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Tablets: specifications, types
The operating system (OS) that the tablet runs on.
The most popular operating systems in modern tablets are such operating systems as Android of different versions, iOS, iPadOS, as well as Windows 10 and Windows 11. At the same time, on the market you can find devices with two operating systems on board at once — Android and Windows — as well as solutions running other software platforms. Here is a more detailed description of the different options:
— Android. Free open source OS from Google. Used by almost all modern manufacturers except Apple. Presented on the market in many versions — in particular, Android 7 Nougat, Android 8 Oreo(including 8.1 Go Edition), Android 9 Pie, Android 10 Q, Android 10 Go Edition, Android 11 R with 11 Go Edition and Android 12. Functionally, this OS is notable primarily for its full-fledged multitasking and an extensive range of available applications — in both of these points it surpasses both iOS and Windows. On the other hand, in general, the quality of Android applications is somewhat lower than in...iOS, and the system itself is designed mainly for entertainment use (unlike Windows). Initially, Android has tight integration with Google services — the Google Play app and content store, Gmail mail, Google Drive cloud storage, etc.; however, exceptions to this rule are possible. Note that the latest versions of this OS can be found on the market both in its original form and in one of two specific editions:
— iPadOS. A branch of the iOS operating system that spun off in mid-2019, rebranded to match the large screens of Apple tablets. It is used exclusively on board "apple" devices and has a good degree of optimization for a specific hardware. Of the differences from the mobile version of the iOS operating system : a denser seating of icons on the desktop (6x5 format), improved multitasking, special gestures for working with texts, expanded functionality of the file manager and browser. In particular, Safari opens full versions of websites, not mobile ones.
— Windows. The operating system developed by Microsoft, originally created for PCs and laptops, but nowadays also used in tablets. Such tablets are considered mainly professional and business-class devices, they are well suited, in particular, for study and regular work with documents. The 11th revision of the operating system from Microsoft, which debuted in 2021, is now considered relevant. Of the qualitative improvements in the system, the taskbar has been redesigned, which is now located in the centre of the bottom edge of the desktop, new widget menus have been introduced, window resizing and position changes (Snap), and the operating system has become friends with Android applications. The system remains the prerogative of tablets for work and study with support for office and specialized programs written under Windows.
— Windows+Android. A rather specific option is the presence of two operating systems on board at once. The features of Android and Windows are described in detail above, but here we note that their combination makes the tablet as versatile as possible, allowing you to choose an “OS” depending on current tasks. So, for entertainment purposes — games, watching movies, listening to music, etc. — Android is better suited; and Windows is convenient in the business and educational sphere — in particular, for working with documents and creating presentations. On the other hand, such versatility is rarely required in fact, and compatibility with two operating systems at once puts forward increased requirements for memory capacity and some other characteristics of the tablet. In light of all this, this option has not received much distribution.
— HarmonyOS. Huawei's Universal Operating System, also known as Hongmeng. Provides operation of a wide range of devices: appliances from the smart home ecosystem, smart watches, smartphones and tablets. Specifically, in the tablet league of gadgets, the Harmony OS system is a kind of add-on on top of Android without Google services. The app store for Harmony OS devices is called AppGallery.
In modern tablets, you can find other operating systems, in addition to those described above. However, these are very rare and specific systems that have not received significant distribution.
— Diagonal display. Diagonal screen size; traditionally indicated in inches. Larger screens are convenient for both viewing and touch control. On the other hand, this parameter directly affects the dimensions, power consumption and price of the entire tablet (price increase is often associated with the fact that a larger screen also requires a higher resolution). The most compact modern tablets have 7-inch screens; many of them look like slightly enlarged smartphones. Sizes of 8" and 9" can be considered average. 10-inch and 11-inch diagonal is a fairly large indicator for a consumer-grade tablet; and screens of 12 "and more are typical mainly for professional-level models.
— Resolution. Screen resolution in a tablet is the size of the matrix in dots (pixels) horizontally and vertically. The higher the resolution of the display, the clearer, more detailed and smoother the image it is able to reproduce. High resolution is especially important for displays with a large diagonal. At the same time, it significantly affects the cost — both because of the high price of the screens themselves, and because of the increased requirements for system performance.
By resolution, screens in modern tablets are conditionally divided into three categories. The most modest — HD, it includes displays that have a size on the smaller side of at least 720 pixels and less than 900 pixels. Full HD includes solutions with a smaller side from 1080 to 1280 pixels; and all matrices, where the size of this side exceeds 1280 pixels, are already included in the Quad HD category and above.
By resolution, screens in modern tablets are conditionally divided into three categories. The most modest — HD, it includes displays that have a size on the smaller side of at least 720 pixels and less than 900 pixels. Full HD includes solutions with a smaller side from 1080 to 1280 pixels; and all matrices, where the size of this side exceeds 1280 pixels, are already included in the Quad HD category and above.
— PPI. Abbreviation for "points per inch", i.e. dots (pixels) per inch. This setting determines how many pixels are located on a 1-inch (2.54 cm) line drawn horizontally or vertically on the screen; it directly depends on the resolution and size of the display. In general, the higher the PPI value, the clearer, smoother and, accordingly, the better the picture on the screen will be. And at a certain pixel density, the human eye generally ceases to distinguish between individual points, perceiving a completely smoothed image.
— Matrix type. The technology by which the tablet PC display is made. The following matrices are currently in use:
— Sweep frequency. The maximum display refresh rate, in other words, the highest frame rate that it can effectively reproduce. The higher this indicator, the smoother and smoother the image is, the less noticeable the “slideshow effect” and blurring of objects when moving on the screen. At the same time, note that the refresh rate of 60 Hz, supported by almost any modern tablet, is quite sufficient for most tasks; even high-definition videos hardly make use of high frame rates these days. Therefore, the scanning frequency in our catalog is specifically specified mainly for screens capable of delivering more than 60 Hz. Such a high refresh rate can be useful in games and some other tasks, and it also improves the overall experience of the OS interface and applications — moving elements in such interfaces move as smoothly as possible and without blurring.
— Gorilla Glass. Special tempered glass used to cover displays in modern gadgets, including tablets. Differs in the increased resistance to scratches and blows; but the specific properties of the Gorilla Glass coating depend on its version. This parameter can also be specified in the characteristics of the tablet; Here are the most up-to-date versions:
Screen to body ratio
This setting indicates how much of the tablet's front panel area is covered by the display. The higher the display/body ratio, the thinner the bezels and the more compact the tablet (with the same diagonal), the sleeker and more aesthetically pleasing it looks. This indicator is also important when holding the tablet with two hands at once (for example, in games): thin frames allow you to reach further with your fingers without removing your hands from the device.
TÜV Rheinland certificate
TÜV Rheinland certified for reduced screen emissions and good eye protection.
The name of the processor model installed in the tablet.
The processor is the "heart" of the device, it is he who is responsible for performing all the computational operations necessary for normal operation, and largely determines the overall performance. In addition, such an important factor for portable electronics as power consumption is also associated with the characteristics of the processor.
The main characteristics of the processor (architecture, frequency, number of cores) are most often indicated by the manufacturer in the general official data on the tablet; however, the matter is not limited to these indicators. Knowing the name of a particular processor model, you can easily find detailed information on it, including and comparison with other models
The clock speed of the processor installed in the tablet is actually the maximum number of operations performed by one processor core per second. This indicator is important for the speed of the system, but a high clock frequency in itself does not guarantee speed. The actual speed of the processor also depends on its architecture, the number of cores and many other features, and the overall speed of the device also depends on the amount of “RAM”, the installed OS, etc. Therefore, situations are not uncommon when powerful advanced tablets have a lower CPU frequency than more modest models.
The number of individual cores provided by the tablet processor.
The core is the part of the processor that executes a single instruction stream. Accordingly, the more cores, the more threads the processor can simultaneously process and the higher its performance (ceteris paribus). On the other hand, numerous cores is not always an indicator of a high class processor and tablet as a whole. First, the actual performance of the chip depends on many other factors, and advanced dual-core processors often outperform inexpensive quad-core processors. Secondly, the development and cheapening of technologies has led to the fact that simple quad-core CPUs have become quite affordable even for low-cost devices. And even eight-core processors, which at one time were an unequivocal sign of advanced models, are increasingly found in relatively inexpensive tablets; the same can be said about relatively recent processors with 10 cores. However it is worth noting that in such chips, the cores can be divided into main (with high performance) and additional (used in tasks that do not require power). For example, 8 cores can be divided into 4 main and 4 additional cores. However, such a division is often not a disadvantage, but an advantage: numerous full-fledged cores is rarely required in fact, and reduced power saves energy and improves battery life.
Model of the graphics card installed in the tablet. The graphics card in such devices is not a separate device, but part of the processor; however, she still has a clear specialization and is responsible for graphics.
Accordingly, the graphics capabilities of the tablet directly depend on the characteristics of the video accelerator. In theory, knowing the name, you can find detailed specifications of a graphics card, reviews, test results and other information and evaluate how it suits you. At the same time, in most cases there is no need to delve into such details — all system components, including the graphics card, are usually selected in such a way as to correspond to the general class of the tablet and the capabilities necessary for this class.
The amount of random access memory (RAM) installed in the tablet. This memory is used for direct data processing, and therefore its volume is one of the main indicators of system speed and power. However note that the optimal amount of RAM strongly depends on the OS used — different systems and even different versions of the same "OS" can vary greatly in terms of consumed resources. But models on the same OS can be compared with each other in terms of the amount of RAM.
As for specific values, figures of 1 GB or less nowadays are definitely a sign of an entry-level tablet. 2 GB and 3 GB can be called average values, 4 GB and 6 GB are above average, and in the most advanced models 8 GB or even 16 GB (or even more) of RAM can be installed.
The volume of the tablet's own built-in storage. The larger it is, the more information (programs, games, movies, photos, etc.) can be stored on the tablet without resorting to removable media, rewriting to other devices, etc. At the same time, the amount of built-in memory significantly affects the cost. Therefore, some models are available in several versions, differing only in the capacity of the drive. And the variety of built-in memory is quite wide: from 16 GB to 1024 GB with a 2-fold increase ( 32 GB, 64 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB).
Note that this paragraph indicates the total amount of internal memory. The operating system and default programs also take up space in it; therefore, the volume of the drive actually available to the user will inevitably be less than the total.
Many tablets allow you to add memory cards to the built-in drive (see below). Such cards are relatively inexpensive, but they are much slower, and the ability to work with them may be limited by the manufacturer — for example, not all tablets with this function allow installing applications on removable media.
A slot that allows you to install removable memory cards in the tablet; some models are even initially equipped with such a card.
Removable media can be a good addition to the built-in memory. It is especially convenient to store documents, music, videos and photos on it: memory cards are slower than built-in drives and not every tablet allows you to install applications on them, but these moments are not critical for multimedia and documents. In addition, the cards are cheaper in terms of gigabytes of volume, and the user can choose the capacity of such media at his discretion.
The vast majority of tablets use cards in the microSD form factor. There are several types of such cards (microSD, microSDHC, microSDXC), and not all of them are mutually compatible. This must be taken into account when looking for a memory card for a tablet.
Max. memory card size
The largest amount of memory card with which the tablet is able to work correctly. For more information about the cards themselves, see "Memory Card Slot"; here we note that capacious media often use advanced technologies that are not supported by early models, and sometimes tablets simply do not have enough power to process large amounts of data. Therefore, for the convenience of choosing in our catalog, the maximum supported volume is indicated.
In fact, there are cases when some devices may exceed the claimed characteristics — for example, work with 8 GB of media with the claimed 4 GB of maximum capacity. However, it is worth focus on official data, because. if they are exceeded, normal operation with the card is not guaranteed.
The result shown by the device when passing the performance test (benchmark) AnTuTu Benchmark.
AnTuTu Benchmark is a comprehensive test designed specifically for mobile devices, primarily smartphones and tablets. When checking, it takes into account the efficiency of the processor, memory, graphics and I / O systems, thus providing a fairly visual impression of the capabilities of the system. The better the result, the more points are given at the end. And tablets that scored more than 200,000 can be attributed to the TOP models according to Antutu.
Like any benchmark, this option does not provide absolute accuracy; See 3DMark Gamer's Benchmark for more information on measurement uncertainties.
3DMark Gamer's Benchmark
The result shown by the device when passing the performance test (benchmark) 3DMark Gamer's Benchmark.
3DMark is a series of benchmarks originally designed to test the graphics performance of a device; later, these tests were supplemented by checking the capabilities of the processor. Testing is carried out primarily in terms of performance in games (in fact, the benchmark itself is described as “a game without the ability to influence the process”), however, given that modern games can have very high requirements, 3DMark is a fairly visual tool for assessing the overall performance of the system . And since the latest versions of the test are made cross-platform, it also makes it possible to compare devices under different operating systems and even different classes (for example, smartphones with tablets). The more points this or that model received on this test, the more performant it is.
It is worth noting that the results of any benchmark are usually quite approximate, because. they depend on many factors that are not directly related to the system — from the load of the device with third-party programs and ending with the air temperature during testing. The error due to these factors is usually on the order of 5-7%; therefore, it is possible to speak of a significant difference between the two models only if the difference in their indicators goes beyond this error.
The result shown by the device when passing the performance test (benchmark) Geekbench.
Geekbench is a specialized benchmark designed for processors, and since version 4.0 (2016) also used for graphics accelerators. However, in the characteristics of portable gadgets, data on the CPU is usually given. During testing, Geekbench simulates the workloads that occur when performing real-world tasks, and takes into account both the capabilities of a single core and the efficiency of multiple cores running simultaneously. Thanks to this, the final results characterize well the capabilities of the processor in everyday use. In addition, the test is cross-platform and allows you to compare the CPUs of different devices (smartphones, tablets, laptops, PCs) with each other.
It is worth noting that the benchmark in Geekbench is the Intel Core i7-6600U processor at 2.60 GHz, whose performance is estimated at 4000 points.
The ability of the tablet to work in mobile networks of the GSM standard.
This communication standard is considered obsolete, but is still used in some countries as the main one; in addition, GSM modules are usually compatible with 3G (UMTS) and LTE networks. In tablets, this function is usually used to make voice calls — the data transfer rate in GSM networks is very low, and there is usually no talk of comfortable Internet surfing or video calling.
SIM card format
The type of SIM card used in a tablet with a GSM module primarily describes its form factor.
— Nano-SIM. The smallest form factor of classic (replaceable) SIM-cards is 12x9 mm. In such cards, the frames are cut off almost “to the very chip”, so there is, in fact, nowhere to further reduce the traditional “sim cards”. This standard appeared back in 2012, but it is still extremely common.
e-SIM. This type of SIM card is an electronic module that is built right into the device and cannot be replaced. For authorization in the network of a mobile operator, you need to make the appropriate settings in the e-SIM; at the same time, such modules are able to save several sets of settings at once, which makes it easy to switch between different operators — no need to bother with the physical replacement of the SIM card, just change the profile in the settings. Another advantage of such modules is compactness. However, before buying a phone with an e-SIM, it doesn't hurt to clarify whether this technology is supported by your mobile operator — even nowadays, not every network is compatible with such modules.
The number of SIM cards that can be installed in the tablet at the same time. Most modern models with "mobile" capabilities work with one card; in this case, the number of SIM cards in our catalog is not indicated. However, there are options for two slots — this allows you to use two numbers in one device at the same time. The main convenience in this case is that in order to choose between two connection options, you do not have to change the card in the tablet every time (while also risking losing an unused one). And the choice can be far from redundant, given that different operators offer different communication standards, coverage areas and payment terms.
Slots in a "multi-card" tablet can be designed for one communication standard, as well as for different ones — for example, one slot for GSM, the second for 3G. There are also options with support for several standards on one slot — for example, GSM / 3G + GSM. It is also worth noting that the presence of mobile communication modules does not always allow you to make phone calls; this also applies to models for several SIM-cards.
— 3G. Support for third-generation mobile networks (3G) by the modem. Usually it means work in UMTS networks (development of the GSM standard); Depending on the data transfer technologies supported by the network and the tablet itself, the maximum connection speed can vary from 2 to 70 Mbps. This is comparable to the speed of terrestrial Internet connection channels, so 3G connection can be comfortably used for web surfing, downloading files, watching streaming video, video calling, etc. In many models, classic voice calls to mobile and landline numbers are also available; most often these are devices with a small diagonal, which allows you to hold the tablet to your ear like a regular phone.
— 4G (LTE). Tablet support for 4th generation mobile communications — 4G(LTE). Such a connection provides data transfer speeds up to 173 Mbps according to the official specification (1 Gbps in the future), which gives even more comfort when surfing the Internet and other similar tasks than in 3G networks. In many LTE-tablets, classic voice calls to mobile and landline numbers are also available; most often these are devices with a small diagonal, which allows you to hold the tablet to your ear like a regular phone.
Note that the implementation of LTE in different countries and even regions is uneven, so before buying a tablet with such a module, it's ok to clarify the availability of coverage.
<...br> — 5G. Further, after 4G, the development of mobile communication standards. In the official specifications of this generation, a peak speed of 20 Gb / s for reception and 10 Gb / s for transmission, guaranteed reception and transmission speeds (at high network load) of 100 and 50 Mbps, respectively, as well as a number of solutions aimed at increasing reliability and overall communication quality. A set of such solutions includes, in particular, multi-element antenna arrays (Massive MIMO) and beamforming technologies (Beamforming) at base stations, as well as the possibility of direct communication between subscriber devices. With all this, this standard allows to reduce energy consumption in comparison with its predecessors.
Separately, it is worth touching on rumors about the dangers of 5G communications for health. According to modern scientific data, such a connection does not pose a danger to the human body, and the rumors mentioned are conspiracy theories that are not supported by any weighty arguments.
The most advanced Wi-Fi standard supported by your tablet.
The presence of Wi-Fi is a must for modern tablets. This interface can be used both for connecting to local networks or the Internet (through a home router, public hotspot, etc.), and for direct communication with other devices (for example, remote control of a camera or broadcasting video to a TV). And tablets with 3G / LTE modules (or with the ability to connect an external cellular USB modem) can also work as an access point, “distributing” mobile Internet to other devices with Wi-Fi.
The maximum data transfer rate depends primarily on the Wi-Fi standard (the actual speed is usually much lower). The most modest of the current Wi-Fi 3 standards (802.11g) provides speeds up to 54 Mbps, but it is considered obsolete and is extremely rare as the main one. Much more widespread are Wi-Fi 4 (802.11n) with speeds up to 300 Mbps, and Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac)(up to 6.77 Gbps). And relatively recently, devices with Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) support have appeared, where the connection speed already reaches 10 Gb / s, in addition, a number of solutions have been introduced to optimize the simultaneous operation of several devices on one router.
Separately, we note that, in addition to the directly indicated Wi-Fi standard, modern tablets usually support a number of earlier versions. The same principle is used in most Wi-Fi equipment, so there are...usually no problems with version compatibility.
Bluetooth version supported by the tablet.
Bluetooth itself is a technology for direct wireless communication between various electronic devices. It can be used for various purposes, in particular, exchanging files with another Bluetooth device (laptop, mobile phone), connecting wireless headphones and headsets, peripheral devices (keyboards, mice), etc. Bluetooth communication does not require both devices to be in line of sight and is stable as they move within range. The range and additional features depend on the connection version:
NFC is a wireless communication technology over short distances (up to 10 cm). The NFC can work both as an active reader and as a readable tag, so the possibilities of this standard are quite extensive. Here are a few uses for NFC found on tablets:
DLNA(Digital Living Network Alliance) is a standard that allows you to combine various types of home electronics and home appliances into a single network for content sharing and management. In such a network, you can, for example, watch video from the hard drive of a connected computer, control movie playback using a smartphone or tablet, and even receive and display notifications from kitchen appliances (for example, microwaves and refrigerators) on the TV screen. The connection can be made both wired and wirelessly (via Wi-Fi), and the compatibility of devices does not depend on their manufacturers — the only condition is compliance with the DLNA standard.
The presence of an infrared (IR) port in the tablet — in the form of a characteristic "eye", usually on one of the ends. In modern models, the main and, in fact, the only purpose of this function is to remotely control TVs and other consumer electronics. This will require the appropriate application, it can be supplied with the device or installed separately. Note that many manufacturers of household appliances produce such applications — and not for a specific tablet model, but for a specific OS. In fact, this means that most models with IR ports are quite universal and can be used with different brands of remote-controlled equipment.
— microUSB. A smaller version of the USB connector, widely used in modern tablets as a universal interface. MicroUSB is used primarily to charge the battery and connect the device to a computer, and with USB OTG support, flash drives and other accessories are connected to it (of course, an adapter is required to work with a full-size USB plug). This connector is gradually being replaced by a more convenient and advanced USB C (see below), but microUSB is still very far away from the complete disappearance.
— USB C. A relatively new type of USB port, used in tablets mainly as a successor to microUSB (see above). It has similar dimensions, but differs in the design of the connector — it is double-sided, which allows you to connect the plug to either side. In terms of application, this interface is also similar to microUSB, with the adjustment that USB C often supports the advanced USB 3.2 gen2 standard, which provides speeds up to 10 Gb / s. In addition, it is easier to implement fast charging through such a connector — some of the charging technologies were originally created for USB C.
— USB4. A high-speed revision of the USB interface introduced in 2019. It uses only symmetrical USB C connectors and does not have its own data format — instead, such a connection is used to transfer information according to several standards at once: USB 3.2 and DisplayPort...as mandatory, as well as PCI-E as an option. Another feature is that USB4 is based on the Thunderbolt protocol. It is also worth noting that this USB revision allows connecting devices in a daisy chain and by default supports Power Delivery technology, which allows you to optimize the process of charging external gadgets (provided that they also implement this technology).
The maximum data transfer rate for such a connector should be at least 10 Gb / s, in fact, options for 20 Gb / s and even 40 Gb / s are often found (depending on the technologies and standards supported by a particular port). At the same time, the USB4 inputs are quite compatible with the peripherals of the USB C connector.
— USB 2.0. Full size USB port 2.0 compliant. Such a port allows you to connect ordinary USB peripherals to the tablet — for example, flash drives or keyboards; however, due to its large size, it is rare, mainly in business models and in "hybrids" equipped with docking stations (in such cases, the port can be placed on the docking station). Version 2.0 supports data transfer rates up to 480 Mbps and is still quite popular, although it is gradually being replaced by more advanced standards — primarily USB 3.2 (see below).
— USB 3.2 gen1. USB version, formerly known as USB 3.1 gen1 or USB 3.0. Utilizes a traditional full-size USB port and delivers speeds up to 4.8Gbps — 10 times faster than the previous 2.0 version — as well as more power. At the same time, it is quite possible to connect USB 2.0 peripherals to such connectors.
— HDMI. A digital interface specially designed for broadcasting HD content: high-definition video and multi-channel audio. It is very popular in video technology, in particular, it is used in almost all modern TVs, it is often found in projectors, media players, etc. So HDMI support will be very useful if you plan to broadcast video from a tablet to an external screen. In portable technology, it is usually not a full-size connector that is used, but a reduced miniHDMI or microHDMI, however, finding a cable for such a port is not a problem.
— Mini-jack (3.5 mm). Standard 3.5mm mini-jack. Such a plug is used by the vast majority of modern wired headphones, headsets and portable speakers, therefore, in most tablets, it is the 3.5 mm port that plays the role of an audio jack. However if there are no problems with headphones and speakers, then compatibility with headsets needs to be specified separately — these devices have their own connection specifics. Also note that there are tablets without a 3.5 mm jack — they are usually designed for specialized accessories connected via a proprietary connector, or for wireless Bluetooth audio equipment.
Auxiliary function, the main purpose of which is the acceleration of the so-called "cold start" of the main GPS receiver of the device (see GPS module). A "cold start" is the launch of a GPS receiver from scratch, when no data on the location of satellites and other service information has yet been loaded into it. Obtaining this data in the classical way, directly from satellites, can take a significant amount of time (up to several minutes); the situation is especially complicated in areas with dense buildings, where the signal from satellites is subject to reflections and distortions. Devices equipped with aGPS (Assisted GPS) can receive service information from auxiliary sources such as mobile base stations or even Wi-Fi access points; this simplifies location determination and reduces the cold start time by several times.
A device for receiving signals from the GPS satellite navigation system. The GPS module itself only allows you to determine the current geographic coordinates of the device, but the options for using this data directly depend on the software installed on the tablet and can be very diverse: determining the position on the map, navigating along the route, hints about the presence of certain places nearby, search lost tablet and even games related to the so-called "Augmented Reality".
Tablet support for the GLONASS navigation system. This system is a Russian alternative to the American GPS, but it is less accurate and less functional. Therefore, GLONASS support is usually provided as an addition to the GPS module; the use of two navigation systems at once improves the accuracy and speed of positioning, and also provides an additional guarantee in case of various failures.
A sensor that allows you to determine the direction to the cardinal points. Uses the earth's magnetic field, like a conventional mechanical compass, so the accuracy of the readings can be quite low. However, tablets are rarely used for high-precision compass navigation, and this disadvantage is not critical.
— The number of lenses. The characteristics of the main (rear) camera of the tablet are represented primarily by the number of modules, which in most cases are 1, but there are also tablets with a dual camera.
— Resolution. The second important factor of the camera is the number of megapixels. Many really believe that the more MP, the better the quality of filming. However, this is not entirely true: only the maximum resolution of the resulting images depends on the resolution of the matrix, and their quality is determined by many other parameters. However a large sensor resolution may be a sign of an advanced camera, but this is not necessary — two "eyes" with the same number of megapixels can radically differ in the quality of shooting. Rear cameras in tablets may well be used for photo and video shooting; therefore, they have cameras of 8 MP and even higher.
— Autofocus. For focus in such cameras, a movable lens system controlled by automation is responsible. It takes some time for the automation to work, and the lenses themselves turn out to be more complicated and more expensive than optics with a fixed focus (fixed lenses that are initially set to a large range of distances). However, the quality of the pictures is disproportionately higher than that of cameras without autofocus, and the systems themselves are constant...ly being improved, and their response time is increasingly approaching instantaneous.
— Flash. Flash significantly expands the capabilities of the camera. First of all, it allows you to shoot in low light conditions; in this case, the backlight, usually, can also be used in the constant glow mode — for video shooting. The second situation where a flash can come in handy is backlighting when the subject is in shadow. In addition, in many tablets, the flash LED can also be used as a regular flashlight, without a camera.
Full HD filming (1080p)
The resolution and maximum frame rate provided by the main camera when recording Full HD (1080p) video at normal speed, without slow motion (if available).
The standard resolution for this format is 1920x1080. Note that this can be either the maximum shooting resolution or one of the relatively simple options in addition to more advanced standards (such as UltraHD 4K). At the same time, Full HD is considered more than a decent resolution by modern standards, and at the same time, it can be supported even by fairly simple and inexpensive tablets.
As for the frame rate, there are actually two values in normal shooting - Full HD 30 fps and Full HD 60 fps. A higher frame rate allows you to achieve very smooth display of dynamic scenes - even fast-moving objects in the frame are seen as clearly as possible, with almost no blurring. However, the low shooting speed also has its advantages - it allows you to reduce the amount of material being shot. Therefore, tablets that support 60 fps may have the ability to reduce the frame rate to 30 fps. But speeds above 60 fps are already used for shooting slow-motion video (slow-mo); see "Slow-mo" for more on this.
Slow motion (slow-mo)
The frame rate supported by the device in slow motion (slow-mo).
In general, such shooting is called "high-speed" because it is carried out at an increased frame rate (more than 60 fps). As a result, when playing at normal speed (60 fps and below), the video looks slow (hence the name “slow-mo”). Such slowing down can be used just for fun, and as an artistic device, and even for scientific purposes - to capture movement that is too fast for human perception. Anyway, the higher the slow-mo frame rate, the more you can slow down the video and the more advanced the camera is in this regard; the minimum value nowadays is actually 120 fps, and in advanced devices this figure is 480 fps and even more. On the other hand, the higher the frame rate, the more performant the graphics part should be; and this, in turn, affects the price of the device, sometimes quite noticeably.
Also note that slow-mo shooting can only be available at certain resolutions, which are not always the maximum; these points can be directly specified in the characteristics of the tablet.
Ultra HD filming (4K)
The resolution and maximum frame rate provided by the main camera when shooting UltraHD (4K) video at normal speed, without using slow motion (if available).
UHD 4K is the most advanced high-definition video standard in widespread use (more advanced standards exist but are not found on tablets).
The frame rate, in turn, determines how smooth the video will look, how clearly fast moving objects will be visible in it. With normal (not slow-motion) shooting in modern HD standards, including UHD, two options are actually used - 30 fps and 60 fps. The second option allows you to achieve very smooth video, with good motion detail in the frame and almost no blurring in dynamic scenes. However, it does affect the price.
- Optical stabilization. Image stabilization is carried out by a system of moving lenses and gyroscopes, which compensates for small shifts and shaking. Thus, the image formed by the lens hits the matrix already stabilized. The main advantage of such systems over electronic ones is the ability to use the entire area of the matrix, which has a positive effect on the quality of images. On the other hand, optical stabilizers are noticeably more complex and expensive.
- With matrix shift. Stabilization, carried out by shifting the matrix "following" the shifted image. Like the optical one described above, it is considered a fairly advanced option, although in general it is somewhat less effective. On the other hand, matrix-shift systems also have serious advantages - first of all, the fact that such stabilization will work regardless of the characteristics of the lens. This means that the lens can do without an optical stabilizer and make the optics simpler, cheaper and more reliable. In addition, sensor shift is somewhat simpler and cheaper than traditional optical stabilizers.
The presence of optical zoom in the main camera (in modules for several lenses - at least in one lens, usually the main one).
Such an increase is carried out due to the movement of the lenses in the camera lens: shifting the lenses reduces the viewing angle, as a result, the objects remaining in the frame look larger. This is more effective than digital zoom, when a separate section of the image from the sensor is stretched over the entire frame: optical zoom, in contrast, allows you to use the entire area of \u200b\u200bthe sensor and shoot at full resolution, regardless of the zoom level. On the other hand, moving lens systems are quite complex and expensive, and it is difficult to achieve powerful optical zoom in tablets due to size limitations. And the optical zoom ratio is small - from a certain moment the camera switches to digital zoom or to a separate telephoto lens (there is also such a format of work).
Resolution of the front camera of the tablet.
There is an opinion that more megapixels means better quality of filming. However, this is not entirely true: only the maximum resolution of the resulting images depends on the resolution of the matrix, and their quality is determined by many other parameters. However a large sensor resolution may be a sign of an advanced camera, but this is not necessary — two "eyes" with the same number of megapixels can radically differ in the quality of shooting.
The main purpose of front cameras in tablets is video communication, and high resolution is not critical for it. Therefore, the number of megapixels in such cameras is noticeably lower than in the rear ones — for example, 0.3 MP is considered an acceptable value, 1.3 MP is normal, 2 MP is not bad.
— FM receiver. A feature that allows you to listen to FM radio on your tablet. Recall that this range is traditionally used by modern music radio stations, since the FM standard allows you to transmit sound in stereo. Note that for reliable reception, you may need to connect wired headphones (usually via a 3.5 mm mini-Jack connector) — in this case, their cable will play the role of an antenna.
— Stereo sound. The ability to play full stereo sound through the tablet's own speakers, without external audio devices. There must be at least two speakers for this task. This complicates the design and increases its cost, but it has a positive effect on the sound quality: the sound is more expressive and detailed than when using a single speaker, it has a volume effect, as well as a higher volume.
— Fingerprint scanner. Fingerprint sensor. Used to recognize the user in appropriate situations: when unlocking the tablet, when authorizing in different accounts, when confirming payments, etc. It can be located in different places on the tablet — in front, behind, on the side, on the screen. This method of authentication is much more convenient and safer than passwords: they can be forgotten or accidentally opened to strangers, while the finger is not lost, and it is very difficult to forge a fingerprint.
— QWERTY keyboard. A hardware keyboard like a computer keyboard, where each character has its own button; most often performed separately from the tablet itself, connects via Bluetooth and also performs the functions of a stand. Such a device is well suited for fast text entry, and may also be useful for some other specific tasks. At the same time, such equipment is not often required for tablets; and when you need it, a docking station (see below) is often a more justified option, which usually includes not only a keyboard, but also other equipment. Therefore, nowadays, only separate professional-level models are equipped with a keyboard in its pure form, which are quite functional on their own, without docking stations.
— Gyroscope. A device that tracks the rotation of the tablet in space. Modern gyroscopes work on all three axes and are able to determine both the speed and the angle of deviation. This expands the control of the tablet, allowing you to give commands by tilting the device in one direction or another; This feature is especially popular in games.
— Dust-, moisture protection. The presence of the tablet case protection from dust, moisture and other similar adverse factors. The level of such protection may be different, but such devices, at least, are not afraid of rain; and the most resistant models allow even long-term work under water. Anyway, dust- and water-resistant tablets will be useful for those who are constantly in adverse conditions: tourists, rescuers, military, sailors, etc. However, note that not every such device has shock protection (see below). ).
— Impact protection. The presence of the body of the tablet protection against bumps and falls. A characteristic feature of devices with this feature is a solid massive body, often with a bumper made of elastic material at the ends. The degree of impact resistance can be different, however, even the most modest models, usually, can easily withstand a fall from a height of about 1 m; more detailed data should be sought in the manufacturer's documentation. Note that the presence of shock protection significantly affects the cost, and for domestic use, a protective case is usually enough for a regular tablet. So paying attention to shock-resistant models is primarily for those who are constantly in conditions with an increased risk of "accidents": builders, rescuers, military, etc.
— MIL-STD-810 security standard. Initially, MIL-STD-810 is a set of standards designed to test military equipment for performance in various adverse conditions and provides for rather stringent requirements. However, in "civilian" devices, compliance with this standard does not always mean the highest degree of protection. This is due to two nuances. Firstly, MIL-STD-810 includes a whole set of tests (temperature conditions, humidity, vibration, shock, etc.), and formally compliance with this standard can be claimed even if the device has passed at least one of these tests. and was not checked at all for the rest. Secondly, the manufacturers themselves have the right to conduct the test, while they often do not cover which tests were used and which ones were passed. So although in general the presence of MIL-STD-810 certification means an increased degree of protection, however, the specific features of such protection are completely unknown.
This item is indicated if the tablet is equipped with advanced acoustics, which is noticeably superior in quality to conventional speakers. Such information further emphasizes the high level of the device. At the same time, the characteristics usually do not give the full name of the speaker system, but only the name of the brand that had a hand in the sound.
The capacity of the battery that is normally installed in the tablet.
Theoretically, a larger battery means longer battery life. However, in fact, the battery life of the tablet also depends on its power consumption — and it is influenced by the characteristics of the processor and screen, the installed OS, and other factors. Therefore, only models with similar characteristics can be compared in terms of battery capacity (and even such a comparison will be quite approximate); and to assess battery life, it is best to look at the directly claimed operating time in different modes (see below).
The most modest batteries in modern tablets hold less than 3000 mAh. A capacity from 3000 to 4000 mAh is also considered low, from 4000 to 5000 mAh — low or medium (depending on the diagonal of the screen), 5000 – 6000 mAh — pretty good, 6000 – 7000 mAh — high, and in the most capacious batteries this indicator can exceed 7000mAh.
Video player operating time
The operating time of the tablet on one battery charge in video playback mode. Usually this time is indicated for perfect conditions: low screen brightness, disabled Wi-Fi and Bluetooth modules, average volume level, etc. the actual battery life of the device.
Audio player operating time
The operating time of the tablet in audio player mode — playing music through headphones. It is assumed that the screen is off at this time and the wireless modules are not used; so the power consumption is low, and the time in this mode can be quite impressive. However, most of the time, tablets are used with the screen on, so most often this parameter does not correspond well to real battery life; you should pay attention to it if you plan to regularly use the tablet as a music player.
Web operating time
The time the tablet has been in Web surfing mode — browsing the Internet.
Usually this time is indicated for a Wi-Fi connection, although battery life in mobile networks may be given in models with 3G or LTE support; for such devices, such nuances should be clarified separately. Anyway, the power consumption in this mode is quite high: the screen and wireless communication work, and the processing of some elements on the Internet pages loads the processor noticeably. And given that web surfing is one of the most popular ways to use a tablet, this indicator quite reliably characterizes the practical battery life of the device.
Operating time (PCMark)
Against the background of the fact that manufacturers in the characteristics of their gadgets indicate a very conditional operating time (in an unknown mode, with incomprehensible brightness indicators and settings), which is more marketing and is not confirmed in reality, we decided to display a more accurate picture. The operating time indicated in this paragraph is characterized by the results of the PCMark Work 2.0 Battery Life benchmark, which evaluates energy efficiency in five work formats: web surfing, video viewing / editing, photo editing, working with text documents and working with data (extracting them from different file formats, plotting). These are the main tasks that the tablet is supposed to perform in everyday life. And thanks to this testing format, the results very accurately correspond to the actual battery life of the gadget with active use during the day; using them, you can fairly reliably estimate how long the battery will last if you “don’t let go of the tablet.”
A function that allows you to charge the tablet battery without connecting any plugs. A wireless charging device is usually a stand on which the gadget being charged is placed. This format of work not only "makes life easier" for the user, eliminating the fuss with cables, but also reduces wear on the connectors, reducing the likelihood of them breaking. The main disadvantage of the wireless method is the high cost (both the tablets themselves and the chargers), despite the fact that the corresponding charger may not be included in the delivery. In addition, the charging speed is relatively slow — at best, it is comparable to wired charging via USB in the usual format, without the use of "accelerating" technologies (see "Fast charging technology").
Fast charging technology supported by the gadget.
By itself, fast charging, as the name suggests, reduces the charging time compared to the standard procedure. For this, increased voltage and/or current strength is used, as well as a special "smart" process control. But the possibilities and features of such charging may be different, depending on the specific technology used in the device. The same technology must be supported by the charger — this is the only way to 100% guarantee correct operation. However some types of fast charging are mutually compatible — however, this point should be clarified separately, and compatibility is not always complete.
Here is a brief description of the most popular technologies nowadays:
— Quick Charge (1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0, 5.0). Technology created by Qualcomm and used in gadgets with Qualcomm processors. The later the version, the more perfect the technology: for example, Quick Charge 2.0 had 3 fixed voltage options, and version 3.0 introduced smooth adjustment in the range from 3.6 to 20 V. Most often, gadgets with a newer version of Quick Charge are also compatible with older chargers, but for full use it is desirable to match the versions.
Also note that certain versions of Quick Charge have become the basis for some other technologies, such as Asus BoostMaster and Meizu mCharge. However, again, the mutual compatibility of devices supporting these technologies ne...eds to be clarified separately.
— Pump Express. Own development of MediaTek, used in gadgets with processors of this brand. Also available in several versions, with improvements and additions as it develops.
— Samsung Charge (Samsung Fast Charge, Adaptive Fast Charging). Samsung's proprietary fast charging technology. It has been used without any changes since 2015, in light of which it looks rather modest against the background of newer standards. Nevertheless, it is able to provide good speed, especially in the first 50% of the charge.
— Huawei PowerUp. One of Huawei's proprietary technologies. Formally similar to Quick Charge 2.0, but used with both Qualcomm and other brands of mobile processors, so compatibility is not guaranteed. In general, it is considered obsolete, gradually being replaced by more advanced standards like the SuperCharge Protocol.
— Huawei FastCharge Protocol. Relatively simple fast charging technology used in gadgets from Huawei. In fact, it is an analogue of Huawei Power Up, fundamentally different only in name.
— Huawei SuperCharge Protocol. Another proprietary technology from Huawei introduced in 2016; for 2021 is available in several versions. In some devices, the power of such charging exceeds 60 V — not a record, but a very solid indicator.
The power at which the tablet is charged in normal mode.
On the practical side, the higher the charging power, the less time spent on it (with the same battery capacity). But this parameter does not directly affect compatibility with chargers: modern devices are able to work with “chargers” of both higher and lower power. At the same time, in the first case, the battery controller will automatically limit the charging current, and in the second, charging will simply take more time. Accordingly, the standard charger may be of less power. And when looking for a third-party charger, you should focus on the allowable charging power indicated in the specifications — this will give the maximum guarantee against malfunctions.
A docking station is included with the tablet.
A docking station is a special stand, usually with a keyboard, on which you can place your tablet for work. Such stands differ from ordinary QWERTY keyboards (see "Additional") in more extensive features: they most often have a touchpad for the convenience of working in a "notebook" format, they can be equipped with a set of additional connectors, a separate battery to increase battery life, etc.
The presence of a case that protects the device during storage and transportation. Complete covers can have a different design; one of the most popular options is an accessory with a folding flip that covers the screen, while in some cases the flip can be folded into a stand. However, many users prefer to buy cases at their own discretion, without relying on the choice of the manufacturer, so this configuration option is not particularly popular.
The presence of a stylus in the delivery set — a pen for working with a touch screen. The stylus can be useful for some specialized tasks that require increased precision — drawing, plotting / editing graphs, etc. Its presence is typical mainly for business and professional devices. At the same time, the design of the tablet often provides for the possibility of attaching the stylus to the body — for example, in a special slot or using a magnet.
A rare tablet model comes with a stylus. Sometimes it’s easier to buy it separately in order, firstly, to save on the initial purchase of the gadget, and secondly, to understand how the device works and understand whether you still need a pen or not. Naturally, different brands and models have their own such accessories. Of course, all kinds of styluses from different manufacturers can perform basic operations, but only compatible ones can provide full functionality.
The main material used for the body of the tablet.
— Plastic. Plastic enclosures are inexpensive, light in weight, and provide enough strength for everyday use. It is also worth noting that there are many varieties of this material, and the quality of the plastic used for the body usually directly depends on the price category of the tablet. Of the unequivocal disadvantages of this option, low scratch resistance can be called; in addition, if the plastic is glossy, prints and stains instantly appear on it.
— Metal. Most often, in tablet cases, metal refers to aluminium alloy. One of the key advantages of this material is durability. In addition, the metal resists scratches very well and gives the device solidity — both in appearance and in the feel in the hands. It weighs a little more than plastic, but often it is this moment that provides the mentioned solidity. The unequivocal disadvantage of metal cases is a rather high cost.
— Glass. Usually, in this case, it means a back panel made of special high-strength glass, complemented by a metal frame at the ends. Such materials look very good and feel good in the hand, but they are not cheap. In addition, glass, even tempered glass, does not withstand impact well and can crack if dropped or otherwise “trouble” (although the impact still needs to be quite strong for this). Therefore, this option is found only in some top-class models.
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