These tablets pack enough punch to meet all of your multimedia needs for whiling away a pleasant afternoon on the beach or keeping the kids entertained on a long-haul flight, yet won't give you backache in the process.
Sony Xperia Tablet Z
If the only criteria for choosing a tablet are weight and thickness, then the latest Sony flagship blows everything out of the water. At 6.9mm (0.27 inches) thick and 494g (1.09 pounds) there is no other 10-inch display tablet on the market that can meet those specs. The once-great Japanese firm is on a bit of a roll again at the moment and this tablet is probably the best one the company has ever built.
It oozes quality, has a glorious HD display (which borrows technology from Sony's Bravia television range) and has a suitably powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM for great gaming and photography performance and that's without getting to its party piece. This tablet is waterproof and dustproof. In other words the ideal poolside or beachside companion. If criticism is due, it would be that the tablet, though well made, is priced at a premium ($500) and that it only runs Android Jelly Bean 4.1.
Barnes & Noble NOOK HD
It may seem strange to recommend a device made by a company that appears to be going through a massive phase of uncertainty at the moment. But the simple fact of the matter is that the
What's more, the custom skin and browser actually add to the user experience, rather than detracting from it. The device isn't quite the thinnest sub-10-inch tablet on the market. At 10.9mm (0.43 inches) it's thicker than an iPad Mini for example, but that extra girth is there to house a MicroSD slot for memory expansion. However, at just 308g in weight (0.68 pounds), it's quite possibly the lightest branded tablet in the 7-inch category available today. The screen resolution is excellent, and the tablet is comfortable in the hand but with only 1GB of RAM and a 1.3GHz processor running the show, this is more a consumption rather than a creation device. But vacations are meant to be for relaxing, not working.
Apple iPad Mini
It wouldn't be a tablet list unless it featured an iPad, and for travelers in particular, the smallest member of the iPad family offers the perfect balance of performance and mobility. Unlike its big brother or even the Sony and NOOK tablets featured here, this tablet's screen is decidedly standard definition. Yet despite this pixel shortfall images are still clear, contrast is excellent and so are touch response times.
Also, thanks to the reduced side bezels, Apple has managed to squeeze a 7.9-inch display into a frame that measures 200mm x 134.7mm and that weighs 308g (0.68 pounds) and is 7.2mm (0.28 inches) thick. But while it is a very beautifully crafted device, that beauty comes at a premium. However, even though there are better tablets on the market purely in terms of ticket price -- Google's Nexus 7, for example -- very few can compete with the iPad Mini's combination of style, usability, mobility and tablet-optimized app selection (350,000 and counting).