Choosing a tablet as a university student can be tough (and even tougher for kids!). Between having to take notes in lectures, studying at a library desk for hours, or just wanting to watch the latest episode of Game of Thrones (perhaps also reading?), there’s a lot of factors to take into account before buying a tablet that will last you through university. Especially on a student budget.
So here’s a handy list based on price, performance, and functionality that should guide you to the tablet that best suits your needs (and your budget)!
Microsoft Surface Pro 2
If you’re looking to get stuff done, then this is the tablet for you. It’s shaped like a tablet, it’s got the interface of a tablet, but it is so much more. You see, The Surface Pro 2 runs the full version of Windows 8 as its operating system. That means that you get full access to the Windows Office suite (which comes in handy for all those papers and presentations).
Its clip-on keyboard means you can convert it into something resembling a laptop at any time, and the USB jack ensures you can transfer files, games, and other programmes from your desktop right onto the Surface. How many other tablets let you play Age of Empires during a lecture?
The Surface Pro 2 is a powerful machine and will last up to 10 hours before it needs to be charged. Though it’s a bit heavier and more expensive (it’ll cost upwards of 900 dollars) than other tablets on the market, it is the only one that is the perfect hybrid of a laptop and a tablet.
CNET has only gone and declared this the “best tablet on the market”. It runs smoother and faster than its previous model, despite being much lighter and thinner. Its battery will easily last you through the day, and the Apple App Store is by far and away the most comprehensive app environment in the market.
The iPad Air features Apple’s usual fantastic aesthetic design, and the interface is so easy to use that you’ll be flipping between apps in class in a manner so smooth James Bond would be jealous. However, if you want to password protect your tablet, then you’re going to have to type in your four-digit keycode everytime it locks. It’s certainly annoying when you have to unlock the iPad several times in one lecture sitting.
You may balk at the price (and rightly so, at $500 it’s one of the more expensive tablets out there), but the iPad Air is one of the most well-designed and feature rich tablets out there.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3
Though the 300 dollar price-tag may seem a bit much for this mini tablet, its small 8-inch screen features HD resolutions, and the tablet itself runs extremely smoothly. The Galaxy Tab 3’s battery life goes for well over ten hours, so you’re covered for those long hauls in the library. That, and it’s small enough that you don’t need a bag for it: it’ll easily slip into a purse, folder, or even some jacket pockets.
Google Nexus 7
The Google Nexus 7 is a cheaper Android alternative to the Samsung Galaxy tab 3. Though its screen is smaller than those on most mini tablets and it has some issues displaying colours correctly, the Nexus 7 still provides an easily portable, smooth experience. Oh, and it boasts a 12 hour battery life.
Its low price of $230 makes it one of the cheaper tablets out there.
Barnes & Noble Nook HD+
Are you an avid coupon fan? Does your wallet feature several, always-in-use discount cards? Then at a mere $160, this is the tablet for you.
Don’t be fooled by its low price, the Nook HD+ is a quality product. Though it is slower than some of the pricier alternatives, it’s still a solid performer and features a hand microSD slot for the transferring of files. Though its lack of a camera may disappoint, it does feature Google Play, which means you’ll have access to all the apps available on an Android tablet.
Anthony Goldstein is a freelance writer who is patiently waiting for the legalisation of polygamy, as he loves both his Windows tablet and his Macbook. He frequently uses Flexirent to check out the latest computer technology has to offer.