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Why? Do Some Tablets Cost More Than Others?

By Edited Feb 14, 2016 1 1
Credit: Google

Everybody seems to be showing off their flash new tablets these days. Whether it’s a business person doing their rounds or a little kid flicking a little red bird across a screen, in an attempt to kill little piggies, tablet computers are everywhere. It’s about time that you bought one too, but what are the things to look for when deciding upon which one is right? The prices of tablets vary wildly, and sometimes it can be difficult to see why there is such a difference. Don’t they all do the same thing? Well here are five reasons why the tablet you want costs more than the competition.


Niche Features.


Different companies have tried to corner the market in certain areas. The app market is now very big business, and there are two market leaders. Apple have the App Store while Android devices have the Android Market or Google Play. As many tablets use Android technology, they have a share of the Android Market. This means that essentially the share is dominated by two giants, but another, less obvious, niche is the one where Amazon finds its-self. Amazon deals in books as you might expect, but the interesting thing is how much their marketing strategy is geared towards pleasing book lovers. Check out their Paperwhite or Fire tablet packages for full details. Along with software niches, many companies have hardware packages that separate them from their competition. Arguably at the top of the hardware add on ladder is Apple. The amount of extras that you can buy for iPads is huge and the list is ever growing. Third party hardware innovations can sometimes be very innovative. If interesting and quirky ways to use your tablet is what sounds appealing, then an Apple iPad may be what you’re looking for. Extra hardware and software will cost you. It’s par for the course.




Many tablets rely on Wi-Fi for their connectivity and that’s fine if you have an ever present signal to keep you going. For people who keep their tablets in the home or office, Wi-Fi is sufficient, but as we’ve discussed previously, many people are now taking their tablets out and about with work. For those people, and for those who like to take their tablet with them everywhere they go, a better connectivity is required. There isn’t always a readily available source of Wi-Fi connectivity, so the new vogue in tablets is 3G and 4G. Now, just like with a handheld mobile device, internet access is possible anywhere that you can get a 3G or 4G signal. The extra scope is going to cost you a little bit more, but for the freedom that you’ll gain, it is worth the extra cost.




When looking at all of the different tablets on the shelf in your local electronics store, you’ll be able to see the different screen sizes that are on offer. It is natural to expect varying prices based upon screen size, but there is much more that goes into a display that affects cost. Tablets with higher resolutions will give you better picture quality and tablets with more complex touch screens will allow you to manipulate the software to a higher degree. Both of these differences in display will affect the price of the tablet. Higher picture quality is self explanatory so there’s no need to expand on that, but touch screen complexity is less straightforward. As touch screen technology advanced, we got more familiar with how to use it. At first the touch screen inputs were simple. We could tap, drag, and pinch, but as designers developed their new technologies, we found that there were far more possibilities. The most up to date displays will allow multiple touch inputs on different parts of the screen, and they will also allow many more types of input. Tap, drag, pinch, rotate, expand, and swiping are just a few. Some companies boast of 20+ input touch screen displays, and while we might think that we’d never need so many, the demand for complexity is still driving innovation. Of course, a simpler display will cost you less than a more advanced one, and that is where the higher prices come in.




Because a tablet is basically the newest evolution of the computer, it is natural to expect that some of the laws governing laptops and desktops would be applicable to them too. We’ve always been told that speed will allow us to do more things simultaneously and that the speed will mean that we can do them faster. There are many complex bits of language that will describe the features of any tablet but it is the processor speed and the RAM numbers that we’re interested in. The general rule of thumb is that the higher the numbers are in those departments; the faster the device is. Naturally, the faster a tablet is, the higher the price will be. For videos, games, and lots of slick transitions while navigating, a higher specification is desirable. Higher spec means higher cost.




Storage can be a bit of a minefield when it comes to tablets. In the old days, if we wanted more space for our pictures, music, and videos, we would replace the internal hard drive. More recently, we would go out and buy an external hard drive, but the idea of tablets is that they are portable. We can’t open their guts up and fiddle with their insides, as that would invalidate the warranty. Adding an external hard drive would mean having a slick looking device slung under your arm with a little box dragging behind it by a wire. These days the storage memory is built in, but not all of the time. Certain devices will let you slide in a memory card and yet others won’t. You’ll need to do a little research on the tablet before you decide on which one you like. If storage is important to you, then you’ll be disappointed if you buy something that can’t hold all of the data that you require. To further cloud the issue, many manufacturers are promoting the use of cloud connectivity. That means that theoretically, one day, you’ll never need any physical storage, because all of your data will be held in the ether; in the cloud. It’s up to you whether you trust having your data floating around in cyber space. Some people will be happy with the standard built in memory of their tablet, some people will be happy that their tablet supports a memory card, and other will look to the cloud for all their storage needs. Just remember, bigger storage means a bigger price tag. Strike a healthy balance unless you need lots of it.


So, as you can see, a higher price tag for your device is sometimes justifiable. You’ll need to weigh up the pros and cons before you make a purchase. I hope this article has allowed you to make a more informed decision.



Jun 25, 2013 5:35pm
You cover some very good points here. However, as a side note, I would like to add that WiFi should not necersarily be a deciding factor. Most smart phones nowadays can create WiFi hotspots from their own mobile network, which allows you to connect tablets, laptops or netbooks from just about anywhere there is a good mobile signal.

Speed and storage are major issues for heavier users. But, I think you hit the nail on the head with 'niche features'. Samsung's pen for the Note tablets and phones is the cause of many sales, as there aren't many that offer anything similar.

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