Not everyone wants an iPad Air or iPad Mini. In fact, many Apple haters would argue no one needs an iDevice, when there are so many other great options. Happily, if you're looking for an alternative there truly are plenty of compelling options -- many that cost less than Apple's slates. Google and Amazon offer full-featured slates for $229. ASUS even comes in at a very compelling $149. Those willing to spend more will find a host of versatile tablets, from models with detachable keyboards to those that offer pen input. There are even kid-friendly specific options for parents who want to raise a tech-savvy child.And while all of those options are Android options, there are Windows 8 tablets hitting the shelves that might worth a second look.Here are our top 10 iPad alternatives.
Google Nexus 7 (2013)
Google's first Nexus 7 tablet was one of the best we'd ever seen when it was released in 2012. For it's encore performance, the search giant has given the $229 Nexus 7 (2013) a significant specs boost and sleeker design than its predecessor. The new Nexus 7 packs a razor sharp 1920 x 1200 resolution and Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor with 2GB of RAM. There's also the addition of a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera to complement the original Nexus 7' 1.2-MP front camera. With specs like that, it's safe to say this is the best Nexus tablet yet.
Amazon Kindle Fire HDX
Amazon's follow up to the Kindle Fire HD, the $229 Kindle Fire HDX is an upgrade in almost every conceivable way. The 7-inch slate offers a gorgeous 1920 x 1200 resolution display with a pixel density of 323 pixels per inch. A quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor and 2GB of RAM provide the tablet with some serious horsepower, while its 8 hours and 39 minutes of battery life ensure you'll get a full day's worth of Web browsing and video watching. Slick new features including Mayday, which gives users quick access to 24/7 tech support and a new user interface make the Kindle Fire HDX a tablet you'll be proud to own.
Hisense Sero 7 Pro
Hisense Sero 7 Pro features a rear-facing 5-MP camera with a flash and a front-facing 2-MP camera, plus it comes with a microSD card slot for expandable storage up to 32GB. In addition to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 support, this 7-inch slate features NFC support, meaning users can share playlists, Web pages and clips with other NFC-supported devices simply by bumping the backs together.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0
Samsung's Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 packs an 8-inch 1280 x 800 display, giving it a higher resolution screen than the iPad mini. With its 1.5-GHz dual-core Samsung Exynos 4 processor and 1.5GB of RAM, the Tab 3 8.0 offers solid performance, while its 4,450 mAh battery means you'll get well over 8 hours of use out of this slate. Then there's the built-in IR blaster and Peel Smart Remote and Samsung WatchOn apps, that let you control your TV, download movies and search for TV shows. Better still, at $299, the Tab 3 8.0 is $30 less than the iPad mini.
ASUS MeMO Pad HD 7
ASUS' MeMO Pad HD 7 is easily one of the best Android tablets around. This 7-inch slate packs a gorgeous HD display, quad-core power, great audio and front- and rear-facing cameras, a rarity in its size category. What's more, the MeMO Pad HD 7 offers an astounding 9 hours and 40 minutes of battery life, which easily outpaces competitors like the Hisense Sero 7 Pro and Google Nexus 7 . Best of all, you can get all of this for just $149.
Google Nexus 10
The Nexus 10 sports a screen whose 2560 x 1600-pixel resolution is actually higher than the iPad's Retina display. Other highlights include Android 4.2, which lets you set up different profiles for multiple users, and powerful new photo editing features. The front-facing 1.9-MP camera is great for video chats in Google Hangout. It also delivers powerful audio with front-facing speakers, and with its gorgeous 10.1-inch HD display, watching video is a great experience on this device. Browsing the Web is fast as well with Google Chrome as its default browser.
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 Edition)
Samsung's Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 Edition) takes the original Galaxy Note 10.1's pen interface to a whole new level with its new Air Command function. With features like Action Memo, Scapbooker, Screen Write, S Finder and Pen Window, you can do everything from draw windows for apps, copy metadata from Web sites, write on your screen and more. And thinner design, crazy high-resolution 2560 x 1600, 10.1-inch display and an octa-core processor with 3GB of RAM round out this impressive package.
Sony Xperia Tablet Z
Weighing in at only 1.1 pounds and only 0.27 inches thick, the 10.1-inch Sony Xperia Tablet Z packs 2GB of RAM, an 8-MP rear-facing camera, 2-MP front-facing camera and 16GB of internal storage into a beautiful, sleek exterior. On top of that, it boasts superior battery performance (three hours longer than average on the LAPTOP Battery Test) and NFC capability for seamless touch transfer between NFC-supported devices. The Android-powered Z also comes with a Remote Control app and an infrared transmitter that lets you use it to control your home entertainment system.
Fuhu Nabi 2
Parents looking for a kid-friendly tablet have been with few worthwhile options until now. The Fuhu Nabi 2 offers the power and functionality of a standard Android tablet complete with quad-core processor and 2 GB of RAM. A parental control dashboard and kid-specific mode help keep children from visiting inappropriate websites or downloading apps without their parents permission. It's also designed to withstand some bumps, with a plastic chassis and bumper protector, as well as kid-friendly apps make this device perfect for sharing with kids.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0
The Galaxy Note 8.0 offers excellent multitasking functionality and a built-in IR blaster to control your TV all in an 8-inch tablet. But one of our favorite features of this uniquely-sized slate is the S Pen integration. Users nostalgic for the feeling of good old pen-and-pad note taking will love the accurate handwriting recognition keyboard that replaces keys with a yellow, ruled drawing area. And based on its size, the Note 8 is thin and light enough to hold in one hand yet large enough to write on without running out of space.
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