Best Tablet 2012: 9th Pocket-lint Gadget Awards nominees

The 9th Pocket-lint Gadget Awards are just around the corner and it’s time to get voting. What? You haven’t voted yet? What kind of slacker are you? Yes, that’s right, the kind of slacker who’d rather sit and decide which was the best tablet of 2012 than tend those mindless spreadsheets of your mindless job.

So, come. Take a look at the shortlist for Best Tablet 2012. See what you think. Maybe even use it as some kind of guide for Christmas shopping. Whatever your choice, vote here and vote - well, at the end of this article, anyway.

Nexus 7

Price
£159

Released
July 2012


The impressive thing about the Nexus 7 is the quality of the device you get from Asus, at the price you're being asked to pay. The hardware and the build quality is top-notch, there’s plenty of power and the screen is fantastic. Add this to a pure Google experience, the latest version of Android and you're on to a winner from a software point of view too.

Along with the likes of the Kindle Fire HD and Nook, Google and Asus have been at the cutting edge of the drive to turn tablets from a luxury item to the standard household gadgets that they should be. The price is nigh on unbeatable and the experience is solid. It’s a sure crowd-pleaser but enough to get your vote?

READ: Nexus 7 review

iPad mini

Price
£269

Released
November 2012


Rumoured for so long, the 7-inch iPad turned up just in time for the 9th Pocket-lint Gadget Awards to add some kind of seal of approval and recognition to the fact that, actually, Samsung was probably right about how big tablets should be all along. Whoops.

The iPad mini is the new iPad to lust after. It's a lot more manageable, a lot more kid-friendly, more game-friendly and it’s just a lot more "you" friendly. It's a lovely size, it's a lovely experience, and one that we can easily see cannibalising iPad 4 and iPad 2 sales in the future. It might be mini by nature, but it is mighty by the things it can offer. We love it. Do you?

READ: Apple iPad mini review

Asus Transformer Pad Infinity

Price
£599

Released
August 2012


Price aside, we love the Infinity. The screen is glorious, it feels like a sturdy tablet and it looks superb. The keyboard and trackpad could be better when compared to a laptop but, in the tablet space, it’s real bonus.

The first company to really get Android tablets right, Asus has shown once again in 2012 that there’s life beyond Apple. It matches the iPad in style and performance. The only problem is, it also matches the firm in price. The cost has dropped considerably since it was first brought out, but than our expectations of a tablet have grown by a similar amount.

READ: Asus Transformer Pad Infinity review

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1

Price
£400

Released
August 2012


There’s always a new piece of wall to throw sticky stuff at if you’re as rich as Samsung and see if it, well, sticks. Fresh from its success with a stylus-based tablet of a sort, the Korean giant doubled the size of the thing in 2012 and offered an art/education/office type experience with the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1.

The good news is that we like the Note. We like it a lot. It's every bit the tablet that the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 is, and you get the stylus, which while not crucial to most people, is a nice little device. The extra processing power also means you can do some pretty amazing things, and the camera is actually reasonable. Aside from the focusing, and dreadful video recording, it's capable of producing some nice results - in good conditions.

READ: Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 review

Microsoft Surface RT

Price
£559

Released
November


We're sold, honestly, on the Surface RT. It's not cheap, but it's priced aggressively enough that people will give it some thought before they snap up an iPad. But, the Surface isn't really competing with the iPad. It's looking to take the crown from laptops. And in that regard, we think it's doing some impressive work. Battery life is excellent and it’s still as light as you need it to be.

The acid test of any gadget, for us, is how sad we are to give it back once we've finished reviewing it. In this case, we were beyond sad, and have moved into a state of great turmoil that is likely to end up in an expensive online shopping trip. The Surface might not be perfect yet, but we can see a bright future for it.

READ: Microsoft Surface RT review

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