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Ask the Readers: Are You Buying a New Tablet This Year?

It’s that time of year again, the next generation of tablets are being released for the holiday season. We have the new Amazon Kindle Fire HDX, Microsoft Surface 2, and of course the popular iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina. But is there anything that’s so revolutionary about this year’s new gadgets? Other than better displays, faster hardware, and a few new features, is there a reason to upgrade, or is your current tablet working just fine?

New tablets are out this year from the usual suspects including Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Samsung. Even Dell and Nokia are getting into the mix.

Here’s a brief look at what’s new in the tablet space this year:

Apple iPad Air and Mini Tablet

During Apple’s recent keynote to introduce its new iPads. The new iPad Air is already available for purchase and claims a lighter form factor, improved hardware, and of course iOS 7. The iPad Mini should be ready later this month, and boasts a 2048×1536 high-resolution display that the company refers to as Retina as well as faster processors the hood.

2013 iPads

Microsoft Surface 2

Microsoft learned some important lessons when it first began its entry into the tablet business. The company has dropped the RT moniker and now calls its basic model Surface 2. Yes it’s the RT version of Windows, meaning you can’t install desktop programs on it. Although it does come with Office 2013 Home and Student edition.

The Surface Pro 2 has the full version of Windows 8.1 on it and can easily be a laptop replacement. This years lineup also offers several interesting accessories that you can purchase separately for an improved experience.

Microsoft Surface 2

What’s arguably the coolest accessory is the Docking Station. The Docking Station for Surface Pro provides a display port, audio input/output jack, Ethernet port, and a high-speed USB 3.0 and three USB 2.0 ports. This will cost you an additional $199.99 – the same starting price as 7” Android tablets. When all is said and done, you’re looking at a hefty price of around $1400. The Surface 2 Pro is best served as a laptop replacement to use for serious work and productivity. But, it makes a groovy entertainment device too.

Surface 2 Docking Station

Google’s Nexus 7

Maybe you’re more budget conscious and want a smaller form factor Android device that’s more affordable. If your looking for a quality tablet on the cheap, Google offers its new Nexus 7. Don’t expect to be super productive with it, but you can keep up with email, social networks, and your favorite RSS feeds. It’s more suited as a companion device in your computing realm, and is great for playing games and music or video consumption. The latest generation starts at $229 for the 16GB WiFi only model.

Google Nexus 7 Tablet

Kindle Fire HDX

Amazon upgraded its Kindle Fire tablet this year with its HDX model. It includes a 1920×1200 high pixel density for the 7” one, and 2560×1600 display for the 8.9” model. Like the new iPads, the new Fire’s are lighter, and include better hardware inside for faster performance. Again, this is meant to be a media consumption tablet and eBook reader rather than a productivity device. We’ve always liked the Kindle Fire’s here at groovyPost, and if you have one, make sure to check out all of our Kindle Fire tips and tutorials.

IN_KFHD_7_Front_Landscape

Of course there’s other tablets out there from other manufacturers like Samsung, Dell, and even Nokia is releasing its version of a Windows 8.1 (RT) tablet — Lumia 2520. It you haven’t yet bought a tablet and are on the fence, now is a good time as they are second or more generations in. But if you already have one, the question is…

Do you even need a new tablet? Or is the one you have currently sufficient and you see no reason to upgrade?

Leave us a comment below and let us know your thoughts about this years crop of tablets, and whether or not you plan on getting one.

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12 Responses to Ask the Readers: Are You Buying a New Tablet This Year?

  1. Steve Krause November 6, 2013 at 11:29 am #

    I’m actually going to hold steady. I have the iPad 3 and iPad 2 and iPad 1. The fam is all good. My next purchase however will be a really nice Windows 8 RT device of some sort. However I’m holding off until I need to replace one of the iPad’s and until the Microsoft store matures a little.

    • Alan Ashurst November 10, 2013 at 1:06 pm #

      Completely happy with iPad mini and MacBook Air. So glad I ditched Microsoft.

  2. Stu November 6, 2013 at 10:08 pm #

    I bought the Original Surface and I am very happy with it (and see no need for the new one) but I saw this YouTube vid this morning which lets you know some of the real RT functionality
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wG1b0yBJHLM

  3. Wendy Haylett November 7, 2013 at 6:18 am #

    I have been looking for a new more productive tablet to actually get some writing work done … without a laptop, using a keyboard on a tablet. I’m coming from a Kindle Fire HD and iPhone 4S. I write for a living and need the Microsoft for Word, Excel, etc. Hadn’t really thought much about it, but started looking at Microsoft Surface 2 reviews and actually saw the video posted by Stu. I realized the Surface 2 is just what I needed and wanted, but didn’t think existed. I’m sold and will be asking Santa for this. But I can’t wait!

    • Brian Burgess November 8, 2013 at 1:07 am #

      Yeah, the Surface 2 (Runs RT) but it comes with Office 2013 Home and Student Editions for what you’re saying you’d use it for, that might be the way to go. Plus this second generation of Surfaces run much faster than my early adopter V 1.0

      Also, Microsoft is now marketing the Surface 2 for exactly that — you can be productive, get your writing work done, and at the end of the day use it as an entertainment device to watch videos, listen to music, and play games.

  4. Stan Metheny November 7, 2013 at 6:24 am #

    Bought ASUS ME300 for my wife to use for travel. MS Store had a decent ‘special’ on it. She’s very happy with it. I’m waiting until January to make my next move.

  5. Jim D. November 7, 2013 at 6:46 am #

    I have an original iPad. I serves my purpose and I don’t see a need to spend the money to upgrade. Android devices don’t thrill me and I’m not a fan of Windows 8 in any of it’s iterations. If I used my tablet more than I do I would probably consider upgrading to an iPad Air.

  6. ChicagoMom November 7, 2013 at 9:33 am #

    I own an iPad2 and find that it serves my purpose for a mobile device.

    I hate having to type on it and I suspect any other tablet device is not suited for typing either.

    For real work, I will stick with my laptop. I love the fact that when I make a typing error (which I do often) I can ‘feel it’ right away.

    Trying to correct spelling/typing errors on my iPad is a pain in the tuckuss!

  7. MerryMarjie November 7, 2013 at 1:54 pm #

    I have a Kindle Fire (not HD), bought two years ago, and though I keep most of my “stuff” in the cloud, it keeps nagging me to remove more apps because I’m dangerously at the capacity of the Fire. Well, it won’t let me remove some I don’t ever use but they installed, and I’m thinking something with more GBs might be attractive. Google Nexus looks appealing, any user comments on that selection?

  8. Brian Burgess November 8, 2013 at 12:56 am #

    Right now I have a Surface RT and the first generation Nexus 7. Both of them are fine for me and right now don’t see a reason to upgrade.

    However, I will probably get a new iPad Mini, because all I have now is an iPod touch 4th generation which can’t run iOS 7. Of course, I will only be getting it so I can write up awesome tips and tricks and review it here for all our groovy readers.

    In fact, if I didn’t do this job, I wouldn’t have half of the stuff I do. I would of course have my command central power desktop PC and a Windows Phone 8. I think I could get by just fine with that.

    But I do admit, I love new gadgets, but unless you’ve never had a tablet before or are still rocking the first gen iPad, now is a good time to upgrade.

  9. Austin Krause November 8, 2013 at 6:04 am #

    As soon as the Surface Pro 2 (8GB RAM) comes down to $850ish I’ll buy one.

  10. Geoff November 10, 2013 at 4:31 pm #

    My wife and I both have iPads – 3rd and 4th gen, we love them, but see no reason to upgrade. They do all we need and more. I do love my gadgets though and I’m thinking about a low end android to see what the fuss is about.

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