Photo: Kevin Smith, Business Insider
Whether you’re a business professional looking for a scaled-down computing device or a student who’d rather not lug textbooks around, tablet computers can be indispensable for a number of people.With all the tablets floating around for sale out there, we’ve assembled this list of what we think are the best tablets worth buying.
You saw this one coming. It's the face of the consumer tablet industry and it's not going anywhere anytime soon.
Buy it for the crisp Retina display, the zippy A5x processor, and access to the expansive iTunes App Store.
Price: starting at $500
You can also get last year's model, the iPad 2, for $399.
Amazon's revamped 7.9-inch Kindle Fire tablet offers increased storage capabilities, a drastically improved screen, better wifi sensitivity, and a front-facing camera for Skype video chats.
Of course it still comes with access to Amazon's Instant Video selection and Amazon's proprietary app store. An 8.9-inch version with optional LTE data connection will arrive in November.
Price: starting at $199
Google's flagship tablet seems to set the standard for Android devices. It integrates seamlessly with any Google services you already use--Gmail, Calendars, Reader, and the like--and offers you access to Google Play, Google's own content store for apps, music, and movies. It's also one of the few devices out there that run the latest and greatest version of Android called Jelly Bean.
Price: Starts at $199
The Nook tablets have previously been snoozers. But newly announced today, the 9-inch Nook HD+ might give the Kindle Fire HD a run for its money. Barnes & Noble completely reworked Android into its own clean operating system to make it easy to buy ebooks and run apps.
It comes in 16 GB and 32 GB models, both offering expandable microSD card storage. It'll be available at the end of October.
Price: Starting at $269
If you'd prefer a scaled-down Nook tablet, the Nook HD was also announced today.
Its 7-inch display is sharper than any other tablet in the same form factor, and it comes in 8 and 16 GB models.
Price: Starting at $199
Samsung's 10-inch device is the company's flagship tablet. It runs a slightly outdated version of Android called Ice Cream Sandwich, but it's still loaded with features, such as a cool multitasking split-screen interface.
Our major beef with it, however, is that it comes with a stylus.
Price: starts at $500
Microsoft aims to shake up the tablet world with its Surface, a Windows 8-powered device we expect to see coming out on October 26.
We're still waiting for the final details from Microsoft, but the Surface is expected to cost about as much as the iPad. Although some reports say it could be as cheap as $200.
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