The 3 Things You Need To Look For When Buying a Windows 8 Tablet

Tablets running Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system are in a league of their own. Instead of adding tablet compatibility to its Windows Phone operating system, Microsoft decided it would be a better idea to make Windows, the operating system that dominates laptops and desktops, much more of a mobile-friendly operating system so that users could, in theory, get the benefits of owning a Windows machine and the luxuries that only tablets can offer.

Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on your outlook, this tactic has left many potential Windows 8 tablet buyers confused about how it works and whether it really is a good operating system. Even more people are wondering about the things they should look for when buying a tablet with the operating system loaded on it. Here are 3 things you need to look for when buying a Windows 8 tablet.

Look For Information About Its Processor

The Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2

The Surface 2 runs Windows RT while the Surface Pro 2 runs a full version of Windows.

It used to be that processors were the deciding factor in a user’s experience. On traditional Windows machines like desktops and laptops, that’s still true. On tablets, there’s a sort of gray area. For sure, processors matter when you’re picking out a Windows tablet, however they matter for slightly different reasons.

The type of processor inside of a Windows tablet now also decides how many applications you have access to. For example, if the tablet you have your eye on has an Intel or AMD processor, then you’ll have the option to run games from the Windows Store and download more apps from other websites. Tablets running any other processor have a slightly different operating system called Windows RT. It’s Windows RT that directly competes with Apple’s iPad and, unfortunately, does not allow users to install apps and games from anywhere else besides the Windows Store.

Know Which Screen Size You’re Comfortable With

The Dell Venue 8 Pro along with the Dell XPS 11 Pro in the background.

The Dell Venue 8 Pro along with the Dell XPS 11 Pro in the background.

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Windows 8 tablets come in all shapes and sizes at this point. There are devices with a vertically oriented 8-inch display that are meant to act as computer companions and media devices. There are also larger 10-inch Windows 8 tablets that try to be both tablet and laptop.

It’s important to know which type of device you’re looking for before heading to out to make your purchase. If the tablet is for both work and play, maybe a larger screen is a better option. If it’s just for play or for a child in your household, it’s probably a better idea to go with a smaller 8-inch device that fits more comfortably in their hands and can still act as a decent media consumption device.

Check For Accessories

The Touch Cover 2 for Surface 2

The Touch Cover 2 turns any Surface tablet into a laptop replacement

This is going to sound a bit unorthodox. The best way to make sure you purchase the best Windows 8 tablet for your needs is to also include a list of potential accessories that you might need to extend your experience. It’s these accessories that are going to allow you to expand your device’s capability over time.

Look for how many full-size USB ports it has so that you can easily plugin a mouse, keyboard or printer. Also look for any keyboards, batteries, cases and docks that the device’s manufacturer makes themselves.

Read: Buying a Windows 2-in-1 or Tablet? Focus on Accessories!

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Here’s to hoping that you find the best Windows 8 tablet for you!

Comments

  1. Hildy J says

    Just as you should make a list of potential accessories, you should make a list of potential software. If your list includes a bunch of software that only runs in the desktop (like MS Office) consider getting a device with stylus support. You can use a stylus like a mouse for reviewing and commenting on MS Office or Acrobat files although you might still want a keyboard and mouse for more extensive work. A stylus also allows you to take “ink” notes (handwritten notes) in OneNote and EverNote and can even be used for text entry (Windows handwriting recognition is surprisingly fast and accurate).

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