Tablet: What is it? Which Tablet is Right for Me?

Choosing a right Tablet

Tablets are a powerful tool for enhancing your productivity and online experience whether for business use, or life in general. Smaller than a laptop and bigger than a Smartphone, the tablet is perfect to take with you on the go. You can browse the internet, create and share presentations, videos conference with clients, stay connected with corporate email, download books, games and videos, watch movies, share photos and much more with your tablet.

Now that it's time to choose your own tablet, it's worth considering what kind of things you are going to use it for. This way you know that you'll match the right machine to your needs. Here, we look at some of the key areas you might like to consider. You can also quickly contrast tablet features on our Compare Tablets page. And if there's a word or phrase you'd like to understand more about, our Glossary is only a click away.

Android or Apple? What Operating Systems are Available for Tablets?

An important tablet feature to consider is operating system, otherwise known as a 'platform'. There are currently three choices available, Android, BlackBerry, and Apple.

Operating systems are the framework and interface of the tablet, and represent the experience you will have when you interact with your tablet. It is important to carefully consider each to ensure you get the best out of it, and how well the system handles the tasks you want to execute.

Key highlights of the current operating systems available at Staples include:



When considering your OS give some thought to the types of software and applications (or apps) you are likely to use. Availability of apps and software varies depending upon which OS your tablet runs. This area will be one of the most important considerations as you determine which tablet is right for you.

3G, 4G or Wi-Fi?

Connectivity and online experience is what sets tablets apart from smartphones and laptops. So, when choosing your tablet, check out its options for internet connectivity.

Wi-Fi connectivity is a standard feature of pretty much all tablets and delivers a solid browsing experience. Wi-Fi connections enable you to make maximum use of your tablet's standout feature supreme portability and complete web accessibility wherever there is a Wi-Fi signal in your home or workplace, mall, restaurants, coffee shops and more. And all through a crystal clear screen large enough to present information you want in an ordered and easy to navigate way. No more squinting to read content on your phone, endlessly enlarge, shrink and drag articles in all directions to read them, or struggle to hit tiny web links that disappear beneath your finger.

3G and 4G connectivity are other options that enable surfing anywhere there is a cellular telephone network. You'll find such access particularly useful for any apps with GPS related functions, such as maps. Bear in mind that you will pay extra for this type of connectivity from your wireless supplier, in much the same way as you do with your cell phone (but not if you choose a BlackBerry PlayBook and already have a BlackBerry smartphone). Consider this extra cost when choosing your tablet.

Most tablets also incorporate Bluetooth technology. This enables your tablet to wirelessly transfer data to and from your computer or other peripherals such as keyboards, speakers or a mouse.

Tablet processor, size and touch

Another key feature is the tablet's processor. This is the technology at the heart of your tablet and controls all the systems that provide its functions. Speed and power define the differences between brands and models.

The tablet display or screen is one of the most important features to consider. Smaller screens will of course be easier to slip into a small bag or purse, but larger screens will be easier to type on using the on-screen keyboard. It's also worth remembering that the bigger the screen, the larger (and heavier) the tablet.

Options are many. Most screens come out somewhere between 7" and 11". This is the diagonal distance between corners.

Touch responsiveness is also a key consideration as a lot of your interaction will be through tapping. Also look at screen resolution, relative screen size and brightness. These will all determine how your videos, photographs and games appear, and how easy it will be to read your websites, emails and attachments.

Battery Life

Depending on the way you are likely to use your tablet, its battery life will influence your choice, as this feature differs greatly between machines. Lots of things will affect the battery life between charges, such as the tasks you undertake, bandwidth consumption, processor speed, screen resolution and brightness. Internet connections are believed to deplete battery life faster than Wi-Fi.

Memory is expressed as GB (gigabytes). Memory is the amount of storage available on your tablet to save files such as documents, video files and photographs. Tablets start at 16GB and can go up to 64GB. If you are going to listen to a lot of music and watch a lot of movies consider a tablet with 32GB or more of storage.


More and more tablets now incorporate cameras, enabling you to not only capture images, but also to use in video conferencing, or video conversations.

Different tablets have different systems some have only a single camera, while others have both forward and backward-facing cameras. Things to bear in mind here are the resolution of the camera and whether it has a zoom, a flash or autofocus feature. Visit our Compare Tablets page and check the camera features of the very latest machines.

Help with Your Choice

Luckily, Staples is an expert in helping you to make your choice. If you know what you want, great just go directly to our Shop and Compare pages.

But if you're like most people and want to compare tablet brands, we've also got the tools to help you. Find all the information you need in our Shop and Compare pages.

If you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to contact your local account manager.

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