The best sub-$200 tablet we've ever tested and a multitasking, stylus-based Samsung model are among the new entries in our latest Ratings of 55 tablets.
Amazon's second-generation Kindle Fire scored as well in our tests as its predecessor, and it also has longer battery life.
But what really makes it stand out is its price tag. At $159, plus $10 extra for the charger (an extra we recommend), it's the least-expensive tablet we've ever recommended.
Our full tests of the Fire's upscale new sibling, the Kindle Fire HD also confirm our first impression that it's among the best 7-inch tablets on the market. Among other distinctions, the Fire HD has the longest battery life of those we tested in that category. It costs $209, including the extra-cost charger.
One of the limitations of tablets has been their inability to multitask. But Samsung's Galaxy Note 10.1 addresses that shortcoming, letting you have two active windows open at the same time. The Galaxy Note also includes a stylus, and some innovative apps that take advantage of it. The Galaxy Note nearly matched the iPad overall, and had very long battery life.
(See also: 5 reasons to skip layaway)