Tablet devices are not cheap. Even the good starter models are going to cost you over $150. So you have a moral obligation to make sure that you pick one that going to be right for you. It is in your best interest to purchase a tablet device that is going to have a clear return on investment for you in particular. The tablet must provide you with both a short term and long-term use. You must ensure that the return on your investment is more than just having another gadget to fill your drawers at home. This article has seven tips that will help you to pick the right tablet device for you. It features tips that are less about technical specifications, and more about real-world issues revolving around usability, usefulness and practicality.
1 – The feel, shape and grip of the device
This should be the most obvious factor when you are choosing a hand held device, specifically because it is a “Hand held device,” which indicates that it is going to spend a lot of time in your hand.
Why should the feel of the device affect how easy the tablet is to hold? A tablet may be heavy, slippery and wide, yet feel fine when you hold it. The trouble is that when you hold it for an hour your wrists, hands and fingers hurt. When you hold it for two hours every day then by Sunday your wrists, hands and fingers are aching.
The feel of the device relates to its size. The thicker a device is then the harder it is to hold for long periods. However, you should be aware that the size of your hand plays a part in this. Take your hand and rest the tip of your index finger on the tip of your thumb and you will make an oval shape. The distance between your two fingers (width, not length) is the ideal size for you to hold your tablet. So obviously a large mans hands is going to be able to comfortably hold a paving slab sized tablet, where a tiny 3 foot tall woman will not.
A tablet device with a good grip will mean that you will not have to grip the tablet as tightly, which is going to save your fingers and wrists from getting tired too quickly.
2 – The weight of the device
The weight of the device plays a big part when it comes to tablet use. This is because a tablet is meant to be held on one had for long periods of time whilst the other hand operates the device. This means that not only does a person have to hold the device in one hand, but also has to resist the force of their other hand pushing upon it. When using a Smartphone, only one hand is used and even then, the device is operated by the thumb of the same hand. Portable game consoles are controlled using two hands holding the device (except the Nintendo DS). A tablet device however is a one handed device unless a person is reading; therefore, it cannot be too heavy. When you are testing a tablet device, ask yourself if you would feel uncomfortable holding its weight for an hour.
3 – The processing power of the device
This is important for usability and for the entertainment value of the tablet. Many people use their tablet device for console games, and the really good ones use up a lot of CPU power. Some tablet devices do not have the RAM capabilities, the graphics capabilities and the CPU processing power to handle these games. The processing power affects your usability by the fact that having your applications stutter and freeze can become very annoying. Ideally, if you set a program a task, you want it completed quickly and without any problems. A device with little processing power may not be able to hold true to that ideal.
4 – The size of the screen
You need to ask yourself if the size of the screen really matters. You are going to pay more for a 10 or 12-inch screen, so you really need to ask yourself if you need a bigger screen. Is a big screen going to facilitate what you plan to use your tablet device for? On the flip side, is a 7-inch screen going to hinder your use of the device? You must remember that a larger screened device is going to make your tablet device harder to carry around. You may struggle to put a 7-inch device into your coat pocket, so imagine the difficulty you are going to have with a 12-inch wide screen tablet device.
5 – The position of the home screens tools and applications
If the apps and tools are in the middle of the devices home screen then it is easier to operate with one hand. This may not seem like such a big deal, but if you are planning to use your tablet a lot then this is going to matter to you.
6 – The battery life of the tablet
Ideally, you want to get at least eight hours out of your tablet. The battery is a major contributor to the size and weight of your device. This means that manufacturers have to make a compromise. They lower the battery life in order to make a smaller device, or they install a more sophisticated battery and increase the price of your tablet. If you come across a thin and lightweight device that is economically priced then there is a high probability that battery life and power has been sacrificed.
7 – The speed at which the device boots up or re-awakens
The boot time becomes annoying if it takes a long time. Ideally, you do not want to have to switch on your device and then leave it for a while whilst you find something else to do. The re-awaken speed when coming out of standby or sleep mode is also important. The benefit of a mobile device comes through being able to use it quickly. You should be able to whip out and use your tablet device in mere seconds so that you can access your apps and any relevant information whilst you are still in the real-world moment. If the moment is allowed to pass because your tablet is taking too long to wake up then you may as well carry your laptop around with you.
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