Best Tablets of 2014

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Tablets are a versatile tech accessory, bringing the benefits of Internet access to a wireless device that's completely mobile. Consumers can find tablets that are perfect for streaming movies, reading the newspaper, or catching up with friends on social media sites. Many of the best tablets available can be purchased in stores, from the manufacturer's website, or on online marketplaces such as eBay.

Apple iPad Air

Apple iPad Air The iPad Air is the fifth generation of the brand's device, and the 2014 tablet has undergone aesthetic and functional changes. Because the iPad Air is 20 percent thinner than its predecessor, and weighs less than 500 grams, it's very mobile. The iPad Air is available in 16-, 32-, 64-, and 128-GB configurations. For those who are interested in using Wi-Fi or a cellular network to connect to the Internet, the iPad Air is available in models that are compatible with both systems. At the core of the iPad Air, there's an A7 chip that's based on a 64-bit architecture, and the tablet's battery offers up to 10 hours of usage on one charge. For users who take pictures or enjoy using FaceTime, the iPad Air has a 1.2- and a 5-MP camera. The iPad's Retina display includes more than 3 million pixels. When it comes to apps, the iPad Air has more than 500,000 designed specifically for the device.

Amazon Kindle Fire HDX

Amazon Kindle Fire HDX Designed with a slightly smaller display than the Apple iPad Air, the Amazon Kindle Fire HD has a 7-inch screen. The tablet offers several memory options, and consumers can opt for model with 8-,16-, or 32 GB. For video quality, the HDX display features a resolution of 1920 x 1200, and the pixel density is 323 pixels per inch. The Kindle Fire HDX has an upgraded processor that brings 2GB of RAM to the tablet. One of the unique features of the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX is that users have access to tech support from Amazon directly through the device. As far as battery life, the Kindle Fire HDX can operate for just over ten hours on a single charge. Just like the iPad Air, the Kindle Fire can connect to the Internet using a Wi-Fi signal or a local cellular carrier. The Amazon App store has more than 100,000 apps available for the tablet.

Nvidia Shield

Nvidia Shield While the Nvidia Shield has traditionally been designed for gamers, the tablet received a number of upgrades for the 2014 model year to make it more versatile. Because the tablet was made with streaming in mind, it's powered by a Tegra K1 processor that is engineered for performance. Users can choose between console and tablet mode and stream content directly to an HDTV without using the Shield's screen. The device has an 8-inch display. The screen's 1,920 x 1,200 resolution and 283-poi count is slightly less refined than other models. While the Shield has a 5-MP camera on the back and one on the front, the image quality could be better. For those who use their tablet while writing, the Shield is one of the few with a stylus and the appropriate software. For gamers, there's the option of a remote controller that is designed specifically for the Shield. With the Nvidia Shield, users can expect the battery to last slightly more than eight hours on a single charge. The device is available in models that can access the Web from Wi-Fi or a local cellular carrier. When it comes to memory size, the Nvidia Shield is available with 16 or 32 GB of storage.

Google Nexus 7

Google Nexus 7 The Google Nexus 7 is an Android-based tablet that can stream content from the Web to the device's screen or to a console, like Google's Chromecast. While the Nexus is designed to compete with the iPad Air and its Retina display, it comes with a slightly lower price tag. The device's screen has a 1,280 x 800 resolution with 323 pixels per inch. This gives the Nexus 7 the same density as Apple's Retina display. When it comes to surfing the Web and streaming movies, users can expect the Google Nexus to last for just over seven hours on a single battery charge. Much like any of the other tablets that are on the market, the Nexus is available in models that work with Wi-Fi or with a cellular carrier. Each unit has its own GPS, so drivers can use their Google Nexus to assist with directions and driving. As far as memory options, the Nexus is available with 16 or 26 GB of storage. For those who use their tablet to take pictures, the Nexus 7 has a 5-mp camera on the rear and a 1-mp camera on the front.

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