Tablets are among the hottest tech gadgets on the market today and with loads of multimedia functionality and on-the-go portability, many of us are looking to tablets to complement our laptop or desktop PCs.

Purchasing a tablet computer can be a confusing process, however, given how many have flooded the market this year. In addition to the iPad, new powerful tablets have launched including the Motorola XOOM, BlackBerry Playbook, Samsung Galaxy Tab, Dell Streak, Acer Iconia A500 and HP TouchPad. With such a large selection of tablets out there, how do you know which one is right for your specific needs and wants? To help you find the right tablet to fit your needs, Staples has developed a few categories to help customers hone in on the right tablet for their lifestyle.

Before purchasing a tablet, it’s important to answer the following question, “I want my tablet to … .”

Keep me connected… to friends, family members and work buddies as well as my favorite go-to news, celebrity gossip and social networking sites while I am on the go. You should zero in on a tablet with a small size for greater portability and multi-tasking computing power so you can stay connected to multiple applications at once.

Entertain… and house my favorite movies, games and music. Look for a tablet that supports HD video, greater computing power and a substantial internal storage and/or USB-supported external storage. This will ensure your entertainment looks great and you never have to worry about running out of storage for your favorite movies, music or games.

Help manage… my 9-to-5 or (9-to-whenever) workload like reading and reviewing documents, spreadsheets and presentations and email. You will want a tablet with the computing power, user interface and productivity apps that facilitate the completion of your work on the go. Additionally, verify the tablet’s battery life is sufficient to ensure you can power through your to do-list without worrying about running out of power before you run out of action items. : :

If you’re still not sure what you want from your tablet, Staples has thousands of certified EasyTech associates in more than 1,500 U.S. stores and online tools such as to help you research, compare and choose the right tablet.

Additionally, you might try getting advice from experts at a local Apple Store, Best Buy or any other office or computer retail outlet.