It's a good time to be a gadget buyer

Summary:Contrary to popular belief, there has rarely been a better time to be looking for mobile gadgets.

You may have heard recently that the mobile space is stagnant and that we need something new to come along. It's easy to think that with few gadgets grabbing major attention for a while. That's misleading as there has never been a greater choice of good smartphones, tablets, and laptops as we have today.

Lumias 300
(Credit: Windows)

Smartphones

We seem to always be looking for the next big smartphone to come along, but the fact is there are a lot of great ones on the market. There are phones of every size and with features to make satisfy even the hardest to please among us.

Windows Phone

The current version of the smartphone platform from Microsoft is as good as anything on the market. The two smartphone heavyweights, Nokia and HTC, have outstanding Windows Phones available today that could satisfy anyone. The Lumias combine innovative handset design with Nokia software to make some mighty fine smartphones. HTC is bringing its typical good hardware to bear bringing Windows Phone to life.

Related stories: Hands on with the AT&T Nokia 820 | Nokia 920 or HTC Windows Phone 8X

Android

There is never a shortage of phones running Google's smartphone OS, and there are some very good ones. Samsung is pumping out Galaxy models including two great handsets. The S3 and Note 2 are as good as any phone on the market and good choices for many. LG has got the Nexus 4 that brings early Android updates direct from Google. HTC has some fine Android phones as does Motorola with the Razr line. Those are just the major players; there are lots of other Android phones worth consideration.

Related stories: 15 reasons the HTC Droid DNA keeps my SIM out of my iPhone 5

iPhone

The iPhone 5 is selling like crazy, according to Apple , and it's not the only one. While some analysts are calling for a cheap iPhone model there are actually two, the iPhone 4 and 4S. Tim Cook admitted that the iPhone 4 is selling great so there already is a cheap iPhone that appeals to buyers. While others might like to see a bigger display on an iPhone, it would appear that the iPhone 5 is still quite popular for those wanting a phone from Apple.

Related stories: Apple Q1: Strong iPhone sales: mixed vs. expectations

BlackBerry

The new BlackBerry 10 phone(s) is (are) about to appear on the market and what we've seen of the hardware and new version of the BlackBerry software so far is nice. This will offer yet more choice to the smartphone buyer who already has a lot of phones in front of him/her.

Related stories: BlackBerry 10: Bringing excitement back to mobile

Tablets

Windows 8/RT

The Surface RT has been out for a while and other Windows RT tablets are now available. The tablets are thin and light and most have keyboards available that turn them into laptops. Windows 8 tablets such as the Surface Pro are about to hit the market, for those wanting full Windows on a tablet. There will be good choices from all the major PC makers such as HP, Lenovo, and Samsung. Those wanting Windows on a tablet will have a world of choice in the next few months.

Related stories: Surface with Type Cover: A real laptop

iPad

There have never been more models of Apple's tablet to choose from as there are now. From the older iPad 2 for the budget minded to the newest iPad, there is a big iPad for anyone wanting an Apple tablet. The new iPad Mini brings a smaller form for those who prefer an iPad that is easier to handle.

Related stories: New iPad and ZAGGfolio keyboard/case: Compact and fast  | Most used apps on the iPad

Android

There has seldom been a shortage of Android tablets and that is still the case. There are tablets running Android of all sizes and some with laptop docks for those wanting that feature. Google's Nexus 7 is a big seller for a good reason. Samsung is still king of the Android tablet, but all the major players have good choices for the tablet enthusiast.

Related stories: Favorite Android tablet apps | Favorite Android tablet apps | Top 11 apps for the Nexus 7

Laptops

Macs

Apple is still pumping out laptops for OS X fans. The MacBook Air is the definitive thin laptop that comes in two screen sizes. The Retina display MacBooks are also available in two sizes for those willing to spend a pretty penny for such features.

Related stories: Why I may buy a new MacBook Pro

Windows

Windows 8 is pushing laptops of every type imaginable from all the standard players--Lenovo, Samsung, HP, and Dell, to name a few. There are laptops sporting the newest Atom processor from Intel along with the Core family of performance processors. There are laptops of all screen sizes, and even screens that swivel and twist around like gymnasts. Many hybrids also serve as tablets when the keyboard is not needed.

Related stories: Lenovo Yoga: Tablet and Ultrabook in one | ThinkPad Twist hands-on

Chromebooks

The Chrome OS is not for everyone but the new Chromebooks today are a viable alternative for many. Samsung and Acer have low-cost Chromebooks that have good hardware for the price. They offer a good alternative to the standard Mac and Windows laptops.

Related stories: Google Chromebook: 3 months in | New Samsung Chromebook and Series 5 550 head-to-head  | 11 good Chrome web apps for the Chromebook

Choice is good

There have never been so many great products to choose from in the mobile space as there are today. Whatever your preference for screen size, platform, or features, there is a smartphone/tablet/laptop to make even the pickiest buyer happy.

Topics: Smartphones, Android, iOS, Laptops, Tablets, Windows 8, Windows Phone

About

James Kendrick has been using mobile devices since they weighed 30 pounds, and has been sharing his insights on mobile technology for almost that long. Prior to joining ZDNet, James was the Founding Editor of jkOnTheRun, a CNET Top 100 Tech Blog that was acquired by GigaOM in 2008 and is now part of that prestigious tech network. James' w... Full Bio

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