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Its quite incredible to think that 3 years back this category did not exist. Today its the hottest selling category and is being termed as the must have device. Most people around you have one or are lusting for one and its supposed to dramatically enhance your life. But its also a category that has a lot of people confused. What is a Tablet really for, do you need it if you have a smartphone and a notebook and what can you really do with it? Time for some serious answers.
There are many ways to set up buying criterion for a laptop, things like size-battery life-usage factors-build-screen-ports etc; but the easy way now is to divide laptops themselves into 3 distinctive categories. Somewhere within the three will lie your dream machine.

What will you do with it?

If you are someone who leads a 9 to 5 working weekday life, have access to a PC at work and at home and have a smartphone with you at all times; then the obvious question is 'Where? When? And Why will you use a tablet?'
It's a device that evokes extreme emotions - while some have retired their laptops to back of their drawers - for others the love of keyboard is a never ending affair. And if you live under the illusion that tablet will replace the smartphone then you're obviously smoking some pretty strong stuff.
So lets get this right once and for all. A tablet is a content consumption device. While you may send off a few emails, type a quick note, send a few messages and may even annotate a PPT â?? the Tablet is mainly for watching movies, listening to music, browsing the net, using some really good apps, watch a youtube video and catch up on some news on the move. And for that â?? the Tablet is the absolute king.

What's on Display?

And now for the eternal debate. What is the right size for the screen of a Tablet? Some swear by the more portable and pocketable 7 inch while others say that a small screen defeats the purpose of having a Tablet in the first place. Remember, that is pretty much what a Tablet is all about. The screen! Broadly speaking the tablet world is divided into two sizes - 7-inches and 10-inches. While the 7-inch category offers precisely what's quoted, the 10-inch category seems to have a weird numbers game happening. The iPad 2 and New iPad has a 9.7-inch display, while the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10 and Asus and a whole lot of others have have a 10.1-inch display size!
Also while the 7-inch category has a portability and a weight advantage, the big brother offers a much better web, multimedia and gaming experience. This one is a very personal call that you have to take. Do remember the best Tablet is the one that is with you when you need it.

The Res has the edge

While it was a feature in passing earlier, the new New Apple iPad has dramatically changed the game the pixel and resolution game. Going forward from here - the resolution will be a huge factor. After all, your entire experience on a Tablet is delivered by the screen. The higher the resolution, the more pixels it has â?? the better the whole experience. Even the types of screen will become an important preference factor. Not just Apple, even the likes of Asus are offering display specific features like Super IPS Mode. But do keep in mind, richness of display has a direct impact on your battery drainage. The more pixels that have to be fired up â?? the more battery life it consumes.

Storage space

At present, most high-end tablets come with 16GB, 32GB and 64GB options, and that is the maximum available at the moment. Some tablets do have an expandable memory card slot â?? most do not. And this can be heart breaking after a few month when you've filled your tablet up with HD movies, songs, apps and games.

Operating System and Apps

The biggest charm of buying a Tablet getting access to those highly additive applications that only run within their own Operating System. And while comfort and performance of an OS is equally important â?? it all comes down to what you really want to do with a Tablet. Some people even buy a Tablet just for one or two particular apps. While Apples iOS leads the Apps race by miles, Googles Android is nipping right at its heel now â?? with both Blackberry and Windows are playing the catch up game.

How many ways to stay connected?

Most tablets usually come with the dual connectivity option- Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi+ 3G. With the former, you will need a Wi-Fi hotspot to access web content. The 3G one essentially means it'll come with a SIM card slot, and you can also access data on an EDGE/3G network when a Wi-Fi hotspot isn't available. Usually better to go with the wifi + 3G option.