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Time for a tech upgrade? Here’s everything you need to know about tablets!

Published 25th October 2022
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Perfect for browsing, gaming, studying, streaming and more, tablets are more than just oversized smartphones - they’re work and play in the palm of your hands! 

Ready for an upgrade? Discover everything you need to know to find the best tablet for you right here. Check out our guide, then shop the full range!

Types

What are the different types of tablets?

There are four main tablet types, all of which run off of their own operating system (OS). These are: Apple’s iOS, Android, Windows and Amazon’s Fire

Each OS is designed with a user-friendly interface, access to hundreds of apps and a variety of features to suit your needs. But how do you choose the best one for you?

To help you out, here’s a quick breakdown of each:

  1. Apple

    Designed for ease of use, Apple iOS is featured exclusively on iPads. With straightforward controls, slick designs, simple interfaces and well-known extras, like iTunes, App Store and FaceTime, it’s one of the most popular operating systems on the market.
  1. Android

    Google’s Android is a versatile OS that’s used by a number of tablet brands, including Samsung, Lenovo and Huawei. Made to be personalised, it lets you choose how and where widgets are displayed on your screen, offering a fully customisable experience.
  1. Windows

    Windows tablets have similar features to a PC, offering easy access to your favourite programs, including Word and PowerPoint. Ideal for work, they also benefit from Cortana (your own personal assistant) and a range of other enhancements, like the Microsoft Edge web browser.
  1. Amazon Fire

    Affordable, practical and convenient, Fire OS tablets are perfect for tighter budgets. They’re even available in child-friendly options, which all come with protective cases that are tough enough for even the most heavy-handed kids!

Still not sure which one to get? We've found the best tablets for work, play and everything in between - check it out to discover your perfect match now!

Screen Sizes

Which screen size should I choose?

Tablets come in a variety of sizes, from 7.9” and under (AKA ‘phablets’), all the way through to 11” and above. The one you should pick all depends on what you want to use it for. Here's a guide to help you choose: 

7.9" and under8" to 8.9"9" to 10.9"11" and above

Palm-sized, these compact tablets are best for web browsing, social media and reading

These tablets give you more screen space without the bulk, making them better for streaming

Ideal if you’re planning to work with documents, these larger models are super practical

Extra powerful (but more expensive), 11” and above tablets are best for multi-tasking

Look out for screen resolutions, too! Calculated in pixels per inch (PPI), they control how sharp photos and videos look, ranging from Standard Definition to Ultra HD, or 4K. The higher the PPI, the better the detail!

Top tip: Did you know you can use our filters to search for specific screen sizes, as well as loads of other features? Head to our selection of tablets now and filter by everything you need!

Storage

How much storage do I need?

Measured in gigabytes (GB), ‘storage’ refers to how much data (or images, documents, videos and music) can fit inside your tablet. 

You can save files in three different ways:

  1. Internal storage
    The amount of memory that’s built into your device, which can vary from 4GB to 512GB. It's worth noting that capacity is always calculated before the OS or any apps are installed, so you may end up with slightly less than it first appears.

  2. External storage
    Additional storage can be added to your device with a memory card. It’s always worth getting a tablet with a memory card slot if you’re not sure how much storage you’ll need, as this can double or triple your capacity whenever you need it most!

  3. Cloud storage (such as iCloud on iPad)
    Provides wireless access to your saved data online, meaning it’s fully backed up, and you can see your files on any paired device. This is particularly useful if you lose or damage your tablet!

Features

Key features to look out for

  1. Processing Power

    A processor is like the heart of a tablet - it controls all its functions and helps it run smoothly. Single-core processors are good for casual web browsing, while dual-cores offer seamless visuals and faster performance. Some tablets even come with quad-core processors, which are great for more demanding apps.
  2. RAM

    RAM (Random Access Memory) is the amount of space dedicated to running processes. The more RAM available, the smoother the tablet will run, especially if you have multiple apps open at once.
  3. Battery Life

    How much battery life you need will depend on what you’re going to be using your tablet for, but most come with around 8 hours as standard. If you want to extend this time, power banks and portable chargers are a great option.
  4. Connectivity

    Internet access is essential if you want to get the most out of your tablet. If you'll only be using it at home, a Wi-Fi-only device is a great choice. But, if you want to use it while out and about, your best option is a cellular, 3G, or 4G tablet. Just pop in an activated SIM card, and you’re good to go!
  5. Camera

    Most tablets come with a front-facing camera, ideal for apps like Skype and FaceTime. A rear camera can also be great for taking snaps and short videos - look out for higher megapixel counts (like 10-12MP) if you’re keen on better quality.
  6. Apps

    There are *literally* hundreds of apps to choose from, for almost anything! We won’t spoil it for you… the best bit is exploring them!

Don’t know your ports from your pixels? Read our jargon buster to find definitions of all the techy terms you may come across when browsing!

Accessories

It's all about the accessories...

No tablet is complete without that personal touch. Make yours truly unique and special with some (or all!) of these extras:

FAQs

  • What's a cellular tablet?
    A cellular tablet is one that includes a 3G or 4G connection. This means you can connect to apps and the internet wherever your network provider has coverage, even when you’re not using Wi-Fi.
  • What's a graphics tablet?
    If you love to be creative in your spare time, a graphics tablet is just what you need! Available with styluses that provide incredible on-screen accuracy, they’re ideal for digital artists.
  • What's a refurbished tablet?
    A refurbished tablet is a pre-owned device that’s been tested and reconditioned to look and work like new. It’s high-quality, for a low cost.
  • How are tablet screens measured?
    Screens are measured diagonally, from corner to corner. 
  • How do I clean my tablet screen?
    The best way to clean your screen is with a lint-free microfibre cloth. Don’t use a tissue, as these can scratch away the protective coating and leave a nasty residue.
  • How can I get my tablet to run faster?
    To speed up your tablet’s performance, try removing any unnecessary or unused apps. This will instantly free up some space and memory. Always keep up with the latest updates, and be sure to install some antivirus software.
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