We’re currently in the middle of the tablet PC revolution, and it seems like nearly everybody has an iPad, Playbook, Samsung tablet, or some other sort of tablet computer. If you want one for yourself, then you may have balked at the high price points. Who would pay $700 for something like that when there are tablets available for under $400?

While you may think you’re getting a bargain on a good tablet PC, you’re almost always better off paying a few hundred extra dollars for a higher end device. This lesson rings true throughout the world of computers: whether you’re buying a laptop, printer, keyboard, or mouse, buying a lower-end device will almost always come back to bite you.

Here are a few reasons you should consider paying a little extra for a premium tablet PC:

Don’t fall for the lower price point

Unless you’ve found a ridiculously good sale of a major tablet brand, a lower price point always means that the manufacturer has cut corners along the way. Cheaper components may have been used, less power may have been squeezed into the device, and the assembly could be shoddy and flimsy.

Ultimately, this means your cheap tablet PC won’t last for more than a year, and even if it does, it won’t be able to run the latest programs or provide the smooth, fast performance that people love to see in their tablet PCs.

To verify this, look at performance reviews for the tablet that you’re considering. Whether it’s cheap or expensive, you’ll easily be able to find tablet performance reviews and benchmarks online. In general, tablets at a lower price point perform far worse than tablets at a higher price point, and this performance difference may not be worth it to many users.

Tablet knockoffs can be dangerous

You may find a cheap knockoff tablet PC: it looks a lot like an iPad, but features none of Apple’s insignia. “Who cares?” you think to yourself. “I’m getting an iPad-like device at a fraction of the cost.”

The problem with knockoffs is that you miss out on most of the functionality of an actual tablet. You won’t be able to access the app marketplace, for example, which means that you are severely restricted in terms of fun, useful features.

Worse, some knockoff tablet PCs will feature access to a knockoff app market. Users often end up paying more money for the exact same applications, and sometimes, these applications could simply steal your information or not work at all.

Fuzzy screens

Tablet PCs are popular because they feature crystal clear displays and fantastic visuals. On many tablets, this is due to the HD graphics display, which comes in a resolution of either 1920x1080p or 1280x720p. On lower end tablets, this resolution shrinks down to a measly 800x400p, which is very far from HD.

To make matters worse, watching videos on popular sites like YouTube could be difficult, as the tablet may not feature the decoding abilities necessary to process that information. Even playing videos off an external device, or the tablet’s hard drive, could be problematic.

The bottom line

Buying a cheap tablet PC comes down to this: would you rather pay $800 for a good tablet that will last for 3 years, or $350 for a cheap tablet that will last for a year? If you can afford it, a premium tablet PC will easily make up for its cost differential in the long run.

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