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5 Handy Details to Look Out for When Buying your Next Tablet

5 Handy Details to Look Out for When Buying your Next Tablet

For the past five years, the tablet market has been growing exponentially. Big brand names such as Google have been churning out some pretty breathtaking gadgets, usually at competitive prices. For instance, Google’s 10-inch 8 GB tablet PC is regularly ranked as the best tablet under 200 bucks on a number of review sites, which is a big steal for a device in its class.

Apple, which has largely led the tablet market since 2010, saw its tablet market share dwindle from a commanding 60% in 2012 to just over 26% in 2014. Samsung, Asus, Amazon, and Lenovo have played critical roles in saturating the market with alternative tablet options.

Of course, with more brands coming in, there is bound to be confusion for consumers looking to buy a tablet.

Terms such as Octa-core, NFC, Amoled, LTE, and other technical descriptions only increase the confusion, making an already difficult decision nearly impossible.

So how do you avoid the confusion and get a tablet that will not leave you cursing at technology? Simple. Start by understanding your needs.

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This will help you look at specs on a need basis and not simply because the tech guy at the store sounded convincing. So if you are a student, for instance, you can stick to tablets with low to medium specs – just enough to do assignments, read digital books, and link up with classmates.

That said, knowing a thing or two about some of the features of a tablet can help align your needs with the perfect tablet.

1. Size and Display

Tablet Shopping: 5 Handy Details to look out for When Getting your next Tablet

    The first thing that gets your attention when it comes to a tablet is its size. Tablets offer the perfect balance between a large smartphone and a netbook, so many tablets are often between 7 and 10 inches. Smaller 7-inch tablets are more portable when compared to their larger counterparts, which makes them perfect for people who are constantly on the move. And contrary to popular belief, 7-inchers can pack some serious specs, for instance, the iPad Mini 4.

    On the other hand, larger tablets tend to have a wider screen display, which makes them great for watching movies and playing games.

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    So if you are planning to watch movies, read eBooks, or write and edit spreadsheets and text documents, bigger, high-definition screens will work better for you. Keep in mind that with the larger 10-inch screens, you will have to sacrifice portability and a few more bucks.

    2. Processing Power

    Tablet Shopping: 5 Handy Details to look out for When Getting your next Tablet

      Processors are probably one of the most overlooked aspects of a tablet. Anything with two or more processing cores is often marketed as supreme, though other factors go into determining the performance of a processor.

      For instance, a tablet with two Intel processing cores (Dual-core) may have the same performance with one that comes with four or more AMD processing cores.

      You should also keep in mind that the more powerful a processor is, the faster your battery is going to drain. Powerful processors will also emit more heat and will typically come with larger tablets for more efficient heat management.

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      If you happen to go with a Windows tablet, the Intel Atom Z series and the newer Intel X series offer one of the best balances between battery life and performance, with the latter offering improved clock speeds for a faster processor.

      3. Battery Life

      Tablet Shopping: 5 Handy Details to look out for When Getting your next Tablet

        A tablet’s battery life is determined by usage, processing power, and the battery’s capacity, usually measured in Milliampere-hour (mAh). Tablets with a higher mAh rating will often last longer than one with a lower rating given the same usage pattern. You should also keep in mind that the more powerful a processor is, the more power it will suck out of your battery.

        The Lenovo Yoga Tab 3, which rocks a 6200 mAh battery – one of the largest to ever feature on a tablet – can withstand over 15 hours of movie watching and internet browsing. So always go for something with a higher mAh, especially if you plan on using the tablet for stuff like video editing or gaming.

        4. Operating System

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        Tablet Shopping: 5 Handy Details to look out for When Getting your next Tablet

          As it currently stands, there isn’t much to choose from when it comes to tablet operating systems. Many tablets will usually come with Apple iOS, Google Android, or Microsoft Windows. iOS is Apple’s flagship software platform that is used exclusively on Apple’s mobile devices. Users benefit from over 2 million applications on the App Store but not much in terms of customization.

          Google’s Android platform on tablets offers much more flexibility when it comes to applications. Users get a wider access to apps because you are not limited to Google’s app store. Microsoft Windows runs on Windows Tablet PCs and is fully compatible with desktop and laptop versions of the operating system.

          5. Extras

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            Like your smartphone, tablets should add some form of value to your life. For instance, a good 8 MP camera or more will let you take high-quality pictures for Facebook, Instagram or other social media portals. Other tabs also come with front-facing cameras, though these are usually of lower quality. However, if you already have a smartphone with a good camera, you can make large savings by opting for a tablet with a poorer camera.

            Another important aspect to consider when looking for a tablet is connectivity. Almost all tablets come with Wi-Fi support, though wireless technology is not always the same. For instance, 802.11b/g technology is a bit older than 802.11n and may negatively affect video streaming and heavy downloads.

            You can also opt for tablets with SIM card support that work with 4G and 3G networks. Though a bit pricier, these tablets will let you make calls, text, and access the internet where there is no Wi-Fi.

            Featured photo credit: http://pixabay.com/en/tablet-living-room-dog-woman-girl-843798/ via pixabay.com

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            The Gentle Art of Saying No

            The Gentle Art of Saying No

            No!

            It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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            But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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            What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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            But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

            1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
            2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
            3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
            4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
            5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
            6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
            7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
            8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
            9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
            10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

            Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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