iPad Air, mini, Nexus 7, Tesco Hudl and more: UK prices compared

Apple has two new tablets for your consideration -- but how much do they cost compared to rival gadgets?

Apple has two new tablets for your consideration -- the wafer-thin iPad Air , and the high-resolution iPad mini with retina display .

Tim Cook and pals have also dropped the price of the original iPad mini to start at £249, so how do Apple's tablets stack up against the Nexus 7, Tesco Hudl, Amazon Kindle Fire HDX and Microsoft Surface 2 in terms of cost?

iPad Air and iPad mini with retina display

The extremely slim iPad Air  will cost you at least £399 to buy SIM-free from Apple. That's the price for the 16GB Wi-Fi only model, but you'll be shelling out £479 for the 32GB option, £559 for the 64GB version and £639 for the 128GB edition.

That's a lot of cash if you want more capacity, and if you're after the 4G version of the iPad Air, add £100 onto the cost of whichever model you were eyeing up. If your heart is set on a big iPad, 2011's long-in-the-tooth iPad 2 is still on sale, starting at £329.

The iPad mini with Retina display meanwhile costs £319 for the 16GB model, £399 for the 32GB option, £479 for 64GB and £559 for the 128GB version. Again, add £100 if you're thinking of getting the 4G version.

Google Nexus 7

Arguably the most appealing Android tablet, Google's Nexus 7 is a 7-inch slate with a hearty 1,920x1,200-pixel resolution. That's not quite as many pixels as the new iPad mini's 2,048x1,536, but its slightly smaller display is still very sharp.

The recently refreshed Nexus 7 will set you back £199 for the 16GB model, and £239 for the 32GB model. There's a 4G option available too, for £299.

That makes the cheapest Nexus 7 £120 cheaper than the cheapest mini with retina display, and £50 cheaper than last year's iPad mini.

Tesco Hudl

Tablet shoppers would also be wise to examine the Tesco Hudl , a basic slate that costs a mere £119.

The Hudl has a very tempting price, and a chunky design that should protect it from kids. It features handy user guides too for tablet novices, though anyone who's spent time with a more advanced device will notice that homescreens and typing can feel a tad sluggish.

Amazon Kindle Fire HDX

There's plenty of choice out there for would-be tablet buyers. For £199 you can pre-order the new Amazon Kindle Fire HDX , which comes out next month and makes it easy to download ebooks or music from Amazon's vast digital library.

Note however that you can't download films, only stream them from Lovefilm, and geekier shoppers will want tho flexibility that the Nexus 7's raw Android operating system delivers. If you're after a cheaper Amazon tablet, there's also the 7-inch £119 Kindle Fire HD, which has a lower-resolution screen.

Microsoft Surface 2

Microsoft's second Surface tablet has a 10.6-inch display, and costs £359 for the 32GB model, or £439 for the 64GB option. The lower-capacity model is£40 cheaper than the cheapest iPad Air, though the Surface 2's Windows 8.1 RT operating system is light on apps compared to the other tablets in this list.

Those looking for a tablet that doubles as a laptop might consider the Surface Pro 2, which runs a full-fat version of Windows 8 that lets you install software from outside of Microsoft's app store. This chunkier tablet sets you back at least £719, however.

Nokia Lumia 2520

Nokia has thrown its own hat into the tablet ring, with the Windows RT-powered Lumia 2520. Only revealed yesterday, the UK price of this 10.1-inch tablet is still an unknown quantity, but looks to offer a slick design.

It will suffer from the same lack of apps as Microsoft's offering, but if you're in love with the design it may be worth holding off on buying a tablet until later this year when the 2520 goes on sale, and we know the price, as well as whether it's any good or not.

Is pricey Apple worth it?

Every rival tablet we've covered is cheaper than the new iPad models, so is there any advantage to paying more and opting for an Apple tablet?

Apple's iOS operating system arguably offers the best selection of apps and games to download, and is usually first to receive brand new apps from big companies.

Apple devices are usually kept up-to-date with new software for at least a few years, so if you buy a new model you'll at least have peace of mind that your expensive gadget won't be abandoned any time soon. Perhaps most compelling of all is that Apple has pretty good customer service, and while repairs can be expensive, the omni-present Apple stores make it easy and often very quick to get your tech fixed or replaced.

These are good reasons to opt for Apple's very expensive gadgets, but whether they're good enough to justify the mammoth up-front spend is up to you, and how much spare cash you have.

Are you tempted by the iPad Air or new retina-equipped iPad? Or would you rather save money with a cheaper tablet? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook wall.

 

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