With tablets finding their way into more and more homes and workplaces by the day, many more are considering making the transition from desktops to tablets. But is a tablet right for you? And if so, how do you make the switch?
How Do You Know if You Should Switch?
Tablets are incredibly useful and efficient for your day-to-day tasks. However, most tablets have a very limited storage capacity, for both data of your own (such as pictures, videos, and documents) and for programs you choose to install. If the large part of your computer-based tasks are relatively simple – checking e-mail, creating and editing Word documents, maybe even very basic photo-editing – and if you plan on storing very little data on the tablet, it might be the right choice for you.
If it’s deep functionality that you’re after, you may want to reconsider the switch. However, if you’re looking for smooth efficiency in a very portable package, a tablet will suit your needs perfectly.
How Do You Choose a Tablet?
Firstly, compare prices. Figure out which tablets are in your price range. Some are as low as two or three hundred dollars, but they may be on the lower end performance-wise as well. Others range as high as $1000, and while those function better than most laptops, they’re definitely a good solid hit against your pocketbook.
Also, consider what exactly you want to use it for. For example, if you’ll be doing a lot of video-conferencing, you’ll want to find a tablet with a forward-facing camera besides the more standard back-facing camera. Another thing to keep in mind isÂ whereÂ exactly you’ll be using it. If you’ll have steady access to Wi-Fi, you can easily go with the Wi-Fi-only models, but if not, you may have to spring for a tablet with 3G built in.
Some tablets are honestly just plain better-quality. If you find two of similar price, it’s typically a good idea to choose the one with the most processing power (a number followed by GHz) and ram (1-3 GB is the usual range). Storage space is important too, whether or not you plan to be using a lot of it. Storage space ranges from something like 16 GB to a whopping 64 GB, sometimes even more.
What Should You Do Once You Have Your New Tablet?
There are a few crucial apps that will make your switch to a tablet much easier. Since downloading and installing programs takes up a large amount of precious space, you’ll want to opt for the lighter-weight alternatives wherever they can be found.
Dropbox is a free application that lets you upload photos, documents, and other files to a sort of cloud, then access them on your phone, your laptop if you have one, and any other devices you choose. This is a good idea if you’d like to transfer files from one device to another with no hassle.
Waze is great for all of your traveling needs. Not only does it replace your usual dashboard or even phone-based GPS with something much more accurate, but it also provides real-time data on traffic jams and accident reports.
JuiceDefender is crucial if you want to make your battery life last. It manages both surface and background apps, allowing you to easily turn off those which you aren’t using at the time.
Those are just three of many useful apps, a quick Google search will turn up dozens more. Aside from apps, though, you may want to look into picking up some external accessories. A keyboard, for example. There are many very lightweight options with USB connectivity that will make typing a whole lot easier than wrangling the on-screen keyboard. In fact, many tablets have keyboards made specifically for them, so that’s something to look into. A stand might also be a good investment, like the ones offered by Magnus.