By Mark Kyrnin
There are a number of great tablets out there but if you look at the features and price, the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7-inch is a great overall tablet. For just $229, the 7-inch tablet offers some great speed, good battery life and one of the best screens on the market. The best part is that the software overhaul by Amazon added in its May Day video tech chat service for those that might new to the tablet experience and require some help. It also still has one of the best setups for use by children with parental controls. It does lack a rear facing camera which might deter some but most people use their tablets for consuming media rather than creating it. If you might have problems with being locked into Amazon's software and media stores, than the Google Nexus 7 is a fabulous alternative at the same price point which also has a rear camera.
If you happen to be on a very tight budget but really would like to have a tablet, then the ASUS MemoPad HD 7 with its price of between $130 and $150 should be something to consider. Mind you, it isn't going to have the greatest features but it is certainly capable of what many people get a tablet for. The 7-inch screen is surprisingly good for its price and it even includes a high resolution rear camera.
Apple is still the king of the premium tablet market thanks to their latest version of the iPad. The tablet offers a large 9.7-inch screen but comes in an incredibly thin and light package that seems unreal. Performance is amazing thanks to the new 64-bit A7 processor and the battery life is still some of the best available. The display is not the highest resolution on the market but offers more than enough for 1080p HD video playback and high pixel density that most can't tell the difference with. It would have been nice to see it get TouchID like the iPhone 5S but that probably will be made available in next years update. Pricing starts at $499 for the 16GB versions.
For those that want to have a tablet that can run their same Windows applications that they use on their laptop or desktop computer and don't want to spend a lot, the ASUS Transformer Book T100 is an amazing value. Priced at $350 for the 32GB version and $400 for the 64GB, this tablet uses the full Windows 8.1 operating system meaning it can run those applications. Performance is good thanks to the new quad core Atom processor and ASUS even includes the keyboard dock that makes this a hybrid laptop as well. There are a number of quirks to the design but most beyond the slow charging can be overcome by users.
If you are looking for a tablet that can fully run Windows programs and basically be your dedicated computer system, than the Microsoft Surface Pro 2 is the best choice. This tablet features the same level of components as you would find in a typical ultrabook including an Intel Core i5-4200U dual core processor with 4GB of memory that lets it run just about any application for Windows. The big downsides to this are the high price tag of $999 for the 128GB version and the need of accessories to really flush out the capabilities of the tablet.
If you need a tablet that is going to run for a long time without charging, there are several options. I've picked the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 because it is very affordable at just $300 for the 16GB version yet it can run for upwards of twelve hours in digital video playback with a claimed 18 hours of dedicated e-reading. It does have a bit different shape which makes it useful to hold when reading or fold out the built in stand for viewing. Performance does suffer a bit and the screen resolution is lower than many other options at this price point now. Another option for those that might want a bit more in features is the Apple iPad Air which offers the same amount of running time but starts at a $499 price.