There is plenty of versatility in tablets, whether you want a rugged device you can let your kids loose on or a powerful model for advanced photo and video editing.
All tablets offer a touch screen where you can run applications similar to those on a laptop. Unlike a phone, you cannot make calls on your tablet and many do not come with 4G connectivity, meaning you can’t use them without a Wi-Fi connection. However, you can use a tablet to make internet calls using Skype or FaceTime.
Several tablet brands now cater for younger children (even if they are more tech savvy than their parents), with safe apps and features built-in to limit inappropriate content.
If you need to use your tablet for more advanced tasks, or want the added flexibility of a keyboard, plenty of models are now equipped to perform functions that would have once been limited to laptops. These two-in-one devices are often powerful, but are more expensive than more simple tablets.
There are four main operating systems for the four main varieties of tablet, all of which offer slightly different levels of complexity and different apps, so this can be a key choice to make when picking up a new tablet.
Here is a rundown of the main tablet operating systems and what you should expect from each:
Apple: iPads were the trendsetters for tablet design and are still the benchmark for many features. They are expensive for the more advanced models, but run on the smooth iOS operating system.
Android: Google’s Android operating system is the system most non-Apple smartphones use, offering access to the PlayStore and a wide range of apps and Google features. Most are less expensive than Windows tablets and iPads, but users often feel Android apps are not as well developed as those for the iPad.
Windows: Most Windows tablets are a hybrid between tablet and laptop and run a version of Windows 10 that offers access to some Windows tablet only apps. These tablets often come with keyboards you can clip on to use them more like laptops.