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Top 5s of 2013: The best tablets


Tablets are fast becoming the entry level computing device of choice for many. They’re thin, light, powerful and intuitive to use, that’s why we love ourselves a good tablet. This year saw some interesting takes on the tablet as well as a refinement of some of the best ones available.

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iPad Air

Operating System: iOS 7

When the iPad Air was announced Apple made a point of mentioning that the Air was the tablet it had always wanted to produce but until now has lacked the technology to do so. The Air is 28% lighter and 20% thinner than the previous generation iPad and weighs in at less than 500 grams while still managing to keep the beautiful 9.7 inch Retina display and the now famous ten hour iPad battery life. It really does feel phenomenal in hand compared to the previous generation and feels significantly improved with the new A7 processorwhich keeps everything humming along without a delay.

iPadmini

iPad Mini with Retina display

Operating System: iOS7

The number one moist requested feature upgrade that was requested by user for the iPad Mini was the inclusion of a Retina display, so Apple gave it one. The new iPad Mini with Retina display has the same phenomenal 2048 x 1536 resolution of the iPad Air but manages to squeeze it into a smaller 7.9 inch display. The iPad Mini also shares the same A7 processor and other internal tech with its bigger brother as well, so the only way to choose between them now is your size preference.

lenovo

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 8 inch

Operating System: Android 4.2 Jelly Bean

With the Lenovo Yoga Tablet you get something that no other tablet can offer, battery life up to 16 hours of it in fact. The innovative design lets you roll out a kickstand when you want to watch a movie or prop the tablet up at the perfect angle to type on. The battery cylinder also lets you hold the tablet like you would hold a folded over magazine which is far more forgiving after long periods. the only real disappointment is a low resolution display which makes us opt for the 8 inch over the 10 inch model.

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Sony Xperia Tablet Z

Operating System: Android 4.2 Jelly Bean

Besides being waterproof and dustproof the Sony Xperia Tablet Z is also thinner and lighter than almost any other tablet on the market putting it truly in a class of its own. The big, bright full HD display is perfect for reading and watching movies on and because it weighs less than half a kilogram you can take it everywhere without feeling like you’re lugging around a brick. We know that Deon sure loves his one, in fact, he even wrote the review for it.

Surface Pro 2

 

Microsoft Surface Pro 2

Operating system: Windows 8

With the advent of Intel’s new generation of Haswell processors the Surface Pro tablet finally had a processor that could give it all day battery life without having to sacrifice the full Windows experience. The Surface Pro 2 added a second stage for the rear kickstand to help those who had found the first one too vertical for their liking. There is a lot more competition in the Windows tablet space these days, but if we had a choice it would be the Surface Pro 2. The biggest problem with it though? It’s not available in SA, pity that.

And the tablet of the year goes to…

The iPad Air. It’s thinner and lighter than any iPad to have come before it, in fact it’s closer to the iPad Mini than we’d like to admit. Great display, great ecosystem, and a great new design with the same 10 hour battery life, well done Apple.

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