Tablets and Notebooks: Picking the 10 Best for Mobile Users

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2012-05-29
 
 
 

Apple's New iPad

This is an obvious one, isn't it? Apple's new iPad, which launched earlier this year, comes with a 9.7-inch screen, 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) support and iOS 5. Most reviewers agree that it offers a higher level of quality than the vast majority of products on store shelves. If that's not enough to help you make a choice, what is?

Apple's New iPad

Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook

The Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook is one of the more surprising successes in the mobile space. After all, Ultrabooks have yet to fully take off, and there has been some concern about their high price tags. However, the XPS 13 has proven to be highly popular, thanks to its thin, lightweight frame and stylish looks.

Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is arguably the best answer yet to Apple's iPad. The device comes with a 10.1-inch screen and runs Android. It doesn't tally the kind of sales Apple's iPad does, but for those who don't want iOS or would like to try another tablet, it's hard to find one better than Samsung's option.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

Apple MacBook Air

The Apple MacBook Air unofficially provided the inspiration for today's Ultrabooks. The device, which comes in the customer's choice of 11- or 13-inch models, is super-thin, super-lightweight and extremely good-looking. It's the kind of product that justifies its price tag over the long term.

Apple MacBook Air

Amazon Kindle Fire

When the Amazon Kindle Fire launched late last year, many folks weren't sure if it would hold up. After all, its 7-inch screen and only 8GB of storage made it look rather obsolete compared with the iPad. But before long, it became clear that the Kindle Fire had some appeal to customers. Part of that appeal was its cheap $199 price tag, and another was its high profile on Amazon.com. All the pieces have fallen into place to make the Kindle Fire a winner.

Amazon Kindle Fire

HP Folio 13

The HP Folio 13 is another one of those Ultrabooks that came along and surprised even the most ardent supporters of the form factor. The device has a 13-inch screen and has a nicely thin design that most folks will like. It's arguably not as nice as the Dell XPS 13, but it's awfully close.

HP Folio 13

Asus Eee Pad Transformer

The Asus Eee Pad Transformer tablet has put the company back on the mobile computing map. Years ago, Asus was focusing most of its efforts on netbooks-a move that was profitable before the advent of tablets but became a marketing nightmare afterward. However, with its Transformer, the company has been able to show customers why having a tablet doesn't preclude them from having the notebook functionality they might desire. It's a smart move on Asus' part.

Asus Eee Pad Transformer

Apple MacBook Pro

Apple's MacBook Pro might be one of the more expensive options in this roundup, but that doesn't mean it doesn't deliver high-quality mobile computing. In fact, the MacBook Pro is arguably one of the top notebooks on the market today. Despite its high price tag, the MacBook Pro is a worthwhile option.

Apple MacBook Pro

Sony Tablet S

There's something to be said for the Sony Tablet S. Although it didn't get the kind of promotion the iPad did, or the high-profile placement on Amazon the way the Kindle Fire did, the device has been able to stand out because of its nice design. What's more, its responsive Android installation is an awfully nice addition. The Tablet S is simply one of the nicest products in this roundup.

Sony Tablet S

Acer Aspire S3

It's hard to find fault with the Acer Aspire S3. The Ultrabook comes with a 13.3-inch LED display and is razor thin. Plus, with help from its second-generation Intel Core i5 processor, it's actually one of the more powerful Ultrabooks in this roundup. It seems like a fine choice for those who want to be mobile and don't want to be weighed down by a laptop.

Acer Aspire S3

Rocket Fuel