The market is saturated with thousands of tablets, how do you determine the right one for you? Whether you’re looking for an Android tablet, an iPad or Windows, there are definitely certain factors that you need to have in mind before deciding which ones are the best tablets for you.
Some of the best tablets on our top ten list have been tested by our in-house team to bring you a detailed list that’ll give you options to consider based on your needs and budget. While the Amazon Fire HD 8 makes it to our list as one of the best tablets below the £100 price tag the Apple iPads on our list take it for the more classic tablets. Surface Pro by Microsoft is our darling for a Windows tablet.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Tablet
While there are several factors to consider when buying a tablet, the below are should be top of your list.
Just like your computer, you need to think of the operating system you need for your tablet. Apple iOS, Windows 10 by Microsoft and Google’s Android (including its Amazon variation) are the three main operating systems that you can consider.
Windows is ideal when you need a full-fledged office software with an added keyboard. On the other hand, Android tablets are suitable for eBook readers, media players and are great devices for kids. Certain Android tablets have better specs for their price range than you can get with the iPad. However, if you need a tablet that has a wide range of general-purpose apps, iPads take the crown.
Apple’s range of tablets has an added advantage over the other tablets due to its operating system – Apple iOS – for two reasons: it’s very intuitive and clean and has a wide range of apps that you can purchase from your tablet and works well with few exceptions.
A hardware choice from multiple manufacturers that are easy to configure, offer a notification system that’s top-notch, seamless integration with Google applications such as Google Maps, video chat, Gmail and Hangouts, a web browsing experience that’s fast and smooth is what you get when your tablet’s operating system is Google’s Android. Android tablets have an added advantage over the Apple tablets as it offers support for multiple user logins. This enables you to share your tablet with friends and family.
For a more traditional computing experience for your Windows software, Windows 10 is the OS for you. Buying a Windows 10 tablet lets, you run the complete Microsoft Office version. Besides, hardware add-ons and connectivity options for most Windows models are infinite compared to other types of tablets.
Apps are everything on a tablet. iPad tablets are the best when it comes to third-party apps that have been mainly designed for a touch-screen interface. There’s a vast library of games and programs that have been specifically built for Apple tablets. Apple’s App Store has a collection of apps that are well monitored and has every app that you could possibly think of. If you are shopping for a tablet that has a wide range of apps, your best bet is an Apple tablet.
Although Android has made some major strides in their app list by getting more developers on board and giving more apps that are of high-quality especially on tablets, they still can’t beat Apple. While it’s not easy to give an estimate of the number of optimized Android apps, they could be in thousands. Depending on the size of your tablet, the apps could look different. While an Android phone app may look fitting on a 7-inch tablet, the case may be different for a 9 or 10-inch tablet.
Windows 10 has an impressive list of apps that are over 100,000 as well as touch-screen friendly. Windows’ 10 main advantage is the ability to run millions of prevailing Windows desktop apps. However, some of the apps haven’t been designed for touch screens and may need a mouse or add-on keyboard.
Storage and Screen Size
The storage capacity of your tablet should be a no-brainer. Same to the size. Most people assume that the screen size is the same as the size of the tablet. The truth is, when they say a tablet is 9-inch or 10-inch, that’s the screen size.
Small-screen tablets are considered to be 7-inches while large-screen tablets are considered to be 8.9-inches and above. Samsung’s tablets, Apple’s iPads, and Amazon’s Fire are available in both small and large screens. More to it is the fact that there’s a blurred line between phones and tablets nowadays. Big smartphones – also known as phablets – are defying the need for one to carry another tablet. Case in point, the 6.2-inch Samsung Galaxy S8+.
If you’re planning to use your tablet for web surfing and eBook reading, the screen’s resolution is something you need to factor in as well. The highest resolution right now is from the 12.9-inch Apple iPad Pro at 2,732 by 2,048 pixels. Microsoft Surface Pro follows closely behind. If you’re shopping for a 10-inch Android tablet, get one where the screen resolution is 1,280 by 800 pixels.
The one advantage tablets have over laptops is the fact that they are lightweight. While they may not be as light as phones, they are far much better than laptops and much easier to carry around. However, holding a tablet for more than 20 minutes can make your hand tired. Most people prefer placing their tablets on the table or having them propped up when in use. Besides, very few tablets fit into a normal sized pocket. If you’re looking for something that can easily fit your pocket, consider getting a phablet.
Off-device storage (known as Cloud storage) is an alternative for most tablets – OneDrive for Windows, iCloud for iPads and Amazon Cloud Storage for Fire tablets. However, having more storage on onboard storage is always a better option. Photos, music, videos coupled with the apps on your tablets can take up so much space. Most tablets come with microSD memory card slots that allow you to expand the storage of your device.
Cellular vs. Wi-Fi Only Models
Some tablets can only allow for Wi-Fi connection while others have the alternative of cellular connection through your service provider. If a lot of your time will be spent on the go, it’s important to get a model that has a cellular version. This definitely adds the price of the device as you’ll have to pay for the cellular service.
Another option for getting online using your tablet is through your phone’s Wi-Fi hotspot. This option may not work with all tablets, and it’s crucial to ensure that you check with your service provider first. Alternatively, you can but a Wi-Fi hotspot device that won’t drain your phone’s battery.
The tablets in our review list represent some of the best tablets that we’ve tested in the market – from the operating system to the price range. And with technological advancements, there are more tablets being launched every now and then. As such, we will constantly update our post to keep you up to date. That said, below are some tablets that you can consider when shopping for one. We hope you find something that suits your needs.
Amazon Fire HD 8
If you’re on a budget but still want something that can get the job done, the Amazon Fire HD 8 is your best bet. Retailing below £100, the tablet measures 8.4 by 5.0 by 0.4 inches and is just 13 ounces making it suitable for eBook readers as well as for light gaming.
While there are tablets on our list with higher resolution, the Fire HD 8 isn’t badly off at 1,280 by 800. The tablet operates on Android 5.1 and has 1.5GB of RAM. The tablet has two different storage sizes: 16GB and 32GB with the latter selling at $30 more.
It also has an external slot card for a micro SD card. While its interface may not be anything like Android’s the tablet runs full Android apps letting you have access to hundreds of apps. However, there are certain apps by Google like YouTube and some from Microsoft that are missing. For its price, the Amazon Fire HD 8 is a nice tablet for someone who has other alternatives.
Amazon Fire HD 10
While the Fire HD 10 isn’t a modification of the HD 8, it sure can feel that way. Weighing 17.4 ounces and measuring 10.3 by 6.3 by 0.4 inches, this tablet is slightly bigger and heavier than the HD 8. While it’s not waterproof or rugged, the Fire HD 10 can survive a couple of dings and knocks, but if buying it for your kid, it’s ideal to get a case for it.
With a 2GB RAM, it runs on Amazon’s latest Fire 5.5 operating system. The RAM gives it a better user interface when compared to the Fire HD 8. You can open multiple tabs when surfing and has a 10.1-inch screen that has a resolution of 1,920 by 1,200 pixels.
When it comes to storage, you won’t need to sweat about that. It has a 32GB internal storage capacity that can be expanded using an external micro SD card of up to 256GB. For a $150, you get a tablet that can enhance your life in so many ways and is definitely worth the price tag.
When it comes to Apple iPads, the price is everything. And they are justified as they don’t compromise on quality and have hundreds of thousands of apps designed specifically for their tablets. The Apple iPad and replaces the iPad Air 2 making it bigger and heavier.
The tablet measures 6.6 by 9.4 by 0.3 inches and weighs 1 pound. Although it’s heavier than its predecessor, the difference can only be felt if you pay attention. At 2,048 by 1,536 pixels, the screen measures 9.7 inches and is a little brighter than its forerunner.
The Apple iPad runs iOS 10.3 which is the OS that all new Apple tablets are operating on. Its main camera is 8 megapixels while the front cameras is 1 megapixel. This iPad is suitable for reading, gaming, web browsing and watching of videos. If you’re looking to buy something in the Apple family for a start, consider getting this particular tablet.
Asus 10.1-inch Transformer Mini T102HA-D4-GR
There’s something about a tablet that can also be used as a laptop with just an add-on keyboard. And similar to the Microsoft Surface Pro, that’s what the Asus Transformer Mini offers. Its glass body is made of magnesium-aluminum alloy giving it a sleek feel on your hands.
Measuring 0.5 by 10.2 by 6.7 inches makes it easy to carry in a bag amongst other documents. It weighs 1.75 pounds with the keyboard attached and 1.18 pounds without. It also comes with a stylus making it easy for you to scribble down notes.
Its resolution, at 1,280 by 800 is typical for most 10-inch tablets. Its screen is bright making it suitable for watching videos on YouTube and Netflix. The best part is that it has 4GB RAM with an internal storage capacity of 128GB. Its battery lasts up to 14 hours giving you ample time to get your work done.
Lenovo Miix 520 IdeaPad
An upgrade from its predecessor, the Miix 510, there are certain features that underwent some updates to make it qualify on our list of the 10 best tablets of 2018. The Miix 520 also comes with a detachable keyboard and runs on Windows.
The screen resolution is HD at 1,920 by 1,080. The keyboard can be removed when you want to use it in tablet mode. It was designed to compete with high-end tablets/iPads as well as traditional laptops. Most especially, it’s competing with Microsoft Surface Pro and Apple iPad Pro.
This Lenovo tablet looks to give buyers something with multiple features for a fraction of the market price. With a useful stylus and its use of the Intel Core i5 processor, this tablet is ideal if you are looking for something to get the job done both on the go and in the office.
Microsoft Surface Pro
When it comes to a 2-in-1 tablet, the Microsoft Surface Pro still takes the crown. Designed by the industry leader in office software, its one device that competitors are still trying to create. You can bet that this tablet won’t disappoint. The add-on keyboard feature makes it usable as a laptop in the office as well as a tablet during office meeting presentations or a late client meeting in the evening. Not only is it one of the best tablets out there, a lot of people use this as their main pc as well.
Top of the range model uses the Intel Core i7-7660U, 512GB SSD and a RAM of 16GB.
All the Microsoft Surface Pro models weigh 2.45 pounds with the pen and type cover, 2.41 pounds with the type cover and 1.75 pounds alone as well as measure 7.9 by 11.5 by 0.33 inches. The screen that measures 12.3 inches has a 2,736 by 1,824 resolution making it suitable for reading, surfing the internet and gaming.
Although it’s expensive, this tablet delivers the build and design quality with the overall performance and speed that media professionals,, as well as artists,, desire in their devices. If you’re not tight on cash and want something that’ll stand out, this is the tablet for you.
Apple 10.5-inch iPad Pro
The screen’s resolution is at 2,224 by 1,668 pixels and weighs 1.03 pounds. While other tablets stand out for their battery power, this iPad Pro lasts close to seven hours before a need for a recharge. As for the storage, the price goes up depending on your storage needs, but the starting price is $329 for 32GB.
This iPad is fast, stable and powerful. There’s a lot more that you can do with this iPad if you choose to buy it.
Samsung Galaxy S3 Tab
At 32GB, the Samsung Galaxy S3 Tab is the most powerful Android slate globally and one of the best tablets out there today. This tablet measures 9.35 by 6.65 by 0.23 inches and weighs 15.1 ounces. The 9.7-inch screen has a screen resolution of 2,048 by 1,536 which is similar to the Galaxy S2.
With 4GB RAM, this device runs on Android 7.0 Nougat making it more powerful when it comes to its processing capability. For now, the device operates on Wi-Fi only. The tablet comes with one memory size, 32GB out of which the only available space left when you buy is 18.5GB. However, you can add a micro SD card of up to 256GB.
Its main highlight is the S Pen. This pen allows you to take notes and make drawings on your documents. Besides, you can also purchase a keyboard and have a mini-laptop when you need to use a keyboard.
Asus ZenPad 3S 10
If you’re in the market for something that you’d like to use for watching videos and reading eBooks, while not spending a large amount of money, then this is the tablet on our list of best tablets to get for yourself.
Weighing 15.2 ounces, this tablet measures 9.47 by 6.44 by 0.28 inches and has a combination of dual speakers at the bottom that are powerful with a USB-C port. The screen has a 2,048 by 1,536 pixel. Running Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, it’s quite fast compared to some of the tablets out there.
However, when it comes to battery life, the Asus ZenPad 3S 10 might not be the best option for you. Still, it’s a good device if you are looking for something that you can watch movies from.
Lenovo Tab 4 8
This device is not only affordable, but for its price range, it performs remarkably well and has a decent battery life for average media use and easily justifies its position in our list of the best 10 tablets of 2018.
Weighing 10.9 ounces and measuring 8.3 by 4.9 by 0.3 inch, the device is ideal for listening to music or watching videos as well as surfing the internet. Now, it may not have all the feature that high-end devices have, but for its price, it’ll do just fine especially when you are on a tight budget.