Best reading tablet 2014


Best Tablets: Q1 2017

Unlike the red-hot smartphone market that continues to grow, with new models appearing at a blistering rate, the tablet market is, well….a little boring. Apple still releases a few iPads every year, and Microsoft’s efforts with its Surface products has sparked some interest in Windows tablets, but Android tablets just do not seem to be a priority for OEMs, especially at the high-end of the price scale.

There have been a few notable products released over the past few months, though, including a new premium Android tablet, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S3, to compete with the iPads. Samsung also announced a new Windows 10 tablet at MWC 2017, the Galaxy Book, which focuses on productivity and the enterprise.

Apple also made a few changes to its iPad lineup. Both the iPad Air 2 and the iPad Mini 2 have been discontinued. The 32GB iPad Mini 4 has also been eliminated, leaving the 128GB Mini 4 as the only small-screened iPad option. To fill the void at the lower end of its lineup, Apple introduced a new 9.7-inch model simply (and confusingly) named iPad, which starts at $329.

With so much activity in the smartphone market, along with our current staffing shortage, we’ve fallen behind in our tablet coverage. Normally we only recommend products we’ve reviewed, but we’re relaxing this requirement for tablets, so some of the following recommendations are based on limited time with the product or our intuition.

Best High-End Tablets: Apple iPad Pro (12.9-inch & 9.7-inch), Samsung Galaxy Tab S3, Microsoft Surface Pro 4

Apple 12.9-inch iPad Pro & 9.7-inch iPad Pro

The best Apple has to offer, the iPad Pro aims to blend productivity with media consumption. Productivity improvements come mostly from iOS 10’s new split-screen multitasking features and by adding accessories. The Apple Pencil, which costs $99, is comfortable to hold and easy to use. It works great for taking notes at work or school, and creative types can use it for drawing and inking. There’s also the Smart Keyboard—$149 for the 9.7-inch or $169 for the 12.9-inch—that improves the typing experience. It uses the Smart Connector for transferring data and power, so there’s no need for Bluetooth pairing or recharging a keyboard battery. Like all keyboard covers, however, Apple’s Smart Keyboard is not very sturdy and difficult to use on anything other than a table.

The larger 12.9-inch iPad Pro comes with a 2732×2048 (264ppi) IPS display and weighs either 713 or 723 grams (a little more than 1.5 pounds) for the Wi-Fi only or Wi-Fi + LTE models, respectively. Weight drops to 437 or 444 grams (just less than 1.0 pound) for the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, which comes with a 2048×1536 (264ppi) IPS display. Both Pros include Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint sensor, four external speakers (and 3.5mm headphone jacks), 802.11ac Wi-Fi with MIMO, and Apple’s speedy A9X SoC.

There are a few other differences between the two Pros beyond screen size and weight, partly because the two different models were released several months apart. The 9.7-inch iPad Pro’s True Tone display adjusts the white point in response to ambient lighting, and it also supports the DCI-P3 color gamut. There’s also a much improved antireflective coating applied, which is the best I’ve ever seen and makes a huge difference in screen legibility. The smaller Pro also has better cameras: resolution increases from 1.2MP to 5MP for the front-facing camera, while the older 8MP f/2.4 camera gets updated to the 12MP f/2.2 module from the iPhone 6s, adding the ability to record 4K video and improving slow-motion video to 1080p120 or 720p240 instead of 720p120.

Read the 12.9-inch iPad Pro and 9.7-inch iPad Pro reviews

Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S3 is a premium Android 7.0 tablet that sandwiches an aluminum frame between edge-to-edge glass on the front and back and weighs in at 429 grams (0.95 pounds). The 9.7-inch 2048×1536 SAMOLED display covers 97% of the DCI-P3 color gamut and also includes a blue light filter to reduce eye strain while reading.

Inside is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 SoC and 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM. There’s only 32GB of internal storage, though, which is pretty limiting for a tablet. Fortunately, additional storage can be added with a microSD card. There’s also a 6000mAh battery that supports Adaptive Fast Charging.

Like the 9.7-inch iPad Pro it’s competing with, the Galaxy Tab S3 blends media consumption with productivity. Its HDR-ready display and four external speakers that adjust audio response when the tablet is shifted between portrait and landscape makes it a “9.7-inch home theater solution,” according to Samsung. Its productivity play is similar to the iPad’s, namely multi-window capability from the OS coupled with Samsung’s S Pen and optional keyboard accessories. The S Pen, which comes bundled with the tablet, uses Wacom technology to provide pressure and angle sensitivity. It also does not use batteries so it never needs to be charged.

The Galaxy Tab S3 costs $600 (32GB, Wi-Fi), the same as a similarly configured 9.7-inch iPad Pro.

Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 is more of a laptop with a detachable keyboard than a true tablet. It’s built from PC components and runs Windows 10, which makes it more suitable for productivity than media consumption—basically the opposite of the pure tablet options.

The Surface Pro 4 comes in more configurations than can be listed here, with prices ranging from $699 for the fanless model that includes an Intel Core m3-6Y30 CPU, 4GB of RAM, and a 128GB PCIe SSD, all the way to $2699 for a dual-core Intel Core i7-6650U, 16GB of RAM, and a 1TB PCIe SSD. The battery capacities also vary based on CPU choice. While the base model is similar in price to the 12.7-inch iPad Pro once you factor in what Apple charges for accessories, the higher SKUs make them more like laptop replacements than tablets considering the performance and price.

All Surface Pro 4 models come with a 12.3-inch 2736×1824 (3:2 aspect ratio and 267ppi) display, dual front-facing speakers, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and a microSD card reader. The magnesium chassis looks professional and keeps weight in check (766 or 786 grams). The Core i5 and Core i7 models are not able to be passively cooled like the Core m3 model and must use a fan for cooling.

The Microsoft Surface Pen, which costs $60, comes bundled with all but the base model, and supports 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity. There’s even an eraser on the end. Microsoft’s Surface Type Cover, which is not included with the tablet, costs $129 or $159 if you opt for the version that has a fingerprint scanner for authentication.

Best Mid-Range Tablets: Apple iPad (5th generation), Apple iPad Mini 4, Huawei MediaPad M3

Apple iPad (5th generation)

Apple’s newest iPad is not really new at all, but a combination of existing parts primarily from the iPad Air 1, iPad Air 2, and iPhone 6s. The aluminum shell comes from the iPad Air 1, giving the new iPad the same dimensions and weight. The 9.7-inch 2048×1536 IPS display also comes from the iPad Air 1, which means the cover glass is not laminated to the panel like on the newer models and lacks the more sophisticated antireflective coating.

Most of the motherboard components come from the iPhone 6s, including an Apple A9 SoC, with a dual-core Twister CPU and PowerVR GT7600 GPU, paired with 2GB of LPDDR4 RAM. Its 32.4Wh battery has 18% more capacity than the 9.7-inch iPad Pro and the outgoing iPad Air 2, which should further boost battery life, especially when paired with the phone SoC. The iPad Air 2 donates its 1.2MP f/2.2 front-facing camera and 8MP f/2.4 rear camera, neither of which is anything special.

Basically this new iPad is a slightly thicker and heavier iPad Air 2 with a bigger battery and a lower price. The 2×2 802.11ac Wi-Fi only version costs $329 for 32GB of storage and $429 for 128GB. The Wi-Fi + LTE version costs $459 for 32GB and $559 for 128GB.

Apple iPad Mini 4

The iPad Mini 4’s only advantage is its smaller size. Its 7.9-inch 2048×1536 (326ppi) display makes it noticeably smaller in every dimension relative to the new 5th generation iPad, with weight dropping from 469 grams to only 299 grams. It uses the slightly older Apple A8 SoC that first appeared in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, but comes with 2GB of RAM like the 9.7-inch iPads, enabling support for iOS 10’s split-screen multitasking feature; however, its smaller screen means that you’ll often only use the iPad Mini 4 with a single app at a time, so the additional RAM is mostly useful for keeping additional Safari tabs and apps in memory. There are still some use cases for split-screen view, though, like pinning a chat app to one side. You also get full sRGB coverage on the display, along with laminated cover glass and Apple’s AR coating which reduces reflections and increases effective contrast. The iPad Mini 4 comes with the same cameras, wireless connectivity options, and Touch ID fingerprint sensor as the new 5th generation iPad.

The iPad Mini 4 is not a particularly good value compared to the new 9.7-inch iPad. With a starting price of $399 for the 128GB Wi-Fi model, it costs more than the entry-level iPad and is only $30 less than a 128GB iPad, making it a tough sell unless you really need the smaller size. There’s also 128GB Wi-Fi + LTE version for $529.

Read the iPad Mini 4 review

Huawei’s MediaPad M3 comes with an 8.4-inch 2560×1600 (16:10 aspect ratio) IPS display that is one of the sharpest displays (359ppi) you’ll see on a tablet, with most other Android tablets of this size and resolution using PenTile AMOLED panels that have reduced red and blue subpixel density causing issues with text rendition. Powering this media-centric tablet is HiSilicon’s Kirin 950 SoC, which is also found in Huawei’s Mate 8 and Honor 8 flagship phones, paired with 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM, and either 32GB or 64GB of internal storage with microSD support. There’s also 802.11ac Wi-Fi, a fingerprint sensor integrated into the physical home button, and stereo speakers built into the left and right sides of the aluminum chassis.

The Wi-Fi only version costs $299 for 32GB of storage and $349 for 64GB. There’s also a Wi-Fi + LTE version sold outside the US.

Best Budget Tablets: Amazon Fire HD 8, NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet K1

Amazon Fire HD 8

The Amazon Fire HD 8 is a good choice for an inexpensive Android tablet geared specifically towards media-consumption. It has an 8.0-inch 1280×800 (189ppi) IPS display, and is powered by MediaTek’s MT8163 SoC, which uses a 1.3GHz quad-core Cortex-A53 CPU, paired with 1.5GB of RAM. Performance is hardly mind-blowing, but the point of the Fire HD 8 is that it starts at only $90 for the 16GB model. The caveat is that you’ll see ads on the lock screen and parts of the launcher. Paying an extra $15 removes the ads, and given that the ads are not really intrusive, I would imagine that the most price-conscious customers would opt to just keep them. There’s also a 32GB model that costs $120. Internal storage is tight for a media-oriented tablet, but it’s possible to expand storage with a microSD card.

It’s important to note that the Fire HD 8 does not have access to Google services. This means no Gmail app, no Chrome, no Youtube, and no Google Play. Amazon’s own app store has most of the big names in the mobile app space, and the intended target market for these devices are not users who really make heavy use of apps anyway. Amazon Prime users have a lot to like about it, though, especially those in markets where Amazon’s media services like Prime Video and Prime Music are available. Heavy readers will also have easy access to Amazon’s library of eBooks. The Fire HD 8 even includes Amazon Alexa voice service now.


NVIDIA’s little tablet has been around forever, but despite its older hardware it’s still a capable device. NVIDIA also continues to provide software updates—it just recently received an update to Android 7.0—which is pretty amazing since it’s almost 3 years old now (it originally shipped with Android KitKat 4.4.2). The SHIELD Tablet’s software is also notable for providing a clean, stock Android experience and includes access to Google’s apps and services as you would expect.

Being a product made by NVIDIA, it should be no surprise that it’s geared towards gaming and media consumption. The included SHIELD Hub app is the gateway to all of your gaming and media content, giving you convenient access to your existing titles, and allowing you to shop for new ones. It also gives you access to NVIDIA’s GameStream service that allows you to play your PC games on the tablet, which is a cool feature (the games run on your PC with NVIDIA GPU and the video output is streamed over Wi-Fi), and it’s compatible with the GeForce NOW cloud gaming service. To take full advantage of the SHIELD Tablet’s gaming options, you’ll need to buy the optional wireless SHIELD controller for $60.

It comes with an 8.0-inch 1920×1200 IPS display that can feel a little cramped when playing PC games, and its less-than-sRGB color gamut hurts color accuracy, but you have to expect some concessions at this price point. Inside the plastic chassis is NVIDIA’s Tegra K1 SoC with a quad-core Cortex-A15 CPU and a single SMX (192 core) Kepler GPU paired with 2GB of RAM. There’s only 16GB of internal storage, but you can use a microSD card to add more. Other perks include front-facing stereo speakers and a Mini-HDMI port with HDCP 1.4 output for connecting the tablet to an external TV for gaming on the big screen.

The SHIELD Tablet K1 costs $200. Accessories include a flip cover that doubles as a stand for $40 and the aforementioned SHIELD controller for $60.

Best Android tablets (November 2019)

Android tablets are a great choice for everyone, from three-year-olds to grandmas. Unfortunately, the market has been floundering recently and it’s getting harder to find the best Android tablet for your money. Don’t worry, there are still a few really good options available — most of which are made from Samsung. Here’s our roundup of the best Android tablets of 2019!

Best Android tablets of 2019:

Editor’s note: We will update this list regularly as new Android tablets launch.

Best high-end tablet: Samsung Galaxy Tab S6

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4, released back in August 2018, was one of the best high-end Android tablets ever released. It has now been replaced with the mighty Samsung Galaxy Tab S6. The upgraded pad comes with a Snapdragon 855 processor, 6GB to 8GB of RAM, 128GB to 256GB of storage, and a hefty 7,040mAh battery.

Even though the 10.5-inch display size and 2,560 x 1,600 resolution remain the same as the Galaxy Tab S4’s, the Galaxy Tab S6’s overall footprint is appreciably smaller. The new tablet is also lighter than its predecessor — it weighs 420g, while the Galaxy Tab S4 weighs 482g.

Also included are four AKG-tuned speakers, a USB-C port, and a rear-mounted groove that magnetically keeps the S Pen attached. Thankfully, the S Pen is included in the box free of charge, because spending more on this accessory wouldn’t be good considering this is no cheap tablet.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 specs:

  • Display: 10.5-inch QHD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 855
  • RAM: 6/8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 13 and 5MP
  • Front camera: 8MP
  • Battery: 7,040mAh
  • Software: Android 9.0 Pie

Best mid-range tablet: Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e is an excellent mid-range alternative to the more expensive Galaxy Tab S6. You get a very similar high-quality Super AMOLED display, speaker quality, and battery. You can also enjoy a laptop-like experience using the optional keyboard case.

The only thing that’s really missing here is the S Pen, but even if it’s not included with the tablet, a separately purchased stylus will work. Of course, you also get a mid-range processing package, but most can live with these specs. With a price point starting at about $400, the Tab S5e is a very enticing option.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e specs:

  • Display: 10.5-inch, QHD9
  • SoC: Snapdragon 670
  • RAM: 4/6GB
  • Storage: 64/128GB
  • Camera: 13MP
  • Front camera: 8MP
  • Battery: 7,040mAh
  • Software: Android 9 Pie

Best affordable tablet: Samsung Galaxy A 10.1 (2019)


Despite being one of the best cheap tablets Samsung has to offer, the 2019-edition Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 keeps pace with the more expensive Samsung tablets. There’s no home button in sight, the bezels are much thinner, it comes with a premium metal build, and the device is running Android 9.0 Pie.

Granted, you don’t get the specs and features of Samsung’s more expensive offerings, but if a good viewing experience with decent performance is what you’re after, the Galaxy Tab A 10.1 (2019) gets the job done — and at a very low price too.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 (2019) specs:

  • Display: 10.1-inch, QHD+
  • SoC: Exynos 7904
  • RAM: 2GB
  • Storage: 32/64/128GB
  • Camera: 8MP
  • Front camera: 5MP
  • Battery: 6,150mAh
  • Software: Android 9 Pie

Best ultra-affordable tablets: Amazon Fire family


Amazon’s Fire family continues to get better and cheaper! The Amazon Fire 7 is an entry-level tablet but its near rock bottom starting price of just $30 is still very impressive.

If you’re looking for a little more “fire”, you get a half gig more of RAM, a slightly larger display with a higher resolution, and up to three hours more of battery life with the Amazon Fire HD 8. It’s still surprisingly cheap, starting at $50.

Finally, Amazon Fire HD 10 is the higher-end member of the Fire family. As the name suggests, you get a Full HD 10.1-inch display, and specs that are similar to the Galaxy Tab A 10.1 above. It continues the series’ budget-friendly streak, with a starting price of just $100.

Specifications aside, there are a few experiences that are shared across the board, the most important of which is the integrated hands-free Alexa functionality. There’s also no Google Play Store access, making these devices better suited for those invested in the Amazon ecosystem.

Amazon Fire 7 specs:

  • Display: 7-inch, HD
  • SoC: 1.3Ghz quad-core
  • RAM: 1GB
  • Storage: 16/32GB
  • Camera: 2MP
  • Front camera: 2MP
  • Battery: up to 7 hours
  • Software: Fire OS

Amazon Fire HD 8 specs:

  • Display: 8-inch, HD
  • SoC: 1.3Ghz quad-core
  • RAM: 1.5GB
  • Storage: 16/32GB
  • Camera: 2MP
  • Front camera: 2MP
  • Battery: up to 10 hours
  • Software: Fire OS

Amazon Fire HD 10 specs:

  • Display: 10.1-inch, Full HD
  • SoC: 1.8GHz quad-core
  • RAM: 2GB
  • Storage: 32/64GB
  • Camera: 2MP
  • Front camera: VGA
  • Battery: up to 10 hours
  • Software: Fire OS

Best small tablet: Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4-inch

You may have noticed most tablets on this list come with displays larger than 10 inches. If you’re on the lookout for a more portable option and are okay with mid-range performance, the Huawei Mediapad M5 8.4-inch may be the perfect fit. Huawei has released the upgraded Mediapad M6 series, but those are hard to find outside China.

The Huawei Mediapad M5 8.4-inch offers a high-resolution display, an older flagship processor, dual Harmon Kardon speakers, and a large battery. It’s one of the best smaller Android tablets around. It’s not too harsh on the wallet either, starting at just about $320.

Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4-inch specs:

  • Display: 8.4-inch, QHD+
  • SoC: Kirin 960
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 64GB
  • Camera: 13MP
  • Front camera: 8MP
  • Battery: 5,100mAh
  • Software: Android 8.0 Oreo

Best Chrome OS tablet: Google Pixel Slate

Chromebooks can run Android apps, but most of these devices offer a more traditional laptop experience and layout. If you want a Chrome OS device in the shape of a tablet, your best bet is to go with the Google Pixel Slate. The Pixel Slate runs a custom version of Chrome OS to make it work better as both a tablet.

You get laptop specifications and features here, ranging from the Intel Core m3 to a Core i7, and up to 16GB of RAM. It’s not cheap, starting at about $650 and going all the way up to nearly $1,500. Still, the Google Pixel Slate is beat by none in its category.

Google Pixel Slate specs:

  • Display: 12.3-inch, QHD+
  • SoC: Intel Core m3/i5/i7 8th gen
  • RAM: 8/16GB
  • Storage: 64/128/256GB
  • Camera: 8MP
  • Front camera: 8MP
  • Battery: up to 10 hours
  • Software: Chrome OS

There you have it — these are the best Android tablets you can get your hands on at the moment. We’ll update this post with new models once they launch.

The tablet has fallen on hard times recently, with falling sales and heated debate about whether we even need tablets in today’s huge smartphone-driven world.

But there are still plenty of good reasons to consider buying a tablet. Maybe you want a device to occupy your free time or to supplement your TV watching with Twitter. Maybe you don’t need a full-fledged laptop, but need something that’s bigger than a smartphone. Or maybe you’re looking to buy an easy-to-use device for the technophobe in your life.

Whatever the reason, there’s a tablet out there for you. Read on and we’ll help you find the right one for your needs.

MORE: iPad Buying Guide: Which One is Right for You?

Convertible or Stand-Alone Tablet?

When it comes to tablets, you have a choice — do you go with a standard tablet or do you go with a “convertible” tablet?

Stand-alone tablets take the form of oversize smartphones: They consist of one large touch screen, a handful of buttons on the case, a charging connector and little else. They usually weigh between 1 and 2 pounds and are typically less than half an inch thick, so they’re supercompact and portable. You control them using the touch screen, but you can usually pair them with a Bluetooth keyboard.

Convertible devices try to combine the flexibility of the PC with the convenience of a tablet. These 2-in-1 devices either come with a detachable keyboard or they’re really just a full-size laptop that features a touch screen.

Detachables look and work like stand-alone tablets, but snap on to a specially designed keyboard attachment, and you can use them as laptop replacements. Some detachables come with the keyboard, while others require you to buy the keyboard separately, like with the iPad Pro and its $169 Smart Keyboard.

Microsoft’s Surface Book takes the concept a step further, in that it’s a full-fledged laptop with a detachable display that you can use as a stand-alone tablet.

Which Size?

Tablet screen sizes range from 6 inches on the low end, all the way up to a gargantuan 18.4 inches on Samsung’s Galaxy View tablet. You’ll find that most tablets fall into the 7- to 10-inch range: If you’re looking for something small and light that you can take with you anywhere, a small tablet such as the iPad mini or 7-inch Amazon Fire tablet is the way to go.

Tablets in the 10-inch range, like the iPad Air 2, provide a good balance between portability and productivity: They aren’t as easy to use with one hand, but they’re still plenty light and compact. Larger tablets, such as the Galaxy View or the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, are less portable, but they can make for suitable laptop replacements.

Notebook-tablet hybrids typically feature screen sizes around 11 to 13 inches, but they tend to be bulkier, so they aren’t ideal if size and weight are your main priorities.

Which Operating System?

iOS 9

The latest and greatest version of Apple’s mobile operating system is iOS 9. It powers all of Apple’s current-generation iPad models (as well as smartphones). And it comes with a number of additions that give your iPad a little extra flexibility, thanks to new split-screen multitasking features.

Your hardware options are limited with iOS, relative to Android and Windows, since you have only Apple’s iPad line to choose from. The options include the iPad Pro, iPad Air 2, iPad Air, iPad mini 4 and iPad mini 2. On the other hand, iOS users have hundreds of thousands of apps at their disposal through the App Store.


When it comes to Android tablets, you have no shortage of options — both in terms of hardware and software.

While Android is, ostensibly, Google’s mobile operating system, there is no unified Android. The company releases a new update to the OS every year or so, and some tablets get updated while others do not. Plus, most tablet makers customize Android to suit their needs, or add in features to differentiate their tablets from the competition. Samsung tablets, for instance, come with a customized interface that integrates a number of Samsung-specific apps and features. Amazon’s Fire tablets run a heavily customized version of Android that Amazon calls Fire OS.

You also have a plethora of hardware options, too — from the aforementioned Fire tablets to Samsung’s wide-ranging offerings to the Asus ZenPad series, to name just a few.

Windows 10

Windows 10, the newest version of Windows, builds upon the foundation Microsoft laid in Windows 8 and 8.1. The new OS is easier to use on traditional PCs than Windows 8 was, and it makes using Windows on a tablet much more seamless than before. Windows 10 offers several concessions to tablet users, such as large, touch-friendly window controls and buttons, a Tablet Mode (which expands the Start menu to fill the whole screen) and various touch-screen gestures.

Windows remains heavily oriented around the keyboard and mouse, though, so some apps and features may be awkward to use via a touch screen. It makes sense, then, that many Windows tablets are of the convertible kind.

MORE: Top 8 Windows Tablet-Laptop Hybrids

How Will You Use It?

At Home

For general home use — such as Web browsing, email, listening to music and so on — most any tablet out there will fit the bill. You probably won’t need to go with a superhigh-end tablet, so look for tablets that cost less than $300. The $179.99 Lenovo Tab 2 A10 is one of our favorites.

For Work

If you plan to use your tablet as a business machine — or as a laptop replacement — you’ll want one with at least a 9-inch screen. The iPad Air and iPad Air 2, Google Nexus 9 and larger Samsung Galaxy models are all good choices.

If you have the budget, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro ($799 and up), Microsoft Surface Pro 4 ($899 and up) and Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 ($649 and up) are very good options. Each of these comes with handy multitasking features, optional keyboard attachments and pen-input support.

For Gaming

Since iOS is the center of the mobile gaming universe, an iPad is a good bet. The iPad Air 2 offers a good balance between portability and power, but starting at $499, it isn’t cheap. Other options abound, however, such as the $199 gaming-centric Nvidia Shield tablet K1. This Android tablet is built around Nvidia’s Tegra K1 quad-core mobile processor and features an 8-inch, 1920 x 1080-pixel display and 2GB of memory.

What about Windows-based convertible tablets? Since these devices run full-fledged Windows, you can play a good many PC games on them. They won’t keep up with high-end gaming rigs, but many are more than suitable for more casual PC gaming.

For the Kids

With tablets for children, you’ll want to consider size, price, durability and parental-control features. A 7-inch tablet will be more suitable for small hands, and given the risk of a broken tablet, you’ll want to stay on the lower end — no more than about $250. The $99 Fire Kids Edition is a good choice, with its rubber bumpers, compact size, parental controls and kid-friendly interface. Plus, it comes with a two-year guarantee that says the company will replace it if your child does serious damage.

MORE: Kids’ Tablets to Buy (or Avoid)

For Media Consumption

Any of the tablet ecosystems are good choices for watching movies or TV shows and listening to music, but if you’re a true media junkie, the Amazon Fire HDX 8.9-inch may be for you. Not only does it feature a sharp 2560 x 1600-pixel display and Dolby Atmos speakers, but it also integrates nicely with Amazon’s Prime Video content. Another great option could be the iPad Air 2, which integrates with iTunes and sports a 2048 x 1536-pixel screen.

What About Apps and Content?

All three major tablet operating systems provide digital storefronts from which you can purchase and download apps, music, movies and other kinds of content.

On iOS, the App Store is the only real way to get apps for your iPad. Apple keeps pretty tight controls over what apps you can buy through its store, which reduces the risk of downloading something malicious, but somewhat limits the sorts of things apps can do. The iTunes Store lets you purchase music, movies and TV shows, while the iBooks app manages all things pertaining to e-books. Meanwhile, the Music app lets you listen to your own tunes or stream music via the Apple Music subscription service.

Google Play is your official one-stop shop for getting apps, music and other content on your Android tablet. But Android’s more open nature means it isn’t the only way to get apps and other content, and Android device manufacturers sometimes bundle their own digital store on their devices.

Android devices can also side load Amazon’s Underground app store. It comes with $20,000 worth of Android apps, games and in-app purchases that are free. It’s a curated — and thus smaller — version of Google Play.

Speaking of Amazon, if you’re an Amazon Prime member, the company’s Fire tablets come with built-in support for Amazon Prime content. That includes the Video streaming service, access to Prime Music streaming, Kindle e-books and more. They also come with a 30-day Amazon Prime free trial. Apps are available for download via the Amazon Appstore or via the Underground app.

On Windows 10 devices, you can purchase apps, music and movies through the Windows Store. Because this is Windows, however, you can download apps from just about anywhere. Still, certain software titles may only be available via the Windows Store, and since Microsoft vets everything in it, you’re at a lower risk of malware infection if you go through the Store.

Which specs matter?

Tablet specs can be tricky to discern, since not all manufacturers fully disclose their devices’ innards. Here’s a quick rundown on what you might see, and what it all means.


Apple uses its custom A-series chips inside its iPads. Current models use either the A7, A8, A8X or A9X processors: Higher numbers denote a newer processor that offers better performance, and the X suffix indicates a more powerful version of a given processor. The A8 is newer than the A7, for instance, while the A8X is a more powerful version of the A8.

Android tablets pack processors from a variety of manufacturers. Samsung’s Exynos chips and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processors are the most common: Look for the Snapdragon 800 series and Exynos 8 processors for better performance. Nvidia’s Tegra processors are found on Nvidia tablets, and you’ll find some Android machines with Rockchip CPUs.

On the Windows front, you’ll find mainly Intel processors, including the Core m3, i5 and i7 processors. Tablets based on Intel Core processors tend to be higher-end devices, and will generally cost you more. Lower-cost Windows tablets and convertibles often use Intel Atom processors.

MORE: Intel’s Core M CPU: What You Need to Know

RAM (Memory)

RAM isn’t quite as big a selling point on tablets because of how iOS and Android manage memory. Generally speaking, however, the more you spend, the more RAM you’ll get, and on most tablets, you can expect anywhere between 1GB and 4GB of memory. Laptop/tablet hybrids and other Windows-based convertible tablets, like the Surface Pro 4, typically offer more memory, sometimes up to 16GB of RAM. More RAM often equates to snappier performance.

Storage and Expandability

Stand-alone tablets typically come with 8 or 16GB of storage on the low end, and up to 128GB on the high end. Convertible Windows tablets often have storage capacities more in line with typical notebooks, so it isn’t unusual to find one with 256GB of storage or more. Some tablets include SD card readers that allow you to expand your device’s storage capacity. Unless you don’t use your tablet much, you may find 8 or 16 GB to be a little too constraining for your needs, so you’ll probably want to pay a little more and get at least 32GB of storage space — or look for one with an onboard SD card slot.

How About Battery Life?

Many tablets will get you all-day battery life, but as our testing shows, tablet battery life can still vary greatly. Lenovo’s Android-based Yoga Tab 3 lasted more than 15 hours on a single charge in our Web browsing tests, but on average, the devices we tested ran for 8 hours and 45 minutes before their batteries ran dry. We recommend you look for a tablet that runs for no less than 7 hours on a single charge.

MORE: 10 Tablets with the Longest Battery Life

Is the Price Right?

You can pay an awful lot for a tablet — but you don’t have to. Tablets range from more than $1,000 on the high end to less than $50 on the low end, so you have plenty of options, regardless of how much or how little you want to spend.

Less than $100

You’ll find lots of inexpensive Android tablets for less than $100, as well as Amazon’s entry-level 7-inch Fire tablet, a solid little device that goes for around $50. At these prices, though, you’re limited to tablets with tight storage capacities and low-resolution displays, and you won’t find many that have screens larger than 7 inches. You’ll want to do your homework before you buy to make sure you’re getting a decent device.

$100 to $200

If you’re on a tight budget but don’t want to delve into the bargain basement, the sub-$200 range is a good place to look. Most tablets in this price range hover around 7 or 8 inches and run Android, such as the 7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab 4. Storage capacities are still limited, though, with 8 or 16 GB being the norm, but you’ll find the occasional tablet with 32GB of onboard storage.

MORE: Best Tablets Under $200

$200 to $300

Pay a little more, and you’ll get a little more power and added niceties, such as higher-resolution screens. At $269, Apple’s low-end iPad mini 2 gets you a 7.9-inch 2048 x 1536-pixel display, but its storage capacity is limited to 16GB. At this range, you’ll start to see larger 9- and 10-inch tablets as well.

$300 to $400

Here is where you’ll start to see more of the larger, higher-end tablets. High-end 7- and 8-inch tablets live here, as do lower-end 9- and 10-inch tablets. For $319 you get a 32GB iPad mini 2, while $399 gets you either a 16GB iPad Air or 16GB iPad mini 4. Alternatively, you’ll find the $399 Google Nexus 9 tablet and a wide selection of Galaxy tablets from Samsung.

$400 and up

The high end of the tablet market is a rather wide-ranging segment, but it’s here where tablets go from being secondary devices to legitimate laptop replacements. You’ll get faster processors, bigger screens, more features and, generally speaking, more storage space (though you’ll still find some 16GB models here and there). You’ll also find tablets with built-in cellular broadband here. Tablets in this range include the iPad Air 2, the iPad Pro, high-end Android tablets and the Surface Pro 4.

  • Laptop Buying Guide: 9 Essential Tips
  • Smartphone Buyers’ Guide: 7 Things You Need to Know
  • Top 10 Tablets to Buy (or Avoid) Now

Tablet Guide

  • Previous Tip
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  • Kids Tablets to Buy (or Avoid)
  • 10 Tablets with the Longest Battery Life
  • The Best Tablets for Less Than $200
  • Chromebook vs. Tablet: Which Should You Buy?
  • Why 4G Tablets Are a Total Rip-Off
  • How to Sell, Trade In or Donate Your Old Tablet
  • iPad Buying Guide: Which One is Right for You?
  • How to Use Your iPad as Your Only PC

Update: IFA 2016 is here and there’s a chance we’ll see some brand new tablets released at the event from Samsung, Sony, Huawei and many others. While Apple will be hosting an event on September 7 for the launch of the iPhone 7, which may see the iPad Pro 2 announcement.

You’re thinking that 2016 is the year you’re going to finally buy a tablet / upgrade the first version of the iPad you queued all night for then realized didn’t do a lot – but you’re horrendously stumped over what to buy.

The good news is that tablets are now getting to the point of being really, really useful things, with accessories and add-ons that turn it into a viable laptop replacement for some.

But which should you opt for? Even if you’re a stalwart in the iPad camp / Android army, you’re stuck with loads and loads of choices in 2016. Not all of the choices below are confirmed, but we’ve listed all of the ones we’ve already seen followed by those we expect in the final six months of 2016.

  • Read: Best tablet 2016 | Best cheap tablet 2016 | Best Android tablet 2016 | Best iPad 2016

Brand new tablets for 2016

Here we run down the best tablets that have already been announced this year… but there’s not many to choose from.

iPad Pro 9.7

Price: US$599 (£499, AU$899)

Originally thought to be called the iPad Pro 2, this turned out to be the iPad Air 3 in all but name. Instead of sporting the Air moniker, it’s called the iPad Pro 9.7 and we loved this update to the middle sized iPad.

If you’re after a slim and portable slate, we’d recommend either the iPad Pro 9.7 or the iPad Mini 4. The iPad Pro 9.7 brought in True Tone display that corrects the screen colors depending on the conditions you’re currently in.

It’s also the first iPad to have a 256GB storage option, which may be expensive but means you’re going to struggle to fill your slate full of media and apps like you’d probably do on a 32GB iPad Pro in a couple of days.

There’s a keyboard you can buy alongside it to plug into the Smart Connector making this one of the most productive tablets money can buy.

  • Read our review of the iPad Pro 9.7

Tablets to come later in 2016

There’s no guarantee these tablets will be released by the end of the year, but we’d at least expect some sort of announcement for the following slates.

Sony Xperia Z6 Tablet

Release date: September 2016
Expected price: very high

There may not be many rumors circulating about the Xperia Z6 Tablet, but Sony’s release cycle tends to be an easy one to predict and this is likely to be the firm’s major slate offering of 2016.

Sony loves making its devices waterproof, so we fully expect it to continue that trend with the Z6 Tablet, while we’re keeping our fingers crossed for a slightly more premium design and an interface whi ch is closer to stock Android.

The inclusion of a keyboard dock in the box of the Z4 Tablet was a handy addition, but it could do with behind more balanced – another area of improvement for 2016 then.

Sony usually launches its flagship tablet at MWC in Barcelona at the end of February, but we may have to wait a few months for it to actually hit shelves. We’ll be reporting live from MWC 2016, so we’ll bring you all the latest on what Sony (and everyone else) has to offer.

In short, expect the Xperia Z6 Tablet to have plenty of power, a great display and the ability to take a dip in the bath with you.

  • What it’s got to beat: Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet review

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3

Release date: August 2016
Expected price: very high

Samsung came close to equaling Apple’s iPad Air 2 in 2015 with the Galaxy Tab S2, but it still didn’t manage to provide the same level of class both on and off screen.

Apple’s been top dog in the tablet world for several years now, but the pack is gaining and none more so than Samsung. The hope is then that 2016 could be the year it finally matches its Cupertino rival with a stellar Samsung Galaxy Tab S3.

There’s been talk of a Samsung Galaxy Tab Edge which could sport a similar curved display to the Galaxy S6 Edge which would certainly give the firm’s next flagship a futuristic look.

Whatever the tablet is finally named, a high resolution display is guaranteed, as is a decent slug of power. If Samsung can address the design while retaining the microSD port then the Tab S3 will be something to get very excited about.

  • Everything we know so far about the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3

iPad Pro 2

Release date: Announced in September, ready to buy in October
Expected price: Expect it to be the most expensive iPad yet

The iPad Pro came out in September 2015 and it may already be time for Apple to upgrade it with the iPad Pro 2.

We’d expect to see the next tablet from Apple before the end of the year, which will likely come with a 12.9-inch True Tone display as well as 4GB of RAM and an A9 processor chip under the hood.

Improvements for the iPad Pro 2 may be few and far between though. There could be a higher storage version and even a free Apple Pencil in the box, but this is all speculation as there’s not been much leaked about the product yet.

If Apple is set to announce it in 2016, we’d expect it to come at the same time as the iPhone 7 in September. But if it doesn’t launch then, we may have to wait until 2017 to see a new iPad Pro.

  • Read our review of the iPad Pro 2

iPad Mini 5

Release date: Maybe October, but it might not even be until next year.
Expected price: It’s going to be a lot, but not as much as the iPad Pro 2.

Apple’s miniature range of tablets came back with a bang this year. After the lackluster iPad Mini 3, the iPad Mini 4 brought the range back up to date with some significant updates.

It wasn’t clear why Apple decided to briefly mention it and then not give us a full look at the tablet though. For that reason we’re not sure if Apple will even decide to update to the iPad Mini 5 next year.

If it does, we’d expect some big updates to the processor on the iPad Mini 5. The iPad Mini 4 having an A8 chipset was a bit of a letdown so we’d expect at least the A9X chipset if not the latest.

Then it’ll also likely come with iOS 10 as well that we expect to see launch in July this year at WWDC. We’ll have to wait and see if Apple sees fit to launch a new smaller slate in 2016 though.

  • Read our review of the iPad Mini 4

Microsoft Surface Pro 5

Release date: October 2016, maybe.
Expected price: High – the Surface Pro 4 didn’t come very cheap.

Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 turned out to be one of the better tablets we saw in 2015 and took one step closer to becoming the laptop replacement it has always wanted to be.

With the Microsoft Surface Pro 5 though there’s a lot of work to do still. The biggest issue is selling the Type Cover separately, we want Microsoft to bundle that in the box with it so when you get it out it’s all ready and raring to go.

Battery also needs to be improved on the Surface Pro 5. When you’re using this as a tablet and productivity is a focus, you need to have a stronger battery life than it currently offers.

But there’s a lot right now and we think Microsoft may be able to make it perfect on the Surface Pro 5 with a little bit of work.

  • Read our review of the Microsoft Surface Pro 4

If you’re looking for the very best tablet of 2020 you don’t want to cut corners: you want a tablet that’s sleek, versatile, packed with power, and able to cope with everything you need it to do… and that’s where T3 comes in. Here we’ll guide you to the very best tablets available today. From the best cheap tablets to the best Android tablets, and onto the best iPads, this guide has you covered.

For a lot of people, a new Apple iPad Air is going to be the most appealing tablet, but the best tablet is actually going to be different for each person depending on their intended usage scenarios and budget. It really pays to take you time and properly evaluate exactly what you need from a tablet before pulling the trigger on a purchase.

Luckily there’s currently a whole host of top-quality tablets on the market right now, able to meet every budget and desired spec sheet – so no matter what your requirements are, we’re sure you’ll be able to find the best tablet for you below.

  • Best tablets for kids
  • The best Amazon Kindle

To make this ideal tablet discovery as easy as possible, we’ve also included some valuable buying advice that is geared to explaining exactly what you should be looking out for in a top tablet, be that shopping at the high-end or for a tablet for a kid.

(Image credit: Apple)

How to choose the best tablet for you in 2020

More than ever before, choosing a tablet is about choosing an ecosystem. If you plump for a Kindle Fire you’re electing to join Amazon’s ecosystem, which is based on Android but does its own proprietary thing with its own proprietary App Store.

Go for Android and you’re betting on Google, even though Google’s enthusiasm for tablets is tepid t the moment – it seems to prefer Chromebooks that also double as tablets. If you go for an iPad you’re embracing Apple, and if you buy a Windows tablet you’re going down the Microsoft road.

There are pros and cons of each. Apple and Amazon are the safest for kids, and Apple the most secure. Android has arguably the worst user experience, and Windows fewer really good tablet apps. But it really comes down to what you want to do, and what apps you intend to do it with.

As far as the hardware goes, screen size is perhaps the most important factor. Right now 7 inches seems too small when smartphones are just a fraction smaller, while anything over 11 inches is difficult to carry around. On-board storage can be paltry too, so look out for expansion options and/or good cloud storage services.

The best tablets 2020: get the best tablet for you now

Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch

1. Apple iPad Pro 12.9 (2018)

If you need to go Pro, and need to go big, this is the only tablet for you


Weight: 631g Dimensions: 280.6 x 214.9 x 5.9 mm OS: iPadOS 13.1 Screen size: 12.9 Resolution: 2048 x 2732 pixels CPU: Apple A12X Bionic RAM: 6GB or 4GB Storage: 1TB or 64/256/512GB Battery: 9720 mAh Rear camera: 12MP Front camera: 7MP

Reasons to buy

+Unbelievably powerful and slick+Great battery life+New Pencil is great

The iPad Pro 12.9-inch is the largest, most powerful tablet we’ve ever seen from Apple. Indeed, its 12.9-inch, 2048 x 2732 pixel display is a thing of real beauty, while its incredibly powerful A12X Bionic processor is a technical marvel, rapidly crunching through any task you through at it.

Read the full review: Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch review

There’s a top-level supporting suite of tech and features, too, including a capacious and long-lasting 9720 mAh battery, 6GB of RAM and 1TB of internal storage space, as well as 4K video capture functionality and support for Apple’s great new Apple Pencil, too. The tablet runs the latest iPadOS and comes installed with four powerful speakers behind the screen, which make consuming media a joy.

In our review of the all new 12.9-inch Apple iPad Pro, T3’s own Matt Bolton concluded that it is “the best tablet on the market – it’s slick, the design is class-leading, and it’s insanely powerful, which means it’s only going to get more capable with updates as time goes on.” Enough said, we think.

Apple iPad Pro 11-inch

2. iPad Pro 11 (2018)

The all-round powerhouse from Apple

Weight: 468g Dimensions: 247.6 x 178.5 x 5.9 mm OS: iPadOS 13.1 Screen size: 11-inch Resolution: 2388 x 1668 pixels CPU: A12X Bionic Storage: 64GB/256GB/512GB/1TB microSD slot: No Battery: 7,812mAh Rear camera: 12MP Front camera: 7MP +Serious processing power+Pencil magnetically clips to device+Easier to slip in a bag than the 12.9-inch model

Maybe you don’t have as much space in your backpack, or maybe you have smaller hands, or maybe you just don’t have quite as much money to spend – those are some of the reasons you might pick the 11-inch iPad Pro over the 12.9-inch version.

Despite its smaller size, the internals of the iPad Pro 11 are the same as the bigger version: it’s supremely powerful, it’s incredibly versatile (if you’re willing to fork out for extra cost for the keyboard cover folio)… in short, it’s an absolute beast of a tablet.

It’ll run apps and games without breaking a sweat (making it ideal for word processing on the go), and with iPadOS now on the scene it’s a better laptop replacement than ever before. Expensive, but recommended.

3. Apple iPad Air 2019

The best iPad tablet for a lot of people

Weight: 456g Dimensions: 250.6 x 174.1 x 6.1mm OS: iPadOS 13.1 Screen size: 10.5 Resolution: 1668 x 2224 CPU: Apple A12 Bionic RAM: 3GB Storage: 64GB/256GB Battery: TBC Rear camera: 8MP Front camera: 7MP +As powerful as the 12.9”+Exceptional audio+Incredibly quick

This technically is the iPad Air 3, but is more like the second-gen 10.5-inch iPad Pro – it’s that latter 2017 tablet that the 2019 version of the iPad Air is replacing in the Apple line-up. The dimensions and screen stay largely the same, but the internal processor gets a boost.

Apple Pencil support is here, but only for the first-gen stylus. There’s smart connector for a keyboard too, so this is a slightly better proposition than the entry-level iPad for serious typists. It’s also a little more expensive too, of course…

Price-wise and specs-wise this sits in the middle of the Apple iPad tablet range at the moment, and that should tell you all you need to know about whether it’s the best tablet for you. It’s a really good balance of price, performance and portability, made even better by iPadOS.

(Image credit: Samsung)

4. Samsung Galaxy Tab S6

The best Android tablet in the world right now

Weight: 420g Dimensions: 244.5 x 159.5 x 5.7 mm OS: Android 9 Screen size: 10.5 Resolution: 1600 x 2560 pixels CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 RAM: 6GB/8GB Storage: 128GB/256GB Battery: 7040 mAh Rear camera: 13MP f/2.0 + 5MP f/2.2 Front camera: 8MP f/2.0 +Streamlined, minimal design+Screen is fantastic, as usual+Comes with the impressive S Pen

If you prefer Android to iPadOS, and want the very best tablet that’s powered by Google software, then the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is it. It’s beautifully designed, it’s packed with power, and the S Pen continues to get more and more useful with each passing upgrade.

In our review we praised the slate’s sleek looks, the software sophistication, the quality of the media playback (both audio and visuals), and the look of that high-resolution 10.5-inch screen. It may not be quite as good as the iPad, but it’s close, and you can at least escape Apple’s walled garden (and set a default web browser that isn’t Safari – imagine that).

Samsung has even managed to pack in a dual-lens rear camera on this device, so if you absolutely must take photos with your tablet, this won’t let you down. As with the iPad, you’re probably going to want the official keyboard accessory as well, which will cost you extra.

10.2-inch iPad

(Image credit: Apple)

5. Apple iPad 10.2 (2019)

The entry-level iPad begs the question: why pay any more?

Weight: 483g Dimensions: 250.6 x 174.1 x 7.5 mm OS: iPadOS 13.1 Screen size: 10.2 inches Resolution: 1620 x 2160 pixels CPU: Apple A10 Fusion RAM: 3GB Storage: 32GB/128GB Battery: 8827 mAh Rear camera: 8MP f/2.4 Front camera: 1.2MP f/2.2 +It’s the best value iPad+Apple Pencil support+With the latest iPadOS software

The new entry-level 10.2-inch iPad really makes you wonder why you would pay more for a more expensive iPad – it’s a little slower, sure, and doesn’t have the ultra-thin bezels or the very best True Tone screen. But you still get a whole lot of Apple tablet for not much money.

And the ever-improving iPadOS runs just as well on the basic Apple iPad as it does on the iPad Pros. It’s the perfect tablet for relaxing on the sofa, or giving to the kids, or doing just about everything you would want to do with a tablet – it has Apple Pencil support now, too, though only for the first-generation stylus.

“It’s a really great tablet,” we wrote in our review. “There’s no obvious compromise on performance, it’s a generous screen size, the battery life is good, and it’s easy to expand with a keyboard cover or Apple Pencil.

(Image credit: Apple)

6. Apple iPad mini (2019)

The best small tablet you can buy

Weight: 300g Dimensions: 203.2 x 134.8 x 6.1 mm OS: iPadOS 13.1 Screen size: 7.8 inches Resolution: 1536 x 2048 pixels CPU: Apple A12 RAM: 3GB Storage: 64/256GB Battery: 5124 mAh Rear camera: 8MP Front camera: 7MP +So portable and light+Packed with power+Tons of brilliant optimised apps and games

The iPad mini is now a little powerhouse of a tablet, packing in an incredible fast Apple A12 processor (more powerful than in the entry-level 10.2-inch iPad, for example).

This turns the iPad mini into a fantastic creativity machine – with a wide-colour high-res display and Apple Pencil support, it’s a beautiful little machine for drawing on or editing photos. It’s capable of handling huge raw photography files, editing multiple 4K videos at once, creating music projects with loads of tracks… you name it, the iPad mini can power it.

Being such a small size and weighing barely anything, that makes it the ideal ‘throw it in your bag every day’ companion. It’s also great for games, of course, or entertainment (though the screen isn’t OLED, which makes it weaker for movie viewing than, say, the Samsung Tab S6 above).

But while the iPad mini has all the strengths of iOS – including its huge collection of dedicated apps and stable performance even when multitasking – the smaller screen means it can’t always make the most of them. This isn’t suited to office-style productivity (spreadsheets, documents, etc), just due to the size of the screen and how that limits what you can see when multi-tasking.

If it’s a versatile productivity machine you want, the iPad Air is better. If it’s a media-watching machine, the better speakers and OLED screen on the Samsung Tab S6 are maybe a better bet. But as a fun super-portable tablet you can do anything on, this is impossible to beat.

7. Microsoft Surface Go

The best tablet running Windows 10

Weight: 1.15 pounds Dimensions: 245 x 175 x 8.3mm OS: Windows 10 Screen size: 10-inch Resolution: 1,800 x 1,200 CPU: 1.6GHz Intel Pentium Gold RAM: 8GB Storage: 128GB Battery: Unknown Rear camera: 8MP Front camera: 5MP +Brilliant ergonomics+Fantastic pen and keyboard +Can run full fat Windows 10

In our official Microsoft Surface Go review we concluded that:

“The Microsoft Surface Go is a pro-level tablet computer that successfully breaks into the market traditionally dominated by the Apple iPad Pro and Samsung Galaxy Tab ranges. It doesn’t quite match the slickness of its rivals, but then again its rivals don’t have the flexibility of Windows.”

And that, simply put, is why this compact and stylish Windows 10 tablet has found its way into our best tablets guide – it offers something that the other tablets in this list don’t, and it does so at an attractive price point, too. A well-made and stylish tablet, with solid internal hardware and screen, and running Windows 10, is a rare thing.

The best tablet on the market in 2020 for users who demand the Windows 10 OS and want to keep their purchase affordable.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e

8. Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e

The best Android tablet for value for money

Weight: 400g Dimensions: 245 x 160 x 5.5mm OS: Android 9.0 Pie Screen size: 10.5-inches Resolution: 1600 x 2560 pixels CPU: Snapdragon 670 RAM: 4GB/6GB Storage: 64GB/128GB Battery: 7040mAh Rear camera: 13MP Front camera: 8MP +A genuinely good Android tablet+Sharp, vibrant screen+Four-speaker sound by AKG

This is Samsung’s newest tablet, and while not quite as powerful as the Samsung Tab S6, it’s probably better value for money – if your needs aren’t that demanding and you want a well-built Android tablet with an excellent screen, the Samsung Tab S5e definitely stands out as one of the best tablets of 2020.

You don’t get any official stylus with this, so you can’t give your fingers a rest, but there is an official keyboard dock and cover (available as an optional extra) if you need to do a lot of typing.

Of course new Samsung tablets are always around the corner, no matter when you decide to buy, but the Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e has enough for us to recommend it even if it is due to be replaced in the near future. A hard tablet to beat in terms of pure bang for buck.

Microsoft Surface Pro 7

(Image credit: Microsoft)

9. Microsoft Surface Pro 7 (2019)

One of the very best Windows 10 devices of any kind and a superb choice for power users

Weight: 775g Dimensions: 292 x 201 x 8.5 mm OS: Windows 10 Home Screen size: 12.3 inches Resolution: 2736 x 1824 pixels CPU: 10th-gen Intel Core i3, i5 or i7 RAM: 4GB/8GB/16GB Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB Battery: up to 10.5 hours “typical” usage Rear camera: 8MP Front camera: 5MP +PC power, tablet portability+Full Windows experience+Premium design and build

The Surface Pro 7 is everything we know and love from the Surface series: the power of Windows 10 and the versatility of a tablet or 2-in-1 form factor.

It’s undoubtedly one of the best tablets of 2020: Intel Core i3, i5 and i7 options (all 10th gen), up to 16GB of RAM, up to 1TB of storage, and of course that fantastic 12.3-inch PixelSense display. Despite all that power, it’s still light enough to hold in one hand (just about) and chuck in a bag.

We should point out that, as normal, the Surface Pro Type Cover and Surface Pen are optional extras – so you’re going to need to pay a bit more cash to make the very most of everything the Surface Pro 7 has to offer. As far as desktop experiences in tablet form factors go though, this is hard to beat.

10. Google Pixel Slate

A pretty decent tablet from Google

Weight: 731g Dimensions: 291 x 202 x 7mm OS: Chrome OS Screen size: 12.3-inch Resolution: 3000 x 2000 CPU: Intel Celeron, m3, i5 or i7 RAM: 4GB/8GB/16GB Storage: 64GB/128GB/256GB Battery: up to 12 hours Rear camera: 8MP Front camera: 8MP +Very nice display+Premium design+Chrome OS and Android combined

As we mentioned above, Google seems to have given up on pushing out its own Android tablets, settling instead for Chrome OS tablets that can also run Android apps – and that’s where the Pixel Slate comes in.

Easy to use as a tablet, it transforms into a makeshift Chromebook thanks to the official keyboard accessory you can pick up (it’s an optional extra unfortunately, like the official Pixel stylus).

Read the full review: Google Pixel Slate

The combination of Chrome OS and Android actually works pretty well, because you get the full desktop web experience, plus everything from the Google Play Store as well. Those Android apps really help when you’re offline, for example.

As far as specs go, you can pack this with some really impressive internal components – though of course you’re going to have to pay for them. We’d advise going for the best spec you can afford.

  • Also, why not read our guide to the best smartphones while you’re here?

(Image credit: Samsung)

Best budget tablets 2020: cheap tablets, good performance

If you’re looking for one of the best budget tablets of 2020, or one of the bet cheap tablets of 2020, then we’ve got exactly what you’re looking for in this final list. We’ve reviewed and rated all the best tablets and curated this ultimate list of most affordable slates that still pack a quality punch.

And, unless you’re crunching through some 4K video editing or wanting to run the most demanding mobile games out there, a tablet doesn’t really have to do much – a bit of web browsing here, a spot of Netflix watching there, and that’s about the extent of it.

That’s why for many people a cheap, budget tablet is actually a perfect fit. It’s just a question of which of these cheap tablets is the best one for you.

Kids too can benefit from a cheap and cheerful tablet, and don’t necessarily need all the bells and whistles of an iPad Pro. With that in mind we present our picks for the best budget tablets that you can buy right now, complete with the pros and cons of each.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A

1. Samsung Galaxy Tab A (10.1-inch)

A tablet you can rely on

Weight: 469g Dimensions: 245.2 x 149.4 x 7.5mm OS: Android 9 Pie Screen size: 10.1 inches Resolution: 1200 x 1920 CPU: Exynos 7904 RAM: 2GB Storage: 32GB Battery: 6,150mAh Rear camera: 8MP Front camera: 5MP +Bold and spacious screen+Polished Android skin

Newly revamped, the latest Samsung Galaxy Tab A follows on from its predecessors by offering some very decent specs for a very decent price. Okay, it’s not going to come first in any performance benchmarks, but it’ll do everything you need it to.

Add to that a very nice-looking, very spacious 10.1-inch screen, and the latest version of Android, and you can see why this is definitely worth a place on our list of best budget tablets – you don’t often get a screen this good at this price.

This being Samsung, you can rely on a certain level of build quality and software finesse even at this price, and as long as you don’t need the latest and greatest components under the hood, this tablet will do you very well indeed.

Amazon Fire HD 10

2. Amazon Fire HD 10

One of the leaders of the budget pack

Weight: 500g Dimensions: 262 x 159 x 9.8mm OS: Android 5.1 Screen size: 10.1 inches Resolution: 1200 x 1920 CPU: Mediatek MT8173 RAM: 2GB Storage: 32/64GB Battery: 3830mAh Rear camera: 2MP Front camera: VGA +Large, high-resolution screen+Solid build quality

Amazon makes some of the best budget tablets around, offering decent hardware at compelling prices, but there’s a big caveat: no Google Play Store access, so not as wide a choice of apps as you might be used to, with major absentees including Gmail and YouTube.

If you can live with that (you still get apps like Netflix, Plex and Facebook), then the Fire 10 HD has a good size screen, plenty of storage, and up to 10 hours of battery life. These Fire tablets tend to be better built than other budget slates too, and are going to last you.

Huawei MediaPad T3

3. Huawei MediaPad T3 (10-inch)

Huawei class in a budget tablet

Weight: 460g Dimensions: 229.8 x 159.8 x 8mm OS: Android 7.0 Screen size: 9.6 inches Resolution: 800 x 1280 CPU: Snapdragon 425 RAM: 2/3GB Storage: 16/32GB Battery: 4800mAh Rear camera: 5MP Front camera: 2MP +Large screen with a good resolution+Well-designed and lightweight

You know you’re going to get well-built, well-designed hardware from Huawei, and so it is with the 10-inch MediaPad T3. There’s that capacious screen, plus internal specs that won’t set the world alight but will handle all of the basic tasks you’ll want to do on it.

Huawei’s take on Android isn’t the best-looking or intuitive out there, but you can easily customise the interface, and you do get access to all the big name apps you’re going to want. If you don’t need a tablet that’s blazingly fast, the MediaPad T3 is fantastic value.

Amazon Fire HD 8

4. Amazon Fire HD 8

A compromise of price and power

Weight: 369g Dimensions: 214 x 128 x 9.7mm OS: Android 5.1 Screen size: 8.0 inches Resolution: 800 x 1280 CPU: Mediatek MT8163 RAM: 1.5GB Storage: 16/32GB Battery: 3210mAh Rear camera: 2MP Front camera: VGA +Very decent screen for the price+Battery life that will last all day

Find the Amazon Fire HD 10 (above) a bit too big and expensive? We present to you the Fire HD 8 instead, offering a little less screen space for quite a lot less money. With Alexa, Netflix, Facebook, Spotify, Amazon Video and so on, you can do a lot with this tablet.

As with all the Fire tablets, its design and build makes it look more expensive than it is, though as we mentioned with the Fire HD 10, you don’t have access to the Google Play Store – that means you can’t get Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube and other Google apps.

Lenovo Tab 4

5. Lenovo Tab 4 (8-inch)

A solid all-rounder

Weight: 310g Dimensions: 211 x 124 x 8.2mm OS: Android 7.0 Screen size: 8.0 inches Resolution: 800 x 1280 CPU: Snapdragon 425 RAM: 2GB Storage: 16/32GB Battery: 4850mAh Rear camera: 5MP Front camera: 2MP +Excellent value for money+Impressive battery life

Lenovo’s Android tablet line-up is a little confusing, but here we’re talking about the 8-inch version of the Tab 4 (there are four Tab 4s in total – keep up at the back). It’s the cheapest of the bunch, but still offers enough build quality and performance to keep most satisfied.

At this price and with these specs you’re going to be sticking to the basics, but the Tab 4 is fine for media consumption and a little light web work. What’s more, the tablet is well put together, and can give you a whopping 12 hours of total battery life if you use it carefully.

Amazon Fire 7

6. Amazon Fire 7

At the budget end of budget

Weight: 295g Dimensions: 192 x 115 x 9.6mm OS: Android 5.1 Screen size: 7.0 inches Resolution: 600 x 1024 CPU: Mediatek MT8127 RAM: 1GB Storage: 8GB/16GB Battery: 2980mAh Rear camera: 2MP Front camera: VGA +Doesn’t cost you much at all+Works well with Amazon services

Lastly in our pick of Amazon Fire tablets (see above for the others), we have the cheapest and the smallest of the lot – at this price it’s almost a no-brainer. You’ve got four sharp colours to pick from, Alexa on board, and up to eight hours of battery life.

Be under no illusions though, with the specs inside, you’re only going to be able to stick to the basics (think media consumption and web browsing). Plus, as with the other Fire tablets, you’re limited to the Amazon App Store, so you can’t install any Google apps.

Huawei MediaPad M3 Lite

7. Huawei MediaPad M3 Lite (8-inch)

A bargain from Huawei

Weight: 310g Dimensions: 213.3 x 123.3 x 7.5mm OS: Android 7.0 Screen size: 8.0 inches Resolution: 1200 x 1920 CPU: Snapdragon 435 RAM: 3/4GB Storage: 16/64GB Battery: 4800mAh Rear camera: 8MP Front camera: 8MP +Solid specs and performance+Decent cameras for a budget tablet

We mentioned the Huawei MediaPad T3 above, and the M3 variant gives you some better specs for a bit more money, so it depends what matters to you most – as with the T3, you get the same quality craftsmanship and same slightly wonky software from Huawei.

You get a slightly better processor and camera, and improved RAM and storage options, and so on. The 8-inch model we’ve selected here means it’s smaller than the 10-inch T3, but the resolution makes it sharper, and the tablet does come in a choice of screen sizes.

Acer Iconia One

8. Acer Iconia One (10.1-inch)

Budget price, better-than-budget specs

Weight: TBC Dimensions: 259 x 167 x 8.9mm OS: Android 6.0 Screen size: 10.1 inches Resolution: 1200 x 1920 CPU: Mediatek MT8163A RAM: 2GB Storage: 16/32/64GB Battery: 6100mAh Rear camera: 5MP Front camera: 2MP +Polished design and build+Two microUSB ports

With a design that’s better than many budget tablets, the Iconia One is a perfectly fine choice for anyone wanting to pick up a tablet on the cheap. It does all the basics well, and according to Acer should give you around 10 hours of battery life with a mix of usage.

The dual microUSB ports are one of the more unusual touches on this tablet, for all your peripheral (or charging) needs, and the audio is another of the features where you get better performance than you might expect at this price – so perfect for movie watching.

Chuwi Hi10 Pro

9. Chuwi Hi10 Pro

Windows 10, on the cheap

Weight: 562g Dimensions: 261.8 x 167.3 x 8.5mm OS: Windows 10 Screen size: 10.1 inches Resolution: 1200 x 1920 CPU: Intel Z8350 RAM: 4GB Storage: 64GB Battery: 6500mAh Rear camera: 2MP Front camera: 2MP +The extra flexibility of Windows 10+Clear and sharp display

Chinese firm Chuwi might not be the most instantly recognisable brand name in this list, but don’t let its relative obscurity put you off – it’s pushing out some fine budget tablets running Windows 10, though the specs are of course more modest than on rival slates.

While Windows 10 is in theory more capable than Android, bear in mind that those low-end specs will make running the likes of Photoshop and iTunes difficult. If you want to go Microsoft though, and just need a tablet for basic tasks, then the Hi10 Pro fits the bill.

  • The best iPad: every iPad Apple currently sells, ranked

The holiday shopping season is upon us, and a new computer is on many people’s wish lists. The editors of TabletPCReview have compiled a list of the best tablets on the market now for those buying a gift for a loved one or themselves.

This is the time of year when people are buying devices for personal use, not business, so our list focuses on the most capable models for a general consumer.

That also means no surprises, as the iPad and Surface Pro make the list. No Android tablets made the cut, however. It’s been a slow year for Android tablets, with no major flagships launching.

Apple 9.7-Inch iPad Pro

There’s a good reason why Apple’s tablets are the best tablets: they are easy to use but highly functional. The version of the iPad Pro with a 9.7-inch display is the company’s latest and greatest, as that size screen makes it a good balance between portability and functionality. It’s right for casual web surfing or social networking, but can handle professional applications like Microsoft Office.

The Apple Smart Keyboard can turn this computer into a 2-in-1, or there are third-party options for doing the same. Another optional addition is the Apple Pencil, pressure-sensitive stylus for sketching, painting, or taking hand-written notes.

The iPad Pro is built around a 2.26GHz 64-bit dual-core processor, with 2GB of RAM. Apple offers it in 32GB, 128GB, or 256GB of storage capacity, depending on price. It depends on a single Lightning port for most of its wired connectivity needs.

Be sure to read our Apple 12.9-inch iPad Pro Review

Samsung Galaxy TabPro S

Samsung Galaxy TabPro S

Those who prefer the additional capabilities of Microsoft Windows 10 should look at Galaxy TabPro S. In terms of thin-and-light Windows devices, it’s one of the best tablets. It’s a bit larger than Apple’s offering, as it sports a 12-inch Super AMOLED display, but at 1.5 pounds it actually weighs slightly less.

Unlike many of its rivals, Samsung bundles this computer with a clip-on keyboard, so it’s ready to be both productive and entertaining right out of the box.

The TabPro S is powered by an 2.2GHz dual-core Intel Core m3 processor with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of built-in storage. It has a minimal number of ports, depending on a single USB-C port for almost everything, and doesn’t include a memory card slot.

Don’t miss our Samsung Galaxy TabPro S Review.

Microsoft Surface Pro 4

Microsoft Surface Pro 4

Another very strong Windows tablet the Microsoft’s flagship model, which is even larger, boasting a 12.3-inch screen. It also has more ports than many competitors, including a microSD card slot.

Unlike the other models on this list, the Surface Pro 4 comes with an active pen/stylus. However, the add-on keyboard to turn it into a laptop is an optional extra.

Most consumers should be satisfied with the version with a 2.2GHz dual-core Intel Core m3 processor with 128GB of storage capacity, as this is a configuration capable of handling multimedia and moderate gaming, as well as Microsoft Office. Those who want a more business-oriented computer should consider the i5 or i7 versions.

Read our Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Review

Apple 12.9-Inch iPad Pro

Apple 12.9-inch iPad Pro

The larger version of Apple’s flagship tablet is probably too big for most consumers, except possibly for those who want to watch a lot of movies on their mobile device.

This version of the iPad Pro has the same processor as the smaller one, and twice as much RAM, so it is the most powerful iOS device available. It’s quite likely more computer than most people need.

Apple makes a version of the Smart Keyboard for this version too, and the Apple Pencil works with it as well.

Read our Apple 12.9-inch iPad Pro Review.

Why GE’s giant Android screen for the kitchen changed my mind about smart displays

Smart displays are getting a lot of attention in the smart home, especially in the kitchen. The Google Nest Hub, Lenovo Smart Display and Amazon Echo Show are all fine-tuned to manage tasks like controlling smart home devices and getting important information quickly. Their focus on voice commands and simple graphics for things like timers and quick questions makes them a good fit for the kitchen.

While that’s all well and good, more than once I’ve asked myself, “Why not just use a tablet?” The answer seemed simple. Smart displays are tailor-made for the smart home. Guided recipes, drop-down smart home controls. Who wouldn’t want all that sweet smart home simplicity controlled by the sound of their voice? Then I tested the GE Kitchen Hub.

Chris Monroe/CNET

A light bulb suddenly went off. Smart displays might not be the smartest option. Sure, I had known about, at least on paper, the differences between using a smart display and a tablet, but when you mount a 27-inch Android touchscreen above a range, those differences become much more tangible. Here’s what I mean.

Android OS vs. Android Things

Most people probably won’t get in the weeds about the operating systems running the screens in their home, but it does make a difference. Smart displays and tablets use two different Android systems (there’s no Apple smart display yet) and those systems change the entire experience.

Smart displays, designed for the smart home specifically, run an OS called Android Things. Good examples of this are the Lenovo Smart Display and the . Whereas a Samsung Galaxy Tab, a Pixel Slate and the GE Kitchen Hub all use an iteration of the standard mobile Android OS that’s on your Android phone.

The two systems are remarkably different, especially when it comes to voice control. Android Things began as a simpler version of Android for IoT products. Since then, it’s become the go-to for Google-enabled smart displays and smart speakers.

These Android Things smart displays are centered around your voice: They’re built to be navigated predominately with voice commands instead of taps or swipes, making them a theoretically great kitchen assistant. Ask Google to show you a recipe for macaroni and cheese, and you’ll get a recipe you can swipe through using voice commands without ever putting messy fingers or wet hands on your display.

Chris Monroe/CNET

A tablet running on Android OS (currently version 9, nicknamed Android Pie), won’t display those nice pop-up recipe cards. Instead, you’ll still be able to ask Google for a recipe hands-free, but you’ll get a web page of internet search results instead of interactive cards. You’ll need to scroll and tap the result you want to pull up the recipe, which won’t be navigable via voice. It’s not nearly as easy as the voice-first smart display approach.

There are other smart-home centric qualities of smart displays, too. Most include swipe-down dashboard controls for things like lights, cameras and thermostats for quick, easy access. Of course, with a simple voice command you can also adjust the thermostat or turn off the lights. All of that is slightly more difficult on an Android OS tablet. You’ll get a less intuitive home menu from the Google Assistant or you’ll need to use the Home app or product-specific app to control your devices. No matter how you slice it, smart displays win in these areas. But the fight isn’t over.

Now playing: Watch this: The battle for the best smart display: Google Home Hub… 4:05

Google Play possibilities

The other big difference is the absence of the Google Play store on smart displays. This is where the GE Kitchen Hub really made its point. At first, I was disappointed to realize this giant smart home screen was actually just a mega tablet. But the tablet OS offers nearly endless customization thanks to the Google Play store, which is completely absent on Android Things smart displays.

With a large tablet like the Kitchen Hub, I could watch Netflix or any streaming service I subscribe to, download any other app I use on my Android phone or play any Android-compatible tablet game (a little Cut The Rope, anyone?).

GE’s Kitchen Hub does include a guided recipe app called Flavorly for a more hands-free experience.

Screenshot by Molly Price/CNET

That level of customization is what draws me to the Kitchen Hub. The idea that I can make it exactly what I want it to be is so appealing. Yes, the smart home controls will be a little less intuitive and hands-free, but they are still there. Everything you do on a smart display is still possible on a tablet and much much more.

After WWDC earlier this month, I looked into why we may never see an Apple smart display. It’s the iPad. After spending time with the GE Kitchen Hub, I think the folks in Cupertino might be right to shrug off the smart display.

At first, I was sure GE had made a mistake in choosing a tablet approach over a smart display. I was disappointed that I couldn’t get the hands-free simplicity of the Google Nest Hub.

Now that I’ve used it, I see the advantages. As tablets integrate better with voice assistants and large appliances get their own built-in displays, I’m not sure the smart display will have as long a shelf life as we first imagined, unless it opens up to more user customization.

Smart display debate: Are these speaker-tablets worth it or not?

Google Home vs. Amazon Echo Show: Should you buy a smart speaker or a smart display?

CNET Smart Home

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The best tablet you can buy right now is Apple’s iPad Pro (11-inch). This powerful device boasts solid battery life, sports a gorgeous, silky smooth 11-inch display, and features a stylish, modern design. With more than 100 tablet reviews under our belt, Digital Trends is well placed to deliver a verdict you can trust. We test-drive tablets for weeks, diving deep into their capabilities and limitations to find the cream of the crop.

While you’ll get the most from Apple’s iPad range if you already live in its ecosystem, it’s not a prerequisite for iPad ownership. If the iPad Pro doesn’t quite match your needs, there are other strong options in the range, but there are also some innovative alternatives running Android and Windows. We also have top picks for the budget-conscious and for kids. These are the best tablets you can buy right now.

Best tablets at a glance

  • Best overall: Apple iPad Pro (11-inch)
  • Best Android tablet: Samsung Galaxy Tab S6
  • Best 8-inch tablet: iPad Mini 5
  • Best 10-inch tablet: Apple iPad (2019)
  • Best cheap tablet: Fire HD 8
  • Best tablet for kids: Fire HD 8 Kids Edition
  • Best Windows tablet: Surface Pro 7
  • Best gaming tablet: Apple iPad Pro (12.9-inch)

Best overall: Apple iPad Pro (11-inch)

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Why should you buy this? The iPad Pro is a stylish, productivity powerhouse that’s good at everything.

Who’s it for? Tablet enthusiasts, creatives, and power users.

Why we picked the iPad Pro (11-inch):

With slimmed-down bezels and flat edges, Apple’s redesigned iPad Pro is a beautiful device that manages to pack in maximum screen real estate without being too unwieldy. The home button is gone, replaced by Face ID, and Apple’s proprietary Lightning port has finally given way to USB-C, which gives you far more accessory and peripheral options. Although both models feature the same internal components, the iPad Pro comes in two sizes, offering an 11-inch or 12.9-inch display.

Our pick is the 11-inch model, which is enough screen to get things done, but not so much that the tablet becomes hard to handle. The 11-inch model packs 2388 x 1668 pixels and benefits greatly from Apple’s ProMotion technology, which boosts the refresh rate to a buttery-smooth 120Hz.

If you need a lot of raw power, then the iPad Pro is the tablet for you. Featuring Apple’s A12X Bionic processor, there are eight cores here and a neural engine for speedy machine learning. The result is unparalleled speed, whether you’re editing images in Photoshop or commanding armies in Civilization VI. Storage goes from 64GB all the way up to 1TB, but the price rises steeply with it.

Just like previous models, Apple suggests you’ll get 10 hours of mixed-use from a charge, or 9 hours if you opt for the model with cellular connectivity. The Apple Pencil attaches magnetically and charges wirelessly now, but it will cost you an extra $130. That’s on top of an inflated price tag for the iPad Pro itself. The Smart Keyboard has also gone up in price this year, to $180 for the 11-inch model.

Beyond the steep price and the limitations of iOS for people seeking a desktop replacement, we’re disappointed Apple removed the headphone jack. But even with all that considered, the iPad Pro’s aesthetics, raw power, and long-lasting battery life earn it a place in the pantheon of high-performance tablets. There’s very little that this tablet can’t do, and you simply won’t find anything better.

Our full iPad Pro review

Best Android tablet: Samsung Galaxy Tab S6

Why should you buy this? The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is the closest an Android tablet comes to replicating the iPad Pro, and it boasts an absolutely gorgeous display.

Who’s it for? Anyone looking for an Android-based iPad alternative.

Why we picked the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6:

The Galaxy Tab S6 is the best Android tablet available right now, with an absolutely gorgeous display. There is no tablet in the world with a screen capable of rivaling the S6’s 10.5-inch Super AMOLED. It also supports HDR content (which companies like Netflix and YouTube are making increasingly available these days). Even viewing non-HDR content on the S6’s 2560 x 1600-pixel display is an absolute joy.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor (the same chip that powers popular flagship smartphones like Samsung’s Galaxy S10) is fast, and 6GB or 8GB of RAM is more than enough to keep this tablet humming happily. It comes with 128GB or 256GB of internal storage, but it can be expanded via MicroSD card if you’re looking to download lots of stuff.

The tablet’s four speakers are respectably loud, and it has cameras on both the front and back — the rear-facing, dual-lens 13-megapixel and 5-megapixel main camera are capable of recording 4K video at 30 frames per second, while the 8-megapixel front camera is good enough for selfies and video chat.

Samsung has paired its custom One interface with Android 9 Pie, and it works like a charm. Split-screen functionality is better than ever, with lots of neat tricks to learn over time. Despite a bit of bloatware that the tablet won’t let you delete, the software here is generally very good. There is also Samsung’s DeX interface, which kicks in when you attach a keyboard dock to give you a desktop feel that works best if you add a Bluetooth mouse, however, Samsung’s new keyboard cover has a trackpad and new function keys to help your Tab S6 double up as a laptop.

The 7,040mAh battery will easily get you through a busy day and beyond, and it can be charged up in less than two hours. The included S Pen stylus interacts smoothly with the tablet’s screen and will please note-takers and artists; it also attaches magnetically and recharges wirelessly. The downside here is the high price — if you’re primarily after a laptop experience, then Samsung’s Chromebook Pro or Microsoft’s Surface Go are both cheaper and might suit you better.

If you’re devoted to Android devices, the Tab S6 is a good choice. It’s a solid step up from the Tab S4, but that high price might give you pause.

Our full Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 review

Best 8-inch tablet: iPad Mini 5

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Why should you buy this? The iPad Mini is a perfect blend of power and portability. You can take it anywhere and read or watch shows on it with ease.

Who’s it for? Anyone who wants a smaller tablet.

Why we picked the iPad Mini 5:

It took a long time for Apple to update the smallest of its iPads, and the iPad Mini 5 is outwardly identical to its predecessor, but inside there are some important changes. You’ll find the powerful A12 Bionic processor in this tablet, which makes performance silky smooth whether you’re playing a game, editing a photo, or sketching.

The 7.9-inch display is a pleasure to read on, and Apple has added support for the first-generation Apple Pencil. It’s good for watching movies or gaming, too, though you’ll probably want headphones to go with it. Battery life is solid, offering a good 10 hours between charges. There’s also an 8-megapixel main camera and a 7-megapixel front-facing camera.

Portability is the main reason to pick the iPad Mini 5. If you want an iPad and need something smaller in size, then this is it.

Unfortunately, the design is a bit dated now. It’s also expensive — even more expensive than the 2019 iPad. But you can’t beat the iPad Mini if it’s a small tablet you want.

Our full iPad Mini 5 review

Best 10-inch tablet: Apple iPad (2019)

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Why should you buy this? The iPad boasts a vibrant display, silky-smooth performance, and long battery life, all at an affordable price.

Who’s it for? Everybody who wants a tablet.

Why we picked the Apple iPad (2019):

The iPad has dominated the tablet scene for years now, and the seventh-generation iPad (2019) is the culmination of all of Apple’s experience. There are no bells and whistles here. If you want innovation, keep looking. This is a solid, accessible all-around device that delivers a really good tablet experience at a reasonable price. It replaces the previous year’s iPad, adding a bigger screen and a Smart Connector, so you can connect it with Apple’s Smart Keyboard.

The bright 10.2-inch display is perfect for watching videos. It feels slim and light to handle, with Apple’s usual high standards shining through in terms of build quality, though the thick bezels are beginning to look dated. Inside, there’s Apple’s A10 processor with an embedded M10 co-processor and 3GB of RAM, but all you need to know is that it runs smoothly. Whether you’re skipping in and out of apps, browsing the web, watching a movie, or playing the latest games, the iPad delivers lag-free performance.

If you must take photos with your tablet, there’s an excellent 8-megapixel rear camera with an f/2.4 aperture that’s fast and capable of capturing plenty of detail. The 1.2-megapixel selfie camera has an f/2.2 aperture, which is adequate for FaceTime at 720p, but little else.

The battery life is fantastic. You can expect more than 10 hours of HD video playback from a single charge, and with normal use on Wi-Fi, you might reasonably expect to go a week between charges.

If you’re looking for weak spots, then we direct you toward the bottom-firing speakers and point out that the entry-level model only has 32GB of storage. Beyond that, there are no glaring flaws here, and we think it’s the best tablet you can buy without having to spend a lot more money.

Our full Apple iPad (2019) review

Best cheap tablet: Fire HD 8

Why should you buy this? The Fire HD 8 may be too Amazon-centric for some, but Prime subscribers and Alexa lovers will appreciate its ease of use.

Who’s it for? Amazon enthusiasts on a budget.

Why we picked the Fire HD 8:

Amazon’s Fire HD 8 (2018), a refresh of the previous year’s HD 8, doesn’t bring much new to the table. The front-facing camera has jumped from 0.3 megapixels to 2 megapixels and there’s hands-free support for Alexa now, but it’s the low, low price that earns this tablet a wholehearted recommendation.

The LCD screen, with its 1280 x 800-pixel resolution is far from the sharpest, and the viewing angles aren’t great, but it’s good enough to watch movies and read on. The fact is that compromises are inevitable to hit this price.

The Fire HD’s all-plastic body is colorful and durable. You’ll also find stereo speakers optimized with Dolby Atmos that deliver reasonably loud, crisp sound on movies, TV shows, and Amazon’s Prime Music streaming service.

Alexa works well on this tablet. Asking questions about popular movies, nearby restaurants, and the weather pulls up visual results on the Fire HD 8’s screen (even when it’s locked). That’s just the tip of the iceberg: Alexa on the Fire HD can also control smart home devices, order pizza, call an Uber, and perform many of the same tasks as Amazon’s Echo speakers or the Echo Show.

Battery life is impressive, too. It lasts for about 10 hours of mixed-use including reading, gaming, and streaming. The Fire HD 8’s Fire OS software, a customized version of Android, isn’t for everyone. But folks immersed in the Amazon ecosystem will appreciate For You, a recommendation engine that puts videos, apps, games, and movies from the retailer’s library on your home screen.

You won’t find a perfect tablet for less than $100, but the Fire HD 8 is an impressive package. Sure, the screen isn’t as sharp or vibrant as we’d like, and the hardware struggles under heavy loads, but there is no better tablet at this price.

If you’re determined to get something bigger, then you’ll have to pay more, but you should check out Amazon’s Fire HD 10, which packs a 10.1-inch display, more processing grunt, and longer battery life. You can find out more about Amazon’s largest tablet in our Fire HD 10 review.

Our full Fire HD 8 review

Fire HD 8 Kids Edition: Best tablet for kids

Simon Hill/Digital Trends

Why should you buy this? When it comes to parental controls, the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition is second to none.

Who’s it for? Young kids who need supervision.

Why we picked the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition:

Amazon’s refreshed Fire 8 HD Kids Edition (2018) makes its long-running line of kid-friendly tablets even better, though there’s a disappointing lack of strong competition in this category.

An 8-inch screen with a 1280 x 800 pixel-resolution delivers bright and vibrant colors and a thick rubber case around the tablet’s frame cushions against accidental drops. The tablet’s 32GB of internal storage offers enough space for lots of books, games, and other media, and there’s a MicroSD card slot for expansion if you run out.

When it comes to parental controls, the Fire HD 8 Kids Edition is second to none. Its Fire OS software, a customized version of Android, allows you to manage usage limits, set educational goals, and restrict access to age-inappropriate content. The Parent Dashboard also offers insight into what your kids are doing on their tablet and encourages interaction with discussion questions related to the books your kids are reading.

The Fire HD 8 Kids Edition also includes one year of fee-free access to Amazon’s FreeTime Unlimited, a library of more than 15,000 kid-appropriate games, apps, educational content, books, and videos from PBS Kids, Nickelodeon, Disney, and others. Every purchase is backed by Amazon’s two-year, no-questions-asked replacement policy: If the Fire HD 8 breaks, Amazon will replace it.

Simply put, there is no better tablet at this price for young kids who still need parental supervision.

If you want something larger for your kids, there’s also a Fire HD 10 Kids Edition which has a bigger screen, more processing power, and a USB-C charging port, but it costs $200. Read our Fire HD 10 Kids Edition review to find out more about Amazon’s larger offering.

Our full Fire HD 8 Kids Edition review

Best Windows tablet: Surface Pro 7

Riley Young / Digital Trends

Why should you buy this? We don’t love Windows 10 as a pure tablet, but the Surface is a very good laptop replacement that puts touch first.

Who’s it for? Anyone seeking a Windows tablet that can serve as a laptop.

Why we picked the Surface Pro 7:

The original Surface Pro was flawed, but it had a major impact on the market. Microsoft has refined the design since then, and the Surface Pro 7 is as close as you can get to a hybrid device that serves equally well as a tablet and as a laptop. It is the 2-in-1 to beat.

Microsoft hasn’t updated much over the Surface Pro 6, but the bump in performance and switch from mini-DisplayPort to USB-C is welcome. You’ve still got a gorgeous 12.3-inch screen with a resolution of 2736 x 1824 pixels, a thoughtful design, and a choice of internal specs that range from basic to lightning fast. It is by far the most configurable device on our list. The pixel-packed display and loud speakers make it a pleasure to watch movies on, but we found it lags way behind the iPad Pro when it comes to gaming.

The Pro 7 takes a step back from the Pro 6 in terms of battery life, but you can still expect to get through a full day of mixed use before needing to plug in.

The Type Cover and Surface Pen are excellent accessories and, combined with the full version of Windows 10, help make this a great choice for creative professionals, students, and everyone in between. This is real portable productivity.

On the downside, Windows 10 tablet mode still needs work and the Surface Pro 7 can be eye-wateringly expensive if you opt for top-end specs and want the Type Cover to go with it. Still, it’s our favorite 2-in-1 PC.

If the Pro 7 is too rich for your blood, then you might consider the Microsoft Surface Go, which comes in at a much more affordable $400. It has a 10-inch screen, but also runs Windows 10, has a great keyboard cover, and supports the Surface Pen.

Our full Surface Pro 7 review

Best gaming tablet: Apple iPad Pro (12.9-inch)

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Why should you buy this? The iPad Pro is extremely powerful and offers a huge screen.

Who’s it for? Gamers, creatives, and power users.

Why we picked the iPad Pro (12.9-inch):

This is the biggest and most powerful tablet around and it’s perfect for all kinds of uses. Not only is the iPad Pro (12.9-inch) the best tablet for gaming, it’s also the best tablet for drawing. Apple’s redesign is all about packing in maximum screen real estate without making the iPad Pro too big to manage. The bezels are slim and the home button has been replaced by Face ID. Apple has also adopted USB-C, which gives you far more to choose from in terms of accessories and peripherals.

Sporting the biggest and best screen around, with a 2732 x 2048-pixel resolution and Apple’s ProMotion technology for an incredibly smooth 120Hz refresh rate, this tablet is perfect for games. There’s no shortage of processing power with Apple’s A12X Bionic chip, which features eight cores and a neural engine for speedy machine learning. Nothing is faster, whether you’re commanding armies in Civilization VI or editing an image in Photoshop. The iPad Pro can cope with any game or drawing app you throw at it.

Storage starts at 64GB and goes up to 1TB, but you have to pay a lot for a large capacity. There’s no MicroSD card support, and although the iPad Pro does have a USB-C port, most external storage options don’t work with it right now — hopefully, that will change.

Apple reckons you’ll get 10 hours of mixed use from a full charge, or 9 hours if you opt for the model with cellular connectivity. The Apple Pencil attaches magnetically and charges wirelessly, but it costs an extra $130. The Smart Keyboard for the 12.9-inch model is $200.

It’s expensive, especially if you need a lot of storage, and there’s no headphone jack, but the iPad Pro (12.9-inch) is still your best bet if you want a powerful gaming tablet or a great tablet to draw and sketch on.

Our full iPad Pro review

Research and buying tips

  • Which OS is best for you?
  • Can you make phone calls on a tablet?
  • Can you text on a tablet?

Which OS is best for you?

If your top consideration is entertainment, and you’re likely to use a lot of apps and games, then we recommend Apple’s iOS as the best platform. There are a lot of polished apps made specifically for the iPad and you have access to all the top subscription services and an extensive content store. It’s also slick and accessible, so anyone can come to grips with it quickly.

Android has a larger selection of free apps and games, though they’re generally less polished, but that might be a tradeoff you’ll accept. Things are a little complicated by manufacturer UIs, or in the case of Amazon, forked versions of the platform. They can delay Android updates and make the user experience quite different. Amazon’s tablets, for example, run a version of Android called Fire OS and they initially only have access to the limited subset of apps and games that are available in the Amazon Appstore, not the full list that you’ll find in Google’s Play Store.

If you like the idea of accessing the same apps you have on your Windows PC, and you want a business device that ties seamlessly into your Microsoft services, then a tablet running Windows 10 is going to be tempting. It’s powerful, but it’s also relatively expensive to get decent hardware for good user experience. If you’re not a business user, or you don’t need to run Windows-only apps, it may be overkill.

Can you print from a tablet?

Yes, you can indeed print from a tablet. Check out our guides on and for all the details you need.

Can you make phone calls on a tablet?

Yes, you can make phone calls on a tablet, but you will need to be connected to the internet. You can either connect to Wi-Fi, which every tablet can do for free, or, if you need to make calls while you’re out and about beyond the reach of a Wi-Fi network, buy a tablet with cellular support and space for a SIM card. Just bear in mind if you go the SIM card route, that you will also have to sign up for a service plan of some kind. Some carriers offer special plans for tablets.

You can use FaceTime on an iPad, but there are lots of good alternative video chat apps that work with Android tablets or iPads. Many of them allow you to make audio calls as well. However, the person you want to call usually has to have the same app. Some apps, like Skype, also allow you to call regular landline or mobile phone numbers, but you’ll generally have to pay per minute or get a subscription. A good app that will work on Android tablets or iPads that gives you a free number for calling, text messages, and voicemail is Google Voice, but it only works in the U.S.

If you’re interested in this option for a business, then you might also consider one of the best VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) services.

Can you text on a tablet?

Yes, you can send text messages from a tablet. If you have an iPad then you can use iMessage, though this will only allow you to send messages to other iOS devices or Mac computers. There are lots of great text messaging apps that work on Android or iOS. You could also use Google Voice if you are based in the U.S. as it gives you a free number for calls and text messages.

How we test

The tablets we test serve as our daily drivers, so we use them extensively to put them through their paces. That means watching movies, gaming, testing out lots of apps, reading, working on them, and even taking photos and shooting video with them (which is impossible to do without looking stupid). We love new, innovative features, but we can also appreciate classic design done well. Ultimately, we look for tablets that will fulfill the needs of most people, so their ability to serve up entertainment is paramount.

Editors’ Recommendations

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  • The best Apple iPad, Samsung Galaxy, Fire, and Pixel tablet deals for January 2020
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E-book readers vs tablets: Which one is right for you?

  • E-readers are ideal for people who simply want to read on a portable device
  • E-readers can last much longer on a battery charge%3B easier to read in direct sunlight
  • Tablet advantages%3A Apps open up a world of different uses

Trivia question: Name two tech products that might look the same but are far from it? If you answered “e-book reader” and “touchscreen tablet,” you’re right.

You’re finally ready to buy one for yourself or a loved one, but the big question remains: Which one?

Today, tablets are a much hotter category than e-book readers (“e-readers” going forward) — largely because tablets can do so much more despite the similar form. In fact, Sony, one of the first to manufacture an e-reader, announced it would be closing its Reader Store on March 20, and transferring customers to the Kobo eBook store. A sign of things to come?

Still, an e-reader is a valid option, if it fits your needs and budget.

Here’s a quick primer to help you decide which one is for you:


The skinny: As the name suggests, e-readers are ideal for people who simply like to read. They’re designed primarily for downloading electronic books, magazines and newspapers from a wireless store. When reading, simply tap or swipe the page to flip through the “pages.” You can change the font size and style and tap a word to look up a definition (or in some cases, make annotations). Many e-book readers let you borrow books for free from your local library.

Pros: E-readers are usually smaller and lighter than tablets, which make them more portable and easier on your wrists while holding. They have a non-glare screen that makes it better to read in bright sunlight (not so easy to do on a backlit tablet). They are also more affordable than tablets, starting at about $60 to $70 for an entry-level model from a brand name like Kindle or Kobo. E-readers also have a battery that lasts between one and two months, on average, compared to 10 hours at most for tablets.

Cons: E-readers are ideal for reading e-books, but not much else. That’s fine for those who only want to read on them, but the lack of power and the limited functions (like no video playback) and no (or few) apps means the experience is, well, limited. A black and white screen is ideal for books and newspapers, but there’s an obvious trade-off when reading magazines without color. Finally, e-book readers typically have screens that measure 5 to 7 inches, but some people prefer reading on larger tablets (typically 7 to 10 inches).


The skinny: Touchscreen tablets — like the mega-popular iPad, as well as Android, Kindle Fire and Windows 8 models — are also thin and light devices. Use your fingertips to tap, swipe and pinch through content on the screen, which typically ranges from 7 to 12 inches. Tablets have a color screen and are built not just for reading e-books, but also checking e-mail, browsing the Web, playing games, listening to music and watching video. Tablets usually have two cameras. Apps number in the hundreds of thousands, and are downloaded from various online app stores, wirelessly. All tablets have Wi-Fi and some can take a SIM card for cellular connectivity.

Pros: Tablets are a computer — just like your laptop — but they rely on touch instead of mice and keyboards. You can do almost everything on a tablet you would on a more conventional laptop or desktop, including document creation, video chats, shopping online and reviewing calendar appointments. In fact, tablets can do things your other computer probably can’t, such as shoot HD video and help you navigate city streets using GPS. Tablets are very versatile devices that also boast large and colorful screens, and they support countless apps; tablets have free apps for all the major e-book companies, too, including Kindle, Kobo, Nook, Sony Reader, and others.

Cons: Tablets can cost four to five times as much as an e-reader. For example, the Kindle Paperwhite costs $119, while the iPad Air and latest Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 start at $499; Microsoft’s Surface 2 costs $449 and up. You can find inexpensive Android tablets, such as the Google Nexus 7 or Kindle Fire HDX (from $199) that are quite capable. Generally, in higher-end tablets you are paying for more power, speed, higher screen resolution and other luxuries. Tablets are also usually a bit heavier and bigger than dedicated e-readers. For bookworms, tablets have screens that are ideal for indoors but not so much outside because they’re backlit and not glare-free.


Whether you go with an e-reader or tablet boils down to what you want to do with the device, where you’re going to use it and what your budget is.

If all you want is a portable and affordable e-reader, there’s no need to buy a pricier tablet with all the bells and whistles you won’t use. On the other hand, if you’d like a thin, lightweight and touchscreen device to carry with you — one that does a lot more than a basic e-reader, and you prefer a larger and color screen, too — then a tablet is what you should invest in.

Follow Marc on Twitter: @marc_saltzman. E-mail him at [email protected]

What’s surprised me is that this is not a copy-and-paste of the regular Nook for Android app. Whereas the Nook application on my Moto X combines the library, search and store functions into one place, the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook contains different apps for all those things. Whichever you use, the core functionality is the same: In addition to reading content, you can access the store, highlight passages and rate/review stuff. But here, the icons are different, and you don’t always have to drill as far into menus to get what you want (see: font options, search, table of contents). Highlighting text is also easier in the Samsung app than the regular Android one. If anything, the UI feels more similar to Barnes & Noble’s e-ink e-readers, which is funny because that would seem to be an entirely different class of product. Certainly, this is a more pleasant Nook experience than what you’d get on other Android devices. Something to keep in mind if you’re already a loyal Barnes & Noble customer.

Beside the various Nook apps, Samsung installed a few other third-party programs as well, including Dropbox, Hancom Office 2014, Netflix, OfficeSuite 7 (the more robust of the two office programs here) and the game Rayman Jungle Run. You’ll also find a shortcut to Samsung’s own curated app store — you know, should Google Play not be enough. Obviously, this is a bit of a mixed bag, but to each his own. You can at least uninstall anything that doesn’t suit you.

Performance and battery life

I only saw the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook for the first time last week, but already I’ve heard Barnes & Noble reps say several times that the tablet is built for reading. To some extent, they’re just stating the obvious: Samsung and Barnes & Noble built a tablet together, and it’s supposed to offer a great reading experience, because that’s what B&N is good at. Duh. But I also suspect the two companies have been trying to keep our expectations in check. Even for a budget tablet, this thing is kinda slow, and I think Samsung and Barnes & Noble both know it. Under the hood, it has the same internals as the regular Galaxy Tab 4 7.0 — a 1.2GHz quad-core Marvell PXA 1088 processor and 1.5GB of RAM, a combination that sorely trails the competition in benchmark tests. The results were so bad, in fact, that I thought at first the numbers might be flukes. Indeed, I ran the tests many, many times, and the results were always far below other tablets, even the similarly priced ASUS MeMO Pad 7, last year’s Nexus 7 and the 7-inch Amazon Fire HDX.

That sluggishness rears its head in real-word use, too. The accelerometer was often slow to catch up as I flipped the device from portrait to landscape mode and back. Web browsing is smooth enough, though the benchmarks suggest you’d have an even snappier experience on competing devices. Cold-booting the device takes a long 24 seconds, forcing you to wait through animated splash screens for both Samsung and Nook. Multi Window mode works, but it can take a second or two for a new app to load if you decide to replace one of the two panes. Even the Nook library — the app that matters most — was often slow to load up my bookshelf. Like other Samsung devices, the Nook was initially slow to minimize apps when I pressed the home button. Luckily, there’s a solution, and it actually has to do with S Voice, of all things: Just go into S Voice settings and uncheck the box “open via the home key.” That way, when you press the home button, the device won’t wait to see if you’ll do a double-press to launch the voice assistant. With that issue, at least, I was able to improve the performance.

The problem, too, is that for the folks buying this, the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook isn’t just for reading. If it were, they’d get a standalone e-reader and call it a day. But if you’re going to get an Android tablet, particularly one with multi-window support and access to the Google Play store, you probably want to do more than just read e-books. You want to download apps. Stream movies. Browse the web. Maybe play the occasional game. The Galaxy Tab 4 Nook can do most of that, but not always smoothly. Another device — even a competing budget tablet — will probably feel faster.

Samsung says the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook’s battery can last up to 10 hours. With light usage, that might well be true. But in our (admittedly taxing) video rundown test, the battery died out a few hours sooner. All in all, the tablet was able to last through about seven and a half hours of looping a 1080p video at fixed brightness, with social networks periodically refreshing in the background. Again, your mileage will vary, but it’s worth noting that other devices can do better. ASUS’ MeMO Pad 7 also got about an hour more than the Nook. Meanwhile, the 7-inch Amazon Kindle Fire HDX managed nearly 11 hours in the same grueling test. Even the 2013 Nexus 7 gets about the same runtime as the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook — and the performance is slightly better, too.

The competition

When the original Nook Tablet came out, it was easy to forgive some of its shortcomings, just because the price was fairly low. At the time, $249 was cheap for an Android tablet, especially when flagships routinely sold for $500 and up. This is a different time, though, and while $170 isn’t bad for this new Nook device, it also faces stiffer competition. The ASUS MeMO Pad 7, for instance, has a lower price of $150, complete with an IPS display, double the internal storage, longer battery life, a microSDXC slot supporting higher-capacity cards and a quad-core processor that creams the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook in benchmarks.

Meanwhile, Dell sells the $160 Venue 7, which has a 1,280 x 800 IPS screen and a higher-resolution 5MP rear camera. (I haven’t tested that, so I can’t vouch for the performance.) Finally, it comes with 16GB of storage, and can accommodate memory cards as large as 64GB. It goes without saying, too, that any Android tablet is capable of running the standard Nook app. So far as I can tell, then, the one thing the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook has going for it is Multi Window support, but what good is that if the processor is too weak to handle it?

If you’re willing to spend more, the 7-inch Amazon Kindle Fire HDX starts at $229 with 16GB of storage ($244 without ads on the lock screen). For the money, almost everything is better: The battery life is several hours longer, and the performance is stronger, thanks to a fairly up-to-date Snapdragon 800 processor and 2GB of RAM. The screen is sharper too, with 1,920 x 1,200 resolution and a tight pixel density of 323 ppi. You won’t get Google Play access, unfortunately, but Amazon’s own app store has grown steadily over the years, and its digital content selection is just as diverse as Barnes & Noble’s.

Amazon even basically matches B&N on technical support: Whereas Barnes & Noble offers lifetime in-store service for its Nook tablets, Amazon’s built-in “Mayday” feature lets you access live help anytime. Other than the fact that Amazon’s tablet costs $50 more, it’s hard to say why you’d get the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook instead. Because even if having access to Google Play is important to you, you’d still be better off with last year’s Nexus 7. It costs $229, just like the Kindle Fire HDX, and it too has a 1,920 x 1,200 screen. The performance won’t be quite as brisk as the HDX, but it should still be snappier than the new Nook tablet. The battery life is similar to the Nook as well, so you’re not giving up anything in the way of endurance.


This should come as a shock to no one, but the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook is only a good idea if you’re already a loyal Barnes & Noble customer. Setting aside the fact that it comes with free content (a gimmick, if you ask me), this tablet is appealing because it offers a better reading experience than even the regular Nook for Android app. Until Barnes & Noble redesigns its standard Android application, this is the best Nook experience you’re going to get, short of buying one of B&N’s standalone, e-ink e-readers.

Even then, that’s a stretch: It’s not like the regular Nook app is so bad that you shouldn’t consider other Android tablets. If you’re not even a Nook customer, then there’s definitely no reason to buy this. Sure, the design is nice, and the screen is bright, but the battery life is short compared to competing devices, and the performance is slower. Adding insult to injury, you get less built-in storage for apps, books, photos and music, and the microSD slot doesn’t officially support cards larger than 32GB. For people who just want a budget Android tab, and don’t care where they buy their books, you can do better, even for $179.

Piotr Kowalczyk ⋮ Updated on March 27, 2017

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This article should help you easier choose the best solution for reading books on your Samsung Galaxy Tab.

Users buy tablets to play games, watch movies, or dive into social media. However, your Samsung Galaxy Tab is also a ready-to-open door to the exciting world of ebooks.

Just like you spend some time on learning most important features and apps of the new tablet, you’ll also want to do this to find the reading solution that suits your needs best.
There are two ways to read ebooks on Samsung Galaxy Tab:

  • use the default application offered by Samsung,
  • pick up a book reading app from Google Play Store.

You can obviously rely on a preloaded solution. However, making some research will let you avoid some limitations and risks, especially having in mind the attitude Samsung had towards book apps in the past.

In this simple guide you’ll learn:

  • whether to pick up Samsung reading app or not,
  • best book apps from Google Play Store,
  • formats for reading ebooks,
  • places that offer free ebooks,
  • ebook management tips and tricks,
  • and more.

If you have any questions about the topics covered in this article, don’t hesitate to ask them in the comment section.

Read also 50 best Samsung Galaxy Tab cases and accessories

Top article An updated selection of the best Samsung Galaxy Tab case covers, sleeves, and accessories. Tab A, Tab S3/S2, Tab 4, and more.

1. Default e-reading solution – Kindle for Samsung

Since July 1, 2014, the default application for reading ebooks on all Samsung Galaxy Tab models is Kindle for Samsung.

In this post you’ll learn more about Kindle for Samsung. Below there are just the essentials to let you better judge the possibilities and risks.

To make the most of Kindle for Samsung, you’ll have to sign up not for one, but two services.

1. To use the application at all, you’ll have to sign up for Amazon. The app is powered by the Kindle ebook reading platform.

2. To use extra benefits, specific only to Samsung, you’ll also need to sign up for sign up for Samsung.

These extra benefits are Samsung Book Deals. Each month, four bestselling books enter the deal section, and when you use Kindle for Samsung, you’ll be eligible to download one of these books.

Sounds cool enough? Wait. It’s not the end of the story. Relying too much on Samsung in the area of book reading at some point my get really disappointing.

Before Kindle for Samsung, the default ebook reading solution for Samsung Galaxy Tabs was Reader’s Hub.

Reader’s Hub had two major stages:

  • first generation – powered by Kobo ebookstore,
  • second generation – powered by Samsung.

As you see, Samsung is still looking for the best solution, and, unfortunately, this is happening at the expense of the users.

The company hasn’t offered any way to migrate books from Reader’s Hub 2.0 to Kindle for Samsung.

In other words, users had to do it themselves, by copying the files from the tablet, using Android file manager app. Then they had to convert these files from epub format to mobi format, if they wanted to open them in Kindle for Samsung.

What’s more, files, at least at the stage powered by Kobo, were protected with Adobe DRM. Users had to remove DRM from ebooks they owned, to be able to continue reading in a new default application.

If you hadn’t done it before July 1, 2014, your files were lost. It’s not a surprise that many users, especially those who picked Reader’s Hub, got extremely disappointed.

2. Backup – Kindle for Android

The good thing about Kindle for Samsung is that, in fact, you are not relying on Samsung, but on Amazon.

Even if you stop using the Samsung app, you can still access Kindle books on your Samsung Galaxy Tab. You can do it via Kindle app for Android, available for free from Google Play Store.

I called Kindle for Android a “backup”, but if you can live with Samsung Book Deals, the native Kindle app is far more advanced than Samsung.

The rule here is simple. If there is a new feature, and Amazon adds new things regularly, it will appear first of all in the native app.

Among many features, Kindle for Android supports Whispersync for Voice. Users can switch from reading a book to listening a corresponding audiobooks from Audible in just one tap.

What are the other benefits of Kindle ebook ecosystem? Here are just the few:

1. Kindle Daily Deal

Every day a set of ebooks gets a huge price drop. Usually the books cost from $1.99 to $2.99. Category deals include science-fiction, romance, teen, and children books.

However, do not expect biggest bestsellers. I could compare the attractiveness of Kindle Daily Deal to Samsung Deals.

2. Kindle Countdown Deals

This is an ongoing deal section of Amazon’s Kindle Store. You can find here several hundreds of discounted books, grouped by genres and/or authors.

3. Monthly Kindle Book Deals for $3.99 or Less

Every month, Amazon editors reveal a set of 100-500 books, and attract customers with lower price tags. The catalog of discounted books changes every month. Sets of ebook-audiobook are also included.

4. Kindle Ebook Exclusives

One of the most important benefits of using Kindle ebook ecosystem is the growing number of Kindle exclusive publications. That means they are not available in any other ebookstore.

The catalog of Kindle Ebook Exclusives is reaching 1 million. A good solution for readers, who like to explore books in specific categories.

For more reference, read facts and tips about Kindle Ebook Exclusives.

5. Kindle Unlimited

If you are an avid book reader, you’ll sooner or later consider signing up for ebook subscription service.

Kindle Unlimited, for $9.99 a month, is worth giving a try. It offers almost 900,000 books, most of them exclusive to Kindle Store. You can read them on your Kindle for Android app, but there is one limitation – you have to be a US resident.

The analysis of Kindle Unlimited ebook subscription will provide you with more information about the service.

3. Alternative book reading apps

Comparing Kindle for Samsung and Kindle for Android is a first step to adjust the e-reading experience for your personal needs.

I’ve tested many ebook reading apps on both Android and iOS, and one thing to note is, that in the end you will be using one app – the one suits you most – no matter how many of them you have on your Samsung Galaxy Tab.

Testing ebook reading apps is a big fun, but it also will give you a chance to recognize your own preferences.

There are plenty of book apps in Google Play Store

Why personal preferences are most important? One app may have a better user interface, the other one may be more stable. You may realize that there is nothing more important than accessing ebooks from the cloud. Or you may decide you want to be independent from ebook platforms like Kindle, Kobo, or Google Play Books.

Once you start the process, you can discover in the Google Play Store a plenty of great book reading applications. You can browse them in Book & Reference category.

There are two groups of Android book reading apps:

  • the ones connected with specific ebookstores: Kindle, Kobo, Oyster, Scribd, Nook, to name a few,
  • independent apps: you can download ebooks from different sources, but there is one condition – the books have to be DRM-free or compatible with Adobe DRM.

Most popular independent apps are:

  • Moon+ Reader,
  • Mantano Reader,
  • Aldiko,
  • FBReader.

Aldiko is one of the most popular apps in Google Play

No matter which book app you use, you can add your own titles to it. There are several ways to do it, usually using:

  • file manager,
  • the browser,
  • by sending a mail to yourself and opening it on a tablet,
  • Dropbox app, or any other app giving access to your cloud storage account.

4. Formats of ebook files

Most of book reading applications support modern ebook format called “epub” (Kobo, Google Play Books, Aldiko, FBReader).

The only exception is Kindle, which comes with a separate format, called mobi – and can’t read epub. This is why moving from Reader’s Hub to Kindle for Samsung was so painful. It had to include two steps: backing up the books, and converting them from one format to another.

If you want to have a freedom to read both epub and mobi ebooks, you should go for Moon+ Reader.

Moon+ Reader offers a lot of customization options

File protection, called DRM (Digital Rights Management) is another thing to keep in mind. Most ebookstores use DRM, and that means the book purchased in one ecosystem can’t be easily read in the other one.

Luckily, Kobo and Nook ebookstores use the same DRM system, that requires to sign up for Adobe ID. Once you do it, and once you authorize your Samsung Galaxy Tab with the ID you got, you should be able to cross-read books from both ebookstores.

You can also collect all your epub books, including the ones from Adobe DRM-supported stores in a variety of other apps, naming only Aldiko, Mantano, or txtr.

Obviously, you can add pdf files to the e-reading app of your choice. While it’s fine on a big screen of 10.1 Galaxy Tab, you may find it hard to read pdf files on the 7-inch Galaxy Tab 3 (especially that is has a lower resolution than, for instance Galaxy Tab 4 7).

That’s why it’s good to make a decision to start collecting books in one of the modern formats, like epub or mobi, that let adjust font size and reflow text for maximum reading convenience.

4. Free ebooks for Samsung Galaxy Tab

When you download any book application from Google Play Store, it will most probably come with a few free books you can read right away.

Kobo, Kindle or Nook apps will force you to shop in their respective ebookstores. However, you can still add your own ebooks to any of these apps.

One thing to remember is the right format:

  • for Kindle – download files in mobi,
  • for Kobo, Nook, Google Play Books, and majority of other book apps – download files in epub.

There are two ways to find ebooks for your Samsung Galaxy Tab.

1. Download from sites that offer free ebooks

There is a growing number of sites that offer nothing more than ebooks that are free to download, and available in many ebook formats, including mobi and epub.

Project Gutenberg os one of the sites that offer classic novels for free

We have the detailed overview of the sites that offer free ebooks, so below there are just links to the recommended ones:

  • Project Gutenberg
  • Internet Archive
  • Digital Public Library of America
  • Europeana
  • Manybooks

2. Search for free ebooks on Google web search

If you think that visiting one specific site can be limiting, you can always use Google web search.

All you have to do it to use special search operators, that will limit search results only to pages that are downloadable files in a specified format.

For instance, if you are looking for Sherlock Holmes for your Kindle app, use this search phrase:

Sherlock Holmes filetype:mobi

Using “mobi” instead of “filetype:mobi” is also accurate and can extend the list of relevant sites.

Another example. If you want to find Moby Dick for your Kobo applications, search for:

Moby Dick epub

5. Ebook management on Samsung Galaxy Tab

A tablet is more flexible than dedicated e-reader. On your Samsung Galaxy Tab you can buy and download books to different applications, and ebook platforms associated with them.

There is one case where you can find versatility of the tablet very helpful. It’s possible to use for instance Kindle, Nook, and Aldiko apps at the same time on one device.

The benefit of having hundreds of books at hand will sooner or later make you think of the best way to manage collected books.

There are two major ways to store the ebooks.

1. In the cloud

An app that requires registration usually offers a backup of your entire ebook library.

Your books are stored on the ebookstore’s server, and can be accessed any time, not only from the app on your Galaxy Tab, but also from a computer, or even a website.

Storing ebooks in the cloud brings one of the most useful benefits of ebooks: synchronization of your reading. You can end reading a book on your smartphone in a subway, and open it on a tablet in the evening – exactly on the same page.

What’s more, you can get synced not only the furthest read location, but also bookmarks, notes, and highlights.

Kindle, Nook, Kobo, or Google Play Books store your ebooks in the cloud.

Some apps limit full sync only to books purchased in their own ebookstores. That’s the case of Nook or Kobo. On the contrary, Kindle can also sync the side-loaded books.

2. On the device

Some users prefer to have a bigger control over an ebook collection, and want to physically store the files on the device they own.

In this case, picking up one of the independent book reading apps should solve the problem. There is one major disadvantage – you won’t get access to your ebooks if you can’t access your Galaxy Tab, and you’ll have to make a backup of all the files before buying the next

However, if you decide to go with Moon+ Reader app, mentioned above, you can sync ebooks via your Dropbox account.

Moon+ Reader offers sync via Dropbox account

• • •

Each of the topics could be explained in more detail, but I wanted to keep this post short and simple, and not to overwhelm you with too much information.

To recap: try Kindle for Samsung. Compare it to Kindle for Android. Explore alternatives. Make a decision.

• • •

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Huawei MediaPad M3

No Android tablets made the cut for TabletPCReview’s gift guide for one simple reason: no company launched a high-profile Android tablet in 2016. But companies still launched good Android tablets in 2016, and 2015’s flagships still hold up.

For those not interested in iPad Pros, impossibly thin Windows 2-in-1s, and Amazon Fires, here are the best Android tablets still worth gifting and getting.

We called the Huawei MediaPad M3 an “8-inch Android flagship,” and while it doesn’t push the limits of tablet power, it shares much of the same spec sheet with the Honor 8 smartphone, also by Huawei. We praised that smartphone’s price-to-performance ratio, and we had good things to say about the M3’s sound output during a hands-on session at IFA earlier this year.

We’ve seen it available for between $250 and $300. Even at the high price, it’s a great pick for a secondary device.

Those looking for something larger, though less powerful, can snag the 10.1-inch MediaPad M2 for about the same price.

Lenovo Yoga Book (Android)

The Lenovo Yoga Book is the closest a notebook can ever get to being a tablet. It’s unique, innovative, and advanced. Old-school tablet fans with a predilection for active pen input will love Lenovo’s new Real Pen and Write Pad tech.

The Android Yoga Book is $500, and there’s no better piece of hardware on this list. In fact, it rivals the Surface Studio as the best piece of hardware released in 2016. We recommend trying before buying, however. Android isn’t particularly well-suited for the form factor.

Asus ZenPad Z8

We normally recommend avoiding LTE-enabled tablets – the monthly data cost is hardly ever worth it, especially considering the ubiquity of Wi-Fi and smartphone tethering. But the Asus ZenPad Z8 is a decent option, even for non-Verizon customers, especially in a year with so few new Android tablets.

$250 off contract, or $100 with a two-year agreement, this 8-inch Android tablet’s slim build, pixel-dense display, and USB-C support help make up for its low specs; specifically, its Snapdragon 650 processor, 2GB RAM, and 16GB capacity.

Google Pixel C

This was the best Android tablet available last Christmas, and it still holds up. Its Nvidia Tegra X1 chipset and Maxwell GPU form a potent combo, capable of running the most demanding apps of 2016, as well as whatever 2017 brings. As a Google Pixel device, it runs the latest Android version, and is first in line for updates. Its 64GB capacity is also a nice touch.

At $499, it’s not cheap. But that’s still a reasonable price for the best Android tablet of 2015 and 2016.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7

Before the Pixel C, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 was the best Android tablet. Now, it’s one of the best Android tablets because it still has the best display, with a gorgeous AMOLED panel and 264 pixels per inch.

At $499, it costs the same as the Pixel C, but ships with 32GB capacity at that price. It’s slightly less powerful, too. It can still handle day-to-day tasks however, and function as a laptop replacement when paired with its Bluetooth keyboard cover. True, the Pixel C has a $99 keyboard, but we prefer Samsung’s with its touchpad and $75 price tag.

Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet

This was another contender as one of the best Android tablets of 2015, until the Pixel C arrived. With a Snapdragon 810 processor and 3GB RAM, it had top-of-the-line specs that still hold up today. It’s also waterproof.

Unfortunately, it’s tough to find the Sony Xperia Z4, and it’s and pricey. The cheapest unit we saw online ran $560.

Nvidia Shield K1 Tablet

This is an odd one. The original Nvidia Shield launched in 2014, but was recalled for battery issues. Nvidia relaunched it in late 2015 as the Nvidia Shield K1 with similar hardware, but minor tweaks (they ditched the stylus and shipped it without a charger). At $199, it’s a great bargain, as this 8-inch Android tablet has some neat tricks for gamers. Specifically, it supports Nvidia’s GeForce Now PC game streaming service.

We saw a lot of great Windows 10 devices, and some of these devices will be popular among users even in the year ahead of us, but we also expect new, equally or even more amazing devices to be released after, as well. And since 2-in-1s are a big part of Windows 10 market, a lot of users plan to buy a new device of this kind for themselves.

But some users are not sure which is the right device for them. So, we created this list of the best 2-in-1 Windows 10 devices that will be present on the market, in order to help those who still have to decide which companion should they buy.

This lists consists of Windows 10 2-in-1s that were released last year, but it also features some devices that will be released sometime this year. So for devices that have yet to be released, we included them based on our predictions and expectations, and we’ll provide you with the better analysis, once we see them in action.

And finally, let’s jump to our list of the best Windows 10 convertibles you can buy!

Best Windows 10 2-in-1s

Surface Pro 4



  • Screen
  • Performance
  • Improved Type Cover


  • Type Cover sells separately
  • Battery could be better

Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 is definitely the most quality Windows 10 tablet in the market right now. If you’re looking for a tablet to replace your laptop, look no more, because the newest member of the Surface Pro family is the best option.

Surface Pro 4 features extremely responsive and sensitive touchscreen, so you basically can use it for any kind of work, from writing to painting and designing. It comes with the sixth generation of Intel processors (m3, i5 and i7 options are available to purchase in Microsoft Store), and 8GB of RAM, so it will perform even the most demanding tasks without a problem.

Surface Pro 4 type cover is also vastly improved compared to previous models, but unfortunately, Microsoft sells it separately, so you’ll have to pay another $100 for it. Another thing that could be better is a battery life, as Surface Pro 4’s battery hasn’t improved much compared to Surface Pro 4.

All in all, if you’re looking for a powerful device that can meet all your demands, Surface Pro 4 is a perfect choice, as Microsoft did a really good job with this device. When it comes to price, you can purchase the Intel Core i5 version it for about $900, which is a good deal, compared to the next device on our list, and Microsoft’s another big innovation, Surface Book.

  • Buy it now from Amazon

Surface Book



  • Stunning design
  • Easily detachable keyboard
  • Performance


  • Battery life could be better
  • Comes with a few system issues

Surface Book is Microsoft’s first ever laptop, but the company did a great job with it. Although it primarily serves as a laptop, it has a detachable keyboard, which makes this device a premium tablet, as well. It features an amazing 13.5-inch screen with the resolution of 3000 x 2000, and 3:2 aspect ratio, which is better than on most Ultrabooks.

Surface Book is probably one of the best designed Windows 10 devices ever. When it’s used as a laptop, also known as the Clipboard, it is the most powerful and one of the thinnest Windows 10 computers in the world. Users who already had an opportunity to use this tablet report that it features a few bugs and issues, but Microsoft is working tirelessly on updates, and a fix is available soon after the problem is reported.

It’s, however, one of the most expensive Windows 10 devices in the market, but when you look at the possibilities of this device, and if you have the budget, you won’t be disappointed.

  • Buy it now on Amazon


Screen size: 12-inch | Resolution: 2160 x 1440 | CPU: 6th Gen Intel M3| RAM: 4GB | Storage: 128/256GB | Rear camera: 5MP | Front camera: 2MP

The most specific thing about this device is that it’s the first ever Windows 10 device manufactured by Samsung. And since Samsung is one of the biggest tech companies in the world, expectations are automatically high. Samsung Galaxy TabPro S should be Surface Pro 4’s competitor, with slightly less powerful features that some models of Microsoft’s device. It will run sixth generation of Intel’s Core m3 processors, along with 4GB of RAM.

Samsung Galaxy TabPro S should be 6.3 mm thick, which is 26 percent slimmer than Surface Pro 4. It also will have a 12-inch Super AMOLED display, with a screen resolution of 2160 x 1440. The device comes with a keyboard, which is another plus compared to Pro 4, but will have an only 5-megapixel rear camera.

Release date and pricing plan have yet to be announced, and since users and reviewers didn’t have an opportunity to deeply test this tablet, we can’t tell you much about how it works, and what are its pros and cons. However, we hope that Samsung will meet the expectations with this device, but it doesn’t have to be the case since we had a lot of, let’s say disappointments from major companies. But, let’s just wait until the device is released.

  • Buy it now on Amazon

Alcatel Plus 10

Alcatel Plus 10 is a perfect example of a budget Windows 10 hybrid device. It offers nothing spectacular, but comes with a lower price than its rivals, which could be a deal breaker for those unwilling to spend a lot on their new Windows 10 gadget.

It comes with a basic plastic design, without any interesting features. Since the device is pretty small for a Windows 10 hybrid, the keyboard is also pretty serried, and typing might fell awkward. Screen resolution is also below standard, with just 1,280 x 800 pixels, and brightness could be better, as well. It is powered by Intel Atom x5 Z8350 processor, and has 2GB of RAM, so it should get the job done of users that are not so demanding. However, it features good connectivity options, with

Alcatel Plus 10 will start to ship in June this year, for the price of €349, which is more affordable than some other devices from its range. Although it doesn’t offer spectacular performances or design for a Windows 10 hybrid, it’s still a solid value for the money, and it should attract budget customers.

Editor’s Note: This article continues on the next page. If you’re interested in other laptops, check out our wide collection of guides.

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