In our massive 2012 online survey, completed by over 26.5k people, only 1 in 4 either didn’t own a tablet or planned never to own one. Compared to just two years ago, when they seemed like the awkward giant cousin of the humble smartphone, this is a massive shift in public opinion (and not too surprising when you see how many tablets now share your daily commute). Apple’s iPad is still a market leader but we’re finally seeing a fantastic range of Android tablets appearing on shelves, making for some tough and sometimes bitter rivalry. The following tablets are at the top of their game, pack leaders that have won over critics and public alike.
It’s all about that Retina display. Some tablets come close, but none can match the new iPad’s incredible 9.7-inch screen, packing an insane 326 pixels-per-inch. Gaming, movies, web, graphics, and basically everything you could ever want to do on a tablet burst with colour, clarity and intensity. Factor in the excellent range of high-quality apps from the comprehensive App Store, and this is the most tactile and polished experience you'll get on any device - still.
From the soft-touch design to the crisp 7-inch screen, the Google-brand Nexus 7 by Asus is a highly polished and portable tablet that can do anything you want it to. That 7-inch screen is crisp and vibrant, the quad-core chipset laughs at the latest 3D games, and Android Jelly Bean is the best Google OS yet. And then you see it costs way under £200, and your jaw hits the floor.
Asus Transformer Prime
An evolution of the original Asus Transformer tablet, the Transformer Prime is a powerful quad-core beast that comes bundled with an excellent keyboard dock, boosting your battery life and giving you the means of bashing out emails and essays without resorting to fiddly on-screen keyboards.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1
The Android tablet wars are really hotting up, with excellent devices such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 hitting stores. We love the slick design, dual-core performance and the excellent Android Ice Cream Sandwich OS, and the spacious 10.1-inch screen is a great way to enjoy and share your media.
Sony Tablet S
The Sony Tablet S looks and feels great, with an innovative wedge shape that solves one of the biggest design flaws with the tablet form factor. It runs well thanks to the dual-core processor, and bonuses include a built-in TV remote and access to some great music, video and games.