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  • Updated Tablet Buyer's Guide
Technology Articles > Gadgets > Tablets > Updated Tablet Buyer's Guide

Are you feeling left out of the tablet world? You're not alone. Tablet sales are up as more and more consumers try to get in on the tablet craze. But, the rules have changed since the first tablet was introduced. Read through this tablet buying guide before you step foot in an electronics store!

Manufacturer Matters

Sure, most gadgets are made overseas (typically in China), but that really doesn't mean that all tablets manufactured in the same country are the same. Tablet manufacturers differ greatly. The biggest word of caution I can provide here is this: make sure to choose a tablet made by a company that will backup your choice.

Example: if you had purchased a BlackBerry PlayBook, you would not be out of luck where future upgrades and support are concerned. BlackBerry decided to cut all updates and support related to the PlayBook. Go with a steady, well-known, manufacturer that's not currently in any kind of financial trouble.

Size Considerations

Tablets have changed a lot where size is concerned. 7-8-inch tablets are great when it comes to reading books, carrying tablets in bags, and using a true handheld device. But, these sizes probably aren't what you want when it comes to replacing a laptop with a tablet. 9-10-inch tablets tend to be the norm, and these tablets are great for surfing the web or keeping kids entertained.

Tablets that are more than 10-inches tend to be rare, but these are ideal if you really want a laptop replacement. You won't find many in this size range, but the Microsoft Surface Pro and Razer Edge are two 10+ inch tablets worth looking at.

Operating Systems

It's really all about the operating systems that are inside of each tablet. There are a few different operating systems to select from including iOS, Android, Windows 8/RT, and even Amazon (BlackBerry is left off of this list, since the PlayBook won't be updated).

Each OS has advantages and disadvantages. iOS is a popular operating system because it has a massive app store, easy to use interface, and comes with integration across all apple devices (useful). Android is popular too due to the many different apps available, and the fact that Android's media options have expanded lately.

Windows is relatively new to the game with a sizeable amount of apps available, though you won't find a lot of mainstream apps yet. It's also a bit tricky to use the Windows OS at first, but you can get used to it rather quickly.

Amazon is only available if you have a Kindle Fire tablet. Amazon's OS provides access to Amazon's many different apps, but it's hard to compare what Amazon offers to what iOS, Android, and even Windows has to offer.

Which One To Choose

Start by narrowing down the size of the tablet you want, what you want to do with it, and how much you want to spend. Then, weigh each OS carefully. You'll soon find that one tablet makes more sense for you than the rest. Questions? Ask away!