However, before we start announcing the top 5 tablets in 2012 we need to mention that this was a very difficult task. No matter how hard we tried to stay objective, there is still a high probability that fans of one brand or platform will not agree with the order or even the tablets that appear in the top 5. Because of that we would like to hear from you, so feel free to write your opinion in the comments section at the end of this text.
An Apple product to be on the last place, how dare we? Before you “lynch” us, take a look at the other 4 tablets and you will get an explanation why the iPad mini is the 5th best tablet of 2012. Firstly, being on the last place in a top list doesn’t mean that it is a bad tablet – it is the opposite, because it has to be so good to even get in the list of the top 5 tablets.
The main reasons for this particular position of the iPad mini in our list is the inferior 1024 x 768 screen resolution and the identical hardware that you can find in the 2 years old iPad 2 for a price starting at $329 which is quite a lot for this tablet. However, the main reason iPad mini appeared on this list is iOS and its 250 000 tablet applications which are quiet important for a tablet user and its tablet experience.
There is also the extraordinary build quality and a very nice design. If the screen resolution would have been higher with a more refreshed hardware, this tablet would make it even deeper into our list, but it is (only) the 5th best tablet in 2012.
It would be a shame neglecting this amazing tablet. It is the highest screen resolution in the tablet market right now that adorns this tablet so much. 2560 x 1600 pixels on a 10 inch screen is what provides an ultra sharp picture. Other features which pushed this tablet so high in the tablet rankings is the powerful Exynos 5 Cortex dual core processor, Mali-T606 graphics chip and 2 GB of RAM.
You get the full Android experience with Jelly Bean 4.2 and a guaranteed upgrade for the upcoming years because it is a Google tablet that we are talking about. For the price of $399 this is an excellent buy. The only shortcoming of this tablet is the lack of a micro SD slot so you are left to decide between the 16 GB and 32 GB version.
This high quality tablet deservedly takes the 3. place in our list. Infinity has an extraordinary aluminium build quality, and what stands out the most is the amazing Super IPS Plus panel with a 1920 x 1200 resolution. The Transformer concept is based on a dock keyboard with an extra battery and this is what we like very much on this tablet. Its hardware is also very powerful because it features a Tegra 3 processor, more exactly, a quad core Cortex A9 1.6 GHz processor and 1 GB of RAM. 16 hours of battery life when combined with the dock keyboard is spectacular and makes this tablet a great buy. The upgrade to Jelly Bean hasn’t been perfectly ironed and there are some bugs, and it heats up a little bit more than normal, but besides that, it is an excellent Android tablet.
2. iPad 4
Sometimes the best hardware on the market which can be found on this tablet is not enough for climbing to the top of our list. We had a really tough decision to make, and even though the iPad 4 didn’t make it to the number 1, it is truly an amazing tablet. A high build quality of aluminium has always been on the iPad, but what makes this tablet so extraordinary is the awesome IPS Retina 9.7 inch display with a stunning 2048 x 1536 screen resolution, which is being topped only by the Google Nexus 10.
The most powerful processor on the market, its dual core A6X 1.4 GHz and quad core PowerVR SGX554-MP4 GPI provide outstanding performances. Just like the iPad mini, the good thing with the iPad 4 is the 250 000 tablet applications available. When you take everything into account, this is a really great tablet, but unfortunately not the best one (but it could easily be the other way around) – part because iOS is tightly closed and part because of the price.
The competition was very strong, but there can be only one best tablet, and in our opinion it is the Google Nexus 7.
As we mentioned earlier, the best hardware on the market doesn’t necessarily guarantee the top place on the list. What we found more important is the price/performance ratio, and Google Nexus 7 is really the champion in that category. In cooperation with Asus, Google has made a truly magnificent tablet at a very affordable price of $200/$250.
Nobody managed to provide such hardware for that price and we truly hope that this move made by Google will influence the tablet market and generate even more positive competition which would only mean more powerful tablets at affordable prices. Nexus 7 is currently the best choice for technology fans and it will probably stay like that in the upcoming months, maybe even longer.
Even though it is not the most powerful tablet on the market, it is definitely one of that kind with its quad core Tegra 3 chipset and a ULP GeForce GPI. Nexus 7 is very portable like most 7 inch tablets and has a good IPS panel with a 1280 x 800 screen resolution. The display is not only beautiful but also durable, it is protected by Corning scratch resistant glass.
Even though it is not made of aluminium like the iPad tablets, the plastic of the Nexus 7 is of excellent quality. Holding it in one hand feels nice and there are no sharp corners or anything else which would make it uncomfortable. It comes with 16 GB or 32 GB of internal storage space. Besides the WiFi version, there is also a 3G version available. Battery life is pretty solid, around 7 hours of active use, or up to 9 hours of video playback.
The popularity of the Nexus 7 is immense. There is no tablet with such features at such a low price. If you add the latest version of Android and guaranteed upgrades to that, Nexus 7 sounds even better. Nexus 7 is not perfect, and it has its own shortcomings but all the great features backed up by excellent hardware make them almost invisible.
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