Originally Posted by Rizla
I must admit to having totally side-stepped the tablet revolution. As such, I would like some information about their specs and features in general.
1) CPU. What CPU's are slow, mid-range and fast?
2) Memory. How much is enough these days?
3) Storage. How much is enough? Is it important to get expansion card slot and is that standard these days?
1) Can't speak for brands, but you will want 1GHz single-core at a minimum these days. It's not great, but you can run most things with it. Spending a bit extra and grabbing something with a dual-core CPU is a very good idea. Despite the Google Nexus 7 having a quad-core CPU, a 1GHz dual-core is more than good enough, regardless of brand.
2) 512MB is still common, but you will find that Web browsing will be a bit on the slow side (a lot more loading while you scroll pages) and you might have some problems running more recently-released apps if your tablet comes with apps pre-installed that you can't remove. Fortunately, 1GB is starting to be the norm and should be what you go for as it makes a good difference.
3) You will want 8GB of storage at a minimum
, preferably with a microSD card slot (fortunately, most tablets other than the Kindle Fires, the Google Nexus 7, and the upcoming Kobo Arc, have a slot), though if you can handle living without a slot (I can't - having to reinstall everything through the 'Net after a factory reset isn't fun when you have only a 5mbit connection or a data cap) and having to shuffle around your data, 8GB is fine.
Avoid 4GB at all costs!
Even with a microSD slot, it will *NOT* be enough if you plan to use it as more than just an ereader you can browse the Web on (from what I've seen, the standard split on the internam storage for 4GB devices running Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) is 1.4GB for Android itself, 200-250MB for pre-loaded apps that you generally can't install, 250-300MB for your own apps, and 2.1GB for non-app data (movies, music, etc.).
EDIT: Been recently informed that the app/data split is a holdover from the Bad Old Days and that decent modern tablets don't do that anymore. Also, even on the ones that still split it, it turns out many apps will let themselves be moved out of the dedicated storage to the general storage via an option on their apps management page. Still would avoid 4GB at all costs, however, due to such tablets generally having many other problems.