Apple iPad Air
Retail price- $499.99 for the 16 GB model
Why people love it- Since the Apple iPad Air has only been on retailer shelves for a matter of weeks, it still has that opening day frenzy of desire built around it. The iPad Air is certainly deserving of its hype by answering consumer demand for a lighter, faster version of prior models with a bigger screen size to boot.
What makes it a great gift- In case you didn’t know, Apple fanatics tend to upgrade much more frequently than other users, so this will easily become one of the hottest gifts of the holiday season. The iPad Air does everything right as well; it’s light, powerful and jam-packed with apps on the largest viewing screen from Apple yet. Unless you’re buying for a die-hard Android user, this gift will be a major hit regardless of age or occupation.
Where to buy it- Unfortunately, the Apple iPad Air is brand new to the market and finding discounts is going to be pretty tough. We would recommend ordering it straight from the Apple Store for convenience or swing by any of your major electronics retailers. It should be the same price anywhere you purchase it from.
Amazon Kindle Fire HDX
Retail price- $229.99
Why people love it– Although Kindle has set the standard for eBook readers for quite some time now, the Kindle Fire HDX takes this franchise to an entirely different level. With crystal clear images bursting with color and a simplified Amazon interface that streamlines accessing digital content, it’s a great device for enjoying the best of the Internet.
What makes it a great gift– The Kindle Fire brand already has a huge following and the HDX is by far the most powerful multimedia tablet available from Amazon ever. While this device is already a fan-favorite of eReader customers everywhere, its advanced capabilities makes it a powerful, solid all-around tablet for pleasure at any age. If it’s strictly for office use, however, there are much better choices within this price range.
Where to buy it- If you missed the special purchase incentive from Best Buy on Black Friday, then making the purchase directly from Amazon is probably going to be the only way to see this device discounted again. Since tablet sales have been slower than expected this season though, it’s quite possible that retailers will offer additional promotions over the next few weeks.
Google Nexus 7
Retail price- $229.99 for the 16 GB model
Why people love it- Since Google has officially taken over the universe, the Nexus 7 is an excellent choice as a budget tablet since it has a powerful processor, crisp graphics, and easy access to all of Google’s cloud applications. Add in excellent multimedia features on fan-favorite Android, and it will be hard to go wrong with this purchase.
What makes it a great gift- The Nexus 7 is a great choice for business productivity, especially if your company uses Google’s productivity suite, cloud storage or many of the other apps available. Apple users probably wouldn’t be thrilled with this device, but Android fans have given stellar reviews and repeatedly stated that it’s one of the best tablets they’ve ever had the pleasure of owning.
Where to buy it- Currently Walmart, Staples, and Amazon all have the Nexus 7 on sale, but this mid-ranged ticket item should be available at comfortable discounts all the way up until the end of the holiday season.
Microsoft Surface 2
Retail price- $449.99 for the 16 GB model
Why people love it- The Surface 2 by Microsoft combines the best of two worlds with the computing power of a modern laptop and the portability of a tablet. This device runs on Windows 8 as well, and it comes with the Microsoft Office suite already installed. That means it’s ready for business or play right out of the box, with a detachable keyboard to simplify modern computing tasks.
What makes it a great gift- For heavy computing on the go, the Surface 2 rivals the power of most budget laptops with a great interactive touchscreen and stunning graphics. It would make a fantastic gift for the busy professional, the stay-at-home-mom or kids alike. If price is not a major concern and Windows is a must, there is no better choice on today’s market.
Where to buy it- So far, none of the major retailers have offered drastic savings on the Surface 2 since it is still very new to the market. Since you’ll likely pay very close to the MSRP, check your local wholesale stores for a bundled deal.