2013 has been a roller coaster year for tablets and for technology in general, and although a lot of that can be attributed to a giant lamp voiced by Bill Nighy (and if you missed the reference then you missed out on one of the year’s best movies), even more still can be ascribed to the good taste and ludicrously high standards (“what do you mean there’s no ‘time travel’ app!?) of YOU, the British consumer.
In order to continue this upward trend, we put our heads together and compiled a list of the year’s best tablets. You may be surprised at what comes first (actually, no, you won’t. We’ll say that right now. There are no surprises waiting for you at number one). Anyway, read on…
5. Amazon Kindle Fire HDX
The Amazon Kindle Fire HDX is, not to put too fine a point on it, awesome. The screen is breathtaking, the processor moves faster than David Cameron visiting a housing estate and the WiFi is better than ever (and, frankly, it was always pretty good).
But better even than that, is the price. Amazon continue to offer cracking tablets at amazing prices. You’re looking at £200 for one of these bad boys. It won’t break the bank like an iPad and it won’t disappoint like one of the many false economy ‘budget’ tablets out there.
That said; the earlier Kindle Fire HD is still one of the top 5 tablets out there if you’re looking to save a bit of dosh. Yeah, it has been out for a while now, but any Kindle version you care to name is going to be worth the money.
4. LG G Pad 8.3
2014 is going to be a good year for LG, and well; they’ve got to be about due, don’t they. After making a number of QGB (quite good, but…) products over the last couple of years, the G Pad is a welcome return to form. Fast, smart and groovy, everything about the G Pad screams care and attention, from the branding to the strong (yet lightweight and beautiful) aluminium casing.
Plus, 8.3 inches is an inspired size for a tablet. Not as cumbersome as a 10-Inch leviathan, but bigger than a 7-Inch ‘I may as well be a smartphone’ titch. What should, by all rights, have been a design disaster has, in fact, turned out to combine the best of both worlds. We can’t wait to see what those Korean lads and ladies come up with next.
3. Samsung Galaxy Note 3
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is a strong contender for best Android tablet of 2013, which makes it a very strong contender for best Android tablet ever made. However, it just loses the top spot to the Nexus (for reasons that we’ll discuss in a minute).
With a quad-core processor that’s beefier than a field of buffalo and a truly wonderful screen, this tablet is a joy to use. Add to this the sweet design job and you’re definitely on to a winner. You can even record video in HD. Yeah, it is true that nobody actually records videos on their tablet, but still, its nice to know that if you did, the video footage would be almost worth the beating you’d (justly) receive.
In short, this is a marvellous tablet and a genuine credit to Android devices everywhere.
2. Google Nexus 7 (2013 version)
Now, if you’re not an ‘Apple-ite’ (feel free to use that term), then your list ends here and, frankly, you certainly won’t go wrong if you choose to buy anything off this list with your Christmas money. However, whilst we’re talking value for money, they still don’t come much better than the Nexus series.
How the tech bods at Google can improve on this device is beyond me, but they have. In addition, they’ve also kept the cost down. This, like the Kindle Fire before it, is a winning device because it not only offers the best Android tablet experience in the world right now (in fact, ever), but it also does it whilst staying in the £200 price range. We actually can’t say enough good things about this series; we expect Google to carry on scoring big in 2014.
The iPad Air or any version of the iPad, is the best gosh-darn tablet in the world right now. That’s just how it is. The iPad beats every other tablet ever made and anything else is just wishful thinking.
Fast, sleek and sexy, the iPad looks like it costs what it costs, so there can be no savings here. Frankly, the cash-strapped need not apply. Apple don’t care if you can afford their products or not, because they know that deep down you’re willing to mortgage your very soul in order to own them.
Now, we aren’t the sort of smarmy, yuppie-types who swoon over the Apple logo just because of some sort of fickle allegiance, we’re the sort of sticky, geeky types who swoon over the Apple products simply because they are so damned good.
Maybe one day we’ll do a list that doesn’t have an iPad in the number one slot. Maybe. However, dear reader; today is not that day.