Comparing the top 4 tablets

Apple iPad

Price: Starts at $499 for 16 gigabytes of storage, goes up to $699 for 64 gigabytes, more for versions with cellular data access.

Screen size: 9.7 inches diagonally

Screen resolution: 2048 by 1536 pixels

Weight: 1.44 pounds

Cameras: 5-megapixel camera on back and a low-resolution camera on front, for videoconferencing

Battery life: 10 hours.

Pros: Unmatched access to third-party applications, high-quality Apple software and the iTunes store. Unique high-resolution screen. Widest range of cases and accessories available. Available with access to fast “4G” wireless broadband networks.

Cons: Available in only one screen size. Relatively expensive. Data storage cannot be expanded with memory cards.

Amazon Kindle Fire

Price: $199 for 6 gigabytes of storage

Screen size: 7 inches diagonally

Screen resolution: 1024 by 600 pixels

Weight: 0.9 pounds

Cameras: none

Battery life: 8 hours.

Pros: Cheap and portable. Convenient access to Amazon store.

Cons: No-frills tablet lacks camera and microphone. Small selection of third-party applications available from Amazon. Available in only one screen size. Data storage cannot be expanded with memory cards. No option for wireless broadband.

Samsung Galaxy 10.1

Price: $399 for 16 gigabytes of storage

Screen size: 10.1 inches diagonally (other sizes available)

Screen resolution: 1280 by 800 pixels

Weight: 1.24 pounds

Cameras: 2-megapixel front, 3-megapixel back.

Battery life: 9 hours.

Pros: Lighter, thinner and cheaper than iPad. Longer, narrower screen better suited to movies. Available with wireless broadband access. Storage is expandable with SD memory cards. Loads memory cards from cameras, without accessories.

Cons: Selection of third-party applications not as good as iPad’s, but wider than Kindle’s. Screen resolution lower than iPad’s.

Barnes &Noble Nook

Price: $199 for 8 gigabytes of storage, $249 for 16 gigabytes

Screen size: 7 inches diagonally (other sizes available)

Screen resolution: 1024 by 600 pixels

Weight: 0.9 pounds

Cameras: None.

Battery life: 11.5 hours.

Pros: Cheap and portable. Storage is expandable with microSD memory cards. Easy access to Barnes &Noble book store.

Cons: Selection of third-party applications is small. Barnes &Noble lacks wide range of content.