Best Tablet Computers To Buy
Fortunately, we can help you find the right tablet because we review the best from all the major manufacturers every year. We put these devices to the test, both in our lab and the real world, and we've come to a few key conclusions about the best tablets out there. Amazon tablets are generally great for kids and anyone on a tight budget, for example, while Apple's iPads are best for students and creative pros. That's especially true now that an M2 chip powers Apple's latest iPad Pro.
best tablet computers to buy
Thanks to the addition of M1, the iPad Air 2022 is almost on par with the iPad Pro. That isn't to say the Air is now a Pro replacement, but the gap in power is considerably smaller. This, along with the iPad Air's relatively affordable starting price, could make this model more compelling than the iPad Pro for budget-minded shoppers who still want the best iPad their money can buy.
Overall, the latest iPad Air is an almost perfect tablet. While there's still some room for improvement, it's hard to put this sleek, powerful slate down. This is arguably the best tablet for most people, and one of the best iPads to boot.
The Galaxy Tab S8 is good at a lot of things, but it's best at being a premium Android tablet. You can use it to get work done in a pinch, but in my experience it's best enjoyed as a speedy all-purpose device for making work and play a bit more enjoyable. On the couch its great for gaming or reading comics, and at work it's nice to have as a note-keeping device or secondary display, especially if you go to the trouble of investing in the Galaxy ecosystem and making your workspace DeX-friendly.
Android fans can point to a true iPad competitor, at a much more affordable price. Retailing for $229 (and on sale often for much less) the Galaxy Tab A7 is a great 10.4-inch tablet for consuming content. Whether you're browsing the web or streaming movies, you get to focus on your content more, thanks to its super-thin bezels that are thinner than what you get with Apple's $329 iPad. Oh, and it's got endurance to spare, lasting 13 hours and 13 minutes on the Tom's Guide battery test. Oh, and it's also got an iPad Pro feature that Apple makes you pay a lot for: facial recognition to unlock the device.
And just like Apple's pricier tablets, the Galaxy Tab A7 charges over USB-C, so you can continue to cut non-reversible microUSB cables out of your life. And while it's not as fast as the iPad and its screen isn't as bright, neither is a serious problem at this price. Especially when Samsung gives you true Android with the Google Play app store, and not the watered-down Amazon Fire tablet experience.
Sometimes, it takes a second try to make a thing go right. The Surface Go 2 takes aim at all the flaws of the predecessor and knocks them all down. First of all, thinner bezels make way for a bigger screen, arguably the most important part of a tablet. The Surface Go 2 has a 10.5-inch display, compared to 10 inches for the previous model.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra ($1,099) is the first tablet that casts a literal shadow over the iPad Pro. With its ginormous 14.6-inch OLED display, this Android slate makes the 12.9-inch iPad Pro seem cute by comparison. And with the optional keyboard attachment and improved multi-window mode, the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra could potentially replace a laptop.
Take almost everything we know and love about the iPad Air, but shrink it down to a size and weight that's super-easy to use with just one hand and you have the iPad mini 6 (2021), which may be the iPad you've been waiting for. It has the Apple Pencil 2 support with the flat-edged design, the much-smaller bezels and nearly everything else we love about an iPad. Currently, Amazon has the market cornered on sub-10-inch tablets with the pricing of its Fire slates, but the new iPad mini gives quality-focused folks an alternative worth investing in.
Of course, the 11-inch iPad Pro 2021 still thrives at the little things. Its bright and colorful display is sharp, its four speakers provide much larger sound than you might expect from such a thin device and. And if you're willing to pony up the cash its amazing (optional) Magic Keyboard offers the simplest and smoothest tablet typing experience there is.
In October 2022, Apple released the iPad Pro 2022, which upgrades the processor to the more powerful M2 chip. It's a great tablet with solid performance, but only a nominal upgrade over the 2021 version.
The Microsoft Surface Pro 9 isn't a bad or worthless machine. It's powerful enough to handle everyday computing tasks, has a decent screen for watching videos and is lightweight enough to comfortably take wherever you go. It may not redefine the 2-in-1, but if you want something that's suitable as a laptop or tablet, this machine gets the job done.
If you're a writer who loves pen and paper, you know that the iPad and its Apple Pencil don't really feel right. That's where the reMarkable tablets have jumped into the fray, offering a real-feeling writing experience, with a unique screen technology that uses digital paper and the Marker stylus, which feels more authentic when you press its nib against the screen. The reMarkable 2, however, is a much more seductive device, now measuring a sleek 0.2 inches and ditching its plastic frame for a sleeker metallic chassis.
Performance-wise, though, the Tab S6 Lite won't be blowing people away if they try to multitask. There's also the matter of Android tablet apps, which still could use more love and care from their developers.
The Amazon Fire HD 10 (2021) takes an already-good tablet and applies incremental upgrades, such as a slightly brighter screen, 1GB more RAM and a smaller, lighter design. While it probably isn't a must-have for anyone who bought the 2019 model, it's a good demonstration of Amazon's ability to put out a value-driven slate that's good enough for many.
Android folks have a wider set of options, but since Android apps aren't thriving on tablets as much as anyone would hope, this is a good time to consider all of your options. Yes the Galaxy Tab S6 has a fantastic screen and Android apps, but isn't Windows 10 a more capable platform? If you're nodding your head "yes," then the Surface Go 2 is the best tablet for you. That all being said, if you've got a big enough family, and you're all living in the Amazon Prime ecosystem, go for the Fire 7 if you're trying to fit to a budget, and the Fire HD 10 if you are tired of devices that don't have USB-C.
The main things to consider are how much you want to spend, and what operating system you want - with Apple's iPadOS and Android being the two main options. Then think about what else matters to you in a tablet - be it size, power, camera or battery - and choose accordingly.
If you're hoping to get serious work done on a tablet then an iPad Pro, such as the iPad Pro 12.9 (2021) or newer, would be a good option. This has a big screen, lots of power, and supports a keyboard accessory. For an Android alternative, consider the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus, which has similar selling points.
Many of today's best tablets are powerful enough to be excellent laptop alternatives. And those that aren't as powerful are still very capable of seeing you through general work-related tasks like sending out emails and typing up important documents or lighter creative workloads like drawing and design, thanks to their stylus support.
Whether you're looking for one of the best iPads or one of the best Android tablets, you'll get a lot out of that tablet you're getting. And, because these devices give you all the benefits of a touchscreen without making you pay a premium for the feature, you've got a portable that's extremely versatile but not as expensive as, say, some of the best 2-in-1 laptops.
Of course, it would be unwise to simply go out and get the priciest model you can afford. The iPad Pro, for example, might the the most powerful iPadOS-powered device, but it might be that what you need is an iPad Air, which means you'll be saving money and getting exactly the tablet that's ideal for you. Or, it might be that all you really need is one of the best cheap tablets.
The list is updated regularly, thanks to new tablets coming out all the time, so check back often to see what's changed. This may also be the time to pick up one of the best power banks too, to keep you juiced up all day long.
There's an all-body display, M1 chipset, Apple Pencil compatibility and long-lasting battery. Oh, and of course it runs on Apple's iPadOS which is a supremely useful tablet operating system. On test, its performance is very close to the iPad Pro range, which is impressive when you consider its list price.
This is one of the best tablets we've tested, and the iPad Pro and Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra only beat it in a few ways, like with their bigger screens, extra storage space and high-res displays. But if you don't have the money to stretch for those two premium tabs, this mid-range alternative could be great for you.
Want high speed internet? A version of the Galaxy Tab S7 Plus also comes with 5G connectivity, and you'll get the Samsung S Pen stylus in the box for free. Android isn't as good as iPadOS is on tablets, but if you want an Android alternative to an iPad this could be it.
Plus, the Lenovo Yoga Tab 13 has a micro HDMI port, which is an unusual find on a tablet. This allows you to connect it to other devices so you can easily output the display on a larger screen or use it as a second screen for a computer, and we found the Tab a great device to use as a portable second screen.
When choosing a tablet, the first thing you'll need to decide is how much you want to do with it. Will it be an extra device for entertainment and productivity, or will it replace a laptop as a main computing device? Today's tablets can certainly handle all of the tasks of a basic laptop. Then you'll need to decide on your price range, because tablets can range from cheap budget devices to very expensive cutting edge portables, far more expensive than the laptops they replace. Finally, it would be helpful to choose between an Apple iPad OS tablet and an Android device, based on the services and software you prefer. 041b061a72