Tablet buying guide: which tablet should I buy?

All you need to know about the world of tablets

How much will I need to spend?

You'll find a few tablets for less than £100 now, but you'll realise why they're so cheap as soon as you lay hands on one. For really tight budgets, you can get a decent 7-inch Android tablet for less than £150, but we wouldn't recommend going below the Tesco Hudl at £120.

Spend around £200 and you'll get something really good in this size category: the 16GB Nexus 7. You'll need to spend at least £250 if you're after that Apple logo, and that'll only secure you the older version of the iPad mini. If you want the iPad mini 2 you'll have to pay at least £320.

In the larger tablet category you're going to have to spend over £200. If you want something really impressive then you'll spend closer to the £400 mark and if you need a lot of storage and cellular service then you could end up north of £600.

For example, the iPad Air starts at £399, but at the absolute top end, you'll find the 128GB version with 4G connectivity for £739. Alternatively you can check out something like the Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet, which is the best the Android world has to offer right now.

What tablet does TechRadar recommend?

Our favorite all-round tablet right now is the iPad Air; it offers the complete package and should suit everyone. People on a budget will struggle to find anything better than the Nexus 7.

iPad Air
You can't beat the iPad Air

Here's a look at the top ten best tablets of 2014 comparison. If you can't find something tempting in amongst that lot, then we question your tablet desire. You'll find the cream of the current crop and all the details on why we chose them.

Alternatively, the small tablet market is really competitive and there are lots of great options for people on a budget. Our best cheap tablets roundup talks you through the main contenders.

What else should I consider?

Most people don't buy a tablet for the camera, but if it's important to you check the rear-facing camera specs for photos and the front-facing camera specs if you're interested in video calls.

Not all tablets were made equal. Some last a lot longer than others. If you don't want to be reaching for that charger all the time, do your homework on battery life.

You should also pay attention to the available ports and extra connectivity. Do you want to be able plug your tablet into your TV via HDMI?

Nexus 7
The Nexus 7 is a strong cheap tablet

Most tablets have a wireless streaming option, but you'll need to make sure that your TV supports it. Do you expect to find a microSD card? Will you need GPS so you can use your tablet for navigation?

Assume nothing, make a list of what you want and make sure your chosen tablet covers all the bases.

Tablet jargon explained

Operating System, OS, or Platform: refers to the software running on your tablet, so either Android, iOS, or Windows 8.

Resolution and PPI: resolution dictates how sharp the screen is as a measure of the pixels. Full high definition (HD) is 1920 x 1080 pixels, but size factors in too, so you'll often see PPI, which stands for pixels per inch. The higher it is, the sharper the screen will appear.

Processor, GPU or CPU: dictates the hardware that runs the system. The more powerful it is, the faster your tablet will be able to run.

Apps: software programs that run on your tablet, they can be anything from Twitter to Angry Birds.

RAM: Random Access Memory enables you to switch in and out of apps more quickly. The higher it is the better your tablet will handle multitasking.

Internal storage: how much room you have for files, apps and movies. It's always measured in GB and the higher the number is, the more room you'll have.

3G and 4G: every tablet has Wi-Fi for connecting to your home or work router and other hotspots. 3G and 4G is cellular network technology, like your phone uses, that enables you to connect to the Internet when you're not in range of Wi-Fi.

Aspect ratio: this determines your screen layout and it's generally 16:9, 16:10 or 4:3.

OK, I'm ready, let me at the reviews!

Consider yourself suitably armed for the quest ahead. Now it's time to enter the wonderful world of tablet reviews and find your perfect device.