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Brand VS Price: What to consider when buying a Tablet

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Bruce Byrne - 2014
Tablets are small, convenient and connected, and allow users to stay in touch and entertained no matter where they are.

Mobility and always-on connectivity have become a big part of our everyday lives and as such, tablets are now regarded as essential, not only within the consumer space, but also in the business market. Tablets are small, convenient and connected, and allow users to stay in touch and entertained no matter where they are.

Such is the usefulness of the tablet that many schools are even introducing them to the classroom for interactive learning and eBook capabilities. However, for many people big brand tablets are simply not affordable, particularly in households with a number of children, each of whom now require their own device. In addition, tablet screens are very fragile, and are prone to cracking and breaking when the device is dropped, necessitating the owner to purchase a whole new tablet.

Non-branded devices have thus become a popular option, offering more affordable yet still fully featured tablets that are ideal for the whole family. Therefore, when it comes to choosing a tablet, which is better, branded or non-branded?

Tablets offer high levels of convenience for users, from business to the consumer space. Emails can be read and responded to and social media updated, mobile Microsoft Office applications (apps) let users write documents and author presentations and spreadsheets. Users can also browse the web, download and read books, magazines and newspapers, watch movies, listen to music, play games and more. All of this is possible using one sleek, compact device that fits neatly into a handbag or carry case. Schools and universities have joined the mobile revolution, converting textbooks and study material to digital format and even utilising tablets for interactive lessons.

Tablets are undeniably useful for all markets and walks of life and have revolutionised the market – a fact that is borne out by ever-increasing sales of the devices year on year. However, one barrier to entry is the price of the devices. Some top of the range branded tablets cost in the region of R10 000, a price that is simply not affordable for the majority of the market. For families who need to purchase multiple devices, this cost becomes increasingly prohibitive. Non-branded tablets are considerably less expensive than these branded devices, and while there may be a perception that they are of inferior quality or lesser performance, this is often no longer the case.

There are many devices on the market that offer users excellent quality with all the ‘bells and whistles’ at a price point users can afford. Some of these devices feature popular Operating Systems (OS) such as the Android OS, allowing users to download thousands of apps at a click of a button. Furthermore, high-end processors, plenty of on-board storage, excellent graphics, front and rear cameras and more are all part and parcel of these devices. In addition, non-branded devices often incorporate extra features that are not found on the well-known brands, such as dual SIM card capability, expandable storage and USB connectivity.Access to the full spectrum of features for an economical price is something that will appeal to a broad range of users, particularly those who are price sensitive or need to purchase multiple devices. In addition, if the device is dropped, the cost of replacement or repair is far more affordable.

Therefore, once again, when it comes to choosing a tablet, which is better – branded or non-branded? The answer is of course that it depends entirely on your needs, preferences and most importantly your budget. Certain users will always be highly brand conscious, however, for many others out there, the functionality of a powerful tablet can be far more cost-effectively obtained with a non-branded device. These affordable tablets are especially suitable to families who need to buy tablets for their children at school, but do not wish to spend tens of thousands of Rands on branded devices that in all likelihood will be dropped within a few months.

For those to whom budget is no consideration, or to the extreme brand loyalists, a branded tablet will always be best. For any other user, whether business or consumer, it is well worth considering saving some money without compromising functionality with an affordable, non-branded tablet device.

By Bruce Byrne, Visual Communication Specialist at Drive Control Corporation

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