A few years ago, a few critics and journalists in the tech world predicted that tablets would soon become obsolete. They had their reasons for doing so. As they pointed out, the screens of smartphones were becoming bigger all the time, and the technology inside them became more powerful with each new generation. From their point of view, phones would soon progress to the point where there would be no need for a tablet. You would be able to do anything on a phone that you could do on a tablet, and for anything that required more power (or keyboard input), you’d still have your laptop available to you.
As we now know, those predictions were wide of the mark. The continual improvements made by smartphones have made a few tablet-like devices obsolete – you’d struggle to find a good use for an Amazon Kindle these days, for example, with versions of it being discontinued one at a time – but tablets are just as big a deal now as they were five years ago. If they weren’t, there wouldn’t be so many column inches dedicated to the recently-launched new generation of iPads from Apple. Instead of throwing out our old tablets, we still regularly find ourselves asking which tablet best suits our needs – and that’s a difficult question to answer.
While all tablets are designed to be all-purpose machines, some perform better at certain tasks than others. Our brief guide below might help you match up your interests with the device that’s best for you.
For “On The Move” Use
If you’re a commuter who likes to take a tablet with you wherever you go, and you use your device more when you’re on the move than you do at home, your considerations will be different from most other people’s. You want something small enough to carry comfortably, resilient enough to survive the occasional drop, and cheap enough not to devastate you if you use it. That makes the 2019, 7.9-inch version of the iPad mini the best option for you at the moment. This is a very solid incarnation of the iconic Apple product, described by Mashable at the time of its launch as “reliable, but not revolutionary.” It might look a little dated compared to the latest model because of its bezels, but if you ignore the 2015 casing, it’s got 2019 tech inside it that will keep it going for a few years yet. This version of the iPad is especially suitable for commuters because it still has a headphone jack – something that’s sadly lacking in more recent models.
As A PC Replacement
While smartphones haven’t made tablets obsolete, who’s to say that tablets won’t eventually make laptops obsolete? There’s enough power under the casing of most top-of-the-range tablets to rival anything a laptop can offer, so all you’re missing is a mouse and a keyboard – and let’s face it, with a touchscreen interface, the mouse isn’t really all that big a loss. You can always connect a keyboard if you want to, and connecting a keyboard to a Samsung Tab S7 Plus makes it almost indistinguishable from a laptop. Activate DeX, and you’ll wonder why you’ve been paying more for a laptop for all these years. DeX allows for multiple tabs, apps, and windows to be open at the same time, with a taskbar to keep track of everything. Casting to a larger display is easy if you so desire, so multi-screen display is as easy as it is with your existing computer.
The question of which tablet is the best for gamers really hinges on what kind of gamer you are. If you play demanding, cutting-edge games, you’ll want a very powerful tablet. If your definition of gaming doesn’t involve much more than logging into an online slots website like Kong Casino and playing games for money, it doesn’t matter which tablet you buy. By the very nature of their design, online slots put almost zero demand on your processor or hardware. Any tablet that’s capable of sustaining a reliable internet connection will allow you to play online slots. If more powerful games matter to you, though, it would be remiss of us not to point you in the direction of the 2020 version of the iPad Pro. It’s the most expensive recommendation we could make, but it’s a ‘Pro’ device for a reason. It even supports trackpads and multiple USB inputs.
For Those On A Budget
We appreciate that not everybody can afford to pay top-line prices for the latest and flashiest Apple tablets. That doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on tablet ownership, though – it just means that you have to look at what other companies might be able to offer you. If all you want is a tablet that lets you stream, work, and scroll through social media reliably, check out the Amazon Fire 7 from 2019. The screen isn’t huge, but it’s still bigger than your mobile phone. It’s also surprisingly resilient – the rubber case means that it’s more likely to bounce than smash if you drop it. That also makes it a good choice if you’re looking at a ‘first tablet’ to buy for a child. At the time of writing, Amazon is still throwing in a guaranteed two-year warranty for Fire 7 units, so even if you do somehow find a way to break it, you shouldn’t have any problems getting a replacement. It might not be glamorous, but it’s versatile, and it does the basics. For fifty dollars, what more could you really ask for?
In our eyes, that’s one type of tablet for every kind of user. If you want power, go for an iPad Pro. If you want to put your PC out to pasture, get a Samsung Tab S7. For a smaller device you can use on the move, the 2019 iPad mini is your friend. If all you want is a bargain-basement piece of kit to watch Netflix and update your social media status on, get the Amazon Fire 7. We could include more options, but our objective with this article was to keep things simple – and to that end, we hope you’ve found it useful!