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Apple iPad with Wi-Fi + 4G (4th Generation)
- The good: The newest iPad's faster A6X processor adds extra system speed and graphics power. Improved worldwide cellular compatibility makes the LTE model a more appealing proposition. And the iOS App Store remains best in class, with the widest selection.
- The bad: The fourth-gen iPad is otherwise identical to its recent predecessor -- same size, weight, and Retina screen. It's heavy to hold in one hand, and older accessories won't work without investing in a pricey Lightning adapter.
Samsung Nexus 10
- The good: The Nexus 10 has a beautifully sharp screen. It's light, durable, and has the fastest processor of any Android tablet. Photo Sphere is an incredibly cool concept. Google's content ecosystem is only getting better.
- The bad: The included charger isn't fast enough to power the battery while playing a game; even while idle, it charges painfully slowly. There's no storage expansion option, and apps that take full advantage of the screen are currently few and far between. Navigating isn't quite as seamless as on the Nexus 7.
Acer Iconia Tab A700
- The good: The Acer Iconia Tab A700's high-res screen sharpens text and graphics to near-iPad Retina levels. Also, it's comfortable to hold and includes both Micro-HDMI and microSD.
- The bad: The base version of the Tegra 3 can't keep up with the high-res display, resulting in frequent hangs and utters while navigating. The cameras are unimpressive.
- The good: The Microsoft Surface's Metro interface is innovative, elegant, powerful, and versatile. The tablet feels strong and well-built, runs Office 2013, and includes rich video and music services. Its keyboard cover accessories are the best ways to type on a tablet, period.
- The bad: The tablet's performance can be sluggish, its Windows Store is a ghost town, Metro takes getting used to, and the Desktop interface feels clunky and useless.