The 10 Coolest Tablets Of 2013 (So Far)10:00 AM EST Wed. Jul. 31, 2013
Tablets continue to fly off the shelves as business and consumers alike are increasingly shifting more toward mobile. Hardware, operating systems, features, performance, every bit of it is taken into consideration when making a tablet purchase. Here's a look at some of the coolest tablets on the market so far this year.
Google's all-new Nexus 7 made by Asus is among the first devices to be released with the new Android Jelly Bean 4.3 operating system. Lighter and sharper than its predecessor, the new Nexus 7 sports 323 ppi on its 7-inch screen and is only 8.65mm deep. Loaded with a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, the device was built for speed. Google claims the device will play up to 9 hours of HD video without having to be recharged, though the device also has built-in wireless charging.
Price: From $229
Sony's 10.1-inch HD Tablet Z comes with the added benefit of being water resistant, able to survive in 3 feet of water for up to 30 minutes. The Xperia Tablet Z is capable of not only screen sharing between Android devices but also operating a television wirelessly. With one touch, content appearing on the tablet can be mirrored on the television screen, or the tablet can be used as a remote control. Running on a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Processor, Sony Xperia Tablet Z claims fast performance, enhanced multitasking abilities and high battery life, boasting up to 10 hours of productivity.
Price: From $499.99
Doubling the speed and quadrupling the number of pixels found in the iPad 2, the 9.7-inch iPad with Retina display was designed to give a clear advantage over other models. Apple's fourth-generation version boasts the new A6X chip that gives the device more speed, which Apple maintains does not affect the user's ability to squeeze 10 hours of battery life out of it. The iPad with Retina display is loaded with features like FaceTime for video calls, AirTime for wirelessly controlling a television, and Siri, Apple's built in personal assistant. Chargers from previous generation iPads or iPhones before the iPhone 5 are not compatible for the new iPad with Retina display.
Price: From $499
Available in 7.0, 8.0 and 10.1 inch versions, Samsung's Galaxy Tab 3 was designed to give customers the ability to choose the hardware best suited to the individual. The 7-inch tablet runs on Android 4.1, while the 8- and 10.1-inch tablets both operate on Android 4.2. The smallest of the set comes with 8-GB onboard storage, whereas the larger two have 16- or 32-GB options; all of the tablets have a memory card slot. With features just like the Galaxy smartphones, the tablet is easy to learn for Samsung aficionados. The added multitasking ability through a split screen makes keeping an eye on two screens at once a cinch.
Price: From $199, $299 and $399
One of a series of new mobile devices released recently from Lenovo, the ThinkPad Tablet 2 nearly functions as a full-blown notebook when a wireless keyboard is attached. Operating on Windows 8 Pro, Lenovo advertises the Tablet 2 as "enterprise ready." With a 10.1-inch display and an Intel dual-core processor, the ThinkPad Tablet 2 comes preloaded with Office Home and Student 2013 and a trial version of Microsoft Office.
Price: From $579.00
Barely sneaking in to our tablet category is the Galaxy Note II, which serves the dual smartphone-tablet purpose. Equipped with a stylus called the "S pen," this phablet is capable of a few artistic functions hard to find on other tablets. Operating on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and running a 1.6GHz quad-core processor, the Note II moves easily from single screen to multitasking to easy mode. Though some find it absurd to hold a 5.5-inch screen to an ear, others have found the dual device functionality a plus.
Price: $799.99, without plan
The Asus VivoTab Windows 8-based tablet has a display that measures in at 11.6 inches and runs on an Intel dual-core processor. Not to be confused with the Asus VivoTab RT, this tablet comes with Windows 8 Pro and can easily morph from a tablet to personal computer with the addition of a wireless keyboard. Asus claims the tablet can run through 10.5 hours of battery life before a recharge. The addition of a stylus gives the option to turn handwriting into digital print.
Price: Amazon List, $679.94
Released in November 2012, the iPad mini was a hot ticket item for the holidays. With all of the benefits and features found in an iPad 2, the mini 's 7.9-inch display can be held and operated with a single hand. Available in 16-, 32, and 64-GB storage options, Apple claims the device operates on a 10-hour battery life, just like the previous iPad. This smaller iPad still runs on the A5 chip and does not sport the Retina display.
Price: From $329
The 10-inch Nexus from Google is loaded with 300ppi and capable of playing HD video on a large screen. Operating on Android 4.2, the device is able to accommodate multiple users, switching from one to the other quickly and smoothly. Introduced with the Nexus 10 was Photo Sphere, the camera feature that allows the tablet to take panoramic pictures. The device runs on an A15 Dual-core processor and comes in 16- and 32-GB options.
Price: From $399
It may not be the prettiest tablet on the market, but it's built for durability inside and out. Water and dust resistant and capable of withstanding a 4-foot drop, the shock absorbers on the corners of the device make it look as rugged as it is. In addition to outer durability, Panasonic's ToughPad was built with security in mind; the Panasonic ToughPad FZ-A1 boasts hardware encryption and FIPS level-2 compliance. This device sports a 10.1-inch display and has a 1.2GHz dual-core processor.
Price: From $1299