Reviewing the hottest tablets on the market

With the overwhelming success of earlier models, several major companies recently launched new-and-improved tablets. Consumers are constantly looking for more ways to stay connected, and tablets are a perfect hybrid of mobility and functionality.

Even major Internet service providers recognize this movement, and have ensured their networks are compatible with the newest tablets.

Now, without further ado, here is a look at some of the hottest tablets on the market today:

iPad with Retina Display
Price: $499.99- $829.99

Specs: 9.7″ Display (Retina); 1080p HD video; 16GB, 32GB, or 64 GB options; Available with or without cellular data option.

The Scoop: As the name suggests, the graphics are simply stunning. Incredibly easy to sync with other Apple devices. With Apple, you know the creative applications – video, photo, music, etc. – will be outstanding. Extremely functional for both business and personal use.

The Downside: It’s going to cost you. If you want the biggest, baddest version, be prepared to open your wallet.

iPad mini
Price: $329.99 – $659.99

Specs: 7.9″ Display (LED-backlit); 1080p HD video; 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB options; Available with or without cellular data option.

The Scoop: As you can see, the iPad mini is very similar to the iPad with Retina Display. The differences, of course, are the size and type of the display. Still, it is an exceptionally functional, versatile tablet.

The Downside: Once again, you should be ready to pay top dollar for such a quality device. Is it worth paying so much for a device that’s several inches smaller than the average tablet? That’s for you to decide.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1
Price: $499.99 – $549.99

Specs: 10.1″ Display; Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS; 16GB or 32 GB options;

The Scoop: Wonderful for both business and recreational use; the S pen is a nice touch, giving it a more business/academic feel to it. Good display, great speed.

The Downside: Unlike Apple’s newest tablets, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 does not have a cellular data option. Therefore, your Internet usage will be limited to normal wireless networks.

Microsoft Surface
Price: $499.99- $699.99

Specs: 10.6″ HD Display; USB and video out ports; 32GB and 64 GB options

The Scoop: For starters, they win the award for Best TV Commercials. You know you secretly want to buy one just to spin it down a long table; Advertisements aside, the Surface has some unique features. A competitively-sized screen, easy keyboard attachment, USB and video out port make it an intriguing option.

The Downside: As the newest entry in the tablet marketplace, the Surface doesn’t have as robust an app store as the iPad or Android tablets. Also, like many on this list, price could be a concern.

Kindle Fire HD
Price: $199.99-$599.99

Specs: 7″ or 8.9″ display; 32GB or 64GB options; 4G LTE available with some models

The Scoop: Probably the most affordable tablet on this list, the Kindle Fire HD could be a great value, especially if you’re a frequent Amazon customer. Great for watching movies, reading books, and browsing the web.

The Downside: Is it quite as functional as the iPad, Galaxy, or Surface? That depends on what you want to accomplish. The Kindle Fire HD is more about consumption and less about production. So if you want to get some work done, maybe look elsewhere.