And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient. —Exodus 24:7, KJV

Just a few years ago, the market for tablet computers was non-existent. But the success of Apple’s iPad sparked an explosion of tablet-style computers ranging from Android-based systems to branded tablets such as Amazon’s Kindle and the Barnes and Noble Nook. But which tablet is best for your family and the best fit for your budget?

We have some suggestions, and they come with a variety of prices and features. While choosing the best tablet is ultimately your choice, we can at least provide a starting point for your decision.

Generally speaking, all tablets are touch-screen computers with a screen that ranges from seven to 13 inches. While most of them don’t come with a keyboard, it is easy to buy an after-market keyboard if you need one. But for most people and most uses, the tablet itself will be enough. Then there’s the question of accessory slots.

If you want to use an SD card or need a slot to plug in a thumb drive, then the Apple iPad won’t be for you. It is a notoriously closed system and its operating system also won’t play videos requiring flash. What other features should you consider? Well, the number of apps available for the tablet is a biggie. IPads and tablets running the Android systems boast an app store with thousands of choices.

On the other end of the spectrum are tablets based on the Windows 8 operating system that is used on the Microsoft Surface tablet. That app store only includes a few hundred choices, and despite the fact that it’s based on Microsoft Windows desktop operating system, it won’t run Windows software.

So here are a few choices for the best tablets on the market right now:

The Apple iPad 4

While it’s also the most expensive tablet in the market, the latest full-sized tablet from Apple is arguably also the best tablet on the market. Its retina display provides absolutely stunning visuals and the operating system is elegant and easy to learn. It’s a perfect choice for people who aren’t interested in customizing or tweaking their tablet, but want to use it right out of the box. Users have access to Apple’s extensive app store and the iPad is as close as you can get to an idiot-proof operating system.

Amazon Kindle Fire HD

With screens that range in size from 7 to 9.5-inches, the Kindle Fire doesn’t have the larger screen of the iPad. But it has a lot of other features to recommend it. The smaller screen provides an excellent display and videos play flawlessly in its HD format. The operating system is based on Android, so users have access to the massive Android app store, one big enough to rival Apple’s version. Even better is the price, which begins at just about half the price of the iPad. The Kindle Fire is a great choice for someone looking to get a tablet and not spend a huge amount of money. While the Kindle doesn’t offer some of the robustness of the iPad, it will be more than enough for most casual tablet users.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1

This top-of-the-line tablet from Samsung has a number of great features, but the most unusual might be the stylus customers can use to navigate the screen.  Priced in the same range as the iPad 4, the Note offers a microSD slot which opens up a lot of options to the user. And while the screen’s display might not be as crisp as the iPad’s, the stylus and software designed to be used with the stylus makes it the perfect choice for people who are more comfortable writing than swiping across a screen.

Google Nexus 7

If you’re looking for the iPad experience at a much cheaper price, then the Nexus 7 is the choice for you. The seven-inch screen is crisp and easy to read and the size makes it small enough to hold in one hand. While it doesn’t have a slot for a microSD card, it does run the latest version of the Android Jellybean operating system, which is super easy to use. Even better, you have full access to the Android app store. The Nexus might not be as big as the iPad, but buying it will also leave you with a lot more money in your wallet.

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