Tablets: An ideal shopping guide

Getting the best tablet can be tricky because the best pick for you may be the highest spec device available or just an affordable sidekick to your smartphone. Luckily there are plenty of top rated tablets to choose from.

How to pick the ideal tablet for you?

Tips to have in mind

Here are the key tips to keep in mind when choosing a tablet.

First, you should know what you need your tablet to do?

On paper, all tablets do mainly the very same things. The distinction is in how well they carry them out. If you just want one for browsing, viewing Netflix and possibly some light gaming, a $1242, 12.9 inch iPad Pro is overkill, even if it handles all these tasks remarkably.

Moreover, if you want to use your tablet for demanding work like slicing up 4K video or playing the best mobile video games, the cheap and cheerful $102 Kindle Fire HD isn’t going to suffice, either.

If you’re somewhere in the middle, you’re looking at a rate between the two. Budget somewhere between $320 and $450 and you’ll have plenty of options, especially if you’re happy taking a look at the previous generation of hardware for deals (older iPads still do an excellent job, even if they aren’t the latest and greatest.).

Does the operating system matter?

Tablets come primarily with three OS: iOS for iPads, Android or Windows for everything else. Amazon’s Fire HD includes its own OS, however, in reality, it’s a heavily modified variation of Android developed to hawk Amazon goods more effectively.

In some respects, it makes good sense to stick to what you know. It’s certainly simpler to stay within the very same community, as everything will have a fantastic familiarity about it, and like with Apple products, in particular, they are excellent at syncing between Mac, iPhone, and iPad. Similarly, if you’ve only used iPhones and Windows laptops, taking the plunge with Android will take a little getting used to.

However, in truth, it does not matter which one you use that much, with cloud storage being what it is. It’s easy to get your documents and files in between all three, be it through Dropbox, Google Drive or OneDrive.

Just how much storage will you require?

Similar to the last point, on a certain level, this doesn’t matter anymore. Cloud storage works with all the tablet platforms keeping your files within reach while not using up precious local space. On the other hand, you most likely don’t want to be continuously juggling files to keep your tablet from getting full. Look for tablets with microSD slots, and remember that iPads do not have this feature so, if you have plenty of files, the most affordable 32GB iPad may not be ideal for you.

Do you wish to draw or type with it?

Tablets are designed to respond to touch, although as a general guideline, iOS and Android have a much better handle on this than Windows. All the same, particular devices have a pressure-sensitive stylus pen for drawing or note-taking. With iPads, this is the Apple Pencil ($ 100). Just iPad Pros and the 2018 iPad support it, and it is purchased independently. Microsoft Surface gadgets all support the Surface Pen ($ 127), which is also offered separately. Just the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 and Galaxy Tab S4 included the company’s own S Pen in the box.

Pack-in keyboards are even less common; however, you can use any Bluetooth keyboard. Some, like Logitech’s K780, are made to be used with numerous Bluetooth gadgets and even have a raised part to hold your tablet in location.

A better option is to purchase a cover with a keyboard integrated into it, so it’s there whenever you need it. Apple’s official iPad keyboard case starts at ₤ 159, while comparable alternatives for the Tab S4 and Microsoft Surface go for ₤ 100 a piece. You can save by opting for third-party options, which exist for all the most popular tablets, however, make sure to examine customer evaluations before investing as they may act up or simply not work.

Our top 10 tablets

Listing of the best tablets you can purchase

iPad Pro 11 (2018 )

Weight: 468g|Measurements: 247.6 x 178.5 x 5.9 mm|OS: iOS 12|Screen size: 11-inch|Screen Resolution: 2388 x 1668 pixels|CPU: A12X Bionic|Storage: 64GB/256GB/512GB/ 1TB|microSD slot: No|Battery: 7,812 mAh|Rear video camera: 12MP|Front video camera: 7MP.

Price: $ 928.

The iPad Pro 11 is the very best iPad you can purchase today. It might be expensive, but it’s Apple’s most effective tablet and advances the 2-in-1 design ethos if you spring for the costly new keyboard cover folio. It has a laptop-like experience in style and efficiency, and the brand-new Apple Pencil magnetically clips onto the frame. With outstanding speakers and an excellent brand-new screen-to-body ratio, it’s tough not to fall in love with the carefully crafted hardware design.

However, there are drawbacks to the iPad Pro 11 that you ought to know. The iOS 12 software limits multitasking and carrying out laptop-like jobs.  Also, it does not have an earphone jack. If you want the basic 3.5 mm jack in a computer-like device, you’ll spring for a real computer.

New iPad (2018 )

Weight: 469g|Size: 240 x 169.5 x 7.5 mm|OS: iOS 12|Screen size: 9.7-inch|Screen Resolution: 1536 x 2048 pixels|CPU: A10 Bionic|RAM: 2GB|Internal Storage: 32/128GB|Battery: Up to 10 hours|Rear video camera: 8MP|Front electronic camera: 1.2 MP.

Price: $ 309. 

This is the very best tablet for the typical customer and for education, even if it isn’t the most powerful one on sale. It has excellent value. The new iPad (2018) replaces the extremely comparable 2017 model and the previous iPad Air 2, slotting in below the Pro variety. 

It uses the Apple Pencil, providing you with the most affordable method to doodle on the 9.7-inch glass, although you can’t get the Smart Keyboard with the non-Pro design. It also has the same luxe metal unibody as the rest of Apple’s iPad variety, although it’s slightly thicker than the iPad Air 2 or iPad Pro at 7.5 mm.

With the Touch ID fingerprint sensor consisted of, iOS 12 under the hood and approximately 10 hours when surfing the web or enjoying videos, it’s a terrific media player and a strong tablet option if you’re not prepared to use it considerably for productivity.

iPad Pro 12.9 (2017 )

Weight: 677g|Measurements: 305.7 x 220.6 x 6.9 mm|OS: iOS 12|Screen size: 12.9-inch|Screen Resolution: 2048 x 2732 pixels|CPU: A10X Fusion|RAM: 4GB|Storage: 64GB/256GB/512GB|microSD slot: No|Battery: 10,875 mAh|Rear video camera: 12MP|Front video camera: 7MP.

Price: $ 959.95.

We genuinely like the iPad Pro 12.9 for its plus size, and for being the nearest thing we have to a 2-in-1 touchscreen MacBook. It runs iOS 12 instead of macOS. It’s the best performance and home entertainment tablet around thanks to its 12.9-inch screen, 4 speakers, the iOS 12 dock and multitasking user interface. Apple has upgraded its Control Center user interface to make app changing even easier, and it is suitable with the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard.

Its major downside is the cost and size isn’t a great fit for everyone. However If you can manage it and desire the largest-sized iPad available, you’re going to enjoy this, it’s a laptop-replacement for a lot of people out there.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S4

Weight: 482g|Size: 249.3 x 164.3 x 7.1 mm|OS: Android 8.1|Screen size: 10.5-inch|Screen Resolution: 1600 x 2560|CPU: Snapdragon 835|RAM: 4GB|Storage: 64GB/256GB|microSD slot: Yes|Battery: 7,300 mAh|Rear video camera: 13MP|Front camera: 8MP.

Price: $ 547.99.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 is an upgraded version of the Galaxy Tab S3 with a larger 10.5-inch screen size and longer battery life; however, it comes at a higher price and with a lofty guarantee to do a lot more.

We like the idea behind Samsung Dex for its desktop interface, although it’s non-touch-friendly UI, efficiency issues, and doubtful optional keyboard case prevent it from being a true desktop replacement.

If you’re searching for a premium Android tablet the Galaxy Tab S4 tops the billing; however, it promises more than it delivers. Do not misunderstand, the Tab S4 is undoubtedly much better than the Tab S3, but the value simply isn’t there for the cash.

iPad mini 4

Weight: 299g|Size: 203.2 x 134.8 x 6.1 mm|OS: iOS 11|Screen size: 7.9-inch|Screen Resolution: 1536 x 2048|CPU: A8|RAM: 2GB|Storage: 16GB/32GB/64GB/ 128GB|microSD slot: No|Battery: 5,124 mAh|Rear video camera: 8MP|Front video camera: 1.2 MP.

Price: $ 324.99.

The very best 7-inch tablet at the moment is the iPad mini 4. If you like the appearance of Apple’s brand-new iPad 9.7 (2018) and the iPad Pro range, but find them: too huge, too costly or both, then you’re in luck as the diminutive iPad mini 4 gives you the very best of Apple’s tablet world in a smaller device that’s not just lovely, but highly portable. It does not have the Pro features of a keyboard or Pencil assistance (the latter would be great to have on this smaller display screen), however overall it’s got a decent screen upgrade and more than enough power to delight in every day.

iPad Pro 10.5

Weight: 469g|Measurements: 250.6 x 174.1 x 6.1 mm|OS: iOS 11|Screen size: 10.5-inch|Screen Resolution: 1668 x 2224|CPU: A10X Fusion|RAM: 4GB|Storage: 64GB/256GB/512GB|microSD slot: No|Battery: 8,134 mAh|Rear cam: 12MP|Front video camera: 7MP.

Price: $ 570.

The iPad Pro 10.5-inch is among the best tablets for anyone who wants a major upgrade, although the less expensive iPad 9.7 is sufficient for many people. Apple’s iPad Pro 10.5 has notable features that give it a performance boost, like the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard. With iOS 11, this tablet is a suitable replacement for any laptop.

The new ProMotion screen includes an outstanding layer of fluidity to day-to-day use, and the smaller bezels mean you’re getting more of the display screen in a size no bigger than the iPad Pro 9.7.

It’s an iPad for professionals – but also one that media munchers will adore using.

Microsoft Surface Pro

Weight: 768g/770g/784g|Size: 292 x 201 x 8.5 mm|OS: Windows 10 Pro|Screen size: 12.3-inch|Screen Resolution: 1824 x 2736|CPU: Intel Core m3, i5 or i7|RAM: 4GB/8GB/16GB|Internal Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB/ 1TB|microSD slot: Yes|Battery: approximately 13.5 hours video playback|Rear cam: 8MP|Front electronic camera: 5MP.

Price: $ 629. 

Can a tablet truly replace your laptop or house PC? That’s still up for debate. However, the best tablet trying to make that happen is the Microsoft Surface Pro. We’re surprised Microsoft has avoided calling this the Surface Pro 5, as it’s a significant upgrade on the 4 – although it is quite costly, as are many of the tablets on this list.

It does a fine task with the full-blown variation of Windows 10, an incorporated kickstand and optional keyboard accessory. Great for innovative specialists, students and daily folks alike, this is a leading choice, and among the best Windows tablets we’ve evaluated.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3

Weight: 429g|Size: 237.3 x 169 x 6mm|OS: Android Oreo|Screen size: 9.7-inch|Screen Resolution: 1536 x 2048|CPU: Snapdragon 820|RAM: 4GB|Storage: 32GB|microSD slot: Yes, as much as 400GB|Battery: 6,000 mAh|Rear electronic camera: 13MP|Front cam: 5MP.

Price: $ 429.99.

It may have been overshadowed by the Galaxy Tab S4, however with its lower price and more simple, stable system; it still comes in on top of the newer version.

It has a HDR screen for the best contrast ratio, four speakers that sound as excellent as those on all the iPad Pro designs and there’s an S Pen stylus in the box. You won’t get a free keyboard cover, although if you buy it with the tablet, it is a great on-the-go productivity tool. The HDR-enabled 9.7-inch screen is likewise quite useful, considering that there are a lot of services out there using the improved quality – you can now get Netflix in premium color and quality, for example.

Asus ZenPad THREE 10

Weight: 430g|Size: 240.5 x 163.7 x 7.2 mm|OS: Android Nougat|Screen size: 9.7-inch|Screen Resolution: 1536 x 2048|CPU: MediaTek MT8176|RAM: 4GB|Storage: 32GB/64GB|microSD slot: Yes, approximately 256GB|Battery: 5,900 mAh|Rear camera: 8MP|Front electronic camera: 5MP.

Price: $ 344.

With an iPad-like style, the Asus ZenPad THREE 10 is something of a direct rival to Apple’s best tablets if you want a tablet with an alternative os.

The screen is clear and bright, with a powerful chipset running things. It’s worth noting it’s using Android Nougat software, and Asus has yet to say if or when they will upgrade to the latest Android Oreo. The battery life and build quality aren’t close to Apple’s, however, neither is the cost – a great alternative if you want a bigger screen for less.

iPad (2017 )

Weight: 469g|Size: 240 x 169.5 x 7.5 mm|OS: iOS 11|Screen size: 9.7-inch|Screen Resolution: 1536 x 2048|CPU: A9|RAM: 2GB|Storage: 32GB/128GB|microSD slot: No|Battery: 8,827 mAh|Rear camera: 8MP|Front cam: 1.2 MP.

Price: $ 306.98.

It may have been surpassed by the higher tech new iPad (2018 ), but the 2017 edition of Apple’s iPad product is still an excellent buy, and if you do not want to spend a lot it’s a great choice for your next tablet.

You do not get to use an Apple Pencil with this slate; however, it comes with a crisp 9.7-inch display screen and powerful A9 processor. You can’t purchase it directly from Apple anymore; however, we’ve still seen it on sale from third-party retailers in certain areas around the globe. There’s no 16GB model, this iPad kicks things off with a more reasonable 32GB tablet, and if you need more space, select the 128GB one.

The best 8-inch tablet

iPad Mini 4

Price: $ 399.

The iPad Mini 4 is just 3 years old and still too pricey; however, it’s still the very best travel-size tablet you can buy. The hardware has all of the contemporary markings of an iPad, including its thinness, and the size is best for packing into a handbag, jacket pocket, or bag. It’s the tablet you’ll want to use to see films on a train or airplane (mostly thanks to its standard 128GB of storage), and it’s also a fantastic size for two-handed gaming and thumb-typing.

The best tablet under $200

Fire HD 10

Price: $ 150.

Amazon’s tablets aren’t for everybody. They indeed push Amazon Prime services and apps, and they’re most excellent for basic tasks like playing games and enjoying movies. However, for $150, it’s tough to beat the Fire HD 10, which is one of our favorite Fire Tablets. It has hands-free Alexa and a specifically-designed optional standing case device.

The best tablet under $100

Fire HD 8 (2018 )

Price: $ 80.

It’s tough to find a tablet that’s a much better value than the $80 Fire HD 8. It’s a totally functional, 8-inch, device that’s excellent for travel and reading. The only drawback may be the screen, which has visible pixelation at its 1,280 x 800 resolution, though it’s truly not that bad, and neither is the slight sluggishness. The latest version has hands-free Alexa. You might wish to pair it with a standing case or Echo Dock.

The best kids tablet

Fire HD 8 Kids Edition

Price: $ 130.

The Fire HD 8 Kids Edition is a basic Fire HD 8 wrapped in a kid-friendly foam case and packed with age-appropriate games and apps. It supplies home entertainment choices for a wide range of ages, though it is best for kids under seven years old. It features a two-year service warranty and a year’s membership to Amazon’s FreeTime Unlimited service loaded with kids’ books, games, apps, and videos.

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