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The Best Tablets of 2014

Is there anything to rival the iPad? What’s the best Android tablet? What’s the most family-friendly tablet out there? If you or someone you know expects a shiny new slate this Christmas, these are some of the questions worth asking. To help you find the answers, here’s a rundown of the best tablets out there…

Tesco Hudl 2:

Hudl2

What is it?

A budget-friendly 8-inch tablet from Tesco. The original Hudl was a huge hit last Christmas with Tesco managing to shift more than half a million units. Britain's largest supermarket hopes to strike gold again with a revamped device, featuring improvements on all fronts. The screen is bigger (8.3 inches as opposed to 7 inches) and features full HD resolution. The Hudl 2 is powered by a solid 1.8 GHz processor and Tesco has doubled the amount of RAM to 2 GB for nippy and smooth browsing and gaming. The tablet runs a relatively unskinned version of Android -- albeit with some sponsored Tesco add-ons. The tablet’s 16GB of internal storage can be boosted to 48GB thanks to a micro SD slot.   

Who’s going to love it?

With its soft plastic back, a range of parental control features and low price tag, it’s perfect for kids. Tesco has also included a useful  ‘Getting Started’ walk-through, making this tablet an ideal gift for tech novices too.

How much is it?

£129 (less if you have Clubcard Points).

What’s been said about it?

“Completely outshines virtually everything in the same price bracket.” - TechRadar

“It’s heavy and has a lousy battery and camera, but this is the perfect tablet for the family.” - Independent

Check out the full range of Hudl 2 cases from Mobile Madhouse.

Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet:

Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet

What is it?

A premium full-sized Android tablet designed to compete with the iPad Air. Featuring a super slim 6.4mm body and weighing just 426g, this tablet is slightly lighter and just 3mm thicker than the iPad Air 2. It’s also fully waterproof (presumably for if you ever want to watch a movie in the bath) -- a feature missing from the iPad. With the Xperia Z2 tablet you get a 10-inch full high-def screen along with decent speakers, including some useful noise-cancelling technology built into the body of the device -- but requiring a special headset available from Sony. With a 2.3 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor and 3GB of RAM, this tablet offers elite level performance in terms of speed and power.

Who’s going to love it?

Anyone looking for a premium Android alternative to an iPad -- all wrapped up in a sleek body. Audiophiles on the move are likely to be especially tempted by the inbuilt noise cancelling facility, featuring four noise profiles for planes, trains, buses and the office.

How much is it?

From £369 (16GB) and £419 (32GB)

What’s been said about it?

“With an excellent display and superb battery life, this is the best of the Android bunch.” - pcpro

“…a good choice if you’re looking for a more affordable iPad alternative with 4G LTE -- particularly if you’ve ever lost a gadget through water damage.” - cnet   

See our fantastic selection of Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet cases -- including quality stand covers for hands-free viewing. 

Samsung Galaxy Tab S:

Samsung Galaxy Tab S

What is it?

Available with either an 8.4-inch or 10.5-inch screen, the Galaxy Tab S is Samsung’s premium tab. Media viewing is the whole point of a tablet -- and here the Tab S doesn’t disappoint. Expect the crispest display around thanks to a 2560 x 1600 pixel Super AMOLED screen, which translates as 287 pixels-per-inch on the larger version and 360ppi on the 8.4-inch version. Innovations include an Adaptive Display mode, enabling the screen to adjust automatically to environmental lighting conditions, tweaking the white balance in response to ambient lighting conditions. There’s plenty of power too, thanks to an Exynos 5 Octa-core processor and 3GB of RAM. The Tab S supports multiple profiles, each of which can be accessed securely via a fingerprint scanner.

Who’s going to love it?

Gamers, movie fans and anyone who wants a genuine replacement for a laptop in a premium package.

How much is it?

£319 (16GB 8.4”) £399 (16GB 10.5”)

What’s been said about it?

“It might well be the best Android slate we’ve ever seen.” - Stuff

“If you’re after a tablet with an impossibly great screen… this is it.” - TechRadar

iPad Air 2:

Apple iPad Air 2

What is it?

“The best has got better”. When the iPad Air 2 was released this autumn, it was met with universal acclaim. Performance is 40% quicker, thanks to a new A8X processor; there’s greater use of TouchID -- hastening the end of having to remember lots of different passwords; you can edit videos in real time; and the iPad is now even better equipped to handle data-heavy apps, thanks to 2GB of RAM. An improved battery will now give you 10-hours regular usage on a single charge and the display is enhanced even further by Apple’s new anti-reflective coat.

Who’s going to love it?

Existing owners of the original iPad Air won’t need to rush out and upgrade, but for Apple fans who have earlier models, the consensus is that there’s plenty of good excuses to upgrade. With Apple’s updated operating system, iOS 8, it’s easy for novices to get to grips with too!

How much is it?

£399 (16GB) £479 (64GB) £559 (128GB)

What’s been said about it?

“…thinner, faster, better – the new iPad is a reference point for tablets.” - PCadvisor

“A nice refinement and finesse of last year’s model.” - cnet

See also our selection of executive iPad Air 2 stand cases.

 

Whichever tablet you choose, don’t forget to check out our selection of tablet cases to make sure it stays in safe hands! 

Is there anything to rival the iPad? What’s the best Android tablet? What’s the most family-friendly tablet out there? If you or someone you know expects a shiny new slate this Christmas, these are some of the questions worth asking. To help you find the answers, here’s a rundown of the best tablets out there…

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