How A Tablet Works

How a tablet works may be taken for granted by many people : Many of them will be digital natives, or will have been familiar with digital technologies from their early decades. But there is still a large percentage of people who do not fully understand these devices, especially our elders.

For older adults, the operation of smartphones, tablets or computers is a partial mystery, because although they can learn to take advantage of their basic functionalities, in reality they do not manage to exploit their full potential. For this reason, in this post we intend to talk about the operation and uses of tablets, making a basic guide for technological novices.

What is a tablet or tablet and how does it work?

Tablets are electronic devices that are made up of a touch screen, on the back of which there are several components that allow it to function, without the need for a physical mouse or keyboard.

The origins of tablets date back to computer scientist Alan Kay, who was inspired by the science fiction designs of series such as Star Trek and A Space Odyssey, to create a device called the Dynabook, which, although not fully functional, set a precedent for the subsequent development of what we now know as tablets.

We could say that the meaning of tablet refers to an electronic device with an intermediate size and power between a smartphone and a computer.

Parts of a tablet

Let’s see, next, what are the parts of a tablet, with which we interact directly:


Clearly the screen is the interface with which we interact the most on a tablet, you can use your fingers or a stylus for the task. There are different construction materials for the screen: LCD, OLED, AMOLED, Liquid Retina, etc.

Another important aspect is the screen resolution: There are tablets with HD resolution, which is not bad, but usually reveals the pixels if we get too close to the screen, FullHD, which has a higher number of pixels per inch, and 2K , almost always in mid-high and high range tablets.


The case or back of the tablet is almost always made of plastic, aluminum or metal alloy, and may have an area to place an accessory such as a touch pen. Metal cases are the most recommended, as they better dissipate the heat of the components, which can end up shortening the useful life of the tablets.


Tablets typically have a micro USB or USB-C port that works the same way to charge the device, connect it to a computer, or connect it to a wired tablet keyboard to turn it into a tablet PC.

Sometimes they also have one or more regular USB ports for plugging in a flash drive, though usually these are tablets running Windows or Linux operating systems. Another of the ports that we commonly find is the POGO connector, which allows a keyboard with a similar connector to be magnetically attached.

And of course, we cannot forget about the audio jack, which allows us to connect headphones in case we want to listen to music or any type of multimedia without disturbing other people, or to have a better sound experience.

Components of a tablet

Now, let’s go to the parts of a tablet that are not visible or hardware, but that are essential to allow the user to interact with the device:


The first thing that many people see when they plan to buy a mobile phone as well as a laptop or desktop computer is storage, since this will be the one that will allow you to store content and install programs and games.

In technological devices, storage space is measured in Megabytes or MB (smaller) and Gigabytes or GB (larger). Basically:

  • 1024 MB equals 1 GB.
  • 1024 GB is equal to 1 Terabyte or TB.

Tablets typically come in 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB models. To give an idea of ​​a practical equivalence:

Currently a movie can have a weight between 2 GB or up to 16 GB depending on the resolution in which it is found. Games can weigh between a few megabytes and up to 2-3 GB (in the case of games for tablets) and other types of content such as emails, web pages and books weigh only a few megabytes, if not Kilobytes -KB-( unit less than MB).


The processor is like the heart of a digital device, and in the case of tablets, there are many times when those of smartphones are adapted for that purpose. Ideally, processors suitable for the screen size and use of them are used, therefore we will often see brands such as:

  • MediaTek
  • UniSoc
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon
  • Kirin -only from Huawei-
  • Apple Bionic -only from Apple-

More important than the manufacturer of the processor, will possibly be the number of cores (that is, the areas between which the functions of a tablet are distributed). In tablets there are processors with two, four and eight cores: the more cores, the faster the tablet will react.


The GPU or integrated graphics card is the one that allows you to obtain enough graphic power to run modern games and applications that require a certain graphic level. The best known mid-range GPUs are the Adreno and the ARM Mali.


RAM is what allows you to use several applications at the same time, or switch from using social networking apps to a game or web browsing quickly without the tablet being momentarily frozen.

The minimum amount of RAM currently recommended is at least 3 GB, although you can find 4 GB, 6 GB or even 8 GB.


The amperage of the battery is essential for tablets, because due to their screen size they consume a large part of it just by staying active. A 10-inch tablet is generally recommended to have a battery between 5,000 mAh and 7,000 mAh.

Even better if it has fast charging, so that this process is carried out as quickly as possible. It is good to consider if the screen or the components have a technology that enhances energy savings.

Operating system

The operating system of a tablet is the software that serves as a link between the components, the screen and the user. Without it, the tablet would be a black screen without any functionality.

In the case of tablets, we will find the operating systems Android (with the widest price range), Windows (especially common in the hybrid tablet model) Chrome (for computers that work mainly in the cloud and online) and iPad OS (the operating system for Apple iPad).

What functions does a tablet have?

Knowing the characteristics, we can already imagine many of the uses of a tablet. In any case, it is common for newbies to ask ” what can I do with a tablet ?” or ” what is a tablet for? ” so below we list some of its most outstanding functions:

  • Watch movies.
  • Playing video games.
  • Use social networking apps.
  • Write.
  • Draw.
  • Make video calls, video conferences and virtual classes.
  • Enjoy streaming content.
  • Edit images and videos.
  • Work as a second screen.

These are some of the utilities of a tablet, but if your curiosity is piqued, we propose in another post 20 creative uses for a tablet that you would not have imagined.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a tablet?

A device like the tablet has many benefits, especially in terms of communication, entertainment, creativity and productivity, but it also has some drawbacks. Let’s see what these aspects are:


  • It is more comfortable and portable to watch movies than a computer or a smartphone.
  • It allows you to perform office tasks by connecting a keyboard, from checking email, to writing in Office, surfing the Internet or using the webcam to participate in video conferences.
  • Using a stylus, it can become a drawing pad in conjunction with art applications.
  • It makes it easy to consult information from other of our devices, if we have an account in cloud services such as Google Drive or Dropbox.
  • Its screen size is ideal for older adults who have trouble reading small print, or who want to use it as a family communication device (tablets can be used as a phone when they have 3G and 4G connectivity).
  • It is a good device for education, as long as it is used properly.


  • It doesn’t have the power of a computer, so it might not be useful for tasks that require powerful hardware.
  • Its size larger than a smartphone makes it necessary to carry a backpack or bag, which can be cumbersome for some people.
  • Also due to their size, they will often need a support to keep them standing in case we want to watch a movie or type with an external keyboard.
  • Low-end and mid-range tablets generally don’t allow you to upgrade the OS version, so over time newer apps you download won’t work.

How to use a tablet for the first time?

After seeing more general aspects of how a tablet works, we suggest you learn how to use a tablet for the first time:

  1. Turn on the tablet and let it charge completely (from the factory, the equipment usually comes with approximately 20% charge)
  2. Then turn on Wi Fi and connect to the one you have available. If your tablet has a SIM card port, you can insert one and take advantage of mobile data connectivity.
  3. Start by entering the browser, if it is Android, it most likely has Chrome pre-installed. Upon entering, it will give you the option to log in to your tablet with a Gmail account.
  4. After this, you must also log in with your account in Google Play Store, YouTube, etc.
  5. Start downloading the apps you want and need from the Play Store, and all you have to do is get familiar with using this device.

We hope that with this brief guide on how a tablet works, you can somehow begin to familiarize yourself with the characteristics of a tablet and the concept behind such an article: a very light and simple object that will allow you to carry out endless functions .

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