The trendy pop-me-in-your-bag tablet is more affordable than ever, and there are a bunch of options to choose from. Here’s what you need to know before you go shopping.
What’s missing in your life that a tablet can give you? Games during your morning bus trip, quick access to the Internet, and movies and music at the swipe and tap of your finger.
In the past, tablet prices could be pretty hard to swallow. The good news is, you can now get some great options for less than R2 000. (Check out the Mobicel Echo 10”, MTN Mint 7” and Vodafone VF Smart 7” with Zulu language support.)
To help you choose the right tablet for you, let’s narrow down the essentials.
The three main operating systems are Apple iOS, Google Android and Microsoft Windows. The system you choose will give you access to different app stores. Android is the most popular in South Africa, but Apple and Microsoft also offer some great apps. If you have a smartphone with one of these systems you can sync it with your tablet to copy data.
Affordable tablets don’t come with a lot of memory… but that’s okay if it comes with a microSD card slot. If you can’t increase the memory, avoid anything under 16GB (yes, even that iPad you’ve been coveting). Limited memory means limited space to store games, music and movies.
Screen size and resolution
The larger, 10-inch tablet is popular for watching movies and getting work done, but a smaller 7-inch tablet is easier to carry around. A screen resolution of 1024x600 is decent enough for browsing online.
All tablets have WiFi capabilities, which let you connect to the Internet at home or in your favourite coffee spot. If you’re looking to use the Internet on the go, then you’ll need a tablet that is 3G enabled – and this could mean an extra data contract. What else is great: tablets that come with USB ports!
Smartphones generally have better cameras than tablets, but most tablets come with two cameras: one for quick snaps of your morning coffee and pastry and a front-facing webcam for video calls.
If you’re on the go a lot, you’ll need a decent battery life. But if you have regular access to a charger, then you can play hours of Candy Crush without too much worry.
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