Summer is here and travel time is easier with a tablet – let’s face it, it just is!

According to a recent report from the Pew Research Center, tablet adoption is on a blistering pace, with parents leading the way. For the first time, a third (34%) of American adults ages 18 and older own a tablet computer, almost twice as many as the 18% who owned a tablet a year ago and more than 10 times the number of adults (3%) who owned a tablet in 2010.

So for parents who are thinking about getting a tablet, here are some tips from AT&T to keep in mind:

1.      Determine which platform is best for you:  iOS, Android, Windows 8 or Windows RT.

2.      What size screen do you need?  If you want a lightweight device that can fit in a purse or bag and allows you to read and watch video on the go, you’ll want to consider a 7-to-8 inch tablet such as the iPad mini  Lenovo Idea Tab A2107, or Amazon Kindle Fire HD.  Weighing less than a pound, 7 inch tablets are easy to hold with just one hand. For those who prefer a larger screen, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, Samsung ATIV smart PC, ASUS VivoTab RT , or iPad are good options.

3.      Where will you get your content?  Tablets are great for media consumption, whether it’s watching videos, playing games, or reading ebooks, so you’ll want to consider the media stores (i.e., iTunes, Google Play) available with the different platforms.

4.      How much do you want to spend?   Depending on size, function and memory, tablets can range in price from as low as $199 up to several hundred dollars. The more local storage you need for music or video files, the more you will pay. So shop around for good deals. AT&T for example, is currently offering $100 off tablets and the Lenovo Idea Tab A2107 for free online when you sign a two-year contract.

5.      4G or Wi-Fi only?  If you’ll frequently be using your tablet outside an area with Wi-FI, then you’re going to want to purchase a tablet with 4G mobile broadband-enabled tablet. Before making your purchase, check with your carrier’s mobile broadband coverage, Wi-FI footprint and data plan options. For example, AT&T has the nation’s fastest 4G network and operates the nation’s largest Wi-F network covering more than 32,000 AT& Wi-Fi Hot Spots at popular restaurants, hotels, bookstores and retailers. Plus, AT&T wireless customers get access to our entire national Wi-Fi network at no additional cost, and Wi-Fi usage doesn’t count against customers’ monthly wireless data plans.

The experience you’ll have with your tablet will depend on all the factors outlined above. So bottom line: Do your homework before you buy.