The tablet market across the globe is growing at a fast pace as more and more people are opting for these handy and portable gadgets. When it comes to tablets, loads of options are available and this makes the buyer confused as to which one to purchase. The preferences and needs of buyers differ from each other and this plays a major role in the selection of an appropriate tablet. For the ones who do not wish to compromise with anything less than the best, we have shortlisted the three absolute top of the line tablets.
- Apple iPad Air
“Thinnovation” was the tagline that was used by Apple when it launched its skinny MacBook Air and now after 6 years, the company seems to be working on the same tagline by launching the Apple iPad Air. The name itself speaks a lot for this tablet as it is light and small with an impressive screen and high performance. The iPad Air with about 1 lb of weight (The WiFi model) is 28% lighter when compared with the iPad 4 that weighs around 1.4 lbs. Though shedding a half a pound of weight may not sound like enough, when holding the device in your hand, you will surely feel the difference. Besides being light, the Apple iPad Air is also leaner, measuring only 7.5mm in depth which makes it 20% thinner compared to previous models. Below is a detailed review of the tablet’s features.
Design of the tablet:
To get the real felling of this feather light tablet, you have to actually hold it in your hands. The iPad Air is amazingly light and thin and its unibody aluminum chassis make its look elegant as well as solid. The device has thinner bezels on the sides, while its blunt edges offer a comfortable grip. Measuring 240 X 169.5 X 7.5mm in size and weighing a pound, this tablet is an ideal choice for those who travel a lot.
Display of the tablet:
In spite of reducing its weight and thickness, Apple has not compromised on the screen size of its new model, and the Apple iPad Air comes with a striking 9.7 inches of a LED backlit IPS LCD capacitive touch screen. The retina resolution of the 1536 X 2048 pixels in the tablet offers a bright and razor sharp content. The display offers clear viewing from any angle, features scratch resistant glass, and comes with an oleophobic coating.
Camera of the tablet
The Apple iPad Air comes packed with a 5MP iSight rear facing camera that supports resolution of up to 2592 X 1977 pixels. The camera also features touch focus, face detection, geo tagging, HDR and is capable of 1080p video recording @30fps. A front facing 1.2 MP Face Time Camera allows you to chat with your loved ones. The front camera is also capable of 720p video recording @30fps. The iPad Air comes with an additional backside illumination sensor that helps to take images in low light conditions.
Running on iOS 7.0.4 OS, the tablet features the Apple A7 chipset and is powered by a dual core 1.3 GHz Cyclone ARM v8 based processor. Packed with a PowerVR G6430 quad core graphics GPU, the tablet features 1GB of DDR3 RAM and is available in internal memory options of 16/32/64/128 GB storage. The iPad Air comes with new features like Control Centre, AirDrop, smarter multitasking and others that enhances over user experience.
Connectivity and Apps:
Available in optional WiFi and WiFi+ Cellular models, the tablet provides multiple connection options including quad band GSM, CDMA200 1 XEV-DO, quad band 3G, CDMA, LTE bands, Bluetooth 4.0 with A2Dp, WiFi a/b/g/n and USB 2.0. There are 2 antennas in the device that along with MIMO technology offers great connectivity no matter wherever you are. The AirDrop feature of the tablet allows the user to share a file between supported devices.
When it comes to apps, nothing can beat Apple products and the same holds true for the iPad Air. The tablet comes loaded with a wide range of built in apps for daily use and to help you to be more productive as well as more creative. Some of these built in apps include Keynote, iPhoto, Pages, GarageBand, iMovie and many others. Moreover, the whole wide world of apps is just a tap away in the App store.
Battery Life and Additional features:
Fuelled by a Li-Po 8820, 32.4Wh battery, the tablet claims to deliver 10 hours of continuous web surfing.
Additional features of the tablet include an audio/video player and an editor, TV Out, iCloud cloud service, iCloud Keychain, Siri natural language commands and dictation, GPS with AGPS and GLONASS, an accelerometer sensor, a gyro sensor, a compass, a 3.5mm jack and other common smart device features.
The Apple iPad Air 16GB sells at the Apple Store for $499.
- Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9
Lying midway between the present day popular 7 inch and 10 inch tablets and in-between the iOS and the Android devices, the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 can be considered to have the best of both worlds. Considered to be the big brother of the Kindle Fire HDX 7, the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 is a great combination of impressive appearance and powerful performance.
Design of the tablet:
Measuring 231 X 158 X 7.8 mm in size with a light weight of just .8 Ibs (the WiFi model), the Fire HDX 8.9 is designed perfectly for handheld viewing as well as reading for long hours. The tablet’s rear side is mostly in matte finish and to offer a comfortable grip the back comes covered in rubberized and soft touch plastic material. The contours and the bevels around the edges of the tablet give it a slimmer and stylish looks. There is glossy plastic strip along the top of the tablet that frames the camera lens and the speaker grilles.
Display of the tablet:
The Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 sports 8.9 inches of IPS LCD capacitive touch screen that offers 2560 X 1600 pixel resolutions along with 339 PPI and 100% sRGB color accuracy. The bright screen of the device has good viewing angles and watching your favorite HD movies on it will surely be an amazing experience. The display also features multi touch up to 10 fingers.
Powered by a Quad Core 2.2 GHz of Krait 400 Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, the tablet runs on the Fire OS 3.0 that is built using Android and features an Adreno 330 GPU with 2GB RAM. The OS of the device is customized and has almost no traces of the Android. It does not provide any native access to the Google Play Store and has no support for the Android widgets. The interface of the device is smooth and allows the user to open Amazon apps quickly. The Fire HDX 8.9 offers the complete Amazon experience with some apps preloaded and others which can be downloaded from the Kindle Store.
Mayday is another impressive feature of this tablet that allows the user to connect to a real person who will provide you assistance on any issues that you may be facing with your tablet.
Camera and connectivity:
The 8MP rear camera in the tablet features AF, LED flash, image stabilization, Geo Tagging and touch focus which enables the user to capture decent quality images. Along with still images, the camera is also capable of recording videos. A secondary camera for video calling is also present on the front of the device.
In terms of connectivity, the device support multiple options including WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n, Bluetooth, microUSB 2.0 and GPS with AGPS.
The Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 promises around 10 hours of mixed use and for those who use the tablet lightly, the battery can last up to 2 days.
Additional features of the tablet include a 3.5mm jack with Dolby Digital Plus sound enhancement, internal memory options of 16/32/64 GB (no microSD card slot), video player, audio player, document viewer, free cloud storage for Amazon content, a text to speech English language content reader and other nice features.
The Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 sells for about $380.
- 3. Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2
The first thing that comes to mind when talking about tablets is that they are small, portable and cheap devices, but when it comes to the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2, none of this holds true. Grabbing a place for itself in the list of top 3 tablets, the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 can be considered as an expanded range of tablet and phone which is not only enormous but expensive as well. With its impressive 12.2 inches of screen and wide array of features it can almost be considered an alternative to the Mac OS or Windows laptops.
Design and build of the tablet:
Measuring 295.6 X 203.9 X 8mm in size, the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro is definitely one of the largest tablets available in the market. Weighing around 1.7 Ibs, it is a heavy to hold in one hand for a long time. The bezel of the screen is wide for comfortable grip and the appearance of the tablet is designed in such a manner so that it fits in well in casual as well as formal settings. The tablet looks smart with its soft touch plastic and leather texture in the back.
Display and S-Pen Stylus:
The Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 sports an impressive 12.2 inches of a super clear LCD capacitive touch screen that features 2560 X 1600 pixels resolution. The display also features multi touch up to 10 fingers and the Samsung Touch Wiz UI. The viewing angles on the tablet are good and its 247ppi pixel density delivers bright and sharp colors.
Like other Galaxy note devices, the S-Pen is one of the striking features of the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 as well. The stylus in the device works on the second digitizer that is borrowed from Wacom and detects only the S Pen Stylus so that the skin of the user is ignored when placed on the screen. When not handwriting, one can access the features of the S-Pen through the Air Command. Various stylus optimized apps are also present in the tablet including S Note, SketchBook Pro and a few others.
Processor and OS:
The Samsung Galaxy Note Pro runs on the latest version of the Android OS, KitKat 4.4.2 and is powered by a quad core 1.9 GHz of Cortex A-15 and a Quad Core 1.3 GHz of Cortex A7 Exynos 5 octa 5420 processor. The device comes packed with the Mali T628 MP6 GPU and 3GB of RAM so as to offer speed and nice performance to the user. So whether you are watching a movie, playing a game, or doing some serious office work, the tablet will never disappoint you with its performance.
The tablet gives an excellent multi-tasking experience to the users as its Multi Window allows you to open 4 apps at a time on the screen.
The Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 comes with an 8MP camera that features AF, face detection, smile detection, LED flash and Geo Tagging. The camera is capable of capturing detailed, sharp and bright images as well as 1080p videos @ 30fps.
A secondary 2 MP front-facing camera for video calling is also present in the tablet that can also record videos.
Connectivity and other features:
Connectivity options in the tablet are provided through WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP, microUSB 3.0, USB host, Infrared port and GPS with GLONASS.
The device comes in internal memory options of 32/64GB while its additional microSD card slot allows the user to expand the external memory by up to 64 GB.
For some serious office work, the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 comes loaded with Hancom office software that enables the user to create, view as well as edit documents in Word, PowerPoint and Excel. The user can create a digital white board and also share it with others using the software through their WiFi network with the help of the E-Meeting feature of the tablet.
Additional specifications of Samsung Galaxy Note Pro include remote control apps, Software suite, WebEx conferencing service, Samsung KNOX, IR transmitter and others.
The Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 comes loaded with a non-removable Li-ion 9500 mAh battery that exhibits great stamina. The battery is capable of lasting for 12 hours of multimedia use and around 131 hours of music playback.
When it comes to charging the mammoth battery, it takes a lot of time (around 5 hours to obtain 83% capacity).
The Samsung Galaxy Note 12.2 32 GB sells for about $750.