10 Tablets That Defy the Worries About Weak Sales

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2015-05-07
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    10 Tablets That Defy the Worries About Weak Sales
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    10 Tablets That Defy the Worries About Weak Sales

    By Don Reisinger
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    Microsoft's Surface 3 Is a Solid Tablet Option for the Price
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    Microsoft's Surface 3 Is a Solid Tablet Option for the Price

    Microsoft's Surface 3 is one of the more notable new additions to the tablet market. The device, which starts at just $499, has a 10.8-inch display and runs on Windows 8.1. The Surface 3 also comes with a one-year subscription to Office 365 Personal and is running on the quad-core Intel Atom processor.
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    The iPad Air 2 Is Still a Major Contender
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    The iPad Air 2 Is Still a Major Contender

    Apple's iPad Air 2 might not be selling as well as some of its predecessors, but the device is still one of the top slates in the market. The iPad Air 2 comes with a 9.7-inch screen and is available in 16GB, 64GB or 128GB versions. There's a WiFi-only model that starts at $499, and the LTE-based offering goes for a starting price of $629. The iPad Air 2 also includes support for Apple's Touch ID fingerprint sensor for added security.
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    Don't Forget About the iPad Mini 3
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    Don't Forget About the iPad Mini 3

    Apple's iPad Mini 3 is another device that deserves attention in a roundup of tablets. The slate starts at $399 for the WiFi-only version and jumps to $529 for the cellular option to start. The iPad Mini 3 is similar to the iPad Air 2 in several respects, featuring the Touch ID sensor and the same storage sizes. However, the iPad Mini 3 has a 7.9-inch screen, making it notably smaller than its bigger brother.
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    Dell Venue 10 Built for Enterprise Buyers
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    Dell Venue 10 Built for Enterprise Buyers

    The Dell Venue 10 tablet is designed for corporate customers. The device has a 10.1-inch screen and runs the full version of Windows 8.1. It also has an Intel Atom processor, HD graphics and 64GB of storage. A separate keyboard is also available for corporate users who prefer not to use the touch screen. Best of all, the Venue 10 is affordable at $379. However, this tablet doesn't include support for cellular network access.
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    Sony's Xperia Z4 Takes a Different Tack With Waterproofing
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    Sony's Xperia Z4 Takes a Different Tack With Waterproofing

    The Android-based Sony Xperia Z4 is one of the more interesting devices in this roundup, since it's the only one that claims it's fully waterproof. In addition, it has a 10.1-inch screen and an 8.1-megapixel rear-facing camera, and it runs the latest version of Android—5.0 Lollipop. The tablet also has a large, 6,000mAh battery, providing video playback time of 17 hours.
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    HP 10 Is a Strong Android Model for Enterprise Users
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    HP 10 Is a Strong Android Model for Enterprise Users

    The Android-based HP 10 tablet is another model that corporate customers who are willing to work with Android should check out. The HP 10 runs on Android 4.4. and has 16GB of storage, plus the ability to extend that by 32GB with the included microSD slot. The tablet also includes a 1.0GHz quad-core processor and can deliver up to 6 hours of video playback. Plus, HP offers 25GB of free lifetime storage through a partnership with Box. The HP 10 starts at $249.
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    Lenovo Tab 2 A8 Is New on the Market
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    Lenovo Tab 2 A8 Is New on the Market

    The recently announced Lenovo Tab 2 A8 runs Android 5 and comes with an 8-inch HD screen and a 64-bit 1.3GHz quad-core processor. It boasts up to 8 hours of battery life on a single charge and supports WiFi, LTE and Bluetooth 4.0. It even allows users to add two microSIM cards into the device. The Lenovo Tab 2 A8 will launch in June for a starting price of $129 for WiFi-only versions. The LTE models will start at $179.
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    Google Nexus 9 Comes Straight From the Android Source
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    Google Nexus 9 Comes Straight From the Android Source

    Those looking for a pure Android 5.0 experience should look to the Nexus 9 for their tablet needs. The tablet has an 8.9-inch LCD display and an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera. The slate also comes with a 64-bit Nvidia Tegra K1 processor and the customer's choice of 16GB or 32GB models. The Nexus 9 is relatively affordable at a starting price of $399.
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    Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 Is the Old-Timer on the Market
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    Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 Is the Old-Timer on the Market

    The Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 is arguably the closest device in this roundup to the iPad Air 2, if a light and compact tablet is what you're looking for. The Fire HDX 8.9 has a 2.5GHz quad-core processor and an optional 4G LTE version. The slate, which costs $394, also includes support for Amazon's services, including its cloud-based storage, Kindle Unlimited and its child-safety app FreeTime. The Fire HDX 8.9 is running Amazon's special skin built on Android.
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    Samsung's Galaxy Tab S Goes Big
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    Samsung's Galaxy Tab S Goes Big

    The Samsung Galaxy Tab S has one of the largest screens in this roundup, coming in at 10.5 inches. The device has an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera and offers support for multiple windows in one. In addition, the Galaxy Tab S runs Samsung's own TouchWiz interface atop Android. Unlike Samsung's Galaxy Note, the Tab S doesn't come with support for the company's S Pen stylus. The Galaxy Tab S starts at $500.
 

Reports that tablets are dead have been grossly exaggerated. Sure, tablet shipments are down and there is growing concern that sales of products like the Apple iPad, which has buoyed the market for the past several years, are in fact weak and will not be able to hold up the space for the foreseeable future. That hasn't stopped tablet makers from releasing new models and supporting some of the old standbys in the slate market. Companies such as Hewlett-Packard, Acer and Microsoft, among others, are releasing new models with advanced features while Apple remains the market stalwart, despite the reports of slower sales. In other words, tablets aren't going anywhere despite any handwringing by industry analysts. What it does mean is there are a lot of good tablet models looking for buyers, and so buyers will find no shortage of good deals. This slide show looks at some of the latest tablets to reach the market as well as some of the long-established models that makers keep updating. Tablet buyers of all types—consumers, enterprise customers and students—will find at least one tablet in this list that is sure to fit their needs.

 
 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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