So you want to buy a tablet for someone whom you obviously adore ('cause let's be real, tablets can be minor investments, so this isn't a Secret Santa gift!) You might have gone online recently and got entirely perplexed over the massive choices available to you. They almost all look the same, especially if you're not sure what to look for, and you can't help but wonder if the only difference is perhaps the brand name. Well, isn't it lucky that you found this post! Because while tablets can all look the same, they aren't. And similarly, any given tablet does not fit the needs of all, so read up! And let's make this the most awesome gifted tablet ever.
General Features to Check for Any Tablet
If there were only three things to keep an eye out for to ensure you've picked up a good piece of tech, here's what you need:
- Look for a great processor, search for these three keywords to get started: "Intel", "Atom", "Quadcore". If you can find these words in the tablet specifications for "Processor", you're off to a great start!
- At least 1G of RAM to enjoy that Quadcore tablet speed.
- At least 32G hard drive space to ensure you can get the most out of your tablet through apps and any files you want to keep (photos, docs, music, movies, etc.)
Dig a Little Deeper
If you're looking to really wow your giftee this year, here are some more specific recommendations for the right bit of tablet tech.
For the Gamer in Your Life
Particularly if they're an XBox gamer, you'll want a Windows OS tablet with a large screen, roughly around 10", and no less than 8". They're going to want to download a lot of games to their tablet, so the more hard drive space you can get (or can later expand with a memory card,) the better. Absolute minimum they'll need is 32G, and that might be pushing it a bit. To really make this the most awesome tablet ever, check to see if the recipient also has an XBox wireless control (and if they don't, include one as part of your gift, or depending on everyone's budget, even ask a mutual loved one to pick up the accessory as their gift.)
If this tablet is for entertainment purposes only (games, music, TV/movies, etc) they likely won't need a keyboard/mouse. A camera is most likely not necessary either.
For the Graphic Artist
Painters and sketchers love to be able to just pull out a pencil and paper at any given moment, whenever inspiration hits, and a tablet can be a great helper to always have that "paper" at hand. Especially when paired with a stylus pen, your artist can draw to their heart's content when the moment strikes. You have some leeway on the size of the tablet, depending on their lifestyle. If they're always carrying a backpack around, you may be better off finding a larger scale tablet, something in the 10" range. If they don't carry much around with them, your giftee would be better off with a tablet that they can fit in their pocket, around the 7" size.
You will definitely want to include a stylus pen. Regardless of whether the tablet comes with one built in (which is easier to keep track of,) or whether you pick up one on the side, your artist will enjoy being able to put "pencil" to "paper" with ease.
Picking up a Windows 8.1 tablet means they have access to 16 incredible drawing/painting apps, including Sketchbook, which is one of my faves.
While they won't need the keyboard for their craft, your artist will want one if they want to share their art online on popular sites like Deviant, which is an incredibly inspiring forum for digital artists (and most artists today love to showcase their work online.) 2 in 1 tablet/netbooks are the perfect fit so that the keyboard is only there when in need, leaving the tablet/monitor easily accessible for lap or table drawing when detached.
For the Workaholic
A workaholic will feel like a super hero with a powerful portable office machine that fits in anything, like their purse/briefcase/satchel, their car, their hand. Finding the ultimate handy 2 in 1 tablet will mean they can be productive anytime of the day, anywhere they happen to be! I keep thinking of my ASUS Transformer 100, because it became my handy little square of office space with a Window (heh, get it? Geek humor is the best!) that easily fits in my purse, meaning I can utilize it whenever I take a break for coffee while out doing errands. Blogging is a 24/7 business and its so very handy to be able to work on my site at any given moment (while the smartphone is fab for social networking, it doesn't cut it for tasks like website management.)
Keep an eye out for: a backfaced camera, because your workaholic will want to scan documents at least once a month, and having the right camera and app will turn that tablet also into a flatbed scanner; as well as a front faced camera if your workaholic does a lot of talking; using apps like Skype may be a daily occurrence.
Another awesome tablet that would meet your Workaholic's need is the HP Stream 8, as it comes with 200MBs of data/month for internet access whenever they need (especially if WiFi isn't available at any given moment.) You will need to find a bluetoothed keyboard attachment if you go with the Stream over the Transformer though.
For The Love of the Social Media Addict
You'll want to find a smaller-sized tablet that can be taken anywhere, and a great camera is a must. The social media fiend loves to not only take selfies, but also pics of their food and anywhere they might be at any given moment of the day. If they've made social media more than just a hobby, you may want to look into 2 in 1 tablet/netbooks as well as a stylus for one the fly typing/writing. Again, the HP Stream 8 would be the perfect fit for the Socialite that needs internet access at ALL times.
For the Person Who Really Wants a Tablet But Doesn't Really Know Why
This type of person wants to download all the apps available in the store, they'll want something to help them create delicious meals, watch youtube and probably read books and magazines with. They would, in most instances, do well with a smaller screen (something they can easily read, but won't take up too much counter space while their stand mixer is rocking.) Their new tablet will be something they'll want to take anywhere easily, and smaller screens are also much easier to read ebooks, as we're accustomed to shorter width distances, much like a paperback book.
Still not quite sure what to get? Take Intel's gift quiz, that includes specific tablet recommendations to easily choose from!
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