2Apple’s iPad Is Still the Best of the Bunch
Apple’s iPad Air, the thin, lightweight update to the company’s flagship tablet, comes with a 9.7-inch screen and the A7 processor that’s in the iPhone 5S. The device’s main point of appeal, however, might just be its footprint: The device weighs just 1 pound and is 7.5 millimeters thick, making it 20 percent thinner than its predecessor. Apple says that its iPad Air is the most advanced tablet it has ever released. We’re inclined to agree.
3Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 Sports Innovative Interface
The Notes come with an updated S Pen and software that makes the pen more useful; the ability to interact with multiple applications at once; and enterprise-grade security via Samsung’s Knox. The new tablet features four times the pixel density of the original Note 10.1, a 1.9GHz Octa Core processor, three connectivity options and 3GB of RAM.
4Microsoft Surface Pro 2 Attracts Attention
5Sony Xperia Tablet Z Improves Greatly
The Tablet Z runs Android 4.2, has a 1.5GHz Qualcomm quad-core processor, and includes Bluetooth and near-field communications (NFC) connectivity technology. It also has an 8.1-megapixel rear-facing camera—with an Exmor R sensor that Sony says takes “exceptional photographs” even by candlelight—and a 2.2-megapixel camera up front. Like its companion Xperia Z smartphone, it’s a looker.
6Google Nexus 7 Is a Bargain Buy
This summer, Google unveiled its latest-generation Nexus 7. The device is a follow-up to a previously offered tablet by the same name and comes with about the same hardware design as that device. However, Google boosted the speed and mobility of this tablet model, thanks to a new, streamlined footprint and a higher-end Snapdragron processor. With a starting price of $229, the Nexus 7 is well-positioned in the marketplace to become a winner for consumers and Google faithful, alike.
7Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 Is Killer for Media Consumption
Amazon sells both a Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Fire HDX. While the HDX is a higher-powered model, it gets its name from its display. The 8.9-inch screen has a resolution of 2,560 by 1,600 pixels and features 339 pixels per inch. The 7-inch model has 323 pixels per inch. The operating system has been improved to load applications more quickly and fully integrate cloud services. There’s even an archiving feature that sends unneeded files to the cloud.
8Barnes & Noble Nook HD+ Is a Steal
Priced at just $149, this is ideal for the book lover who just wants a bare-bones machine for casual use. Through the development of a design that integrates the display into the device itself, Barnes & Noble eliminated several components to keep the Nook HD weighing in at only 11.1 ounces (315 grams) and just 5 inches wide. The company claims it is more than 20 percent lighter and nearly a half-inch narrower than rival Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD.
9iPad Mini With Retina Is Pricey, but Many Say Worth It
Apple packed a uniformly lit, 2,048-by-1,536-resolution display into 7.9 inches. At 326 pixels per inch, it delivers a level of visual fidelity beyond that of the full-sized 9.7-inch iPad Air at the same resolution. In practical terms, expect responsive app performance, buttery-smooth video and fewer progress indicators with the new 64-bit processor.
10Panasonic Toughpad 4K Can Take a Licking
When you need the ultimate clarity for detailed images and video, look no further than the Toughpad 4K Tablet. It offers an impressive screen—four times the resolution of a 1080p display. And with Windows 8.1 Pro, it can harness the processing power of a desktop. Add to that an impressive level of precision with an optical natural handwriting pen option that offers 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity and accuracy to the pixel level.
11Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 Is a Flexible Machine
The Lenovo Yoga is a new form factor for the tablet market—a thin display attached to a cylinder, for a silhouette like a spiral notebook. More than storage for the battery, the cylinder offers an obvious way to hold the device. But it also has a kickstand that twists out, enabling the tablet to stand on its own and, when flipped over, tilt forward on a table, for easy viewing.