It’s that time of the year again and before you plunge into your holiday shopping, take a look at some of the newest tablets that hit the market. We water down the price and features of each to make it easy for you to make the best decision. As a word of caution, do hunt down your local stores for the latest in-store deals in form of bundles, rebates and more. From Microsoft’s latest bid to challenge Apple and Samsung with Surface Pro 2 to Nokia’s 2520 to iPad Air, we have covered then all.
Apple iPad Air
In October, Apple unveiled the iPad Air, its new, thinner, lighter tablet. The Air weighs just 1 pound, compared with 1.4 pounds for the previous version.
Starting from $519.
Apple iPad Mini
Apple’s iPad Mini got an upgrade this year. The difference in the display quality is the real story here, as it was when Apple upgraded to retina display on the iPhone. Apart from the display, the new iPad Mini weighs the same as the original, and has more or less the same feel.
Starting From $419.
Nokia Lumia 2520
The cellphone company joined the tablet competition this year with the Lumia 2520. The 10.1-inch Windows tablet comes in four different colors and is equipped with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 quad-core 2.2 GHz processor, a 6.7-megapixel camera from Zeiss Optics and 4G combined LTE and Wi-Fi connectivity. It also charges pretty quickly. Its battery juice-o-meter can shoot from empty to 80 percent in about an hour. *Not available in Canada.
Starting from $399 (in US)
Microsoft Surface Pro 2
The Surface Pro 2 tablet is Microsoft’s latest bid to challenge Apple and Samsung in the hardware market after its first devices fell flat. So far, the software maker’s new tablet has received high praise from reviewers, who say its clean lines and build are a joy to use. The Surface Pro 2 comes in 32GB and 64GB versions, and, like the iPad, this tablet also has ports — USB and HD video out, plus a micro SDXC card slot — which means you can hook it up to things you probably have already, such as a mouse or a flash drive.
Starting from $899
Microsoft Surface 2
The new Surface 2 tablet, not to be confused with its higher-end sibling the Surface Pro 2, has up to 60 percent longer battery life than its predecessor. Just like the Pro 2, the Surface 2 is thinner, faster and lighter. The lighter weight is perhaps an answer to some critics who complained that the first generation of the tablet was too bulky — particularly when compared with Apple’s iPad or Samsung’s Galaxy line of tablets.
Starting from $449
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1
Samsung’s new tablet, the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 edition, may be overshadowed by its other Galaxy siblings, but it is a well-made device that features many of the same software touches that also appear in the Galaxy Note 3 smartphone. Many of those features, such as multitasking and the pen, work even better on the Note tablet’s larger screen, which has gotten a major upgrade from its tablet predecessor. As for speed, the Note tablet is probably at or near the top of the market right now.
Starting from $499
Amazon Kindle Fire HDX
With the new Kindle Fire HDX, Amazon is refreshing its play in the tablet world, with an eye toward smaller, reading-focused tablets such as the iPad mini and Nexus 7. With the HDX, Amazon apparently took heed of earlier feedback about hardware, cutting a good deal of bulk from the tablet and making such changes as moving the volume and power buttons to more logical spots on the device. The tablet also has a faster processor and a bright screen for crisp video and is more intuitive to use.
Starting from $254
Google Nexus 7
The Nexus 7, released over the summer, is a slimmer version of its predecessor. The Nexus 7 comes in 16 gigabytes and 32 gigabytes versions and packs a 5 megapixel rear-facing camera and a 1.2 megapixel front-facing camera.
Starting from $229