Best tablet: 6 top tablets including iPad, Nexus 9, Xperia Z4 and more

Which is the best tablet you can buy? We look at your iOS and Android options.

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.

Here it's all iOS and Android., If you're looking for a Windows device, head over to our best Windows tablets and laptops roundup.

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

Slimmer design
Super speedy processor
16GB is a little low on space
Not massive upgrade over iPad Air

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

Gorgeous display
Strong battery life
Problematic UI
Only 32GB option

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

3. Apple iPad Mini 3 (2014)

Still the king of tablets, but no longer the only choice

Weight: 331 | Dimensions: 200x134x7.5mm | OS: iOS 8.1 | Screen size: 7.9 | Resolution: 1536x2048 | CPU: Apple A7 | RAM: 1GB | Storage: 16/64/128GB | Battery: 6470mAh | Rear camera: 5mp | Front camera: 1.2mp

Sleek design
Touch ID for security
Too similar to mini 2
Pricey compared to last year

It's not a huge surprise that Apple's smaller tablet it 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. Even so, it's a beautiful tablet and this size is ideal really because it's easy to hold and just the right size for a nice gaming experience. Although it might sound pointless on a tablet, the Touch ID fingerprint scanner is marvellous too making app purchases really easy and getting you into the tablet with minimal effort. 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.

Read the full review: iPad Mini 3 (2014)

4. Tesco Hudl 2

Cheap as chips but with the attitude of a much more expensive device

Weight: 410g | Dimensions: 128x224x90mm| OS: Android 4.4 | Screen size: 8.3 | Resolution: 1920x1200 | CPU: Intel Atom | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 16GB | Battery: Not published | Rear camera: 5mp | Front camera: 1.2mp

Decent HD screen
Handy parental controls
Poor battery life
Tesco launcher sluggish

The absolute maximum you'll need to pay for a Hudl 2 is £99, and that makes it a total bargain. This is a tablet that has a nice big screen, it's a good size and is absolutely ideal as a device to hand your kids to play music, movies and games on. Tesco knows that too, so the whole experience is aimed at being family-friendly. Don't worry though, there's enough power here to keep most people happy, it's not a supercomputer by any means, but it's not a wet fish either.

Read the full review: Tesco Hudl 2

5. Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4

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

Stunningly bright screen
Powerful performer
It's still plastic
Uneven fingerprint sensor

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 8.4

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

Great speakers
4:3 aspect ratio
Below par display quality
Boring design

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

7. Amazon Fire HDX 8.9

Amazon has built its own ecosystem, and it's very good

Weight: 375g | Dimensions: 231x158x7.8mm | OS: FireOS (based on Android 4.4) | Screen size: 8.9 | Resolution: 2560 x 1600| CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 16/32/64GB | Battery: Not published | Rear camera: 8mp | Front camera: 1mp

Fast performance
Parental controls
Fire OS
Limited storage

Here's another tablet with a gorgeous screen - the Amazon Fire HDX 8.9. This is, without doubt, the best Amazon tablet yet. Like the Sony, it's super-light and has a bright and vivid screen that will blow you away. Amazon's devices run Android, but it's not a Google endorsed version so apps like Maps and Gmail aren't here. That's only a very minor issue though as Amazon has its own alternatives to handle the missing features.

Read the full review: Amazon Fire

Liked this? Why not read our guide to the best smartphone?

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