Currently the most popular tablet is the iPad. The Apple device has the best combination of technology, user experience and content on the market. In most cases giving away the Apple tablet will be the ideal choice.
Still, there are other options and many people might prefer a tablet with Android or Windows (especially those who hate Apple products) or we might hesitate between an iPad 4, an iPad Mini or even an iPod touch or an iPhone 5. Let’s analyse the most interesting options on the market
The iPad is the first tablet to achieve great success in the market and if you are thinking of buying a first tablet or one to make a gift this can be a great option.
Pros: high density and large screen (9.7 inches). Front camera 720p, rear camera 1080p. Options of 16, 32 and 64GB. Available in black or white. Plays video and audio, and is capable of running eBooks. Works with iOS and all App Store applications are compatible with the device (both iPad-specific and iPhone-specific). It weighs 652 grams. Its price starts at 499 euros and it is available in WiFi or WiFI+LTE version.
Cons: Heavier than other options like the iPad mini. Not as powerful as a regular laptop.
Conclusion: if you’re looking for something more accessible, enjoyable and portable than a laptop, but still want a big screen and plenty of power to perform different tasks, buy an iPad 4.
Note: If you’re not worried about getting the latest fad, iPad 2 is still on sale for $100 less.
The iPad mini is the same as the full-size iPad, only a little smaller and much lighter. It’s a great alternative for people who think the iPad would be perfect, but it’s too big for them.
Pros: 1080p rear camera, 720p front camera. Options of 16, 32 and 64GB. Available in black or white. Plays audio, video and eBooks. Runs iOS and is compatible with all applications available on the AppStore. It weighs 308 grams and is an ideal size to carry around with you at all times. It’s available in WiFi or WiFi+LTE versions and its starting price is £329.
Cons: No high-density display (Retina) and less powerful than iPad 4.
Bottom line: if you’re looking for a tablet, but already have an ultra-light laptop (like MacBook Air) or the full-size iPad is too big and heavy, the iPad mini could be a great option.
The iPod touch is not really considered a tablet, but it really is capable of doing the same functions as one and it fits in a pocket.
Pros: 720p front camera and 1080p rear camera. Available in 32 and 64GB versions. Available in: black, white, pink, blue and red. Runs iOs and is compatible with the thousands of applications available for iPhone. Capable of playing audio, video and e-books.
Cons: there is no LTE or 3G version. Does not run applications designed for iPad. The screen is smaller than the iPad range (4 inches).
Bottom line: If the iPad mini is too big to fit in a pocket, the iPod touch can be a tremendously mobile option.
If you’re looking for a tremendously cheap tablet, the 7-inch BlackBerry Playbook might be an option to consider.
Pros: 720p front camera, 1080p back camera. The WiFi version can be found for about $150. It will be upgradable to BlackBerry 10 in 2013, the new version of RIM’s operating system.
Cons: no high resolution screen, very little software available.
Conclusion: if price is the only concern and you want a tablet, choose this option.
Google Nexus 7
If the iPad mini is too big and the iPod touch is too small and you prefer an Android product to an iOS, the Nexus 7 is the best possible choice in the small tablet market.
Pros: higher density than Apple’s iPad mini. Excellent integration with all Google services. Starting price is $199 for 16GB. Mobile connectivity option available.
Cons: no back camera. It looks more like a large iPod touch than a small tablet, due to the lack of applications optimized for its screen size. No LTE.
Conclusion: if you use a lot of Google services the Nexus 7 is the best small tablet on the market.
Kindle Fire HD 7
The kIndle Fire HD 7 is more of a media device than a tablet. If you’re in the US and in the Amazon ecosystem, the Kindle Fire HD 7 is a low-cost alternative to the iPad.
Pros: excellent for consuming content. LTE option available. Price starts at $199.
Cons: The screen density is lower than the iPad 4. It is not a good product for generic use and is only available in a few countries.
Conclusion: if you’re looking for a small, inexpensive device to read, listen, watch, and play Amazon content, the Kindle Fire HD 7 is ideal.
Kindle Fire HD 8.9
It’s the same as the Kindle Fire HD 7 only with a larger screen, though not as big as the full-size iPad.
Pros: 8.9 inches of high density Option with mobile connectivity available. Price starts at $299.
Cons: it is not a good product for generic use and is only available in a few countries.
Conclusion: if you want to read, listen, watch and play content from Amazon, but do it from a larger screen the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 inch is a great option.
Google Nexus 10
The Nexus 10 is slightly larger than the iPad, although it has the same problem as the 7-inch model: there’s not much software optimized for its screen size.
Pros: higher pixel density than iPad 4. 720p front camera, 1080p back camera. Option of 16, 32 and 64GB. No LTE option. Price starts at $399.
Cons: lack of tablet applications, inconsistent interface.
Conclusion: if you are really looking for an Android tablet and a big screen your choice should be this Nexus 10.
Microsoft Surface RT
Microsoft’s choice is a bit disconcerting, as we don’t know if we are dealing with a tablet or a netbook. Anyway, it might be worth taking a look at the Microsoft Surface RT.
Pors: it has the elegant metro interface. It has a lot of ports. It is capable of running Office and is available in 32 and 64GB versions.
Cons: The Windows interface is not very comfortable for a touch screen. The product line is too complex.
Conclusion: Surface is a new product and Microsoft usually does not nail a product until the second or third generation. Still, if you’re looking for something part tablet, part netbook, you can choose the Microsoft option.
Which tablet will you choose
These are the most interesting options that we can currently find in the market. Of course there are others, but the best known and least likely to be wrong are in this short summary of tablet options. Which one do you take?