A breakdown of the year’s best tablet devices

A Tablet is a bit like the new kid in high school, not as well known as the laptops, desktops, and smartphones you’ve known for years, but well known enough that you might invite them to your party.

*End of high school analogy* 

Depending on your lifestyle and tech habits, a good tablet could be just the device you need for those “I haven’t got time to put my feet up and watch TV but I’m also not gonna watch this on my phone” type moments (if those moments exist). 

How We Graded Our Selections

We have broken our selections down based on operating systems, with a section each for Apple, Android, and Windows. While we definitely have not exhausted all the options, we feel there is a tablet here for all tastes and budgets. To make sure that was the case we looked out for features such as: 

  • Size
  • Cost
  • Capability
  • Design

Our Selections:

iPad 10.2
IPad Air
iPad Pro
Samsung Galaxy S6
Fire HD 10
Google Pixel Slate
Asus Zen Pad
Microsoft Surface Pro
Lenovo ThinkPad X1

The Apple Tablet Collection

Steve Jobs and Apple didn’t invent the tablet device but they certainly brought it to the mainstream. 

In the decades leading up to the 2010 release of the Apple iPad, several obscure companies tried and failed to create a popular tablet computing device. 

By the turn of the Millenium, Bill gates and Microsoft decided to take a crack of the whip, but even at the height of their success, they couldn’t quite pull it off. 

In hindsight, the world just wasn’t ready for a tablet. Even Apple themselves had made a failed attempt at the tablet back in 1993 with their Newton Message Pad. However, by the time 2010 rolled around Steve Jobs was basically King Midas, so it came as no surprise when Apple released the iPad to worldwide acclaim.

Continuing in that fine tradition, Apple is still the leading tablet maker in today’s market. We have selected three of the best iPad’s currently available.

iPad 10.2 (2019)

Retail Value $350

The best for all-round value

Storage: 32/128GB
CPU: A10 Fusion
OS: iPadOS
Rear camera: 8MP
Front camera: 1.2MP
Battery: Up to 10 hours
Resolution: 1620 x 2160 pixels
Dimensions: 251 x 174 x7.5mm
Screen size: 10.2-inch
Weight: 483g

If you’re new in the tablet market and looking specifically for an Apple then this is a great option around the $350 mark. On that note, we should say that If money is one of your main criteria, the slightly older 9.7 should be cheaper and almost as good. On the other hand, if you are planning on doing a lot of sketching then you should consider the Apple Air or the Pro 12.9. 

iPad Air (2018)

Retail Value $500

The Mid-Range iPad Option

Storage: 64GB/256GB 
CPU: A12 Bionic 
OS: iPadOS
Rear camera: 8MP
Front camera: 7MP
Resolution: 1668 x 2224 pixels
Dimensions:251×174.1 x6.1 mm
Screen size: 10.5-inch
Weight: 456g

An upgrade on the 10.2, the iPad Air is a compromise between the smaller less powerful iPads and the super-powerful big brothers of the family. 

iPad Pro 11 (2018)

Retail Value $800

Take Your Seat in First Class

Storage: 64GB/512GB/1TB
CPU: A12X Bionic
OS: iPadOS
Rear camera: 12MP 
Front camera: 7MP
Battery: 7,812mAh
Resolution: 2388 x 1668 pixels
Dimensions:248 x178.5×5.9 mm
Screen size: 11-inch
Weight: 468g

The Pro 11 is Apple’s most powerful tablet and can also be converted into a laptop with the keyboard cover folio. It boasts excellent speakers, Apple Pencil, and superb craftsmanship. Steve would be proud.

The Android Tablet Collection

If there is one tech giant more ubiquitous than Apple it might just be Google, so it makes sense they would make a major play in the burgeoning tablet market. 

The Android mobile operating system is Google’s foray into the mobile device development world. A consortium of developers, headed by Google, provides the Android software which can then be plugged into the hardware of companies such as Samsung, Amazon, Huawei, and LG amongst many others.

It is now the best selling OS in the world with 2 billion monthly users. Other than the Google connection, another reason it has achieved such astounding success is that it is completely open-source. Everybody is entitled to download, install, modify, and distribute Android’s source code, all free of charge.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6

Retail Value $800

Androids Leading Tablet Device

Storage: 128GB/256GB
CPU: Snapdragon 855

OS: Android 9 
Rear camera: 13MP + 5MP
Front camera: 8MP
Battery: 7,040mAh
Resolution: 1600 x 2560 pixels
MicroSD slot
Dimensions: 245×159.5x 6mm
Screen size: 10.5-inch
Weight: 420g

The newest arrival from Samsung’s Tab S line with an excellent array of additional features. This is a competitor to Apple’s pro range and a little bit cheaper too. With quality performance in both media and productivity, it makes a great option in that range.  

Fire HD 10

Retail Value $200

Amazon’s Budget Android Offering

CPU: Mediatek MT8173
Storage: 32/64GB
OS: Android 5.1
Rear camera: 2MP
Front camera: VGA
Battery: 3830mAh
Resolution: 1200 x 1920
Dimensions: 262 x 159 x 9.8mm
Screen size: 10.1 inches
Weight: 500g

Amazon’s entrance into the tablet world has turned up some of the best budget tablets that are currently available. With no access to the Google Play store, popular items such as Gmail and YouTube are off the list – this could be a problem for some users, but these are the best budget options available. 

Google Pixel Slate

Retail Value $900

Google Throws Its Hat into the Tablet Mix

CPU: Intel Celeron, m3, i5 or i7
Storage: 64GB/128GB/256GB
OS: Chrome OS/Android
Rear camera: 8MP
Front camera: 8MP
Resolution: 3000 x 2000
Battery: up to 12 hours
Dimensions: 291 x 202 x 7mm
Screen Size: 12.3-inch
Weight: 731g

Ironically, Google has all but stopped pushing out its own Android tablets. As a compromise, it now has tablets running on a combination of Chrome OS and Android. This turns out to be a great combination, the full desktop experience alongside the Android apps. 

Asus Zen Pad

Retail Value $400

Best Budget Tablet Device

CPU: Mediatek MT817
Storage: 32GB/64GB
OS: Android 7 
Rear camera: 8MP
Front camera: 5MP
Resolution: 1536 x 2048
Dimensions:241×163.7×7.2 mm
Screen size: 9.7-inch
Weight: 430g

The Asus ZenPad is a much better tablet than its price might have you believe. The clear display is the best you will find on any Android tablet, and it costs a lot less too. A great option for someone aiming to use their tablet primarily to consume media.

The Windows Tablet Collection

Back in the 1990s, the legendary Windows operating system by Microsoft was the be-all and end-all of computing. With Steve Jobs gone, Apple was in a commercial coma it didn’t look like it would ever come out of. Back then, all the signs pointed to never-ending Microsoft monopoly. 

As we now know, that wasn’t to be the case. Apple made its comeback, in addition, a little known company by the name of Google strolled out of the Silicon Valley dust like some kind of techno John Wayne.   

Today, Bill Gates’ baby is has matured into a well-rounded adult. The monopoly is long over but Microsoft Windows is still a relevant player in the 2020 tech world. This is proven with the company’s fine collection of tablet devices.

Microsoft Surface Pro

Retail Value $400

Big Value in a Small Package

CPU: Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y
GPU: Intel HD Graphics 615
RAM: 4GB – 8GB
Storage: 64GB eMMC
OS: Windows 10
Resolution 1,800 x 1,200 Pixel
Rear Camera: 8MP
Front Camera 5MP
Dimensions:9.6 x 6.9 x 0.33 inch
Screen: 10.5-inch
Weight: 522 g

Another great offering below $500, The Microsoft Surface Go is the best “Surface” device you can buy on a budget. It seems as if Microsoft has tried fitting every cool feature they could in one reasonably priced tablet.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet

Retail Value $750

A versatile 2-in-1 Windows Tablet

CPU: Intel Core i7-8650U
GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 620
Storage: 1 TB PCIe SSD
OS Windows 10
Resolution 3,000 x 2,000
Rear Camera: 8MP 
Front Camera: 2MP
Screen: 13-inch 
Weight: 890g 
Dimensions: 11.96 x 8.88 x 0.59 inch (with keyboard)

Lenovo named this tablet as ‘an IT admin’s dream,’ when they first released it in 2018. It is easy to see why – the ThinkPad X1 offers multiple technical features as well as doubling up as a laptop with the added keyboard. 

For all the latest information from the world of Tech, Insurance, Health & Wellness, Finance, and Relationship, read more at Opinion Experts.

Leave a Reply