Unless you're a tablet expert like me, most models look similar -- if not the same.

Click though the slideshow for an introduction to a few slates that offer something unique, in addition to the usual offerings.

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Sony Xperia Z2

Tablets tend to blend in together, with monotonous rectangular designs and redundant features, however, the slates in this slideshow offer a few unique characteristics to help them stand out in the pack.

The Sony Xperia Z2 gives new meaning to the term "skinny dipping." In addition to its status as one of the thinnest and lightest tablets available, it's also waterproof! Not to be outshined by its slick design features, the Xperia Z2 tablet (not to be confused with the similarly named Xperia Z2 phone) is also a top slate thanks to its zippy performance and pixel-packed screen.

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CNET Editors' Rating
3.5 stars Very good

Samsung Galaxy Tab S

You can find fingerprint scanners on a few smartphones, but it's a rare sight on a tablet. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S is currently the only Android tablet with the feature.

The 8.4- and 10-inch tablets are two of the most high-end Android slates on the market and have much more to offer than elevated security settings -- they're speedy, with lightweight designs and rock a colorful, super-sharp display.

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CNET Editors' Rating
4 stars Excellent

Asus Memo Pad 8

For a budget buy, the Asus Memo Pad 8 really packs in the features to give you the most bang for your buck. One of the most compelling options is Asus' preloaded Splendid app. The program allows you to calibrate the screen of your tablet to optimize your viewing experience. The app is also available on other Asus devices, but at its cheap price, the Memo Pad 8 is the most compelling tablet to offer the perk.

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CNET Editors' Rating
3.5 stars Very good

Microsoft Surface Pro 3

The Microsoft Surface Pro 3 toes the line between tablet and laptop, but it's definitely a tablet -- a tablet on steroids. Without putting its productivity prowess aside, we have to give it up to the Surface Pro 3's accessories. Its comfortable keyboard-cover-stand has yet to be matched in style and function by any other tablet accessory and the new model now comes with a digitizer pen that has its own holding place in the aforementioned cover.

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CNET Editors' Rating
4 stars Excellent

Dell Venue 8 7000

The latest addition to Dell's tablet line-up includes the barrier-breaking Venue 8 7000. The 8.4-inch tablet houses an impressive 3D camera and useful software for creatively editing your photos.

We've seen 3D cameras on tablets before, but the quality and extensive abilities of the Dell Venue 8 7000 surpass any tablet before it -- and it's one of the thinnest tablets around. Those interested in cutting-edge technology should keep their eyes peeled for when tablet hits stores in early 2015.

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Amazon Fire HDX

Amazon Fire tablets are the most immediately usable slates out there, not just because of their simple, easy-to-navigate Android-based Mojito OS, but because of the innovative Mayday button. If you're having trouble with the tablet, the feature lets you connect to a help center -- almost instantaneously -- and you get tech help from one of its specialists. Sometimes things even get a little crazy.

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CNET Editors' Rating
4 stars Excellent

Amazon Fire HDX 8.9

The 2014 update to the 8.9-inch HDX includes one very cool feature: Firefly.

After aiming the rear camera at an artifact for a few seconds, the item recognition software can quickly recognize TV shows and movies -- and pull up a list of IMDB pages for the actors in the scene -- as well as a song, or item (that's conveniently found on Amazon.com, of course). It's far from perfect, but there's nothing else around quite like it. Best of all for a lucky few, Firefly can only be found on the Fire HDX 8.9 and Amazon's Fire phone.

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CNET Editors' Rating
4 stars Excellent

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro

Tablets are great for personal video watching, but this Lenovo slate can share movies, TV shows, and more with all of your family and friends.

The 13.3-inch Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro features a built-in pico projector for setting up a mobile movie theater wherever you go. Combined with its clever design, it's a unique tablet with a myriad of uses.

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CNET Editors' Rating
3.5 stars Very good

Where to Buy

Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 (2014)

Part Number: B00HCNHDN0
MSRP: $379.00 Low Price: $379.00 See all prices

Where to Buy

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro (Android, 13-inch)

Part Number: CNETlenovoYogaTab2Pro
MSRP: $499.99 Low Price: $469.99 See all prices
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