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Jargon buster: Tablet terminology

Published 25th October 2022
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Don’t know your cellular from your quad core tablets? Confused by their features and functions? Still not sure what a gigabyte actually does? (Hint: it’s nothing to do with food!) 

We’ve got you covered! Read on to find out what all the terms mean, so you know exactly what to look out for when shopping for your new tablet!

Operating System (OS)

The software handling the tablet’s basic functions. Some of the most popular operating systems are Google’s Android, Apple’s iOS (iPads), Windows and Amazon’s Fire.

From operating systems to screen sizes, features and more, discover everything you need to know about tablets in our guide!

Android

Android is Google’s own operating system (OS), used by loads of the tech companies you know and love, including Samsung, Lenovo and Huawei.

In contrast, Apple uses its own iOS, which is exclusive to iPads.

eBook

A digital version of a book, which can be read on both eReaders and tablets.

App Store

Available on iPads, the App Store is your go-to destination for every Apple-compatible app there is! There are hundreds to choose from - sometimes for free, sometimes for a fee - covering everything from social media to gaming, music and more!

Android has its own version called ‘Google Play’, which is very similar.

FaceTime

A video calling service that comes built into iPads. FaceTime calls can be made across a range of Apple devices, so you can speak to your loved ones on their iPhones, Macs and even Apple Watches, too!

Wi-Fi

Wireless technology that uses radio waves to provide high-speed internet to a tablet. To work, you’ll need a router and an internet connection from a network provider.

3G and 4G

These are ‘generations’ in cellular technology - the higher the number, the more recent the tech. Unlike Wi-Fi-only gadgets, 3G and 4G tablets are able to access the internet without a router, giving you the freedom to browse, stream and post on the go.

Bluetooth

A form of wireless connection that allows two or more compatible devices to pair together. Connect your Bluetooth tablet to your Bluetooth headphones, and listen to your favourite tunes without wires!

Internal Storage

The tablet’s central storage system for holding things like documents, apps, videos, music and photos. The larger the capacity, the more applications that can be stored. Flash and Solid State Drive (SSD) devices are faster and more reliable, but come at a bit more of a cost.

Cloud Storage

Allows data to be stored virtually, rather than on a physical hard drive or memory card. Super convenient, it makes sharing information across devices a breeze, and helps to free up internal space on the tablet itself.

The Apple equivalent is iCloud.

Random Access Memory (RAM)

Without getting too much into the techy stuff, all you really need to know is the more RAM you have, the more information you can store and the better your tablet’s performance. As a general rule of thumb, a tablet with 4-8GB RAM or more is ideal for smooth, speedy running.

Central Processing Unit (CPU)

The brain of a tablet, controlling all its functions and actions. Typically, the faster the CPU, the quicker the device.

Screen Resolution

The maximum number of pixels that can be displayed on a screen. The higher the pixel count, or PPI (Pixels Per Inch), the better the resolution and the sharper the display. Average tablets have a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels, which will allow you to watch a movie in Full HD.

High Definition (HD)

Usually means that the screen will be classed as ‘widescreen’, and at least twice as clear as standard definition (SD). Tablets with a 1920x1080 resolution are classed as ‘Full HD’, while 4K alternatives are often ‘Ultra HD’.

Capacitive Touchscreen

A specific type of touchscreen that’s super responsive to touch, allowing for easy swiping and typing. They don’t usually respond to gloved hands or styluses.

Lightning Port

Exclusive to Apple, plug a lightning cable into the lightning port of your iPad and connect it to your laptop for easy syncing or charging.

USB Port

An interface that allows you to connect a tablet to a range of external devices, including computers and chargers.

With so many makes and models out there, finding the right tablet for you can be tricky. That's why we've put together this list of all the best tablets for work, gaming and more, to help you find exactly what you're looking for. Check it out!

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