As anyone with an iPad and a stand can tell you, having a tablet in the kitchen can be mighty handy. The Qooq Tablet ($400) is designed specifically for kitchen use, as it is splash proof, heat and humidity resistant, sports a retractable support that serves as a stand, and can be used with greased up hands — just clean it with a damp cloth when you're done. Other features include a 10.1-inch screen, an ARM Cortex A9 processor, 8 GB of memory, built-in Wi-Fi, and a customized interface that's tailored to kitchen use, with a meal planner, browser for accessing cooking websites, and a built-in virtual cookbook.
Step aside, iPad. Built by Samsung, the Google Nexus 10 ($400) is the new tablet resolution king with an insane 2560 x 1600 10.055*-inch screen. Other features include long-haul battery life — up to nine hours of video playback and over 500 of standby time — front-facing stereo speakers, Android 4.2, NFC support, a 5 MP rear camera and 1.9 MP webcam, a dual-core A15 processor, 16GB of storage, and all the other extras you'd expect. *Really guys? Let's just round that down to 10 and call it a day.
In its never ending fight to gain control of the world, Google, with the help of Asus, has announced the Google Nexus 7 ($200-$250). Powered by Android 4.1, this less-than-a-pound tablet features a 7-inch 1280x800 HD display, front-facing camera, the Tegra-3 chipset with a quad-core CPU and 12-core GPU (good for gaming), and comes in 8GB and 16GB flavors. It packs in all of the standard Google apps and works seamlessly with all of the Google Play content. And it is said to get over 8 hours of HD video playback, 10 hours of web browsing, or 10 hours of e-reading. Hey Apple, where's our iPad mini?
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2010 was supposed to be the year of the tablet. Then 2011. But it looks like 2012 might just live up to the billing. The Nook HD & HD+ ($200-$300) are the latest slates to be announced this fall, offering 7- and 9-inch HD displays, 1.3- and 1.5-GHz dual-core processors, 1GB of RAM, and between 8GB and 32GB of onboard storage. Of course, they also offer full access to Barnes & Noble's catalog of books, magazines, apps, and videos, and as a bonus, they offer a new Nook Profiles feature that lets you easily share your tablet with others without fear of them accessing personal content.
You didn't think Amazon was going to update its old-school Kindles and leave its tablets alone, did you? The Kindle Fire HD ($200-$600) offers a range of sizes and features for Prime-oriented slate shoppers. At the low end, we have an upgraded version of last year's 7-incher, with a new non-Playbook-y design, 1280x800 display, Dolby audio with stereo speakers, dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi, a dual-core processor, 16GB of storage, and an upgraded software experience. Moving up the line, you'll find a new 8.9-inch version, packing the same features along with a 1920x1200 screen, and at the high end, you'll find that same, larger model with 64GB of storage and LTE networking. Something tells us there's going to be a lot of tablet unwrapping going on this holiday season.