How to Buy a Tablet29 Oct 2011
Tablet Buying Guide
As more tablets come to market, be prepared to be wowed by the power that some of these slates are capable of. But also be prepared to be disappointed: The tablets already on the market, or coming soon, have a slew of gotchas--especially the lower-cost models you may see advertised at rock-bottom prices.
Given the sheer number of tablets expected to ship in the coming months--and those already in the market such as the Apple iPad 2, the Motorola Xoom, the RIM PlayBook, and the Acer Iconia A501 Tab--we suggest looking around, doing your homework, and being patient instead of leaping headfirst.
But if you can't wait and simply must take the plunge now, keep in mind the following three key points before you buy.
You Get What You Pay For
The rock-bottom-priced tablets you see advertised around the Web carry those low prices for a reason. Typically, they lack the processing power, memory, display quality, or responsiveness (or some combination thereof) to provide a satisfying experience. Not that tablets should be all about specs, but right now, if you're going to buy, do pay close attention to them. Single-core models, or ones with CPUs less than 1GHz, are going to be slow. Also watch out for resistive touchscreens, which generally lag in responsiveness, and for low-resolution displays.
For Android Tablets, Look for Google Services
Let me preface this by saying that a number of alternate app stores are around, including market leader GetJar. But the bottom line is, they're not the official Google Android Market. Having Android Market on the device--along with other services like maps and e-mail--just makes the experience of using the tablet more fluid, and stronger on the whole. The "Google Experience" enables a certain consistency and expectation of what you're going to get, so if you're bothering to plop down the bucks for a tablet now, consider that the more complete and well-rounded your experience, the more likely it is that you'll love your tablet. Think of what has made Apple's iPad experience so strong (beyond the easy interface)--it's the simplicity of accessing a deep array of apps.
Consider Snapping Up a First-Gen iPad
Yes, you read that correctly. If your wallet couldn't handle the original iPad's prices, iPad 2 will remain out of your reach. But Apple is clearing out its stock of the first-generation iPad--and if that version's weight and lack of dual cameras or dual-core CPU aren't dealbreakers for your needs, a first-generation iPad is the most cost-effective way to get a good tablet today. Check out the deals for used iPads, too: over on eBay India, I've seen 32GB Wi-Fi models selling for as little as Rs. 20,500 and USD 330 (Rs. 16,400 approx.) on the American eBay site.
via PC World