This is a very common question that comes up, and one that isn’t too difficult to answer. You will find better deals online typically, but it depends on what you want to buy, and what you already know or have.
If you are looking for an Android or Windows tablet, my suggestion is that you should only buy online if you know what you are purchasing. For instance don’t buy a tablet online just because you see a great deal on something because there is the off chance that it won’t be what you expect it to be.
If you know the ins and outs of Android from Gingerbread to KitKat, you should be in the clear as far as that goes. Android tablets tend to have a very large variance in features and general user experience. A perfect example here is the Nexus 10 tablet in comparison to the Galaxy Note 10.1. If you picked both up you’d have to look in different places for where each function is or where a particular setting is placed on a menu.
Microsoft has made things a little bit easier by not having nearly as many manufacturers involved and trying to consolidate everything into Windows 8.1 across their line. I’d still say to be cautious of buying sight unseen though. There is more than a price difference between the Dell Venue 8 Pro and Samsung’s ATIV Tab 3, you’ll see that one comes with a keyboard attachment and a larger screen. The specifications on both seem to be equal but, without actually holding each device you can’t know which is better for your needs.
There is something I leave out though. If you are looking for an iPad you have a very limited number of options. If you know what size you want, how much memory you think you’ll need, and whether you want or need a cellular antenna in the device, feel free to log into Apple’s store and grab one up. If you’ve done anything on any “iDevice” you’ll have no trouble getting set up and starting to be concerned with which app to get next in less than an hour.
Concisely, if you know what you want and you’ve either held or used it before, buying online is a no-brainer because you can find a ton of great deals shopping around in minutes. If you don’t know what each one feels like or what to expect from each variant, take a trip to the local electronics retailer and browse their stock to come to your decision.