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Best tablets for Christmas 2014: Best tablets to gift this Xmas

We reveal the best tablets to give as gifts to your nearest and dearest this Christmas

A tablet makes a great Christmas present for your nearest and dearest, as always-on devices that let you work and play. Here we round up the best tablets to give as Xmas gifts in 2014. Also see: Best tech gifts for Christmas 2014 - best Xmas presents for gadget lovers and geeks 

Also see: Best tablets 2014 

Other tablets to look out for this Christmas are the Nexus 9 and Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact - we'll add these to the list once we've completed our full reviews. 

Best tablets for Christmas 2014: Best tablets to gift this Xmas

Best tablets for Christmas 2014

28. Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0

The Galaxy Note 8.0 is one of Samsung's better tablets but it's hampered by its extravagant price tag. Unless you really want the S Pen stylus there are better and cheaper 8in-screen tablet alternatives on the market.

27. Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2

The Samsung Galaxy NotePro 12.2 is a seriously impressive tablet that blows away the vast majority of Android tablets and leaves them eating its dust in terms of power. If you've got £600 to blow and want a tablet that's bigger than 10-inches then this powerhouse won't disappoint in terms of performance and looks, and to be frank it's your only option as it's the only device out there like this.

26. Microsoft Surface Pro 2

The Surface Pro 2 crams a serious amount of power into a compact frame. However, now that Microsoft has launched the bigger, better Surface Pro 3, the Pro 2 makes sense only if you're on a tight budget. Even then, its value is questionable - many people would be better off with a separate laptop and tablet, and might even save money going down that road. Those less bothered about the tablet side of things should consider a convertible device such as the Lenovo Yoga.

25. Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700

The Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700 takes over from its predecessor as the top Android tablet available. You get high performance mixed with high style, and you don't have to make a lot of sacrifices to get both. Other tablets - including the Prime, which is expected to drop in price once this model gets into the market - may provide better value, but no other Android tablet will give you the full package that the Infinity does.

24. Kobo Arc 10HD

The Kobo Arc 10HD is a sexy tablet that offers a lot for its price tag. Kobo's bloatware is unobtrusive and the fact it gives you full access to the Google Play store is a massive plus. The only real downside to the Kobo Arc 10HD is the weight of the thing, which makes using this device as a eReader while on the move a bit of a no go.

23. Barnes & Noble Nook HD

We can hardly find fault with the hardware, and at this price it's hard to find fault with anything. Since the Nook was set free from the confines of the Barnes & Noble content store it has been an amazing deal. An easy-to-use and well-built tablet at a great price.

22. Asus Memo Pad 7 (ME176CX)

For just £120, we're really impressed with the Asus Memo Pad 7. In addition to a good-looking design and sturdy build, it also boasts hardware that rivals tablets with much higher price tags. A higher-resolution screen and front-facing speakers would add even more appeal, but if you're looking for a budget tablet and have been considering the Tesco Hudl, Kindle Fire HD or even the Nexus 7, it's worth investigating the Asus Memo Pad 7, too.

21. Microsoft Surface Pro 3

A very decent laptop replacement, and an okay tablet, the Surface Pro 3 is undeniably impressive. If you need a single device to do everything we can't think of any better device. And when you consider the cost of buying a discrete laptop, tablet and desktop PC the Surface Pro 3 is priced to shift. The question remains as to whether people want a single device rather than multiple gadgets that are better at their individual tasks. Microsoft's latest results suggest that Surface Pro 3 is winning hearts and minds. Has it won yours?

20. Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014)

Touchwiz and fake stitching aside the Note 10.1 is a very good tablet with the added S-Pen feature for those who want it.

19. Apple iPad 4 with Retina display

The iPad 4 is the quickest iPad yet and a solid choice for a tablet in which we can barely find fault. However, if you're not in a hurry to buy, it's worth waiting for the rumoured iPad 5, which could launch within months.

18. Tesco Hudl

The Tesco Hudl is a budget tablet with a nice design and good build quality. Key specifications are better than the price tag suggests such as the processor and good quality 7 in screen. A microSD card slot and Micro-HDMI port are two reasons to opt for the Hudl over Google and Amazon alternatives.

17. Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10

The Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 is one of the cheaper 10in tablets around and it has an excellent design. Hardware and task performance are both lacking somewhat but battery life is a strong point. A great Android tablet for those less bothered about top-end specs.

16. Advent Vega Tegra Note 7

For the price, the Advent Vega offers an awful lot and is better than the Tesco Hudl in almost every way. Google’s new Nexus 7 is better overall, mainly because of its excellent screen and battery life, but it costs £70 more and has no microSD card slot for adding storage. If you’re after a budget Android tablet, the Tegra Note 7 is a great choice.

15. Apple iPad mini

The iPad mini is a premium small tablet, with a price to match. It's a shame Apple couldn't have included a Retina screen and newer processor - expect the iPad mini 2 to get those updates when it launches later this year. This Wi-Fi only model also lacks GPS. It's not cheap by any stretch, especially if you want more storage spare or the 3G/4G cellular version, but it's great value compared to a full-size iPad. You can save a chunk by buying a Nexus 7, Nook HD or Kindle Fire HD, but if you must have an iDevice, it won't disappoint.

14. LG G Pad 8.3

The G Pad 8.3 is undoubtedly LG's best tablet to date and at £199 it's a bit of a steal. A nice selection of hardware and software make this a great choice for a small tablet. However, occasionally laggy performance means the Nexus 7 might be a better choice.

13. Sony Xperia Tablet Z

Sony has made a very desirable tablet in the Xperia Tablet Z. We particularly like its striking svelte design and features that you don't get with rivals such as NFC, its waterproof casing and infrared. However, its slightly lacking performance means the Nexus 10 will save you some money or the iPad 4 will give you a smooth experience for the same price.

12. Apple iPad mini 3

The iPad mini 3 is a great tablet in almost every way, and if that verdict sounds familiar, it's because that was our conclusion about the iPad mini 2. Apart from the Touch ID fingerprint reader and the option of a gold-coloured back, there's no difference between the two models. Apple now offers the mini 2 (in 16 or 32GB versions) for just £239 and £279 respectively, representing a significant £80 saving over the equivalent iPad mini 3. In our view, that makes the old model the better choice for most people.

11. Google Nexus 10

The Nexus 10 is easily the best 10in Android tablet we've seen to date. It has a fantastic screen, decent cameras and software features all for a more than reasonable price. Those looking for an alternative to the full-sized iPad needn't look any further.

10. Amazon Fire HD 7

While it's relatively easy to recommend the HD 6 at £79 or £99, it's significantly harder to like the HD 7 at £119 or £139. For £129, Tesco's larger Hudl 2 is a much better deal, even if you're buying it for your kids.

9. Tesco Hudl 2

The cameras are still not great, but in almost every area the Tesco Hudl 2 has been improved and it's still a bargain at £129 or even less with ClubCard Boost. The software is good but takes up valuable storage space and non-Tesco customers won't get the most out of it. A great screen, decent processor and microSD card slot make this an excellent tablet.

8. Amazon Fire HD 6

It isn't perfect, but the HD 6 is really good value. Performance is well above the level you'd expect at this price, as is the quality of the screen. Some might find the 6in screen too small, though, so it's worth trying to track one down before buying.

7. Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet

The Xperia Z2 is a great looking and well built Android tablet. It is staggeringly thin and light for a 10in device, has a great screen, expandable storage and good performance. We like the OS and the camera. Indeed, our only issues with the Xperia Z2 Tablet is occasionally laggy web browsing, and the fact that the screen is poor under natural light. But priced in line with the iPad Air this is right at the top of the shop.

6. Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 is one of the firm's best ever tablets with a thin and light design, although there is still too much plastic. Hardware is decent, namely that impressive display and great battery life making this a consumption machine. It's got pretty much everything you could want on a tablet, and it is priced competitively against its key rivals earning it a recommended award.

5. Apple iPad Air

  • Reviewed on: 12 February 14
  • RRP: Wi-Fi: £399 (16GB), £479 (32GB), £559 (64GB) and £639 (128GB). Cellular: £499 (16GB), £579 (32GB), £659 (64GB) and £739 (128GB)
  • Best Price: Find The Best Apple iPad Air Deals
  • Rating: Rated 8 out of 10

In many respects a triumph, the iPad Air also introduces compromises to hit the low-weight/thin-case targets. Sound quality through the new stereo speaker has deteriorated, and although a matter of taste we found the iPad mini-style case loses the premium feel of preceding generations of iPad. The iOS 7 interface, not popular with every user, cannot be avoided on this device and it suffers some stickiness in app zooming. Ultimately though the iPad Air will suceed by simple nature of its new weight – the lose of almost 200g is so significant to its handling, and means it could encroach on E Ink ebook readers; only with the power and versatility, not to mention gorgeous colour screen, of a real iPad.

4. iPad mini 2

The iPad mini with Retina display is a fabulous tablet. The screen is excellent and more than worth the minimal weight gain. Performance is also excellent, and the 64-bit processor makes this much more future-proof than the original iPad mini. The higher price (compared to the original cost of the iPad mini) may be frustrating, but it’s arguably better value than the iPad Air as well as being more portable. If you can afford it, you won’t be disappointed.

3. Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 is one of the best Android tablets we've ever reviewed. In terms of hardware it's the best you can buy right now and has a superbly thin and light design. There's very little to dislike here aside from some elements of the TouchWiz software and the higher price compared to Android rivals (the iPad mini 2 is the obvious alternative if you're not set on Android). If you would rather save money and aren't so bothered about top-notch spec and additional features like the fingerprint scanner and IR blaster, check out the Nexus 7 and LG G Pad 8.3.

2. Apple iPad Air 2

Besides the Touch ID fingerprint feature, the new screen assembly and uprated processor are the headline features. New cameras are a bonus too. Overall the Apple iPad Air 2 is the best tablet you can buy, without even a close competitor in performance, attention to detail, quality of build and sheer usability.

1. Nexus 7 (2013)

The 2013 Google Nexus 7 is more expensive than the original and sees only a small change in the design, while its exceptional screen and added rear camera help justify this price hike. It's still lacking a microSD card slot but for many people with be the best 7in tablet around.

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