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Published on December 19th, 2012 | by Gizmodo


The Best Small Tablet

Big screens are nice. But sometimes the extra real estate isn’t worth the lack of portability.

The Best Small TabletBig screens are nice. But sometimes the extra real estate isn’t worth the lack of portability. If tablets are considered mobile devices, they should be easy to take with you, right?

Note: Each of these tablets has its own standalone review—click the product’s name to read it. The rankings don’t all line up between the reviews and this test because each review was done by a different writer (we compared notes for this article). We all have our own personal preferences, and we use tablets in different ways, so it’s all a subjective assessment.

Finally: Full disclosure, I am an Android user. Somehow you’ll call me an iFanboy anyway. I am prepared for that eventuality.

The Best Small Tablet

Display:• 7-inch 1440×900 (243ppi) IPS LCD
• Networking: Wi-Fi
• Processor: 1.3 GHz dual-core TI OMAP4
• Memory: 1GB
• Storage: 8GB/16GB + up to 64GB microSD
• OS: Android 4.0 (Custom)
• Camera: None
• Dimensions: 7.65″ x 5″ x 0.43″
• Weight: 11.1 ounces
• Battery: 4,050 mAh Li-Ion
• Price: $200-$250

The Best Small Tablet

This generation of Kindle’s improvements start with the hardware. The bright, seven-inch screen with 216 PPI is sharp enough for reading and viewing HD content. Everything looks really good on it. The stereo speakers are hands-down the best in the category. It feels very solidly built—thin, and with attention to detail. It uses MIMO for strong Wi-Fi even as you move away from your router. A handy micro HDMI port connects the Fire to a TV to stream HD movies directly. In our battery rundown test, it endured a full seven hours nyan cat to take second place.

The worst offender, though is the software. It’s good for media consumption, but whenever I needed to get something done, I found the Kindle (and Nook) extremely frustrating. Kyle aptly described the Kindle’s software as more more like a backpack than a desktop—as you put more stuff in, it gets harder to find what you’re looking for. Amazon did a good job of making things look good, but just because it looks good doesn’t mean it is good. It can’t even multitask.

Display:• 7-inch 1280 x 800 (216 ppi) IPS LCD
• Networking: Wi-Fi
• Processor: 1.2 GHz dual-core TI OMAP
• Memory: 1GB
• Storage: 16GB/32GB
• OS: Android 4.0 (Custom)
• Camera: Front
• Dimensions: 7.6″ x 5.4″ x 0.4″
• Weight: 13.9 ounces
• Battery: 4400 mAh Li-Ion
• Price: $200-$250

The Best Small Tablet

What holds it back is the hardware. The brightest screen in the test has easily the worst resolution, with measly 163 pixels per inch, versus 216 PPI on the Kindle Fire HD and Nexus 7. You can see with the naked eye, especially when reading. It’s obnoxiously reflective, and, in general, a big disappointment.

Display:• 7.7-inch 1024 x 768 (163 PPI) IPS LCD
• Networking: Wi-Fi (4G option)
• Processor:Dual-core A5 processor
• Memory: 512MB
• Storage: 16GB/32GB/64GB
• OS: iOS 6
• Camera: Front and Rear
• Dimensions: 7.87″ x 5.3″ x 0.28″
• Weight: 10.88 ounces
• Battery: 4440 mAh Li-Po
• Price: $330-$530 Wi-Fi / $460-$660 with cellular

The Best Small Tablet

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Gizmodo is a technology weblog about consumer electronics. It is part of the Gawker Media network run by Nick Denton and is known for its up-to-date coverage of the technology industry, along with topics as broad as design, architecture, space, and science.


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