With the holiday season fast approaching, that means you’re going to need to kick things into gear if those stockings are going to be stuffed properly. One great versatile, tech-savvy option for gifts this year is a tablet computer.
A shining beacon of technological simplicity, these portable computers come standard with a rechargeable internal battery, a connection to the internet for all your web surfing and app-clicking needs, and a responsive, user-friendly touch screen.
Great for checking email, scrolling social media and keeping kids entertained with games and apps without the need for a bulky laptop, a tablet is an excellent option for those who value ease and portability in their tech.
But with so many options on the market, how do you know which tablet is right for the person you’re gifting it to?
Choosing the Right Tablet - iPad vs Android Tablet
The two major brands are the iPad from Apple and the Android tablet from Google, so your choice is likely to come down to an iPad vs. Android tablet.
Now you might be asking yourself, “What is the difference between an iPad and a tablet?” Despite seeming pretty similar at a glance, there are some huge differences between the two.
Booming into popularity in April 2010, the release of the iPad was a game-changer for the tablet. It was clear immediately that the iPad was going to shake things up.
With five different generations of iPad’s to choose from, each one getting internal upgrades for faster use and higher resolution screens, there’s no shortage of pricing options and sizes. For someone who’s looking for a smaller tablet, the iPad Mini is a great choice. For someone who’s looking to get work done on their tablet, the iPad Pro is a better option.
The iPads run on Apple’s slick and stylish iPadOS operating system. When it comes to ease of use, availability of top-flight popular apps, and easy-on-the-eyes aesthetics, there are few finer options than a shiny new iPad out of the box.
We recommend the iPad Mini 3, a more portable, compact tablet option with all the features you would want for a cheaper price than the standard or Pro versions.
The Android Tab
While Apple may have kicked off this new generation of tablets, Google was quick to throw their hats in the ring with its Galaxy Tab series. Released as a direct competitor to the iPad in 2010, the Tab has kept up with the iPad every step of the way.
The undisputed king of the Android family of products, the Tab is available in four generations along with its popular offshoots the S, A, E, and Pro versions.
The Tab runs Google’s Android operating system; each new generation named something fun like Cupcake, Donut, Jelly Bean, or Marshmellow, a Linux-based, widely adaptable system used mostly in smartphones and tablets.
That adaptable aspect of the Android OS is a critical difference between iPad and Android tablets. Unlike Apple devices, which tend to be nearly identical aside from some standout features because of the commonality of iOS, Google lets companies have fun with Android’s open-source code. That means that Samsung phones and tablets have a unique look and feel when compared to a Motorola phone even though both use Android OS.
For many, however, that uniqueness and adaptability is a selling point for the Tab.
When it comes down to choosing the right Tab to gift this year, we recommend the Galaxy Tab A. The gorgeous 10.1-inch HD screen, built-in 2 gigabytes of RAM to handle anything you throw at it and equipped with 16 GB of storage for all the music, pictures and apps someone could ever need.
Try Buying Refurbished
When it comes down to the key decision of iPad vs. tablet, it comes down to personal preference. If you’re buying either the iPad or the Tab new out of the box, which we highly recommend, both Apple and Android tablets are top-notch options this holiday season. These tablets are also great to buy refurbished. Going the refurb route can not only save you money compared with new models, but you can also get cheap older iPads or Android tablets that might no longer be available, but still meet your needs. Plus, it keeps perfectly good tech out of landfills. The key to getting a great refurbished iPad or Android tablet is to buy from a reputable retailer that clearly details not only what condition the refurb is in, but its own return and warranty policies. In this case, the best place to start is with the manufacturer.
In the end, it probably comes to the type of phone that an individual uses. If they use an iPhone, they’ll likely want an iPad. If they use Android, get them a Tab.