We believe the best tablet of 2012 was the iPad 4, and it is one of the most underappreciated Apple toys seen in recent years. The third generation iPad introduced Retina, while the iPad 4 made it a tad better, thanks to the immensely powerful A6X SoC with SGX554MP4 graphics. Sadly, the awful iPad mini stole its spotlight. (Nick is threatening to quit over our pick. Ed)
The runner up can only be the Google Asus Nexus 7, a very cheap yet powerful tablet that stole our hearts when we reviewed it this summer. In the big scheme of things, it is even more important than the iPad, since it is the first Nexus tablet, which means it is basically designed to show other vendors how it’s done. But it’s not just cheap - it is hands down the best 7-inch tablet money can buy today.
And this is where we run into problems, since we saw a ton of pretty good tablets this year, but very few of them managed to carve out a name for themselves. The Kindle Fire HD comes to mind, as does Microsoft’s rather pricey Surface RT. Let’s not forget the hi-res crowd either, tablets like the Nexus 10 or Asus Transformer TF700 are very impressive indeed, but we think it would be a bit too pretentious to pick a clear winner. They are all great in one way or another and the choice is up to consumers, based on their needs and budget.
So what about the worst tablet of 2012? Although sales figures paint a much different picture, we are pretty sure it was the iPad mini. The iPad mini was basically Apple waving a white flag of surrender. For years the outfit has been telling us that it won’t make cheap gear, and that small tablets would be “dead on arrival.”
Well they got one thing straight – the mini is not cheap, it is overpriced, yet it lacks many features you would expect from a proper iPad, like a Retina screen and snappy processor. For some reason millions of people who bought it don’t appear to agree with us. Fortunately for us, the majority is not always right and although the iPad mini is a very good seller, we still think it is the crappiest tablet of 2012.