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 Keyboard: Type Cover for Microsoft Surface

Every tablet has a virtual onscreen keyboard for typing, and they're all useful for short periods. But for any prolonged typing—such as in a Word document—you'll want a physical keyboard. The best one is by far Microsoft's Type Cover, an optional purchase for its Surface tablet. It's a thin keyboard that also serves as the Surface's cover, yet it feels like a real keyboard. There's even a built-in trackpad.

Microsoft also sells its Touch Cover ($120) for Surface tablets. It comes in various colors and has a trackpad, but it isn't as comfortable for sustained typing, and there have been reports that the Touch Cover isn't terribly durable.

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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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