Tablet Operating Systems
When deciding what tablet to get, you first need to decide what operating system you prefer. There are four options, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Below you’ll find a summary of these for them. But then again, you might had already made the choice unknowingly — if you have a smartphone and you like it, it might be better to get a tablet that runs the same operating system. There are many advantages to having an iPhone with an iPad, and android phone with a android tablet, for example, the ease of data and apps sharing between your handphone and your tablet.
Currently the iPad is the most popular tablet, and it runs Apple’s own iOS. It is easy to learn and use, and there is a massive selection of third-party software for it ranging from productivity apps to games. The only setback is that there are just two screen sizes to choose from. Either the full-size iPad that comes with a 9.7-inch display or the iPad mini that comes with a 7.9-inch screen.
No matter how polished the iOS is, it is still limited compared to a desktop operating system. Thus, it is well suited for personal use, and can be used by business people who only need a light-duty mobile computer, but not for heavy-duty computing tasks on the go.
Android is also an easy to learn operating system, it just takes time to familiarize with its functions and features, could be ”not as easy to use” as iOS if you are a former user of iOS, but fret not, once you are familiarized with it, its actually very user friendly also.
Quite a number of companies make tablets that run Google’s Android OS, including Samsung, Sony, Motorola, LG, HTC, Huawei and many more. This gives shoppers a wide array of devices to choose from, with screen sizes ranging from 6 inches to 12 inches, with the 7 inches and 10 inches tablets being the more popular sizes. As competition is stiff in the Android-based tablets market, smaller screen models are available at very affordable prices on the market.
Like the iOS, Android was first created for smartphones, meaning it is still limited compared to a desktop operating system, but it is more flexible than Apple’s offering. It is sufficient as a tablet for accessing Web or emails on the go and providing entertainment in the likes of movies, music or games in a bigger screen than a handphone. Similarly, it is suitable for light business users, but not for those needing a powerful mobile computer.
Microsoft Windows 8
Microsoft Windows 8 is the most powerful operating system available for tablets today boasting a full version of Windows, the operating system that people have been using on PCs for decades. This latest version was modified by Microsoft for touchscreen-based devices and is well suited for tablets.
A number of well-known companies offer tablets with Windows 8, including Microsoft, Dell, Lenovo, Sony, Asus, Toshiba and more. The only catch is that Windows tablets with fast enough processors to offer very good performance are among the most expensive on the market. Some of the popular tablets using Windows 8 are shown below:
This is the only operating system for tablets that are capable of running the full version of Microsoft Office and all the legacy softwares that were created for Windows 7 and earlier versions. However, much of these was not coded to be touch-friendly, so a stylus or a mouse might be necessary. It is the only option for those who want to do heavy-duty computing or playing high-end games on a tablet, but it’s probably overkill for just about everyone else.
Microsoft Windows RT
Microsoft created Windows RT as an cheaper alternate to Windows 8. It doesn’t use x86 processors but uses cheaper ARM-based alternatives, which are less expensive and use less power. This also means that devices that run Windows RT are not able to run legacy Windows software and it is limited to the limited selection of apps in Microsoft’s Windows Store. This version looks and feels identical to Windows 8 including the way it functions but it only comes with a stripped down version of Microsoft Office.
There are a handful of models running this OS available from companies like Dell and Microsoft itself, but as it is, this is not a popular operating system for tablets at the moment.