Tips for when buying a tablet computer

Buying a tablet computer can be a very wise decision if you are on the go a lot, or just want something smaller than a laptop, and a smart phone is just too small to replace it completely. Basically, tablet computers bridge the gap between what PCs and smart phones do. There are a lot of tablets on the market so it might be hard to know which one would work best for you. If you are thinking about buying a new tablet computer then here's just what you need to keep in mind before you purchase one.

How Big Is The Screen?

One of the most important aspects to consider before purchasing a new tablet is the screen size. In general, the screen size that you go for depends on how comfortable you are typing and tapping on a smaller or a larger screen and how portable you need it to be. With such a small device, every inch makes a huge difference. The screen of the latest iPad model is the same as the original iPad (9.7-inches), we guess because it proved to be a popular size. For a more portable tablet computer 7-inch seems to be another popular size. A good example is Samsung Galaxy Tab with its 7-inch diagonal screen instead of the iPad's 9.7 inches. With a 5-inch screen Dell Streak comes in on the smaller end of the scale, however to many it may seem an awkward device as it is too big to be a real phone and too small to compare with tablets.

What OS Does It Run?

Another aspect you need to consider before purchasing a new laptop computer is which operating system you will be comfortable with. There are various different operating systems available for tablet computers. The most popular iPad comes with its own iOS which can be found on iPhone as well. Apple's iOS is very user-friendly but lacks support for Adobe Flash, which is limiting the web experience in a way. Its biggest competition is Google's up-and-coming Android. There is a huge selection of Android tablets but the quality if the OS itself and the Android app market is not as refined as Apple's. You can find some tablets out there that run Microsoft Windows 7, although this operating system isn't specially designed for tablet use. Windows 8 promise to be increasingly tablet-friendly.

Do You Really Need A 3G Tablet?

Every tablet on the market today is Wi-Fi-capable, but check this: some models only support the 802.11b/g. If you are a power Internet user, look for 802.11n.

A tablet which also supports 3G mobile connection (on top of Wi-Fi) will let you stay connected even if you're out of hotspot range. The 3G feature allows you to put a mobile internet-enabled SIM card into it and use the Internet while on the move. The downside, however, is that data plans are costly and often you have to sign up to a data contract.

It Won't Replace Your Computer

Even if you buy the top latest tablet, you will at some point realise that it is a bit underpowered compared to even the most basic laptop. Don't expect miracles from a tablet in terms of performance. Think of it as a cool gadget ideal for web-surfing, watching YouTube videos, doing a few emails and reading newspapers.