Picking the Perfect Tablet: 10 Must-Have Features

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Picking the Perfect Tablet: 10 Must-Have Features

by Don Reisinger

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1. A Big Display

When Dell announced its 5-inch Streak tablet, most consumers cringed. The device just isnt big enough to be productive. And it certainly wont appeal to those who want to be entertained. The iPads 9.7-inch display effectively hits the sweet spot of viable screen sizes. Thats why its better to opt for the larger screen.

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2. A Viable Operating System

So far, Apples iOS platform has done a fine job of appealing to consumers in the tablet space. But with Android 2.2 on its way to the Samsung Tab and several other devices in the coming months, it will surely give Apple a run for its money. Either platform should satisfy most consumers. But venturing into unknown territory to buy a Windows 7-based tablet or a webOS-based tablet might not be the best idea. For now, iOS and Android OS are the top software platforms in the tablet market.

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3. Tablet Applications

Applications are a must-have for any consumer. They extend the functionality of a device and they typically help folks enjoy more productivity and entertainment. When choosing a tablet, customers should keep that in mind and only opt for those tablets that deliver a large number of viable applications.

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4. The Right Price

Pricing can make or break a tablet. Thats precisely why Apple offers six different versions of its iPad for customers looking for different price points. Consumers should be careful to evaluate the prices of different products. Some might be expensive, while others might be cheap for what theyre getting. In either case, determining a budget and finding the best product that fits within that budget should be any customers first step.

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5. A Clear Value Proposition

As important as price is, value could mean the difference between buying one tablet over another. After all, two tablets might boast the same price, but which product will give the consumer the best experience? In many cases, Apples iPad will likely win out, but not in all cases. Its important for consumers to figure out what they value most before they plunk down hundreds of dollars for a tablet.

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6. Two Cameras

With the help of dual cameras, users can have video chats, quickly snap images and more. Two cameras add considerable value to a product. And there is little reason to opt for any device that doesnt have them.

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7. An Outstanding Virtual Keyboard

Since tablets rely upon a touch screen to help users type, finding a device with a viable virtual keyboard is extremely important. Apples iPad has a fantastic virtual keyboard, while other devices tend to lag behind. Tablet customers should try out a devices keyboard before purchasing it. If the keyboard doesnt respond well or it causes an inordinate number of mistakes, its time to move on.

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8. 3G Connectivity by Default

One of the biggest problems with the RIM PlayBook is that the device wont include 3G connectivity out of the box. In other words, folks that are traveling and quickly want to check their e-mail or surf the Web outside a WiFi hotspot wont be able to do so on the device. Tablets are expected to be mobile companions and 3G connectivity is integral to achieving that.

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9. Flash Support

Adobes Flash has been panned by Apple as a potential security risk that the companys iOS platform doesnt need. But further inspection of Flash running on Android OS reveals that iOS does need it. And for tablets, which can be computer replacements, its an absolute necessity. Because of that, consumers should expect every Website to work. That wont happen on the iPad. Thats a major mark against Apples tablet for any consumer who wants the best browsing experience.

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10. A Reliable Name

The last thing a consumer should do is buy a tablet from an unknown company. Thats not to say that unknown firms cant develop great products-they can-but with so many viable options reaching store shelves, choosing a cheaper alternative from a company that might or might not be trusted isnt worth it. Stick with the big names. Its safer that way.

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