The standout tablet is the Apple iPad Air thanks to its amazing light weight, slim design and preposterously powerful processor. But right behind it is Nokia’s exquisite Lumia 2520 that offers the fresh, attractive Windows 8.1 OS and makes it really work, even though this is only the RT edition. An honourable mention goes to the Kobo Arc HD which offers strong ebook capabilities and a smoothly responsive touchscreen.
Click here to read: From Apple's iPad Air to the Google Nexus 7: Which tablet is the right one for you?
Things are more hectic in the smaller-screened tablet world, led by a surprise entry: the Tesco Hudl which for £120 offers amazing value, great design and more than decent specifications. Of course, for glam stylishness, the iPad mini with Retina display is stunning and it even has the same super-fast chip found in the iPad Air.
But for ultimate usability, newcomers can feel in safe hands with the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX which matches a stunning screen and super-friendly version of Android operating system with a killer extra: Mayday. In the Help section is a one-touch link to an Amazon customer service staffer. It’s a one-way video call – the live helper is visible to you but he or she can only see your screen. They can take control of the tablet to do stuff for you or just draw on the screen so you can do it yourself.
Best tablets of 2013
Best tablets of 2013
1/5 Apple iPad Air. Prices start at £399 for 16GB with Wi-Fi only up to £739 for the 128GB version with Wi-Fi and mobile internet. It's a pricey tablet but Apple have streamlined the whole experience. Thinner and lighter than ever before with all the apps you need.
2/5 Nokia Lumia 2520. Want a tablet for work and entertainment? Not a fan of Apple? The 2520 is for you. A 10.1 inch screen with 2GB of RAM, 32GB of memory and mobile internet for £399, it's a better deal than the iPad Air, though the use of Windows 8 RT will put some users off.
3/5 Kobo Arc 10 HD. One of the lesser known 10-inch tablets, but one that offers a multimedia experience to rival the bigger names. Stunning screen quality with a focus on browsing magazines and full acess to Android apps. Offers a 'reading mode' that turns off any and all distractions. From £299.
4/5 Tesco Hudl. The first of our small-screen picks and the surprise breakout budget tablet of the year. It'll never be as quick or offer as much storage as premium devices like the iPad Air but it still offers a quad-core processor, 9 hours of battery life and 16GB of storage. At £120 it's a bargain.
Tesco's budget tablet, Hudl
5/5 Kindle Fire HDX. Coming in at the 7-inch and 10-inch sizes, the HDX starts at £169 for the smaller screen size, jumping to £269 for mobile internet and with 32GB and 64GB capacities also available. It uses a simplified version of the Android operating system and does everything you expect a tablet too. Plus the Mayday features offers real live tech support for free, any time you want it.
See below for more in-depth reviews:
- The iPad Air: Lighter, thinner, faster - Apple's best just keeps getting better
- Nokia's Lumia 2520: 4G and more productivity for an attractive price
- Google's Nexus 7: 'The best 7-inch device on the market'
- Surface Pro 2: The most powerful tablet available, but watch out for Windows 8