Back To School Gift Guide: Tablets

Welcome to the Gift Guide section, where we list our favourite smartphones, tablets, accessories and deals of the moment.

In this section we take a look at the best tablets for Back to School.

Last updated: August 23rd, 2013

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A marvel of compromise, the 2013 Nexus 7 hits mostly right notes and forgivable wrong ones.

With a gorgeous, high-density display, ample performance headroom, a butter smooth software experience, and consummate battery life, this is the Android tablet to buy right now.

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One of the best mid-sized tablets currently available, Samsung has augmented the S Pen with a larger screen to make a fast, attractive and extremely usable Android device.

We’ve found 8-inch tablets to be a perfect middle ground between larger, awkward 16:9 Android slates and the smaller, less powerful 7-inch variety.

The Galaxy Note 8.0 is available for $399 in a WiFi version and from various carriers in an LTE version.

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[msgg postid=”82078″ title=”Sony Xperia Tablet Z”]

The Xperia Tablet Z is a beautiful, lightweight Android tablet with a great set of value-added features that complement the idea of using it as a second screen. With an IR blaster, waterproofing, a high-definition display and responsive software, the Xperia Tablet Z is one of the best Android tablets available.

It’s available directly from Sony for between $499 and $599 depending on storage options.

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[msgg postid=”73933″ title=”Microsoft Surface RT”]

The Surface RT is a great choice for someone looking to stay within the Windows ecosystem without sacrificing portability. While it lacks many of the apps that Windows users take for granted, the Windows Store is growing quickly and Microsoft promises to improve performance with Windows 8.1, which is coming in October 2013.

The Surface RT is available from Microsoft stores for $349.[/msgg]

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The iPad continues to be the premiere device for those willing to spend a bit more to gain access to the best apps, games, magazines and multimedia on a portable device.

It is available from $329 for the iPad mini and $499 for the iPad with Retina.

Note: this review links to the original Retina iPad released in March, 2012.

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