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Tablet PC Comparison Guide

Ready to take the plunge into the expanding world of tablets? Unless you're set on a particular model from the start, you'll have to wade through quite a number of devices to find one that's right for you. This tablet PC comparison guide will help you narrow down your choices and decide on your first - or your next - slate purchase. If you believe you've found the perfect tablet, you can browse through's extensive tablet selection for a hassle-free online shopping experience.

Let's compare tablet computers by looking at some of the most popular devices on the market today.

Apple iPad with Retina Display

Storage capacity: 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB

Price: Starts at $499

No tablet computer comparison piece is complete without the iPad. It's been a runaway hit since it was released in 2010, and the fourth and latest generation is no different. Apple's newest tablet comes with an eye-popping Retina display that can show super-sharp images and colors. The iPad's screen is a standout feature you'll surely notice when visually comparing tablet PCs. It's also equipped with Apple's new processor, the A6X chip, which makes sure even the most resource-hungry apps run smoothly.

Wi-Fi-only iPads are great for home use, or if you have a smartphone or portable hotspot device you can tether it to. But if you don't, you may want to get the more expensive iPad with 4G LTE capability if you want to surf the web on the go. Keep in mind you'll also have to pay a monthly fee for that mobile data usage, however.

Apple iPad Mini

Storage capacity: 16GB, 32GB, 64GB

Price: Starts at $329

Do you like the iPad but think it's too big for your always out-and-about, highly active lifestyle? This tablet PC comparison guide recommends the iPad mini for you. It's the condensed, 7.9-inch version of the iPad that weighs only 0.68 pounds. You may not even notice you're carrying it.

One downside of the iPad mini is the lack of a Retina display (it has a 1024 x 748-pixel screen). It's also significantly more expensive than Google's similarly sized Nexus 7. But if your emails, to-do's, and other digital activities are tightly linked to Apple's ecosystem, the iPad mini might be the better choice for you. Like its big brother, the mini also comes in a 4G LTE version for accessing the internet on the go.

Google Nexus 7

Storage capacity: 8GB, 16GB, 32GB

Price: Starts at $199

There are loads and loads of Android tablets out there, and listing them all out would inundate this tablet PC comparison guide. If you're looking for a pure Android experience with no carrier or manufacturer skin, check out Google's flagship 7-inch tablet, the Nexus 7. When the diminutive slate was first released, it came pre-installed with Android's newest flavor, 4.1 Jelly Bean. Today, a 4.2 Jelly Bean update is available, and you can expect future Android versions to be quickly rolled out for your device.

With a $199 starting price, the Nexus 7 is a sure contender if you're on a budget. If you're in need of an Android device with a cellular connection, the Nexus 7 comes with HSPA+ capabilities for $299.

Google Nexus 10

Storage capacity: 16GB, 32GB

Price: Starts at $399

Here's the tablet to get if you like the Nexus 7 but prefer something with a larger screen. The Nexus 10 has features that rivals the iPad when comparing tablet computers. Its 10-inch screen has a resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels (compare that to the iPad's 2048 x 1536 resolution), making the Nexus 10 the tablet with the highest-resolution display currently available. It has a standard micro-USB port--meaning you won't need to buy an expensive charging cable if you lose yours—and includes NFC support for mobile payments.

This tablet PC comparison guide recommends the Nexus 10 for budget-minded buyers due to its $399 starting price. But take note: it's a Wi-Fi-only device with no 3G or 4G connection option.

Amazon Kindle Fire HD

Storage capacity: 16GB, 32GB

Price: Starts at $199

There's no better tablet than the Kindle Fire if you're largely invested in Amazon for Kindle eBooks, music, and other digital content. The Kindle Fire HD is a follow-up to Amazon's wildly successful Kindle Fire. It has a 1280 x 800 HD screen, which is a step up from the original Kindle Fire's 1024 x 600 screen when placed in a side-by-side tablet computer comparison.

The Kindle Fire HD is another option for budget-conscious buyers, with a starting price of $199.

Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9-inch

Storage capacity: 16GB, 32GB, 64GB

Price: Starts at $299

So you love the Kindle Fire HD but think a 7-inch screen is too small? You may want to take a look at the Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9-inch. In a tablet PC comparison with the two devices, you'll find the Kindle Fire HD 8.9-inch is almost identical to the 7-inch version, with a few noticeable differences. The 8.9-inch version has a 1920 x 1200-pixel resolution display, and it's available in both Wi-Fi-only and Wi-Fi with 4G LTE. While the Kindle Fire HD 8.9-inch is more expensive than the 7-inch version, it's still very affordable when compared to similar tablet computers.

Microsoft Surface with Windows RT

Storage capacity: 32GB, 64GB

Price: Starts at $499

With Windows and a removable keyboard, the Microsoft Surface was designed for those who want to use their tablets for something more than just watching videos or surfing the web. Since the Microsoft Surface resembles a laptop-tablet hybrid, comparisons to a Windows laptop are inevitable. There are two variations of the Surface: the cheaper Surface with Windows RT that starts at $499 and the more expensive Surface with Windows 8 Pro that will be available soon.

We've barely scratched the surface with this tablet PC comparison list--you'll find a lot more tablet brands and models out there that may also fit your needs. Before you start digging for information, don't forget to check out our tablet buying guide to find out what features to keep an eye on when choosing your new tablet.

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