There has been a lot of buzz about new tablets this Fall, especially from Apple and Google. Here are the offerings from those companies along with other options. They are a good start to updating your devices for the Fall or to use as holiday gifts this Winter.
1. The Sony Xperia z3 compact tablet, which was made available in October, is a mid-size 8 inch tablet that will compete with the new Nexus 7 and HDFire HDX. It might run into trouble competing against these other tablets, since its screen is not as sharp as the competition, but its technology is high end, and it is an improvement over the previous 7 inch screen.
2. A mid-range option is the Lenovo Tablet S8, which came on the market in September. It has an 8 inch screen and an Intel processor. With 16GB of Ram and an 8 megapixel camera, it is a good buy for the budget conscious consumer.
3. The Toshiba Encore mini, which is about $199 (like the Lenovo) is one of the smallest for Windows 8.1 running tablets. It’s a good, portable mini, but the screen is very small.
4. The new Apple iPads were unveiled on October 16th, and though the sales have not been as big as the iPhone 6, there are, of course, big improvements. In true Apple fashion, a lot of excitement as been generated around this latest edition. Apple introduced the new iPad Air 2 and the new iPad mini as the two tablet options. The iPad Air 2 starts at $499 with 16GB WiFi and $399 for the new mini. The iPad Air 2 goes for an additional $100 for 64 GB and an additional $200 for 128GB.
The original iPad Air gets a $100 reduction and the original iPad mini gets a $50 reduction. If you are going for the newer version (and who doesn’t want the latest?) you will encounter many upgrades. Now like the iPhone, the new version has Touch ID, which is a fingerprint system. AT 6.1 mm thick, the iPad Air 2 weighs less than a pound and could be stacked twice and still be thinner than the original. Finally, it has an anti-reflective coating and an 8 megapixel built-in iSight camera that supports panoramas, burst mode and timelapse videos. This tablet packs a lot of fun into it.
5. Lastly, just before the new iPad Air 2 and mini were unveiled, Google introduced the new Nexus 9, which is the first to run the Android Lollipop OS and is an 8.9 inch tablet. The 16 GB version costs about $399, the 32GB is $479 and the 32 GB with LTE is around $599. Like the iPad Air 2, it is available in three color options. With a 2,048 x 1,536 screen, it is powerful and has an 8-megapixel rear-facing and a 1.6-megapixel front-facing camera. Beware, however, that a Nov. 3, 2014 review on cnet.com claims that not all of the apps work smoothly on this device and that firm contact is needed for efficient touchscreen response. Also, it is slow to charge. Still, it has a speedy performance and is a good choice as a high-end Android.
As you can see, there are a lot of new tablet options. Stay tuned for more updates!