When it comes to high-end tablets, we haven’t really seen many new releases this year. The smartphone segment hogged most of the limelight while phablets and hybrids were evidently eating into the tablet market. Though we saw a few high-profile releases at the end of the year (read: iPads), the 10-inch space has largely been ignored by manufacturers. Si here are the top three tablets launched in 2013 which are priced over Rs 20,000.
Winner: iPad Air
Thin and powerful
Though the competition isn’t far behind, the iPad Air stands as a clear winner, even with a hefty price tag that starts at Rs 35,900 (16GB, Wi-Fi only). With a significant improvement from its predecessor, the next-gen iPad didn’t just get a facelift but has also undergone several changes under the hood. Apple has managed to squeeze the same 9.7-inch Retina display into a smaller, lighter body, weighing a little over 450 grams. It also gets a massive performance boost with the same Apple A7 CPU as the iPhone 5s, bringing 64-bit architecture to the tablet. Another big change is the inclusion of the same M7 motion coprocessor. The iPad Air gets Apple’s latest OS flavour—iOS 7. Click here to read our review of the iOS 7.
First runner-up: Acer W4
Acer's Iconia W4 runs on Windows 8.1 mobile OS
The newly launched Acer W4 takes the second position in our list. Sleek and lightweight at 415 grams, the 16GB and 64GB variants of the Iconia W4 are well priced at Rs 24,999 and Rs 26,999 respectively. Going against the herd, the 8-inch W4 runs on Windows Phone 8.1 and is powered by the Bay Trail Intel Atom 1.8GHz quad-core processor. The only possible hiccups could be the 1280×800 pixel display resolution and lack of 3G. Windows 8.1 adds new features such as InstantGo which makes the tablet ready-to-go by keeping data and apps refreshed and up-to-date even when the screen is off, by maintaining an internet connection. Some other features include 2-megapixel front camera, 5-megapixel rear camera, 32/64GB onboard storage and microSD card slot.
Second runner-up: Sony Xperia Tablet Z
Neither rain nor dirt will hamper its use
One of the tablets that still managed to gain interest in spite of its hefty price tag is the Xperia Tablet Z. Taking the third position in our list, the uniqueness of the tablet is its support for IP55/57 certification and IR blaster. In spite of the HD display and water and dust proof capabilities, the 10.1-inch Android 4.1 Jelly Bean-running tablet is just 6.9 mm in depth. It is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor clocked at 1.5GHz, the same processor that’s in the Xperia Z smartphone. Though launched earlier this year, it hasn’t seen a price drop yet and the 16GB Wi-Fi + 3G model still sells for Rs 44,790. Some other specs include 8-megapixel rear camera, 2 megapixel front-facing camera, NFC One-Touch functions, Sony's S-Force Front Surround 3D and Clear Audio+ mode. A 9.7-inch iPad would be ideal, but if you are specifically looking for a large Android tablet then the Xperia Tablet Z is still a good option. Read our Sony Xperia Tablet Z review.