Android Tablet Purchasing Tips - dummies

By Dan Gookin

The major things to look for when purchasing an Android tablet are the screen size and whether you want an LTE or a Wi-Fi–only device. Otherwise, you should buy the tablet that best suits your needs and personality.

Larger screens are more visible and easier to read, but a larger tablet requires two hands to operate. A smaller size tablet might be more convenient. The only way to know which size works best for you is to manhandle an Android tablet at the store before you buy.

LTE tablets use the mobile data network to access the Internet, just like a smartphone. That ability comes with a monthly bill, but if you need Internet access anywhere, it’s worth the price. Both LTE and Wi-Fi–only tablets can access Wi-Fi networks.

Some tablets feature removable storage in the form of a MicroSD card. This feature allows you to expand the device’s storage and more easily share files with a computer.

Ensure that the tablet has both front and rear cameras. The camera resolution isn’t vital, but if your tablet is going to be your only digital camera, getting a high-resolution rear camera is a plus. Also confirm that the rear camera has a flash.

Beyond these basic items, most Android tablets are the same, with only subtle software differences. Do ensure, however, that your tablet uses the Android operating system and can access and use the Google Play Store. Some low-price, bargain tablets restrict your purchases to the manufacturer’s own app store. This limitation usually isn’t a positive thing.