The best tablet right now is the iPad
Update: The new iPad has landed, and after going through our in-depth review process Apple’s latest slate has managed to break into our top 10 best tablets list. Find out where it places below (spoiler: it’s high, really high).
If none of the best tablets here take your fancy then head on over to our tablet reviews pages, where you’ll find in-depth reviews of many more models.
Let us know your thoughts on the top 10 (and what order you think they should go in) in the comment box below.
1. New iPad (2017)
The best iPad, giving you plenty of power and bang for your buck
Weight: 469g | Dimensions: 240 x 169.5 x 7.5 mm | OS: iOS 10 | Screen size: 9.7-inch | Resolution: 1536 x 2048 pixels | CPU: A9 | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 32GB/128GB | microSD slot: No | Battery: approx 8,800mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 1.2MP
The best tablet you can buy right now is the new iPad (2017) with its crisp 9.7-inch display, punchy A9 power and a lower price tag than the tablet it replaces – the iPad Air 2.
The new iPad (2017) doesn’t reinvent the tablet, in fact it doesn’t differ much at all from its predecessor. The only real upgrade is the chipset, with Apple’s A9 heart giving the new iPad more power – however it’s the price which is the real winner.
There’s no 16GB model, with the iPad kicking things off at 32GB, and considering that’s cheaper than the entry level iPad Air 2 it offers serious value for money.
- What’s next? The new iPad has only just launched, so we won’t see a replacement for a while – but Apple’s iPad Mini line is in need of an update, so keep an eye out for the iPad Mini 5 in the coming months.
2. iPad Pro 10.5
A bigger and better version of the Pro
Weight: 469g | Dimensions: 250.6 x 174.1 x 6.1 mm | OS: iOS 11 | Screen size: 10.5-inch | Resolution: 1668 x 2224 pixels | CPU: A10X | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 32GB/256GB/512GB | microSD slot: No | Battery: TBC | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 7MP
It’s a tough decision over whether the new iPad Pro is the best tablet in the world, or the more recent (and more basic) iPad – but the new Pro is in second solely on the higher price.
If you can see past that, or you really need a tablet that can truly keep up with any app you want to throw at it while using a dedicated Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard, this should be the device you look at.
The new ProMotion screen adds an impressive layer of fluidity to daily use – if not strictly necessary – and the smaller bezels means you’re getting far more display in a footprint not much bigger than last year’s 9.7.
It’s an iPad for the professionals – but also one that media munchers will adore using.
Read the full review: iPad Pro 10.5
- What’s next? We’re expecting a new iPad Pro 2 (and maybe two) to appear in March or April this year, to coincide with iOS 10.3 launch.
3. Samsung Galaxy Tab S3
A top-notch iPad Pro rival
Weight: 429g | Dimensions: 237.3 x 169 x 6mm | OS: Android 7 | Screen size: 9.7-inch | Resolution: 1536 x 2048 | CPU: Snapdragon 820 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 32GB | Battery: 6,000mAh | Rear camera: 13MP | Front camera: 5MP
It may not be the best tablet on our list, but the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 is the best Android tablet you can buy right now.
It’s stuffed full of power, has an excellent display and features an iPad-Pro rivaling S-Pen stylus and optional keyboard.
The price tag could be a stumbling block, but if you’re looking for the best Android has to offer in tablet form the Galaxy Tab S3 is the slate for you.
Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy Tab S3
- What’s next? The Galaxy Tab S3 has just launch, so it won’t be replaced anytime soon.
4. iPad mini 4
The best small-screen tablet
Weight: 299g | Dimensions: 203.2 x 134.8 x 6.1mm | OS: iOS 10 | Screen size: 7.9-inch | Resolution: 1536 x 2048 | CPU: Dual-core 1.5 GHz | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 16GB/64GB/128GB | Battery: 5124mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 1.2MP
The best 7-inch tablet at the moment is definitely the iPad mini 4. If you like the look of Apple’s iPad Air 2 and iPad Pro, but find them a) too big, b) too expensive or c) both, then you’re in luck as the diminutive iPad mini 4 gives you the best of Apple’s tablet world in a form factor that’s not only beautiful, but highly portable.
It lacks the Pro features of a keyboard or Pencil support (the latter would be really nice to have on this smaller display) but overall it’s got a decent screen upgrade and more than enough power to enjoy every day.
Read the full review: iPad mini 4
5. Google Pixel C
The best Android tablet (if you ignore the price)
Weight: 517g | Dimensions: 242 x 179 x 7mm | OS: Android Nougat | Screen size: 10.2-inch | Resolution: 2560 x 1800 | CPU: Tegra X1 | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 32GB/64GB | Battery: up to 10 hours | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 2MP
Google’s Pixel C is one of the best Android tablets. It has it all: a fantastic display, heaps of power and a premium design.
Plus, for those willing to splash the cash, the keyboard is a great accessory (and if you look around, there are some good low-cost alternatives).
It’s not quite a laptop replacement, but for those in the market for a truly premium Android tablet – look no further. That’s especially great as you can now download Android 7 Nougat software.
Read the full review: Google Pixel C
6. iPad Pro 12.9
Apple’s biggest slate isn’t its best, but it’s not far off
Weight: 713g | Dimensions: 305.7 x 220.6 x 6.9mm | OS: iOS 10 | Screen size: 12.9-inch | Resolution: 2048 x 2732 | CPU: Dual-core 2.26 GHz | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB/256GB/512GB | Battery: 10,307mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 1.2MP
The iPad Pro won’t be for everyone due to the size and cost, but for those it does appeal to (and can afford it) you’re unlikely to find a better tablet for your needs, and you’ll swiftly find it indispensable.
Whether its graphics, multi-tasking or providing a pseudo-Mac experience when you’re away from the office the iPad Pro is capable of so much.
Even the Pencil – hilarious name aside – is an impressive tool for a particular niche. For the more professional user, or just one that cares about a larger, more expansive screen to work on, this is the best tablet out there and more than capable of replacing a laptop.
Read the full review: iPad Pro
- What’s next? Like the smaller iPad Pro 9.7, there’s a good chance we’ll be seeing a refreshed iPad Pro 12.9 2 in the first half of 2017, with more power than ever before (and the high price tag to go along with it).
7. Microsoft Surface Pro 4
The Windows tablet that can replace your Windows laptop
Weight: 766g/786g | Dimensions: 292.10 x 201.42 x 8.45mm | OS: Windows 10 Pro | Screen size: 12.3-inch | Resolution: 2,736 x 1,824 | CPU: Various | RAM: 4GB/8GB/16GB | Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB | Battery: up to 9 hours | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 5MP
Can a tablet really replace your laptop or home PC? That’s still up for debate, but the best tablet trying to make that happen is the Microsoft Surface Pro 4.
It does a fine job with the full blown version of Windows 10, an integrated kickstand and optional keyboard attachment. Great for for creative professionals, students and everyday folks alike, this is a top choice and one of best Windows Laptop we’ve reviewed.
Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Pro 4
- What’s next? We’re expecting to see the refreshed Surface Pro 5 in spring 2017, with a new rechargeable stylus alongside.
8. iPad mini 2
A great tablet but a little old
Weight: 331g | Dimensions: 200 x 134.7 x 7.5 mm | OS: iOS 7 | Screen size: 7.9-inch | Resolution: 1536 x 2048 | CPU: Dual-core 1.3 GHz | RAM: 1GB | Storage: 16/32/64/128GB | Battery: 6470 mAh | Rear camera: 5MP | Front camera: 1.2MP
The iPad mini 2 is a great tablet if you can get it for the right price – it’s one of the best budget tablets around.
The things you’ll miss are a better, clearer and brighter screen and improved design if you don’t spend the extra to go for the iPad mini 4 – but for many people, that’s perfectly acceptable and this slate is a great portal into the excellent world of iPads and all the great apps you get access to.
Read the full review: iPad mini 2
As with today’s best smartphones, applications play a big role on tablets – once you’ve decided which of these tablets is right for you, check out our top app lists so you can get your fill of Temple Run, update your friends on Facebook and read the latest news, all on a bigger screen.
- Best Android apps
- Best iPad apps
- Best free iPad apps
- Best free Android games
- Best iPad games
- Best free iPad games