Which are the best tablets to buy?

2012 is definitely the year of mobile devices, particularly the tablet. People all over the world are transitioning to digital tools like tablets that are multi-functional and more convenient to lug around. Statistics show that by 2015, there will be an estimated 82.1 tablet users in the United States.

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Tablet users also use their tablets every day and spend an average of 90 minutes per day on it, usually on the road and even in the bathroom. With the increasing popularity of touch devices, consumers are bombarded with more and more choices for these mobile gadgets.  Here are the top tablet choices for 2012:

Google Nexus 7

This 7-inch Android device definitely takes top spot because of price, portability, and performance.  The $199 price tag for a 16GB tablet running NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor is hard to beat.  If you’re a heavy Google user, you’ll love the fact that it integrates with Google tools like Gmail, Google Calendar, and YouTube.  It also works great as an e-reader. Light, fast, long-lasting, and convenient to hold, you won’t be disappointed to buy this tablet for either business or entertainment.  Get the 32GB Wi-Fi only version for $249 and the HSPA+ 32 GB version for $299.

Amazon Kindle Fire HD

If you want something smaller than an iPad but are not keen on the Nexus 7, then this Amazon device is the one to consider.  The latest Kindle features stunning display (1280×800 high definition LCD), reduced glare, crisp and clean sound, and smooth integration with the Amazon ecosystem.  Customer reviews also raved about excellent customer support from Amazon. Choose this over competitors if you’re a fan of Amazon content, want a media device, and need an ultra-portable tablet.

Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700

If you have $499.99 to spare for an Apple alternative, then get the Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700. Sporting a NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor, Android 4.0 OS (updated to Jelly Bean 4.1), and 1920×1200 resolution Full HD display; you can expect fast and powerful performance, perfect for hard-core gamers out there. The TF700 lets you read easily even under sunlight with its Super IPS+ panel and take beautiful photos with its 8MP auto-focus rear camera.  Corning Gorilla Glass 2 also protects the screen from damage. If you have an extra $149, get the optional mobile dock full QWERTY keyboard and transform your tablet into a netbook.  With the dock, you also get an extra battery and full-sized USB port. Other key points to consider are its responsive screen and great GPS reception.

Microsoft Surface Pro

Why would you buy a Windows tablet?  If you’re looking for a consumer-slash-productivity tablet, then the 10.6 inch Surface Pro is it. Users who are used to the old Windows may find the $899 Surface a bit confusing at first. Once you get the hang of it though, you’ll find multi-tasking and switching between tasks to be a breeze. Not only will you be able to watch videos and read articles, you’ll also be able to experience Windows 8 Professional in full.  This tablet is the more powerful version of the $500 Windows Surface, Microsoft’s first attempt to break into the tablet market. Just like the Asus Transformer, the Surface also has an optional detachable keyboard, which you can buy for an additional $100.  The Surface Pro runs on Intel Core i5, has 4GB RAM, and weighs 903 g.

Apple iPad 4

We can’t talk tablets without talking about the Apple iPad 4.The new iPad is as desirable as ever with its 720p FaceTime for your VoIP service video calls, retina display, A6X processor, 5MP camera, and dual-band Wi-Fi. Released the same year as the iPad Mini and the iPad 3, the iPad 4 is the new new iPad; a clear message to Microsoft and Google that Apple is all set to defend its hold on all fronts in the tablet market. So what makes this tablet better than its predecessor?  It is actually not much of a major upgrade from the iPad 3, but if you’re a diehard Apple fan, you’ll appreciate the faster chipset.  iPhone 5 users may also want a tablet that has the same Lightning Port as their smartphones for seamless compatibility. It may not be worth it to ditch your still fresh iPad 3 for a $499-$829 device, but if you can’t have anything less than Apple’s trademark minimalist design, clean lines, and fast and smooth functionalities, then this is the tablet for you.

Google Nexus 10

What’s lighter and has better screen resolution than the iPad 4? It’s the 10-inch Google Nexus 10, which was manufactured by Samsung and released a few days after Apple announced the 4th generation iPad.  Benchmark tests also show that with more RAM and with its Exynos 5250 chip dual-core Cortex-A15 processor and Mali-T604 graphics unit, this tablet beats the iPad 4 on processing speed and graphics display. Other notable features are its 5MP camera (lets you video chat with up to nine people on Google hangouts), Android Jelly Bean 4.2, and 9000mAh battery pack.  At $399 for 16GB Wi-Fi version and $499 for 32 GB Wi Fi version, you’ll be satisfied with this device.

Any tablets you love that we missed?  Sound off in the comments!

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