You’re looking to buy a new tablet but are confused by all the options out there? If you’re looking for the best tablets of 2013, then you’ve come to the right place. Here we will guide you through the hottest tablets from 7 inches and up, to help you reach a decision on buying the right device for you.
Our list of top tablets covers all operating systems, sizes and price points, so you’ll be armed with everything you need when choosing to buy. Run this question through your head: “Which tablet is best for me?” Think about size first and foremost, what you’ll be using the device for and, therefore, how powerful it will need to be. Is build quality your most important factor, or can you settle for a plasticky finish at a more attractive price point? Each question will impact which tablet best suits your needs.
The tablets market is vast and not all of it is brand, brand new. Refreshes are always on the horizon, but many tablets from 2012 remain strong in today’s market. We’ll be regularly updating this feature with the latest and greatest tablets that we review – not just the current top 10 that we have listed – but only those we’ve reviewed and have passed our tests. That way you can see where your money is best spent.
Let us know what you think is the best tablet in the comments below – you may have personal preference or advice for others and we’d love to hear it.
Apple IPad Air
The iPad Air is sort of the iPad 5. And this latest tablet walks all over the iPad 4 – it’s lighter and thinner, but retains the same 9.7-inch screen panel. It’s also faster than before, to the point it’s future-proof for the time being and won’t feel out of date in six months.
For die-hard Apple fans we can see how you would be disappointed in terms of wow factor, as there is no standout feature here – the Air feels like an iPad mini Retina upscaled. And it lacks the Slow-Mo movie and Touch ID fingerprint scanner of the iPhone 5S.
That’s not to say the iPad Air is lacking. It’s not. It is seamless experience that just works. If anything the Air is a problem for Apple – and this is a good thing for us all – because by creating something so desirable, fast and functional, we suspect you won’t need or want to upgrade for a long, long time. Even iPad 4 owners will likely want one, especially if you’re fed up of resting the weightier, larger slab on your leg all the time.
Apple has created a tablet experience that surpasses all others. It’s the best tablet on the market in terms of performance, apps, and desirability. What more can we say than that?
PRICE: from £399
QUICK VERDICT: The iPad Air is stunning. Apple has created an experience that will be hard for the competition to match. That in itself makes it the best tablet on the market in terms of performance, apps, and desirability, until the iPad mini with Retina display comes along, and then the fight over which iPad to get really starts.
Samsung Note 10.1 tablet
There’s something about the Samsung Note 10.1 that “just works”. It comes complete with a Pen which is a brilliantly useful addition.
If you have any artistic talent, then there’s a very real chance you’ll be able to make the Note 10.1 work for you as a creative tool. The big screen means you can use it for all manner of illustrations and layouts and it’s an ideal companion for throwing together notes in a meeting.
However its 1280 x 800 resolution 10.1-inch screen is more limited than, say, the Google Nexus 10.1 – which is around the same price. If you’re into watching movies then the Google device is likely the preferable choice.
But if you want a tablet with a stylus Pen then there’s a whole lot of good in the Galaxy 10.1 If only it had a higher-resolution screen, we’d demand everyone rushed straight out to buy one.
QUICK VERDICT: We’re not pretending that Samsung has quite the same build quality as the Apple iPad, and we know people are beholden to the iTunes ecosystem, but the Note has so much going for it, particularly the inclusion of a stylus Pen. That makes it an individual product in a crowded market.
Sony Xperia Tablet Z
Previous Sony Android tablets were late to arrive to the party and blighted by quirky design that just didn’t quite deliver.
Then Sony flipped that on its head with the Xperia Tablet Z. It’s a stylish, lightweight Android tablet that is also waterproof so you can take it in the bath. How about that?
The 10.1-inch display isn’t quite the best out there, though, as it’s bettered by the Samsung-built Nexus 10 (below), which offers a more natural colour palette as well as a higher resolution for sharper details, but at 1920 x 1200 the Xperia is still very good.
The thing that the Xperia Z tablet does deliver is build quality. It’s more luxury than the likes of Google’s slightly more affordable tablets, so if Android is a must have then Sony has a true competitor for the Apple iPad 4 here.
QUICK VERDICT: Excellent design and specification at an impressive price, the Sony Xperia Tablet Z is a great Android tablet with plenty on offer. It’s got a more luxury design than the Google Nexus 10, but then it comes in at a price point that’s on par with the Apple iPad 4. If you’re not an Apple fan and must have Android, however, then this well built and waterproof tablet has a whole lot going for it.
Google Nexus 7
The Nexus device range from Google has always been the benchmark for an Android device. The clean state in which to deliver an experience that is pure, that Google owns, before the likes of Samsung, Sony or LG get their hands on it.
The original Nexus 7 was hot stuff: a 7-inch tablet experience that just worked. Enter the 2013 Nexus 7 update and we’ve got a rip-roaringly good tablet that continues to deliver the goods anew, complete with a 1920 x 1200 resolution screen that – at this price point – knocks many other tablets out of contention.
If you’re new to tablet land and want an affordable, portable offering that’s got access to the wide range of Google’s apps then the Nexus 7 II is probably the best balance of features to price. Indeed it’s one of the best Android tablets out there.
It’s not as luxury in build as the iPad mini, but if that doesn’t bother you then save yourself more than £100 and invest – Google’s got a winner on its hands here.
QUICK VERDICT: It is just an incremental update to the original Nexus 7 – so existing users may want to stick with what they’ve got – but for those who don’t have the original, and are keen to get a small and brilliant tablet, then this is the Android device for you.
Apple iPad Mini with Retina
The iPad mini with Retina display bests the efforts of the original iPad mini in virtually every department – and where it doesn’t offer an outright improvement it sticks with what worked before.
What you get with the iPad mini Retina is one of the best tablets on the market, although it can’t quite top the iPad Air. The Retina panel is the same quality as the iPad Air, though, just at a smaller scale given the 7.9-inch screen. That 2048 x 1536 resolution delivers a 326ppi density which is pin sharp.
Just like before, Apple has succeeded in making a tablet just as a tablet should be. Thin, light, easy to use, and with an abundance of available apps for all walks of life – whether it’s watching Netflix or Sky Go from the bath, drawing a picture using apps like Paper or Photoshop, or playing games like Real Racing 3.
We do love the iPad mini Retina. You won’t be disappointed.
PRICE: from £319
QUICK VERDICT: It might be mini by nature, but it is mighty in the things it can offer and that huge resolution and internal power makes it among the best tablets out there. We love it.
Culled from Pocket-link.com