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Picking the Right Tablet: Here's What You Should Keep in Mind

Picking the Right Tablet: Here's What You Should Keep in Mind

Tablets are back. Gone are the days when a premium tab meant only an iPad. Today, both Apple and Samsung offer solutions that can handle with aplomb whatever you throw at them. Read on to find out which will work for you: the Apple iPad Air or the Samsung Tab S8+

Apple iPad Air and Samsung Tab S-8 Apple iPad Air and Samsung Tab S-8

A Workhorse can be Fun

The undisputed king of tablets, Apple’s iPad Air sits comfortably between the high-end iPad Pro and the entry-level iPad. The 10.9-inch screen is perfect for all activities—streaming videos, gaming, sketching, drawing or reading. Powered by Apple’s M1 chip, it can handle all sorts of heavy graphics with no lag or stutter. Over the years, Apple has refined the iPadOS to bring the feel of the macOS to the tablet, including the dock at the bottom. Multitasking and split-screen usage are a cinch. Then there’s the extended ecosystem of apps and games, designed and optimised for iPads.

Stroke Play: The latest iPad Air works with the second-gen Apple Pencil (Rs 10,900, sold separately), which snaps on the side for charging. Designed to work as a regular pencil, it supports pressure and tilt sensitivity, emulating a pen-paper experience while drawing, sketching, colouring, taking notes and marking PDFs. While it works well with the regular pre-installed apps, creative professionals will be spoilt for choice with the plethora of paid- and free third-party apps available.

Productivity push: Pair the iPad Air with Apple’s Magic Keyboard (Rs 27,900, sold separately) and you won’t miss carrying a laptop. The strong magnets on the keyboard hold the iPad Air at an angle, which is adjustable, just like a laptop. The comfortable keyboard and a responsive trackpad with gesture support add to the ease of use.

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Strictly a Tablet

Housed in aluminium casing for protection against bumps and drops, the tablet doesn’t feel heavy despite weighing over 500 gm. The 12.4-inch OLED display with a resolution of 1,753x2,800p is super bright and looks great even under direct sunlight. Powered by a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor with 8 GB of RAM, the tablet brings enough power to the table to be used for designing and editing videos, playing graphic-heavy games, browsing the Web, reading books and even handling documentation. But what lets down the hefty hardware is Android OS. The interface feels similar to Samsung smartphones and many apps on the Play Store are still not optimised for big-screen tablets.

Stroke Play: Unlike the Apple Pencil, Samsung’s stylus, the S Pen, comes in the box with the Tab S8+. Using magnets, it snaps on at the top or the rear of the tablet (and charges as well). The S Pen can be put to use for taking notes, sketching, drawing and doodling, among other things. The Tab S8+ comes with a few preinstalled apps to put the stylus to use, and more apps can be installed from the Play Store.

Productivity push: Samsung has designed a Book Cover Keyboard (Rs 12,499, sold separately) to enhance the productivity of the Tab S8+. While the keyboard does hold the tablet at a 60-degree angle—which is great for typing—the magnets play spoilsport; they don’t hold the tablet firmly, making it impossible to use the Tab S8+ as a laptop on the road. Travel between the keys isn’t great either, nor does it feature a trackpad, like Apple’s Magic Keyboard.


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