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1. Know your needs
There are plenty of important questions you should ask yourself before you plop down cash for a tablet, but the most important is, “What are you planning to use it for?” Are you looking to replace your PC or do you simply want a device to indulge your movies and TV show watching impulses while traveling? Either way, the specific needs you have for a tablet will factor heavily into your choice. Will you need constant Internet access? Is the ability to expand your storage capacity important to you? What about HDMI? IR blasters?
2. Price doesn’t tell the whole story
Just because a tablet is expensive doesn’t mean you’re getting a quality product worthy of your dollar. Conversely, not all cheap tablets are worthless throwaway devices with screens designed to induce glaucoma.
There’s usually a good reason behind the price of each tablet. By taking a loss up front, Amazon can offer its powerful Kindle Fire HD tablets at affordable prices. Also, despite the fact that the iPad has no native HDMI or storage expansion support, Apple’s flagship can justify its $500 starting price thanks to its world-beating performance, incredible app support, refined interface, and robust ecosystem.
Look beyond the price.
3. The manufacturer matters
Choose your tablet manufacturer wisely. Computers aren’t perfect and tablets in particular can be even less perfect. If there are problems, you’ll want to make sure you’ve chosen a vendor that will address said issues with frequent and effective patches. Also, if you’d rather avoid headaches, you may want to choose a manufacturer whose tablets aren’t know for requiring frequent and effective patches. If you’re planning to buy an Android tablet, choose a vendor that has a reputation for updating to the latest version of Android on a timely basis. Asus and Motorola have good track records with this; Samsung, not so much. Research a particular manufacturer’s reputation for supporting its tablets before you buy.