/>
X

Holiday 2015: Tablet gift guide (in pictures)

Tablets are going to be a popular gift under many a tree this holiday season, but picking the right tablet for a loved one - or yourself - can be tricky. This gift guide will help guide you through the myriad of tablets out there to find the right one.
|
adrian-kingsley-hughes.jpg
|
Topic: Tablets
Apple iPad Air 2
1 of 9 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Apple iPad Air 2

Considered by many to be the flagship tablet, and the device that's set the standards that others try to match up to.

Pros:

  • Premium product
  • Vast iOS apps ecosystem
  • Excellent range of accessories
  • Powerful hardware
  • Excellent display
  • Ideal for someone who already has an iPhone
  • Touch ID makes accessing it quick and easy

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Not particularly robust
  • No microSD card slot

Alternatives:

  • The First-generation iPad Air for $100 less

Price: Starting at $499.99

Google Nexus 9
2 of 9 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Google Nexus 9

Google's pure Android offering just keeps on getting better and better. This latest incarnation brings high-end hardware to consumers at a reasonable price.

Pros:

  • High-end hardware
  • Excellent display
  • Competitively priced
  • Access to Android updates and upgrades

Cons:

  • Flimsy design
  • No micro SD card slot

Alternatives:

  • Google Nexus 7

Price: Starting at $299.99

Microsoft Surface Pro 4
3 of 9 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Microsoft Surface Pro 4

If you want to run Windows as opposed to Android or iOS, then Microsoft's new Surface Pro 4 tablet is well worth taking a look at.

Pros:

  • Powerful hardware
  • Runs Window, so you can use all your favorite applications
  • Excellent keyboard (optional)
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • Gets expensive at the higher end of the spectrum
  • Microsoft's app store is nowhere near as comprehensive as the one on iOS or Android

Alternatives:

  • Surface Pro 3 starting at $499
  • Surface Book starting at $1499

Price: Starting at $899

Amazon Fire HD 8
4 of 9 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Amazon Fire HD 8

A middle-of-the-road tablet from Amazon. Ideally suited to those who are more interested in consuming than creating content.

Pros:

  • High-quality hardware
  • Access to a vast ecosystem of apps and content
  • Wide range of accessories

Cons:

  • Restricted to the Amazon ecosystem
  • Accessory ecosystem much smaller than available for the iPad
  • No micro SD card

Alternatives:

  • The larger Fire HD 10 for $199.99
  • The budget Fire HD 6 for $99
  • The super-budget Fire for a mere $49

Price: Starting at $149.99

Apple iPad Mini 4
5 of 9 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Apple iPad Mini 4

Like the iPad Air 2, only smaller.

Pros:

  • Compact design
  • $100 cheaper than the full-sized iPad
  • Runs the same apps as the full-sized iPad
  • Touch ID

Cons:

  • Smaller choice of cases and keyboards

Alternatives:

  • The iPad Mini 2

Price: Starting at $399.99

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite
6 of 9 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

This is a tablet specifically designed for people who like to read ebooks.

Pros:

  • High resolution e-Ink display
  • Lower eyestrain than traditional displays
  • Perfect for day and night
  • Battery lasts weeks, not days
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • No apps
  • Only really useful as an ebook reader
  • Grayscale display

Alternatives:

  • The 6-inch Kindle ebook reader for $79.99
  • High-end Kindle Voyager for $199.99
  • Kindle for Kids, featuring 2-year accident cover for $99.99

Price: Starting at $119.99

Samsung Galaxy Tab S (10.5-inch)
7 of 9 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Samsung Galaxy Tab S (10.5-inch)

Pros:

  • Strong brand
  • High-quality 10.5-inch display
  • Powerful hardware
  • Thin and light
  • Can be picked up for well under $400
  • Ideal for content consumption

Cons:

  • System becomes laggy if pushed
  • 2014 hardware

Alternatives:

  • iPad Air 4

Price: From about $360

Amazon Fire Kids Edition
8 of 9 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Amazon Fire Kids Edition

A 7-inch Amazon Kindle tablet that's been kid-proofed.

Pros:

  • Kid-proofed tablet
  • No-questions-asked 2 year accident exchange policy
  • Low price
  • Built-in micro SD card slot
  • Easy to use parental controls
  • Access to a wide range of kid-friendly content

Cons:

  • Expect to spend money on content and apps!

Alternatives:

  • iPad Mini 2
  • Amazon Fire HD 8

Price: $99.99

Sony Xperia Z4
9 of 9 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Sony Xperia Z4

A slim, waterproof and dustproof tablet that's highly customizable and offers superb performance.

Pros:

  • Powerful hardware
  • Water and dust proof (ideal for the kitchen or workshop)

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Optional keyboard is pretty dismal

Alternatives:

  • Get a waterproof case for any other tablet

Price: Starting at $620

Related Galleries

First look: Apple's 'Spring Loaded' event [pictures]
apple420-01.jpg

Related Galleries

First look: Apple's 'Spring Loaded' event [pictures]

How to test chargers and power banks to make sure they don't blow up your expensive smartphone
Introduction

Related Galleries

How to test chargers and power banks to make sure they don't blow up your expensive smartphone

First look: Galaxy Tab S7 and S7 Plus [in pictures]
galaxy-tab-s7-and-buds-live-lifestyle.jpg

Related Galleries

First look: Galaxy Tab S7 and S7 Plus [in pictures]

Apricorn Aegis Secure Key 3NXC
Apricorn Aegis Secure Key 3NXC

Related Galleries

Apricorn Aegis Secure Key 3NXC

The new Amazon Fire HD 8 (2020) in pictures
The new Amazon Fire HD 8 (2020)

Related Galleries

The new Amazon Fire HD 8 (2020) in pictures

Speck Balance Folio Clear for Apple iPad (2019): 4 feet drop protection and multi-angle stand
speck-ipad-7th-gen-1.jpg

Related Galleries

Speck Balance Folio Clear for Apple iPad (2019): 4 feet drop protection and multi-angle stand

A brief history of Apple iPad models 2010-2019 (Gallery)
The iPad

Related Galleries

A brief history of Apple iPad models 2010-2019 (Gallery)