Home Blog

Who Invented The Tablet: Things You Should To Know

Women using ipad

Tablet computers are a common sight in everyday life for most people, but few individuals know who invented the tablet and how it has changed over time to become the product we’re familiar with today. I was curious to see who was really responsible for this invention so I did a bit of research and this is what I found out.

So, who invented the tablet? The first tablets introduced to the public were likely made by a company called Pencept in the 1980s, and they were intended for more commercial applications. During this time there may have also been several devices that looked similar to early tablets being used by academic and research organizations, but Linus and the Communications Intelligence Corporation were also producing devices around this time.

It was around this time that the tablet market started to get crowded so determining who invented the tablet for sure is a difficult task given the number of products that were introduced and developed during this time. Apple is frequently credited with introducing a tablet to the public before any other companies, but Microsoft released a tablet almost ten years before Apple.

Early Tablet Devices

Person using stylus on ipad

Image via Pexels 

In 1986 many tablets came to market including the Letterbug which was developed by a startup company called Hindsight. Other prototypes were shown to the public during this time at various trade shows, but commercially available models didn't appear.

It wasn’t until 1987 that Apple started working on a tablet project and eventually released the Apple Newton in 1993. This device was the smallest one to date with only a six-inch screen and a total weight of 800 grams, but it utilized Apple’s Newton OS which was their newest operating system at the time.

Later that same year Apple decided to host a competition to challenge users to create “the personal computer of the year 2000,” and the winner was a device simply named “TABLET.” The design came from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the team that designed the device included the famous Stephen Wolfram who would later go on to found Wolfram Research.

Initial tablet designs were bulky, had small screens with little or no color, and the overall devices were not easily carried around like the tablets we’re used to today. Although many companies have initially created tablet-like products, the question of who invented the tablet is more complicated than which company released one first. 

Microsoft released a tablet in 2000 that most closely resembles the tablets that we recognize today and it took many years of research and a partnership with expert firms like Xerox Palo Alto Research center to make the idea a reality.

Person using ipad while having tea

Image  via Pexels 

This tablet was named the “Microsoft Tablet PC,” and it was the first licensed device to run an official version of the Windows OS. This device had a somewhat rugged design and was meant for users who needed them for business applications and fieldwork. These tablets were also used in health care applications for collecting data.

Modern Style Tablets Emerge

Woman looking at charts on tablet

Image  via Pexels 

The new style tablets that we are accustomed to seeing around these days started with Apple's iPad which featured a sleek design that made it ultra-portable. This device was released in 2010 and is considered to be a milestone device in the history of the tablet computers given that it was WIFI enabled, capable of connecting to 3G networks, and also able to be used even when not connected to anything.

This style of tablet was perfect for users that wanted to consume media and weren’t interested in data collection, business applications, and other specialized software. This device could be used without the need for a stylus and was ideal for activities such as:

  • Email
  • Web browsing
  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Reading

Apple even went as far as to release software that was Microsoft Office compatible with this device. It provided software called Pages for word processing, Keynote for creating presentations, and Numbers for making spreadsheets.

The second version of the iPad called the iPad 2 was also released with software that allowed for music composition and was called GarageBand. Along with this release, there was also software named iMovie that allowed users to edit video.

Another leap came in 2011 with the release of iOS 5 which allowed users to activate their iPad and establish backups without needing to connect the device to a standalone PC. This advancement removed the one final drawback to tablet-style devices that previously had required the user also to own a traditional personal computer.

Tablet Competitors Arrive

Happy woman outdoors while holding ipad

Image via Pexels 

In January of 2011 the Consumer Electronics Show took place, and there were over 80 new tablet devices announced that all were direct competitors to the iPad. Although Apple had expected this for some time, the releases from more prominent companies such as Dell, Acer, Motorola, and Samsung changed the landscape of tablets for consumers.

Dell announced its tablet called the Streak Tablet, and Acer's device was merely called the Acer Tab. The announcement from Motorola revealed their equipment to be called the Xoom tablet which ran Android 3.0 and the Samsung Galaxy Tab from Samsung was running Android 2.2.

Hewlett-Packard also disclosed its device called the TouchPad which was running the Web OS system. It was listed for sale in July but was later discontinued after only 49 days on the market. It was also in 2011 that Amazon announced they would also be releasing a tablet called the Kindle Fire.

The Kindle Fire was a smaller tablet with a 7-inch screen, but it came connected to Amazon's Kindle service for ebooks and their other Amazon services including the Amazon Appstore. Amazon offered customers access to videos, music, and an extensive library of other digital content and the Kindle Fire was a low-cost option at the time.

Woman and girl playing on tablet

Image via Pexels 

Amazon's Kindle Fire is still available today, and many sales mean that users can get this table at a bargain price compared to some of the other products currently available. With a price tag of $$, it's clear that Amazon isn't as interested in making money off of the tablet sales as they are creating income through selling content to users who use this device.

Although 2011 saw many different tablets come to market from a wide variety of companies, none of the tablets released have been able to dominate the market and become the singular go-to choice for users. It would appear that the iPad will continue to dominate as much as possible while other companies continue to discount their products in order to move inventory.

Apple, Android, And Windows Devices

Person using black tablet

Image via Pexels 

In 2015 consumers were able to purchase Android tablets and phones with 4GB of ram and 64-bit processors which made this tiny device as powerful as some personal computers. Windows tablets and smartphones followed suit and the fourth version of Microsoft’s Surface Pro was released.

The Surface Pro 4 is a tablet and laptop combination product that features Skylake Intel processors and began a trend in the tablet market. Today there are many different laptops available that can function as both tablets and laptops.

In 2016 Apple also released their iPad Pro which featured a 9.7-inch display and offered the most significant amount of storage available in a tablet at 256GB. In 2017 Apple released another version of the iPad in the same size but with the lowest price tag of any of its products. This version of the iPad was meant to ensnare new tablet users and those who were first-time buyers. 

Some Tablet Statistics

Woman with pet dog on livingroom using tablet

Image via Pexels 

It's difficult to know exactly how many tablets users there are in the world, but through sales data, we can determine roughly how many tablets have been sold in a given year by different companies. The number of tablet users in the world is estimated to be around 1.14 billion people, but the tablet trend is forecasted to decrease in the years to come.

The total number of tablets shipped during the third quarter of 2018 alone was around 36.4 million, and the total number of shipments expected in 2019 is approximately 136.8 million. It has been forecasted that the total number of tablet shipments worldwide will decrease to 122.1 million by 2023.

Currently, Europe has the most significant demand for tablets, but they are closely followed by the Asian Pacific part of the world. Tablets and many other devices are trendy in Japan, and it is expected that at least 10 million of the devices will ship to that country alone.

In 2017 it was estimated that 16.2 percent of the global population are using tablets and this number is expected to increase steadily for the next few years. Estimates put global tablet usage at 18.9 percent by 2021. 

In India, the current number of tablet users is estimated to 60.2 million users which means that approximately 17.4 percent of the people using the internet in India will be doing so on their tablet.

An Honest Review of the Huaweir Mediapad m3 Lite 10

Person using a black tablet

​The Huawei Mediapad M3 Lite 10, an Android tablet with a generous 10.1-inch screen, offers four speakers, and the ability to send text messages and phone calls. This tablet has most of the features you'll find in popular tablets, like Kindle Fire, at a reasonable price.

What is the Product?

The display screen has excellent viewing angles, although most Smartphones offers a higher density of pixels. You won’t have any problems with clear pictures or videos on this tablet indoors or in dim or normal light, despite the lower density of pixels. The colors are clear and saturated, but the screen isn’t one of the brightest out there. 

The screen may be hard to see in direct sunlight unless you're using a bright background like Microsoft Word.

The MediaPad’s internal hardware consists of a Q​ualcomm Snapdragon 435 SoC, which is an octa-core chip. The storage varies by country, with 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage being a standard number.   

The Snapdragon chip is a medium-quality chip, and you'll need to adjust the graphics settings on some video games or experience frame drops. For example, you can install GTA Vice City, but the game may crash when you start to use it.  

We don’t recommend the Lite 10 for intense video game use. Try the MediaPad M3 from Huawei instead if you are a gamer. 

The MediaPad works fine for browsing and document preparation. The split screen option lets you use two apps simultaneously. The tablet has four speakers, so it's an excellent choice for listening to music, streaming movies, or watching YouTube videos.

Many video formats work with the M3 Lite 10, including 3gp, * m4v, .mp4, *.webm, *.mkv, .ts, flv., and .3g2  

​The Company

Huawei is a consumer electronics company and telecommunications located in Shenzhen, China. The company's products are sold in over 170 countries. Many sources believe the company is the biggest 5G telecommunications provider in the world.

The company, founded in 1987, sells consumers electronics, including tablets in the UK, U.S., Canada, and other countries.  Huawei makes over 20 laptops and tablets, several wearables, and six cell phones for the American market.  

Product Specificatio​n

The Huawei Mediapad M3 Lite 10 is similar in design to other Huawei tablets. This tablet comes in gold, white and space gray, and has a sleek, classy look. This state of the art tablet is powered by the EMUI 5.1, an Android 7.0 compatible operating system.

The metal frame has a gap between the back and frame, but this is standard for moderately-priced tablets. 

The M3 Lite offers a relatively sizeable 10.1-inch display screen, IPS panel, and a maximum screen resolution of 1920 by 1200. The tablet uses one Lithium Polymer battery, which is included in the package.

This Huawei tablet has a flash memory solid state hard drive and an integrated card. The Micro SD is expandable up to 256GB.

The Mediapad M3 Lite 10 weighs 10.9 ounces and measures 10.1 inches long by 1.69 inches wide by 5.31 inches high.  

The tablet has a rear webcam resolution of 8 MP, a processor count of eight, and 16GB of flash memory size. The Mediapad M3 Lite 10 offers a 1.6 GHz processor and 3GB of RAM.

Some users have issues with the HD streaming on this device. One online reviewer wrote that Netflix only appears on SD on his tablet, despite having a higher screen resolution. However, YouTube will display in 1080p.

This tablet is for use with the network LTE CAT4 and Wi-Fi 11ac 2.4 GHz & 5 GHz. 

The battery lasts about 11 hours with Wi-Fi and HD video running, so the Mediapad is passable, but not one of the longest-lasting tablets, power-wise.

There's a black bezel around the screen. The front-facing, eight-inch megapixel camera is positioned above the display screen. Unlock the tablet with the fingerprint reader placed under the front-facing camera.  

You can replace the back, recent and home button with gestures after you activate the fingerprint reader.

This MediaPad still uses the USB 2.0 connector instead of the USB C port. Use the USB 2.0 to charge the tablet or connect accessories to the device with an adapter. There’s a microSD slot above the part. The 4G MediaPad provides a slot for a SIM card, too.  

The opposite side has volume controls and a power bottom. There's an audio jack measuring 3.5 millimeters at the top of the tablet. 

The tablet also works well with a Bluetooth keyboard. 

AUDIO

There are two speakers on the top of the tablet, and two more on the bottom. The speakers offer good sound quality and are louder than the speakers on the comparable Lenovo Tab 4 10 Plus.

The Harmon/Kardon speakers offer great sound quality, although the bass is practically non-existent. The sound remains clear and crisp for most movies, video, and music.  

​​​​​Android 7.0 Nougat

The MediaPad M3 has Android 7.0 Nougat and Huawei ‘s interface, Emotion UI 5.1. The interface is customized, but you can change it to your liking. Apps are installed on the home screen when you first use the device. Bring the apps to the app drawer by specifying the change in the settings. 

You can’t remove the preinstalled Huawei apps. Other preinstalled apps include Facebook, Instagram, and apps from Microsoft and Google. The MediaPad also supports GPS. 

The screen can show up to 24 icons displayed in rows of six. The icons appear to be double-spaced on the screen, leaving a lot of room. The user interface definitely seems ill-used considering the screen size. 

The glass cover is a little slippery, but, overall, the tablet is easy to use. The Chrome browser slows down occasionally, but other than that, there are no significant problems.

You’ll be able to make phone calls if you have the LTE/MediaPad tablet. The tablet will work just like a phone, but you’ll need to use a headset. The LTE version also supports texting.

The phone and call features are included via a preinstalled app on the LTE model. The LTE phone app looks like the standard Android phone app. You make phone calls through the microphone and integrated phone app, or connect a headset to the audio jack.  

The call quality is clear on both sides; full sentences can be understood without distortion. Speech remains clear even at maximum volume.  

User Review Round-Up

One user commented that the MediaPad M3 Lite 10 is an Apple product with an Android layout. The camera is functional, the reviewer continues, but it doesn’t have a flash. The lack of a USB C is also a detriment.

Another user commented that the tablet is sturdy and that it works despite being dropped several times over a few months. 

A few users like the superior sound and comment that it’s worth dealing with a less than ideal screen resolution to get the four speakers from Harmon/Kardon.  

Pricing

The Mediapad M3 Lite 10 costs around $​$ from most sellers, including Amazon.com and Newegg.com, but it may cost as much as $​$ from some sources. The cost may vary, depending on the Octo-core included in a particular model.  

You can buy this tablet from Amazon, Amazon Marketplace, eBay or Frye’s Discount Electronics. 

How it Compares

This version of the MediaPad falls short when compared with better-known tablet brands in most areas. 

The MediaPad allows you to run apps in the background without crashing or exceeding the RAM limit, but the UI layer makes switching between apps uneasy and results in stuttering you won't experience on the competition. 

Opt for a Samsung or Lenovo tablet if you play lots of graphics-heavy games. Many games won't work properly on the MediaPad die to control latency issues. 

The Lenovo Tab 4 10 Plus has a 20-hour battery life, much longer than the MediaPad. 

Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 SM-T585 has speakers with no bass but higher highs.

The Mediapad M3 Lite 10 is smaller than the Amazon FireHD 10 and slightly larger than the Lenovo Tab 4 10 Plus. The lightweight design relieves strain on your arms when you watch streaming content for hours. 

The eight megapixel back camera is suitable for snapshots, and the front-facing camera offers the same resolution. The front camera is fine for video chats, but not outstanding. Look to Samsung for better camera quality if you need to shoot lots of high-quality videos.

The M3 Lite 10 takes around five hours to charge. This tablet, like the Apple iPad,  doesn’t offer a quick charging option, so you’ll need to be careful about letting the device lose power. 

The Snapdragon 435 is good for light use, but not for gaming or constant heavy use. Look for a tablet with a more heavy-duty chip for gaming, like the Intel Core i7-8700K or AMD Ryzen 7 2700X.

The M3 Lite 10 gets hot easier (probably due to the Snapdragon chip). The Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 SM-T585 remains cooler even after heavy use. 

The Amazon Fire HD 10 costs $100 less than the MediaPad and has many of the same features, plus a brighter screen. 

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the MediaPad M3 Lite 10 and two other tablets in the same price range. 

Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 32 GB Wifi Tablet Black (2019)
  • Minimal bezel; Maximum view; Watch, stream and browse on a 10.1 Inches; Full HD corner to corner Display; The lightweight premium metal design goes anywhere you go
  • Big sound for big entertainment; The perfect complement to a wide, immersive picture, Dolby Atoms Surround sound fills the room with cinematic clarity
  • Binge worthy Battery; Browse, watch Or shop for up to ten hours on a full charge; Keyboard Compatible
  • Room for everything; Never delete songs, photos or videos, thanks to ample built in memory; Plus expand your storage up to 512GB anytime With a Micro SD card

Name

Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 SM-T585

Price

Ease of Use

Assembly Time

Build Quality

Warranty

Contact manufacturer for information

Lenovo Tab 4, 10.1" Android Tablet, Quad-Core Processor, 1.4GHz, 2GB RAM, 32GB Storage, Slate Black, ZA2J0143US
  • THEATER-LIKE MULTIMEDIA: 10-inch tablet has a brilliant HD display with booming Dolby Atmos Audio and built-in dual-stereo front-facing speakers perfect for binge-watching TV and movies on-the-go
  • TABLET FOR KIDS: Transform to a kids tablet with Lenovo Kid's Pack, including a shock-resistant bumper, blue-light screen filter and fun stickers; family sharing is now a breeze
  • MULTI-ACCOUNT: With multi-user and multi-space functionality, switch to Productivity Mode and add the Lenovo Bluetooth keyboard for a 2-in-1 tablet
  • HIGH PERFORMANCE ANDROID TABLET: Wifi tablet has a 64-bit Quad-core Snapdragon processor of up to 1.4 GHz, 2GB of RAM, plus an epic 20 hour battery life for seamless performance on any day-to-day tasks
  • BOX CONTAINS: Lenovo Tablet Tab 4 10, Charger, USB Cable, Safety/Warranty Guide, Quick-Start Guide; perfect tablet for kids, work or play

Name

The Lenovo Tab 4 10 Plus

Price

Ease of Use

Assembly Time

Build Quality

Warranty

Contact manufacturer for information

Huawei Mediapad M3 Lite 10 3+16 Octa-Core, Android N + EMUI 5.1
  • Audio resulting from three generations' co-development between the Harman Kardon audio lab and Huawei acoustic engineers
  • Four speakers, combined with Huawei SWS 3.0 Smart Sound management, deliver unprecedented richness and precision of sound
  • With a 1920 x 1200 display no detail will escape your gaze, giving you a perfectly sharp and crisp viewing experience
  • Smart Power Saving 5.0 technology and a 6660 mAh battery ensure power that lasts, with 10hr video playback
  • Android 7.0 (Nougat) + Huawei EMUI 5.1, with a fingerprint reader for enhanced ease of access

Name

Huawei Mediapad M3 Lite 10

Price

Ease of Use

Assembly Time

Build Quality

Warranty

12 months warranty 

The MediaPad M3 series is the best tablet series Huawei has to offer. The Lite 10 is a mid-range tablet without a few features you might find in more popular brands. You can buy an LTE or Wi-Fi version of this tablet. The Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4, is the best tablet in the series, due to its superior camera and display resolution. The Lite 10 offers excellent features for everyday use, and superior sound. 

Pros and Cons

Here are a few of the pros and cons of the Mediapad M3 Lite 10

Pros

  • Excellent WiFi speeds for transfers 
  • High-quality camera 
  • Louder than average speakers 
  • Fingerprint sensor 
  • Box includes Charger, USB Cable, quick start guide, warranty card, and eject tool. 

Cons

  • Not suitable for gaming
  • Warranty lasts for one year
  • Too much-preloaded software
  • USB 2.0 connector instead of C port

Conclusion

Man usinga tablet near a coffee

​Image via Pexels

We give the Mediapad M3 Lite 10 from Huawei 2.7 stars out of 5 stars. This moderately-priced tablet works fine if you need it for web browsing and Word, but it is near the bottom of the pack for gaming. 

This tablet is responsive even after many straight hours of use. The front-facing camera offers a high megapixel count, and the speakers give you clear, crisp sound. The screen provides easy viewing for internet browsing and Word documents, although heavy graphics may not show up as well. 

The MediaPad M3 Lite may not receive future security updates. An internet search provided many comments from current users who were unsure about updates. The increasing number of hackers and other unsavory types taking advantage of internet-connected devices make an unprotected tablet a prime target for identity theft.  

There are several brand names in the same price range with better features, like the Apple iPad and Amazon Kindle. However, if you’ve used Huawei products before and like them, or just want a moderately-priced tablet for web browsing, Skypeing, streaming and music, the MediaPad M3 Lite is a good value. 

The MediaPad M3 Lite’s low weight, crystal-clear speakers and decent image quality make it a good everyday device for work, school, and streaming. Gamers, however, will want to look elsewhere.

​Featured Image via Pixabay

What Are the Best Tablet Brands to Consider?

Man usinga tablet near a coffee

Tablets are an amazing invention, and for many people, they have become the only piece of technology that they use. But which of the many tablet brands is right for you?

The top four brands are iPad by Apple, Galaxy Tab by Samsung, Surface Pro by Microsoft and ZenPad by Asus. These four devices are all very different and depending on your needs, budget, and lifestyle; it’s likely that one will stand out as the obvious choice for you. In the following guide, we’ll look at why and which is best.

While there are other brands that you could consider, the vast majority of people will find that these are the most available and offer great value for money. These four tablet brands are popular and therefore tend to have a wide selection of apps, accessories, and guides online. But before you can choose, you need to do a little bit of research and self-reflection.

Comparison Table


Tablet Brands: Questions to Ask Yourself


Image source: Pexels

1. Do portability and size matter?


Depending on how you’re planning to use a tablet, the size and portability could be a huge factor. If you need to use it on the go or regularly take it to the office, having a smaller device which can slide into your bag could be an advantage. In which case, the mini iPad or even the Surface Pro could be a good choice.

On the flip side, if you know that the vast majority of the time you will be using your tablet at home or in a single place, size might not matter. A larger device could be much better because a bigger screen can make movies more enjoyable and using it easier. In which case, the Surface Pro or Samsung Galaxy Tab are great choices.

2. What is your budget?


Tablets aren’t as expensive as most laptops or computers, but particularly brands can be very pricey. As a result, your budget is likely to play a critical role in which product you choose. Therefore, it’s wise to take some time to be realistic about your budget and figure out how much you can afford to spend before you start searching.

Cheap tablets can be very affordable, only costing a few hundred bucks. But the more expensive alternatives can be into the thousands of dollars, and when you add accessories, it can quickly become pricey. Be realistic about your spending and try not to overextend yourself for a device which most likely isn’t critical to your life.

adult and  child enjoy while using tablet computer

Image source: Pexe​​​​​ls

3. What are you hoping to use it for?


Depending on what you need to use the tablet for, one is likely to be better than the rest. The Microsoft Surface Pro, for example, is the leader when it comes to work, business and office related tasks. With applications like Excel and Powerpoint, it’s closer to a laptop or a desktop computer than most tablets.

On the flipside, devices like those by ASUS tend to be more consumer and recreational focused. As a result, they have plenty of fun apps which you can download from the Google Play Store, but there is less focus on work. Hence, it doesn’t come with pre-packaged accessories like a handy keyboard or a mouse and pointer.

The tasks that you need to accomplish will have a huge impact on which device is right for you and your family, which is why you need to think about this first. Being honest with yourself about your use behaviors is critical and will prevent you from getting a device that you don’t use. Similarly, the Surface Pro is the best all-around choice and is safest for most people.

You can use a tablet for:

  • Writing documents
  • Creating spreadsheets
  • Surfing the web
  • Watching movies
  • Playing games

4. Do you need a keyboard?


If you’re planning to do extensive typing, whether as a writer or into Excel or another spreadsheet application, typing on a screen isn’t fun, not only is it slow, it can also hurt your fingers after a short period. Getting an additional keyboard that attaches to the device is critical, and therefore you should keep this in mind when you’re shopping.

The Surface Pro is the most obvious example because most if not all of them can come with a screen cover which folds out to become a keyboard. This keyboard is the most impressive that we’ve seen for a tablet. The iPad keyboards are okay, but they don’t have the same feel and responsiveness as those that Microsoft offers with their Surface Pro models.

5. Do you have young children?


If you have young kids that you want to entertain with a tablet, you should consider the different applications that are available on each device. In most cases, iPads have more child-friendly games, and therefore Apple takes the lead for most parents. However, the Galaxy Tab and ZenPad have Google Play Store which also has some games and fun apps.

​Tablet ​​Brands: iPad by Apple


Apple iPad Pro (12.9-inch, Wi-Fi, 64GB) - Space Gray (3rd Generation)
  • 12. 9-Inch edge-to-edge Liquid Retina display with Promotion, true Tone, and wide Color
  • A12X Bionic chip with Neural Engine
  • Face ID for secure authentication and Apple Pay
  • 12MP back camera, 7MP True Depth front camera
  • Four speaker Audio with wider Stereo sound

The most famous tablet in the world is the iPad. While it’s not the first of its kind, it took the market by storm and has revolutionized the way that we think about tablets. Before the iPad, they were primarily used by children as a replacement for laptops. However, in recent years they’ve become legitimate business tools for at home and in the office.

A CEO can run entire companies on an iPad, and with multiple outlets, they can now connect to monitors and projectors to help you to give presentations. The iPad is the most well-rounded of the devices when it comes to applications, but it doesn’t excel in any given area, which makes it okay at everything but not amazing in any single category.

For the average person, Apple is a brand to consider. While the products are expensive according to most expert users, they offer exceptional customer service. If you have any problems with an iPad, you can be confident that their team will look after you.

This same level of customer service isn’t available with all companies, with Microsoft having a reputation for having relatively poor support. However, you do pay steeply for this help, which is why Apple products are so expensive. Likewise, they aren’t as compatible with Windows and Microsoft products, making them less useful in work and business situations.

​Tablet ​​Brands: Galaxy Tab by Samsung


Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 9.7-Inch, 32GB Tablet (Silver, SM-T820NZSAXAR)
  • Includes the Samsung S Pen Stylus; Expandable memory up to 400GB; Processor Speed: Quad Core(2.15 GHz + 1.6 GHz Quad)
  • Featuring High Dynamic Range on a Super AMOLED display, the Galaxy Tab S3 delivers cinematic vividness, detail and deep contrast to a screen that fits in your hands
  • Our revolutionary S Pen is more precise and pressure-responsive than ever, and never needs to be charged, liberating you to create, translate, and navigate without limits
  • Powerful Quad speakers, tuned by AKG, calibrate with your movements as you rotate the Galaxy Tab S3, and intuitively reflect what’s playing on-screen
  • Easily switch from touch to type with a feather-light keyboard that auto-pairs, attaches on contact and never needs charging (keyboard sold separately)

The Galaxy Tab by Samsung is an interesting entry into the market because it’s relatively similar to the iPad in that it’s more for recreation than for work. However, the one area where it excels is in pleasure. If you’re watching movies or playing games, you want to be doing it on a Samsung device rather than on one from another company.

Samsung produces some of the best screens in the world, particularly in the mobile phone market. This technology is also in their tablets, which is why the Galaxy Tab has a huge screen and a beautiful picture, making moves resonate and look stunning even on a relatively small screen when compared to a TV.

However, the main drawback is that Samsung products are expensive and you’re unlikely to want to use the tablet for work, where the Microsoft Surface Pro excels. For parents and those looking to use a tablet for recreation, fun and occasional web surfing, Samsung is a great brand for you to consider.

​Tablet ​​Brands: Surface Pro by Microsoft


Microsoft  Surface Pro 6 (Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 128GB)
  • A best in class laptop with the versatility of a studio and tablet
  • More power now with the new 8th Generation Intel Core processor
  • Ultra slim and light, starting at just 1.7 pounds. Sensors : Ambient light sensor, Accelerometer, Gyroscope
  • All day battery life, with upto 13.5 hours of video playback
  • Pair with our signature type cover in luxurious Alcantara material and rich colors for a full keyboard experience

The Surface Pro by Microsoft is the epitome of a work tablet. It’s optimized to perform like a laptop, but with the flexibility and portability of a touchscreen tablet. Within seconds you can transform your tablet into a fully functional computer with a keyboard, which is why this device is very popular on Wall Street and in big businesses.

If you plan to use your tablet for work regularly, you need to go with Microsoft and the Surface Pro. Other tablets don’t come close to this level of performance, especially in terms of productivity and the range of applications that are available. Plus, the Surface Pro offers good value for money when compared to laptops and other tablets.

It’s not the biggest tablet available, the Samsung and large iPads would probably win in that regard, but that means that the Surface Pro is portable. Despite having a full fold-out keyboard, it can easily fit into a small bag, and you could carry it between meetings without any stress. For work and business use, it’s a clear choice, and can be fun for the weekends too.

​Tablet ​​Brands: ZenPad by Asus


ASUS ZenPad 3S 10 9.7" (2048x1536), 4GB RAM, 64GB eMMC, 5MP Front / 8MP Rear Camera, Android 6.0, Tablet, Titanium Gray (Z500M-C1-GR)
  • 9.7" 2K IPS Display (2048 x 1536) with ASUS TruVivid technology for better visual experience and Corning Gorilla Glass 3 cover glass for tougher and more damage resistant protection.
  • Powerful dual Core ARM Cortex 2.1 GHz combined with quad Core ARM Cortex 1.7 GHz, 64 bit MediaTek processor.
  • Easily handle games and speed up productivity with super-fast hexa-core processor, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage and IMG GX6250 graphics.
  • 8M/5M Dual Camera; 1 x microSD Card slot, support up to 128GB SDXC
  • Fast and accurate fingerprint sensor is the perfect blend of strong security and incredible convenience. Android 6.0 OS. Interfaces: 2-in-1 Audio Jack (Headphone / Mic-in), Micro SD (SDXC)/ Max.128GB, Type C.Display: 400 nits

Asus often gets disregarded because it doesn’t have the same larger than life brand image that Apple and Microsoft have. But for years they’ve been working away and quietly producing excellent quality laptops and computers for affordable prices that offer great value for money.

If you’re on a budget and need an entry-level tablet that can combine work and play, but without any excessive features, the ZenPad should be a consideration. We don’t think that it has the same beautiful UI of the iPad or the flexibility of the Surface Pro, but it sits in a great middle point where it’s an excellent choice for students or young professionals.

​Featured image via Pixabay

Best Gaming Tablets: The Ultimate Guide

Man playing on a table

It’s your nephew’s birthday, and your sister has hinted that he’d like a tablet to play Minecraft on this year. Or maybe your kid is always using your smartphone to play games, running down the battery, and keeping you from your important phone calls (or another round of Candy Crush). 

Christmas will be here before you know it and your boyfriend has mentioned that he’d like to get a tablet to play Fortnite. Well, then, it’s time to take a look at the best gaming tablets available.

​Comparison Table

Gaming Tablet FAQs

a boy is using a gaming tablets

image source: Unsplash

Before running out and purchasing the make and model the salesclerk suggests, you might want to have just a bit more information under your belt. Let’s break it down a little. 

  1. What is a gaming tablet?
  2. What features should you consider when buying a gaming tablet?
  3. How does a tablet work with games?
  4. How much do gaming tablets cost?

What Is A Gaming Tablet?

gaming tablet is merely a tablet for which the primary purpose is playing games rather than checking social media, streaming movies or reading ebooks.  It uses the touch-screen interactivity to involve the player in the game. Some tablets have optional gaming control additions. 

What Features Should You Consider When Buying A Gaming Tablet?

For you to get the best gaming experience you should consider the following features when deciding which tablet to buy:

  • OS (operating system)
  • Screen Size
  • Screen Resolution
  • CPU
  • RAM
  • Storage
  • Battery

OS (Operating System)

The operating system (os) determines which games you will be able to use on your tablet. 

iOS:​ 

Apple products use iOS. Many games are not compatible with iOS. Only about 24 percent of the tablet market uses iOS. 

Windows 10:​​

Windows 10 OS will run PC games without compatibility issues. These include games from Steam, Origin, Bethesda, and Blizzard. It can also run Google Play Store games with some modifications. Approximately 15 percent of the tablets on the market use the Windows 10 OS.

​Android:

​Android OS is compatible with Google Play. Using Steam, you can play most games available on your tablet with the Android OS if your device is powerful enough. Sixty-two percent of the tablets available use the Android OS.

​Fire OS:

​Amazon’s Kindle Fire uses the Fire OS which is compatible with the Android OS. It is heavily geared toward Amazon products, however.

Screen Size

There are two size classifications available for tablets. Tablets with smaller screen sizes, between seven and nine inches, tend to be less expensive and are more portable. If you plan to use your gaming tablet on the go, this might be a better option. 

Larger tablets, nine inches and up, typically have faster processors and provide a better viewing experience. Games feel more interactive on a larger screen, but tablets of that size are more expensive.

Screen Resolution

The higher the resolution, the sharper the display will be. Screen resolution is measured in pixels. Pixel density is essential in the overall quality of the resolution. The minimum resolution you should look for on your gaming tablet is 1800 X 1200 or about 1080p.

​CPU

​Not all games use the CPU intensively during play, although some such as Assassins Creed Origins and Final Fantasy VX do. Look for a dual-core CPU or a single-core CPU that's at least 1GHz.

​RAM

​Ram stands for Random Access Memory. Your gaming tablet should have at least 4GB for a good performance. For the best performance, 8GB is the best you can get with a tablet. Hybrid tablet/laptops may offer even more memory. More RAM means faster performance.

​STORAGE

​RAM is included in the disk space available. Therefore a tablet with 16GB might only have 12GB available for storage after the RAM is deducted. The larger the number, the more applications you can have on your tablet. Some tablets include SD card readers which will allow you to expand the device’s storage capacity. Look for at least 32GB of storage space.

​BATTERY

​Unless you want to be tethered to the socket, you should look for a battery life of about 10 hours of active use, certainly no less than 7 hours, before you need to recharge.

How Does A Tablet Work With Games?

Tablets have a touch-screen interface which makes gameplay more interactive. Game movements and selections are activated by a finger press or a stylus pen for more precision interaction. Some tablets can be connected to gaming controls as well. 

They are smaller than a laptop and more portable than desktop computers, so you can game and go. Tablets can be handheld or used with a stand. 

With some notable exceptions, the speakers are not as advanced as other gaming devices unless you use a gaming headset. 

How Much Do Gaming Tablets Cost?

Tablets can cost as much as $2000 or as low as $50. Android and Amazon Fire tablets can be purchased for around $100. These devices often have lower storage capability and smaller screens. 

Android tablets with a little more capability can be found around $200. Larger devices cost around $300. Better quality tablets are priced at about $400.

Anything over $400 is considered a high-end tablet. Tablets at this level could theoretically replace your laptop. The processors are faster, the screens are bigger, and there is typically more storage space available on high-end tablets.

How We Reviewed

pile of gaming tablet

image source: Unsplash

Based on the criteria that make up the specs of a great gaming tablet, we compared a variety of models to help you find the best tablet for your gaming preferences. We considered the OS (operating system), screen size and resolution, the CPU, RAM, and storage capacity, battery life and price to compile our list of the best gaming tablets on the market today. We also looked at the professional gamers’ opinions about their gaming experiences using these tablets. 

Overall Price Range For Gaming Tablets

The price for a gaming tablet varies greatly and is often dependent on the type of operating system the tablet has installed. It may not be in your best interest to choose the most expensive tablet if the operating system is not compatible with the games you want to play. A decent gaming tablet will cost depending on the type of game you play.

Top 6 Best Gaming Tablets

Microsoft Surface Pro 6

  • OS: Windows 10 Pro
  • Screen Size: 12.3-inch
  • Screen Resolution: 2736 x 1824
  • CPU: Intel Core m3, i5 or i7
  • RAM: 4/8/16GB 
  • Storage: 128/256/512GB or 1TB 
  • Battery: 13 hours of battery life
  • Pros: Plays PC games including Steam, Pairs with Xbox controllers and uses Xbox Play Anywhere
  • Cons: Expensive
  • Where to buy: Microsoft, Amazon, BestBuy
  • Warranty: One-year limited hardware warranty

The price for the Microsoft Surface Pro varies greatly depending on the amount of storage capability. With the Windows 10 Pro, you can play PC games on the tablet. Additional components include the surface dial, pen, type cover, and arc mouse.  

Apple 11-inch iPad Pro

  • OS: iOS
  • Screen Size: 11.0 inches
  • Screen Resolution: 1668 x 2388 pixels (~265 ppi density)
  • CPU: Octa-core (4x2.5 GHz Vortex + 4x1.6 GHz Tempest)
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 1TB, 6GB RAM or 64/256/512 GB, 4GB RAM
  • Battery: 7812 mAh up to 10 hours of battery life
  • Pros: Excellent screen resolution, can be connected to a controller 
  • Con: Expensive, cannot use Steam
  • Where to buy: Apple, Amazon, BestBuy, Verizon
  • Warranty: one-year warranty. Additional 2-year AppleCare+ warranty available.
  • Apple offers 18-month financing.

The Apple 11-inch iPad Pro has excellent screen resolution with Liquid Retina display technology. It also has one of the best audio setups with four speakers and stereo sound. Not necessary for gaming, but nifty nonetheless, the iPad Pro has a facial recognition authentication system. The A12 Bionic chip lets this tablet run faster than most computers, which is a definite plus in the gaming world. It can be used with the Apple pencil stylus. It has a USB-C to add external gaming controls. 

Samsung Galaxy Tab S4

  • OS: Android O
  • Screen Size: 10.5 inches
  • Screen Resolution: 1600 x 2560 pixels, 16:10 ratio (~287 ppi density) 
  • CPU: Octa-core (4x2.35 GHz Kryo & 4x1.9 GHz Kryo)
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 64/256 GB, 4GB RAM or 6GB RAM expandable up to 400GB via microSD card
  • Battery: 7300 mAh Up to 16 hours of video playback
  • Pros: Great sound quality and screen resolution, customizable 
  • Cons: Expensive, Google Play games only
  • Where to buy: BestBuy, Samsung, Amazon, Verizon
  • Warranty: one-year limited warranty on device, battery, and accessories

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 has four speakers, two on the top and two on the bottom of the tablet and uses surround sound with Dolby Atmos technology. It can be used with the S pen stylus. Super AMOLED display technology for a clear screen resolution. It also has a vast potential for memory storage with the SD card.

​Huawei MediaPad M5 10 Pro

  • OS: Android 8.0
  • Screen Size: 10.8 inches
  • Screen Resolution: 2560 x 1600 pixels, 16:10 ratio (~280 ppi density) 
  • CPU: Octa-core
  • RAM: 4GB 
  • Storage: 64/128GB, 4GB RAM
  • Battery:7500 mAh up to 11 hours of battery life
  • Pros: Good battery life, comes with a stylus pen, affordable 
  • Cons: Issues with Bluetooth/wifi
  • Where to buy: Amazon
  • Warranty: One-year limited warranty

The Huawei MediaPad M5 10 Pro has a 2.5D curved edge display for more extensive views and high-resolution viewing. The Quad stereo speakers create an exceptional audio experience and support HiFi headphones. It can be used with the M Pen stylus. It takes less than 3 hours to charge fully. It even has advanced fingerprint recognition technology.

​Asus ZenPad 3S 10

  • OS: Android Marshmallow
  • Screen Size: 9.7-inch
  • Screen Resolution: 1536 x 2048
  • CPU: MediaTek Hexa-core processor
  • RAM: 4GB 
  • Storage: 32/64GB up to 128GB with micro SD card
  • Battery: 5900 mAh battery with up to 10 hours of battery life
  • Pros: Fast gameplay, great screen resolution, can be used with a stylus
  • Cons: Less than ideal speakers
  • Where to buy: Asus, Amazon, BestBuy, 
  • Warranty: One-year limited

The Asus ZenPad has only two speakers with DTS HD Premium Sound but is compatible with DTS headphones which improves the audio experience. High-speed gameplay with 6250 image GPU and 5-finger recognition. Best of all, it has ZenUI Game Genie pop up toolbar and built-in system enhancement boosters for live streaming your games.

​Amazon Fire HD 10

  • OS: Fire OS
  • Screen Size: 10.1-inch
  • Screen Resolution: 1920 x 1200 (1080p HD ~224 ppi density)
  • CPU: Quad-Core up to 1.8 GHz
  • RAM: 2GB 
  • Storage: 32/64GB internal storage expandable by up to 256 GB using microSD
  • Battery: Up to 10 hours
  • Pros: Affordable, great screen resolution, durable, quick charge
  • Cons: Uses Fire OS which limits gaming options
  • Where to buy: Amazon, BestBuy, Target
  • Warranty: One-year limited warranty. There are optional 1, 2, and 3-year extended warranty available.
  • Coupons/deals: Comes with Alexa

The Amazon Fire HD 10 has Dolby Atmos dual stereo speakers. It’s more durable than some of the other models, so a great option for kids. It charges completely in under five hours. It certainly is less expensive.

The Verdict

It’s hard to pinpoint which gaming tablet is best for you. If you prefer playing PC games, then the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 is your best option. If you are buying a tablet for a child, a less expensive Kindle Fire will work well. 

The Apple 11-inch iPad Pro is a quality product but not have the gaming compatibility you find on an Android tablet. For fast gaming and neat gaming features, the Asus ZenPad 3S 10 fits the bill. If you are looking for something that charges quickly, then consider the Huawei MediaPad M5 10 Pro. 

Keeping the critical recommended features that optimize your gaming experience in mind, feel free to explore these and other gaming tablet options to find the one that meets your needs and pocketbook.  

​Featured image source: Unsplash

Smart Keyboard: Everything You Need To Know

Photo of a smart keyboard near an ipad

Anyone that uses their iPad for anything other than reading or browsing the web understands the painful process of typing using the onscreen keyboard. Sure, some people may find it less annoying than others, but it’s still easier to use a keyboard. Thankfully, Apple graced us with the Smart Keyboard. It’s a full-size keyboard you can pack up with your iPad.

However, there’s a catch which seems to be the norm with technology these days. Your old Smart Keyboard, if you have one, won’t work with the newest version of the iPad. You need to upgrade to the Smart Keyboard Folio. We’ll continue to call it the Smart Keyboard, but the new version has folio tacked on the end, and you need it to enjoy the benefits it brings to your iPad.

Let’s cover the basics before we get into the good stuff. The new Smart Keyboard attaches to your iPad magnetically and doubles as a protective case. The keyboard protects the front of your iPad and folds out to allow you to type while the back tab holds your iPad securely in place. It will increase your productivity by a significant factor.

The newest version of the Smart Keyboard is relatively inexpensive if you buy it on Amazon. Make sure you get the right one for your iPad version since the new Smart Keyboard won’t work with older iPad models. Size matter as well, so double check before you buy. Depending on the size you need, you can get one on Amazon for around $$$.



​What’s New in the Latest Smart Keyboard

​Magnets improved every aspect of the new keyboard models. Apple decreased the size of the keyboard but added some useful features in the process. Magnets hold everything in place but let go quickly if you choose to disconnect the keyboard. They also allow you to use two different viewing angles to find the best one for your needs. Apple’s Smart Connector just makes everything easier as well.

What We Like About the Smart Keyboard

Photo of an iPad near a smart keyboard

image source: Unsplash

Aside from the fact that it doubles as a case for your iPad, it's sturdy and compact. The keyboard itself is free from moving parts which means nothing wears out quickly. If you compare that feature alone to other keyboards for the iPad, the Smart Keyboard wins hands down every time. Mechanical, silicone keyboards may be cheaper, but they'll wear out on you and need to get replaced more often.

Apple’s Smart Connector looks like something out of an episode of Star Trek. It's three little dots on the iPad that allow you to connect the Smart Keyboard to it without using any plugs or cables. You don’t even need to pair the devices like you would a Bluetooth keyboard. Simply place them together, and you can transfer data and forget about the battery.

Aside from the Smart Keyboard, the Smart Connector may be the best overall feature of the two devices. That said, we're big fans of the instant on and off functions as well. If you close the keyboard against the iPad, it goes off. Reverse the process, and it comes back on plus you can set it to open once it scans your face automatically.

If you plan to type a lot or use your iPad for your business, you have to get a Smart Keyboard. Granted, that's our opinion, and some of the information that follows may seem to indicate we changed our mind. That said, aside from the following flaws, this is still the best keyboard option for your iPad if you don’t mind the price tag and the little annoyances.

Three sides of your iPad will remain uncovered when it’s closed, or rather the keyboard gets shut. Unlike most cases, even the thin useless ones, you can plug things into your iPad and listen to music or podcasts. You’ll need to set your iPad up to facilitate this; otherwise, it merely turns off when you perform what Apple calls closing the device.

Unlike some of the third-party cases out there for the iPad, the case portion of the Smart Keyboard is rigid enough to allow you to use it on any flat surface or in your lap. This is handy for bus or train commuters that need to get a little extra work done to impress the boss or catch up on a heavy workload. The Smart Keyboard won’t fold on you, well, it won’t fold incorrectly. 

We mentioned Apple’s Smart Connector already and eluded to its power and versatility. We might have said it's one of our favorite Apple innovations as well. The Smart Connector also charges the keyboard while it’s attached. It removes the need for wired charging, and you never need to worry about changing the batteries. Few things are more annoying than a dead battery in your device.

The Smart Keyboard gives you more room on your screen since the onscreen keyboard is disabled while it’s connected to the iPad. That extra screen real estate is a big deal in our opinion. The onscreen keyboard comes back instantly if you disconnect the Smart Keyboard. However, any hardware keyboard will offer more screen real estate, so this isn’t technically a bonus of the Smart Keyboard.

A Few Things We Didn’t Like About the Smart Keyboard

Ipad with smart keyboard near an iphone

image source: Unsplash

The Smart Keyboard is compact and doesn’t add much dimension to your iPad which is an excellent feature, but it may be a little too small. The 12.9-inch model is easy to get used to, and you'll probably be typing on it in no time. However, the 11-inch model feels a little cramped, and it may take more time for you to get good at using it. Even after typing a few thousand words, the 11-inch still seemed crowded.

While the 12.9-inch Smart Keyboard is a full-size keyboard, the 11-inch version is not which makes it tougher to bring muscle memory into your typing. You may have better luck if you type using onscreen keyboards or small laptops regularly. If you’re used to a large, full-size keyboard, the 11-inch Smart Keyboard may not be the best option for you.

For us, only one of the two viewing modes was acceptable, and a lot of other Smart Keyboard users agree. No matter which viewing angle you prefer, the iPad and keyboard take up more space than they should on your desk or table. This may not be an issue for everyone, but it can cause accidents or add clutter to an already cluttered workspace.

Another downside is Apple's strange notion of adding size and weight to the Smart Keyboard while making the iPad thinner and lighter. We carry our iPad practically everywhere, so reducing the weight might seem like a better option. At least in our opinion, this is a flaw in the design and something Apple should reconsider.

When you fold the keyboard behind the iPad, it makes holding it a little awkward. You may fold it to get it out of the way so you can read a book or a webpage, so this is a common practice. You have to hold the iPad, and your fingers grip the keys on the keyboard. This may seem benign, but it makes the device seem unwieldy to say the least.

The Smart Keyboard only masquerades as a case, and it doesn't offer much protection for your iPad. In their efforts to make the keyboard smaller, Apple removed most of the protection it provided except for the back of your iPad. If you leave the keyboard in place forever, the back of your iPad will remain pristine. 

The keyboard is missing the top row of function keys. This lack of keys limits some of the shortcuts you may want to use in apps like Microsoft Word. Many native Apple apps allow you to use the function keys to speed things up a bit as well. By removing these keys, the keyboard got smaller and lighter, but it lost some functionality.

It may seem petty, but we don’t like the arrow keys. Specifically, the up and down arrow keys. In Apple’s drive to make the keyboard thinner and lighter, they split the up and down arrow keys into two half-keys that butt up to one another. This may seem innovative, but it's annoying because you regularly hit the wrong key unless you stop and look before you place your finger.

Our list of cons seems lengthy and possibly preachy, but most of the issued we found are more design flaws or our opinion on the features. Your results may vary. Overall, we still think the Smart Keyboard is worth the money and the best keyboard option for the iPad. You won’t know for sure unless you try one out. You may get lucky and find a demo at your local Apple Store.

Before You Buy a Smart Keyboard

Ipad near an earpods

image source: Unsplash

Do you need a Smart Keyboard? The question may seem silly since we always want a better keyboard for our mobile devices, but it’s an excellent question that many people never stop and ask before they buy accessories for the iPad. Let’s examine a few ways you can get by without a keyboard and a few reasons a keyboard is a necessity.

You can use the onscreen keyboard for most tasks from typing an email to searching the web. Unless you need to write a book or an article like this one, a keyboard might not be a necessity. Siri does an excellent job of taking dictation. You can simply ask Siri to turn on dictation and start talking. There’s a slight learning curve if you want to get punctuation right. 

Is a tablet the best option to satisfy your needs? This is a little off-topic, but it's an integral part of the decision-making process. After all, if you genuinely need a laptop or desktop, a tablet with a keyboard may never be enough computing power. It’s worth considering that question before you move on to buying a keyboard only to realize you need more versatility and power.

If you need a keyboard occasionally, why not use the one plugged into your desktop? You can connect most USB keyboards to your iPad using Apple’s camera adapter which costs less than $. That said, we’re still convinced you need a Smart Keyboard for your iPad Pro, but it's important to know you have other options if your budget doesn't support buying one right now.

The Smart Keyboard opens up new avenues to increase your productivity, and it speeds up your typing. Writing, chatting, and anything else that requires you to enter a lot of text will force you to seek a keyboard. Adding Mac keyboard shortcuts to your iPad is probably the second best reason outside of typing to buy a Smart Keyboard.

Keyboard Shortcuts You Need to Know

image source: Unsplash

Keyboard shortcuts seem incidental, but many people fumble with them. We do it all the time. The basic keyboards shortcuts apply, but we're more interested in the basics we always forget. Like many people, you may be using another keyboard with your iPad like this Belkin Apple certified keyboard. Basic keyboard commands may remain the same, but iPad specific shortcuts often elude us. 

Some of the new or often forgotten keyboard shortcuts you need to know include:

  • Command + H: This command sends you back to your iPad home screen.
  • Globe Key: This one gives you quick access to your emojis and a few other social media icons.
  • Command + any arrow key: This shortcut lets you jump around pages from top to bottom depending on which arrow key you pressed. It also works if you press the left or right arrow keys.
  • Command + Space: this one will open the spotlight search feature and bring up a few app choices based on which apps you use most often.
  • Command + Tab: This command lets you switch tabs quickly, but it's a little awkward for multitasking. 

As sad as it sounds, those are the keyboard shortcuts most people forget. We can recall complex commands more readily for some unknown reason. Luckily, if you hold the Command key for a second or two, an overlay will pop up on the screen with a list of keyboard shortcuts available in the app you currently have open. Here’s a full list of Mac keyboards shortcuts that may work as well. 

Taking screenshots is easier using this keyboard. Using the Command + Up Arrow + 3 makes a screenshot. Now more awkward dances with the volume or power buttons. If you press Command + Up Arrow + 4, you can take a screenshot then immediately open the new image in markup mode. We make a lot of screenshots, so this is one of our favorite features.

​Our Final Thoughts

Apple’s Smart Keyboard is the thinnest, lightest case-like device you can get for your iPad that includes a keyboard. We found some issues with it and typing on the 11-inch version is awkward, so don’t buy that one. If we get technical about the typing ordeal, there’s no room for more keys. The keys are so close together that your fingers don’t need to travel far to hit the next key. Sounds good, but it’s awkward.

We wish Apple would take a step back and expand the keyboard slightly to make it easier to type on without removing any keys. It’s already missing the top row of function keys and the split up and down arrows keys may prove annoying as well. That said, you’ll need to test your typing prowess and see for yourself to be sure. Our typing style may be flawed.

Portability and ease of use are the most important features the Smart Keyboard brings to the table. It’s simple to connect it since you don’t need to pair the devices and the magnets hold it in place which keep you from stretching or prying at the case until it fits over your iPad. We’re still a little starstruck by the way Apple is using magnets and simplifying the way we transfer data.

Overall, even with the issues we found, we still recommend this keyboard for the iPad. It just works, and you can take advantage of Apple's Smart Connector. You may need to get used to typing on it or remove the keyboard to read a book, but it’s worth it if you plan to type a lot. The aesthetics are appealing, and it offers some protection to your iPad as well.

We've looked at third-party keyboards explicitly designed for the iPad, and we can still say that we like Apple's version better. Admittedly, we didn’t like several things about the Smart Keyboard, but they didn’t change our view on the keyboard or our opinion on it being the best keyboard for the iPad. Now, it’s up to you to consider our review and decide if you want to give it a try.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This