Best Overall Tablets
What can we say about the high-end iPad with Retina that hasn’t been said already? This tablet, in terms of build quality, app ecosystem, and third-party accessory support, is the best tablet out there. The Retina display is outstanding to look at. The 10-hour battery life is still near the top of the class. And the iPad still boasts a greater number of tablet-specific apps than all of its rivals.
Pricing starts at $499. Buy an iPad with Retina.
Some people like smaller tablets. Apple finally gave in to this fact with the release of the iPad mini last month. The tagline is “Every Inch an iPad,” and Apple has gone to great lengths to ensure that, while the iPad mini is smaller and less expensive than the iPad with Retina, the experience isn’t hindered in any way. The iPad mini can run every app built for the larger iPad, and while it doesn’t have a Retina display, its light weight and more portable form factor make up for it.
Pricing starts at $329. Buy an iPad mini.
Best Value Tablets
Google’s Nexus 7 tablet is the first Android tablet that the world really took seriously. Packed into a $199 price tag are specs that you’d expect to pay a lot more for, and of course, easy integration with all of Google’s popular services. If you are a heavy user of Google Web apps, or if you prefer to tinker with your tablet a bit more than is possible on an iPad, the Nexus 7 is for you.
Pricing starts at $199. Buy a Nexus 7.
Best Tablet for Reading Books
Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite is really the best possible reading experience you will find on a tablet. The Kindle Paperwhite’s screen has great contrast that provides crisp, dark text against a brilliant white background that makes for the perfect read. And with access to Amazon’s massive book collection, you will never miss out on anything. The Kindle Paperwhite can also store over 1,000 books at any given time, so you can always have your favorites with you.
Pricing starts at $119. Buy a Kindle Paperwhite.
Other Good Tablet Candidates
Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD line of products is very good, especially the 8.9″ model. This tablet has a great display, comparable to that of the iPad’s retina display and also sports the best set of speakers (powered by Dolby technology) on any tablet currently in the marketplace. Movies and music sound great on this tablet. And if you have Amazon Prime, you can easily access Prime customer features such as Amazon Instant Video with your Kindle Fire HD.
Pricing starts at $299. Buy a Kindle Fire HD 8.9″.
This recently-released tablet is for Android tablet fans who aren’t a fan of the Nexus 7′s smaller size. The Nexus 10 is a bit less of a powerhouse internally than the Nexus 7, but wow, the screen. The display on the 10 actually outdoes Apple’s iPad with Retina, and that display is beautiful in its own right. At $399, the Nexus 10 also comes in $100 cheaper than Apple’s product. Of course, it all comes down to preference. iOS or Android? If it’s the latter, you can’t go wrong with the Nexus 10.
Pricing starts at $399. Buy a Nexus 10.