by January 6, 2014 0 comments

Those days are gone when a tablet was considered an extravagance, when prices remained floating above 20-25K levels.. In the past few months, several new competitors have evolved and along with this, there came new launches from the existing manufacturers. This has made a considerable impact on the market. Now, you can just walk-in to a store and pick up a good quality tablet for less than half what you had to pay earlier.

 

So the good news is that tablets market is flourishing with products that have become more affordable for the masses. With decreasing price points, there’s bound to be some compromises to the hardware specs of tablets, which could impact functionality and performance. That’s what you have to watch out for while picking up one for your needs. You need to analyze the specs and features offered by these devices instead of falling prey to their attractive price points. Here are a few points to keep in mind before you opt for a tablet.

SCREEN: CAPACITIVE IS BETTER THAN RESISTIVE

You will find that most of the low cost tablets provide an option of a 7-inch display. But more than the size, it’s the type of touchscreen that will determine how enjoyable your experience will be. Resistive touchscreen is very rarely used these days. Capacitive touchscreen is far easier to use and also it compliments Android better. However, the quality of touchscreen differs from device to device. You will find the screen of Milagrow TabTop 7.4 much better in terms of responsiveness if you are comparing it with Zen Ultratab 7.0 A100. In terms of resolution, anything below 800×480 pixels should not to be considered.

 

OS SHOULD BE UPGRADABLE TO NEW VERSION

Most budget tablets we see today are based on Google Android 4.0 ICS (Ice Cream Sandwich OS). It is free and helps in keeping the cost of the tablet low. In tablets like Milagrow TabTop 7.4, it is possible to upgrade the Android 4.0 ICS (Ice Cream Sandwich) to the newer version, Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean). While in most other tablets, it is still unclear whether they are upgradable or not. Upgradability is a nice feature to have as it would mean more optimized performance on these tablets which are anyways low on hardware.

800 MHZ CPU, 512 MB & EZPANDABLE MEMORY ARE BARE MIN REQUIREMENTS

When it comes to processor speed, the faster the better. Most budget tablets come with single core processors with speeds in the range of 600 MHz-1.2 GHz. We would advise you to go with the fastest possible processor, though we have seen 800 MHz processors do a decent job. Internal memory and storage are important components which are responsible for some degree of user experience. A larger amount of RAM would mean better functioning of the tablet and lesser amount of lag whereas larger internal memory would mean more space to store apps and personal data files which do come handy on the move. 512 MB RAM would be a good spec to go for in case of low cost tablets. Anything over and above would be a boon for the price whereas anything less would render the tablet useless. Internal memory is substantiated with a memory card. A higher capacity memory card would mean more storage on the go. Hence it makes sense to buy a tablet which supports an expandable memory card. One could look for bundled offers on memory cards which would reduce overhead costs.

AT LEAST 3000 MAH BATTERY RECOMMENDED

Battery is a very important part of all delo portable devices. A good amount of battery life will make life easier. Essentially, budget tabs being 7-inch display devices, require more battery capacity than smartphones to last a respectable amount of time before one has to charge them again. A battery capacity of 3000mAh would be able to last around 5 hours on Wi-Fi with average usage. Another thing to consider could be the type of charger. Though proprietary chargers mean that one can not borrow a charger. A mini USB or micro USB charger would be ideal.

GO FOR LOTS OF CONNECTIVITY OPTIONS

With the advancement in the operating system and improved feature set, budget tablets are not meant only for basic browsing and surfing the net while on the move. Like, they can be used for live video streaming or they can be used for some business works on the cloud. Limited amount of apps would be the other use case. Wi-Fi connectivity, Bluetooth support is a basic spec that is present in all. GPRS/ 3G connectivity could be a differentiator in terms of portable usability of the tablet. 3G capable devices also support phone calls which are a nice add-on. USB device support is a nice add-on as external keyboards and thumb drives could be operated out of that.

LOOK FOR FRONT-FACING CAMERA & GOOD VIDEO PLAYBACK

The tablets in this division are unlikely to be multimedia powerhouses but will, in most cases, play videos and music decently well. In a perfect scenario, we would recommend a device with dual cameras with the capacity to play HD video, but barring this, we would insist that you go for a device that has at least a front-facing camera as tablets are handy for making video calls. Most tablet displays are good to play DVD quality videos.

CHECK IF YOU REALLY NEED ALL THOSE PRE-INSTALLED APPS

No matter which tablet you purchase, it is likely to come with some pre-installed applications. These could vary from browser variants and special application stores to full-fledged office suites. One can always access the Google play and download and install free or paid apps from there. While having a lot of software pre-installed on the tablet might appeal to many who are on a tight budget. The downside is that it eats up storage and can slow down the performance of your tablet. So, it makes sense to opt for a tablet that comes with applications that you need and are likely to use.

 

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