Analysts: Tablets most popular on Black Friday, Cyber Monday

Although some (arguably crazy) folks are already lining up at Best Buys around the country, most analysts agree that online sales will well exceed this year's Black Friday storefront frenzy. And while Cyber Monday may end up being the peak of sales for online retailers, some, including Amazon, have already begun offering up freak-out-worthy deals, extending the buzz across an entire week of insane sales.

Among the most popular gifts this year? Tablets. The tablet computer market has exploded alongside a flurry of tablet-optimized apps, the new Windows 8 OS that hybrids the laptop and tablet experience, and the skyrocketing trend of enterprise mobility that demands the constant connectivity and sleek, convenient portability that only tablet devices can provide.

Okay, but which tablet should you ask for this this holiday season? The iPad and its new Mini counterpart may be leading the charge in sales, still consuming the largest portion of the tablet market by brand, but healthy competitors are coming to the stage. Indeed, as travel guru Peter Greenberg points out, different kinds of travelers will benefit from different kinds of tablets.

For example, if you're constantly traveling for work, the compact, 4G-connected iPad Mini might just be the ideal choice. But if you need a physical keyboard, consider a Microsoft Surface, which embeds one right in its cover.

Is airplane entertainment a key factor? Greenberg again likes the Surface, this time for its spacious 10.6-inch screen. But don't overlook the Retina-enhanced iPad 4, which wins the eyeball wars with its unmatched screen resolution.

Truth be told, most modern tablets will give you the tools you need for work and play alike, even if it means bringing along a third-party Bluetooth keyboard. And even if you don't have access to a full word-processing suite on your tablet, you can keep your fingers productive with an app like LogMeIn Free, which securely connects you to your office PC for full remote access. Run your word processor, retrieve a file, look up an old email—it's all possible using just about any modern tablet.

So now your only challenge is to score the best deal, which should be easy whether you shop today or wait all the way until Cyber Monday. This year's holiday-sales frenzy is just getting started, and you can bet tablet bargains will be leading the charge.

For comprehensive coverage of the Android ecosystem, visit Greenbot.com.

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