The Tablet PC learning center was created to help take the confusion out of the various terms and phrases often used in conjunction with Tablet PCs. Listed below you will find several of these terms along with a brief explanation of what they are and helpful hints to consider when making a Tablet PC purchase.
♦ Android operating system — This Google's proprietary operating platform acts as the brains of your tablet PC. It contains all the instruction sets needs to run your favorite applications. The Android 1 platforms do not have the apps market. Android 2.0 and above allow you to easily download apps from the apps Marketplace and feature power saving features for longer battery life. All of the KIZTEK Android tablet pcs have Android 2.1 or higher installed on them.
♦ Application — also known as an 'app' — is the software designed to help you complete a task on the tablet PC.
♦ Aspect Ratio — you need an aspect ratio of 16:9 for widescreen video so less than this limits the video/movie function with the result being you would get a thick black bar at the top or the bottom if you try to watch a widescreen movie.
♦ Bluetooth — Wireless connection medium ideal for connecting external self-powered devices such as mouse, keyboard or printer.
♦ Camera — front-facing camera should mean you can use the tablet for video conferencing — rear-facing camera will allow you to take photos. It is more important to have a strong resolution (measured in megapixels) for the rear-facing one so you can capture clear sharp images.
♦ Capacitive screen — These type of screens respond to your finger as it gets close to the surface of your screen. Often time an actual touch of the screen is not required to trigger the intended response. Capacitive screens are very responsive to a pure touch vs. resistive screens that rely on a pressure contact with the screen. The down side of that is capacitive screens tend to be more expensive.
♦ Digital compass — useful for if you are looking at mapping or GPS related applications as this means the tablet PC can tell what direction you are facing.
♦ FM Radio — some tablets come with built in FM radios for listening to local terrestrial radio stations. The Pro Media 7 from KIZTEK has this feature.
♦ G-Sensor — The G-Sensor is an accelerometer that detects the downward direction of gravity. It is used to ensure that that your screen is always in the correct orientation format no matter how you hold your tablet PC. All tablet PCs from KIZTEK have this feature.
♦ GPS — Global Positioning System is a satellite navigation system that allows you to find your position wherever you are in the world. This is particularly beneficial for finding directions from where you are to another point. The E-Traveler and Media Pro series Tablet PC from KIZTEK have this feature on them.
♦ HD — High Definition — usually refers to TV and movies. The 720P and 1080P designation refer to the number of pixels horizontally across the screen. Most TV's sold today are at 1080P quality.
♦ HDMI output — This feature allows using your tablet like a digital media player. It allows you connect your tablet to a monitor, TV, projector, etc and at high definition quality. It has both audio and video contained in one cable.
♦ High-resolution screen — Watch HD movies, HD TV shows, and HD music videos on your tablet PCs screen. Screen resolution is measured in pixels.
♦ Microphone — Good feature to look for if using applications like SKYPE to do web cam phone calls and to use the device as a speakerphone. It can also be used with recording apps to record audio and messages.
♦ MicroUSB — port that takes a microUSB connector allowing you to connect the tablet PC to other PCs or peripherals — such as a printer or cell phone.
♦ Micro SD — for additional primary storage compatible with a Micro SD rather than a standard SD card. The storage would typically be used on a tablet PC to have additional music, video and documents on a Micro SD card that can be slotted in-and-out of the device when needed.
♦ Multi Touch Screen — Allows you to take advantage gestures requiring two or more finger touches or presses for manipulating inputs through the touch screen.
♦ Operating System - This is the software that operates in the background establishing the ground rules and instruction sets by which all applications must operate. In the tablet PC world the best known operating systems are Windows, Android and iOS (used on an Apple iPad)
♦ Processor - The processor is the tablet PC brain. The speed of the processor is measured in GHz (gigahertz) so the higher the number of GHz the faster the processor. The minimum processor speed you should look for is 800MHz (.8GHZ).
♦ RAM — This is the short-term memory used while the device is running. Think of this as the amount your brain that is consumed at any given time you are executing a task. The more RAM you have the more simultaneous thoughts or apps you can have running. The contents of your RAM are lost when the device is switched off. While most tablets will run satisfactorily at 256MB, you should look for tablets that have at least 512MB if you have the extra money to spend.
♦ Resistive screen — This type of screen requires pressure to be applied to the screen instead of just a touch. However, with most resistive screens this pressure is very slight and often feels like just a touch. Most resistive screens come with a stylus that helps maintain the required pressure during gestures. Resistive screens also tend to be cheaper.
♦ Screen resolution — This describes the clarity and detail of the screen. The higher the resolution, the more pixels you get on the screen and the sharper/clearer picture you will get. Look for high resolutions if plan to watch movies or view pictures on your device.
♦ SD Card slot — means you can add an SD card (SD = Secure Digital) with additional memory to store files such as music and video. Digital cameras typically use an SD card so if you have the SD card slot then you can take the SD card directly from your camera, slot it in to the tablet PC and directly upload your photos for viewing.
♦ Storage Memory - You need to ensure you have either a hard drive or solid-state storage with enough memory that can hold large amounts of data and files such as music, movies or other documents — this memory also holds onto this data even when the tablet PC is turned off. Storage memory is available as internally built-in memory and expandable memory such as SD and TF card slots. Always look for tablets with internal storage of at least 2GB and storage slots that allow you to expand to at least 16GB. One of the advantages of high expandable memory capability through the slots is the easy transferability of files between tablets and other PCs.
♦ Speakers/Headphone jack — Built in speakers and a headphone jack provide the options to listening to your music or the sound from a movie.
♦ USB port — USB 2.0 host ports allow for numerous things such as the ability to add peripheries - plugging in a printer, a mouse, a keyboard, or USB memory sticks. The more USB ports the better as just the one USB port is a bit limiting — e.g. you could not attach a printer if you were already had your USB stick or external keyboard taking up the slot. USB slots are also good for adding 3G wireless capability so long as the device has 3G support by purchasing a 3G dongle USB stick from your favorite wireless carrier.
♦ Video Output — HDMI/DVI socket for connecting your device to your High Definition TV / Monitor.
♦ Windows operating system — The very popular operation system from Microsoft that comes standard on most personal computer systems. The Monolith Pro units from KIZTEK come with the Windows 7 Ultimate operating platform that has been optimized for Tablet PCs.
♦ Wireless (WiFi) — if you have a wireless network set-up at home or you are in a public wireless area then the tablet PC will find these for you and connect the tablet PC to the internet. Then you are able to browse the web, access files, download apps without linking it up to a pc.
♦ 3G/ 4G Wireless capability — 3G / 4G wireless is needed in order to connect to the internet when not in a WIFI hotspot area and for making phone calls from a tablet PC and requires signing up for an expensive monthly plan with your favorite carrier. However, due to the wide availability of WIFI hotspots and the ability of most cellphones to tether or create a mobile WIFI hotspot for your tablet it is redundant to get a data plan for both your phone and your tablet. Tethering plans are very cheap compared to normal data plans so it is highly recommended not to pay for the extra cost of a built-in internal 3G tablet. A cheaper option to consider is to ensure your tablet has built-in USB ports with 3G support. If so, then when you decide you want the 3G capability you can go purchase a 3G USB stick from your carrier and use it to connect to the internet no matter where you are so long as 3G service is available. This option allows you to delay the decision to purchase 3G service until after you have made your table PC purchase and fully understand how you will be using it.