Best tablet PCs to buy in 2013
Posted on 17 Jan 2013 at 10:00
Find out which tablet computer to buy in 2013 with our round-up of the six best models
Tablets are the hot gadget of the moment, but which is the best one to buy right now? We've seen all sorts pass through our Labs in recent months, including the Surface from Microsoft and the latest iPads from Apple.
To help you make a decision, we've gathered together the best six on the market and summarised them below:
The Kobo Arc is marketed as an ebook reader, but despite the branding it's much more flexible than that. It runs Android Ice Cream Sandwich - only slightly tweaked by Kobo - and comes complete with Google Play. Although Kobo’s reading and ebook store apps remain front and centre, there’s nothing to stop you installing any Android app or game – you could even use it to run the Amazon Kindle app. It’s competitive on price, costing £160 for the 16GB version and a mere £190 for the 32GB, and the hardware is as good as the other ebook reader tablets as well, with an 800 x 1,280 IPS display and a dual-core 1.5GHz TI OMAP 4470 CPU.
Read our full Kobo Arc review
If you're looking for a compact tablet, your starting point should be Google's fantastically good value Nexus 7. It has a top quality 800 x 1,280, 7in touchscreen, the latest version of Android, and yet the price is a measly £159 for the 16GB model. It doesn't quite offer the fully integrated content consumption capabilities of the Kindle Fire HD (see below), and there's no memory expansion, but with all the choice of Google Play behind it, it's more than a rival for Amazon's budget baby.
Read our full Nexus 7 review
Kindle Fire HD
Amazon's latest ebook reader-cum-tablet looks a great buy at £159. It has 16GB of storage, a stunning, full-colour touchscreen display, and when you order one from Amazon, it comes conveniently linked to your Amazon account so you can get downloading straight away. It isn't a standard Android tablet – you can't install apps and purchase content from Google Play – but there's plenty to get your teeth into, with Amazon's traditionally strong selection of ebooks, movie streaming via Lovefilm, apps from Amazon's own app store, and tightly integrated music features that let you stream or download songs you've bought via Amazon's MP3 service.
Read our full Kindle Fire HD review
But the biggest bargain...
I think the Archos 80 Cobalt I bought from Tesco for
By The_Scrote on 29 Dec 2012
...Buying ANY of these tablets please take a moment to locate a suitable forum for hints, tips and most importantly, to find out about issues and problems that may NEVER be fixed.
I'm looking at you Nexus 10!
By rhythm on 29 Dec 2012
It has a bigger, more pixely screen, it has older hardware and it is more expensive... "but you get what you pay for."
If they had released it two years ago, when iOS was the leading mobile platform, it might have been a good tablet, now it looks dated compared to the competition.
Having used an iPad 4, I was very disappointed with the iOS tablet software.
Android feels more modern and the newer tablets feel much smoother.
To be honest, having used a couple of RT and Windows 8 tablets (I haven't seen the Surface yet), I find the interface refreshing and easy to use.
Battery life isn't that important to me, I think, if I get a tablet at all, then it will be a Windows 8 tablet - or more likely a 13" or 15" convertible.
By big_D on 30 Dec 2012
I've got a few work android tablets of different sizes and tried IPads but I wouldn't mind a Surface/WIN8PRO tablet.
I found the Nexus 7 excellent for the price and pretty usable.
The thing is that the Android tablets are basically commodity items and theres a huge price differential between them and WIN8 PRO tablets.
Really hard to justify WIN8 tablets at the moment.
By MikeHellier on 25 Jan 2013
What we need on the market is a 10" tablet docking onto a decent keyboard (Asus have got this) but also a cheapish mobile internet link.
By JKeithT on 7 Feb 2013
I am looking at a Windows 8 tablet now, having said I for years said, that I wouldn't buy a tablet...
But I wouldn't justify the price as a tablet, I would justify the price as a desktop replacement. I'm looking at a couple of docks and carrying it between home and work, with a screen and keyboard at both ends for working on and using it as a tablet in meetings and on the move.
By big_D on 14 Feb 2013
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