Apple's Fourth-Generation iPad

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Apple's Fourth-Generation iPad

The fourth-generation iPad is arguably the most appealing tablet on the market. The device comes with a quad-core processor, the 9.7-inch Retina display, and access to the Web via WiFi and Long Term Evolution (LTE). And as the most popular tablet in the world, it's a device just about everyone wants.

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Apple iPad Mini

Some folks might want to get their hands on the iPad Mini this year. That device, which only launched Nov. 2, comes with a 7.9-inch screen and Apple's signature iOS platform. Unlike the vast majority of small tablets, the iPad Mini comes with LTE support, allowing customers to connect to the Web wherever they go.

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Microsoft Surface RT

Microsoft's Surface RT launched Oct. 26. And although Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has said that sales so far are "modest," the device is worth considering for the Microsoft lover in your life. The device runs Windows RT, a modified Windows 8 designed for ARM-based processors. In addition, it comes with a 10-inch screen and a cover that also works as a stand and virtual keyboard. Not bad.

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Amazon Kindle Fire HD

Amazon's Kindle Fire HD is the company's best answer yet to Apple's tablet onslaught. Amazon's tablet comes in the customer's choice of a 7- or 8.9-inch screen, and features HD visuals (thus the name). And if folks like Android, but don't want the traditional feel they'll find in a device like the Nexus 7, Amazon's heavily modified Android version might be just what they want.

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Samsung Galaxy S III

Have an Apple-hater in your life who needs a new smartphone? There is perhaps no better option than the Samsung Galaxy S III. That device comes with a massive 4.8-inch screen and a quad-core processor. The Galaxy S III is widely considered the top Android-based smartphone on the market, and might just be the best handset available.

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Google Nexus 7

Google's Nexus 7 is designed to take on the iPad Mini. The device, which was built with help from Asus, comes with a 7-inch screen and Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean). It lacks LTE, but—at a starting price of $199—it's hard to beat on value.

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Google Nexus 10

The Nexus 10 comes with the same operating system as its smaller brother, the Nexus 7, but has a 10.1-inch screen. Although it doesn't support LTE service, its design is quite nice and, at $399, it's awfully cheap. Better yet, its display has more pixels per inch—306—than the iPad's 264 pixels. In other words, its picture quality is superior.

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Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga

Sometimes, a simple PC or a standalone tablet won't do the trick. In those cases, a convertible device might be in order. And that's where the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga comes in. The Windows 8-based computer comes with a full physical keyboard, but after swiveling the display, can turn into a tablet. It's a nice way to bridge the gap between laptops and tablets.

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Apple MacBook Pro With Retina Display

If you're in the mood to spend some serious cash on a notebook this year, the MacBook Pro with Retina display might just be the ticket. The device has a 15-inch screen and sports Apple's highly sought-after Retina display. At $2,199 to start, it's not cheap, but those who want the smaller, 13-inch model can get that for $1,699.

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Nintendo Wii U

The Nintendo Wii U launched Nov. 18. The device is being called the first "next-generation" gaming console, and comes with both high-definition graphics and a controller, called the GamePad, that allows users to both extend on-screen gameplay and play a title on the device, rather than the television. Look for the Wii U to be one of the hottest holiday gadgets this year.

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