Apple's iPad, the product that defined the modern tablet market, is an obvious choice for this list. It's been the most sought-after tablet on the market since its debut, and Apple's marketing and branding behind the device is stellar. Is the iPad still the best tablet available? That's up for debate. But if anything, it will remain a top-notch contender for that spot.
Apple iPad Mini
Apple's iPad Mini is something of a marvel in the tablet market. The device comes with a 7.9-inch display, which makes it much smaller than its alternative, but it's also capable of delivering the true iOS experience that many consumers and enterprise users like. Plus, it's more mobile than bigger devices. Translation: success.
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1
The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 has found a home both in the consumer and enterprise markets. The device features a huge 10.1-inch screen and a powerful processor, and with a stylus to boot, it's delivering something customers won't find elsewhere in the tablet space. That should only help the Galaxy Note 10.1 this year.
Microsoft Surface Pro
Microsoft's Surface Pro is one of those devices that gains a lot of attention but doesn't necessarily get the right kind of attention. Whenever it's brought up, a discussion follows about how Windows 8 is having trouble gaining traction. Nevertheless, the Surface Pro is a well-built, nice product that will catch on with Microsoft fans in 2013.
Asus Transformer Pad Infinity
The Asus Transformer Pad Infinity is another device that derives its success from something fresh and new. The device works with an add-on that plugs into a port on the bottom that allows users to use it either as a notebook or a tablet. That's very important to enterprise users, and something that has attracted quite a few customers.
Google Nexus 7
Google's Nexus 7 might just be the best 7-inch tablet on the market. The device runs Google's latest mobile operating system, Jelly Bean, and comes with a nice design. Plus, with a starting price of just $199, it's one of the most affordable devices in this roundup.
Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9
The Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9 has found a niche between the low-cost 7-inch devices on the market and the 9- and 10-inch flavors that cost customers more but come with enhanced features. And in that spot, it's been successful. The device is designed well and comes with solid Android software. Plus, its Appstore is just as solid as the Google Play marketplace. It should be successful this year.
Barnes & Noble Nook HD+
The Barnes & Noble Nook HD+ tablet might just deliver the best value of any device in this roundup. The device starts at $269 for a 16GB tablet that has full HD resolution of 1,920 by 1,280. And thanks to Barnes & Noble's library of e-books, it's also a great e-reader alternative to the Kindle. The Nook HD+ is not a bad option for customers.
Google Nexus 10
The Google Nexus 10 could prove to be the biggest challenger to the iPad in 2013. The device has a sound design and comes from a well-known and well-respected company in Google. The 10-inch screen is an important feature for many users. Plus, the device comes with the latest Android version, allaying fears for enterprise users who don't want to run the older, less-secure versions.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 2
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 comes in several flavors, which might make it tough to decide which model should get the average customer's vote. Despite that, the Galaxy Tab 2 is a high-end product with all kinds of value. Customers can choose between a 7-inch version or a 10.1-inch option, and they'll find both WiFi-only and 4G LTE versions available. In other words, they'll find a lot of value from the Galaxy Tab 2. And that's something that can't be overlooked.