iPad Mini, Surface, Nexus 10 Among 2012's Best Tablets
Tablets, in a variety of forms, are at the top of many wish lists this holiday season, and 2012 has certainly delivered an eye-popping array of portable devices. Apple's market-leading iPad got a surprising upgrade, and you'd have to be living under a rock not to have heard about the iPad Mini. But as with any type of gadget, there are some tablets that are better than others when it comes to fit, finish and, of course, performance. In the interest of inclusiveness, eWEEK has decided to take a look at tablets of all sizes and pick out what we think are some of the best devices you can get for someone you love (or yourself, come to think of it) this holiday. Apart from the blockbuster devices from heavy hitters like Apple, Google and Amazon, we've also taken a look at some of the other players you might not have seen the first time around, as well as an interesting hybrid of smartphone and tablet, lamentably labeled a "phablet"—we know, that's an awful name, but they do fill a (small) gap in the market. There seems to be no end to the number of tablets coming to market, a trend likely to continue so long as consumer habits shift from notebooks and netbooks to smaller, lighter, more versatile mobile devices. Research firm IDC recently increased its 2012 forecast for the worldwide tablet market to 122.3 million units, up from its previous forecast of 117.1 million. So have a look and take your pick from the best tablet devices available.