iPad Mini, Apple, £269
Apple’s compact tablet is powerful, beautifully designed and comes with access to the largest range of tablet-specific apps of any operating system. It is also more expensive than its rivals. As with the other tablets, there are films, television and music available and, like the Nexus 7, a range of bookshops. You can shop at Apple’s iBookstore, or you can install apps from Kindle or Kobo. As with most Apple products, it’s a delight to use but it’s a premium product.
Nexus 7, Google, £159
Google’s 7in tablet computer offers the range of content you would expect with films, television, music and books all available from the Google Play store. There are even Kindle and Kobo apps, if you want to read books from those stores. The Nexus 7 has the added flexibility of the Android operating system, which means many of the tablet’s features can be customised. Again, the battery life won’t match an ereader, but this is a versatile gadget.
Kindle Fire HD, Amazon, £159
At just £50 more than the Paperwhite, the Kindle Fire HD is a tempting buy. It’s a 7in tablet computer, which means you can do more with it than just read ebooks. You can download films, television shows and music, as well as applications and games. It can browse the web, too, and, thanks to its front-facing camera, you can use it to make Skype calls. The downside of a tablet is battery life. The Kindle Fire HD offers 11 hours, which is decent, but ereader battery life is measured in weeks. This is a good buy if you want flexibility, however.
Kobo Mini, Kobo, £59.99
While Kobo’s full-sized ereader, the front-lit Glo (£99.99), feels like a budget take on Amazon’s Kindle, with the Mini the company is offering something distinct. The screen doesn’t quite match the quality of a Kindle and it has a strange texture for a touch-screen but it’s the size that’s the selling point here. The Mini has a 5in screen – not that much smaller than the Glo but it feels more compact and sits nicely in the hand. Shane Richmond
Kindle Paperwhite, Amazon, £109
The new top-of-the-range Kindle, the Paperwhite, remains the ereader to beat. The screen is front-lit so that you can read in low light. When reading in a well-lit room, the light makes the screen appear whiter so it is more like reading on paper. The design is lovely too, with a touch-screen so buttons can be kept to a minimum. It’s perhaps a little heavy and less versatile than a tablet but, if you want an ereader, this remains the best on the market.
Nook Simple Touch, Barnes and Noble, £79
The good thing about the Nook is that Barnes and Noble have clearly aimed for a design that is different from the competition. This is an e-reader with heavily rounded corners, a strange indent on the back and relatively large margins round the sides. The result is, unfortunately, horrible. Design is a subjective thing but I didn’t warm to the Nook no matter how much time I spent with it. It doesn’t help that the GlowLight – the Nook’s front-lit screen – is much more obtrusive than Amazon’s version. The Nook has its fans but I’m not among them.Share on Facebook
Fabrice Muamba, the footballer who suffered a heart attack on the pitch during an FA Cup match, is to crown his comeback nearly dying by transferring his nifty footwork to Strictly Come Dancing.
The former Bolton Wanderers midfielder will be among the guest stars on the one-off Christmas edition of the BBC ONE show.
Muamba’s addition to the show comes just weeks after he spoke of his desire to strut his stuff on the dance floor.
He said in a recent interview that he turned down ITV’s Dancing On Ice, but added: “I’d do Strictly Come Dancing. I love my salsa, so I’d be well up for that.”
The 24-year-old collapsed in front of 35,000 fans in a match against Spurs earlier this year when he suffered his heart problem.
The Zaire-born player, who recently married Shauna Magunda, was technically dead for 78 minutes but was brought back after repeated shocks from a defibrillator, which made his heart beat again.
He has since retired from football, although he has been allowed to take part in short kickabouts, including one with a group of youngsters for Children In Need. He has been fitted with a pacemaker to help regulate his heartbeat.
Muamba – who came to the UK at the age of 11 – will dance with Aliona Vilani who made an early exit from this year’s competition through a damaged ankle while her partner Johnny Ball was voted out during her absence.
A show insider said: “This booking comes on the back of our most successful series ever.”
Muamba told the Daily Mail that practice sessions for Strictly were “the hardest thing I’ve done since my recovery” from his heart attack.
He said: “I’m feeling good now. I’ve already been training with Aliona for a week and there are no complaints.”
The full line-up for the special is due to be confirmed in around a week.Share on Facebook
Two headers from corners gave Cardiff City their first away win in four attempts and took them back to the top of the Championship table.
Teenage defender Ben Nugent marked his first start with a goal after dispatching Peter Whittingham’s corner.
Aron Gunnarsson was then left unmarked at the far post to convert from another Whittingham delivery after the break.
A sweet finish from Jacob Mellis gave Barnsley hope, but Cardiff held on despite Simon Lappin’s late red card.
The left-back’s dismissal for a second yellow card two minutes before time led to a frantic finish as Cardiff survived two penalty claims and needed two fine interventions from goalkeeper David Marshall.
But time came to their rescue, and left Barnsley to contemplate a fifth defeat in seven games, leaving them one point above the relegation places.
Cardiff end away blues
Before beating Barnsley, Cardiff had not won a match while wearing blue this season
The Bluebirds controversially changed from blue to red as their primary colour at the start of the season and have won all nine home games in red
For the 12th time in 18 Championship games this season, Cardiff took the lead.
Nugent wrestled free from his marker and used his 6ft 4in stature to good effect to reach Whittingham’s hanging delivery.
The 19-year-old’s textbook downward header skipped off the surface past home goalkeeper Luke Steele.
The visitors were twice let off the hook in the first half by poor Barnsley finishing.
Stephen Dawson sliced his volley wide after Cardiff debutant Lappin, on loan from Norwich City, was caught out of position.
And then on the stroke of halftime, unmarked Marcus Tudgay headed weakly wide from a few yards out.
Cardiff were guilty of a glaring miss of their own minutes after the break when Heidar Helguson hit a tame shot from 12 yards, which was turned away by Steele.
But Helguson’s blushed were spared by fellow Icelander Gunnarsson as the midfielder headed in at the far post from the resulting corner.
The introduction of Reuben Noble-Lazarus and Akos Buzsaky gave Barnsley much needed-impetus and they capitalised on a purple patch to pull a goal back.
Mellis showed his team-mates how to finish by composing himself and squeezing the ball inside the far post.
Lappin’s debut turned sour when he was shown a second yellow card, giving the home side plenty of encouragement to launch a late salvo but they failed to find the telling blow to salvage a point.Share on Facebook