Tablets are the must-have portable computing device of the moment, making them a top holiday gift. In just a few short years, the number of people with tablets has increased dramatically.
Within a year of the iPad's introduction into the technological lexicon, 11 percent of Americans already owned one. As other tablets and upgraded versions of the iPad entered the market, tablets became more and more popular.
A study from the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism in collaboration with The Economist Group found that the majority of tablet owners (77 percent) use their tablets every day, using them for an average of about 90 minutes.
When shopping for a tablet, there are many different features to consider.
Tablets come in different sizes, weights and screen offerings. When the iPad was released, it set the standard screen size at around 10 inches, weighing slightly more than a pound. Tablets made by other manufacturers range in sizes from 12-inch screens to 5-inch screens, giving shoppers the ability to choose a device that is as mobile as they need it to be.
Many tablet users are interested in the portability of the device. Battery operation makes that portability possible, so it makes sense that battery life is a big draw for consumers. Many tablet reviews cite Android products and the iPad as the best for battery life.
Flexibility is also important to prospective tablet buyers. Tablets that are only able to connect to the Internet via a Wi-Fi service will be much more limited in use. Many tablets now come with 3G or Wi-Fi capabilities, enabling the device to work even when you are away from home or a Wi-Fi connection.
Some consumers are interested in the amount of data they can store on their tablets. Some reviewers have complained about the inability to add more storage space to the Apple iPad, forcing consumers to purchase a more expensive device just to add more storage. Android and Windows-based tablets have removable storage options and may be better buys for those who need to save a large number of apps or photos and video.
As with any purchase, price is often a big component of decision-making. Therefore, the tablet that offers the most features at the most affordable price may win out.