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Tablet Buyer’s Guide: jargon buster

Below are some of the key terms and phrases you'll hear when buying a tablet, along with an explanation of what they mean.

Operating system: The core software running on the tablet – Google Android, iOS or Windows.

Processor (or CPU and GPU): This is the tablet’s brain – how fast it opens and uses apps, and how well it runs games.

Resolution: How sharp the screen (or display) of the tablet is. It’s measured in pixels and pixels per inch (ppi). The higher the number, the sharper the screen. Anything over 300ppi or that's refered to as Full HD or Retina is pin-sharp.

Aspect ratio: This refers to the way the screen's laid out. Normal aspect ratios are 16:9 (16 parts wide to 9 parts tall), 16:10 and 4:3.

Chassis: The chassis refers to the body of the tablet, what it’s made of and how it feels to hold

Internal storage: How much room the tablet has to store things like pictures, music, apps and movies. It’s measured in GB (gigabytes).

microSD storage: Some tablets let you insert a small card to increase storage. This is generally a cheaper way of getting lots more space on your tablet.

Apps: Programs that are specifically made to work on a tablet, such as Facebook or Angry Birds. When you open these they take over your screen

3G and 4G: These connectivity options enable Internet access via a mobile phone network while you’re on the move, with a 3G connection being slower than 4G. You’ll need the tablet to be 3G/4G compatible and you’ll need a contract with a mobile operator.

Home screens: These are the main screens on a tablet from which you can launch your apps. Think of them like your computer desktop.

Widgets: Android and Windows let you add widgets to your home screens. Widgets are windows into apps for example, a weather widget will let you see what the temperature is without you actually having to open the app.


November 11, 2013, 8:58 pm

Fudu Banda , Microsoft or Apple only
Surface 2 is full hd, full of apps I need, price wise it's awesome starting from 269 with office preinstalled, torrent download is there , YouTube downloader, Xbox games , no need of internet security like android , podcasts and everything I need really


November 11, 2013, 10:57 pm

That price is for the original Surface RT from last year not the Surface 2 and certainly not the Surface Pro 2. The Surface RT is not Full-HD it is 1,366 x 768. It's a nice bit of kit for the price but apps are limited.


November 12, 2013, 1:11 pm

"Apple iPads may be the most popular brand of tablets..."

Even in developed markets, such as the UK and US, Android is now outselling Apple.

Okay, I bought an iPad Air at launch, but that doesn't mean I like to see misinformation spread!


Mhe She

November 12, 2013, 1:38 pm

Evan, the latest Bay Trail Windows tablets are as light as Ipad and Android tablets and are expected to last 8 to 10 hours. They are no longer more expensive. Lenovo Miix 2 and Dell Venue pro 8 are $ 300! Finally, Office is free even on full Windows 8 tablets upto 11 inch screens!


November 12, 2013, 1:42 pm

We haven't tested any of those yet, thought. We'll hold the parade until we've seen if they live up to their billing.


November 14, 2013, 10:34 am

Android is not a brand, it's an OS. The Apple iPad is still by far the most popular brand of tablet - it even says that in the link you posted.


November 26, 2013, 5:42 pm

What's the best kind of tablet to get for the family to use. Our kids are 10, 9, 7, and 2. Our 2 yr old uses the apps on our phones so we thought if we got a family tablet we'd get the kids off our phones:)


November 27, 2013, 9:55 am

I'd say a 7-inch tablet, probably an Android one Like the Tesco Hudl where you won't mind too much if it gets a few bumps and scrapes. It's a good size for children.

Hope that helps.

FirestoneX .

November 28, 2013, 12:38 pm

Back in my day we had Gameboys. No way am I going to let my kid get a tablet.


December 3, 2013, 4:37 pm

As Andy says the Tesco Hudl is good. The Kindle HDX 7 and 8.9 are also good if you're concerned about internet safety as they have an app called Playtime that restricts access to only those things you allow. It's only just launched so it's not in this guide but I'll be updating it shortly.


December 4, 2013, 8:17 pm

Nexus 10 is my best guess for you. It is well built so it can take the regular wear kids are going to put on it. It also has a multiple user account functionality so they can each have different accounts as well as you. I bought it months ago and it is awesome still.


December 21, 2013, 6:26 am

If I am going to use the tablet for work (will use mostly excel and word) and at home for Netflix and surfing the web, which one would you recommend?


January 16, 2014, 3:18 am

In the U.S. you can get 4G service for a tablet on a month to month basis-no contract.


January 31, 2014, 1:17 am

What tablet do you recommend for work (work, powerpoint, excel, etc) and for photography and editing (adobe lightroom, photoshop, and aftereffects). im not really concerned about budget as long as its under $1'500. Any recommendations ?


January 31, 2014, 2:05 am

Looking for excellent sound and largest screen to be used for streaming
movies, storing and playing music including streaming music. No gaming. No Windows 8.
Does a particular one or two come to mind for you? Thank you!


February 18, 2014, 2:45 am

I'm mainly looking for a larger-sized tablet for word-processing and accessing the internet. Possibly with a built-in or detachable keyboard. Any recommendations? Thank you!


February 18, 2014, 8:56 am

Worth considering a Surface 2, then. It has its weaknesses, but for word processing and so forth it's very good: http://www.trustedreviews.c...

Alternatively, if you'd prefer full Windows, consider the Asus Transformer Book T100: http://www.trustedreviews.c...


March 7, 2014, 8:03 am

Looking for a 10in tablet for someone elderly to read newspapers and have a kindle app on any suggestions


March 7, 2014, 8:31 am

For pure simplicity you can't beat an iPad, especially for anyone who isn't experienced with tech. You probably don't need to buy one of the latest ones, though, and might be worth considering an iPad mini if you think something lighter would be preferable. The trade-off, of course, is that it's not so good for anyone who is short sighted.


March 24, 2014, 8:19 pm

kindle fire HDX fits your needs to a T


April 18, 2014, 4:34 am

I think the samsung galaxy tab pro 10.1 will be good for work,
If you are really serious about work and battery and streaming and huge size, I'd say go for the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2. Or, if you are an apple person definitely go with the new Ipad air

Bella Batali

June 21, 2014, 1:13 am

im wresting with what size tablet to buy right now. i'd love to get a 10 inch so it can substitute as a pc on the go and hook a keyboard up to it however for lounging on the couc or reading in bed or even on the go i imagine a 7 inch is perfect as you can hold it in one hand. cant decide which way to go. almost thinking about being chepa and getting a kindle fire instead of a real tab but i dont think ill be happy with it not being able to do everything i want.


June 24, 2014, 1:09 pm

It is a tricky decision. 7-inch tablets are dead cheap at the moment and you can get a little keyboard case for some of the more popular models so don't think that you can't be productive on one. obviously a bigger screen is useful. Both the Kindle Fire HDX and HDX 8.9 are good tablets but they do have that heavy Amazon UI and own app store that is a bit annoying. It's not too bad but I prefer normal Android.

Juliet Castle Wilks

June 28, 2014, 3:59 pm

Hi I am looking to buy a tablet for one of my sons - one has the tesco hudl but it has issues with wifi connection when all other gadgets say, xbox, ipad, phones laptop etc work fine the hudl keeps disconnecting sooo I want to buy something else but not too expensive - my son wants it for skype and you tube primarily - which one would be best please in your opinion?


July 12, 2014, 3:16 am

What tablet or detachable laptop/tablet do you recommend for word processing and for viewing images downloaded from my SLR camera. I'd like to have convenience of adobe lightroom, and photoshop elements on it too. Budget....under $1,500 or thereabouts. Any recommendations ?

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