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The Top Tablets

By on October 23, 2012
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It’s hard to imagine but just a 2.5 years ago, tablets were being introduced. Now more than 30 million units sold in the U.S. alone, they are simply a gotta have item. Tablets do have an advantage over both laptops and phones, offering a portable way to check email, browse the Web, video chat, watch movies, listen to music, and play games, but again, you probably don’t need one, but if you want a tablet, read about several top sellers.

Global giant Apple announced the arrival today of the iPad Mini. It’s a smaller, slicker version of its older brother. The new iPad measures just 7.9-inches and hits retailers November 2nd for the holiday rush. That’s right, the mini has a moderate price adjustment, so its unclear if this new device will see sales volume as its predecessors.

But let’s face it, the iPad mini has everything that makes an iPad a-must-have device. At just 7.2 millimeters, it’s pencil thin and unbelievably light. You can easily hold it in the palm of your hand. And it tucks away nicely in your smallest bag without a second thought, so it’s always close at hand. The folks at Apple are diabolical that way.

Everything you love about iPad — the crisp, beautiful screen, fast and fluid performance, FaceTime and iSight cameras, thousands of amazing apps, 10-hour battery life — is everything you’ll like about iPad mini, too. And you can hold it in one hand for $329.

But the iPad Mini now joins its peers like the Kindle Fire HD, Nook HD, and Nexus 7 and in this winning space, how do you know which is for you?

Let’s compare the $199 Nexus 7 tablet with its 7-inch screen and much lighter price point. The Android 4.1’s features a comfortable design but lacks built-in expandable storage options. Also there’s no back camera. But overall its a powerful and cheap tablet.

If you are a friend of Amazon, you might lean toward the Amazon Kindle Fire HD ($199 for 16GB and $249 for 32GB retail). It has a pretty good body width of any recently released 7-inch tablet, including the Nexus 7. In my opinion, all things equal, the Fire HD just isn’t as comfortable to hold in one hand as Google’s tablet. It’s also slightly heavier than the Nexus 7. But again we’re talking ounces. So weigh what’s key for you.

And then there’s Microsoft Surface. Surface has a reputation for being one of the best productivity tablets on the market. As the only Microsoft-branded Windows RT hardware to launch with the new operating system (Windows 8). Surface wins points in design, sensible implementation of its keyboard accessory, and by the interface formerly known as “Metro”– chief among them: the gesture-driven menu system, powerful search tool, and split-screen feature.

Whatever tablet you choose, be sure to consider your needs as well as the design and price point. And if you absolutely can wait until the next generation, be patient and see what the crop looks like in 2013.

 

 

 

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