The big news this week is the launch of Apple’s much anticipated iPad Mini tablet . As expected, Apple announced the arrival of the ‘Mini’ at an event in San Francisco yesterday. 

Apple haven’t gone as ‘mini’ as their rivals, offering a 7.9” screen – bigger than the 7” Google Nexus 7 and the Amazon Kindle Fire. First reports are that it’s a triumph of design, feeling really light and thin in the hand, although the processor power is about the same as an iPad 2, so it’s not as fast and slick as the latest models.  It’s also not as cheap as predicted – pitched at a premium £269 rather than the more aggressive c£199 pundits were expecting. 

But Apple also surprised pundits with the unveiling of the iPad 4 – a refresh of the iPad just 6 months after the previous model had been released – adding a superfast processor, a Facetime camera on the front and the reversible lightning port that debuted on the iPhone 5.  It also has expanded LTE capacity although we’re unsure as to whether it will be compatible with 4G in the UK. 

Talking of tablets, you’re going to be spoilt for choice if you fancy one in your Christmas stocking because Microsoft’s rival to the iPad (rather than the iPad Mini) is about to be released in the UK – the Surface tablet

And they’ve done a great job for a company more renowned for their software rather than their hardware. It’s light, beautifully designed, with a large 10.6” screen,  and constructed with a largely scratchproof material which will ensure your device remains look as good as new for years to come. 

However, the strongest reason for getting your hands on a Surface is the hydrid nature of the device. With its built in kick stand and built-in, extra light keyboard accessory, it transforms from a tablet into a notebook in seconds – particularly useful for those who want to use it to work rather than just to watch movies or play games. 

The downside is that, as a new device with a new version of Windows powering it, it comes almost app free. This is a problem that plagues android tablets as well as the iPad is just so dominant in this market it’s the only device of interest for tablet app developers.  However, if it’s a hit, the developers will soon come. 

Pricing-wise, you looking at forking out the same as an iPad - £399 – although the version with the integral keyboard cover will cost an extra £100. The Surface will be available in the UK in a matter of days. 

Talking of tablets, more news has leaked out re the ‘super tablet’ that Google and Samsung are reportedly working on – namely that it will have a 10” display, feature a 2560x1920 super hi-resolution display and will likely be named the Nexus 10.  We have no idea when it will be released but Google do have an android event planned for 29th October so it’s not inconceivable we could find out more then. 

What with the arrival of the Kindle Fire in the UK this month – previously only available in the US – and shopper for tablets this Christmas are going to be spoilt for choice!