1. Premium: iPad Air
Apple, the standard bearer for tablets, updated its full-sized iPad Air model this year with a dual-core A7 chip, making it one of the fastest and most powerful tablets available this past year. The iPad Air also sports an impressive 9.7-inch Retina display, 1 GB of RAM and ships in either a 16-GB or 128-GB option. The $500 iPad Air weighs in at a hair less than 1 pound and features the richest app ecosystem available via Apple's App Store.