BY | December 27, 2012

Best tablets of 2012 include iPad 4, Google Nexus 10, Kindle Fire HD, Nexus 7 and Microsoft Surface tablet. Of course Apple’s iPad Mini should also get a place in the list

Picking the top tablets of 2012 is not difficult. Just look at the two tablets Google launched, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10, one that Microsoft launched, the Surface RT, and two that apple launched, the iPad 4 and iPad Mini, and you are done.

Yet not all tablets are born equal. If you are looking for a good tablet at an unbeatable price for example you can’t do better than Nexus 7.

The tablet has is thin, sleek and light. It runs on Tegra 3 quad core processor, has 1 GB of RAM, and now with the updated hardware, 32GB of disk space for the entry level model.

While the tablet does not feature expandable storage, and is a Wi-Fi only, for $200 it simply has no rival in its class.

But if you really wanted a tablet that shone on the hardware front, and did OK on the software front also, you might be better off picking the Surface RT.

This Microsoft built tablet is in hot rivalry with the iPad 4 for the top spot in the looks department. But we think that the unique keyboard covers, which are not just innovative but quite functional gives the Surface an edge as far a design is concerned. The tablet is made of ‘vaporMg’ magnesium with some voodoo in it which apparently makes it a little different from plain magnesium.

Anyhow, Steven Sinofsky, the ex-president left no one in doubt as to the durability and strength of the product when inside the office he used one of the tablets as a skateboard. Oh yes, we quite forgot to mention, the tablet has a built in kickstand which, ladies and gentlemen, shuts with a satisfying click. I ask you, what more can you want from a tablet?

The software part of the Surface RT story is not quite as smooth however. The RT version of Windows 8 is incompatible with all Windows programs. So no VLC, or utorrent for you. On the other hand the custom built app store does not have enough apps to even make a dent in the gaping apps hole that the limited compatibility of Windows RT leaves behind. Apart from that the software is actually quite smooth and fast. It also has Microsoft Office, which takes care of productivity as far as 90% of laptop users are concerned.

All in all, not a bad deal at all.

Then there is of course the iPad 4. If there is a single all rounder in the tablet arena, it is indisputably the iPad, specifically the large iPad 4. The Mini is not bad, but what with a low res screen, last gen specs (it actually has only 512 MB of RAM) and slightly awkward design, it does not quite cut it.

The iPad 4 on the other hand is a different story. It has the best specs, the best screen and the best selection of apps of any ecosystem. Did we mention that it also has cellular connectivity? Yes, it has. Or that the hardware is actually quite gorgeous in an understated way? Yes, it does. It is on the pricier side though and you could possibly get everything that the iPad 4 provides, (and more) except cellular connectivity and apps selection for a hundred dollars less if you went for the Nexus 10.

The Nexus 10 has a better, 2560×1600 display. Dual stereo speakers, the latest and the greatest dual core ARM processor (Exynos 5250 chipset: dual-core 1.7 GHz ARM Cortex-A15 processor, Mali-T604 GPU) and 2GB of RAM. It is fast, it is gorgeous, it sounds great and it is thinner and lighter (by just a fraction) than the iPad 4. It has all the Android apps, which might not have been specially optimized for the larger screen but serve well enough, and all of this is available for $100 less? What more need we say?

However if a great selection of reading material, films, videos, TV shows and other shopping things is what you are after, you can’t do better than the Amazon Kindle Fire HD.

The base model of Kindle Fire HD, the one with 7 inch screen, 16GB storage, and no cellular connectivity comes for just $200. This will get you a very good tablet with an HD screen. But the thing that seals the deal here is Amazon Prime. The content collection at Amazon is enormous and marginally cheaper (in some cases) that iTunes. However, the Amazon Prime subscription ($79 for a year) decisively swings the balance Amazon’s way. With this, you get access to thousands of books and movies for free, and a complimentary two day shipping on any Amazon’s purchase. So if you are someone who makes a lot of purchases from Amazon, you know which tablet to go for.

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  • Honesty007

    “The RT version of Windows 8 is incompatible with all Windows programs. So no VLC, or utorrent for you.”

    Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t it also true that the magical iPad is incompatible with all OS X programs? So why isn’t that a criticism of the iPad? And please, don’t tell me it is because the iPad has a lot of APPs. When the iPad was first introduced, it never had all the APPs it does today. Yet I do not recall the iPad ever being criticized because it is incompatible with OS X programs.