10. Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2

Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2

The Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 is a massive beast of a tablet. It may seem unwieldy with a 12.2 screen but the addition of the S Pen stylus comes in as a surprisingly handy perk; it finally feels like the consistently useful productivity tool it always threatened to be.

Samsung still needs to work on its overall design and build quality standards if it's to justify charging so much for a tablet, but it's definitely onto something interesting here with the super-sized tablet form.

Quick verdict

Samsung has quite a job on its hands to convince the world that there is a genuine need for giant tablets.

But if productivity is foremost in your mind as you shop for an Android tablet, the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2's combination of huge HD display and S Pen interactivity is a compelling combination.

9. Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7"

Kindle Fire HDX

With the Kindle Fire HDX, you have an excellently built Android tablet - from a hardware perspective, at least. But while it's lightning fast and a great way to enjoy books, magazines, comics, music and movies, it comes up short in the places where the best tablets truly impress: third-party apps and a whiz bang customizable interface.

The battery life is absolutely on par with the competition. Those who push will still see more than a day of use off a single charge, and those who are light on it will plug it in only once or twice a week.

Kindle HDX

Quick verdict

The 7-inch LCD display rocks a resolution of 1920 x 1200 and an intense pixel density 323 ppi. Though seven inches isn't a ton of visual real estate (this is a "mini" tablet, after all), it makes movies look magnificent and keeps text nice and crisp. It's bright, colorful and among the best tablet displays on the market.

8. Apple 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 first three places in our top 10, with the iPad mini the jewel in an already glistening crown.

The slight downsides to the iPad mini are that it misses out on a Retina display and it pushes the upper end of the budget price bracket, but you can justify that price with its slick operation and premium build quality, letting you know you have a top piece of kit in your hand.

Quick verdict

"The iPad mini is the best iPad Apple has ever created" - need we say more? That's the official verdict from our in-depth review. If you have the extra cash to spend on the iPad mini over the likes of the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD, you won't be disappointed.

7. 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 $899 for the basic version - plus you'll need a keyboard on top of that.

6. Google Nexus 10

Google Nexus 10

The 10.1 display is one of the biggest talking points on the Google Nexus 10. At 300 pixels per inch it's the highest resolution tablet display on the planet - take that Apple and your Retina screens.

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 no matter what 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 not to be sniffed at.

Quick verdict

The Google Nexus 10 is easily one of the best Android tablets on the market. While it's not quite as fantastic a value as the Nexus 7, it certainly gives Apple's high-priced iPad 4 a run for its money. For the price you're paying, you won't be disappointed.