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Best Tablet For Kids, Reading, Students, Work, & Gaming: The Top Choice For Each Category

Couple reading tabletsWith the holidays approaching for 2014, consumers want to know what tablet to get their loved one. With the amazing advances in technology, the shopping decision is getting harder and harder. We thought we would help our readers out by researching each tablet on the market and determining which tablet is best, depending on the user. Some may want a tablet for kids, reading, work, and gaming. In this article we will discuss the tablet that is best for you or your loved one, depending on specific needs.

Our Top Picks: iPad Air 2 vs Amazon Fire HD vs Microsoft Surface Pro 3

Best Tablet Overall – iPad Air 2

1 Place MedallionView the Apple iPad Air 2 on Amazon

It’s no news that Apple has been in the lead when it comes to tablets. Being the first to ever create a tablet, Apple has continued to get better and better. Now, with the iPad Air 2 you can’t imagine a better tablet than this. With top notch screen display, camera specs, hardware, and a sleek design, the iPad Air 2 is the tablet to beat.

Pros

Cons

  • Retina display
  • Multi touch display
  • Battery lasts 9-10 hours
  • Harder for malware to access your device
  • Simple to use
  • Dependable
  • Front and rear facing cameras
  • A8X chip with 64-bit architecture
  • iPhoto, iMovie, GarageBand, Pages, Numbers, and Keynote are all available for FREE
  • More than 475,000 apps available
  • AirPlay, AirPrint, and AirDrop
  • Supports MIMO (multiple in multiple out)
  • More expensive than all the others
  • No USB port for uploading files
  • No Flash capability

Price

  • $499 for 16GB and Wi-Fi
  • $629 for 16GB and Wi-Fi and Cellular
  • $599 for 64GB and Wi-Fi
  • $729 for 64GB and Wi-Fi and Cellular
  • $699 for 128GB and Wi-Fi
  • $829 for 128GB and Wi-Fi and Cellular

Tech Specs

  • Width: 6.6 inches
  • Height: 9.4 inches
  • Depth: 0.24 inches
  • Weight: .96 pound
  • 2048 by 1536 resolution at 264 ppi
  • iOS 8

Best Tablet for Kids – Amazon Fire HD 6 Kids Edition

Amazon Fire HD Kids EditionView the Amazon Fire HD 6 Kids Edition on Amazon

Amazon Fire HD 6 Kids Edition is a specifically made tablet for kids and is easy for them to use. The Amazon Fire HD 6 Kids Edition has many features all these devices would have but they are designed more for kids. Kids have access to shows, apps and other learning tools to help them develop skills. This Amazon tablet is a great choice for your kid.

Pros

Cons

  • Up to 8 hours of battery life
  • Both a front and rear facing camera
  • A free year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited (5,000 books, movies, TV shows, educational apps and games)
  • Parents can set screen time limits and educational goals
  • Profiles for both kids and parents so you can send pictures or other items to family
  • Limited internal storage
  • Reading a book with 2 pages displayed can be straining on the eyes

Price

  • $149

Tech Specs

  • Width: 7.6 inches
  • Height: 5.0 inches
  • Depth: 1.1 inches
  • Weight: .79 pounds

Best Tablet For Reading – Kindle Paperwhite

Kindle PaperwhiteView the Kindle Paperwhite on Amazon

Kindle Paperwhite is the best e-reader available on the market. Not only is it lighter than a paperback book (and the iPad Air 2) but it also performs the best in the sun. The most recent version that was released in 2013 have made it even easier to read than any other tablet. Plus you don’t have to charge it daily, it can last several weeks at a time. Kindle Paperwhite can hold up to 1,100 books so you can carry your entire library with you.

Pros

Cons

  • Lightest weight tablet (7.6 ounces), 30% lighter than the iPad Air
  • Next generation built in light which makes it super easy on your eyes for reading
  • Battery lasts weeks
  • No glare from the sun
  • Keeps track of where you left off in your reading – just like a bookmark
  • Take and share notes in the margin
  • Smart lookup feature allows you to get word definitions
  • Adjust text size
  • Thousands of books available to borrow for FREE for Amazon Prime members
  • Stores up to 1,100 books
  • Fast processor
  • Wi-Fi (and if you opt for 3G, it is available with no contract)
  • High resolution and contrast
  • Grayscale screen does not allow for color graphic web browsing
  • Web browsing is limited as this device is focused solely on a better reading experience
  • No Flash or Shockwave multimedia support
  • No USB port

Price

  • Kindle Paperwhite: $119 with ads
  • Kindle Paperwhite: $139 without ads
  • Kindle Paperwhite 3G: $189 with ads
  • Kindle Paperwhite 3G: $209 without ads

Best Tablet For Students – Microsoft Surface Pro 3

View the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 on Amazon

The Microsoft Surface Pro 3 can replace your laptop thanks to all of its great features. The tablet has an attachable keyboard that allows you to use it as a laptop itself; however, the keyboard does have to be purchased separately. If you’re sending your kid off to college the Surface Pro 3 is a great buy since many students want a tablet and laptop these days. Instead of paying for both a laptop and a tablet, you can cut the price down by getting the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 (be sure your child’s college allows for this device “shortcut”).

Pros

Cons

  • Includes Office shortcut keys
  • The Surface Pen is included
  • Has a USB port, mini DisplayPort, and microSD card reader
  • Kickstand supports two positions
  • Battery life is up to 9 hours
  • Must purchase keyboard separately, starting at $199
  • Can get expensive but it’s basically a tablet and laptop in one
  • At 1.76 pounds, it is a lot heavier than the other major players

Price

  • $799 for 64GB/Intel i3, 1.5GHz
  • $999 for 128GB/Intel i5, 1.9GHz
  • $1,299 for 256GB/Intel i5, 1.9GHz
  • $1,549 for 256 GB/Intel i7, 1.7GHz
  • $1,949 for 512GB/Intel i7, 1.7GHz

Technical Specs

  • Width: 11.50 inches
  • Height: 7.93 inches
  • Depth: 0.36 inches
  • Weight: 1.76 pounds
  • Windows 8.1 Pro

Best Tablet For Work – Microsoft Surface Pro 3

View the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 on Amazon

The Microsoft Surface Pro 3 is a great tablet for work as well. Not only is it compatible with Microsoft Office (since it’s a Microsoft product), but it also has the connectors you’ll need for work including a USB port, mini DisplayPort, and microSD card reader. Most offices these days run on Mac or PC and for offices who like their PCs, this is a fantastic choice.

Pros

Cons

  • Includes Office shortcut keys
  • The Surface Pen is included
  • Has a USB port, mini DisplayPort, and microSD card reader
  • Kickstand supports two positions
  • Battery life is up to 9 hours
  • HD screen
  • Fast performance
  • Must purchase keyboard separately, starting at $199
  • Can get expensive but it’s basically a tablet and laptop in one
  • Microsoft Office isn’t automatically installed on your Surface Pro 3
  • 1.76 pounds in weight makes it much heavier than the alternative devices

Price

  • $799 for 64GB/Intel i3, 1.5GHz
  • $999 for 128GB/Intel i5, 1.9GHz
  • $1,299 for 256GB/Intel i5, 1.9GHz
  • $1,549 for 256 GB/Intel i7, 1.7GHz
  • $1,949 for 512GB/Intel i7, 1.7GHz

Technical Specs

  • Width: 11.50 inches
  • Height: 7.93 inches
  • Depth: 0.36 inches
  • Weight: 1.76 pounds
  • Windows 8.1 Pro

Best Tablet for Gaming – iPad Air 2

View the Apple iPad Air 2 on Amazon

The iPad Air 2 is the newest iPad and was released in October 2014. It is by far the best tablet for gaming. With a super high-res retina display that allows you to multi-touch, it cannot be beat. With over 260,000 apps at your fingertips you will have no problem spending hours gaming on this simple to use device.

Pros

Cons

  • Retina display
  • Multi touch display
  • Includes many Mac apps like Facetime, App Store and Music
  • Battery lasts 9-10 hours
  • Most gaming apps on the market are available thru Apple
  • Harder for malware to access your device
  • More than 260,000 gaming apps available on app store
  • Simple to use
  • Most expensive competitor currently on the market
  • Cannot upload files due to lack of USB port
  • Does not support Flash

Price

  • $499 for 16GB and Wi-Fi
  • $629 for 16GB and Wi-Fi and Cellular
  • $599 for 64GB and Wi-Fi
  • $729 for 64GB and Wi-Fi and Cellular
  • $699 for 128GB and Wi-Fi
  • $829 for 128GB and Wi-Fi and Cellular

Tech Specs

  • Width: 6.6 inches
  • Height: 9.4 inches
  • Depth: 0.24 inches
  • Weight: .96 pound
  • 2048 by 1536 resolution at 264 ppi
  • iOS 8

Best Tablet for Email – iPad Air 2

View the Apple iPad Air 2 on Amazon
The iPad Air 2 is the best choice for tablets when you’ve got a lot of emailing to do. You can add multiple email accounts in the built-in Apple Mail app and then view each inbox separately or together in one larger list. The emailing hasn’t changed too much throughout the iPad generations, so if you want to go with a different iPad model you’ll still get nearly all of the same features for your emailing purposes.

Pros

Cons

  • Easy to set up web mail, Exchange, or POP email account
  • Reminders and contacts can be synchronized
  • Retina display
  • Multi touch display
  • Battery lasts 9-10 hours
  • Harder for malware to access your device
  • Simple to use and reliable
  • Bluetooth keyboard available
  • Front and rear facing cameras can be used to have business meetings online
  • If you use Gmail, the iOS app is really great
  • More expensive than the competition
  • No USB port for uploading files
  • No Flash capability

Price

  • $499 for 16GB and Wi-Fi
  • $629 for 16GB and Wi-Fi and Cellular
  • $599 for 64GB and Wi-Fi
  • $729 for 64GB and Wi-Fi and Cellular
  • $699 for 128GB and Wi-Fi
  • $829 for 128GB and Wi-Fi and Cellular

Tech Specs

  • Width: 6.6 inches
  • Height: 9.4 inches
  • Depth: 0.24 inches
  • Weight: .96 pound
  • 2048 by 1536 resolution at 264 ppi
  • iOS 8

Happy Shopping!

Now that you know the best reading tablet as well as the winners for gaming, office, students, kids and more, you should be all set to go shopping. Keep your eyes posted for seasonal deals or those last-minute sales before the holidays.

Do you know of any great sales going on this holiday season? Share them here with others!

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About Kimberly Kurimski

Kimberly is the Content Manager for WeRockYourWeb.com. She is a Simpson College graduate with a degree in Multimedia Journalism. She spent 4 1/2 months studying abroad in Thailand where she traveled throughout Southeast Asia. She enjoys watching movies, socializing with friends and family, and being active outside. She is an Apple lover and social media nerd.
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  • Melissa

    I got the Kindle Paperwhite for Christmas. I love it because it does not cause the eye strain of other tablets due to its special backlight technology. It’s like reading a real book but much more convenient and fun! I also really like that it is ONLY an e-reader so there are no distractions from email, im, facebook, etc. I would totally recommend it!

    • Kimberly

      I’m glad you love it Melissa. I know exactly what you mean with the distractions! I used to read on my iPad and having access to the Internet and social media got distracting as well as the lighting. I couldn’t read for long periods of time because of the screen. Thanks for reading and commenting!

      -Kimberly