The Best Tablets of 2013

Looking to invest in a new tablet, but aren't sure which one to get? Whether you're making the purchase for yourself or giving the tablet as a gift, here are our some of our top picks.

Best All-Around: iPad Air

Weighing under 1lb, it's perfect for carrying-along, whether for travel or just to and from the office. The iPad Air features Apple's signature Retina display for sharp and clear viewing, a powerful and fast processor, 5-megapixel rear-facing camera, an HD front-facing camera (perfect for Face Time), long battery life, and access to more apps than any other tablet, thanks to Apple's App Store. Plus, it's got Apple's intuitive-iOS, so even tablet newbies will be using like a pro in no time.

Best for Media Consumption: Kindle Fire HDX

If your primary use for your tablet will be enjoying media (watching movies, reading books, etc.), the Kindle Fire HDX is the clear choice. Affordable and high performance with built-in 24/7 tech support. And, best of all, it's got a sharp, HD screen for enjoying content from the Amazon store. To maximize your experience, consider an Amazon Prime membership.

Best for Productivity: Microsoft Surface Pro 2

The Surface Pro 2 is the ultimate in productivity on the go. It's pricier than the other tablets on this list, but you'll get two devices in one with this laptop/tablet hybrid, which runs Windows 8.1. Edit Office documents using the Typing Cover's ultra-thin, backlit keyboard or use the included Surface Pro Pen to write and mark-up your docs, presentations and more.

Best Value/Buy on a Budget: NOOK HD 9" Tablet

While most tablets sacrifice size for cost, the 9" NOOK HD manages to come it at just $149 for a 16GB tablet with a 9" HD screen. Choose from millions of eBooks, magazines, movies and TV shows from Barnes & Noble. The NOOK HD also features Google Chrome for web browsing and comes with access to over 700,000 Android apps through the Google Play store. (That's in addition to NOOK-specific apps offered by Barnes & Noble.)  It's perfect for users whose tablet priorities include reading, email access, Internet use, and social media.

Best for Apple Fans On a Budget: iPad Mini (with Retina display)

For $100 less than the iPad Air, the Mini features all the best elements of the Air in a compact size, with an extra-long battery life. Apple users will love that it can be set to sync media downloads across all their other Apple devices. Highlights include the same super-fast A7 processor seen in the larger model, Wi-Fi and LTE connectivity, rear- and front-facing cameras, and of course, access to Apple's App Store.

Best for Android Fans On a Budget: Nexus 7

Starting at just $229, The Nexus 7 is sure to please Android users without breaking the bank. Top features include a long battery life, fast performance and HD screen. You'll love viewing movies and pictures on this one: it has the sharpest 7-inch tablet screen on the market.

Best 2-in-1 Laptop/Tablet: ASUS Transformer Book T100

The ASUS Transformer Book T100 is a 10-inch tablet with keyboard dock (dock includes two USB ports). Like Microsoft Surface, the T100 runs Windows 8. It comes pre-loaded with Microsoft Office & Student 2013 and features easy access to Xbox Live and the Windows Store.

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