So you are ready to pick up that shiny new tablet from the store or it has just been delivered to your door and you are ready to start using it. Hang on there one minute. Before you dive head first into the box and yank it out to start tinkering with it, there are several things you should do first. While they aren’t as fun as fiddling with your new tablet, they can save you a lot of time and headaches later on when you are ready to get down to business with your new tablet.
Today, we examine 10 things you should do after you buy a new tablet that will help you get your tablet off to the right start. While some of these you may choose to skip, each one of these items only takes a few minutes to complete and can save you time and headaches later when you are trying to use your tablet for either work or play. At the same time, if you do things right, you could effectively protect your new tablet from harm while increasing its functionality while you’re at it. So, without further delay, let’s take a look at what you should do first after you bring that new tablet home.
1. Check Your Box
I admit that this one is a bit of a long shot. But you should double check that everything that was supposed to come with your tablet, actually did. On rare occasions something does get left out and it could be important, especially if it is a charger cable or something like that. Right when you open it, just quickly glance through everything there and make sure every piece of equipment is present and accounted for before you proceed. If something is missing, take it back and exchange it for a new one.
At this point you should also take any warranty and registration information included and file it away with your receipt. If you ever have a problem with your tablet and you want to get it fixed, this paperwork could help you get it done for free thanks to your proof of purchase and warranty information.
2. Consider a Case and Screen Protector
Before you even take your new tablet home, you should also take a look at the various cases and screen protectors that are available. Personally I would never use a tablet without a case and screen protector, but that is just me. Cases can increase the functionality of your new tablet by providing you with several stand options for tables and even your lap while at the same time protecting them from dust, dirt and the accidental drop onto the floor. Screen protectors are also invaluable to your tablet’s screen. They will keep dust and fingerprints off the screen as well as prevent any scratches on the glass. Your tablet’s screen is the most important part of your new device as you will use it not only to read and watch what is going on but you will also be using it to navigate the interface.
3. Purchase Any Accessories
Admittedly, this part of the exercise could probably wait a little while. But if you already have a good idea on how you will be using your new tablet, you may want to consider other accessories for your device. If your tablet has a slot for a microSD card, then you may want to go ahead and pick one up to expand your storage capabilities. If you plan on typing a lot using your tablet, a Bluetooth keyboard might be right for you. Heck, you may even want to pick up a car charger or extra wall chargers for your home or office. Think about how you want to use your tablet and what you will need to do that and pick up the accessories you want and/or need so you are ready to use them from the first moment that you take it out of the box.
4. Think About Insurance
Many people ignore the insurance offers that companies offer on tablets. They figure that is just a waste of money. In my experience, insurance on your tablet can be a waste, but it can also be invaluable, especially if you are running a higher-end 10-inch tablet that costs a pretty penny. Some people can use a tablet and never drop it or get it dirty. Others can’t seem to hold onto it for more than 2 seconds without it slipping from the fingers. Think about how you use it and how you treat devices such as these. If your lifestyle or habits tend to be a little harder on tablets, then you may want to consider adding insurance so you can protect your investment. If you are still using the same smartphone you had 5 years ago, however, it could be a simple waste of money.
5. Setup Your Account(s)
Turn on your device for the first time and enjoy the view as it boots for you. Once it has completed the process, it should ask you to setup your accounts. At this point, you will want to go ahead and add all the email addresses you want to check and any app store accounts that you will be using as well. No matter what kind of tablet you have, you will need these accounts in order to download new apps and run any updates on your tablet in the future. So don’t skip this process. Go ahead and take a few minutes to set up all your accounts on your tablet so it is ready to get to work for you immediately. If you don’t, you will just have to stop what you are doing and add them later, so you may as well and get it done right after you take it out of the box.
6. Run all the Updates
Before you do anything else, it is time to plug your tablet in and run all the updates. Whether you have a tablet running Android or iOS or even Windows, chances are the version of your mobile operating system is not the most current available on the market. The major mobile operating system developers such as Google, Apple and Microsoft are constantly releasing updates to their software to improve features and battery life, fix known bugs and patch security holes. You want to make sure your new device functions properly and stays safe and secure, don’t you? Assuming you do, you will want to go ahead and run all the updates on your device before you go any farther.
7. Test Your Hardware
Now comes the moment of truth. Once your tablet is up to date and your accounts are setup, it is time to test the hardware that comes with your tablet. Check all memory card slots and chargers you purchased, test the Bluetooth and, of course, your wireless networking to make sure that everything is functioning on your new device. If you notice a problem, repeat the tests to make sure you didn’t do something wrong before you run back to the store. You can even try rebooting your tablet as well to start the tests with a clean slate. If you continue to experience trouble, it may be time for an exchange.
8. Test Your Cameras
While this could have been lumped in with the test your hardware section, I feel it is important to separate it. Why? Because these tests are a little more involved. Most tablets today come with two cameras – one in front and one in back. It is important you test both of these cameras to make sure they are performing as intended. You don’t want to take bad pictures do you? I didn’t think so. Take a few shots in different lighting with both the front and rear cameras and then see how they look. If the images look off or consistently blurry, you may have a problem with your cameras. After you have taken the still shots, take a little bit of video in different lighting as well and see how things look. Again, check both cameras to ensure that they are working properly. Remember, not all cameras are made alike so your performance will vary based on the tablet you own.
9. Monitor Your Battery
This one isn’t something you can really do right away, just something you need to monitor over the next week or two after opening your new tablet. Every tablet battery has a rating and will last a set number of hours. In most cases, you will never get as good of results as the companies boast, simply because of how you use it. Still, you should be getting close to the rating, unless you are spending all of your time running battery hogging videos or games on your tablet. Regardless, you want to make sure your battery is healthy and maintaining a strong charge no matter what. So keep an eye on it. If you don’t think it is holding its own, you may want to try to exchange your tablet for a replacement.
10. Download Apps
Now the truly fun part. A tablet isn’t very useful without apps. It is time to head to your tablet operating system’s store and start installing apps. There are literally thousands of apps to be downloaded on the Google Play Store, the App Store and even the Microsoft Store. Which store you use will depend on the device you purchased. Visit those stores and read review about every app you decide to download. Make sure it something that you will find useful. If you end up not liking an app, delete it. Don’t junk up your new tablet with a bunch of apps that you will never open.
Once you download all the apps that you will need, take a few minutes to organize your home screens with the apps so they are easy to find and access when you are ready to work or play on your new tablet. This will help improve your workflow while at the same time assisting you in keeping track of the apps you have installed on your device.
Tablets, just like any piece of technology, requires a little tender love and care when you first open them up. It is important to take this time to setup your tablet properly as it helps you ensure that everything is working and it is setup for your needs. That way you don’t have to stop when you are in the middle of something just to set something up because you were too lazy to do it when you first got it.
Buying a new tablet is exciting and you may be tempted to skip some of these steps so you can see how well it runs. I understand that. But, most of these initial steps don’t take too long and they can help you discover any problems fast and help you make your tablet much more useful to you later. So don’t take any shortcuts, follow the setup procedure carefully and check everything. I guarantee you will be glad that you did.