Buying a tablet should be easy, but like everything there's an alarming amount of choice out there now. That's good, because it means there are some nice low prices, and it means there's no shortage of features and options. It's bad if you struggle to make a decision though.
But we can help there, so we've rounded up a bunch of really great tablets to guide you to happiness. Our goal here is simple, to find a mix of devices that will suit any pocket and need.
So if you want something simple for the kids, or a gaming-capable powerhouse you've come to the right place. So without further ado, let's start our best tablet rundown.
1. Apple iPad Air 2
Simply the best tablet around
Weight: 437g | Dimensions: 240x170x6.1mm | OS: iOS 8.2 | Screen size: 9.7 | Resolution: 2048x1536 | CPU: Apple A8X | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 16/64/128GB | Battery: 6470mAh | Rear camera: 5mp | Front camera: 1.2mp
The iPad Air 2 is the best tablet ever created - and that's not us getting excited over an Apple product for the sake of it. The price is even comparable to the rest of the market, meaning that while it's expensive, it's still right in line with similar options from Samsung or Sony. The battery life is more than acceptable, the camera has been upgraded, and the screen upgrades genuinely make viewing web pages or videos on the go a joy.
Read the full review: Apple iPad Air 2
2. 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. 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.
Read the full review: Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet
3. Apple iPad Pro
It's like an iPad Air 2, but bigger...much bigger
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 one has been rumoured for ages, and now it's finally here. It's 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 one to handle. Don't expect any one handed action here. But it does mean there's a big beautiful screen you can draw on with the Apple Pencil support. There's a huge 10,307mAh battery under the hood to keep this thing on and it's all powered by a 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.
Read the full review: Apple iPad Pro
4. Apple iPad Mini 4
Once the king of tablets, but no longer the only choice
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 because it's heavier than a lot of the plastic-bodied Android tablets out there. But this time it's even thinner and lighter so it's a much better choice than the iPad Mini 4. It's idea because it's easy to hold and just the right size for a nice gaming experience. Some people knocked the iPad Mini for not adding many features with the last iteration, but there's an argument this is because Apple got it right out of the gate. And this time Apple improved it even further - if you're after a smaller tablet, this is your choice.
Read the full review: iPad Mini 4
5. Samsung Galaxy Tab S
Beautifully designed and lovely to use it's Samsung's best tablet ever
Weight: 294g | Dimensions: 212.8x125.6x6.6mm | OS: Android 4.4.2 | Screen size: 8.4| Resolution: 2560x1600 | CPU: Exynos 5 octa-core | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 16/32GB | Battery: 4900mAh | Rear camera: 8mp | Front camera: 2.1mp
Samsung took its sweet time getting tablets right. It was one of the first making Android devices - before Google wanted people using its OS for such things - and it was really only with the large Note and this Tab S that it got the equation right. This tablet is slim, light and a joy to use. Its screen is so sharp that it's almost unbelievable. It's one of those products that you get in for review and then cry when it goes back. Samsung also includes a slightly different way of attaching accessories too, via a pair of mounting holes. With a plastic case, magnets don't work, so this is a great solution and accessories are plentiful.
Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy Tab S
6. 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: 1.2
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's therefore ideal for enthusiasts who don't want, or need, to be guided through the OS. 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.
Read the full review: Google Nexus 9
- Liked this? Why not read our guide to the best smartphones in 2015?