If you're looking for the very best tablet to buy, get Apple's 9.7-inch iPad Pro. It's the ultimate combination of premium design, specifications, paired with powerful software and an unrivaled ecosystem of accessories and apps.
The best thing about it, has to be the design but there's a lot more going for it including the powerful specs, decent battery life and versatility. The breadth of accessories (including the awesome Apple Pencil) is quite something, too.
If you don't want the iPad Pro, but don't worry - T3.com has you covered with a number of other brilliant tabs to suit your needs.
How to choose the best tablet for you
Let's face it, tablets aren't the most exciting devices in the world of tech right now, there's not that much innovation going on, and they're not exactly flying off the shelves.
But bear with us, because most households in the UK still own one (or more), and buying a tab should be a big decision, because, unlike smartphones, your tablet will stick around for longer than two years. So what should you look out for in a tablet?
A great screen is a start, as that's what you'll be staring at most of the time, great speakers are also important, as these are devices primarily used for consuming media.
Key features to look out for include water resistance (so you can watch Netflix in the bath), and a MicroSD slot to fill up with plenty of media. If you're planning on using the tab for work a physical keyboard or stylus could be useful.
Now, you may notice that our three top tablets are iPads, that's because we think iOS is much better suited to larger screens than Android, and the app ecosystem is much better. Of course, we have the best choices for Android users as well.
Here are 8 of the best tablets you can buy today
1. Apple iPad Pro 9.7
Simply the best tablet around, don't even bother looking at the rest
Weight: 437g | Dimensions: 240x170x6.1mm | OS: iOS 9.3 | Screen size: 9.7 | Resolution: 2048x1536 | CPU: Apple A9X | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 32/128/256GB | Battery: 6470mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 5MP
No prizes for guessing the top spot. The iPad Pro 9.7 is the best tablet ever created - and that's not us getting excited over an Apple product for the sake of it (before you accuse us of being paid by Apple). Yes, it's expensive, but for that money you're getting one of the most versatile tablets available.
Read the full review: Apple iPad Air 2
The battery life is more than acceptable, the camera has been massively upgraded (although, obviously we don't recommend you use it), and the screen upgrades genuinely make viewing web pages or videos on the go a joy. The best thing about it, however, has to be the design, it's premium build quality, and the 4x3 size ratio makes it just feel 'right' in the hand. If the iPad Pro 9.7 is a little too pricey and over-specced for your needs, you can always go with the brilliant iPad Air 2.
2. Apple iPad Pro
The best large tablet
Weight: 713g | Dimensions: 306x220x6.9mm | OS: iOS 9 | Screen size: 12.9 | Resolution: 2048x2732 | CPU: Apple A9X | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 32/128GB | Battery: 10307mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 1.2MP
This may seem like a blown up iPad Air 2, and that's what it essentially is. The iPad Pro is the largest tablet we've ever seen from Apple and it really is a monster. It has a 12.9-inch display that makes it a difficult to handle. So don't expect any one-handed action here (is anyone else hearing these innuendos?)
Read the full review: Apple iPad Pro
It does mean there's a big beautiful screen you can draw on with the Apple Pencil, and there's a huge 10,307mAh battery under the hood to keep this thing powered on for ages. Inside is an Apple A9X chip and 4GB of RAM. You can also get a huge 128GB of storage, but be warned it's going to cost you.
3. Apple iPad Mini 4
The best small tablet
Weight: 299g | Dimensions: 203x134x6.1mm | OS: iOS 9 | Screen size: 7.9 | Resolution: 1536x2048 | CPU: Apple A8 | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 16/64/128GB | Battery: 5124mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 1.2MP
It's not a huge surprise that Apple's smaller tablet is still one of the best on the market. Interestingly, though, its high-end build quality causes it some problems, making it heavier than a lot of the plastic-bodied Android tablets out there.
Read the full review: iPad Mini 4
It's ideal travel companion as it's easy to hold and just the right size for a decent gaming experience. Some people knocked the iPad Mini for not adding many features with the last iteration, but we'd say it's difficult to improve upon perfection. If you're after a small tablet, this is your choice.
4. Samsung Galaxy Tab S3
The best Android tablet you can get
Weight: 429g | Dimensions: 237.3 x 169 x 6mm | OS: Android 7.0 (Nougat) | Screen size: 9.7-inches | Resolution: 1536 x 2048 pixels | CPU: Snapdragon 820 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 32GB | Battery: 6000mAh | Rear camera: 13MP | Front camera: 5MP
Samsung's latest attempt at a tablet is much better than any Android attempt we've ever seen before. Even though the design isn't all that inspiring (but really, how can you make a tablet inspiring?), it offers a lot of high-end spec under the hood, and a gorgeous 9.7-inch screen up front, and the brilliant S Pen for precise note-taking.
Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy Tab S3
This is the closest Android manufacturers have got to an iPad Pro competitor - which in our eyes is a massive compliment.
5. Google Pixel C
A pretty decent tablet form Google
Weight: 517g | Dimensions: 242 x 179 x 7mm | OS: Android 6.0 Marshmallow | Screen size: 10.2-inch | Resolution: 2560 x 1800 | CPU: Nvidia Tegra X1 | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery: N/A | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 2MP
Don't mistake the Google Pixel C for just another Nexus product. This is Google's chance to prove it can make incredible hardware without the help of another manufacturer. And it has done exactly that.
Read the full review: Google Pixel C
This is the best Android tablet you can buy right now. It's not exactly cheap at £399 and the keyboard costs an extra £119, but the whole experience is surprisingly great. It's got a very understated design that looks professional and stylish at the same time.
6. Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet
You can take Sony's amazing tablet into the bath with you
Weight: 389g | Dimensions: 254x167x6.1mm | OS: Android 5.0 | Screen size: 10.1 | Resolution: 2560x1600 | CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 32GB | Battery: 6000mAh | Rear camera: 8.1MP | Front camera: 5.1MP
Sony's Z4 is easily the company's best tablet to date. Like a lot of Sony's phones and tablets it can take a splash in water too, in fact, it can survive full submersion. Handy for tablets that are left around kids, or you want to use in wet places.
Read the full review: Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet
Even more impressive is the fact that you can connect it to your PS4 and play games over your home network. That's a pretty impressive feat, and while it needs a really good quality network, it's an amazing feature you just don't get on other devices that makes the Sony stand out. Oh, and the screen is beautiful too.
7. Microsoft Surface Pro 4
Want Windows 10 instead? Well, if you must...
Weight: 766g | Dimensions: 292 x 201 x 8.5mm | OS: Windows 10 | Screen size: 12.3-inch | Resolution: 2736 x 1824 | CPU: Intel Core M3 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 128GB | Battery: N/A | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 5MP
Microsoft's Surface Pro 4 may look like the Surface Pro 3, but it's quite a different beast altogether. Once again it can transform between laptop and tablet with ease (there's a simple detachable keyboard), but this time, there are a lot of refinements to make the whole experience easier and more enjoyable.
Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Pro 4
The Surface Pro 4 won't come cheap and the type cover is sold separately - but this is more than a tablet. It's a laptop as well, so it's worth splashing out on it. It's two devices in one!
8. Google Nexus 9
Built by HTC and one of the nicest Nexus devices ever made
Weight: 425g | Dimensions: 228.2x153.7x8mm | OS: Android 5 | Screen size: 8.9 | Resolution: 2048x1536 | CPU: nVidia Tegra K1 | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 16GB | Battery: 6700mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 1.2MP
HTC brings its considerable expertise to the table with the Nexus 9. This tablet is solidly built and offers all of the niceties of a "Nexus" branded product. Put simply, this is a pure Android experience. There is no extra customisation here, this tablet survives on the Google Android experience. It is therefore ideal for enthusiasts who don't want, or need, to be guided through the OS.
Read the full review: Google Nexus 9
The Nexus devices are also the first to get updated to the new versions of Android too, so there's none of that painful waiting to get new features.
- Liked this? Of course you bloody well did! Why not read our guide to the best smartphones in 2017?