It’s no secret—tablets have taken over our lives. Both professionally and personally, we have become accustomed to checking email, catching up on the news, reviewing presentations, reading books and even playing games on these portable devices. And new tablets are consistently hitting the market to better meet our needs. Bigger. Smaller. Thinner. Faster. And just plain better. Here are a few of the latest options to hit the selves.
Nokia: The First and Last Nokia Windows Tablet?
Windows recently agreed to purchase Nokia’s Devices & Services business, but before the deal is completed by early next year, Nokia is releasing its first Windows tablet. The Nokia 2520 ($499 and up) has a 10.1-inch full HD display that is even clear in bright sunlight to ensure maximum readability. The tablet can also store an 80% charge in just one hour and the optional Power Keyboard accessory adds another five hours of battery life, so you don’t constantly have to worry about running out of juice.
Apple: Light as Air
Apple knows how much you have come to rely on your tablet, which is why their latest iteration is built for sustained comfort. You will barely be able to feel the 7.5-millimeters thin iPad Air ($499 and up), which weighs only a pound—28% lighter than its predecessor. The device is also faster thanks to an A7 chip that doubles the iPad’s processing power while two Wi-Fi antennas double the Wi-Fi speed. In late November, Apple will also release its new iPad Mini with Retina Display ($399 and up), which upgrades the miniature tablet’s screen resolution to 2048 x 1536.
Sony: Convert With a Flip
Convertible PCs offer the best of both worlds—the portability of a tablet and the productivity of a laptop—and Sony’s latest offering will literally make you flip, the screen at least. A flip of the screen can convert the Sony VAIO Flip 15 ($799 and up) into a tablet—and a quite large one at that with a 15.5-inch screen. The device is also compatible with Sony’s Active Pen, which lets you write on the screen as naturally as you would on paper. And the VAIO Clip feature makes it easy to add an image you find on the web to your presentation—just circle it and save it for later.
Lenovo: Windows in Your Pocket
Bigger is not always better. Sometimes people yearn for something a bit more portable and convenient. The Lenovo Miix2 ($299) shrinks down its predecessor into an 8-inch model that only weighs 350 grams and is 8.35-millimeters thin. This mini Windows 8.1 tablet includes all the enhancements Microsoft added to its upgraded OS. These include enhanced searching and sharing, improved web surfing with the new IE 11, touch optimization, the return of the popular “Start” button—and it comes pre-installed with Microsoft Office Home & Student 2013.
HP: A Mini Android
HP is expanding its tablet portfolio with several new releases this month including the HP Slate 8 Pro (price not available at press time). This device is the Android lovers alternative to the iPad Mini with a similar 7.98-inch diagonal display, 4:3 aspect ratio and 1600 x 1200 resolution—which is better than the old iPad Mini but falls short of its upgraded model. The tablet runs on a quad core NVIDIA Tegra 4 processor and has an HDMI output.