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 badger 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 Cupertino's lovetrain, and use one of the most popular tablets on the planet?

We've made it easy for you and pulled together the top 10 tablets of the moment available in the UK.

It's a difficult process divining which place each of these excellent tablets should occupy in our list, so we take into account multiple elements including performance, battery life, screen quality and more. Price plays a minor part, as does age: a tablet that's been replaced by a sequel will tumble down the rankings as you can get all the great features on a better slate.

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. Tesco Hudl

Tesco Hudl

What's this, a supermarket making a tablet? Whatever next, Argos making one too? Oh wait... that aside, the Hudl tablet is a super cheap, £119 Android tablet which puts other £100 slates to shame, and so it comes in at number 10 in our best tablet roundup.

Given its price the Hudl is very well-specced, sports a solid build and a pretty decent 7-inch display. Stock Android will please those who are not fans of the various interface overlays which exist, and the addition of a microSD slot is useful.

Of course the Hudl isn't going to blow you away with super slick operation, although the quad-core processor means there's a chunk of power under the hood. But the less said about the camera, the better.

Quick verdict

If you can stretch to £200, we'd still recommend the Google Nexus 7 as the best pound-for-pound tablet on the market. If you're looking at spending closer to half that, though, we can't see any compact tablet out there that tops the Hudl.

9. Sony Xperia Tablet Z

Sony Xperia Tablet Z review

Sony has been plugging away in the mobile space for a few years, but the combination of the Sony Xperia Z and Tablet Z showed the Japanese brand was able to bring us devices that the public can finally really lust after.

And that's one of the things we liked about the Tablet Z: it's light, really light, yet looks premium too. Sony surpassed expectation with this and delivered a tablet that wouldn't look out of place in a business class lounge or at the centre of a home entertainment network.

It's waterproof too - sure, you might not use that feature a whole lot, but it gives it an air of ruggedness that puts your mind at ease when manhandling something that costs so much.

It's getting a little longer in the tooth - sadly, the price hasn't dropped to bargain levels yet - and has been superseded by the more impressive Xperia Z2 Tablet, which brings all these features and a whole lot more.

Quick verdict

With a super slim chassis, impressive screen and whole glut of Sony extras on board, the Xperia Tablet Z was one of the finest pieces of kit we saw in 2013.

Its quality abounds the moment you take it out your bag and while it's no iPad Air, it (combined with the Z2 Tablet) show Sony is firmly the second-placed player in the tablet game.

8. Microsoft Surface Pro 2

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.

Quick verdict

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 £700 for the basic version - plus you'll need a keyboard on top of that.

7. iPad mini

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 the the top spot in our top 10, although the iPad mini is no longer the jewel in an already glistening crown - it's already been usurped by the upgraded Google Nexus 7 and its successor.

Just because we have all the Retina magic we'd hoped for on the new Mini 2 doesn't mean the old Mini isn't a bad device - we'd just recommend you heavily look at the newer model before you plump for this one.

Quick verdict

When it landed we dubbed the iPad mini "the best iPad Apple has ever created", and while the iPad Air now claims that title now, this pint sized slate is still an OK choice on a budget.

If the screen puts you off, fear not, for the iPad mini 2 with Retina display is now out - but at least it hasn't shoved the Mini off the list altogether.

6. Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7

Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7

Leaner, meaner and more powerful than its predecessor, Amazon has stepped its game up with the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 as it looks to keep pace with the new Nexus 7.

On paper Amazon's latest 7-inch tablet is more than up to the job with a 2.2GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, full HD display, up to 64GB of storage and prices starting at £200.

In reality however it's not the complete offering the Nexus 7 is, with Amazon's heavily modified Fire OS 3.0 stripping out a lot of the functionality of Android and putting the retailer's services front and centre.

Verdict

For the customisation you give up, you gain simplicity and ease of use on the Kindle Fire HDX 7. We'd like to call this the sort of tablet you give to someone who is less than tech savvy, but those devices don't usually have such good hardware.

If you're a Prime subscriber, or heavily invested in Amazon's ecosystem, the Kindle Fire HDX 7 is a smart purchase. For those who want a little more functionality reach for a Nexus 7, or if you have deeper pockets check out the iPad mini 2.