Which is the best tablet of them all?
With so many new tablets launched in 2013 and the festive season just around the corner, it's hard to keep up with what's what in world of technology and know which devices would make ideal presents for family and friends this Christmas. Confused? Fret not. To help consumers understand the mystifying world of tablets, we sent out some of the latest models to the UK's most influential mummy bloggers, respected writers and commentators who regularly publish useful content on their own personal websites for readers to follow. We then asked them to film themselves unboxing the device and to record their initial reactions and thoughts in the form of a short video.
Why mummy bloggers? Because they could offer us an impartial, unbiased opinion on each device, taking into account usability for the whole family, and challenge the perception that such devices are hard to use for those less conversant in high-spec technology.
Let's unveil the tablets we sent out to our mummy bloggers and pick out some of the snazziest features from each.
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Microsoft Surface Pro: Susankmann.co.uk
The Surface Pro is nothing less than an attempt to create the perfect PC for the 'post PC' era. It's been described as something in-between a laptop and a PC, but doesn't really surpass one or the other.
It's a handy little tablet you can use at home on the sofa, browsing the web, or while on the commute to work, but what are its most attractive features?
- Outstanding screen
- Innovative design - separate keyboard
- Windows 8 operating system
- Comes with Wacom digester pen
Google Nexus 7 (32GB): mellowmummy.co.uk
"A great tablet for the whole family to use and easy to set up." - mellowmummy
Google's Nexus 7 tablet, which utilises the powerful Android 4.3 Jelly Bean operating system, has received very favourable reviews since its launch in October. It's affordable, easy to use and attentive to all needs and purposes.
- Great screen
- Strong battery life
- Thousands of apps, games, movies, eBooks and songs available from Google's Play Store.
Asus Memo Pad 7 inch: jugglemum.com
"It weighs less than a pack of noodles."
With the Android operating system powering the Asus Memo Pad, you'll soon realise this device's aims are similar to those of the Nexus 7's - it's versatile, portable and affordable (at £129 it's a good deal cheaper than the Nexus 7).
- Excellent value
- Strong screen
- Decent performance
- Near-vanilla UI
- Android 4.2 Jellybean; 7-inch screen
iPad Mini (Retina): muminthemadhouse.com
"I don't know what this is?"
The new iPad mini with improved Retina display features over 3.1 million pixels and is up to 2x faster, thanks to its A6X processing chip, than its predecessor- the iPad mini. It has everything that makes an iPad beautiful (Apple's words): a beautiful screen, fast and fluid performance, FaceTime HD and iSight cameras.
- Think and light design
- 7.9-inch Retina display
- Ultra-fast wireless
- Over 475,000 apps available through the app store.
Galaxy Tab 3 7.0: notsupermum.com
"It's great. I love it."
Perfectly portable, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 is a slim tablet designed to fit comfortably in the palm of your hand. It runs on Android Jelly Bean 4.1 and runs smoothly thanks to its dual-core processor. Ideal whether you're home or away.
- Thin and lightweight
- Front and rear-facing cameras
- Google Play store and access to Samsung apps.
- 1.2 GHz dual-core Marvell processor
HP Slate 7: mummyvswork.com
This 7-inch tablet offers a speedy performance with direct access to apps as well as a rich source of multimedia for a true immersive experience. HP has also incorporated Dr Dre's Beats Audio for an even richer sounds.
- Integrated dual cameras
- Run apps, 3D games and more with fast track response and sharper video.
- Impressive battery life
- Operating system: Android 4.1
iPad Mini (normal): littlemummy.com
Sleek, sophisticated and seriously cool, the iPad mini has a brilliant 7.9-inch display and comes equipped with loads of fascinating features, including Apple's iSight camera, video recording and FaceTime.
- Improved dual-band 801.11n WiFi internet connectivity, allowing for faster, more efficient downloads.
- Access to 275,000+ apps through Apple's App Store.
- Lightweight and come with one year's manufacturer guarantee.
Microsoft Surface RT (32GB): northernmum.com
"I don't think it's an iPad, is it?"
The Surface RT is Microsoft's sleek, on-the-go tablet. It's the ultimate entertainment device with 1000s of apps and online games to choose from and play. However all gaming must be balanced out with work, so it's a good thing the Surface RT comes with Microsoft Office already installed. Handy at home and while on the go.
- Windows RT Operating System
- 10.6" ClearType HD touch screen
- Snazzy, elegant design.
- Flexible stand for comfortable viewing pleasure.
Galaxy Note 10.1: mummymummymum.com
"Tons of viewing space."
Sleek and portable, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 offers a sharp and vivid viewing experience at an incredibly high resolution. It runs on the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean operating system and comes with an embedded S Pen stylus.
The magazine-style layout is fully customisable, giving users fast access to all their favourite apps and videos. There's also a scrapbook feature that allows users to collect and store their favourite pieces of content in one place - neat.
- WQXGA screen resolution
- Attractive and customisable layout
- Multi-window and a large 10-inch screen
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