HWM+HardwareZone.com Tech Awards 2013: Editor's Choice - Part 1


Best 7-Inch Tablet

Best 7-Inch Tablet

What makes a particular tablet the ONE to buy? By now, you should be aware that it's not all about the specs. In fact, a purchase decision is based on a variety of factors such as apps, branding, build quality, design and price, which can be summed up in two words - user experience.

In 2012, we not only saw the proliferation of Android tablet devices, but the attention paid to the smaller tablet category by manufacturers. A particular niche of tablet users found the usual 9.7 to 10.1-inch tablet size too big for comfort, and this is where the 7-inch tablets fit in. This category seeks to pick out the best 7-inch tablet, one that's prized for its performance, portability, build, and affordability. One of our requirements for assessment was that the chosen tablets had to have cellular capability (3G/4G data connectivity).

Nominees: 

 

  • Apple iPad Mini
  • ASUS Nexus 7
  • Huawei MediaPad 7 Lite
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7
  • Toshiba Regza Tablet AT270

 

And the Winner Is...

The Android camp has lagged behind Apple for the past two years, but 2012 is the year where Android tablets pose a serious threat to the Apple iPads. The Google Nexus 7, manufactured by ASUS, is certainly the cream of the crop with the perfect combination of good design, decent build quality, top-notch hardware and software, superb performance - all at an unbelievably low cost.

If the price isn’t sufficient to convince you of its appeal, its status as the only tablet so far to garner our standalone Editor’s Choice Award should be a strong indicator of how good the ASUS Nexus 7 is when compared to the competition. This is even after considering strong contenders like the updated Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 which boasted much better battery life and improved usability from an OS update. Since our original review of the Galaxy Tab 7.7 was based on a much older Android OS with sub-par experience, we've adjusted its ratings to better reflect its current state with Android version 4.04. These changes were first mentioned in our Apple iPad Mini review.

Scoring Breakdown
Criteria/Model Apple iPad Mini ASUS Nexus 7 Huawei MediaPad 7 Lite Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 Toshiba Regza Tablet AT270
Design 9.5 9.0 7.5 8.0 8.5
Features 8.5 8.5 7.5 8.0
(Adjusted up from 7.5 in original review)
8.0
User-Friendliness 9.0 9.0 7.5 8.5
(Adjusted up from 7.5 in original review)
8.5
Performance 8.0 9.5 6.0 8.5
(Adjusted up from 7.5 in original review)
8.0
Value 7.0 9.0 6.0 8.0 7.5
Overall 8.0 9.0 6.5 8.5
(Adjusted up from 7.5 in original review)
8.0
Price S$618
(16GB Wi-Fi + 4G)
S$499
(32GB Wi-Fi +3G)
S$328
(8GB Wi-Fi + 3G)
S$598
(16GB Wi-Fi + 3G)
S$899
(32GB Wi-Fi + 3G)

*Note: Prices listed in this article are accurate at the time of product evaluation.

For more details on how we selected our winners, check out the full reviews and articles listed at the References section at the end.