Tablets were initially marketed as the "missing link" between smartphones and traditional computers, combining the instant access of the former with the more usable size of the latter. Since then, tablets have evolved to become the poster child for multi-tasking. Each of these tablets is extremely well-suited for general use, and offers plenty of support in terms of apps and content for just about any purpose.
Best Tablet Overall:
The current generation of tablets neatly bridges the gap between smart phones and laptops, combining the best of both worlds into a single easy-to-use device. All of the following tablets are suitable for all-around use, and more than justify their often premium price tags.
We've taken into account overall performance, in terms of everything from camera quality to whether the tablet responds quickly and is capable of running different types of apps. We've also ensured that each of our picks offers excellent usability and convenience, making the most out of their portable and versatile nature. App support and overall quality are also very important as most tablets are a considerable investment, and should be able to last well beyond when the next model is released.
Apple's new iPad Air 2 offers improved performance and cameras over its predecessor, while including fingerprint scanning and packing everything into an even smaller and lighter design. If you're willing to pay the premium price, the iPad Air 2 has allowed Apple to retain its position as the makers of the best tablet current on the market. Read Full Review
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S offers a thin and lightweight design, a stunning screen, and excellent all-around performance. If you're prepared to pay more for a premium tablet that represents the best Android tablets currently have to offer, this is the one to go for. Read Full Review
Whereas the previous iPad Mini model was essentially a compact version of the iPad Air, the iPad Mini 3 has received only minor upgrades. This smaller Apple tablet is, at the end of the day, an iPad Mini 2 with a gold finish option and the inclusion of Touch ID fingerprint scanning. If the smaller size and slightly lower price tag than the iPad Air 2 appeal to you more than having the latest processor and technology, this tablet remains an excellent choice. Read Full Review
Amazon's Kindle Fire tablets have proven to be the closest to a relentless thorn in the Apple iPad's side. The Fire HDX 8.9 is no exception, rolling out performance that is on par in many ways with the new iPad Air while maintaining a substantially lower price. While you miss out on Apple's app market and Google Play, if your planned use for your tablet does not align with those anyway, Amazon's content ecosystem has plenty to offer. Read Full Review
The Surface Pro 3 is Microsoft's latest version of their device meant to replace both your tablet and your laptop - suitable for work and for entertainment. Although most users will probably find that the Surface Pro 3 won't be able to fully replace a laptop, this latest version still has plenty to offer. A large screen, thin and light design, and good all-around performance make this convenient tablet an increasingly strong contender. Read Full Review
Best Budget Tablet:
Budget tablets have evolved significantly in the past few years, becoming one of the most hotly contested market segments amongst manufacturers. These devices often provide performance that mirrors a more expensive counterpart, with the biggest difference coming down to screen sizes.
Each of these budget-oriented tablets offers solid build quality and present valid alternatives to tablets costing hundreds of dollars more. We've ensured that each of the following tablets is suited for general use, although some are designed with a specific purpose in mind such as gaming or media viewing.
The Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 offers excellent overall performance, with a lightweight and portable design that lends itself very well to heavy media consumption. This tablet is one of the best available at this price point, especially when paired with an Amazon Prime membership. Read Full Review
Google's enormously capable Nexus 7 tablet starts at just $230 for the 16GB version, making it an extremely high-value proposition. The latest version Nexus 7 works seamlessly with Google Play and comes with multiple features that make it ready to go right out of the box. Read Full Review
The Nvidia Shield Tablet was designed with gaming in mind, combining a solid display, powerful processor, and plenty of features for multiple gaming options. Although this tablet is somewhat bulkier than a non-gaming counterpart, it nonetheless offers good all-around performance in a compact and portable package. Read Full Review
While the EVGA Tegra Note 7 shines most for gaming applications, it offers stout enough performance to make it suited for all-around use. The primary appeal of this tablet outside of its gaming capabilities is its excellent stylus performance for such as affordable price. Read Full Review
Despite a somewhat cheap-feeling keyboard and a thick design for the tablet itself, the Asus Transformer TF103C offers excellent basic hybrid tablet functionality for an affordable price. If you want a basic, well-performing tablet with the added convenience of a keyboard dock, this is a good choice. Read Full Review