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Tablets are the next generation of mobile computing. They aim to remove the need for a traditional mouse and keyboard in favor of a more intuitive touch interface, and can easily be carried in a briefcase, purse, or backpack. The key feature of a tablet is the touchscreen, which allows you to swipe and use specific gestures with your finger to perform basic tasks like entering text, clicking a button, or zooming in or out instead of scrolling and pointing with a mouse or using a physical keyboard.

Tablets allow you to read your email and browse the web, but also listen to music, read your favorite books, do word processing, play video games, and much more. Tablets are offered by many popular manufacturers, providing you with a variety of options to choose from.

Tablet Considerations

Key considerations to consider when purchasing a tablet include:

Careful consideration of your specific needs will allow you to choose the best device for you.

3G/4G Data Plan

Tablets work best when connected to the Internet. Since wireless Internet is not always available, many tablets support a 3G/4G data service. You can purchase a specialized data plan for your tablet through a cell phone provider. With a data plan, the tablet will always be connected to the Internet as long as there is cellular coverage, allowing you to be productive wherever you go.

It is important to note that the 3G/4G data plans are optional and are meant for people who often find themselves in areas with no wireless connectivity. If you only use the device on campus and at home, an additional 3G/4G data plan may not be necessary.

Tablet Breakdown

Apple iPad Microsoft Surface Google Nexus Kindle Fire Samsung Galaxy Tab

Screen Size(s)



Pro: 10.6"

RT: 10.6"


Nexus7: 7"

FireHD 8.9: 8.9"

FireHD 7: 7"

Fire 7: 7"

Tab7: 7"

Tab10.1: 10.1"

Screen Resolution(s)

Base: 2048X1536

Mini: 1024X768

Pro: 1920X1080

RT: 1366X768

Nexus10: 2560X1600

Nexus7: 1280X800

FireHD 8.9: 1920X1080

FireHD 7: 1280X800

Fire7: 1024X600

Tab7: 1024X600

Tab10.1: 1280X800

Operating System iOS

Pro: Windows 8 Pro

RT: Windows RT

Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean) Custom Android OS Android 4.1 (Ice Cream Sandwich)

Base: 42.5Wh

Mini: 16.3Wh

Pro: 42Wh

RT: 31.5Wh

Nexus10: 33Wh

Nexus7: 16Wh

Tab7: 4000mAh



3G/4G plan Yes No

Nexus7: Yes

Nexus10: No

Yes No

Lightning Connector

3.5mm headphone jack


3.5mm headphone jack

MicroSD slot


3.5mm headphone jack


3.5mm headphone jack


3.5mm headphone jack

Last Updated: 28 March 2018

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