Tablets are an integral part of modern life now. Whether you are a casual user who likes to sit at home and surf Twitter and Facebook or you are a business user who uses theirs to write and look at reports whilst commuting on the train, getting the right tablet is vital. There are literally thousands out there on the market, many of which a functional, some are awful and a few are amazing. It’s the latter that we’re going to look at in this countdown.
8. Asus Transformer Book T100
The Asus Transformer Book T100 is a hybrid that is stunning value for the price. There isn’t much better value you can get for your money as this 10-inch tablet and keyboard hybrid does everything you expect a machine at this level to do and more. Light and very portable, it’s a fantastic machine for those who like to work on the go or for students lugging their books around between lectures.
It features full Windows 8.1 and can run pretty much any Windows based program that you can find. Whether used as a laptop or a tablet, it delivers and this is enhance by its brilliant battery life. The only downsides are it can be a bit sluggish starting up and the screen could do with an upgrade, but really, what do you expect for a budget hybrid? If your budget is limited and you want a quality hybrid, then the Asus Transformer Book T100 should be on your shortlist.
7. Google Nexus 9
A rival to the iPad Air 2, the Google Nexus is a brilliant tablet that nearly, but not quite eclipes its rival. With the same screen size and resolution as Apple’s flagship machine, it was inevitable that they would be looked at head-to-head.
The Google Nexus 9 comes with Android 5.0 Lollipop, which is a brilliant update to the operating system and is sharp, powerful and very user friendly. All this for less than the iPad Air 2 price and it will tempt even the most hardened of Apple fan boys. There are very few bad things to say about the Google Nexus 9 save to say that it won’t outsell the iPad Air 2 simply because it’s not Apple.
6. Tesco Hudl 2
If you have dismissed buying a Hudl because Tesco makes it then you have been making a big mistake. One of the very best budget tablets on the market, Tesco has shifted a lot of units of the Hudl and the Hudl 2, and it is a favourite of parents looking for a cheap and cheerful but quality tablet for their children.
It comes with a fantastic screen that is brilliant for playing games on and watching movies on. The speakers are very good too considering it is a budget tablet and the micro HDMI is a welcome addition enabling it to be easily connected to the TV. The only downsides are you may find the fact that Tesco have preloaded it with their apps annoying, but if you can get over this it is a fantastic tablet for the money.
5. Microsoft Surface Pro 3
When you think about innovation, you tend to think about companies like Apple and Google. Microsoft, the original innovator in operating systems, has been rather quiet since taking a back seat to their more dynamic rivals. However, Microsoft have come roaring back with their Surface Pro 3. The Surface Pro 3 is a real game-changer that has brought the hybrid to the fore and is a machine that is simply brilliant, whether used as tablet or laptop.
Its genius is that it is a viable alternative to the best laptops out there such as the MacBook Air and the best tablets on the market such as the top of the range iPads. All of this in one simple package. The only downside is the fact that it is quite pricey, but considering you are getting two machines for the price of one, it represents excellent value.
4. Apple iPad Mini 2 with Retina display
It’s no wonder that the Apple iPad Mini 2 has rated so highly in this countdown of the best tablets on the market as the first one was so good. They’ve based their new offering on the original, which can only be a good thing. As you’d expect from Apple, the build quality is simply sublime and the battery life is impressive too, boasting all-day usage.
It’s also a bit nippier than the original, which is always a good thing on tablets such as these that are often used on oversubscribed public Wi-Fi networks. It is expensive though compared to its Android rivals where you can get a similar spec’d machine for a much cheaper price. But they’re not Apple are they, so many people will simply choose this machine on reputation alone.
3. Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5
Samsung have been one of the most prolific producers of Android tablets and this is the best one that they have made to date, and that is saying something looking at some of the fantastic tablets they have made over the last few years. Quite simply, it’s a brilliant Android tablet, and one that stands up proudly to the Apple iPads.
A brilliantly sharp screen, fantastic speakers and a zippy user experience makes it stunning tablet to own. If you’re looking for a top of the range tablet, then the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 should definitely be on your shortlist.
2. Sony XPeria Z4 Tablet
Wow is the word that passes most people’s lips when they first see the Sony Xperia Z4 tablet. At just 7.7mm thick and weighing less than 400g, it also comes with an amazingly thin keyboard that is absolutely perfect for those people who want to work on the go. Aimed at the professional, as well as the casual surfer and gamer, it is a simply stunning addition to the Sony range that is worthy as a direct competitor to the iPlayer.
The screen is vivid and sharp, the speakers are powerful and clear but none of this harms the battery life, which is amazing. There aren’t a lot of negative points to be said for the Sony Xperia Z44 tablet, so if you’re looking for a high spec tablet that is simply awesome, take a good look at the Xperia Z4.
1 . Apple iPad Air 2
It’s thinner, lighter, quicker and simply that little bit better than the competition. Apple have done it yet again with the iPad Air 2. The sheer raw processing power of the iPad Air 2 is awesome compared to its predecessors, with its new A8X chip that helps the iPad zip along nicely whilst not at all compromising its amazing 10-hour battery life.
But that’s not the best thing about the new iPad Air 2. The fact is, it is simply just a pleasure to use. Everything is just so easy to do, so we defy anyone who tests one of these not to go out and buy one straight away. Once again, Apple have raised the bar.