When you’re looking to add a new piece of tech to your life, there are always a number of options to consider. Are you already invested in a particular app ecosystem–Apple, Android, Windows? Are you looking for a tablet to replace your laptop, or do you want something that you can hand to your kid on long car trips without guilt? You can generally find the best tablets of 2014 priced anywhere between $100 and $1000, but are you getting what you paid for?
Topping the best tablet list at Business Insider are the iPad Air 2, the iPad Air, and the iPad mini 2, in order. The iPad options start at $300 for the iPad mini 2 (which is last year’s model, just for clarity), and $500 for the iPad Air 2. Whether or not the iPads are worth the price premium is a matter of debate, and it often comes down to user preference. If you’re not already invested in the Apple world, an iPad may be a powerful tablet, but still not your first choice.
If you’re looking for a tablet to replace your laptop, Stuff says that the Windows Surface Pro 3 is probably your best choice. Running Windows 8.1, with a kickstand and a keyboard, this tablet does double duty as a laptop. There are other options out there, like Lenovo’s Yoga line, where the screen of the laptop essentially folds around 360 degrees so that it can be held like a tablet, or the HP Envy line, where the screen detaches from the keyboard to be used in tablet mode, but the clunkyness of these devices makes it hard to call them the best tablets of the year. They’re great dual purpose devices, but not great tablets.
If you need one of 2014’s best tablets for your kids, the New York Times blogger Warren Buckleitner has put together some comparisons of the various tablets that parents often reach for with their kids in mind. The Amazon Kindle Fire, the iPad models, and the various tablets made specifically for kids are the usual contenders, and Buckleitner offers pros and cons for each of them. Gizmag has also weighed in on the tricky subject.
BGR‘s best tablets of 2014 list starts with the iPad Air 2, but then follows it up with an insightful look at the Galaxy Note 10.1, Google’s Nexus 9, and the Asus MeMO Pad.
If you’re looking for one of the best tablets of 2014 to give during the holidays–or to keep for yourself–make sure to check out the Cyber Monday deals; some great savings are waiting.
Image from PC Pro