How to choose a tablet for language class?


Well, we’ve all gone to an electronics store with the intention of buying some sort of electronic device (TV, stereo, camera, computer, phone, …). But when it comes to actually choosing one device over its neighbour, which should you go for? All look nice and are similarly priced, but which one is more powerful or more efficient? We usually end up calling a sales assistant and asking him to explain what each product can do for us. Wouldn’t you like to understand what they’re actually talking about? Wouldn’t you like to be able to understand the «specs» of the machine so you can decide on your own? Well, I would and I’d like to share some of my realizations.

What the «specs» entail…

1) Storage capacity (usually in GB)

Depending on what you intend to do with your tablet, storage will vary. Depending on the activities in which you might want to indulge, I used stars to indicate what activities take more storage (5*) and what activities take less storage (1*):

  • Downloading movies  – *****
  • Pictures – *** (Watch out for the resolution of your pictures. Professionnal pictures will take up more storage place.)
  • Music – **
  • Accessing the Web – * (Includes listening to music, watching movies on Netflix, youtube videos, as long as you’re not downloading them.)
  • Books – *
  • Apps – * (If your apps consist mainly of shells in which you import content, they will take up more space. Ex: games don’t take a lot of space, but if you save all your games, then you will need more space).

2) Memory card capacity (usually in GB)

No, not the same as storage capacity. It’s actually a way to add storage capacity to your device if you realize that your tablet doesn’t have enough native memory to do what you bought it for. All tablets permit the manual addition of memory cards EXCEPT for iPads (or any Apple device).

3) Storage type

Flash memory is a storage memory. It’s actually the tablet’s long-term memory.

4) Random Access Memory (RAM)

RAM is the tablet’s short-term memory. The more there is, the faster it can go. However, for there to be any use for greater RAM size, you will need an equally large (or better) Flash memory. Otherwise, it’s like being an Olympian and riding a $100 bike. The same logic applies if you buy a great processor, but not enough RAM to use it to it’s full capacity.

5) Processor speed (usually in GHz)

Processing speed is based on the number of information elements that a given device can process in one minute. To maximize RAM capacity, you will need a faster processor.

6) Operation system (Windows 8, 8.1, …)

The operating systems in your device’s Maestro! The newer the version, the more RAM you will need, and the better the processor.

7) Screen resolution

Screen resolution is based on the number of pixels (picture elements) in a given screen.  The more pixels there are, the better the image.

  • SXGA screen : 1280 x 1024 pi
  • Basic HD screen : 1920 x 1080 pi
  • Full HD screen : 1920 x 1200 pi
  • Ultra HD screen (4K) : 3840 x 2160 pi

Comment below if you would like to ask, clarify or simply give your input on the subject. I sure would love your suggestions on the matter. Until next time, hope this helps!


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