Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 ( 64GB, Wi-Fi/4G, unlocked GSM)
Impressive Amazon features and an outstanding display make the the Fire HDX 8.9 one of the best and most affordable media consumption tablets.
Apple iPad Air 2 ( space gray, 128GB)
The iPad Air 2 is a nice refinement and finesse of last year's model, with a bevy of tweaks, enhancements, a much faster processor, and the welcome addition of Touch ID. Simply put: it's still the gold standard for tablets.
Apple iPad Mini 3 ( space gray, 128GB, 3G/4G)
One of last year's best, the iPad Mini 3 is still a compelling choice despite the lack of upgrades. However, the nearly identical and significantly cheaper iPad Mini 2 is a smarter buy.
Dell Venue 11 Pro
Betting on a full 1080p display partly justifies the Dell Venue 11 Pro's higher price compared to other Atom-powered tablets. But the keyboard dock add-on, which should turn this into a functional laptop alternative, is too expensive and occasionally frustrating to use.
Apple iPad Mini 2 ( space gray, 16GB, Sprint)
The new iPad Mini somehow shrinks down the iPad Air into an even more compact package, sacrificing nearly nothing. It's more expensive than before, but it's also the perfect smaller tablet.
Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 ( 64 GB, 3G/4G, AT&T)
Armed with a powerful processor and Amazon's exhaustive content library, the Kindle Fire HDX delivers incredible value for its price, especially for Amazon Prime members.
Acer Iconia W3 ( 64GB)
The smaller 8-inch Windows 8 tablet is a form worth exploring, and the Acer Iconia W3 can be fun to use, but it's also buggy and held back by shortcuts and lackluster features.
The Kobo Arc is a fine tablet that simply doesn't offer enough compelling reasons to seriously consider it.
Apple iPad Mini
If you want the full, polished Apple tablet experience in a smaller package, the iPad Mini is worth the premium price. Otherwise, good alternatives are available for less money.
Microsoft Surface RT
If you're an early adopter willing to forget everything you know about navigating a computer, the Surface tablet could replace your laptop. Everyone else: wait for more apps.