Tablets are taking over the computing industry. For media consumption and light computing tasks, they're easier to use and more convenient than computers. However, choosing the right one can still be confusing.
The best tablet for you depends on how you plan to use it. Will it primarily be for media consumption, business or playing games? Do you want it to be safe and unchangeable or customizable? Keep these questions in mind before heading to the store.
Android tablets - which run Google's Android operating system - are the biggest competitor to the iPad, and there are a lot of options. Though Google has made Android available to all tablet makers, the most consistent gadgets will be Google's flagship tablet, the Nexus 9 ($399). However, the Samsung Galaxy Tab line is also very good.
These gadgets run the latest versions of the Android operating system, Lollipop, and are the first to receive updates. They can go neck-and-neck with the power, features and usability you'll find on similarly sized iPads, too. In some ways, the Nexus tablets are actually better.
Android was once harder to use because it lacked a centralized content ecosystem like Apple. Thanks to Google Play, however, all the content you need is at your fingertips. In addition to 1+ million apps, Play includes movies, music and e-books.
Of course, you can still download content from multiple app stores and even from individual developer websites. This gives you greater freedom in where you get your apps. You can also find apps that give you more control over your tablet than you can with the iPad.
The drawback is that it's easier to download malicious apps. Additionally, not all apps work on all tablet hardware. Your tablet might not have enough power or a non-standard screen size.
If you're new to the mobile gadget market, Androids are a good choice if you like to customize. They give the user a little more options when it comes to tinkering with your gadget.