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Everything you need to know about your next tablet

Those are all the upcoming slates that it's worth getting excited about, but there some pretty tasty new slates available already, so if you just can't wait till later in the year then here's the best of the current crop.

iPad Air

For our money the iPad Air is the best tablet on the planet. It built on the already impressive iPad 4 by slimming down to a sleek 7.5mm thick and also lost some weight, dropping to just 469g, making it impressively light.

It didn't sacrifice any of its predecessors impressive build quality in the process either. In fact in shrinking the bezels Apple has produced arguably the best looking tablet on the market. The Cupertino company even saw fit to improve the innards, by fitting it with a powerful A7 processor.

iPad Air

Some things haven't been changed. The screen for example is still a 9.7 inch 1536 x 2048 retina display, but it's still among the most impressive screens on the market.

Ultimately the iPad Air is an evolution rather than a revolution, but it was enough of an evolution to become our first five star tablet.

Sony Xperia Z2 tablet

Sony has been putting in a strong performance across both smartphones and tablets lately and the Xperia Z2 Tablet is the most recent product of that.

With a quad-core processor and 3GB of RAM this is an enormously powerful slate, while it has an attractive, slim design. In fact it's both slimmer and lighter than the iPad Air, which is quite an impressive feat.

Xperia Z2 Tablet

It's also water and dust resistant, so it's built to last. While impressively loud front-facing speakers and a vibrant Live Color LED screen ensure that it's great for media.

The 10.1 inch screen isn't quite as sharp as we'd like, coming in at just 1200 x 1920 with a 224 ppi pixel density, but this is still one of the best slates around.

New Nexus 7

The first Nexus 7 made tablet waves by combining high end specs with a low price tag and truly popularising the 7 inch size point. More recently that was followed up by a new tablet with the same name and it largely repeated the trick.

New Nexus 7

The new Nexus 7 is every bit as affordable as its predecessor, with a starting price of just AU$299 and it improves the specs by including a 1.5 GHz quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM.

The 1200 x 1920 screen is a revelation too with a super sharp pixel density of 323 pixels per inch. Plus with strong battery life this is a slate that will see you through even the longest of long haul flights.

iPad mini 2

While we're eagerly awaiting the iPad mini 3, the second generation of the device is still an enormously tempting proposition. It has a simply gorgeous design and build. At 7.9mm it's a touch fatter than the original iPad mini, but when it has such a premium aluminium body you're not likely to mind.

iPad Mini 2

The screen is the real win for the iPad mini 2 though as while the original was a little low resolution, Apple has stuck a Retina Display in the new model. Giving this 7.9 inch slate a 1536 x 2048 resolution with 324 pixels per inch.

It also has an improved Apple A7 processor, making it every bit as powerful as the iPad Air. With prices starting at AU$479, it's a little pricier than the Nexus 7 but it also has a far more premium build.

Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro

Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4

How big do you want your tablet? We've not chosen one screen size as there are so many to pick from here... well, three, but that's still one more than Apple.

These tablets are almost identical apart from the screen size, with the same WQXGA resolution used on each to provide a very sharp image indeed - and as you can imagine, the 8.4 version comes in as the sharpest of the lost.

We think it's between the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 and Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 for the best choice for the average consumer, but the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2 isn't a bad shout if you're desperate for a bigger screen. It's a bit heavier, as you might imagine, so be warned...

Amazon Kindle Fire HDX

Amazon's Kindle Fire range has its sights set on the same market as Google's Nexus slates. In other words delivering moderately high performance Android hardware at an affordable price.

Amazon's USP is slightly different though as while the Nexus range runs stock Android, Amazon's slates run a skewed version that relies on the Amazon app store rather than Google Play.

Kindle Fire HDX

The Kindle Fire HDX is the most recent slate in the range and it comes in two sizes - the Kindle Fire HDX 7 and the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9.

Whichever one you go for you're looking at a tablet with a quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM, so there's no shortage of power.

It's also an ideal slate for anyone who isn't so tech savvy, as thanks to Amazon's Mayday service you can get instant help and support from a customer service rep at the touch of a button.