in video reviews.

Support for wireless technologies

The more wireless technologies a gadget supports, the more it has the capacity to transmit and receive data.


If you plan to use the device mainly in the office and at home, then, most likely, you will have enough of a Wi-Fi module, which is present in all the tablets. If you intend to use network functions on the road, then buy a device that supports LTE (4G) networks.


Perhaps you will connect headphones, keyboards, mice and other wireless devices to the tablet. In such a case, choose a device with support for Bluetooth wireless standard not lower than version 4.0. This will ensure a quick exchange of data with accessories while minimizing the load on the battery.

Storage size

The amount of storage determines the amount of data that a tablet can hold. If you buy a device for web surfing, communication and streaming of multimedia content, then you have enough and 16 GB of internal memory.


But to store music and movies on gadgets, install games and many programs, you will need a lot more free space. The size you need depends only on your appetite.


The size of the storage significantly affects the cost of the tablet. To save money, you can choose a device with a small amount of built-in memory, but with a slot for a capacious SD card. It is convenient to store music and video files, as well as data of some programs. But keep in mind that gadgets with iOS do not have memory card support.

Battery capacity

The capacity of the battery depends on the battery life of the tablet. But by the value of this parameter it is difficult to judge how often you have to charge the device.


However, on the sites of manufacturers, you can often read how many hours the device can withstand in this or that mode of operation. Take this indicator for a landmark. For example, Apple has traditionally pointed out in the characteristics of its iPad that they are designed for 10 hours of web surfing, watching video or listening to music. A very good indicator for the tablet.

Camera Settings

Manufacturers and sellers emphasize the number of megapixels of the camera, as if this indicator entirely determines the quality of video and pictures. It's not, so do not be fooled by the big numbers.


In addition, the cameras in the tablets are not as important as in smartphones. Because of the size of the tablet, it is simply inconvenient to use it as a video camera or camera.


What you need to pay attention to is the presence of a front camera. Without it you will not be able to communicate by video link. And to at least roughly evaluate the quality of the camera on the selected tablet, look for samples of her pictures and videos on the web. If the device is popular, it will not be difficult to find such information.