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Tablets On Your Gift List? What’s Hot and Why

Many analysts, geeks, and techies speak of the pending “post PC era” where our desktop and laptop computers will be completely replaced by ultra-powerful tablets that can be used to handle many different scenarios — from power computing at your local coffee shop, to lounging on the couch and looking up actor factoids while you watch your favorite show.

While not quite ready to go toe-to-toe with your old and big, yet reliable computer, the tablet category has grown exponentially in popularity since its rise from the ashes with the introduction of the iPad by Steve Jobs and ‘nem company. Since then Google, Microsoft, and others have jumped on the tablet bandwagon to make sure they get a piece of the ever-increasing tablet market.

With so many players in the game, and the holiday season kicking off in the next week or so, choosing the best tablet for your needs can be a task in and of itself. Have no fear, check out my roundup of the latest and greatest tablets, and what makes each one unique.

  • Tablet Wars – How To Choose the Best One For Your Needs 1 of 8
    Tablets On Your Gift List? What's Hot and Why via BrothaTech

    A round-up of the this season's hottest tablets, and how to choose the best one for your needs.

     

    Photo Credit: Martin Voltri via Compfight cc

  • Apple iPad Air | Apps (and accessories) everything 2 of 8
    Tablet Wars - iPad Air via Babble.com

    The Facts

    The "father of tablets" has hit the gym, lost weight and gained muscle. The iPad Air is lighter, weighing in at only one pound, and is as thin as a pencil. It also packs a powerful and "future proof" 64-bit computer chip that will ensure it can handle any tasks now or in the future. The 16GB, Wifi base model starts at $499.

     

    The Hook

    The iPad isn't cheap, but continues to be the benchmark to which all other tablets are compared. It's also the device with the most apps and most accessories. Buying an iPad as a gift, or picking up one for yourself, will ensure you will be able to customize and outfit the device to suit your needs.

  • Apple iPad Mini Retina | Ultra portable 3 of 8
    Tablet Wars - iPad Mini via Babble.com

    The Facts

    The iPad Mini Retina sports the same look and feel as the 1st generation Mini, but with an upgraded high-resolution "Retina" display and same computer chip as its big brother iPad Air. The 16GB Wifi model starts at $399

     

    The Hook

    If the ONLY thing you want to compromise in an iPad tablet is size, the Mini has the same specs and features as the iPad Air, but in a smaller (and cheaper) form. The 7.9 inch Mini offers a beautiful display, but powerful enough to get some work done, all without damaging your wallet as bad as the iPad Air.

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition | Features galore 4 of 8
    Tablet Wars - Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 via Babble.com

    The Facts

    Not to be outdone by Apple, Samsung has created the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition to be a true contender to the iPad with its high-definition display, but with added features such as an external storage slot, USB port, multi-window display, Dolby

     

    The Hook

    Samsung makes no bones about throwing every feature it can think of into a device. The Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition does just that. So if you want to get immersed in a fast-moving, action-packed movie, multi-task on an upcoming work project, or edit some artwork designs, the Note 10.1 2014 Edition has the tools for the job. The expandable memory slot is nothing to sneeze at either, especially if you want to load up on movies and music for an upcoming holiday road-trip.

  • Google Nexus 7 | Google juice 5 of 8
    Tablet Wars - Google Nexus 7 via Babble.com

    The Facts

    Size doesn't matter when it comes to tablets. The 7-inch tablets do just as well as the larger tablets. The 2nd generation Google Nexus 7 offers a thinner and lighter design, as well as a scratch-resistant 1080p HD display, and expandable storage slot, all jam-packed into a low-low $229 price point for the 16GB Wifi version.

     

    The Hook

    For the price and features, the Google Nexus 7 makes the perfect gift for the younger person on your gift list. Since it's backed by Google, all of the cool features that Android users enjoy (Gmail, Google Maps, Google Now, Google Drive, YouTube) are front and center on this device.

  • Microsoft Surface 2 | Workhorse 6 of 8
    Tablet Wars - Microsoft Surface 2 via Babble.com

    The Facts

    It was only a matter of time before Microsoft launched its own tablet into the competition. The 10.8 second generation Surface 2 sports an HD widescreen display, with a high-definition port to connect to a larger TV, as well as a USB port to connect a mouse (or printer) for more productivity. The enty-level 32GB model costs $449.

     

    The Hook

    With a Windows 8.1 RT "tablet" operating system and full-blown Microsoft Office Suite, with SkyDrive Cloud Storage and Skype video conferencing, the Surface 2 makes a good case as to why you may just be able to get more done while at work (which probably uses Microsoft software extensively), and at home for personal or school projects.

  • Nokia Lumia 2520 | Flash and flare 7 of 8
    Tablet Wars - Nokia Lumia 2520 via Babble.com

    The Facts

    Nokia joined forces with Microsoft to create the popular Lumia Windows Phone line. This time, Nokia has added a Windows 8.1 tablet to its lineup of tablets as well. The 10.1 inch Nokia Lumia 2520 also offers the tablet version of Windows 8.1, but adds uber-long battery life, 1-hour fast charging, high-end 6.7 Megapixel camera, and its familiar curved rear panel to the mix. Not to mention built-in LTE wireless connectivity (extra data plan needed) all for $399 for the 32GB base model.

     

    The Hook

    The one major staple of Nokia is style, and the Nokia Lumia 2520 with its shiny black or red (Verizon Wireless) polycarbonate (plastic) frame and colorful accessories, will stand out just as much as you do.

  • Amazon Kindle Fire HDX | Amazon ecosystem 8 of 8
    Tablet Wars - Amazon Kindle Fire HDX via Babble.com

    The Facts

    The 7" Kindle Fire HDX tablet is not as flashy as the iPad Mini or Google Nexus 7, but its base price of $229 (Wifi-only) makes it a competitor. The high-definition display, parental controls, speedy processor, and built-in "Mayday" feature that puts you face-to-face with a real live Amazon support professional is not to be taken lightly either. 

     

    The Hook

    It's all about the Amazon ecosytem with the Kindle Fire HDX. If you love to snuggle up to a good book (or thousands), or you have an itchy online-shopping trigger finger, picking up an inexpensive Kindle Fire HDX will quickly add up in extra time and dollars spent using the tablet as a gateway to the pure Amazon experience.

For more of the tech lowdown from Terrance, check out BrothaTech’s blog and follow him on Twitter and .

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