What Tablet Should You Get This Christmas

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If you’ve been watching TV, reading Twitter or viewing the latest videos on YouTube, it’s hard not to be bombarded with advertising about tablets this Christmas. Which one deserves to be bought though?

On paper, there appears to be little to chose from. It all seems to depend on what mobile operating system you prefer and how    much you wish to spend.

Here is a run down of the tablets to pick this Christmas along with their pros and cons:

 

1) iPad with Retina Display

That really is the official title of the “new new iPad”. This is the 4th generation of the full-sized iPad, bringing you a tablet that is now twice as powerful. There has been no noticeable visual change to the iPad except the addition of the lightning port.

This refresh has been considered quite controversial because it meant the 3rd generation iPad had only 7 months on the shelves, leaving many people who bought it to be miffed about how quickly it was deemed obsolete.

Pros: 
The fastest tablet experience
Incredible retina display and colour definition

Cons:
Not worth upgrading if you have a 3rd gen iPad unless you think it’s slow!
Lightning port is not an improvement for those already invested in the Apple ecosystem
Feels heavy compared to smaller tablets

 

2) Asus Nexus 7

This tablet has garnered plenty of attention because it is an official Google offering and priced very well at £199 for the new 32Gb. It is a true Android experience – no bloatware or 3rd party UI to deal with.

This tablet comes in at just 7 inches and is slim to boot.

Pros: 
Sharp, defined screen
Android 4.1 with no 3rd party UI mess
Back of the tablet is rubberised to stay in your hand

Cons:
Some websites are rendered too small given the high-res but small screen
No physical home or back button
App tiles are quite small on screen – using widgets for important apps will help

3) Kindle Fire HD

Britain finally gets the Kindle Fire series and it’s much championed HD version. This Kindle Fire comes with an impressive display that is top-notch when compared to all the other tablets.

It also has Kindle’s own take on the Android operating system, giving the user a UI that is helpful for a small display.

Pros:
Price – just £159 for a hi-res tablet
Screen has reduced glare and is super sharp

Cons:
Bulky – screen is only 7″ but feels much bigger because of huge borders
UI is not for experienced users – it’s designed to keep you ‘safe’ in Android
Comes with ads on lockscreen unless you pay an extra £10

4) iPad Mini

Out of the smaller tablets, the iPad has the biggest screen with 7.9 inches. It mirrors the iPhone 5 with it’s chamfered edges and anodised coated back.

Early on the iPad mini drew much criticism for two things – it’s price and the lack of a retina display. Review have since come in saying that the device was great to look at and felt at home in your hand.

Pros:
Beautiful design
Most comfortable tablet to use
Thin and light

Cons:
Old display technology – washed out colours compared to retina and blurry small text
Price – this is the most expensive small tablet
Lightning port means shelling out for extra cables

Summary

The choice for tablets is being dominated by the more cost-effective and smaller tablets. Having owned most gadgets and had my hands on many more,  I’ve always preferred the smaller tablets – they just seem right in your hand when compared to the 10″ tablets.

I’ve tried many tablets and condemned them not long after including the Blackberry Playbook (awful software at the time and not enough support) and the Kindle Fire (a very irritatingly placed power-switch and didn’t like Kindle UI).

The clear winner for me in the price conscious camp is the Nexus 7, it’s neat, quick and JellyBean OS is brilliant.

If you’re willing to pay more, then the iPad mini is by far the ‘nicest’ tablet. What it lacks in power and display it makes up for in it’s form.

 

 

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