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Tablet Tips

15 Best Productivity Apps for Android

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15-Best-Productivity-Apps-for-Android

Today, thanks to a wide variety of apps available on the Google Play Store, you can actually use your tablet as more than just an entertainment device.  In fact, it can become a full mobile workstation if you simply download and install the right apps.  With the right apps and maybe even a Bluetooth keyboard, you can easily get just as much work done on your high-end tablet as you could on your PC.

But what apps should you get to become truly productive on your mobile device.  Luckily, that’s why we’re here.  Below your find a list of some of the best productivity apps for Android.  By downloading and installing them, you can transform your device from a simple mobile device that provides some entertainment and allows you to do a little work in a pinch, to a true mobile workstation that you can use when you are traveling or if you are simply out of the office.


 

OfficeSuite 8 Pro

Officesuite

Price:  $9.99

For those of you out there that prefer not to use Microsoft products, but still need a feature rich office suite that is compatible with Microsoft’s leading Office products, OfficeSuite 8 Pro is the software for you.  It offers an impressive array of features and full compatibility with office documents from multiple suites.  It even adds the ability to make and create PDF files and you can even sync all your documents easily across multiple devices.


 

Google Drive

google-drive

Price:  Free

The world of the cloud is here and storing files on your local tablet is just so 2010.  With Google Drive, you can store up to 5 GB for free on the cloud so you can access them from anywhere.  If you need more space, you can easily purchase hundreds of gigabytes if that’s what you need for a low monthly fee.  Google Drive is the perfect addition to any tablet especially if you prefer to use Google Docs for your document creation instead of Microsoft Office or OfficeSuite Pro.


 

Dropbox

dropbox

Price:  Free

The first of its kind, Dropbox was one of the earliest leaders in cloud based storage.  Today the market is far more crowded, but Dropbox still remains at the top as one of the leaders in the industry.  While you start with a little less space compared to Google Drive, the impressive features and low price to add more space along with its compatibility with a huge range of apps and other services make Dropbox one of the most useful cloud storage solutions you will find.


 

FolderSync

foldersync

Price:  $2.99

Sometimes, you want to keep files stored locally on your Android tablet, but you still want to be able to access them on your local computer.  If that sounds like something you need, FolderSync is the app for you.  It quickly allows you to sync files stored on your Android devices to various cloud storage services such as Box, DropBox, Google Drive and many more.  There is also a built in file manager that you can use to manage files on your Android tablet so you don’t have to install a separate app just to manage files.


 

AirDroid

airdroid

Price:  Free

What would you say if I told you that you could manage your Android tablet right from your computer?  You can with AirDroid.  With Airdroid, you can easily manage almost every aspect of your tablet using the comfortable keyboard and mouse.  In addition, you can easily transfer files to and from your Android tablet with just a few clicks so you can add whatever files you need to your tablet.  Using AirDroid, you can even send and receive SMS messages right on your computer’s desktop much like you can using iMessage on a Mac.


 

Cloud Print

google-cloud-print

Price:  Free

Printing should be easy, but in the past printing from any type of tablet was cumbersome at best and many times simply not possible.  Today things have changed.  Using Cloud Print, you can easily print from any compatible Android device to a wireless printer on your network.  Latest devices running KitKat or higher will have this one already installed, but you can always update to the latest version and if you are running an older Android device, this app is a must have if you want to print the documents or images you create.


 

Evernote

evernote

Price:  Free

The undisputed leader in task management and note taking in the mobile workspace, Evernote allows you to easily create, manage and even share almost any type of note you need to take.  Over 100 million people use Evernote on a regular basis to help them manage their work and jot down any tasks that they need to remember later.  Its organization features allow you to clip web articles to your notes for a much more rich note taking experience than you will find on other competing apps.


 

Asana

asana

Price:  Free

I don’t know how much time I spent when I worked for the man on good project management software.  Something that is easily accessible across every type of device that will also effectively allow you to communicate about each project was always hard to come by, unless you were willing to pony up big bucks.  Asana, however, has changed the game.  Offering a web interface on both PC and Mac and then custom apps for Android and even iOS, you can easily track each and every task you have no matter where you are and you can communicate with your clients and other workers much more efficiently.


 

SwiftKey

 

swiftkey

Price:  Free

Let’s all of us admit it right now, the Android keyboard, while functional, is pretty basic and just, well, boring.  However, you can take your touch keyboard interface to the next level with Swiftkey.  With features such as word prediction, improved autocorrect, and beautiful themes, you can not only make your keyboard look exactly how you want it but you will be able to type much more quickly and accurately on your tablet than ever before.


 

Microsoft Office

Microsoft-Office

Price:  Free

Finally, Microsoft has listened to the pleas of its customers and brought a mobile office experience to both iOS and Android.  Above you will find several download links, that is because I wanted you to have access to all of the available options from Microsoft.  For example, you can install then entire package giving you access to everything, or, if you prefer, you can only install the application from Office that you need or want such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint or even Outlook.  The software will easily integrate with various cloud services run by both Microsoft and its competitors such as Google and Dropbox so you can store your files on the cloud and access them anywhere you go.


 

Any.do

anydo

Price:  Free

My personal favorite to do list tracker, Any.do offers a clean and minimal layout that is designed to be easy to read so you can keep track of everything you have on the go.  You can set tasks to be due at a certain time on a certain day and you will receive notifications when a task is due so you can always stay on track and you never forget anything ever again.  Any.do will also allow you to attach photos and videos to your to do lists and will even sync to cloud services such as Dropbox so you can get your to do lists no matter where you may be.


Sunrise

sunrise

Price:  Free

Sunrise calendar is hands down one of the prettiest calendars you will ever use, but it is also one of the most feature rich.  It will easily connect to and sync with a variety of calendar applications such as Google Calendar, Exchange, and even iCloud.  On top of that, you can connect to social media sites such as Facebook or other apps such as Trello to give your calendar a truly integrated experience that you will love to use each time you launch the app.


 

Expensify

expensify

Price:  Free

Tracking your expenses while you are traveling for business can be a difficult task, requiring you to keep up with tons of paper receipts and constantly keep track of how much you have spent so you don’t go over budget.  When you get home, you then will have to compile these into a report to submit to your company.  Expensify makes it much simpler for you to keep up with your expenses while on the road and you can even use it to snap pictures of your receipts to submit to your company later so you don’t have to keep track of a bunch of small receipts while you are traveling.

Trello

trello

Price:  Free

Another interesting take on the to do list, Trello is much like a very powerful whiteboard.  Using it you can create boards of everything you have to get done.  Instead of just plain old boring lists, you can attach images, videos and much more.  You can even collaborate with others using Trello and assign someone working on each and every card pasted to your super powered whiteboard.


 

IFTTT

IFTTT

Price:  Free

IFTT, or if by IFTT, creates yet another new way of keeping track of everything you need to do by allowing you to create a series of “if then” statements so you can manage what you need to do every step of the way.  On top of that, you can easily integrate these statements into various social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook and it will even integrate with Evernote allowing you to easily create statements and track your progress using multiple platforms.


Conclusion

While I believe this list is pretty comprehensive, I’m sure there are others out there that people use for work.  If there is an app you use that isn’t on the list, let us know in the comments and maybe we will add it.

Today there are tons of apps that you can use to help you perform almost every task you do in the office, from document editing and creation, to email, web browsing and research, and much more.  Using the apps you find in this list can make your mobile office that much easier to use and allow you to get even more done when you need to travel for work.

 

*Disclaimer:  Prices are subject to change and often do quite frequently on the Google Play Store.  Prices can also differ in your region as well so the prices reflected here in this post may be different based on where you live.  Some apps may not be compatible with your specific model of Android tablet so check the store carefully before purchasing and installing.

Categories
Tablet Tips

7 Reasons to Use a Stylus with Your Tablet

Please Note: As an Amazon Associate we earn a small commission for qualifying purchases from our site. Learn more about our editorial policies.

7-Reasons-to-Use-a-Stylus-with-Your-Tablet

In this modern age that is filled with touchscreen devices that allow you impressive navigation with just the touch of your finger, one might think that the time of the stylus is at an end.  In the early days of the stylus, before the age of the touchscreen, these little pieces of plastic would allow you to navigate the screen and even enter text using basic recognition technology.  Unfortunately, the ideas behind these tools were much greater than the implementation, mainly due to technological limitations of the time.

Fast forward to today and you have entire lines and whole new markets of tablets and smartphones that are designed to use with just the tip of your finger.  Thus many believed the age of the stylus had long past.  However, today there is more to the stylus than that basic piece of plastic you used to use on your old Palm Pilot or the styluses found on the best drawing tablets.  Today, they come with a wide range of tips to interface with your tablet and smartphone and the technology that enables them to function has become far more advanced.

There are actually many reasons why using a stylus with your tablet is a good idea.  But before we look at why you should use a stylus, it is important that you understand a few things about styluses and some of their limitations.

Stylus Overview

A stylus is essentially a writing instrument that that works by pressure or touch, and often a combination of both, instead of ink.  In most cases, a stylus looks a whole lot like a pen, but not all of them look the same and they aren’t all created equal.

Not Every Stylus Works with Every Screen

There are different types of touch technology, and not every stylus will work with each type of technology.  Early touchscreens relied on pressure between two layers to complete the circuit resulting in your tap or touch changing what is happening on your screen.  In this scenario, the stylus can be little more than a piece of plastic that is designed to help you put the necessary pressure on the screen.

Modern tablets, however, use capacitive touchscreens that rely on human skin to complete the circuit resulting in the screen movement that you see when you touch and swipe.  In order for a stylus to work with this type of tablet, it must be conductive so it can complete the circuit.

Styluses

Different Types of Styluses

There are many different types of styluses out there that have been designed to work with both main types of touchscreens.  When shopping for a stylus, you need to make sure you get the type that is designed for the type of screen on your tablet, but that isn’t the only thing you need to consider when purchasing a stylus.

Some styluses are designed just to make it easy to navigate your iPad or whatever type of Android tablet you may have.  Others are designed specifically for writing making them perfect for taking notes.  Others have been designed to make it easier for artists to draw and perform image edits using some of the many different applications that are designed specifically for editing images on the go.

If that isn’t enough to choose from, you also have to choose the style you want.  While most that you find will look just like a pen, heck I have even seem some that doubled as a pen, there are other design styles as well.  There are some that are embedded in a laser pointer which are good for presentations, and still others that are extendable that are good for travel.  You can even find some that are designed in more novelty shapes that are more fun than really functional.  When choosing a stylus, remember to pick the style that you think will fit your usage best.

amPen Hybrid Stylus7 Reasons to Use a Stylus

Now that you know a little more about the stylus, how it works, where it came from, and some of the types, you still may be wondering why you should even bother.  Let’s take a look at 7 reasons why you should use a stylus on your tablet.

Perfect for taking notes.

This one will especially be handy for all you college and high school students out there.  Instead of hauling around a bunch of paper that was made by countless numbers of trees losing their lives, why not try taking notes on your tablet using a stylus.  While you can do this with a finger, writing with your forefinger is clunky and cumbersome at best and downright impossible at worst.  However, a stylus allows you to use it much like you would a typical ink pen making it easy to type on a variety of applications that allow you to write and draw in freehand using just your tablet and a stylus.

Styluses are much cleaner.

Did you know our hands are some of the dirtiest parts of our body?  It makes sense when you think about it.  After all, our hands are constantly touching different surfaces as we go about our day.  Even if you wash your hands regularly it is impossible to keep them completely clean, unless you always wear gloves or never touch anything ever again.  This means that when you use your hands to touch your tablet’s screen, you are transferring some of that dirt, grime and even bacteria to your tablet’s screen.  This problem can be compounded if you let someone else use your tablet as well, potentially leaving colonies of dirt and germs just waiting to be picked up and passed along to someone else.  Of course, if you use a stylus, you don’t have to worry about your hands transferring a big mess onto your tablet’s screen, as they will do the touching for you.

Styluses are more precise.

While your fingers are pretty accurate and do a good job on normal tasks such as app selection, web browsing, and much more, they are nowhere near as accurate as a typical stylus.  This will never be more clear than when you try to select individual letters of text using just your finger or if you are performing image edits or even drawing.  A stylus allows you to be way more precise with your editing making it the perfect tool for anyone doing any type of work on their tablets, be it word processing, note taking, or even image editing.

Protect your tablet’s screen.

Some people prefer to wear their fingernails long instead of short.  This opens your tablet’s screen up to potential scratches as you try to use the end of your finger instead of your finger nail.  If you hit the screen just right, you could scratch the screen.  This not only looks bad, but can negatively impact your viewing experience on your tablet.  However, the ends of a stylus are most often soft and are designed to mimic the end of your finger.  This soft, often rubbery feeling end to a stylus will never scratch your screen so you don’t have to worry about damaging your favorite mobile device simply by using it.

Using a stylus is easy.

There is no great learning curve to using a stylus.  Even someone who has never touched one before can figure it out in about 2 seconds flat.  Of course that doesn’t mean there is nothing to learn, especially if you plan to use it to write or draw.  Often these tasks require that you practice at least a little if you hope to really get control of using it to its fullest potential.  Artists and note takers should take a moment to try out their stylus before they need to use it in a more professional or educational setting.

Great for digital drawing.

If there is one area that for a long time was simply unavailable was drawing on a tablet.  However today the software for tracking your stylus or finger has increased greatly making it possible to easily create digital creations that rival some of the best hand drawn works of art that you will find today.  Depending on the stylus you choose, you could find it to be much easier to draw using a pen-like stylus compared to the end of your finger.  So much like the note takers out there, digital artists will find the stylus a useful addition to their technology tools.

Perfect for all types of weather.

Depending on where you live, you could face some cold temperatures when the winter hits.  If you have to use your smartphone or tablet outside, the cold can really do a number on your poor fingers.  If you need to wear gloves, you will have to get gloves that work on touchscreens, but these often don’t provide the proper protection from the cold.  But if you have a stylus, you can wear whatever protection from the cold you want or need and still use your tablet.

Conclusion

As you can see, the stylus is far from dead.  While its reputation may have taken a pounding over the years as a result of early technology that just wasn’t quite up to par, it has begun to make a comeback.  Today, you can easily find a stylus that is perfect for almost any task you dream of on your tablet.  The technology has advanced far enough that now even writing and drawing is easily attainable by using a stylus on your tablet.

With so many benefits you receive by using a stylus, it’s a wonder it isn’t used by more people.  However, as technology continues to advance and we shift more and more of our lives into the digital world, it’s hard to imagine that the need for even better and more advanced styluses won’t be there, allowing us to edit documents, take notes, draw beautiful pictures and much more.  Soon, it won’t be the stylus that everybody believes has come to an end, but paper instead.  If that does happen, you can bet that styluses as well as the software that drives them and makes them work so well, will improve immensely making the thought of actually writing on a piece of paper a thing of the past, and something that we can just tell our grandchildren about while they are growing up.

 

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Tablet Tips

6 Tips to Get the Most from Your Tablet

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6-Tips-to-Get-the-Most-from-Your-Tablet

Whether you just picked a brand new iPad Air 2, or the latest Android tablet from Samsung, you are going to want to be able to get the most from your investment.  If you don’t, you will find that you don’t use your tablet as much as you probably could and you definitely won’t use it enough to justify the high price that it cost to bring that shiny new piece of mobile technology inside your home.

However, it is not as hard as you think to truly dive in and begin using your tablet in place of your old computer desktop or laptop for many tasks that you use every day.  In fact, you can easily use your tablet as an almost complete replacement for your laptop if you want to.  At the very least, it can be a viable replacement when you are traveling so you don’t have to carry that heavy laptop with you just to get a little work done.

Today, I bring you 6 tips to help you get the most from your tablet so each time you use it you have an enjoyable experience that is both fun and productive.  These tips will easily help you get the most from your tablet so you begin to use it more for many tasks that you never thought were possible before.  In time, I believe you will find that you are actually using your tablet more than you actually use your laptop, at least when it comes to some of your most common tasks.

So let’s get started with our list.  Remember, using this list can help you get more out of your tablet, but sometimes you will need a traditional computer to get your work done, and that is ok too.  This list is designed to help you learn how to use your tablet in a way that makes it more fun and more productive for you at the same time.

1.  Mind Your Battery

Nothing can interrupt your workflow faster than running out of battery life.  When using your tablet, there are several things you can do to improve the battery life so you get more out of your tablet between charges.  Simple little things like closing apps that you aren’t using anymore, turning off notifications and even disabling hardware that you don’t need will go a long way toward improving your time between charges so you never have to worry about running out of battery life when you may need it the most.  While the batteries in tablets are far larger and last much longer compared to their smartphone siblings, you can still push the battery to its limits if you don’t take a moment to deal with what is and is not running on your tablet.  Remember, if you need any of the features you turn off later, they are just a tap away from being active again.

ipad-air-2

2.  Buy the Right Accessories

There are literally thousands of accessories available for your tablet, regardless which tablet you chose to buy.  With so many choices, it can be hard to figure out which ones will actually help you and which ones won’t.  A few accessories that you should consider if you want to turn your tablet into a true mobile workstation are a case, keyboard and maybe even a stylus.  A portable charger that will plug into your car isn’t a bad choice either if you plan on traveling a lot with it.  When making your choices, only choose those accessories that will protect your tablet while you are on the go and ones that could make your work that much easier to do.  Otherwise, you could find yourself wasting money on accessories that you simply won’t use.

3.  Choose the Right Apps

No matter what tablet platform you choose, one visit to their respective app stores will reveal a host of apps for you to choose from.  There are literally thousands, if not millions of apps that are available for your tablet.  Of course, not every app is equal.  Some are great, providing hours of entertainment or providing a suite of productivity tools that allow you to get work done while you are on the go.  Others, unfortunately, aren’t all that great.  These apps take up space and simply don’t work as intended.  Some could even install unwanted viruses as well.  When deciding on what apps to buy and download, take time to read the reviews about an app.  Look for apps from the leading application developers to find the right tools for whatever you are trying to accomplish.  Never just blindly download without knowing at least a little about what you are getting.  If you do, you could find you have an app that just takes up space and never helps you accomplish your goals.

samsung-galaxy-tab

4.  Consider the Cloud

One of the easiest ways to free up space and ensure that you have access to your files from anywhere is by making use the cloud.  There are many free cloud storage services from vendors such as Dropbox and Google that will allow you to store your files on the cloud and easily access them from your tablet.  Almost all of these cloud services have apps you can install to easily sync your data without ever having to think about it.  Using the cloud is a good way to free up space on your tablet while at the same time guaranteeing you can access your files from anywhere without having to take the time to physically move the files around yourself every time you want to take something with you.  These services are also regularly backed up as well, meaning you won’t have to worry about losing any of your files along the way.

5.  Watch Your Notifications

It seems like every app today has the power to send you a notification about what is going on with it.  While that may sound like a good thing, do you really need your weather app telling you when the temperature outside changes by one or two degrees?  No.  All this does is clutter up your notification screen making it take longer for you to go through all the notifications.  In reality when you have so many notifications, are you really going to take the time to read them?  Probably not.  In most cases you will begin to swipe them away and you may even miss an important notification along the way.  And this doesn’t even include the drain notifications are on your battery life.  You can easily disable notifications for apps that you don’t need from the settings of your tablet.  Whenever you install a new app, it is best to decide right then if you need or want to see the notifications and disable them as you go.  If you find you need one later, it is easy to turn that feature back on for each individual app.

surface3

6.  Delete Unwanted Data

Unless you invest big bucks into a tablet with a huge amount of storage, you will probably run out of space, especially if you choose to keep all your photos, videos and music on your tablet.  Tablets aren’t like computers with giant sized hard drives.  Once you receive data on your tablet, it is a good practice to delete it if you really don’t need it anymore.  Backup your music libraries and pictures to your computer so you can keep them without taking up too much space on your tablet.  If you use your tablet for texting, remember that any picture you receive through a text message takes up space as well, so download them or delete them as you receive them.  If you don’t, you could find you are out of space when you need it most.

Bonus Tip

For years security wasn’t much of a concern on tablets.  However, things have changed.  Today you can even find viruses floating around the mobile world as well.  So, one app that I suggest you download for your tablet is an antivirus or security app.  These apps run in the background and help shield you from the attacks of these newer breeds of viruses that can infect your tablet and even steal your personal data.

Conclusion

As you can see, it is easier than you think to get a little more out of your tablet.  By simply making the right app decisions and taking a few minutes to customize your experience, your tablet can become a truly mobile workspace or even a way for you to game on the go.  Taking just a little time to configure each app and how you receive updates from these apps can go a long way to helping you be more productive and save you quite a bit of annoyance along the way.  At the same time, making sure you properly care for your tablet will help it stay in the best shape possible so it provides the fastest speeds with hardware that is as good a shape today as it was when you first brought it home.

With just a little care both inside and out, your tablet can easily become one of the most useful tools in your technology arsenal, and it will be one that you find you are turning to more and more each day instead of that big, bulky desktop or laptop sitting on your desk in another room.

Categories
Tablet Tips

Why You Need a Case to Protect Your Tablet

Please Note: As an Amazon Associate we earn a small commission for qualifying purchases from our site. Learn more about our editorial policies.

Why-You-Need-a-Case-to-Protect-Your-Tablet

When Apple first announced the original iPad, no one had any idea exactly what Apple was about to create.  Not only did the tech company create an entirely new market for a new tech gadget that would soon make its way in one form or another into millions of households across the country, but they began a new industry filled with thousands upon thousands of accessories and other extras designed to make your tablet experience that much better.

Today, there are so many extras for iPads and, of course, Android and Windows tablets that you could probably open a store the size of WalMart and still not have enough room to showcase each accessory.  The most common accessories you see today are:

  • Cases
  • Headphone
  • Keyboards
  • Chargers
  • Stylus
  • Speakers

These are only a few of the accessories you can find if you just spend just a few minutes on the Internet searching, and no matter what type of tablet you have, be it an iPad, an Android, or a Windows tablet, you can find a whole host of accessories designed to make your mobile computing experience that much more enjoyable and not to mention functional.

Let’s Talk About Cases

ipad

Of course today we are not here to talk about all the different types of accessories you can pick up for your shiny new tablet.  Today, we want to focus on cases.  Now, many of you may wonder why you won’t to cover up that really slick looking high-end iPad or Samsung tablet you just invested a lot of your hard earned dollars to get.  After all, once you enclose it in a case, you won’t be able to enjoy the styling that many of the manufacturers’ have incorporated into their tablet designs.  However, a case is actually the most important accessory you will ever buy for your tablet.  In fact, the same day you buy your tablet, you really should go ahead and find a good case to go with it. Why, you ask?  Well, let’s take a look at a few of the reasons why a case is a good investment.

Benefits of Tablet Cases

There are many reasons why you need to seriously consider buying a case on the same day you buy your new tablet.

  1. Protection – I admit, this may be obvious to many of you, but you would be surprised how many people I see walking around with a tablet without a case and then look at me with surprise when their expensive new tablet ends up with a scratch on it, or worse. While different cases provide varying degrees of protection, almost all of them will do at least a halfway decent job of protecting it from scratches.  If you need more protection, you can always opt to invest in a case that is designed to even protect your tablet for drops and other mishaps that could result in a broken screen.
  2. Style – Who doesn’t like to show off their own personal style on their devices? After all, if you do nothing, your tablet will look basically like everyone else’s.  That’s not only boring, but could be confusing as well.  So, in an effort to set yourself apart, you can pick a case that just screams you.  In today’s market, you can get almost any type of case you can think of.  There are leather cases, hard shell cases, cases in blue, black, orange, hot pink and many more.  Hell you can even find cases in leopard or zebra print if that’s what you like.  My point is you can find a case that suits your own personal style quite easily and this allows you to truly treat your tablet as a true accessory to yourself, instead of just another device that you use.
  3. Features – Depending on the case you choose, you could find that adding a case will add a lot more functionality to your tablet experience. Some for example, contain magnetic stripping that will automatically wake and sleep your tablet just by opening the case.  Others even include a Bluetooth keyboard so you can type emails or documents on a physical keyboard instead of the touchscreen keyboard that some people find difficult to use.  Most cases also include some handy ways to stand your tablet up so it sits on a desk, table, or even your lap in such as a way that is much easier to use for either work or play.  Most of these features are simply not available when you use a tablet without a case, and you will only get these features if you buy the right case.

surface-pro

Drawbacks of Cases

While I believe that every tablet owner should buy a case for their device, I won’t ignore some of the drawbacks of using cases.  I believe you need to know what you are getting into when you pick up a case.

  1. Hides Tablet’s Style – While you can customize a case to match your own personal style, if you happen to be someone who loves the style of your tablet outside of a case, then you will not enjoy how a case hides your tablet from view. Of course, there are a few clear cases out there, but their protection is limited and, while they allow you to see the style of your tablet, they can still add a bit of bulk that takes away from the sleek design of your tablet.
  2. Wear Out Easily – Some cases wear out more easily than others, but even if you buy the most expensive and best quality cases out there, you will one day be faced with having to replace it, especially if you keep your tablet for a long period of time. Tablet cases are constantly being opened and closed and take the brunt of all of life’s hard knocks on your tablet.  That’s good because that’s why you have it in the first place.  But you need to be aware that all those hard knocks will take their toll and you will one day have to shop for a replacement.
  3. Compatibility – Most cases are designed to work with only a few tablets out there, and some only work with one model. This can make it confusing when you go shopping as you try to find a case that works for your tablet.  Some tablets have more cases available than others as well.  The iPad for example, probably leads the pack with options followed by the big Android tablet makers such as ASUS and Samsung.  If you buy an off brand tablet, however, your mileage may vary on your case options.  This also means when you upgrade your tablet, you will probably have to buy yet another new case for it as the one you already have may not work.

Choosing the Right Case

Book-Cover-Case-For-Samsung-Galaxy-Tab-Pro-8-4-T320-Skin-Cover-For-Tablet-8

So now you understand the benefits of a case, but how do you choose the right case for you?  When you are shopping, it is important to take into account several different things so you make the right choice for you.

  1. Features – Different tablets come with different features and you must decide what features you want with your new tablet. If you don’t need anything fancy, one with a simple magnetic strip to wake your tablet when you open it may suffice.  Of course, if you want to type long documents, one that has an included Bluetooth keyboard may be a better option.  Decide what you want to get out of your new case and tablet before you make your buying decision and be sure you select the tablet case that will give you those features when you make your purchase.
  2. Protection – Some of us need more protection than others. Let’s face, some of us are more clumsy and tend to drop things more often.  Others may have children that could grab it and give it a toss.  Each case offers different levels of protection from very little to you could drop it off a building type of protection.  Other cases are even waterproof so if it accidentally takes a dip in a bathtub or even a toilet (for example, kids giving it a toss) it will be shielded from the potential catastrophic effects of water.  When buying your new tablet case, you must take this into account.  It could be the most important part of selectin your new case.
  3. Style – While not as important as the first two on this list, you want your new tablet case to be stylish and match your personality. If you like loud and boisterous, look for a case with a patterned design or even bright colors.  If you prefer something more traditional and conservative, something in black or brown leather may be just the case for you.  Look for a case that provides the level of features and protection you need in a style you want.  I’ll be honest, though.  Sometimes you won’t find a fancy style with the latest and greatest features, so you may have to sacrifice your love of zebra stripes for that added water resistance that you need because of the two year old you have roaming your house.
  4. Budget – For all of us, sometimes it can come down to budget. You can find cases in a wide range of prices from the very cheap, sometimes less than $10, to the very expensive often costing $100 or even more.  In most cases, the higher the price, the more features and protection you will receive.  But, sometimes you may have to sacrifice something you want to get something that you can afford.  Once you decide on all the other factors we have talked about above, look at the price and if you need to, decide what features and levels of protection you can live without to bring the price down within your budget.

Conclusion

No matter what type of tablet you decided to buy, you want to be sure it stays protected as you carry with you through everyday life.  That is why you must make sure you buy a case for your tablet.   If you don’t buy a case for your tablet, you could quickly find that something as small as a fall from your couch or an accidental drink spill could turn your expensive piece of technology into a glorified paper weight.

When you shop for a new tablet case, remember to take into account what features you want, how much protection you think you will need based on your usage and habits, the style, and, of course, how much you want to spend.  This will help guide you through the process of searching for a new tablet case so you can be sure you choose the right one for your needs.  This will help you make sure that you not only protect your new tablet, but also enhance your experience using it as the same time.

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Tablet Tips

10 Battery Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Tablet’s Battery

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10-Battery-Tips-to-Get-the-Most-Out-of-Your-Tablet's-Battery

Every tablet owner has been there.  You are frantically working on your tablet only to find that you are on borrowed time as your tablet’s battery slowly ticks down to zero.  Whether you own an Android tablet such as the Google Nexus, a Surface tablet from Microsoft, or even one of the latest iPads, at some point will you experience the inconvenience of running out of battery.  If you are a heavy user, you will find you run into this problem even more often.

Tablet batteries are designed to run for much longer compared to those batteries included on smartphones.  They are much larger and are designed to provide not only much more power to the tablets, much to provide that power for a much longer duration before needing a charge.  That being said, there are things you can do as a responsible tablet owner that will allow you to get a little more time out of your tablet while you are using it especially if you are running a budget tablet with a smaller battery.  This could mean the difference from watching your tablet die as you watch your favorite movie or being able to finish it with just a few percentage points left.

1.  Watch the Temperature

You have probably heard that your tablet doesn’t like warm temperatures, just like laptops or desktops.  But what you probably don’t realize is that your tablet isn’t all that fun of cold temperatures either.  Just like us, a tablet and especially a tablets battery prefers to live in temperatures around 72 degrees Fahrenheit.  When a tablet’s battery is exposed to both extreme heat and extreme cold situations, it simply won’t hold up and provide the same amount of charge to your tablet.  Continued exposure to these temperatures will also slowly degrade the battery and could even permanently damage it.

2.  Adjust the Screen Brightness

Your tablet’s screen is the single biggest power hog on your entire tablet.  The screens today provide impressive resolutions and brightness levels that make using a tablet a truly pleasurable and unique experience.  However, the brightness on these screens take quite a bit of power to run.  So, if you want to greatly enhance the battery power on your tablet, all you have to do is turn down the brightness on your screen.  This doesn’t mean you have to make it so dark you can’t read it.  Just reducing the brightness by as low as 10 percent can make a huge difference in your battery life.  Of course, the dimmer you go, the more battery life you will get back.

ipad-air-2

3.  Turn Off Push Notifications

Push notifications are a great way to receive up to the minute information from all the apps that you use on your tablet.  They are convenient as they can keep you from having to open your tablet and entering the app just to see the latest updates.  However, this convenience comes with a price.  It takes a lot of battery power to continually check all your apps and then push these notifications to your screen.  If you want to save on your battery life, try reducing the number of apps that send you push notifications to only those that you absolutely must have such as text messages, for example.  After all, you don’t need every single game you play giving you an update about what is going on every minute of every day.

4.  Don’t Drain the Battery Dry

Believe it or not, your charging habits can greatly impact the charge on your battery.  While the occasional complete discharge is good for your battery, regularly draining the battery dry is not.  It is best to begin recharging it when it is about 30 percent of your battery remaining.  At the same time, you shouldn’t recharge the battery when you still have most of your battery life remaining.  With the cell memory of lithium ion batteries, this can effectively reduce the overall capacity of your battery if you do it too often.

Google-Nexus-10

5.  Disable Location Services

Being able to use your tablet as a large screened GPS is one of the greatest tools you will find.  However, these tools use GPS functions that continually update your location with satellites and can present quite a battery drain on your tablet.  If you have multiple apps that use the GPS functions that all check on their own schedule, you can see how this would begin to suck your battery dry.  When you aren’t using these apps, disable the location services for the apps so they don’t waste your battery continually checking where you are even when you aren’t using them.

6.  Disable Widgets/Animated Wallpaper

Android tablet users will be most familiar with these options, although iOS now provides some fancier wallpaper functions that have the same affect on your tablet’s battery life.  These widgets provide easy access to apps, but run all the time draining your battery and the animated wallpaper forces your processor and graphics processor both to run constantly meaning they will be pulling more power from your battery.  Try instead of using just basic wallpaper and disable any widgets that you don’t find extremely useful in order to preserve the precious power in your battery.

7.  Shorten Auto-Lock Times

After a few minutes of your tablet not being used, you have problem noticed that the screen darkens and when you open it back up you are back at your lock screen.  This function is used for both security and power saving.  If you want to get just a little more battery power out of your tablet, decrease the amount of inactivity time on your tablet so the screen darkens and the lock screen comes on.  This will keep your screen from running longer when you aren’t using it reducing the amount of power it uses while also turning on the lock screen so your tablet is more secure, assuming you use some sort of password, that is.

Microsoft-Surface

8.  Close Unused Apps

While mobile operating systems are pretty good at minimizing the effects of apps running in the background, they still use a little bit of power – especially if they are running to push notifications to your tablet’s screen.  If you aren’t using an app, be sure you completely close it.  Windows, iOS and Android all provide different ways for you to quickly quit out of any apps you aren’t using.  This will not only reduce the amount of power you use, but it will also free up a lot of your system’s resources so it can run the apps you do need much faster.

9.  Make Better Use of Airplane Mode

Airplane mode essentially turns off all the various networking and connectivity features of our devices.  This includes wireless networks and any cell carrier networks as well.  However, you don’t have to be flying the friendly skies in order to make use of airplane mode.  Your tablet continues to check for networks even if there isn’t one nearby.  If you are traveling and don’t need access to any networks, turn on airplane mode so your tablet’s battery doesn’t drain simply by searching for wireless networks.

10.  Turn Off Auto-Sync

Chances are you have your email, calendar, and more connected to your tablet.  These features then sync to your tablet so you have access to the most recent calendars and emails on all your devices.  In practice, this is great.  However, it is hard on your battery life.  In most cases, you can specify how often these apps sync with their servers or you can even completely disable auto-sync entirely, meaning you have to tell it to sync.  By just increasing the time between syncs, you can gain some battery life.  If you turn it off completely, you will see the biggest benefits to your battery life but you will have to manually sync the apps before and after you use them to make sure you have the latest version across all of your devices.

Bonus Tip

While the above tips and tricks are a great way to extend the battery life of your tablet so you are guaranteed to get a full days use out of your tablet, for some it still may not be enough.  How much battery power you use also comes down to how you use it.  If you are playing games or watching a lot of videos you will drain your battery more quickly meaning all the tips in the world won’t help you.

If all of the above tricks still don’t give you enough battery power for your needs, you could always try boosting your battery life by simply adding a second battery.  For almost every tablet made, there are extra battery packs that you can buy that will either charge your battery while you are on the go or add a second battery to it to give you a little more life out of your tablet before it needs a charge.

Conclusion

Getting the most out of your tablet’s battery should be a priority for everyone, as its battery is its life.  By taking just a few, easy to do steps, you can easily extend the life of your battery much longer than it was initially designed enabling you to use it for much longer.  It is also better on the battery overall, so you can be sure it is properly cared for so it will last you for the entire life of your tablet.

Remember, it isn’t hard to practice good battery ownership, and with just a few minutes of your time you could quickly be on your way to truly getting the most out of your tablet’s battery.  This will allow you to use your tablet for longer between charges making it especially useful for those times when you have to travel with your tablet.

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Tablet Tips

10 Reasons Why You SHOULD Buy a Tablet

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(And 5 Reasons You Should Not)

reasons-why-you-should-buy-a-tablet

Despite the widespread adoption of tablets of all shapes and sizes, you are still one of the few remaining holdouts unwilling to loosen your tight grasp on your laptop in favor of these smaller devices that are currently all the rage.  If this sounds like you, it may be time to re-evaluate whether or not the time is right for you to purchase a shiny new tablet that you can take with you wherever you may go.  Of course, before you run out to the store and hand them a big wad of cash, you need to do your homework so you are sure that you are not only buying the right tablet for you, but also buying one that you know you will actually use.

Here at LaptopNinja, we have already discussed how you choose which tablet you should buy, but focus is rarely placed on exactly why you should buy one in the first place.  So before you head out credit card in hand to buy a new tablet from Apple, Samsung or Google, why not take a few minutes to learn exactly why you should be picking up one of these technology marvels, and while we’re at it we will look at a few reasons why you don’t need to buy one.  After all, we have to honest and fair about it.

Reasons Why You SHOULD Buy a Tablet

iPad Air 2

There are many reasons why you should be considering a tablet for your next technology purchase, especially if you are one of the remaining few who have chosen not to make the switch from a traditional desktop or laptop.

1.  Tablets are sexy.

You know it, I know it, we all know it!  Tablets are just sexy and cool to use instead of that big and bulky laptop that gets so hot you have to put sunscreen on your legs to shield them the second and third degree burns you receive every time you want to get a little work done without having to sit at a desk.

2.  Accessories Galore.

There is a truly staggering variety of cases, keyboards, mice, pens and more accessories that you can buy for your tablet.  These accessories can help make you more productive while also helping you create the perfect custom look of your device so you can express yourself while using your tablet.

3.  More Comfortable to Use on the Couch.

Laptops are often big and bulky weighing much more than a tablet.  They also get much hotter.  A tablet will let you stretch out on your couch and use it from almost any position.  A laptop, however, needs a nice lap to sit on and possibly burn in order for you to use it.

4.  Tablets are Great Portable Workstations.

If you need to travel for work, or just take your work with you to your kids dance practice, a tablet makes it easier than ever.  They are much lighter than tablets but feature much larger screens compared to smartphones allowing you to get a lot more work done than you could otherwise while at the same time not requiring you to carry with you a bulky laptop and power cord.

5.  Tablets Are Great E-Readers.

The world of e-books has exploded in recent years, meaning that today that new book you want you can pick up digitally.  These books are often cheaper when compared to their printed counterparts and you don’t have to leave the comfort of your chair to order it and start reading.  Tablets make great e-readers with their large screens and crisp and clear text and graphics so you can enjoy your favorite book with one device instead of having to carry around multiple devices wherever you go.

6.  Perfect for Movies and Music.

Sure your laptop can catalog and play your music and movies, however tablets just do it better.  There’s nothing better than entertaining your kids on a long trip than with a tablet loaded with music and movies and they are easy to take with you.

7.  Much Better Battery Life.

Laptop batteries are improving, but how many of you really get 8 to 10 hours of life out of your laptop?  Not very many.  Tablets, however, will last much longer (in most cases) than many laptops without needing a charge.  This gives you or your kids much more time to use them before they will have to stop and plug them in.

8.  Tablets Don’t Crash.

Okay that’s not really fair to say.  Tablets do crash from time to time.  But if you compare a crash on a tablet to a laptop, they are much more infrequent and much easier to deal with.  In most cases you won’t lose something important and all you have to do is open the apps again to continue.  Tablets usually reboot much faster as well, so it won’t take as long for you to get back to either your work or your play if something does happen requiring a reboot.

9.  Perfect for Meetings.

Tablets make the perfect piece of technology to take to a meeting.  Today’s tablets make it easy for you to take notes while you are listening to the presenter and, if you happen to be presenting, you can even run your presentation straight from your tablet instead of having to carry with you a laptop.  This is especially convenient for frequent flyers who need to present on the road but want to make sure their baggage is limited during their trip.

10.  Surf the Net Anywhere

The Internet has woven itself into the fabric of our lives.  Who doesn’t check something on the Internet at least once every day?  Almost no one.  Tablets are great for surfing the net and, if you have a wireless connection through your smartphone carrier, allow you to do it using the larger screen from anywhere.  This makes it so much easier to find the information you need, when you need it.

Reasons Why You Should NOT Buy a Tablet

Google_Nexus

All the reasons above are great and reading them you may think that you should run to the store and bring home a potentially expensive tablet.  However, there are reasons that exist that make buying a tablet the wrong decision for you.

1.  How Much Work Can You Really Do?

Let’s face it, the screens of tablets are small and even the keyboards you can buy for them are small making them more difficult to type on compared to a regular laptop.  If you are thinking about buying one to replace your laptop for work, you will not be satisfied.  Yes they are good on the road even for work, but as a main work machine, they still fall short.

2.  The Cost.

Most tablets that are decent quality will run you upwards of $300 or more.  That is a pretty good little chunk of change for a device that can’t replace a traditional laptop.  Heck, you can even find great laptops that are perfect for work for around the same price.  If budget is a big concern for you, you will do much better investing your money into a laptop instead of a tablet.

3.  The Games.

Many gamers out there are looking for new devices to play some of the best games ever created for entertainment.  However, you won’t find those games on a tablet.  Sure, there are some impressive games available for tablets that will keep you playing for hours on end, but if you are hoping to work in a little mobile Call of Duty or play the latest Wolfenstein game, you are simply out of luck.

4.  Tablets Don’t Do More Than Laptops.

The fact is that tablets don’t do anything that your aging laptop won’t do already.  Both can play (some) games, both can surf the Internet, download pictures, watch movies, and help you get work done.  In some ways, laptops will perform some of these tasks much better.  What tablets do offer is a smaller and more comfortable package to do that.  If this isn’t a concern for you, a new tablet instead of a laptop may not be the best choice.

5.  How Portable Are They?

Most people have smartphones these days and when you get right down to it a tablet is simply a bigger version of a smartphone that won’t make phone calls.  When comparing the portability, which one is really the most portable computer you have?  Tablets do give you a bigger screen, but essentially it is the same apps running on both.  So do you really need both a smartphone and a tablet?

Conclusion

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While it is true that tablets are fun, sexy and a heck of a lot more convenient compared to their bigger cousins, the laptop, that doesn’t mean you necessarily need one.  However, a good tablet can be a great convenience and make it easier for you to perform both work and play from virtually anywhere, without having to lug around a bulky laptop and power cable.

Remember, tablets can let you watch movies, surf the net, play games and much more from almost anywhere.  In most cases all you need is a wireless Internet connection and you are off to the races.  They are more portable, much easier to use and usually come with far less headaches than a traditional laptop, and there is just something nice about being able to curl up on your couch and watch a movie without have to rest a warm and sometimes burning hot laptop on your legs to do it.

In the end, however, it comes down to how you will use it.  Some people simply don’t have the time or choose to spend their free time doing things other than parking themselves in their favorite chair with their eyes glued to a small screen.  However for others, including me, it has become a favorite past time and these days I can even work on my favorite tablet.  So its up to you, now you know how to choose the right tablet and why you should buy one in the first place, so hit up your favorite shop (ahem, TabletNinja) and pick out and order your next tablet that will become a mainstay of your technology collection for many days to come.

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Tablet Tips

The 7 Best Free Apps for Boosting the Performance of Your Android Tablet

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The 7 Best Free Apps for Boosting the Performance of Your Android Tablet

There is no denying that tablets have come a long way since the release of the original Apple iPad just a few short years ago.  Today, you can find tablets running Apple’s iOS, tablets powered by Microsoft Windows and tablets powered by Google’s Android operating system.  While Apple may have cornered the market on style and ease of use, Google’s Android operating system has risen to become the leader in the market with more tablets and smartphones sold than any other.

Unlike iOS, Android isn’t as controlled and regulated giving users much more freedom over their devices.  No matter what version you may have, Android is the mobile operating system for tinkerers.  You can customize it how you want it to be and even install apps to control and optimize the performance of your tablet.  From cache cleaners to CPU overclockers, there is an app that is perfect for you whether you are looking for something just to clean things up and make it run smoother or if you want to truly bring out the power of your system you can even overclock the CPU to run faster than you ever imagined.

Today, we bring you seven of the best free apps available designed to boost the performance of your Android tablet so it runs better and faster than you could have ever imagined.  Each of these tools offers its own unique take on cleaning and optimizing your Android and while some may perform some of the same tasks, installing a few of these on your Android tablet will give you access to a wide range of tweaks and cleanup options that can boost your Android tablet so you can work and play on a device that runs cleaner and faster than it ever has before. These apps are especially true if you bought a tablet for under $100 or under $200 as these tablets will have limited hardware power.

Rooting your Android

Some of the apps on this list you will notice require root access of your Android tablet.  Rooting is the process of allowing users running Android on their tablets or smartphones the ability to gain what is known as privileged control or root access.  While most apps don’t need this type of access to your device, some of these apps that allow you to perform some of the best performance tweaks to your system will require this level of access.

Rooting can be both good and bad.  It is perfect for users who want to use some of the more advanced apps that need more control over the system in order to function effectively.  However, it can bring a whole new host of problems as well as the elevated access can allow malicious software further access to your device.  In addition, you will have root access with everything you do, which could lead to problems if you make a mistake and accidentally delete something that you shouldn’t.

Unfortunately, rooting your Android tablet is not a process that works the same way on every device.  In order to root your device, you must search for the correct process for your specific device right down to the make and model.  If you don’t, the process could fail, or worse, completely brick your tablet preventing it from booting up entirely.  If you want to root your device, I recommend you begin the search for your device at Android Central, as they have instructions for rooting the device of many of the most popular Android tablets on the market.

The App List

Clean Master

CleanMaster

Clean Master is an all in one tool designed to help you keep your Android as clean as possible.  Its Junk Files tool will clean your tablet’s app and system caches as well as temp files.  It also includes a boost tool, app manager and even antivirus software.  While task killing isn’t the most reliable performance boost, the app manager and Junk Files cleanup make this app worth your while.  It can also backup APKs as well and even move apps to an SD card if you need to free up space on your internal storage.  Most surprising is the antivirus tool, which scored highly in many of the latest antivirus surveys.

Download

DU Speed Booster

DU

Another Android optimization tool much like Clean Master, DU Speed Booster can easily help you remove all the junk that you simply don’t need on your tablet.  It can remove app cache files and clean up junk files, and it even includes a one touch accelerator to improve performance and an antivirus scanner to remove any mobile viruses you may have picked up while using your tablet.  While the benefits of task killing are debatable at best, DU Speed Booster sill comes with a wide range of cleaners and its app manager make it worth a serious look for anyone wanting to keep their Android in tip top shape.

Download

CCleaner

ccleaner

CCleaner has made a name for itself as one of the best PC maintenance apps for Windows and even Mac.  Now, with their Android app, you can have access to this great tool on your Android tablet.  Like its big brother, CCleaner for Android allows you to clear application cache, empty download folders, browser history and other temporary files and this version will even help you clean your call logs and SMS logs.  CCleaner also comes with app managers, CPU, RAM and storage meters so you can keep an eye out on your tablet.

Download

SD Maid

SDMaid

You only have a finite amount of storage available on your tablet, making it more important than ever to keep your internal memory and SD card clean of old, useless data.  SD Maid is storage maintenance app designed specifically to take care of your storage.  It will remove unwanted or useless files and clean up widowed files and folders left behind by uninstalled apps.  It also doubles as a file manager so you can organize your files the way you want them.  There is a free and a paid version of this app and, while the free version will give you some great tools to use, there are many more features available in the paid version.

Download

CPU Tuner

(Requires root access)

CPUTuner

CPU Tuner does exactly what it sounds like it does.  This app contains tons of settings to tweak your CPU.  You can overclock for more power or even underclock your tablet if you want to save your battery.  One of the nicest features it gives you is the ability to create different performance profiles so you can make sure your CPU performs exactly the way you want it, when you want it.  Remember to make sure you check what your hardware is capable of before trying to overclock it.

Download

3c Toolbox

(Requires root access)

3cToolbox

3c Toolbox, formerly known as Android Tuner, provides users with a huge array of tweaking and diagnostic tools that you can use to diagnose and improve the health of your system.  The toolbox includes a task manager to help you kill your apps, backup or restore APKs, CPU tweaks, cache settings and more.  Just remember that before you begin tinkering with any of the settings you should do your homework otherwise you could do more harm than good.

Download

Greenify

(Requires root)

Greenify

Greenify essentially places the apps you have opened but aren’t using anymore in a state of hibernation, preventing them from running in the background updating themselves and using precious processor and bandwidth in the process.  When you load the app, Greenify releases it so you can use it and then puts it back to sleep when you are finished.  Just remember not to add your alarm clock or messenger apps to Greenify, as they will fail to notify you or wake you up in the morning if they aren’t open on your screen.

Download

These seven apps represent some of the best tools available for Android that allow you to clear out cache files slowing down your system and even tweak the CPU settings to bring out a few more gigahertz out of them so your tablet is faster than ever before.  Try each of them out and see what you think about them.  Play around with them and find what combination of these apps works best for your Android tablet based on what you want to do and how well they work for your particular model.

Remember, each of these apps is available free of charge so there is no harm in giving each of them a fair shot to see how well they work for you.  I can almost guarantee that after you try these, you will discover that your Android tablet runs much better and faster giving you an even better tablet experience than you thought was possible.

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Tablet Tips

How to Choose the Tablet That Is Right For You

Please Note: As an Amazon Associate we earn a small commission for qualifying purchases from our site. Learn more about our editorial policies.

It’s hard to believe that it has only been 5 short years since Apple introduced the original iPad and ushered in a new era of mobile computing like we have never seen before.  With the introduction of the iPad, an entirely new market was born.  Since that time, many different manufacturers began developing and releasing their own tablets to try to get a slice of the very valuable tablet pie.

There is no denying that tablets are most definitely here to stay.  But with so many choices today, how do you know which one of the best tablets on the market is right for you.  Whether you are considering the sleek styling and the “it just works” approach of Apple’s iPad line, an Android tablet with impressive customization with a mobile focus, or if you prefer something closer to how your laptop and desktop works like you will find in a Windows tablet, there are many key factors you must consider before placing your order and rushing to the store to make your purchase.

This list will cover everything you need to consider before making your final decision and shelling out your hard earned money for one of these mobile technology wonders.

What Do You Want To Do with Your Tablet

Tablets have yet to offer users an experience that can truly replace a laptop or desktop computer.  But, they have come a long way and with each generation, they move closer and closer to providing a full laptop experience.  Currently, the Microsoft Surface 3 comes the closest, but others are sure to follow.

Before you decide which tablet you buy, take a look at how you use your computer and figure out how you want to use it.  Do you need something just to surf the Internet and maybe check email from time to time?  If so, a basic iPad would work for you or even an Android tablet.  For users that want something to provide them with true productivity in tablet form, a Windows based tablet with a keyboard may be the right choice.

Your usage habits and your plans for your tablet must be examined before you buy otherwise you could end up with a tablet that sits on a table collecting dust as it simply doesn’t do what you want it to do or you could end up spending way too much money for features that you simply will never use.

What Operating System Do You Need

How to Choose the Tablet That is Right For You

Just like when you are purchasing a computer, you have to choose the operating system for your tablet.  Currently, there are three main tablet operating systems available:

  • iOS
  • Android
  • Windows 8

Just like the first time you chose a Mac or PC for your computer, your choice will most likely come down to your gut and which one feels right to you assuming you go and give the tablets a test drive.

Apple’s iOS is probably the most polished of all of the operating systems, but in true Apple style it severely limits your ability to customize it to your liking.  Android, on the other hand, offers impressive customization that is perfect for anyone that likes to tinker with their electronics.  If you are seeking a more traditional Windows experience that will be more familiar to you and offer you the best compatibility with your PC, a tablet running Windows 8 would be the best choice.

A Look At Apps

All of the major players have pretty impressive app stores today.  Apple led the pack for quite some time with the most apps and the most choice, but recently the Google Play store for Android has surpassed the App Store in the amount of apps available.  Microsoft lags a distant third as their Microsoft Store is the youngest of all of them, but it is steadily growing and all the major app players maintain a presence on all three stores.

However, from time to time, you will find an app that is simply not available on every platform and if it is an app you simply MUST have, you will have to alter your tablet search to include only tablets that use the store that has your app of choice.

Are you looking for a tablet just for mobile gaming?  Apple’s iOS or Android would be the best choices for you as mobile games for Windows still lags far behind the other two platforms.

Screen Size and Storage

iPad Air 2In the beginning, there was only one screen size that came in just under 10 inches.  Today, there is a huge assortment of screen sizes including phablets that are around 6-inches and are both phones and tablets, 7-inch tablets that are easily held in one hand, 8-inch tablets that provide a good balance between the very portable 7-inch versions and the much larger versions, and then the big boys which are 10-inch tablets with screens greater than 9 inches.  Remember, the larger you go the heavier your tablet will get so if weight is a factor, you may want to choose one of the smaller screen tablets.

Screen resolution is also very important.  Different tablets come with different resolutions.  Remember, the higher the resolution, the better the picture will look on your screen.  The higher it goes, the more clearer your text will look and you will be able to view images and videos in much more detail.

Every tablet comes with built in storage usually starting at 16 GB although you will see less storage of around 8 GB on some budget models.  The more space you have, the more apps, movies, images, music and files you can store on your tablet.  The more storage you choose to buy, the greater the price.  Some tablets also come with microSD ports that allow you to expand the amount you have by adding a small SD card.  If you think you may need more storage later, you may want to consider a tablet that includes this port.

Color

While you may not think this is really important, the color of your device can be one of the biggest decisions you will make.  In most cases, tablets come in either white or black but you will find the occasional extra color here and there on some tablets.  You will be staring at your tablet day in and day out making how it looks almost as important as how well it works for you.  Try out all the available colors before you pick up your new tablet and be sure you choose the tablet color that you like the best.

Wi-Fi or Cellular

Some tablets come in both a Wi-Fi only model or another option that is always online by using the cellular data service from a wireless provider.  The Wi-Fi only models are almost always cheaper than the always on versions but can only be used when you have access to a wireless network such as your network in your house or some of the many free Wi-Fi hotspots you can find around town.  The cellular data option is always on allowing you to connect anywhere whether there is Wi-Fi or not.  However, the tablets themselves are often much more expensive and you will have to pay your wireless carrier a monthly fee in order to use the service.

What Accessories Would You Like

One of the most interested things about the tablet market are the staggering numbers of accessories you can buy for your tablet.  However, different tablets come with different accessories.  While some accessories such as Bluetooth headphones may be platform and tablet independent, other accessories can be specific.

For example, some ASUS tablets come with an impressive keyboard dock with an added battery.  If this is something you believe you must have, you will have to limit your search to ASUS and other manufacturers who make similar products.

When looking at the tablet, take a few minutes to browse the various accessories available for it.  Some of the most common are:

  • Tablet Case
  • Keyboard
  • Stylus
  • Speakers
  • Headphones
  • Chargers

Not all accessories on the market will be compatible with the tablet of your choice.  If you see an accessory that you feel you must have in order for your tablet to be useful to you, be sure it will work with your chosen tablet before you invest hundreds of dollars into it.  After checking, you could find that you need to make a different tablet choice in order for you to truly be satisfied.

Budget

In the end, it almost always comes down to your budget.  Tablet prices vary greatly from the budget devices that can cost from under $100 all the up to $1,000 or more for the highest end tablets such as the top of the line Apple iPads and the Microsoft Surface 3.  While you may love that high end Apple iPad, in the end it may not be in your budget and you may have to opt for one with less storage or a smaller screen in order to meet the demands of your budget.

One thing you definitely do NOT want to do is overspend.  Spending too much on your tablet will only serve to stress you out as you work to make ends meet just because you caught the bug for a new tablet.  Examine your budget closely and know how much you prefer and are willing to spend on a tablet before you start shopping.

What tablet you choose can be one of the most important technology decisions you make.  Depending on what you choose, your future accessories and other devices such as smartwatches could all be determined by the type of tablet you decided to purchase.  Before you shell out your hard earned money, be sure to consider all the factors above.

Finally, head to your local electronics store and give all of your favorite choices a little test drive.  This time could be very valuable to you when you are making your decision as you will quickly get a feel for how they work and feel while you use them.  For more information, be sure to browse the various tablet lists found right here at TabletNinja to find the best tablets for your needs and price.

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Tablet Tips

Shipping Tablets from Amazon.com – Save up to 40% Compared to Local Stores

Please Note: As an Amazon Associate we earn a small commission for qualifying purchases from our site. Learn more about our editorial policies.

30-01_amazonAmazon.com doesn’t offer international shipping for most international countries – lucky for us there are still some sneaky workarounds we can use to get the latest and greatest tablets all the way from the US at bargain prices.

MyUS.com is a service that gives you a free US address to use, and even after international shipping costs and import tax, for most tech products you will still be saving as much as 30-40% compared to leading local retailers.

This is a tried and tested way of getting reliable tech products (with a much greater selection of more recent models) with a speedy 1 week delivery time and at substantially lower cost. We will be using shipping to South Africa as an example, but the following guide can be used  anywhere in the world.

There are only a few simple steps to follow:

  • Sign up for MyUS
  • Follow the instructions and get your postal address from  MyUS
  • Open an Amazon.com account
  • Enter your new US Address Amazon received from MyUS when buying product

Voila. You will then receive a mail once the package has been received (Amazon does free shipping within US usually), and can then pay for shipping to your country through myUS once they have received your parcel .  In your account they will invoice for the amount needed, and once you have paid your product will be on it’s way.

Here are a few examples just to give you an idea of what kind of cash you can save:

This is a tried and tested method that can be used to consistently get the latest tech gear imported and also save a ton of cash along the way. Note: If you are not in South Africa, you will need to check the import duty fees for your country in order to ensure accurate final costs.

For more information feel free to contact us with any questions and we’ll be happy to help with any additional info.