3. Barnes and Noble Nook HD
The newest tablet on the block has the best colour screen yet – high-resolution, pin-sharp and colourful. It also has a feature the others lack, and should strive to emulate: you can set it up with separate user accounts so family members see the content they want to, their own apps and library. Or kids can use the same device but parents can prevent them from using it for email, say. The design, though not as pleasing as Apple’s, is great, though the absence of a flat, all-over glass front takes getting used to. Even so, the rubberised back means it sits safely in the hand. Like the Amazon Kindle Fire HD, it uses Android as its operating system, but it’s so heavily altered you wouldn’t know. If you’re at all uncertain about Android – and it can be a bit geeky – this is a real benefit. The downside is that there are much fewer apps to choose from in this curated store (10,000 instead of the over half a million on a regular Android device). Really excellent.