A tablet is the perfect size to enjoy your favorite entertainment just about anywhere. And a tablet is great for staying in touch with family or writing an e-mail to a friend or colleague. You can also use a tablet to stream your favorite TV programs, monitor your health and stay organized away from the office by working on documents, spreadsheets and more.
Which brand is right for you?
Many tablet brands share the same layout, design and media features across devices, which can make navigation and organization easier as you work and play. Whether you prefer to use the same operating system as your other devices, or you don't mind a little variety, you can learn more about the different features each brand has to offer below.
Apple users can access their iTunes, calendar and contacts on their iPad, and sync with their iPhone and Apple TV. Select iPad models come equipped with the Siri voice-activated assistant for convenient navigation of the browser and operating system.
The Samsung Smart Hub feature allows users to watch movies and listen to music on their tablet, plus sync contacts and media with their smart TV. Using Smart Remote, users will also be able to control their Samsung TV directly from their tablet.
Microsoft Windows users can retrieve files from Microsoft Office and sync contacts, music and more across their Windows tablet, phone and PC. Microsoft tablets connect to other devices with a convenient USB port, and can even connect to the TV through an Xbox.
Amazon tablets allow users to separate profiles for each individual, and see character, artist or other content with X-Ray for music, movies and TV. With the exception of Fire HD, a mayday button provides free on-demand device tech support when it is needed.
Tablet Operating Systems
If you're familiar with the iPhone, you'll feel comfortable with Apple's iOS for iPad. iOS is easy to understand right from the start and offers smooth interactions and intuitive menus. It's linked with Apple's App Store with their huge selection of apps for the iPad, plus an extensive selection of music, books and movies. If you're into customizing the look and feel of your tablet, you may find fewer customization options with Apple iOS than with other operating systems.
Samsung Galaxy, Amazon Fire
Google's popular Android operating system, with its food-inspired versions (KitKat, Jelly Bean, Ice Cream Sandwich), offers an ever-improving interface and a ton of customization options, so you can tailor the look and feel of your tablet. You'll find a wide array of tablet-enabled apps, plus a good selection of your favorite music, books and movies in the Google Play store.
Amazon Fire tablets use the Android OS combined with the Amazon.com ecosystem for easy buying and downloading of books, movies and music.
Windows OS-based tablets, like the Microsoft Surface, follow the format of familiar Windows-based operating systems found on your desktop or laptop PC. They're great for work since many offer versions of familiar programs such as Word, PowerPoint, Excel and more. The Windows Store offers a wide array of apps, games, videos, movies, music, books and popular Windows programs. Plus, Windows 8.1 tablets qualify for a free upgrade to Windows 10. Learn more about upgrading to Windows 10.
Smaller 7" or 8" tablets are great for the commute on the bus or airplane. Just a bit larger than the average smartphone, these compact tablets are small enough to fit in most pockets.
Larger screens (10"+) offer great views and better resolution for watching movies and videos, viewing Web pages, playing games and provides plenty of screen space for typing documents.
Resolution refers to the number of dots (pixels) on the entire screen. You'll see greater detail on a high-resolution screen which is important when viewing HD movies and playing graphic-intensive games.
How much internal memory
do you need?
Most tablets provide a decent amount of internal memory (storage) to house the OS, apps, photos, videos, games, books and music. If you plan to store a lot of movies and music on your tablet you'll want one with more internal memory. Another option is to store your media files on the cloud. A cloud is a location where you safely store your files other than your hard drive and access them anytime via a Wi-Fi or a cellular connection.
With most tablets, you need to be within a Wi-Fi hotspot to connect to the Internet. Connected tablets let you access the Internet using a cellular network (such as 4G or 4G LTE), similar to the ones cell phones use. No need to try to find and pay for Wi-Fi hotspot access. Connected tablets offer a data plan similar to cell phone data plans. Many carriers now have plans that let you combine your devices into one shared data plan so you can add your tablet to your existing plan for a low monthly fee.
Tablets for Kids
Tablets designed for kids have fun and colorful designs with protective bumpers and rugged designs to withstand active users. These tablets also come preloaded with a variety of fun games and educational activities, which you can tailor to your child's age or grade. Although they are designed for younger children, parents can also use the tablet by switching from kid mode to a parent mode.
A case will not only protect your tablet from bumps and scratches but can also be used as a stand for comfortable viewing. Get a laptop-type experience by adding a keyboard to your tablet. Some attach to your tablet while others use Bluetooth so you can work wirelessly. Add some app-enabled devices and keep track of your health and fitness level, collect credit card payments, control your home's temperature, play interactive games and more.
Shop Online or In Store
Find a wide variety of tablets on BestBuy.com. Your local Best Buy store has a wide selection of the latest tablets, many of which are available to compare and test out. Plus, our friendly Blue Shirts are there to answer questions and help with trading in your old tablet for Best Buy gift cards. Our Geek Squad® Agents are also on hand to help you pick the best protection plan for your needs, install a screen shield and help set up your new tablet.