Tablets are the biggest growth area for personal computers, with worldwide sales projected at over 100 million this year alone. The Apple iPad is still the benchmark, with 60-70% of the worldwide market - but it's no longer a one-horse race. The Acer Iconia W510 is now within one point of the lead, neck and neck with all but the highest function iPads, and the Asus Vivo Tab RT is not far behind.
Video: Mini tablets comparison
CHOICE takes a look at 3 new tablets to hit the market, the iPad mini, Google Nexus 7 and the Microsoft Surface.
- Acer Iconia W510 (with kbd)
- Amazon Kindle Fire (4 models)
- Apple iPad 2 (16GB, with and without 3G)
- Apple iPad Mini (16GB, 32GB, 64GB, with and without 4G)
- Apple iPad with Retina display (16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, with and without 4G)
- Archos 101 Generation 9
- Archos 80 Generation 9
- Archos 80 XS
- Archos 97 Carbon
- Archos 97 Titanium HD
- Archos A9 Wifi
- Asus FonePad 16GB
- Asus Google Nexus 7 (16GB, 32GB)
- Asus MeMo Pad 10.1 K001 (ME301T)
- Asus Vivo Tab RT (32GB, 64GB)
- Asus VivoTab Smart
- HP Envy x2 PC 11-g010eb
- HP Slate 7 8Gb
- Microsoft Surface Pro (64GB, 128GB)
- Microsoft Surface RT (32GB, 64GB)
- Samsung ATIV SmartPC Pro
- Samsung Galaxy Note
- Samsung Galaxy Note 8 GT-N5110 (16GB, with and without 3G)
- Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 (16GB, with and without 3G)
- Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 (16GB, with and without 3G)
- Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 LTE
- Samsung Google Nexus 10
- Sony Xperia Tablet Z (SGP311GB)
How we test
To help with the high cost of testing a wide range of models we employ specialised labs in Europe to test the tablets with the results shared among a range of consumer organisations around the world. The testing covers a wide scope, including:
- Device overview: this includes physical characteristics such as connections (USB, HDMI etc), memory, build quality and weight
- Internet and emails: covers how easy it is to set up and use email, browse the internet and use internet services including social networking.
- Multimedia: covers all the media - photos, sound and video, and how easy it is to transfer files, make video calls, and find the Apps you want in the App store.
- Ease of use: now focussed on buttons, the keyboard and how easy it is to handle and use the device.
- Screen quality: we've separated this out as a major characteristic of tablets, including all aspects of the screen from performance to usability.
- Battery: the lifetime of the battery is an important feature in its own right.
- Backup and security: increasingly important in the use of tablets is the security of your data, whether its secure access to the tablet, backing up of data and recovery from failures.
For more detail, see "How we score"