The answer you’ll get when you ask “What’s the best tablet?” will depend greatly on who you ask. Even then, it won’t be a simple answer. Well, it could be a simple answer and if it is, the person answering isn’t putting any real effort into answering the question. In that case, you’ll need to ask someone else. Tablets come in various sizes and various features. Even the tablets from the same manufacturer will differ based on things like operating system versions and targeted demographics.
There’s an old saying where “you get what you pay for”. With electronics, that’s not always true. Sometimes you get more than you pay for and sometimes you get less. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the last few years when it comes to tablets, brand names don’t mean a lot unless they’re the major brands you’ve probably already heard of. Those brands have built up trust over the years. That trust could be misplaced, but that trust is there nonetheless. I could list only the major brands or I could list a bunch of brands, but I won’t. The comparison of tablet computers at Wikipedia will give you more information than I could ever compile on my own.
I’ve toyed with Apple tablets (running iOS). I like Android (Google) tablets better. I have yet to see a tablet with Microsoft anything on it. I’ve seen more Android tablets than anything else and I’m sure that has a lot to do with the price. The Android tablets tend to be cheaper than the others. Of course, that also depends on the included hardware. You can buy 7-inch Android tablets for under $100 USD. I dare you to find Apple or Microsoft tablets for anything close to that price. New, not used. But then again, the Samsung Galaxy tablets (running Android) are more expensive regardless of the size. It’s that brand name thing again.
I’ll answer the question and you’re not going to like it. My answer is tainted by what I’ve experienced and a lot of remarks people have made over the last couple of years.
The Apple iPads are great tablets. So are the Samsung Galaxy tablets. I’m sure some of the other major brands are great as well. It really isn’t the brand name I’m looking at. It’s the customer support. The major brands have the best customer support. With them, you really do get what you pay for (even if you think you’re paying too much).
You can buy a tablet with just about any brand name on it. What will you do when something goes wrong with it? If it’s a cheap Android tablet, you’ll probably throw it away before you’ll invest the time and effort in getting it fixed. If it’s a more expensive tablet, I doubt you’ll part with it that easily.
I bought six cheap Android tablets last year (on sale for about $50 each) and gave them to relatives here in the Philippines. The RCA brand name was on them. All of them are still working except one and that’s because it was dropped more times than I can count. A sister-in-law is getting it repaired for about 1000 pesos (around $25 USD). It’s worth it for her because she can’t buy a replacement for anything close to that.
If you’re going to buy a tablet you intend to use a lot, buy a major brand name tablet. Like Apple, Samsung or Sony. Avoid anything you’ve never heard of before. The best tablet is a tablet that will last longer than its warranty and a tablet with good customer support.
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