As we are in year 2013 now and it is getting nearly 1st anniversary release of SQL Server 2012, and as per SQL Server Release Services SP1 was already available since end of November 2012 it is the time for you to consider, plan, test and install SP1 for SQL Server 2012.
If your organisation is still considering or looking towards SQL 2012 then no worries. This is the good time for you to pursue the topic as 1 of the new-year resolution at the office or make it as personal-development topic in your job :-).
However, you may be thinking its already SP1 time for SQL Server 2012 and if you are starting the 2012 installation then planning about how long it will take to complete the installation and all of those topics. Just do not worry, you may remember about SlipStream method from good old SQL Server 2008 R2 version which is now packaged as Slipstream package for 2012 version too.
The 2012 SP1 download page consist the following links in this section correspond to files available for this download. Download the files appropriate for you.
Similarly the corresponding download site contains the packages and patches related to SQL Server 2012 SP1 release that includes Microsoft SQL Server 2012 SP1 Update – that contains the 2012 SP1 update to be applied to existing SQL Server 2012 installations. And Microsoft SQL Server 2012 SP1 Slipstream– that provides the capability to perform new SQL Server 2012 instance installations (or SQL Server 2008/SQL Server 2008 R2 Upgrades) culminating with Service Pack 1 pre-installed.
Just a further note about the slipstream – installation package consists of a compressed self-extracting .exe and a ‘.box’ payload file that contains the original SQL Server 2012 release along with Service Pack 1. The .exe file can be directly executed, or utilized from the command prompt just as SQL Server 2012 Setup.exe would be (See Install SQL Server 2012 from the Command Prompt).
As you may be thinking about trustworthy SQL Server 2012 Express edition too, in that case packages for SQL Server 2012 Express with SP1 (slipstream) package is also available from Microsoft SQL Server 2012 SP1 Express link which includes the SQLLocalDB msi files too.
Finally I recommend to study about release notes: