How to Choose the ‘Right’ Tablet

Choice is wonderful, but sometimes we’re faced with so many choices that we’re almost paralyzed with ‘over-information’.  When choosing a tablet, there are a lot of factors to consider, including what operating system (OS).  You can choose from iPad, Android and BlackBerry.  Then, which device do you choose once you’ve selected the OS.  What’s your budget?  Do you buy technology to stay current, or buy what works for you know and keep it until it dies?  So you take a support plan?  And another factor to consider that has come to play lately is which OS is under attack by malware more frequently (android is the most targeted at this time).  Or should you just wait to next year and see what they come up with then?  

Here are a few considerations to help you make the right choice:

Screen size. What do you plan on doing with your tablet?  And is it OK if you need to wear reading glasses to read a smaller screen?  Choose your screen size based on how you plan to it.  The more you use your tablet for processing date, the larger a work screen you’ll want.  Larger screens (10” +) are best  for tasks such as editing documents or updating spreadsheets. But smaller and less expensive screens are OK for things like video conferencing.  Smaller screens are also better for mobile applications, as they fit more easily into purses and brief cases.  If you choose your tablet to function primarily as an e-reader and want to be able to hold it with one hand (like you would a book), a smaller format may be the way to go.

Operating system. If you already have a particular brand of smartphone, it might make sense for you to select a tablet with the same operating system.  There are several advantages including there being less of a learning curve to improve your productivity and apps that you purchase you’ll be able to use on both your smartphone and tablet. If you are an iPhone user, consider the Apple iPad. If you have an Android phone, look to an Android-based tablet from manufacturers such as Samsung or Acer.  A Windows RT or Windows 8 tablet provides seamless integration with Windows smartphones and computers, so staying within the Windows ecosystem might be the way to go.  For those who would like more information on operating systems, consider reading the article “the impact of software (including operating systems and apps) on tablet choices.

Connectivity options.  Most tablets give you two choices for connectivity.  Wi-Fi lets you connect via your home or office wireless connection, or through a Wi-Fi hotspot.  Optionally, you can buy a tablet that offers both Wi-Fi and 3G/4G connectivity. There is a wide range of tablets on the market now that support both Wi-Fi and 3G/4G connectivity, which allow you to roam and stay connected.  Again, consider how you’re going to use your tablet to consider which option is best for you.    

The final questions.  If you don’t buy a new tablet, does it make any difference?  If you do buy a new tablet, does it make your life simpler as you’re more productive, or more complicated because you have to learn a new technology?  Ultimately, your choice is as personal as any technology choice and there is no one right answer.  Take some time, go to a store that offers different OS and devices, and ask for expert advice.  Then try another store and see if you still like the decision you were about to make at the first store. 

Are you willing to share your story?
Let us know which tablet you selected, and how satisfied and why you were with your purchase.  We’ll post the results and maybe some of your deliberations will help others to make smart choices too. 


Some of this material was excepted from Bell Canada’s Small Business Insights – March 2013 at


2Ascribe Inc. is a medical transcription services agency located in Toronto, Ontario Canada, providing medical transcription services to physicians, clinics and other healthcare providers across Canada and the US.  Having recently introduced WEBscribe, a client interface portal for document management, 2Ascribe continues to implement and develop technology to assist and improve the transcription process for physicians and other healthcare providers.  As a service to our clients and the healthcare industry, 2Ascribe offers articles of interest to physicians and other healthcare professionals, medical transcriptionists and office staff, as well as of general interest.  Additional articles may be found at

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