Choose your screen size based on what you do most. If you’re watching videos, choose a larger screen. For e-books—tablets have more computing power than e-readers—smaller sizes are lighter and more convenient. Tablet sizes range from 7 inches for several Android and Amazon Fire models to nearly 13 inches for the Apple iPad Pro and over 14.5 inches for the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra.
“My mother always had a computer when she was alive. Then at some point it stopped. He was able to do everything on his iPad and it was a lot easier for him,” said Ed Bott, author of the ZDNet blog Ed Bott Report. “The screen was big enough and the apps were simple enough. And if he can’t do it with an iPad, he said, “I don’t have to do it.” “
If you’ve been a fan of tablets since the iPad debuted in 2010, but want to know what’s new, or don’t know which operating system to invest in, we’ve got a primer for you. Here’s a look at the three main platforms, along with some features worth considering.
The iPad opened people’s eyes
While Apple’s iPad wasn’t the first tablet computer, it was one of the first for consumers. The iPad family of devices remains the most popular of all tablets.
Today’s devices are powerful, with screens that display bright images that rival high-end TVs. They also support the Apple Pencil, and you can interact with the iPad using your voice by talking to Apple’s personal assistant, Siri.
iPadOS—the operating system that powers Apple’s iPads—should be immediately familiar to anyone who owns an iPhone. The look and feel is very similar to the iOS operating system.
All iPads offer a Wi-Fi version or a Wi-Fi plus cellular option if you want to stay connected wirelessly while away from home. Plans are usually $10 per month through your current mobile carrier.
Due to their popularity, you can easily find accessories for any iPad model: iPad mini (8.3 inches), iPad (10.2 inches), iPad Air (10.9 inches with liquid Retina display) and the supercharged and larger iPad Pro (Liquid Retina XDR display with 12.9 inches).
Like other Apple devices, iPads are very secure and you have access to the App Store for over a million iPad apps and games. iPads can also run most iPhone apps, and you can expand them to run full screen.
For people who like to use their iPads for video calls, FaceTime has added a handy feature called Center Stage. It allows the camera to follow you and keep you in the center of the frame. Center Stage works with these tablets: iPad Air fifth generation, 12.9-inch iPad Pro 12.9 fifth generation, 11-inch iPad Pro third generation, iPad ninth generation, and iPad mini sixth generation. It also works with some MacBooks.
Just as Macs are more expensive than Windows PCs and Chromebooks, most iPads are more expensive than Android and Windows tablets, but you’ll find some exceptions. iPads with Wi-Fi only start at $329; iPad minis, $499; iPad Airs, $599; iPad Pros with 11-inch display, $799; and iPad Pros with a 12.9-inch display, $1,099.