Friday, 29 November 2013

The Tech & Musing Christmas Guide: Tablets

The second in the Tech & Musing Christmas Guide takes a look at the tablets on the market. Despite another year of iPad dominance in the tablet sector, the three recommendations below offer plenty of variety in the operating system stakes. See what you think:

Low range: Nexus 7

One of my favourite products from 2012 makes another appearance in the 2013 list. Given its price, and ability, I still believe it is the best choice for the everyday user wanting a tablet for the basics. It's direct competitor - the iPad Mini - has a poorer resolution, less power and a poorer battery life - all for a significant chunk more money. It's no contest. I maintain that if you're in the market for an iPad - just splash out a little more on the iPad 2 (below).
      Anyway, back to the Nexus 7. 2GB RAM, an HD screen and 9 hours of video playback, for that price, it's a no-brainer of a purchase. If you're looking for something a little cheaper, a little smaller - but even if you've got the scope to spend higher, don't ignore the Nexus 7, by any means. Oh - did I mention wireless charging? Yeh, it has that as it's cherry on top. 

Mid range: iPad 2

It was always going to be on my list, but the iPad is still the king of tablets. Android simply isn't offering the alternative challenge to the iPad, and if you want anything larger than a 7" tablet, the iPad is the best route to go. Now, with the huge number of iPad's available (and with barely discernible names), which should you buy?
     The one on your lips might be Apple's attempted Christmas smash - the iPad Air - but despite an inspiring ad, it's a thoroughly uninspiring product. Your money would be best-placed by spending it on the iPad 2. It's still a top-quality device and you save a significant amount by picking up a slightly older version.

Top range: Surface Pro 2

Perhaps a surprise addition on this list, the Surface Pro 2 is my 'money is no object' recommendation for a tablet this Christmas. At an eye-watering price of £800, it certainly won't be the tablet of choice for many, but it's the only competitive tablet on the market that can function as a laptop as well. The original Surface had its problems, but was an impressive device - the Surface Pro 2 rectifies those issues, and adds a whole lot more. Don't despair if you want a Surface but not at the Pro 2 price, you can pick up the original Surface, or Surface 2 for half the amount.

If you haven't tried a Surface, I would. It's a solid device, and one that is enjoyable and importantly, useful. If you want that tablet-laptop hybrid, the Surface 2 is your best option.

So, what do you think? Have I missed anything off the list? As always, if you're interested on other tablets, get in touch.
Keep an eye on the blog for the next in the Tech & Musing Christmas Guide - laptops.

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