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Tablet Computer Buying Guide

Updated on March 31, 2016
By Gilberto Ruiz Rojina (], via Wikimedia Commons
By Gilberto Ruiz Rojina (], via Wikimedia Commons | Source

Everything You Need To Know, Before You Buy!

Everywhere you look these days, you see more and more people walking around with Tablet Computers. More than just “Cell Phones On Steroids”, these powerful little devices are quickly changing the way people interact and do business. When it comes to Buying A Tablet Computer, there is an almost overwhelming amount of information to consider.

From different brands, to options like: carrier networks, memory & storage, peripherals, cases, accessories, and so on, it’s not just a matter of heading to your local store and grabbing one. Although they have gotten a lot less expensive since their initial release (as all technology tends to do), they can still represent a major investment. That’s where this Hub comes into play. This is going to your “one-stop-shop” for everything you need to know, before you buy.

Is A Tablet Computer Right For Me?

Before we start trying to decide what type of Tablet PC you should be looking for, we need to make sure that a Tablet is right for you to start with. First, let me just say that if this is going to be your only computer, then a Tablet is probably not the best choice. They’re small, mobile, and above all, fragile, three things you don’t want in your only computer.

Why wouldn’t you want a Tablet as your only computer? Well, there are a few reasons, not the least of which is the fact that you just simply can’t store as much on Tablet as you can a regular Home Computer (or even a Laptop for that matter). The average Home Computer now comes with around a 1 TB hard drive (that’s 1000 GB). The average tablet computer comes with a 64 GB hard drive. Yes, there are some models that come with more storage, but nothing that comes close to home computer.

Another big reason you wouldn’t want a tablet is your only computer, is its size and vulnerability. They can be dropped, lost, stolen, you name it. And while losing your tablet would suck at any point, imagine if it was your only computer. It’s basically the same reason why you would want a laptop as your only computer.

So Why Do I Want a Tablet?

Tablet computers are amazing, plain and simple. They have revolutionized personal computers in much the same way that cell phones revolutionized communication.

For work, they give you unprecedented flexibility and, more importantly, capability when away from your desk. For entertainment, they give you the ability to take your music and movies to all new levels when away from home, as well as impressive recording and editing capabilities. For education, they offer high speed Internet access and the ability to work anywhere.

Types Of Tablet Computers

Since this is a “beginner’s guide”, I’m going to keep this simple. Basically, there are two main types of Tablet Computer: “Slates” (like the iPad) and “Convertibles” (like the Dell Inspiron Mini Duo). Yes, fellow techies, I know that there are more than two types, again, let me say this guide is designed for beginners. So what’s the difference between the two?


Apple iPad 2 MC916LL/A Tablet (64GB, Wifi, Black) 2nd Generation
Apple iPad 2 MC916LL/A Tablet (64GB, Wifi, Black) 2nd Generation

Not the first Tablet, but certainly the genesis of the current Tablet Revolution. Apple's iPad set the standard against which all other tablets are judged.



Slate Tablet Computers get their name from their great-great-great-grandfathers, the writing slate. They’re pretty much a WYSIWYG device. Generally, they’ll have a power button, and maybe a couple other actual physical buttons, but for the most part, everything is touchscreen. The slate style is certainly the most popular style, as it gives you that iPad-esque look and feel.

Dell Inspiron Mini Duo

Dell Inspiron Mini Duo 3487FNT Convertible Laptop/Tablet (Foggy Night)
Dell Inspiron Mini Duo 3487FNT Convertible Laptop/Tablet (Foggy Night)

Built in keyboard, and flip touchscreen display. This little powerhouse goes from Laptop to Tablet.



Some Tablets come with built in keyboards that are usually incorporated into the body. The screens can usually rotate and convert from the traditional Laptop format to a Tablet style, so they are called, creatively enough, Convertibles. These tend to be a little more popular among men and businesses.


Technically, these are Tablet Computers also, and as they get more and more advanced, the line between eReader and Tablet will continue to blur. In general, eReaders are just for media, with some being strictly for reading (hence the name). Most of them now will let you browse the web, borrow ebooks from your local library, and shop online for even more books. They’re not nearly as versatile as Tablets, but if all you’re looking for is a way to have a ton of media with you without having to squint to see it on your phone, then an eReader may be just what you’re looking for.


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    • Julia-tomar profile image

      Julia Tomar 4 months ago

      I have actually been considering using a tablet. This is an excellent and lot of enjoying this tablet.

    • Billy Hicks profile image

      Billy Hicks 5 years ago

      @Skarlet Thanks for stopping by, I'm glad you liked it.

    • Skarlet profile image

      Skarlet 5 years ago from California

      I have actually been considering a tablet. This is an excellent hub. Voted up, and all!

    • Billy Hicks profile image

      Billy Hicks 5 years ago

      @MarkSmithPA Thanks for stopping by, I'm glad you liked the article.

      As for having a tablet as your main computer, it's an awful big risk to take.

    • MarkSmithPA profile image

      Mark 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Thanks, Nice Article!

      I think some people could get by just find with only having a tablet as their "main computer" but yeah I know what you mean :)