Auction site eBay is joining forces with retailer Argos in a trial allowing shoppers to collect their online purchases from stores throughout the UK.
At least 50 eBay merchants and around 150 Argos stores will participate in the Click & Collect service, with figures showing 40% of UK shoppers used some similar form of the system over Christmas 2012.
Devin Wenig, president of eBay, said: "The distinction between offline and online shopping continues to blur. Traditional retail isn't going away, it is transforming. Smart retailers are innovating, reimagining the store and what it means to shop.
"We're proud to join Argos on this journey. Their unique store network and operating model is fit for serving customers in a digital future. This exciting pilot takes us one step nearer to our goal of offering customers an inspired and seamless shopping experience."
Argos managing director John Walden said: "With the continuing growth of online shopping, customers increasingly expect faster, cheaper and more convenient fulfilment of their orders.
"Having pioneered Click & Collect in the year 2000, it now accounts for around a third of our business and continues to grow. eBay, an innovator in digital and leading online marketplace connecting sellers and consumers, is already a strong partner with Argos and a logical partner for the trial.
"We look forward to assessing the opportunity for Argos to provide fulfilment for eBay's merchants, including the operational requirements, attractiveness to sellers and consumers, and opportunity for increased customer footfall."
The new iPad Air from Apple is an incredible new upgrade to the tablet you know and love. It's far lighter and thinner, has an upgraded processor, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/11/05/ipad-air-review-4g_n_4217913.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-tech" target="_blank">and in our review we called it nothing short of a "masterpiece"</a>. If you have more than £399 to spend on a tablet, spend it on this.
Google Nexus 7 (2013)
The new Nexus 7 has a higher resolution display (at 323 pixels per inch), a quad-core Snapdragon S4 processor and a thinner bezel on both sides of the screen. It's also the first device to run the new version of Android, 4.3 Jelly Bean, and a 5-megapixel screen at the same bargain-basement price.
iPad Mini With Retina Display
At £319, the iPad Mini with Retina display isn't cheap. But on the other hand, it has the same screen resolution, processor and other internals as the larger iPad Air, but it's also smaller, lighter and cheaper by £80. It's a stunning tablet, and though it's pricier than other 7-inch devices it's got the benefit of Apple's amazing apps selection.
Samsung Note 8.0
<a href="http://gdgt.com/samsung/galaxy/note/8-0/">The Samsung Note 8.0</a> is faintly ridiculous, in that it's technically a phone, and can be used as such when bought in the UK, but you'll look absolutely ridiculous if you try that in public. On the other hand, it's also a quite beautiful and cost-effective device, with a sharp screen, a good processor, a nice suite of S-Pen enabled drawing and note-taking apps. Yes, it's more expensive than an iPad Mini - and it also suffers on battery life. But for the right customer, it's a good choice.
Kindle Fire HDX
The new Kindle Fire HDX tablet comes in both a 7- and 8.9 inch version, and both are tasty upgrades. The 7-inch has a 1920 x 1200 display, a quad-core processor, LTE, all the Amazon services you'd expect plus a new 'Mayday' support service for new users. It starts at £199. The 8.9-inch is pricer at £329, but has an even more impressive 2560x1600 display - and still comes in lighter than an iPad Air.
The<a href="http://gdgt.com/samsung/nexus/10/" target="_blank"> Samsung-built Nexus 10</a> has an excellent display, runs the latest version of stock Android (which has never been better for tablets) and is less expensive than the iPad - while also being quite a bit lighter. With Google Play's ever improving list of tablet-enabled apps and the availability of many options for watching and consuming media, there is nothing you want to do on a tablet you can't do with this. That said, it suffers from a less-developed app ecosystem, and the design of the machine is far clunkier than you might hope with a thick bezel being a noticeable downside.
Microsoft Surface Pro 2
Microsoft's new Surface Pro runs a full version of Windows 8.1, has an improved kickstand and an excellent display and can do pretty much everything your tablet AND your laptop can do. You're going to pay for it - the device is £719 and up, plus the great keyboard cover is not included in the price. It's also heavy and there's no LTE option. But it's a lovely piece of kit for the right user.
Tesco's Hudl tablet is a budget affair, but it looks as though in terms of the fundamentals - particularly media playback - it's not a terrible choice. <a href="http://www.engadget.com/2013/10/27/tesco-hudl-review/">In a recent review Engadget said</a>: "Despite all of its failings, this meagre slate became our go-to piece of hardware for responding to emails and browsing Twitter. We had it playing movies on Netflix while we worked, and we rocked out to a playlist while cooking dinner. While its original purpose was to coax technophobes into the future, the Hudl is easy to use and, dare we say it, charming."