What Makes the Perfect Tablet?

By Hannah Braime,

As Toshiba unveils its new Excite 13 tablet, its latest offering has stirred discussion among critics about what it is exactly that makes a tablet a tablet.

At 13 inches, the Excite 13’s screen is bigger than the Apple iPad’s 10 inches, and rivals Apple’s smaller laptops. Critics agree that, while 10 inches is big enough for a table, 13 inches takes the portability out of the device and potentially makes it less suitable for everyday use.

Excite 13

Toshiba’s tablet also comes with a heft price-tag to match its screen size, with prices in the US starting at $650 (over £400) for the lower spec model – $150 more expensive than the lowest-priced iPad.

When it comes to the perfect tablet, consumers will vote with their wallets, however Toshiba’s controversial launch has got us thinking: what makes the perfect tablet?

Size

Critics agree that 10 inches is the optimal size for a tablet screen. Small enough to carry around, but more readable than a smart-phone, anything bigger approaches laptop proportions, and any smaller risks compromising some of the tablet’s functionality.

Operating System

The PC vs. Mac debate continues with tablets. Also added into the mobile OS mix are the Android OS, BlackBerry OS and the HP webOS. With many operating systems to select from, there is no “right” choice, and the OS you select will depend on what your personal preference.

The Apple operating system is intuitive and easy to use, while the Android system is more customizable, with more freedom for developers to get creative. Other users might prefer the Windows OS as it will be familiar to anyone who has used a PC. Alternatively, if you’re a BlackBerry owner, you could feel more comfortable choosing a tablet that uses the BlackBerry OS.

Consumers looking for an operating system that provides a choice of tablet models will have more luck with iOS and Android OS.

Processing Power

Put simply, the tablet’s processing power affects how fast it runs. If you will be using the tablet for gaming, multi-tasking, or using graphics-heavy apps, you want to select a tablet with high processing power.

Higher processing power can drain the battery faster, however it improves the overall performance of your tablet. When selecting a tablet, look for a dual-core processor for optimal performance.

Memory

The amount of memory you need on a tablet is determined by the volume of apps, music, documents, pictures and videos you want to store on the device. Some tablet models are available with different amounts of memory; for example, you can get the iPad 3 with 16, 32, or 64 GB of memory.

The more memory you want, the higher the tablet’s price tag. Most apps don’t take up a lot of memory, however movies can take up between one and two GB, and you can’t increase the amount of memory on your tablet once you buy. Therefore, it’s worth thinking about what kind of things you might want to do with your tablet before purchasing. 16GB might be enough if you’re mainly browsing and downloading apps, but if you plan to store movies, music and pictures on your tablet, you should purchase a device with more storage.