It has been forecast that tablet sales will increase by 200% in the run up to Christmas, as shoppers put in their requests and buyers seek to get the best device for their loved ones. Top of the tablet hit list is Apple’s iPad mini, Kindle’s Fire HD, the Nook HD and Google’s Nexus 7, but which one suits your needs best and more importantly, what do they offer in terms of price? Check out our lowdown on the top tablets and find the one that has your name on the Christmas gift tag this year.
This has to be the year’s most anticipated tablet but it is also the most expensive, so what does it offer? Well, although it is smaller than its predecessor iPads and other tablets on the market, at 7.9ins it is bigger than the other tablets reviewed here. It is lighter, weighing just 308g for the Wi-Fi-only version (or 312g for the 4G-capable version).
You can play all iPad apps on the iPad mini, which includes the Kindle app, meaning you can access all your Amazon Kindle purchases. Apple users will also experience the familiar easy-sync, plug-and-play routine associated with the firm’s intuitive products.
Prices range from £269 for the 16GB Wi-Fi-only model, rising to £529 for the 64GB Wi-Fi plus cellular (the version you can take a mobile phone contract with) and you won’t get any discounted prices from Apple.
Summary – Great all rounder but one of the most expensive.
Kindle Fire HD
The Kindle Fire HD is certainly the best of all previous Kindle offerings, as it can do almost anything rival tablets can do. It is quite heavy, at 395g, and another drawback is that it does not support 3G, so you cannot browse unless you’re in a Wi-Fi hotspot. Emailing is also not as simple as on the other tablets.
You can get discounted prices of the Kindle Fire HD; Amazon is currently selling them £159 (for the 16GB version) and £199 for the 32GB version, but watch Tesco and the Carphone Warehouse who often try to undercut these prices.
You can easily access Amazon content, which includes Angry Birds Star Wars, Netflix, Facebook, Where’s My Water? and TuneIn Radio.
Summary – A good tablet for reading, watching films or listening to music, but for a more admin based tablet we suggest the iPad mini.
Google Nexus 7
Google’s Nexus 7 sold out within hours leaving potential customers frustrated, but stocks have now been replenished. The Nexus is lighter than the Kindle Fire HD and has a better screen resolution than the iPad mini. Admin tasks are easier therefore on the Nexus 7, and it comes with 16GB or 32GB of built-in storage. By comparison, the iPad mini goes up to 64GB.
Price £159 for the 16GB Wi-Fi-only model direct from Google Play; £199 for the 32GB Wi-Fi-only model and £239 for the 32GB Wi-Fi plus cellular model. You can get cheaper models from ebay and the Carphone Warehouse, which is selling the 32GB Wi-Fi-only model for £179.
You can buy, organise, play movies and music, and make changes to your tablet.
Summary – Has a huge number of apps and content and is a serious contender for the iPad mini as it is cheaper.
Nook HD and HD+
This is a tablet produced by US book chain Barnes & Noble, the Nook HD and HD+, so as you would expect, it concentrates on books, magazines and newspapers, apps, films and TV shows.
The HD model has a 7ins screen, while the HD+ is bigger at 9ins. The HD device is as light as the while the HD+ is fairly hefty, but the bigger device has a higher-resolution screen.
The HD comes in 8GB or 16GB, while the HD+ comes in 16GB or 32GB. You can get expandable memory with a microSD memory card slot, a handy feature other tablets do not offer on both. While neither models have 3G (or 4G) capabilities, both have Bluetooth.
The Nook HD is £159 for the 8GB version or £189 for the 16GB, while the Nook HD+ is £229 for the 16GB or £269 for the 32GB. Argos and John Lewis are selling Nooks at the same prices as the Nook website.
Currently the range of apps is small and pricier than rival app stores and the film and TV store is not yet up and running, although the Nook website says these are “coming soon”.
Summary – Not a bad tablet for the price, we liked the feature where you can set up six different profiles for members of the family.
Source: The Guardian