This week we're announcing the best tech of the year, and we're at the pointy end of finding the best tablets of 2012. And the winners are...
24 tablets enter, but less than a handful can be declared the victors.
Best Convertible Tablet
The Surface RT scooped this poll, walking away with a whopping 38 per cent of the vote. Congratulations to Microsoft on this beautiful piece of hardware. A very deserving win.
Honourable Mentions: • Asus Transformer Prime -- 11 per cent • Asus Transformer Infinity -- 7.5 per cent
Yes, the Surface RT had beautiful hardware wrapped in neatly with clever ideas about how a keyboard should integrate into a device, and every second iPad case this year has had a keyboard in it, too, but where did the idea first become industry best practise for tablet keyboards? With the Asus Transformer line, of course.
The Transformer Prime represents epitome of Asus' convertible, 10.1-inch tablet range, sporting a weaponised Tegra 3 CPU from NVIDIA, 1GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, all covered up neatly by a beautiful 1920x1200 Super IPS+ display.
A lot changes in six months, and while the Transformer Infinity might not be considered as the top of the pile now, it carries a design that is being replicated across a bunch of different convertible tablets going forward.
Honourable Mentions: • Microsoft Surface RT
Best Slate Tablet
The Nexus 7 took out a neat chunk of the vote at 25 per cent, making it this year's tablet of choice for you, the readers. It was a close call, though, with the Apple iPad 4th Generation nipping at its heels.
Honourable Mentions: • Apple iPad (4th Generation) -- 21 per cent • Google Nexus 10 -- 10 per cent
Love it or hate it, the Nexus 7 is an important tablet. It did for tablets what the Nexus 4 is now doing for phones: it lowered the floor on price and it raised the bar on quality. It's the tablet for the masses that made everyone in the industry sit up and take notice, because this is how it's meant to be: great hardware that runs great software that coincidentally doesn't cost the Earth. It's the perfect formula, and Google cracked it in 2012.
Honourable Mention: • Google Nexus 10