Reviewed.com Announces 2012 Best of Year Awards for Tablets

See who took our top honors for the year of 2012.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

What a year! The tablet arena is now starting to get a lot more competitive, and we've seen some fantastic pieces of hardware come on the market in recent months. With a flood of new releases, exciting features like high-resolution displays and updated operating systems, and powerful manufacturers entering the ring, 2012 saw the ascent of the tablet continue at a near-exponential rate.

Managing to stand out among such a sea of competitors is no easy task. Those that rose to the top have earned our Best of the Year Awards for 2012.


Tablet of the Year

Google Nexus7

(MSRP $199 and up, comes in 16GB, 32GB, HSPA+)

nexus7.jpg

Taking the most trophies of any tablet this year, the Nexus7 is not only the tablet with the best battery, but also the best small tablet, and the best value. Want more? Its operating system is our best of the year, too, and it has the best screen of any Android device. Oh, and it naturally offers Google's entire suite of apps—something manyiOS users are probably missing right about now. In the end, it was hard to pick any other tablet. Did we mention that it starts at just $199?

Runner-up

Apple iPad

(MSRP $499 and up, comes in 16GB, 32GB, 64GB and 4GLTE)
Easily the most popular tablet out there, the Apple iPad came oh-so close to taking our top award. With the best screen and the ever-reliable iOS operating system, the Apple iPad is a fantastic machine that earns its widespread market share through performance and ease of use. So why didn't it take the top spot? The Nexus7 outgunned it in several categories (though not all), winning out on a price to performance basis.

Read the Full Review of the Nexus7
Read the Full Review of the Apple iPad


Best eReader

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

(MSRP $119 and up, comes in WiFi-only and 3G)

paperwhite.jpg

While not the first eReader with a light, nor the most feature-laden, the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite is the product that best marries content and function. The most common knock against eReaders is that you can't read them at night, but with the Paperwhite you can feel free to hit the lights and keep turning pages (virtually, of course). As an added bonus, owning a Kindle device gives you access to the Kindle lending library, and you can also borrow books in eBook format from your local libraries. Who doesn't love free content?

Read the Full Review of the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite


Best Operating System

Android 4.2 Jelly Bean

android.jpg

Now that Android has finally evolved into a lightweight operating system that just works from top to bottom, it snatches our best OS award away from iOS and easily brushes aside Windows RT's morass of inconsistencies. Google's fully-customizable interface is absolutely loaded with creative and functional features, offers the full suite of Google services, and gives you the capability to truly take control of your tablet and push its hardware to the limit.

Read our guide to Android


Best Value Tablet

Google Nexus7

(MSRP $199 and up, comes in 16GB, 32GB, HSPA+)

nexus7.jpg

You're going to be seeing a lot of this tablet in our awards, as it not only packed a bunch of top-of-the-line hardware into a tiny package, but comes in at $300 less than the iPad and almost $130 less than the iPad mini. Boasting the best, most pixel-dense screen of any Android tablet, the Nexus7 also offers a decent processor and the latest edition of Android's operating system. Considering that there is such a huge, insurmountable performance and price gulf between it and its nearest competitor, this one's a no-brainer.

Runner-up

Apple iPad mini

(MSRP $329 and up, comes in 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 4GLTE)
Apple's smaller tablet option, the iPad mini, is on the pricey end for a "value tablet." And while it offers the full iOS 6 experience, there are some tradeoffs on the hardware side. Unfortunately, the new Kindle Fire HD 8.9 inch was not released to the public in time for our awards, so we weren't able to consider it. As such, the iPad mini takes a distant second in this category.

Read the Full Review of the Google Nexus7
Read the Full Review of the Apple iPad mini


Best Large Tablet

Apple iPad

(MSRP $499 and up, comes in 16GB, 32GB, 64GB and 4GLTE)

ipad.jpg

The latest iPad saw a modest spec bump including a better processor, and also had some of its rougher edges smoothed. With the same screen as its predecessor and more powerful internals, the fourth iteration of the iPad is the best large tablet on the market today.

Runner-up

Asus Transformer Infinity (A700)

(MSRP $499 and up, comes in 32GB, 64GB, and 3G)
Narrowly missing out on the top honors is the Asus Transformer Infinity, easily the best large tablet running Android. With a huge display and impressive performance, Asus' Transformer Infinity is the best-equipped model in their Transformer line. Like the rest of the Transformers, it can be paired with a keyboard dock that also provides more connectivity options and a huge secondary battery. On its own, the tablet is impressive, but with the dock, it's a monster.

Read the Full Review of the Apple iPad
Read the Full Review of the Asus Tranformer Infinity


Best Small tablet

Google Nexus7

(MSRP $199 and up, comes in 16GB, 32GB, and HSPA+)

nexus7.jpg

Netting our perfect 10.0 in our scoring, it's hard to deny the power and value of the Google Nexus7. With impressive hardware including NFC and a 720P HD display, as well as Google's feature-packed Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system, it reigns supreme as the best tablet option in a small form factor.

Runner-up

Apple iPad mini

(MSRP $329 and up, comes in 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, and 4G)

Though it lost out in most categories to the Nexus7 juggernaut, the Apple iPad mini offers iOS 6 fans a decent, more portable option if they don't want to carry the bulky iPad around. And its 4GLTE option will surely be appreciated by those who are always on the go.

Read the Full Review of the Google Nexus7
Read the Full Review of the Apple iPad mini


Best Screen

Apple iPad

(MSRP $499 and up, comes in 16GB, 32GB, 64GB and 4GLTE)

ipad.jpg

The newest iteration of the Apple iPad has one of the highest pixel densities, one of the best color gamuts, and some of the best contrast performance of any tablet on the market. While there are other tablets that have come close to the equalling its performance in some metrics, it remains unsurpassed for screen performance (for now).

Runner-up

Google Nexus7

(MSRP $199 and up, comes in 16GB, 32GB, and HSPA+)

With the second-best color gamut, good contrast, and high pixel density, the Nexus7 has the best screen of any smaller tablet, though there are other Android-based tablets that give it a run for its money in specific areas.

Read the Full Review of the Apple iPad
Read the Full Review of the Google Nexus7


Best Battery

Google Nexus7

(MSRP $199 and up, comes in 16GB, 32GB, and HSPA+)

nexus7.jpg

A 4350mAh battery in a tiny, efficient package means that you'll be able to enjoy your media for a long time. Acing our battery tests with the best recorded times across all 2012 tablets, the Nexus7 is the king in this category.

Runner-up

Microsoft Surface (RT)

(MSRP $499 and up, comes in 32GB, 64GB)
A late entry to our year-end honors, the Microsoft Surface RT displayed solid performance in all of our battery tests. While it has some shortcomings in other areas, if you need big battery life from a big tablet, this is the best option.

Read the Full Review of the Google Nexus7
Read the Full Review of the Microsoft Surface RT

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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