With Christmas just around the corner, there’s a veritable festive sack worth of tablets available to fit your present-giving needs. But which one should you choose? From Apple’s shapely iPad Air to the eminently affordable Tesco Hudl, we’ve rounded up the best-selling tablets. Read on to find out which flagship device is right for you.
Choose the best tablet – our interactive guide
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 [2014 edition] – £399
Samsung claims its Note 10.1 [2014 edition] has the best screen available on a tablet. With a dazzling 1,600 x 2,560 resolution it’s certainly the equal of Apple’s Retina display, and is more than capable of showing this summer’s blockbusters in stunning high definition. Elsewhere its 1.9GHz quadcore processor means this flagship tablet certainly isn’t lacking for power either.
That said, its faux leather design looks nowhere near as appealing as the iPad Air. Weighing 537g, the Note 10.1 is also 63g heavier than Apple’s tablet.
Nexus 7 – £199
Standing proud in the budget tablet category, Google’s Nexus 7 offers an array of great features for a sub-£200 price tag. It’s 8.7mm thin, weighs 290g and comes preloaded with the latest version of Android 4.3 KitKat. Combined with a pin-sharp 1200 x 1920 display and a 1.5 GHz quadcore processor, this 7-inch tablet is an excellent alternative to Apple’s iPad mini.
Despite its affordable price tag, there are some cheaper alternatives to the Nexus 7, however. Tesco’s Hudl, for example, is a steal for just £130 (see below).
Microsoft Surface Pro 2 – £719
Part laptop, part tablet, Microsoft’s Surface Pro 2 can handle both your work and leisure needs. That’s thanks to its Intel Core i5 processor and the Windows 8.1 operating system. These allow you to use Microsoft’s full Office suite (including Word, Excel and more), as well as download programs from outside the Windows Store.
The downside of this flexibility is that the Surface Pro 2 offers just over five hours of web browsing. Not a huge amount if you’re using it out and about.
iPad Air 16GB – £399
Apple’s flagship tablet is a thing of splendor to behold. At 474g it’s the lightest full-size tablet money can buy, so you should be able to carry it around with ease. While the addition of Apple’s new A7 processor chip means the iPad Air is well-equipped to handle your multitasking needs.
If you want to expand your iPad’s storage after you’ve bought it, consider yourself out of luck. You’ll need to get an Android tablet or Surface with micro-SD compatibility.
Tesco Hudl – £119
Tesco: good for fruit, veg and now tablets. The supermarket giant unveiled its Hudl earlier this year and, much to our surprise, it’s a thoroughly respectable device. Running on Android, featuring a reasonably sharp 1,440×900-pixel display and with a 1.6GHz processor, it’s hard to nitpick too much with the budget 7-inch device.
As you’d expect, the Tesco Hudl is a little removed from technology’s cutting edge. Its touchscreen can seem slow at times too, while its rubber back is a little bit Fisher-Price. It seems that, as with everything in life, you get what you pay for.