The past few months have seen a complete refresh of the Apple range – still the market leader – and some really strong contenders from Samsung (the Galaxy Tab 10 S 10.5) as well as Acer, Amazon, Google and Microsoft. Tablet sales are eclipsing laptops, but if you're not sure a tablet is for you, see our reports on laptops and netbooks and computers and accessories.
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: the Iconia A1, W3, W4 and W510
- Amazon: the Kindle Fire HDX and HDX 8.9
- Apple: the iPad Air, Mini and Mini 2
- Asus: FonePad 7, Google Nexus 7, MeMo Pad FHD 10, Transformer Book T100T
- Archos 70 Cobalt, 97b Platinum HD
- Google: the Nexus 7 (Asus) and Nexus 10 (Samsung)
- Dell Venue 8 Pro
- HP Omni 10, HP 8 1401es
- Lenovo: the IdeaTab A1000l and S6000
- Microsoft: the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 3
- Samsung: the Galaxy Note 8, Galaxy Tab2 10, the Galaxy Tab3 7, 8 and 10, Galaxy Tab S 10.5 and the Google Nexus 10, Galaxy Note 10.1 2014, Galaxy NotePro 12.2
- Sony: the Xperia Z2 and Tablet Z
- Toshiba: the Excite Pro
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 has a wide scope, including:
- Device overview Physical characteristics such as connections (USB, HDMI etc), memory, build quality and weight.
- Internet and emails How easy it is to set up and use email, browse the internet and use internet services including social networking.
- Multimedia Covers all 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 Buttons, the keyboard and how easy it is to handle and use the device.
- Screen quality 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 Security of your data, access to the tablet, backing up of data and recovery from failures.
For more detail, see "How we score"