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Tablet buying guide

Check out the 6 most important features when choosing a new tablet.

Tablets are the ideal middle ground between phones and computers, with larger touch screens than a smartphone and the ability to run more demanding software. We’ll tell you which features are most important when buying a new tablet, so you can pick out the perfect model.

Screen size and resolution

The first thing to consider is the size of your screen. 7 inch tablets are lightweight and portable, but if you plan on watching movies or using your model for work, a 13 inch screen might be a better option.

Screen resolution is another important feature to think about. It plays a big part in how movies, family photos and YouTube videos on your device will look. Going for a tablet with a higher screen resolution will mean colours are deeper and sharper, and much closer to what you’d experience on a console or laptop.

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Operating system

All tablets have an operating system, or OS, that breathes life into your device and runs your favourite apps. There are a few different operating systems out there, and it all depends on the model you buy.

Apple products only use iOS, while other brands will use either Android or Windows. They’re all fast, well-designed and come pre-installed with their own calendars, calculators, maps and all sorts of other handy applications. You’ll also be able to download a whole host of other apps, like Amazon Prime and Netflix, to watch the latest TV and film sensations.

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Your tablet’s storage capacity should suit your lifestyle. If you just want simple apps, books and photo albums, models with 8-16GB of storage are perfect. For downloading the latest games and films for long journeys, look at tablets with 128GB.

Although you’ll need some space to store apps, it might be worth looking at cloud storage options for photos, documents or films. This is so you can access them from any device with an internet connection. Any photos taken on your phone can be viewed on your larger tablet, making those family holiday slide shows a bit more impressive.

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Battery life

Battery life is important when you’re buying a new tablet, so get one that will go the distance. Ranging from 5-15 hours, make sure your battery won’t die out when you’re bingeing on a boxset or listening to music on your commute.

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Your tablet’s camera might not be as good as your smartphone’s, but that’s not going to stop you from getting great looking photos. Look out for cameras with 12 megapixels or more for crisp and clean pictures and videos.

If you’re making video calls to far-off family, keep your eyes peeled for tablets with a decent front-facing camera. 7 megapixels should be enough to see your relatives as clear as day - even Grandma won’t have an issue!

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Tablets for kids

If your children are looking to get their hands on your tablet, it has to pass the kid test. It’ll need to be durable, safe to use and have a long enough battery life so it can keep them entertained.

Most tablets are designed to be super durable, so they’ll survive the odd drop, knock or bump with no problem. It’s better to be safe than sorry though, so make sure you grab a tablet case to protect it from breaking. Each device will also come equipped with its own privacy settings, so you can make sure they only see what they’re meant to.

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