A frequent question I get from users is “What can a tablet actually do?  Is it just for playing games?” That’s why I’ve put together this checklist using the 3 main operating system for tablets, Android, iOS (found on iPads), and Windows (this does not include the now discontinued Windows RT operating system.)

Read & Write Email

Android:  Yes   iPad: Yes   Windows Tablet: Yes


Surf the Internet

Android: Yes   iPad: Yes  Windows Tablet: Yes

Use Sites That Require Flashplayer

Android: No  iPad: No Windows Tablet: Yes

Play Games

Android: Yes  (With apps downloaded from the Google Play Store)

iPad: Yes (With apps downloaded from Apple App Store)

Windows Tablet: Yes (With apps from Windows store. If tablet model has enough computing power you can also download PC games. Windows 10 tablets will allow you to stream games from an Xbox one.)

Use Office Programs

Android: Yes  (several office suites available including Microsoft Office Apps)

iPad: Yes (multiple office suites available as well as Microsoft Office Apps)

Windows Tablet (multiple office suites available and Microsoft Office Apps. Users can also run the full desktop version of Office.)



All three tablets will allow you to print from selected apps with compatible wireless printer

Listen to Music

Android:  You can stream from services like Pandora, Spotify, and Amazon as well keep digital copies of music on your tablet.

iPad:  Designed to work especially well with iTunes, you can also stream using apps for services like Pandora and Spotify.

Windows Tablet: Works with streaming services and Groove Music.

Stream Movies

All three operating system will allow you to watch services like Netflix or Hulu, as well as view videos on websites. (If the videos require Flashplayer, only a Windows tablet will work)


All three tablets will allow you to download apps for reading eBooks including Kindle and Nook books.

Use Facebook and other Social Media

All three tablets will allow you to use a Facebook app.

Make Video Calls

All three tablets allow you to use Skype and other services for video calls and programs like Messenger for video or audio chats in addition to text chatting.  Almost every tablet has a built-in front-facing camera.

Use A Keyboard

Nearly any tablet will allow you to connect with a keyboard. (usually via Bluetooth)  There are keyboard cases available for carrying convenience. Make sure you get the compatible keyboard for your tablet. If it’s a case, make sure it’s the right size.

Use A Mouse

Only Windows tablets are compatible with using a mouse and it’s a fairly simple process to pair a Bluetooth mouse.

Use Desktop Versions Of Programs

Only Windows tablets can run full desktop versions of programs.

Access Cloud Storage

All three tablets will allow you access cloud storage.

I hope this information helps.

~ Cynthia