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Need a Tablet Computer? This is the Buyers Guide for You!

Feb 15 2011, 3:37pm CST | by , in Shopping | Shopping Tips

Need a Tablet Computer? This is the Buyers Guide for You!
/* Story Top Left 2010 300x250, created 7/15/10 */ google_ad_slot = "8340327155";
 
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Is the iPad, an Android tablet or something else best for you?

Tablets are all the rage today with the iPad burning up the sales chart and lots of talk about new Android tablets that are coming to market as well as other tablets like new offerings from HP running WebOS (which aren’t available at the time of writing). Things can get really consuming when you are shopping for a tablet and if you need some help making a decision this is the buyers guide for you.

The main difference between most of the tablets on the market today comes down to the OS, the amount of storage they have inside, screen size, access to applications stores, and whether or not they come with integrated mobile broadband or not. There are other key differences as well, but these are the things that your average tablet shopper will want to look for.

One of the most important things to consider is how robust the number of apps and the quality of apps available for the tablet you are considering it. The iPad and Android tablets are both very well stocked in their respective stores and you can find apps for just about anything. WebOS isn’t going to be as well stocked and if you buy a tablet that has Windows on it, you can run just about any application your PC can run.

What screen size you will choose really depends on what you want to do with the tablet. Gamers will want the largest screen they can afford and will meet their portability needs. The largest tablets on the market today tend to hover around 10.1-inches or so in size. That is plenty of screen for high resolution gaming and for movie watching. You don’t need that large of a screen to enjoy games and you can watch movies on smaller screens like the Galaxy Tab offers.

The amount of storage you need again really depends on personal choice. If you buy an Android tablet, they generally have SD card slots for expansion so running out of storage isn’t an issue generally. However, the iPad has no expansion slot so what memory the device comes with is all you get. I have the base iPad and I still have plenty of storage despite hoards of game apps and about 30 books.

I bought my iPad early on and the 3G model wasn’t available then. With the pay as you go plan AT&T uses, it's hard to pass up the 3G version at this point if you will be using the iPad outside the home. If you will only be using it inside or around WiFi hotspots, the WiFi only iPad is great and will save you some money.

The iPad is hands down the most popular tablet on the market today. The iPad has a 9.7-inch screen and all models have WiFi. The cheapest version is the iPad 16GB WiFi only model and you can get it now for about $479 on Amazon. The 16GB iPad with WiFi and 3G will cost you about $600 on Amazon. The 32GB WiFi only version is about $598 with the 32GB WiFi and 3G version at $729. The final version is the 64GB WiFi only at $699 and the 64GB WiFi and 3G iPad for $780.

If the iPad isn’t really your thing, a tablet running Android may be just right for you. The Samsung Galaxy Tab is a nice alternative to the iPad and you can get the tablet on Sprint or Verizon. The Galaxy Tab costs $549.99 on Sprint or about $499.99 on Verizon Wireless, both with a new 2-year contract. This tablet has s smaller screen than the iPad at 7-inches, but it is easy to use and works well for gaming and for watching movies.

Another Android option that is a decent choice is the ViewSonic G-Tablet 10" with Android 2.2. The big draw here is that the tablet has a nice large screen and has a nice price tag at $393.50.

If you want a tablet that runs Windows 7, the Asus Eee Slate EP121 is a natural choice. This machine has a big 12.1-inch screen with a high resolution 1280 x 800 and it runs a Core i5-470UM processor. The EP121 Eee Slate is a notebook with no keyboard at its core. It has 64GB of SSD storage, 4GB of RAM, and a lot more features. The biggest downside here is the price, the Eee Slate EP121 sells for $1099 in 64GB form.

The tablets here are some of the major draws that are on the market today covering a wide range of prices and they are all nice machines with good feature. Buy based on your intended use and be sure with the iPad especially that you guy the version with enough storage for your needs.

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