Tablet Shopping: 7 Tips To Avoid Buyer's Remorse - InformationWeek

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11/28/2014
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Tablet Shopping: 7 Tips To Avoid Buyer's Remorse

From 8-inch Windows 8.1 slates to iPads to phablets, tablet shoppers have more options than ever this holiday season. Follow these tips to avoid a mistake.

same power as an $800 laptop, you'll be disappointed. 

2. Beware tablet stereotypes.
Don't take conventional tablet wisdom as gospel. iPads, for example, are known for their high-quality construction, intuitive user interface, and big selection of apps. But because Apple doesn't supply a keyboard and the iPad lacks a USB port, some have typecast iPads as too limited for "real work."

Windows 8.1 tablets and two-in-ones are stereotyped -- thanks to their USB ports and attachable keyboards -- as best for squeezing laptop style productivity into near-tablet portability. At the same time, Windows tablets are thought of as fine for simple tasks but incapable of providing the iPad's "pure tablet" experience.

Android tablets, meanwhile, are known to run the gamut from dirt-cheap devices that run old versions of the operating system to premium models that rival iPads. Android tablet makers are considered more likely to experiment with new technologies before Apple does -- NFC, first-party stylus support, larger screen sizes, even depth-sensing cameras.

Android tablets often include envelope-pushing technology, such as the depth-sensing camera in Dell's Venue 8 7000.
Android tablets often include envelope-pushing technology, such as the depth-sensing camera in Dell's Venue 8 7000.

All of these generalizations are useful but stay flexible. Take the idea that PCs are for work while tablets are for entertainment. This stereotype is true in general; if you use Photoshop every day, for example, then you do need the power of a traditional laptop or desktop. But if work to you means creating presentations, working on photos, or staying in touch with colleagues while on the go, iPads and Android tablets are productive in their own right. Likewise, the popular notion that Windows two-in-ones make better laptops than tablets might prove untrue for you if you need touch-oriented features, such as the Surface Pro 3's impressive digital pen.

3. Tablets aren't isolated products.
Many apps -- such as Twitter, Skype and Microsoft Office -- are available for purchase no matter what kind of tablet you buy. Keep in mind, however, that certain tablets work best with devices from the same manufacturer. Apple's Mac and Apple's iPad, for instance, can seamlessly hand off certain tasks, such as email composition, between the devices. Similarly, it's easier to sync content from one Windows 8.1 device to another than it is to sync between a Windows tablet and a Mac.  

Some Windows two-in-one hybrids, such as the $179 E Fun Nextbook 10.1, now cost less than $200.
Some Windows two-in-one hybrids, such as the $179 E Fun Nextbook 10.1, now cost less than $200.

4. Resolution isn't everything.
Tablet makers tend to glorify screen resolution but the number of pixels isn't everything. Big screens must have high resolution to make text sharp, play HD movies, and so on -- but a tablet's relatively small screen doesn't need lots of pixels. In addition to resolution, be sure to consider qualities such as color

Michael Endler joined InformationWeek as an associate editor in 2012. He previously worked in talent representation in the entertainment industry, as a freelance copywriter and photojournalist, and as a teacher. Michael earned a BA in English from Stanford University in 2005 ... View Full Bio

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Stratustician
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Stratustician,
User Rank: Ninja
11/28/2014 | 1:44:21 PM
It comes down to how you plan to use it!
It's easy to get caught up in the price war game and think "hey, it's on sale for a great price, sure, I'll just pick one up" and then end up with devices that really aren't used.  As beautifully stated in the article, if you keep in mind what you really want to use the device for, that should guide your decision.  I personally have both an iPad, but also get amazing use out of a Windows tablet.  Both for different reasons, but they both have great features as already covered in the article.  If you want a productive device, look for something with those features.  if you want a device that is more for basic web surfing and apps, look for which devices deliver better experiences there.
PedroGonzales
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PedroGonzales,
User Rank: Ninja
11/28/2014 | 4:04:02 PM
Re: It comes down to how you plan to use it!
This is a very informative article.  Many people asked me about tablets. I referred a friend to this article because of the in depth analysis on buying a tablet and other factor which I haven't thought( constant internet connectivity).  I agree it all comes down to the type of use you will give the tablet.
asksqn
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asksqn,
User Rank: Ninja
11/28/2014 | 5:10:44 PM
Buy Now Pay Later
Tablets are like any other device that enables internet connectivity - you're going to get ripped off  if you insist on buying brand new because the same tablet will be 1/2 price three months later.  As informative as this piece may be, the fact is, it is wiser to buy a manufacturer refurb rather than paying full price for technology that is obsolete the moment you take it out of the box. 
PaulS681
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PaulS681,
User Rank: Ninja
11/28/2014 | 6:51:44 PM
cost isnt everything
I like this tip, cost isnt everything. Beware if it looks like to good of a deal it just might be.

I have a little experience in this... A year ago I bought my daughter a tablet for her bday. I found one on sale and it looked like it woiuld do what she wanted.

I got it home and tried to run netflix on it. That tablet wouldnt run netflix. I found a bunch of posts on it after doing a search. I should have known better. I took it back and got a galaxt tablet for her.
PaulS681
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PaulS681,
User Rank: Ninja
11/28/2014 | 6:55:57 PM
Re: It comes down to how you plan to use it!
It does come down to what you want to accomplish with the device. I get people asking me if this is a good tablet.. or this one... etc...

My answer is usually it depends what you are going to use it for. One tablet might be the cheapest and might fill the needs of that person where someone else needs to do more and then would need a better one.

 
Nemos
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Nemos,
User Rank: Strategist
11/28/2014 | 7:16:06 PM
amazing...
I think is one of the best guides about tablets on the internet I have ever read. Although I believe that nobody should spend more that 500$ for consuming technology as the quality of today products are not as it was before 20 years, therefore a 2 year old device is too old and you "have" to replace if is not already broken.
Nemos
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Nemos,
User Rank: Strategist
11/28/2014 | 7:21:44 PM
Re: cost isnt everything
"cost isnt everything"

Of course not but have in mind that everything it depends on how much one earns. For many people out there 800$ are two monthly wages.
tzubair
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tzubair,
User Rank: Ninja
11/28/2014 | 8:35:31 PM
Phablets
I think phablets have completely changed the game as far as the tablet market is concerned. The phones have gotten bigger and have the same specs as tablets. Tablets unfortunately have done little to upgrade themselves and stay ahead of the game. Neither have they tried to improve on the physical aspects, nor are they stronger in terms of the configurations. On the contrary, people are increasingly becoming comfortable with carrying big-sized phones around which can also serve as tablets when required.
tzubair
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tzubair,
User Rank: Ninja
11/28/2014 | 8:39:10 PM
Re: It comes down to how you plan to use it!
"If you want a productive device, look for something with those features.  if you want a device that is more for basic web surfing and apps, look for which devices deliver better experiences there."

@Stratustician: Sometimes brand name can play a lot of role in the tablet purchase. While the user may only require certain hardware specs which are available on a cheaper tablet, the brand name of an iPad and the image it has allures a lot of people into getting one.
zaious
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zaious,
User Rank: Ninja
11/28/2014 | 9:40:12 PM
Re: It comes down to how you plan to use it!
The conception about tablet is still forming -in my opinion. When users buy tablets, very few have specific expectations. Most of the buyers think I will use it for task a, b and c, and then try to see what else can it do. 

There are so many products in market, it is also a time consuming taks to study (most of) tablets and decide. There are reviews, but they also tend to throw buyers in confusion. In short, deciding about a talet purchase is not easy.
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