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5 Best 10-inch tablets for Christmas 2012

10-inch tablets are what we like to think of as “full-size” tabs. They’re our top pick if you’re after a tablet to use exclusively while lounging about the house, rather than out and about.

But which is the best to buy? Right now, we have five top recommendations if you’re after a tablet this Christmas.

Want something smaller? Check our our top five 7-inch tablets for Xmas 2012 feature.

From £500 – full Microsoft Surface review
Pros – Great hardware, clever keyboard
Cons – Software in its infancy

The Microsoft Surface is the first Microsoft-made Windows 8 tablet. It has a 10.6-inch screen, uses the Windows RT operating system and offers two keyboard module accessories. These are pretty important as one of the main reasons to buy a Windows 8 tablet is that it’s extra well-equipped to be put to work as a productivity tool. For one, it has Microsoft Office, which is much better than most Android and iOS Office suites.
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One keyboard builds touch-sensitive static keys into a Smart Cover-like flap case. The other is a bit more traditional, with proper clicky keys. There are several issues with opting for the Surface, though. Its keyboard docks are pricey, dev support for tablet-optimised apps and games is to date unproven and the system is arguably not as tablet-friendly as either iOS or Android.

From £318full Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 review
Pros – Digitiser stylus, fairly low price
Cons – Not the most expensive-feeling tablet, relatively low-res screen

The big daddy version of the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, the Galaxy Note 10.1 has a 10.1-inch screen that uses a digitiser. This is a special screen layer you don’t often see in tablets. It works with a specific stylus and lets the tablet sense varying pressure levels. A normal capacitive touchscreen can only usually sense whether there’s a finger (or capacitive stylus) there or not, rather than how hard you’re pressing.
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Its digitiser makes the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 a great drawing tool, but in some other respects it’s not quite as attractive as some rivals. In true Samsung style, the back of the Note 10.1 is a thin plate of plastic. It doesn’t feel like an ultra-tough hunk of pure gadgety desire. Its screen isn’t hugely high-res either, with 1,280 x 800 pixels rather than Retina display-like levels of pixel-packed-ness. If you want a tablet to draw on, though, it’s a great choice. And these days, it sells at a pretty low price.

From £379full Asus Transformer Pad 300 review
Pros – Digitiser stylus, fairly low price
Cons – Not the most expensive-feeling tablet, relatively low-res screen

The Asus Transformer range was the series that brought convertible tablets to the attention of the average gadget fan. A convertible tablet is one that offers a keyboard add-on that turns it more-or-less into a laptop when docked.
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The Asus Transformer Pad 300 is the lowest-cost current member of the family, a cheaper alternative to the Asus Transformer Pad Infinity. What you lose in the process is the metal body of the more expensive Transformers, and their ultra-high resolution screens.  You do, however, get the great keyboard mechanism, a quad-core processor and plenty of flexibility. The tablet offers expandable memory an unrestricted version of Android.

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