Tablet computers come in all sizes from 5.3 to 10.1 inches across the diagonal. Larger screen sizes cost more usually, and screen size is the first factor that you need to look at if you are buying a tablet computer.

How Do You Plan to Use Your Tablet?

Tablet computers are designed for Internet access while you are away from home. Typing on a tablet is difficult and inaccurate with an on-screen keyboard in most cases that is only 5in wide. Keys are tiny and most people make many mistakes.

You can browse websites, but any tablet screen is small compared to even a basic 14in screen laptop computer. You will need to zoom in and to scroll around web pages more than you do on a laptop or home computer.

One factor that tablet retailers never make clear is that you will need to buy a sim card and data package from one or other phone network if you want 3G access. As they are supplied tablets can only be connected to a wi-fi network, which is fine at home, but the whole point for most people is to be able to use them while out and about.

5.3in Tablets

The Galaxy Note is sometimes called a phablet because it bridges the gap between a smart phone and a tablet in terms of screen size. If you want one device then this is one to consider. It is wider than a smart phone, which makes one-handed operation difficult, but then you can always use two hands except when you are driving anyway!

It functions as a smart phone and has a screen twice the area of an iPhone, which makes web pages much easier to read.

7in Tablets

You can pick up a seven inch tablet for $70 on Amazon, or you can pay $500 for one. It depends on the features that you need. Lower cost tablets usually have older operating system versions and may not be able to access the Android app store, but for basic browsing they work fine.

Screen size is the main issue holding people back from buying a small tablet computer.

8in and 9in Tablets

There are quite a few of these larger screen-size tablets available and each increment in screen size makes Internet use that much easier, but makes the device less portable.

10.1in Tablets

The original 10.1in screen tablet was Apple’s iPad. There are now ten or so tablets the same size. That said, ten inches is still too small for comfortable web browsing for most people.

12-14 inch Tablets

This is the minimum size for comfortable web browsing, but portability is way down. 14 Inch tablets are marketed as high-end devices, with a $1,000 price-point to match. Some come as a laptop with a detachable screen that turns into a tablet when it is removed, others as dual screen laptops, gadgetry is rife at this end of the tablet market.


There are always compromises to be made.

Small screen size Vs Screen ease of use is the most important factor to consider. Each buyer needs to decide where on this continuum they want to sit.

Portability Vs Usability is part of the same screen-size decision. Tablets that are small enough to carry around easily are too small to use easily.

Cost Vs Usability is another factor to consider. If you carry around a $1,000 tablet, throw it in the back of the car, take it out when you are having a coffee or a beer and treat it like a $5 calculator then you increase the risk of damaging it.

Internet Speed

The operating system affects the speed with which you can download web pages, but so does the phone network signal strength and capacity. You should check broadband speed available in your area before buying any 3G device, because you might find that it will be so slow as to be unusable in any event.