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Amazon Kindle Fire HD
Amazon, a company that rose to fame by making it easier and cheaper to get your hands on the books you wanted, has been aggressively getting into both the hardware and digital content markets over the past few years. And the recently updated Kindle Fire HD is testament to how serious Amazon is about disrupting the tablet market.
- Fire OS 3.0, a highly modified version of Android
- 1.5GHz dual-core processor
- 7-inch 1280x800 HD display featuring a pixel density of 216 pixels-per-inch
- Dolby audio
- Dual-band Wi-Fi
- 10 hour battery life
- Choice of 8GB and 16GB internal storage of internal storage
Price: from $139.
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 edition)
The Galaxy Note 10.1 is Samsung's is a flagship tablet that commands a flagship price. And it just got better with this latest update
The hardware is all top-notch, with a 10.1-inch screen with a 2560x1600 resolution display, a 2.3GHz quad core processor on the LTE version (the Wi-Fi/3G version has a 1.9GHz quad-core CPU and a secondary 1.3GHz quad-core CPU), a choice of 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of storage, an 8 megapixel rear-facing camera, a 2 megapixel front-facing camera, and a 10-hour battery pack.
The software is Android 4.2 "Jelly Bean" operating system.
For times when a finger just isn't precise enough, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 comes with a nifty stylus called the S Pen specifically designed to work with a number of applications. This really comes to its own when doing fiddly things like working in a spreadsheet, or knocking out a doodle.
The stylus makes the Galaxy Note 10.1 a great machine for taking notes, planning, and sketching out ideas. This can be a hugely useful for BYOD usage.
There are two drawbacks to this device. The first is the price. This is a premium tablet, and has a premium price tag to go with that. But at $50 more than the iPad, it's hard to recommend the new Galaxy Note 10.1, especially when you factor in the second drawback – performance. While the hardware baked into the new Galaxy Note 10.1 is top-notch, the tablet still suffers from a sluggishness that makes it annoying to use. Perhaps this will be fixed by a software update, but for now it plagues what should otherwise be a flagship device.
At a glance:
- 10.1-inch, 2560x1600 display
- 2.3GHz Exynos quad core processor on the LTE version
- Android 4.3 "Jelly Bean"
- 8 megapixel rear-facing camera, a 2 megapixel front-facing camera
- Choice of 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of internal storage
- Battery life of 10 hours
Price: from $549.
Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700T
An oldie but still a goodie.
The Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700T is not only the slimmest and lightest 1920x1200 resolution Full HD Android tablet on the market, but it is also stylish and very well put together.
The 10.1-inch 1920x1200 resolution display is backed by a powerful Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor that is packed with a very capable 12-core GPU. This hardware runs the Android 4.0.3 "Ice Cream Sandwich" operating system, which is now showing its age, but is nonetheless a very capable and robust platform.
While the hardware is capable of handling most apps you can throw at it, performance when it comes to some of the newer, more demanding games leaves a little to be desired. If you're into gaming, you might want to give this tablet a miss.
The tablet features an 8-megapixel rear camera, and a 2 megapixel front camera, and the battery can go for 9.5 hours between recharges.
At a glance:
- 10.1-inch 1920x1200 display
- Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor
- Android 4.0.3 "Ice Cream Sandwich"
- 8 megapixel rear camera, and a 2 megapixel front camera
- Choice of 32GB or 64GB of internal storage
- Battery life of 9.5 hours
Price: from $499.