Not sure what to look for in a tablet? Check out some of our in-depth guides, comparison tools, & resources!
If your tablet and smartphone run the same operating system (Apple iOS, Google Android, Microsoft Windows 10, etc) there’s a good chance that both devices will be compatible with the same apps.
However, if the app isn’t optimized for the larger screen size of the tablet, you might notice it doesn’t look the same. While less common now thanks to improvements in how apps are made, there might be a tablet-specific version of your favorite app to download as well.
For most a tablet 9-inches or larger is ideal for productivity. Most tablets are still weak multitaskers. By having a larger screen size, you can take advantage of any split screen capabilities to make multitasking simpler. A larger screen also allows you to view documents, images or spreadsheets without constant scrolling or zooming.
If you intend to use your tablet primarily in an office setting, even larger options--such as the Apple iPad Pro--offer increased ability to dig into your work. At 12+ inches, these tablets are not ideal for portability. There’s also the substantial cost to consider. Before making an investment in this tier, find a retailer that will give you some hands-on time with the device.
This question is best answered depending on where you want to watch movies or games.
Planning to watch on the go? A six-inch tablet makes it easy to just toss your tablet in your bag or set it up on your tray table on the plane. While the screen won’t be a massive upgrade over many flagship smartphones, it will still make a large difference in the immersion and enjoyment of your favorite media.
Planning to watch at home? A nine-inch tablet is great for getting into your favorite TV shows or making the latest mobile games come alive. Most are comfortable to hold while you watch though a small stand will help for those all-night Netflix binges or Candy Crush marathons.
YES! Not only are they available, most are very affordable. If you’re looking for an ultra-rugged option, Amazon’s Fire for Kids is a great choice with its foam case and extended warranty, it’s ready for anything tiny hands might dish out. Other leading options include the Fuhu Nabi series, the Kurio series and LeapFrog’s full-feature tablets.
Kids’ tablets are still hit or miss in performance and quality. If you’re looking for the full tablet experience, be sure to check that the tablet supports one of the major app stores before purchasing. The ability to expand memory will also help with tap-happy little fingers.
Most tablets will perform basic functions with no need for an Internet connection. However, many free apps earn their income through advertising, this means you cannot use the app without a connection unless you pay for the premium edition of the app.
Other common tasks that require an Internet connection include social media apps, web browsing and music or video streaming.
No - in fact, outside the flagship markets, many tablets do not support data service at all. If you’re not sure, check the specifications for the tablet for any mentions of SIM support. As with your mobile phone, data plans for tablets will require a monthly payment in most cases to remain active. Looking for suggestions? You can view all of our summaries for 4G-compatible tablets here!
Not sure how much data you might need? Our guide for choosing a smartphone data plan applies to data-enabled tablets as well!
Yes and no. There are a few features that will determine how “phone-like” your tablet behaves.
The biggest issue is mobile data. Without it, you can only receive calls when in Wi-Fi range. Even still, you’re likely limited to an app instead of a dedicated phone number through a carrier. However, most tablets feature microphones and loudspeakers, making them great voice-over-IP options. Popular apps include Skype, Line2 and Google Voice.
You also have the issue of holding a huge tablet up to your head to talk. For most, a Bluetooth headset is a must. If you’re not sure where to start, we offer an in-depth buyer’s guide for Bluetooth Headsets!
If you’re looking for a true phone experience with the large-screen convenience of a tablet, you’re probably better looking for a large smartphone or ‘phablet.’ You can view summaries for many of the best options here!