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Mega tablet round-up: which one should Santa get you?

If you can’t decide what to buy for the holidays, this article is a good starting point

With the holidays around the corner and so many tablets on the market now, it can be helpful with a little guidance. When you compare their benchmark performance with their price, it's clear that the Nexus 7, the Yarvik Xenta 9.7" and the Point of View Protab 3 XXL give you the most bang for your buck. See also: Nexus 7 vs Kindle Fire HD vs Nook HD tablet comparison review.

It's been a while since we published an overview of the current tablet market. With the holidays around the corner, we collected all of the tablets we've tested and that are still available, and created an overview of what's what. If you want to buy a tablet soon, but don't know which one will suit you best, perhaps this guide can clarify matters for you. (See also: Kids' tablets buying advice: choose a tablet PC for your children.)

We test tablets all year round, and regularly publish reviews. These are individual reviews, so it can be helpful to create an overview. Most of the 50 tablets that we've tested during the last 1.5 years are still available. What follows is a fairly comprehensive picture of what's currently out there in tablet country. Of course we include both iOS and Android devices. (See also: Tablet or laptop for family: which is best?)

To create some structure, we have created three categories based on the average price of each tablet. With older products, it can happen you can find it for a much lower price than that. The first category has tablets of up to £250, the second category has tablets between £250 and £450, and category three has the tablets that cost more than £450. They are all Android and iOS tablets, as we had not tested any Windows tablets at the time of writing. At the end of each category you'll find a link to a chart with every single tablet in that segment, including reviews and recommendations. (See also: What tablet should I buy? iPad, Kindle Fire HD, Nexus 7...)

Of course it's not possible to test every single tablet in existence. Still, to give you an idea of what's out there, we linked all 193 we found to this article. You can create your own comparison chart with any number of tablets, so you can compare their features and specifications.

When you compare the benchmark performance with their price, it's clear that the ASUS Nexus 7, the Yarvik Xenta 9.7" and the Point of View Protab 3 XXL give you the most bang for your buck.

If you want more than the HD resolution offered by the above tablets, then the Acer Iconia Tab A700 is certainly worth considering. With an average price of £345 is the most affordable Full HD tablet. If you want to spend a little more for a faster processor, a better display, more storage, and the option of adding a dock with extra battery and connectors, then the Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700 is a good option. Its £539 is a hefty pricetag, however.

If you are a fan of iOS, then Apple's latest iPad 4 is also a great tablet. Its 2048x1536 resolution remains unparallelled, and the new A6X SoC offers impressive performance.

Some of us enjoy the more nerdy characteristics of tablets, and then the Samsung models are the most exciting. The Galaxy Tab 7.7, for example, has a 7.7-inch Super Amoled Plus display. But it's the flagship Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 that has a number of unique features, thanks to innovative software and the included stylus.

Tablets really came into their own in 2012. The hardware is becoming more advanced, and the prices are dropping to more reasonable levels. The most expensive tablets still offer the best performance and features, but now you can also find very decent tablets for a much lower price. This year we were personally most impressed by the 7-inch Nexus 7 from ASUS and Google. It proved that an excellent tablet doesn't have to break the bank, and it will also serve to motivate (most of) the competition to adjust their pricing in the end.

Many more tablets were analysed and compared in this article, and the complete version you can read on Hardware.Info.

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