What's the best tablet for 2014? Today's latest tablets compared and rated - constantly updated
Tablets are taking the world by storm. Just a few years ago they were an unknown for many people, but nowadays you've got more choice than you can shake a mildly agitated koala at.
And with choice comes decisions - difficult decisions. Do you eschew Apple's high prices, join the Android brigade and find the best iPad alternative? Or jump on board Apple's lovetrain, and use one of the most popular tablets on the planet?
Luckily we've made it easy for you and pulled together the top 10 tablets of the moment available in Australia. We've got the new iPad mini 2 with Retina Display and LG G Pad 8.3 on sale now, so our list is looking a little bit different from our last update.
- Are you wondering what the iPad rival to the Nexus 7 or Kindle Fire HD is like? Check our hands on: iPad mini review to find out!
For those of you who are still new to the whole tablet game, let us fill you in on what one is:
In general terms, today's tablet computers sport touchscreens ranging in size from 7- up to 13-inches. These dimensions are by no means static, and boundaries can be blurred as smartphones get larger displays, a la the 5.7-inch Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and huge 6.44-inch Sony Xperia Z Ultra.
As with today's best smartphones, applications play a big role on tablets – you can get your fill of Temple Run, update your friends on Facebook and read the latest news, all on a bigger screen.
If none of the top 10 tablets here take your fancy then head on over to our tablet reviews pages, where you'll find in-depth reviews for many more models.
Let us know your thoughts on the top 10 and whether you think we've got the order wrong, in the comment box below.
10. Asus Transformer Pad Infinity
If it wasn't for the higher price, the Infinity would be a contender for a higher spot. It's got everything you could want in a tablet - and a keyboard dock as standard too.
With a simple interface and more ports than you can poke with a stick, the Infinity is the tablet that can handle anything you throw at it.
Add in the Super IPS panel with a tremendous resolution, and you can see why this is a tablet to rate - especially if you're fond of typing on the go but crave the simplicity of a slate too.
Everything we'd look for in a high-end tablet is present and accounted for with the Transformer Pad Infinity.
While power is always welcome, it was the improved screen that really caught our attention. Given that we use our tablet mostly for browsing the web and watching video, we couldn't help but marvel at the resolution, either. It needs something of an update in the Android version arena, as it's still stuck on an older iteration, but it's still a decent option nonetheless.
The newer Infinity is set to cross our desks soon too - let's see how that gets on in our in-depth test.
9. Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 arrived on the scene with the iPad mini firmly set in its sights and while it gave a strong showing, the Android tablet - complete with S Pen - didn't manage to hit the same heights as its Apple-made rival.
That's not to say the Galaxy Note 8.0 isn't a good tablet as it's a light, highly portable device and there's no denying that its display is far better than that of the iPad Mini.
It's solidly built, has expandable memory, and the S-Pen has clearly been enhanced to make this a major selling point, plus we love the IR blaster and its media capabilities.
The Galaxy Note 8.0 is a good device. There are better out there for the money, and with an arguably better design as well. However, for those that like the S Pen as a tool, it's a great offering, albeit not really worth the extra cash for most.
8. Microsoft Surface Pro 2
*Ding, ding* Round 2. Microsoft's second generation Windows 8 slate is here, building on its predecessor and providing a well rounded tablet-come-laptop experience.
In terms of portability, the Surface Pro 2 won't be winning any awards - it's big and it's heavy, but if you're looking for a powerful business tablet then the Pro 2 is one of the best (if not the best) around.
Microsoft has improved the Pro 2 in a numbers of ways from the original Surface Pro, with an updated Windows 8.1 OS, beefy Intel processor, improved battery life and two position kick-stand.
The Surface Pro 2 doesn't offer the best natural tablet experience, but if you're looking for a device which bridges the gap between laptop and tablet, then this is one of the best on the market.
With a handy QWERTY keyboard, large screen and Microsoft's Office suite, it's an obvious business machine, but also offers something rather different to the iPad and Android slates.
It's expensive though, so be ready to fork out at least $1019 for the basic version - plus you'll need a keyboard on top of that.
7. Google Nexus 10
The 10.1 display is one of the biggest talking points on the Google Nexus 10. At 299 pixels per inch it's the highest resolution 10-inch tablet display on the planet - take that Apple, and your Retina screens.
If you're looking for something which is packing even more pixels you'll need to trade in screen size for the 7-inch, 323ppi Nexus 7.
It's a great performer too. Other than taking a while to process panoramic photos we never felt like it was struggling to keep up. It's fast and smooth whatever you throw at it.
Sure it may not be as stunning to look at, or as well built as an iPad, and the lack of expandable memory will irk some, but overall the Nexus 10 gives you a quality, big-screen Android experience which is not to be sniffed at.
The Google Nexus 10 is easily one of the best Android tablets on the market and while it's not quite as fantastic value for money as the Nexus 7, it certainly gives Apple's high-priced iPad Air a run for its money.
For the price you're paying, you won't be disappointed. Be warned though, a new Nexus 10 is expected to arrive soon.
6. Apple iPad mini
Apple's former CEO Steve Jobs famously slammed small tablets a few years back, leading many to believe the Cupertino-based firm would never dabble in the budget end of the market, but here we are.
In terms of consistency in the tablet market, Apple cannot be matched as it now lays claim to three places in our top 10. However, the iPad mini is no longer the jewel in an already glistening crown - it's been usurped by the upgraded Google Nexus 7 and the next-gen iPad mini.
The big downside to the iPad mini is that it misses out on a Retina display, but it still has slick operation and premium build quality, letting you know you still have a top piece of kit in your hand.
When it landed, we dubbed the iPad mini "the best iPad Apple has ever created", and while the iPad Air may lay claim to that title now, this pint sized slate is still a force to be reckoned with - even with the new mini 2 on the market now.
If the screen puts you off, fear not, for the iPad mini 2 with Retina display is out - but the original mini still deserves it place on this list, with its strong internals now at a cheaper price.