01/03/2012 17:51 | By Rachel Burge, contributor, MSN Shopping

Gadgets on the go

Need to stay in touch with the office while you’re out and about? Smartphones, tablets, laptops and netbooks make it easier than ever – but how to choose the right one for you? Read on to discover the best-rated products as selected by the tech experts and you.

Samsung Galaxy S2 (© Image © Ciao)

Smartest smartphone in class

Small enough to be kept in your pocket yet powerful enough to email and browse the web, smartphones are the ultimate gadget on the go.

Every year Which? quizzes more than 8,000 members of the public about their mobile phones and then analyses the data to give each brand a reliability rating and satisfaction score.

Apple came out top in the satisfaction stakes with 84% - its nearest rival was HTC with a score of 73%. The Apple iPhone 4S also scored well with TrustedReviews but was pipped to the post for 'Phone of the Year' by the Samsung Galaxy S2

"This phone has everything most people would need: a speedy dual-core processor, a vibrant screen, a super slim and lightweight design, and is packed full of features," says Cliff Jones, editor of TrustedReviews.
Hot smartphones on Ciao

Top of the tablets

Bigger than a smartphone but with similar touchscreen technology and downloadable apps, tablet computers boast a bright, sharp screen with rich, vibrant colours. Without a physical keyboard they offer a thinner and lighter way to connect to the internet than laptops or netbooks - yet have enough battery power to last when you're on the move.

Asus Eee Pad Transformer (© Image © Ciao)

Apple's iPad set the standard as the first popular tablet but since then many others have come onto the market, including Samsung's Galaxy Tab, the BlackBerry Playbook, the Motorola Xoom and the Asus Eee Pad Transformer, which was named best break-out tablet of 2011 by TrustedReviews.

"Giving users the portability of a tablet and the productivity of a laptop in one thanks to its keyboard docking station, the Transformer was the first to truly challenge the iPad in terms of features and performance," says Cliff.
If you're looking to buy in the next few weeks, it might be worth waiting to get your hands on the iPad 3 (due to go on sale later this month) before making your final decision.
Find more tablet PCs on Ciao

Winning laptops

If you have the money to spend, the Apple Macbook Air gets rave reviews.

"This is an award-winning laptop that's great on both looks and performance, but you do pay for the convenience," says Dan Grabham, deputy editor of TechRadar.

"The 256GB solid state drive gives you fast access to your files and media, and has less chance of failing than a hard drive if the laptop takes a few knocks on the road. Usability is as excellent as always, thanks to the firm isolation-style keyboard and solid glass touchpad."

Acer Aspire 5742 (© Image © Ciao)

For a more budget option, TechRadar recommend the Acer Aspire 5742.
"This machine is powerful enough to run all of your applications, thanks to a surprisingly strong Intel Core processor and 4GB of memory," says Dan. "The build quality is also impressive - the 2.3kg frame is solid and slim enough to lug around without too much hassle and if you plan on doing a lot of typing, the isolation-style keyboard is perfect."
More laptops on Ciao

Noteworthy netbooks

If portability and price are more important than performance, a mini-laptop or netbook could be the answer. Weighing less than 1kg and around an inch thick, most are about the same size as a magazine. Just be aware that they won't have a full-sized keyboard and the screen will be smaller too.

One of the first was the Asus Eee PC but many other budget options have come onto the market since then.
The Acer Aspire One Happy 2 scores the highest with Which? - who test netbooks on a variety of performance and comfort criteria, including how long it takes to charge the battery, how long it takes for the battery to drain and even how hot it gets - important if it's going to be on your lap for hours!

Samsung NC110 (© Image © Ciao)

Second place in their rating is the Samsung NC110 closely followed by the Asus Eee PC 1015PX.

Before you buy...
Finally, Kieran Alger, editor of T3 has this advice: "When buying new technology the first thing you need to do is work out exactly what you want it to do. Having a clear set of needs cuts down the choice and makes it easier to find the right gadget for you.

"Will you always use your tablet where there's wi-fi or will you need to have 3G? Do you want a laptop for creating or just consuming photos, video and media?

"Is this something you'll want to always use on the move or just at home? Getting your wishlist ready before you start your search means you can be more certain of buying what you actually need and not paying for things you don't."

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10/03/2012 12:28
Whilst I admire the quality of all Apple's products, I'm reluctant to tie myself in to iTunes & its restrictions. I've gone the Android path with both smartphone & tablet - it feels a much freer & accessible platform. Got an Asus netbook as well just to complete the tech set...
10/03/2012 14:45
this is great, first we have a phone that looks and weighs like a house brick, then we spend next 5 yrs making the pfone smaller then ! we need i pad, phone that no longer fits in your pocket or if you think it doesnt fit your needs either, this ishould be caled           THE ALL NEW  KEEP UP WITH THE JONES;S  batteries included get your own wheelbarrow for transport
10/03/2012 18:59

love my samsung galaxy 2 - love it love it love it!!!

impossible that the iphone 4 could be any better.

10/03/2012 18:18
When you have to use reading specs it is difficult to read the smartphone screen plus the fact the batteries do not last and need to be charged each day - just like my first mobile phone. I will stick with my laptop and cheap phone thanks.
10/03/2012 23:03

sorry but after reading the various reviews about the new ipad and others , I  am very surprised that more people have not jumped to the next level of technology , I have a samsung tablet that runs windows 7 completely  and has a second generation i5 processor chip, fully functional on all the internet in fact top of the range pc but tablet touch screen form, its called a samsung slate 7, the next version of the samsung galaxy join the 21st century !!


10/03/2012 09:37

Smile  i phone hard to beat in more ways than one i think people change just because they get to take it for granted but once swapped realise what they had

and the i pad 3 well enough said a must for any gadget geek !!!!!!

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