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Tablets, Tablets Everywhere

Tablets, Tablets Everywhere

CREATED Nov 20, 2013

This holiday season, tablets are bound to be a top gift item. Chances are there's someone on your holiday list who's been dropping hints that they want one. Just in time for Black Friday, Consumer Reports has released its Ratings of close to 100 tablets.

Weighing in at just a pound, and with a super-slender profile, the iPad Air is the lightest full-sized tablet tested. That makes it easy to hold for reading or watching movies.

Even though Apple made the iPad Air thinner and lighter, it didn't sacrifice screen quality at all. The screen looks just as good as the screen on the iPad 4. The iPad Air with 4G earned Consumer Reports' highest score for any tablet ever. It starts at $629 and at $500 for Wi-Fi only.

Consumer Reports also just tested the newest small tablet from Apple, the iPad Mini. It's even better than the previous version and includes a longer-lasting battery.

If you prefer an Android tablet, Consumer Reports recommends the newest version of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1. It starts at $550. What's unique about it is it comes with a stylus and a set of apps that works specifically with that stylus. The stylus is pretty advanced, and it allows you to do things such as write notes within an app or draw graphics. Another interesting feature is it allows you to run two apps at the same time on the display.

But if you want to save money, the 7-inch Kindle Fire HDX is a good option at $230. You don't get as many features, but you do get a unique tech-support button. You push a button, and up pops a live tech-support person who can help you with any question you have about the tablet, right then and there.

Complete Ratings and recommendations on all kinds of products, including appliances, cars & trucks, and electronic gear, are available on Consumer Reports' website. Subscribe to ConsumerReports.org.