Gift Guide: Best Tablets

By CBS News

Published 12/03 2013 04:45AM

Updated 12/03 2013 06:24AM

Whether you're shopping for a grandparent or grade school student - a tablet makes a great gift.
The only question is - which one?

For many shoppers, Apple's new ultra slim iPad Air and iPad Mini are the default choice - and with good reason:  They're easy to use, gorgeously designed and...
"They have the most and best apps. The Apple iOS version will look and be even better, more features sometimes, it will run smoother," says Eric Franklin, CNET senior editor.

Making the iPad, especially the Mini, a favorite among gamers.  You will pay a premium, though.  The Air starts at $500 for a 16 gig model, the Mini with the sharper retina display starts at $400 for the same amount of storage.

If productivity is a priority, the Microsoft Surface 2 starting at $450 for 32 gigs,  is preloaded with Microsoft Office and has a generous 10+ inch screen..
"I would say the Microsoft Surface 2  is the more laptop replacement type of tablet," Franklin notes.

On the more affordable end, there's the Kindle Fire HDX and the Nexus 7 both start at $230 for 16 gigs.

The seven inch Nexus, an android tablet has improved greatly since it debuted two years ago thanks to more offerings in Google's app store, play.

The Kindle Fire HDX is the go-to choice for bookworms and the Amazon faithful.  Prime members have the added benefit of access to thousands of movies, tv shows and book titles.

Other key selling points: Strong kid controls, parents can set time limits on tablet use and restrict what they watch and play.

And then there's Amazon's Mayday feature.  "Within 15 seconds it connects you with an Amazon service rep."

And you know what that means.  You don't have to play tech support.

(Sumi Das, for CBS News)

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