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Tablets come in all shapes and sizes, platforms and - perhaps most critically - price points

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Apple iPad 2 For many, the iPad is still the king of the tablet world with its vast app library and unique cover accessory. With both wifi and 3G options, it looks to be a hot seller this holiday season. (Starts at $519, store.apple.com/ca/) But there are alternatives...

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BlackBerry PlayBook Even though RIM has again cut the price of their lowest-end tablet (now $200 if you can find it in stock at bestbuy.ca), their tablet is no slouch. Blackberry owners will find that their phones synergize well with the tablet, and the interface is great for media consumption. Now, if they could only get more apps...

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Acer Iconia Tab A100 Acer’s 7-inch slate is one of the best in this size-range. It boasts a dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, a gigabyte of memory, and up to 16 GBs storage. Has a pair of cameras with LED flash, a microSD memory card slot and even and HDMI-out port to jack into bigger displays. The more or less a clutter-free Honeycomb interface performs well with rarely a stutter, apps opened speedily and ran without a hitch. ($299.99; www.bestbuy.ca)

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HTC Jetstream

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Asus Eee Pad Transformer The Transformers unique feature is that it can be connected to a keyboard dock ($149) to form a makeshift netbook. This Android tablet is perfect for those who do a lot of work on the go and enjoy a tactile typing experience. (Starts at $399, bestbuy.ca)

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Motorola Xoom Motorola’s 10.1-inch tablet is an Android-lover's dream, as there's no meddling that brings a lot of variance in the platform. The Xoom's Honeycomb interface is as close to stock as there can be, so users won't be getting any surprises. (Starts at $499.99, bestbuy.ca)

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Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 This 10-inch tablet is light and does media, gaming and reading extremely well. Its 2MP front-facing camera makes video calling a breeze. ($499.99, bestbuy.ca)

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Sony S Sony's slate takes a chance with a book-like form factor for reading and media consumption. It's not the home run the company was looking for with their tablet offerings, but this Android-powered tablet is by no means underpowered.

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Kindle Fire The Kindle Fire is in many ways a poor man's iPad. At $200, Amazon's full-colour tablet comes with a clean, well-designed user interface that makes it easy to quickly access books, music, video, apps and the Web. There's also very little lag when it comes to the touchscreen (in fact, it might be a little too responsive). The only real downsides are weight – it's a little on the heavy side for a 7-inch tablet – and the fact that, like Apple, Amazon tries pretty hard to keep you purchasing all your media through its own store. If you're looking for a cheap tablet that's particularly well-suited for reading electronic books, the Kindle Fire is probably your best bet. (Not yet available in Canada)

Mark Lennihan/Mark Lennihan/AP

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