Picking presents for friends and loved ones is never a simple task, and with thousands of options for each category, buying technology can be an especially frustrating experience. If you're looking for a tablet and don't fancy an iPad, then Android is currently the way to go. There are other options out there; Windows 8 tablets are incoming, the BlackBerry PlayBook is on sale now. But Android 4.1 (soon to be Android 4.2) is currently the main OS rival to the iPad, and the products are still making their way onto the shelves.
Below you'll find today's bevy of curated picks, and you can head back to our hub to see the rest of the product guides as they're added throughout the Christmas and New Year season.
On the cheap
1. Google Nexus 7
A quad-core processor, beefy GPU and the first device to run Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, the Nexus 7 certainly packs a punch. Packing a, 12 core GPU, 8GB and 16GB internal storage and 7-inch 1280 x 800 screen, the Nexus 7 certainly has the skills to pay the bills, but at a highly attractive price point.
Price: $199 from Google
2. Kindle Fire HD 7
For casual tablet users or those already knee-deep in Amazon's digital media abyss, the Kindle Fire HD is a fantastic option, especially at the low entry price. Coming in at 16GB and 32GB flavours, the Kindle Fire HD is sure to be a big hit, bringing the simplicity of the e-book range to the tablet arena, with dedicated space to access your movies, games, apps and music too.
Price: $199 from Amazon
3. Nook HD
Thanks to its well-implemented profiles feature and a price lower than any other full-sized tablet, the Nook HD is a great choice for families on a budget. The Nook HD is definitely new, and in almost every regard. Taking a quick tour of its feature list, you'll find a new design, a 1,440 x 900 display, a faster processor (1.3GHz, dual-core TI OMAP) and a fresher operating system, based on Android 4.0. Even better, it has a new, lower price.
Price: $199 from Barnes& Noble
4. Acer Iconia Tab A110
Looking for a slate that offers Jelly Bean and a lightweight design on a budget? The 7-inch A110 delivers, and it runs a 1.2GHz Tegra 3 processor, to boot.
Price: $230 on Amazon
5. Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0)
The Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 offers up a great ICS experience, but without the groan-inducing cost. In our review, we found the dual-core 1GHz TI OMAP chip handles the latest version of Android just fine, and the good-enough 1,024 x 600 LCD display is the same one used on the more premium Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus. While this might not offer the same tightly integrated ecosystem as a Kindle Fire, or the simplistic appeal of the Nexus 7, the slate is still great if what you really want is a low-cost tablet running Ice Cream Sandwich.
6. Asus Transformer Pad 300
The Transformer Pad 300 comes running Android Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box and offers up the power of a quad-core Tegra 3 processor, a 10.1-inch display and 12 hour battery life. Individual needs and budget will determine if the Asus Transformer Pad TF300 is right for you, but we applaud Asus for marrying value and performance, and the TF300 comes highly recommended.
7. Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9
It's ideal for anyone who thinks 10.1 inches is just slightly too big for a tablet, but also finds 7-inch options a tad too small. A great screen, and premium features across the board make it a superb option. It's slightly thinner and lighter, and consequently more convenient for anyone wanting to stuff it in a bag. Apart from these physical attributes, the internal components are basically the same. So you get the same slick performance and overall tablet experience.
8. Google Nexus 10
The big brother to the Nexus 7 impresses with a stunning 2,560 x 1,600 display, great gaming chops and strong audio quality. The downside is middling battery life: we're talking about seven and a half hours when the competition delivers 10-plus. The Google Nexus 10 is easily one of the best Android tablets on the market and while it's not quite as fantastic value for money as the Nexus 7, you won't be disappointed for the price you're paying.
Price: $399 from Google
Money is no object
9. Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1
What's better than a tablet with a big screen? A tablet with a big screen, a quad core processor and famous for its S Pen, the Note 10.1 is both a costly sketchpad and a capable Android tablet. With many levels of pressure sensitivity and the ability easily sketch and annotate on a wide range of items, the Galaxy Note 10.1 offers so much more than your average tablet.
Price: $499 on Amazon
10. ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Pad Infinity 700
The Transformer range of Android tablets has become the jewel of Asus's crown and the best alternative to Apple's new iPad. With Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich on the way, a simple interface and more ports than you can poke with a stick, the Infinity is the tablet that can handle anything you can throw at it. You're given a 1920 x 1200 resolution in place of the Prime's 1280 x 800, although the brightness has been kept at 600nits. It's got everything you could want in a tablet - and a keyboard dock as standard too.
Price: $499 from ASUS
Android Multimedia Solutions for your information