Best tablets at MWC 2013 – all the tablets compared

by , Senior Technology Researcher MWC 26/02/2013
Best Tablets at MWC 2013

Mobile World Congress (MWC) is the biggest mobile tech trade show going, and the likes of Samsung, Asus, Sony and HP have all brought new tablets to show us. Here we round up the best tablets from MWC 2013 so you don’t have to.

Click the links below to read our detailed first impressions of each tablet:

  1. Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 video
  2. Asus Padfone Infinity video
  3. Sony Xperia Tablet Z video
  4. Asus Fonepad video
  5. HP Slate 7 video
Which is the best tablet from MWC 2013?

Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 (54%, 93 Votes)

Sony Xperia Tablet Z (31%, 53 Votes)

HP Slate 7 (8%, 13 Votes)

Asus Padfone Infinity (5%, 9 Votes)

Asus Fonepad (2%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 173

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Read our tablet buyers’ guide to help you choose the best tablet for you. For more news, views and hands-on videos from the Mobile World Congress 2013 trade show, head to our MWC 2013 news page.

1) Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 – a real iPad mini rival

What is it?
An 8-inch Android tablet that comes with a stylus for writing. Samsung reckons it’s the perfect digital notepad, and we’re inclined to agree. A neat split-screen feature lets you view two apps together at once, so you can take notes while watching a video, for example.

Which? expert view

With a better processor, screen and the addition of a stylus – this is a definite rival to the iPad mini. We’re not sure how much it’ll cost as yet, but if it undercuts the iPad mini it could be a real winner.

Watch our Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 hands-on-video for a more detailed look at Samsung’s new iPad mini rival.

2) Asus Padfone Infinity – part smartphone, part tablet

 

What is it?
A unique tablet-smartphone combo. It’s a 5-inch HD smartphone that slots into the back of a 10.1-inch tablet. The tablet acts as a dock, charging the smartphone when slotted into the back. The other bonus is that you only need one SIM card and dataplan – so you can easily connect your tablet to 3G mobile internet.

Which? expert view

This treads the thin line between being genius and slightly mad. It has all the features and extras that you could imagine and easily rivals the likes of Samsung and Apple. The quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor is super fast and the 1,920 x 1,080 resolution screen on the phone is one of the sharpest around. This combo upholds the Asus tradition of innovation, but we’re not sure whether it will catch on. In the UK it’ll retail for £799 -  which is pretty pricey. Overall – impressive but mad.

Watch our Asus Padfone Infinity hands-on video to see exactly how weird and wonderful it really is.

3) Sony Xperia Tablet Z – thin, light and waterproof

What is it?
A brand new, luxury 10-inch tablet from Sony. The big news is that it’s both dust- and waterproof. You can submerge it in up-to 1m of water for 30 minutes without causing any damage. At 6.9mm it’s super thin. It’s also the lightest 10-inch tablet around – weighing in at just 490g. Designed for those who want a high-end tablet, this Android tablet won’t come cheap.

Which? expert view

This is a very stylish tablet.  I like the way it the screen turns black when off – giving it a very classy finish. I also like the fact that it’s light – it means you can hold it in on hand for longer before your arm begins to ache. The waterproof feature is useful, but the water tight ports are really fiddly to use.

Watch our Sony Xperia Tablet Z hands-on video to see it get dunked in water.

4) Asus Fonepad – a 7-inch 3G tablet that’s also a phone

What is it?
If you believe Asus, it’s a 7-inch tablet that you’re meant to use as your phone, too. This strikes us as a bit silly – you can’t even fit it in your pocket – but if you ignore all that, it’s a very cheap (approx £200) 3G-enabled tablet with a decent screen and a nice design.

Which? expert view

Asus is the company that makes the popular (and very good) Google Nexus 7 tablet, so you can view the Fonepad as akin to that. It’s about the same price, has most of the same features, though it adds a rear camera, and has a solid, attractive design. It’s also powered by an Intel processor – how it performs compared to the ARM-powered Nexus 7 will dictate whether it’s worth buying.

Our full first impressions are coming soon…

5) HP Slate 7 – a small, cheap Android tablet

What is it?
A cheap 7-inch tablet from HP running the Jellybean 4.1 version of Android. We’re not sure if it’s coming to the UK as yet, but rumour suggests we may see it in the summer. At 149 Euros it’s a budget tablet. With a rear 3Mp camera in addition to the front-facing camera, good viewing angles and stereo speakers, it makes a solid first impression.

Which? expert View

I like this tablet. I’m a fan of the bright red casing. For a budget tablet it’s well-featured, but the sticking point is likely to be the battery – HP states that it’ll last around five hours of video playback. The best tablets can last for double the amount of time.

Watch our HP Slate 7 video to see our more detailed first impressions.

MWC 2013 FAQ

What is MWC 2013?
MWC is short for Mobile World Congress – it’s the main annual mobile tech trade show, where the likes of Samsung, LG, Sony, Nokia and many more come to launch their new smartphones and tablets.

Why does Which? attend?
It gives us an insight into what’s coming in the year ahead, so we can ensure we’re testing the right products in the right way. We also use the time to speak to technology companies to ensure they’re listening to consumer needs.

How can I find out more?
Visit our MWC 2013 page for our first impressions of all the major new products from the show. Click the links below to find out more about specific products:

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