If you’ve already got a phone or computer you’re happy with, your mind might already be made up about which tablet operating system you’re most comfortable with. However, if you’re looking for a change or you just want to see what’s out there, here’s a brief rundown of the major differences between Android, Windows, and IOS tablets:
You have a fair bit of freedom to play with different tablet styles and manufacturers, as well as to define your price range, if you go with an Android-based tablet. Everyone from Samsung to ASUS to Motorola has a tablet on the market, so you’ll have plenty of choice. The downside to this? All that choice makes it easier to end up with a dud and be stuck with a tablet you don’t like. You’ll definitely want to do plenty of research and test drive a few tablets if you’re looking at something Android-based.
Once you get the tablet, you’ll also find you have more freedom to customize your experience. Hundreds of custom themes that change your tablet’s look and feel, as well as they way apps are organized and run on the device, are available for download in the Play Store.
If you want the IOS experience, you’re limited to the iPad or iPad Mini. This too might be considered a downside for some people, but Apple fans likely see it as a positive.
If you already have an iPhone, getting an iPad will guarantee there’s no learning curve when it comes to figuring out how to use your tablet. Apple strives to provide a uniform experience across all its devices, so you’ll have no trouble figuring out where anything is or how to use certain features. This also means that if there’s anything you don’t like about the look or organization within IOS, you have no recourse, as Apple doesn’t allow custom themes.
When it comes to choice, Windows tablets exist in a space between IOS and Android: There are more styles available than there are for IOS-based tablets, but fewer than Android has. However, the difference in look and feel between the tablets is far greater. For example, the Lenovo Yoga 8 has a built-in kickstand, and other Lenovo tablets running Windows have a built-in keyboard that can be folded over to create a more traditional tablet.
Windows tablets tend to have a shorter battery lifespan than their Android and IOS counterparts. This is because they’re running a full-featured Windows operating system rather than the souped up mobile operating systems used on Android and IOS tablets. The Surface RT, however, is known for its solid battery life.