Six of the best gadgets and gizmos on a theme. This week: Peter Jenkinson looks at six of the best tablets on the market.

Move over laptops, your reign is at an end. The march of the tablets continues apace, with their better battery life, constant connectivity, touchscreen access, lightweight nature and, of course, access to apps.

For these reasons, a growing number of new manufacturers are jumping into the tablet arena, and the more established tech giants are competing by upping their game on their latest offerings.

Here's our pick of the best tablets on the market.

A sweet taste

Apple iPad Mini- From £268 at

This is the only tablet using iOS that has made it into the top six, because while the larger iPad is still a decent piece of kit, this mini is Apple's real masterpiece. A stunning 7.9" HD display offering access to the plethora of apps on iTunes, decent battery life giving up to ten hours and a speedy processor. This sleek device is also crafted from aluminium, putting it first place on the beauty parade.

Child's play

Kurio 10S - £214.99 from

A fair amount of tablets have vied for the kid-friendly spot over the past months, but the snail's pace of most of them meant that sticky fingers were soon finding their way back onto parents' devices. Not giving up, Kurio fine-tuned their earlier offering and the result is this 10S, with a feature list that leaves all the competition standing open-mouthed. Pre-loaded games, front/rear camera, WiFi, 4GB internal memory, HD video player, top-notch touchscreen, music player and e-reader - this is definitely the tablet you need, if you want to keep their mitts off yours!

Full of beans

Google Nexus 7 32GB - £169.99 from

With this first tablet to pack in a ultra-quick quad core processor, you'll be well ahead on any game. Inside is the Android Jelly Bean operating system, pretty much tailor-made for a great Google experience that is stutter-free and will give glorious graphics while watching films or gaming. It also features Near Field Communication (NFC) support which enables the transfer of data to others with just a touch of the devices.

Let's get phygital

Lenovo Horizon 27 inch - £1499.99 from

With a 1TB hard drive, this super-sized tablet is quite a monster. Designed with the family in mind, the Windows 8 powered machine supports ten-finger touch, and the manufacturers tell us this device will also support activity that is "part physical, part digital" or, as the firm dubs it, "phygital". Entirely optimised for multi-player touchscreen games, it is also superb for all manner of other entertainment - and the dedicated Lenova App store has over 5,000 bits of software to get you started.

Keyboard included

Microsoft Surface Pro 64GB - £639 from

This is the tablet still holding on to some of its laptop roots, making it a pretty decent choice for business users. A touch optimised screen to give you access to all your files with the added benefit of a surface pen as an easy way to make notes or sketches. There's also the full-sized keyboard, so you can type at length. Weighing in at 907g this is a serious piece of kit, compacted to near perfection.

Smooth operator

Sony Xperia Tablet Z 16GB - £399.99 from

The designers at Sony really pulled out all the stops on this device showing off how serious they are about this market. A premium machine, the Xperia performs incredibly quickly whatever the task at hand and all from a svelte 7mm thick case weighing just 495g. This rather fine device also happens to be both dust-proof and water-resistant - TV in the tub, we're sold.

App of the week - free on iTunes and Google Play

Booking hotel rooms isn't any fun, and finding the best deal is really quite dull. Thankfully, this updated app from has taken away as much pain away from the experience as possible, then added an extra sweetener too. Book yourself into their rewards programme and for every ten nights you kip over you'll get a free night on them - we like that very much.


Top 10 paid for apps for android phones

1. Minecraft - Pocket Edition

2. Tab for Google Maps & offline map

3. Plants vs. Zombies

4. The Chase

5. Kindle Fire Camera Video HD

6. Pocket Rally

7. Classic Catch Phrase

8. Alice Trapped in Wonderland

9. Despicable Me 2 Game

10. Where's Waldo Now?

Top 10 free apps for android phones

1. Sumer Mahjong

2. Despicable Me: Minion Rush

3. Dumb Ways To Live

4. Playtime

5. Celebrity Doctor - Free Games

6. UNOTM & Friends - The Classic Card Game Goes Social!

7. vTube - viewer & downloader for YouTube

8. 4 Pics 1 Song

9. BBC iPlayer

10. Guess the TV Show