In Pictures: Holiday 2012 tablet buying guide - top picks

The tablet market is awash with iOS, Android and Windows 8 models that come in different sizes and with different features, specs and prices. How do you decide? Start with our Holiday 2012 Tablet Buying Guide, which highlights the top picks in 13 categories.

Best for Microsoft Office: Microsoft Surface RT

There are Microsoft Office-compatible suites and standalone apps for both iOS and Android. Meanwhile, Office for iOS is coming in early 2013, but early reports suggest Office on iOS lacks key features. Nothing so far beats Office 2013 Home & Student edition on Microsoft's Surface RT tablet—especially when coupled with Microsoft's $130 Type Cover keyboard.

Some caveats apply. This version of Office lacks Outlook, but the Surface RT tablet includes mail, contact and calendaring apps. Also, the current Surface tab runs Windows RT, which isn't the full Windows 8 OS. Though Microsoft will release a Windows 8 Pro version in early 2013, other manufacturers are already coming out with tablet/laptop hybrids running Windows 8.

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GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

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