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What's So Hot About...

Tablets: What to Look for Before You Make Your Purchase


Thanks to the launch of the Apple iPad in 2010, tablets are big news and big sellers. These devices stand somewhere between a laptop and a smartphone in regards to size, functionality and mobility, and the public loves them. According to Gartner, Inc.*, an IT research company, tablet sales are expected to hit 55 million in 2011 – a whopping 181 percent increase from 2010.

For people interested in getting a tablet, there are many quality models to choose from. Yes, the Apple iPad is top of mind for many, but its competitors have lots to offer as well. To help you with your choice, consider the following four things.


The thin, easy-to-carry form factor of tablets is one big reason why people enjoy them. But you also want to make sure you choose a screen size that’s right for you and your eyes. The iPad screen is 9.7 inches diagonally but, depending on what you want to use it for, you may prefer a screen (and surrounding form factor) that’s either bigger or smaller.

Battery Life

Battery life plays a major part in enjoying devices designed for use on the go. Some tablets can hit the 10- to 12-hour range on just a single charge. Others last only 5 hours at best. 


Most, if not all, tablets have built-in WiFi, so you’re going to need a wireless network to use one at home. If you have Home Networking from Cox, your tablet can easily connect to your home’s high-speed wireless connection. While out and about, your tablet should be able to connect to the Internet anywhere a WiFi hotspot is available.

For greater mobility, you may want to consider tablets that, along with built-in WiFi, also offer 3G connectivity. With 3G, your tablet can connect to the Internet from almost anywhere. Keep in mind, though, that like your cell and smartphone, 3G service is dependent on purchasing a data plan with a national carrier. Now you have to think about your budget.


The pricing for tablets can range anywhere from $250 to $850, and in the case of the 3G models, will probably be tied in to a data plan offer. To find the right device for your needs and budget, take time to shop around – in store and online – before making your purchase.

For more information on using Cox Home Networking for your wireless devices, go here.

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