10 Best Tablets Of 2013 - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Mobile // Mobile Devices
News
11/23/2013
09:06 AM
Jeff Bertolucci
Jeff Bertolucci
Slideshows
50%
50%

10 Best Tablets Of 2013

Whether you're tablet shopping now or looking ahead, check out this year's standouts.
Previous
1 of 11
Next

The basic design of tablets -- a nondescript black slab -- hasn't changed much since the debut of the Apple iPad in 2010. But tablet technology is rapidly evolving, and there's been market segmentation. Several categories have emerged over the past four years: mini tablets with screens that measure from 7 inches to 8 inches diagonally; larger tablets with 9- to 11-inch screens; and hybrid devices that function as both tablet and laptop. One might also include phablets -- cellphone/tablet hybrids with 5- to 6-inch screens -- as a fourth category, although these devices qualify more as oversized smartphones than true tablets.

However you slice it, the tablet has emerged as a unique genre of mobile device, one that has become hugely popular with consumers and businesses alike. In fact, tablets are expected to outsell laptop computers by a three- to-one margin by 2017, predicts NPD DisplaySearch. According to IDC, Apple and Samsung were the top two tablet vendors in the third quarter of 2013, with 29.6% and 20.4% of the global market share, respectively. Those numbers are expected to change quickly, however, as so-called "white box tablets," typically low-cost slates running variants of Android, gain popularity worldwide.

White-box tablets probably won't make anyone's Best Of list, however. "These low-cost Android-based products make tablets available to a wider market of consumers, which is good. However, many use cheap parts and non-Google-approved versions of Android that can result in an unsatisfactory customer experience, limited usage, and very little engagement with the ecosystem," said IDC research director Tom Mainelli in a statement.

So what makes a great tablet? Light weight and long battery life are two key characteristics, obviously, as well as processing power and a well-stocked app store. Affordability matters too, but super-cheap slates aren't worth it, particularly in the workplace where tablets and tablet/laptop hybrids are increasingly replacing laptops.

It looks as if no single operating system will dominate tablets, with Android, iOS, and Windows operating systems all finding their niche. For instance, the 7-inch Amazon Kindle Fire HDX and the 10.6-inch Microsoft Surface Pro 2, both technically tablets, appeal to different types of user.

Our Best Tablets of 2013 slideshow takes a variety of factors into consideration, including size, usability, price, availability of applications, and compatibility with existing enterprise systems. If you think we slighted a tablet you like, or if you disagree with some of our picks, let us know in the comments section.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Previous
1 of 11
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Chuck Brooks
50%
50%
Chuck Brooks,
User Rank: Author
11/26/2013 | 1:15:27 PM
best tablets
Thanks Jeff, a good overview of new tablet tech. Just in time for Christmas!
ChrisMurphy
50%
50%
ChrisMurphy,
User Rank: Author
11/26/2013 | 8:32:27 AM
Re: Mini
I find the Mini handy, but still feel like I overpaid for what for me is pretty much just a web browser, Netflix/Amazon player and occasional notetaking device. I bought a Mini because I had a lot of data in an iPad-only app (Penultimate) and was switching from an iPad 2. Mini's a fine device, but for those activities I probably should've considered lower priced Nexus and not caved in to the legacy data issue.
Susan Fourtané
50%
50%
Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Author
11/24/2013 | 6:22:07 AM
Re: Mini
TeresaW, 

I see an upcoming problem with that i8. I would be surprised if Apple doesn't respond to this new i-series of products that are not Apple. 

As for previous similar cases, which ended up in court, this Ramos i-series will just confuse consumers. 

I wonder why some companies have the imagination of an amaeba. 

-Susan
Susan Fourtané
50%
50%
Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Author
11/24/2013 | 5:19:37 AM
Re: Mini
Shamika, 

"Out of all the tablets mentioned I think apple I pod is the best compared with all others."

But the iPod is not a tablet. :/ 

-Susan 
Susan Fourtané
50%
50%
Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Author
11/24/2013 | 5:16:12 AM
iPad Air
Apple's iPad Air is by far the best tablet in the market. Perfect working size, light weight, battery life, and a great selection of Apps makes it a great work companion when you are on the road. 

As for white tablets I would say they are Okay for enetertainment, basic Web surfing, and as the first device for kids. 

-Susan
Alex Kane Rudansky
50%
50%
Alex Kane Rudansky,
User Rank: Author
11/23/2013 | 4:44:52 PM
Mini
I'm still satisfied with my original iPad Mini. I'm all about size and convenience, and I think the Mini's dimensions master both of those. Retina is nice, but I wouldn't upgrade at this point.
Laurianne
50%
50%
Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
11/23/2013 | 9:30:00 AM
Most wanted tablet
Which tablet do you want most right now, and why, InformationWeek readers? Did we leave your favorite out of this list?
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

News
Becoming a Self-Taught Cybersecurity Pro
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  6/9/2021
News
Ancestry's DevOps Strategy to Control Its CI/CD Pipeline
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  6/4/2021
Slideshows
IT Leadership: 10 Ways to Unleash Enterprise Innovation
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  6/8/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Planning Your Digital Transformation Roadmap
Download this report to learn about the latest technologies and best practices or ensuring a successful transition from outdated business transformation tactics.
Slideshows
Flash Poll