A Tablet is the latest in computer technology. It's like having a laptop but without a keyboard. Instead it has a screen you can touch and a keyboard pops up onto the screen when needed to allow you to type. It is almost like having a larger version of a smartphone but the size makes it easier to use.
What can I do with a Tablet?
Pretty much anything - surf the Internet, email, Facebook, Twitter, read Kindle books (or other ebooks), catch up on the news, shop online, play games like Angry Birds, watch YouTube videos, watch UK TV using iPlayer or ITV Player, watch a film, play your music. The options are endless.
Why do I need a Tablet if I have a laptop?
Tablets are convenient, lightweight, highly portable and boot very quickly. Sitting in front of the TV, it is quite handy to just check you email or browse the internet using a tablet PC.
iPads are perhaps the most well known Tablets available but are expensive and run the Apple IOS.
Android Tablets can be just as quick as an iPad but run the Google Android operating system and are generally a fraction of the cost.
What is Google Android?
Android is a Linux based operating system designed primarily for touchscreen mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Android is open source and this allows the software to be freely modified and distributed by device manufacturers.
Android is the world's most widely used smartphone operating system and the software of choice for technology companies who require a low-cost, customisable operating system for high tech devices without developing one from scratch.
So thanks to Google, we have all these brilliant new Tablets being developed at such a low cost compared to the iPad.
Additionally, Android has a large community of developers writing Apps that extend the functionality of devices.
What is an App?
App is short for application. These are the programs that Android runs. They can be programs, tools, games or even apps to allow you to use Microsoft Office.
Apps are downloaded from Google's Play Store. There are over 700,000 apps in the Play Store and most of them are FREE (although some free apps are supported by showing you small adverts at the bottom of the screen).
There are free apps for Facebook, Twitter, Skype, BBC News, iPlayer, ITV Player, Email, Browsing, Kindle and many, many more,
We install a number of handy apps onto each tablet we sell to get you started.
What are the important things to look for in an Android Tablet?
1. Android Version: Is it running the latest version (Android 4.4 KitKat at the time of writing) or an older version? Try to make sure you have the latest version as Android is improving each time and older versions may not work with all the latest apps. A Froyo (Android 2.2) tablet will be much older then one running Jelly Bean.
2. Screen size: The screen size matters. It is measured diagonally across the visible area of the screen so a 7" tablet is really quite small. There are Tablets with 7", 8", 9", 9.7", 10.1" and 10.2" screens currently available.
3. Screen Type: There are two types of screen commonly used on Tablets
Capacitive screens are glass and use current to detect touch. These are like the ones used on iPads and smartphones. Capacitive screens also support multi-touch, meaning they can register more than one finger touching the screen. So a 10 point multi-touch screen allows you to touch the screen with all your fingers and thumbs at the same time.
Some cheaper tablets use older Resistive touch screens. These are plastic and use pressure to register touch. We recommend a capacitive screen as it is a much easier and smoother experience. Resistive screens are OK to use if your budget will not stretch to a capacitive device.
4. CPU: The CPU or Central Processing Unit is the engine room of the Tablet. The stronger and faster the CPU, the quicker the Tablet will be able to run and the greater the ability of the Tablet to run more apps at the same time.
5. CPU Cores: The CPU may be single core, dual core, quad core or even more. The more cores available, the faster the tablet will run. BUT not all CPUs are equal. For example, the Rockchip 3066 dual core CPU tests faster than the Allwinner A31 quad core CPU.
6. RAM: The RAM means Random Access Memory and the more the better. Look for a Tablet with 1GB or more to make sure it runs well. 512MB may be OK for a smaller 7" screen Tablet but look for at least 1GB for 10" Tablets.
7. GPU: The GPU or Graphic Processing Unit determines the quality of the on screen graphics. The faster the GPU (and the more cores) the better the graphics will be.
8. Internal Memory or storage: Look for the storage size. The bigger the better as this is used for Android, your apps and your files. Often the internal memory is partitioned into 2 or 3 sections allow a distinction between areas for Android, apps and your files. You can expand the storage using micro SD cards but check what the internal memory of the tablet is before you buy.
9. Battery size: This is usually shown as a number followed by mAH. In theory, the larger the number, the longer the battery life.
10. Camera: Some Tablets have only one forward facing (looking back at you) camera. The camera is used for apps such as Skype, Google Hangout and other video chat applications. Some of the Tablets also have a rear facing camera as well which you can use for photographs and video. You can use the forward facing camera for photos and video and the rear camera for Skype (and other) apps.
The quality of the camera is shown by the megapixel level. This is usually shown as a number followed by MP (such as 5MP rear camera). The larger the MP number, the better the quality of the image.
DroidsDirect.co.uk and Cutting Edge Trading hope this helps you better understand what an Android Tablet is and what to look for when buying one.
Do you have any questions? Just email via our Contact Us page and we'll get right back to you.