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How to Choose a Tablet Computer

Looking to invest in a new tablet computer? A tablet lets you play games, watch video, send email, check Facebook, and even work on the go. Choosing the right tablet, however, can be a headache. The electronics store is a sea of competing models, and online stores are like buying blind. With a little knowledge of what you want and need, you can quickly narrow down your choices and find the perfect tablet computer.

Choosing Your Operating System

Samsung Galaxy 10.5-Inch Tablet

Look at What You Currently Use

When it comes to buying a tablet, the main choice you will need to make is the operating system. The operating systems for tablets fall into three basic camps: Apple (iOS), Google (Android), and Microsoft (Windows). The one you pick will be based a lot on the kind of things you do on your regular computer and smartphone.

If you already have a smartphone with one of these operating systems, you may want to consider picking up a tablet running the same OS. Both Android and iOS behave almost exactly the same across devices, making getting used to your device much easier. This will also allow you to connect your devices easier and share things between them.

If you regularly use services provided by one of these operating systems, (iCloud, Google Drive, OneDrive, etc.), you may want to pick a tablet from the same OS. This isn't necessary, however, as there are apps available for all devices that allow you to access other services.

Consider the Pros of iOS

Apple's iOS is what powers the iPad, the device that kicked the tablet market into high-gear in 2010. iOS is known for it's intuitive interface, and Apple products are revered for their construction quality.

Seamless integration with OS X and iTunes purchases.
Easy-to-use interface.
Tons of apps, usually first to get the latest and greatest.
iMessage allows you to send messages for free across all Apple devices.

Consider the Pros of Android

Google's Android operating system is the most popular mobile operating system on the planet, thanks in large part to the massive number of devices that can run it. Android used to be a bit more finicky than iOS, but updates have brought a large number of improvements over the years.

Seamless integration with your Google account and Play Store purchases.
Android devices can be significantly cheaper than iOS or Windows.
Lots of customization and rooting options for advanced users.
Large variety of models and manufacturers to choose from.
Android supports multiple user logins for one device.

The Android operating system can be modified by the manufacturer to be very customized. For example, the Amazon Kindle Fire runs a modified version of Android built around the Amazon ecosystem.

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