Stuff these

Small tablets are great portable companions you can easily pack in your bag, and if you feel so inclined, in Santa's bag, too. Click through this slideshow to see our picks best mini slates for this gift-giving season, and check out the full reviews for more information.

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Amazon Fire HD 6

You don't have to pay an arm and a leg if you want to enjoy the simple joys of having a tablet. The small slates in this gallery are the best in this budget category and range from 6 to 8.4 inches in size. Click through to see them all.

Starting with the smallest on the list, the Amazon Fire HD 6 is an affordable and portable companion. It fits perfectly in one hand -- great for commuters or those with small hands (including kids) -- and starts at only $99 for an 8GB model.

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Dell Venue 7

If a small bump in size is appealing, the Dell Venue 7 offers sturdy and smooth performance in a simple package.

Also offered in an 8-inch version, the Dell Venue 7 tablet boasts the bloatware-free benefits of running a pure Android operating system, and the grooved (and groovy) texture gives it a comfortable grip.

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Amazon Fire HDX 7

On the high end of the 7-inch tablet selection sits the Amazon Fire HDX. It rocks a comfy, angular design with a family-friendly feature-filled operating system.

Amazon Fire tablets are unique in user-friendly ways; the HDX series offers the Mayday instant customer service button and the Sangria operating system features a simple layout that makes your favorite apps and contents easy and simple to access.

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Apple iPad Mini 3

In between the iPhone 6 Plus and the iPad Air 2, you'll find the iPad Mini 3. The recently refreshed tablet got a minor update and now brandishes a TouchID fingerprint scanner.

As the most high-end small tablet -- thanks to its sleek construction and expensive starting price -- sports a 4:3 aspect ratio, which lends itself more towards Web surfing and reading. Yet, with its sharp Retina display and fast processor,  it still does movie-watching and gaming well.

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Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4

If you're interested in a tablet for taking your favorite movies on-the-go, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 shows off a vivid and colorful display with life-like sharpness.

It won't replace your TV, but thanks to the IR blaster on its top edge, it may replace your remote control. The 8.4-inch tablet looks like a typical Samsung tablet, with a plastic design and capacitive buttons on the bottom bezel, and it's fashionably thin and lightweight.

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Sony Xperia Z3 Compact

Anyone who has lost a gadget due to water damage understands how built-in durability can go a long way. The Sony Xperia Z3 tablet compact is a rare waterproof model that doesn't depend on its swimming abilities to impress.

The 8-inch tablet houses a speedy processor, and though its HD screen isn't the highest resolution out there, it's sharp enough to appease any accident-prone tablet-seeker.

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