Best tablets 2020: slim, stylish and powerful slates

Find the best tablet for you with T3's top picks of the best tablets on the market

Best tablets 2020 Apple iPad Android tablets best iPad
(Image credit: Apple)

Tablets are fantastically useful tools, be that for entertaining yourself (or the kids), staying informed with the latest news and current affairs, being creative or working — they are do everything devices that offer fantastic value for money. This is why T3 has created this best tablets for 2020 guide.

From the best tablets to the best Android tablets, and onto the best iPads, this guide has you covered, delivering a suite of superb slates that will do anything but disappoint. There's plenty of premium choices, for those who want high-level power and features, as well as a selection of super affordable tablets that do the basics brilliantly.

We've also included some valuable buying advice, which can be found below our top tablet recommendations. These are tips and things to look out for when selecting your next slate, including information on sizes and operating systems.

The best tablets 2020: get the best tablet for you now

best tablets 2020 Apple iPad Air

The latest Apple iPad Air should be the first tablet any prospective upgrader considers.

(Image credit: Apple)

1. Apple iPad Air

The best tablet for most people

Weight: 456g
Dimensions: 250.6 x 174.1 x 6.1mm
OS: iPadOS 13.1
Screen size: 10.5
Resolution: 1668 x 2224
CPU: Apple A12 Bionic
Storage: 64GB/256GB
Battery: TBC
Rear camera: 8MP
Front camera: 7MP
Reasons to buy
+As powerful as the 12.9”+Exceptional audio+Incredibly quick

Please note that a new version of the iPad Air has been announced. Here's what you need to know about the iPad Air 2020.

Our number one tablet recommendation for most people? That's the latest Apple iPad Air.

This technically is the iPad Air 3, but it is more like the second-gen 10.5-inch iPad Pro – it's that latter 2017 tablet that the 2019 version of the iPad Air is replacing in the Apple line-up. The dimensions and screen stay largely the same, but the internal processor gets a tasty boost.

Apple Pencil support is here, too, but only for the first-gen stylus. While there's a smart connector for a keyboard too, so this is a slightly better proposition than the entry-level iPad for serious typists and those who will need to use their tablet for working.

Price-wise and specs-wise this sits in the middle of the Apple iPad tablet range at the moment, and that should tell you all you need to know about whether it's the best tablet for you. It's a really good balance of price, performance and portability, made even better by iPadOS.

If you are looking for a fantastic all-round tablet experience the Apple iPad Air 2019 delivers, and does so at a firmly mid-tier price point.

Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch best tablet 2020

The premium Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch is the best tablet in the world if money is no object.

2. Apple iPad Pro 12.9

The best premium tablet

Weight: 631g
Dimensions: 280.6 x 214.9 x 5.9 mm
OS: iPadOS 13.1
Screen size: 12.9
Resolution: 2048 x 2732 pixels
CPU: Apple A12X Bionic
RAM: 6GB or 4GB
Storage: 1TB or 64/256/512GB
Battery: 9720 mAh
Rear camera: 12MP
Front camera: 7MP
Reasons to buy
+Unbelievably powerful and slick+Great battery life+New Pencil is great

The iPad Pro 12.9-inch is the largest, most powerful tablet we've ever seen from Apple. Indeed, its 12.9-inch, 2048 x 2732 pixel display is a thing of real beauty, while its incredibly powerful A12X Bionic processor is a technical marvel, rapidly crunching through any task you through at it.

There's a top-level supporting suite of tech and features, too, including a capacious and long-lasting 9720 mAh battery, 6GB of RAM and 1TB of internal storage space, as well as 4K video capture functionality and support for Apple's great new Apple Pencil, too. The tablet runs the latest iPadOS and comes installed with four powerful speakers behind the screen, which make consuming media a joy.

In our review of the all new 12.9-inch Apple iPad Pro, T3's own Matt Bolton concluded that it is "the best tablet on the market – it's slick, the design is class-leading, and it's insanely powerful, which means it's only going to get more capable with updates as time goes on." Enough said, we think.

iPad 10.2 best tablets 2020

The best tablet in terms of value for money? That's the 10.2-inch iPad.

(Image credit: Apple)

3. Apple iPad 10.2 (2019)

The best budget tablet

Weight: 483g
Dimensions: 250.6 x 174.1 x 7.5 mm
OS: iPadOS 14
Screen size: 10.2 inches
Resolution: 1620 x 2160 pixels
CPU: Apple A12 Bionic
Storage: 32GB/128GB
Battery: 8827 mAh
Rear camera: 8MP f/2.4
Front camera: 1.2MP f/2.2
Reasons to buy
+It's the best value iPad+Apple Pencil support+With the latest iPadOS software

The new entry-level 10.2-inch iPad really makes you wonder why you would pay more for a more expensive iPad – it's not quite as powerful, sure, and doesn't have the ultra-thin bezels or the very best True Tone screen. But you still get a whole lot of Apple tablet for not much money.

And the ever-improving iPadOS runs just as well on the basic Apple iPad as it does on the iPad Pros. It's the perfect tablet for relaxing on the sofa, or giving to the kids, or doing just about everything you would want to do with a tablet – it has Apple Pencil support, too, though only for the first-generation stylus.

As such, if you want top tablet performance but are shopping on a budget, then the Apple iPad 10.2 2020 is a fantastic choice.

Subscribe to T3 magazine today and get a FREE Native Union Eclipse 3-Way USB Charger worth £69.99! 

Can't get to the shops but don't want to miss out on the latest issue of the UK's best-selling gadget magazine? When you subscribe today, you'll get save 35% on the cover price, you'll get every issue of T3 magazine delivered direct to your door, and get this great-looking Native Union charging station completely free!

T3 brings you the tech never knew you needed to know about – we find the latest gadgets that could change your life, and our expert reviewers cut out all the junk that gets released so you're only reading about technology that's worth your time. Don't miss our special deal – today for just £42 for one year to get your free USB charger station worth £69.95!View Deal

best Android tablets 2020 Samsung Galaxy Tab S6

Want an Android slate? The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is the best tablet for you, then.

(Image credit: Samsung)

4. Samsung Galaxy Tab S6

The best Android tablet in the world right now

Weight: 420g
Dimensions: 244.5 x 159.5 x 5.7 mm
OS: Android 9
Screen size: 10.5
Resolution: 1600 x 2560 pixels
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
Storage: 128GB/256GB
Battery: 7040 mAh
Rear camera: 13MP f/2.0 + 5MP f/2.2
Front camera: 8MP f/2.0
Reasons to buy
+Streamlined, minimal design+Screen is fantastic, as usual+Comes with the impressive S Pen

If you prefer Android to iPadOS, and want the very best tablet that's powered by Google software, then the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is it. It's beautifully designed, it's packed with power, and the S Pen continues to get more and more useful with each passing upgrade.

In our review we praised the slate's sleek looks, the software sophistication, the quality of the media playback (both audio and visuals), and the look of that high-resolution 10.5-inch screen. It may not be quite as good as the iPad, but it's close, and you can at least escape Apple's walled garden (and set a default web browser that isn't Safari – imagine that). 

Samsung has even managed to pack in a dual-lens rear camera on this device, so if you absolutely must take photos with your tablet, this won't let you down. As with the iPad, you're probably going to want the official keyboard accessory as well, which will cost you extra.

Overall, if you want an Android tablet, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is the best on the market today.

Apple iPad Pro 11-inch best tablet 2020

The 11-inch Apple iPad Pro is, simply put, a great tablet to choose if you can afford it.

5. iPad Pro 11 (2018)

The all-round powerhouse from Apple

Weight: 468g
Dimensions: 247.6 x 178.5 x 5.9 mm
OS: iPadOS 13.1
Screen size: 11-inch
Resolution: 2388 x 1668 pixels
CPU: A12X Bionic
Storage: 64GB/256GB/512GB/1TB
microSD slot: No
Battery: 7,812mAh
Rear camera: 12MP
Front camera: 7MP
Reasons to buy
+Serious processing power+Pencil magnetically clips to device+Easier to slip in a bag than the 12.9-inch model

Maybe you don't have as much space in your backpack, or maybe you have smaller hands, or maybe you just don't have quite as much money to spend – those are some of the reasons you might pick the 11-inch iPad Pro over the 12.9-inch version.

Despite its smaller size, the internals of the iPad Pro 11 are the same as the bigger version: it's supremely powerful, it's incredibly versatile (if you're willing to fork out for extra cost for the keyboard cover folio)... in short, it's an absolute beast of a tablet.

It'll run apps and games without breaking a sweat (making it ideal for word processing on the go), and with iPadOS now on the scene it's a better laptop replacement than ever before. Expensive, but recommended.

Best tablet 2020 Apple iPad Mini

The best small tablet in the world is the latest Apple iPad Mini.

(Image credit: Apple)

6. Apple iPad mini (2019)

The best small tablet you can buy

Weight: 300g
Dimensions: 203.2 x 134.8 x 6.1 mm
OS: iPadOS 13.1
Screen size: 7.8 inches
Resolution: 1536 x 2048 pixels
CPU: Apple A12
Storage: 64/256GB
Battery: 5124 mAh
Rear camera: 8MP
Front camera: 7MP
Reasons to buy
+So portable and light+Packed with power+Tons of brilliant optimised apps and games

The iPad mini is now a little powerhouse of a tablet, packing in an incredible fast Apple A12 processor (more powerful than in the entry-level 10.2-inch iPad, for example).

This turns the iPad mini into a fantastic creativity machine – with a wide-colour high-res display and Apple Pencil support, it's a beautiful little machine for drawing on or editing photos. It's capable of handling huge raw photography files, editing multiple 4K videos at once, creating music projects with loads of tracks… you name it, the iPad mini can power it.

Being such a small size and weighing barely anything, that makes it the ideal 'throw it in your bag every day' companion. It’s also great for games, of course, or entertainment (though the screen isn't OLED, which makes it weaker for movie viewing than, say, the Samsung Tab S6 above).

But while the iPad mini has all the strengths of iOS – including its huge collection of dedicated apps and stable performance even when multitasking – the smaller screen means it can’t always make the most of them. This isn’t suited to office-style productivity (spreadsheets, documents, etc), just due to the size of the screen and how that limits what you can see when multi-tasking. 

If it's a versatile productivity machine you want, the iPad Air is better. If it's a media-watching machine, the better speakers and OLED screen on the Samsung Tab S6 are maybe a better bet. But as a fun super-portable tablet you can do anything on, this is impossible to beat.

Microsoft Surface Go best tablet 2020

Want Windows 10 on your tablet? Then the Microsoft Surface Go is absolutely worth looking at.

7. Microsoft Surface Go

The best tablet running Windows 10

Weight: 1.15 pounds
Dimensions: 245 x 175 x 8.3mm
OS: Windows 10
Screen size: 10-inch
Resolution: 1,800 x 1,200
CPU: 1.6GHz Intel Pentium Gold
Storage: 128GB
Battery: Unknown
Rear camera: 8MP
Front camera: 5MP
Reasons to buy
+Brilliant ergonomics+Fantastic pen and keyboard +Can run full fat Windows 10 

In our official Microsoft Surface Go review we concluded that:

"The Microsoft Surface Go is a pro-level tablet computer that successfully breaks into the market traditionally dominated by the Apple iPad Pro and Samsung Galaxy Tab ranges. It doesn't quite match the slickness of its rivals, but then again its rivals don't have the flexibility of Windows."

And that, simply put, is why this compact and stylish Windows 10 tablet has found its way into our best tablets guide – it offers something that the other tablets in this list don't, and it does so at an attractive price point, too. A well-made and stylish tablet, with solid internal hardware and screen, and running Windows 10, is a rare thing.

The best tablet on the market in 2020 for users who demand the Windows 10 OS and want to keep their purchase affordable.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e best Android tablets 2020

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e is a slim and stylish Android tablet with great affordability.

8. Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e

The best Android tablet for value for money

Weight: 400g
Dimensions: 245 x 160 x 5.5mm
OS: Android 9.0 Pie
Screen size: 10.5-inches
Resolution: 1600 x 2560 pixels
CPU: Snapdragon 670
Storage: 64GB/128GB
Battery: 7040mAh
Rear camera: 13MP
Front camera: 8MP
Reasons to buy
+A genuinely good Android tablet+Sharp, vibrant screen+Four-speaker sound by AKG

This is Samsung's newest tablet, and while not quite as powerful as the Samsung Tab S6, it's probably better value for money – if your needs aren't that demanding and you want a well-built Android tablet with an excellent screen, the Samsung Tab S5e definitely stands out as one of the best tablets of 2020.

You don't get any official stylus with this, so you can't give your fingers a rest, but there is an official keyboard dock and cover (available as an optional extra) if you need to do a lot of typing.

Of course new Samsung tablets are always around the corner, no matter when you decide to buy, but the Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e has enough for us to recommend it even if it is due to be replaced in the near future. A hard Android tablet to beat in terms of pure bang for buck.

Microsoft Surface Pro 7 best Android tablet 2020

The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is a Windows power user's best friend.

(Image credit: Microsoft)

9. Microsoft Surface Pro 7 (2019)

One of the very best Windows 10 devices of any kind and a superb choice for power users

Weight: 775g
Dimensions: 292 x 201 x 8.5 mm
OS: Windows 10 Home
Screen size: 12.3 inches
Resolution: 2736 x 1824 pixels
CPU: 10th-gen Intel Core i3, i5 or i7
Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB
Battery: up to 10.5 hours "typical" usage
Rear camera: 8MP
Front camera: 5MP
Reasons to buy
+PC power, tablet portability+Full Windows experience+Premium design and build

The Surface Pro 7 is everything we know and love from the Surface series: the power of Windows 10 and the versatility of a tablet or 2-in-1 form factor.

It's undoubtedly one of the best tablets of 2020: Intel Core i3, i5 and i7 options (all 10th gen), up to 16GB of RAM, up to 1TB of storage, and of course that fantastic 12.3-inch PixelSense display. Despite all that power, it's still light enough to hold in one hand (just about) and chuck in a bag.

We should point out that, as normal, the Surface Pro Type Cover and Surface Pen are optional extras – so you're going to need to pay a bit more cash to make the very most of everything the Surface Pro 7 has to offer. As far as desktop experiences in tablet form factors go though, this is hard to beat.

Pixel Slate best tablet 2020

Happy to run ChromeOS on your tablet? Then the Pixel Slate is a fast and affordable system.

10. Google Pixel Slate

A pretty decent tablet from Google

Weight: 731g
Dimensions: 291 x 202 x 7mm
OS: Chrome OS
Screen size: 12.3-inch
Resolution: 3000 x 2000
CPU: Intel Celeron, m3, i5 or i7
Storage: 64GB/128GB/256GB
Battery: up to 12 hours
Rear camera: 8MP
Front camera: 8MP
Reasons to buy
+Very nice display+Premium design+Chrome OS and Android combined

As we mentioned above, Google seems to have given up on pushing out its own Android tablets, settling instead for Chrome OS tablets that can also run Android apps – and that's where the Pixel Slate comes in.

Easy to use as a tablet, it transforms into a makeshift Chromebook thanks to the official keyboard accessory you can pick up (it's an optional extra unfortunately, like the official Pixel stylus).

The combination of Chrome OS and Android actually works pretty well, because you get the full desktop web experience, plus everything from the Google Play Store as well. Those Android apps really help when you're offline, for example.

As far as specs go, you can pack this with some really impressive internal components – though of course you're going to have to pay for them. We'd advise going for the best spec you can afford.

Best cheap tablets best Android tablets

(Image credit: Samsung)

Best cheap tablets 2020: budget tablets, good performance

If you're looking for one of the best budget tablets of 2020, or one of the bet cheap tablets of 2020, then we've got exactly what you're looking for in this final list. We've reviewed and rated all the best tablets and curated this ultimate list of most affordable slates that still pack a quality punch.

And, unless you're crunching through some 4K video editing or wanting to run the most demanding mobile games out there, a tablet doesn't really have to do much – a bit of web browsing here, a spot of Netflix watching there, and that's about the extent of it.

That's why for many people a cheap, budget tablet is actually a perfect fit. It's just a question of which of these cheap tablets is the best one for you.

Kids too can benefit from a cheap and cheerful tablet, and don't necessarily need all the bells and whistles of an iPad Pro. With that in mind we present our picks for the best budget tablets that you can buy right now, complete with the pros and cons of each.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A best budget tablet best cheap tablet

The Samsung Galaxy Tab A delivers a strong all-round budget tablet experience.

(Image credit: Samsung)

1. Samsung Galaxy Tab A (10.1-inch)

The best cheap tablet for most people

Weight: 458g
Dimensions: 14.9 x 24.5 x 0.8 cm
OS: Android
Screen size: 10.1 inches
Resolution: 1200 x 1920
CPU: Exynos 7904
Storage: 32GB
Battery: 6,150mAh
Rear camera: 8MP
Front camera: 5MP
Reasons to buy
+Bold and spacious screen+Polished Android skin+Rock solid hardware

Newly revamped, the latest Samsung Galaxy Tab A follows on from its predecessors by offering some very decent specs for a very decent price. Okay, it's not going to come first in any performance benchmarks, but it'll do everything you need it to.

Add to that a very nice-looking, very spacious 10.1-inch screen, and the latest version of Android, and you can see why this is definitely worth a place on our list of best budget tablets – you don't often get a screen this good at this price.

This being Samsung, you can rely on a certain level of build quality and software finesse even at this price, and as long as you don't need the latest and greatest components under the hood, this tablet will do you very well indeed.

Amazon Fire HD 10 best budget tablet best cheap tablets

At the top end of the premium cheap tablet marker sits the Amazon Fire HD 10.

(Image credit: Amazon)

2. Amazon Fire HD 10

The best premium cheap tablet

Weight: 500g
Dimensions: 262 x 159 x 9.8mm
OS: Android 5.1
Screen size: 10.1 inches
Resolution: 1200 x 1920
CPU: Mediatek MT8173
Storage: 32/64GB
Battery: 3830mAh
Rear camera: 2MP
Front camera: VGA
Reasons to buy
+Large, high-resolution screen+Solid build quality+Strong battery

Amazon makes some of the best budget tablets around, offering decent hardware at compelling prices, but there's a big caveat: no Google Play Store access, so not as wide a choice of apps as you might be used to, with major absentees including Gmail and YouTube.

If you can live with that (you still get apps like Netflix, Plex and Facebook), then the Fire 10 HD has a good size screen, plenty of storage, and up to 10 hours of battery life. These Fire tablets tend to be better built than other budget slates too, and are going to last you.

As such, we recommend the Amazon Fire HD 10 as the best cheap tablet to buy if you can stretch to it, as it will deliver a long-lasting companion that is especially good for streaming content from Disney+, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

best cheap tablets on a budget Amazon Fire 7

The Amazon Fire 7 is a budget beauty, delivering strong basic tablet functionality for a crazy-low price point.

(Image credit: Amazon)

3. Amazon Fire 7

The best budget cheap tablet

Weight: 295g
Dimensions: 192 x 115 x 9.6mm
OS: Android 5.1
Screen size: 7.0 inches
Resolution: 600 x 1024
CPU: Mediatek MT8127
Storage: 8GB/16GB
Battery: 2980mAh
Rear camera: 2MP
Front camera: VGA
Reasons to buy
+The price is criminally low+Works well with Amazon services+Strong basic slate functionality

At this price the Amazon Fire 7 tablet is almost a no-brainer for anyone looking to spend very, very little on their next tablet. Not only does this 7-inch slate deliver rock solid basic tablet functionality, but you've got four sharp colours to pick from, Alexa on board, and up to eight hours of battery life, too.

Be under no illusions though, with the specs inside, you're only going to be able to stick to the basics (think media consumption and web browsing). Plus, as with the other Fire tablets, you're limited to the Amazon App Store, so you can't install any Google apps.

For those who just want a light, one-hand friendly tablet to slip into a bag for a bit of light entertainment during the commute, or to shop and browse with while reclining on the sofa in the evening, then the Fire 7 comes very highly recommended.

Huawei MediaPad T3 best budget tablet

Huawei MediaPad T3

4. Huawei MediaPad T3 (10-inch)

Huawei class in a budget tablet

Weight: 460g
Dimensions: 229.8 x 159.8 x 8mm
OS: Android 7.0
Screen size: 9.6 inches
Resolution: 800 x 1280
CPU: Snapdragon 425
RAM: 2/3GB
Storage: 16/32GB
Battery: 4800mAh
Rear camera: 5MP
Front camera: 2MP
Reasons to buy
+Large screen with a good resolution+Well-designed and lightweight

You know you're going to get well-built, well-designed hardware from Huawei, and so it is with the 10-inch MediaPad T3. There's that capacious screen, plus internal specs that won't set the world alight but will handle all of the basic tasks you'll want to do on it.

Huawei's take on Android isn't the best-looking or intuitive out there, but you can easily customise the interface, and you do get access to all the big name apps you're going to want. If you don't need a tablet that's blazingly fast, the MediaPad T3 is fantastic value.

Amazon Fire HD 8 best budget tablets cheap slates

The Amazon Fire HD 8 is a great mid-range budget tablet.

(Image credit: Amazon)

5. Amazon Fire HD 8

A great balance of price and power

Weight: 369g
Dimensions: 214 x 128 x 9.7mm
OS: Android 5.1
Screen size: 8.0 inches
Resolution: 800 x 1280
CPU: Mediatek MT8163
RAM: 1.5GB
Storage: 16/32GB
Battery: 3210mAh
Rear camera: 2MP
Front camera: VGA
Reasons to buy
+Very decent screen for the price+Battery life that will last all day

Find the Amazon Fire HD 10 (above) a bit too big and expensive? We present to you the Fire HD 8 instead, offering a little less screen space for quite a lot less money. With Alexa, Netflix, Facebook, Spotify, Amazon Video and so on, you can do a lot with this tablet.

As with all the Fire tablets, its design and build makes it look more expensive than it is, though as we mentioned with the Fire HD 10, you don't have access to the Google Play Store – that means you can't get Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube and other Google apps.

Lenovo Tab 4 best budget tablet best cheap tablet

Pick the Lenovo Tab 4 if you want a mature aesthetic and solid all-round performance.

(Image credit: Lenovo)

5. Lenovo Tab 4 (8-inch)

A solid all-rounder

Weight: 310g
Dimensions: 211 x 124 x 8.2mm
OS: Android 7.0
Screen size: 8.0 inches
Resolution: 800 x 1280
CPU: Snapdragon 425
Storage: 16/32GB
Battery: 4850mAh
Rear camera: 5MP
Front camera: 2MP
Reasons to buy
+Excellent value for money+Impressive battery life

Lenovo's Android tablet line-up is a little confusing, but here we're talking about the 8-inch version of the Tab 4 (there are four Tab 4s in total – keep up at the back). It's the cheapest of the bunch, but still offers enough build quality and performance to keep most satisfied.

At this price and with these specs you're going to be sticking to the basics, but the Tab 4 is fine for media consumption and a little light web work. What's more, the tablet is well put together, and can give you a whopping 12 hours of total battery life if you use it carefully.

Huawei MediaPad M3 Lite best budget tablet best cheap tablet

The Huawei MediaPad M3 Lite is a classy and highly functional budget tablet.

(Image credit: Huawei)

7. Huawei MediaPad M3 Lite (8-inch)

A budget tablet bargain from Huawei

Weight: 310g
Dimensions: 213.3 x 123.3 x 7.5mm
OS: Android 7.0
Screen size: 8.0 inches
Resolution: 1200 x 1920
CPU: Snapdragon 435
RAM: 3/4GB
Storage: 16/64GB
Battery: 4800mAh
Rear camera: 8MP
Front camera: 8MP
Reasons to buy
+Solid specs and performance+Decent cameras for a budget tablet

We mentioned the Huawei MediaPad T3 above, and the M3 variant gives you some better specs for a bit more money, so it depends what matters to you most – as with the T3, you get the same quality craftsmanship and same slightly wonky software from Huawei.

You get a slightly better processor and camera, and improved RAM and storage options, and so on. The 8-inch model we've selected here means it's smaller than the 10-inch T3, but the resolution makes it sharper, and the tablet does come in a choice of screen sizes.

Acer Iconia One best budget tablet best cheap tablet

A left-field cheap tablet choice, the Acer Iconia One delivers far more than you would think.

(Image credit: Acer)

8. Acer Iconia One (10.1-inch)

Budget price, better-than-budget specs

Weight: TBC
Dimensions: 259 x 167 x 8.9mm
OS: Android 6.0
Screen size: 10.1 inches
Resolution: 1200 x 1920
CPU: Mediatek MT8163A
Storage: 16/32/64GB
Battery: 6100mAh
Rear camera: 5MP
Front camera: 2MP
Reasons to buy
+Polished design and build+Two microUSB ports

With a design that's better than many budget tablets, the Iconia One is a perfectly fine choice for anyone wanting to pick up a tablet on the cheap. It does all the basics well, and according to Acer should give you around 10 hours of battery life with a mix of usage.

The dual microUSB ports are one of the more unusual touches on this tablet, for all your peripheral (or charging) needs, and the audio is another of the features where you get better performance than you might expect at this price – so perfect for movie watching.

Chuwi Hi10 Pro best budget tablet

A tablet that runs Windows 10 but doesn't cost a lot of money? That's the Chuwi Hi10 Pro.

9. Chuwi Hi10 Pro

Windows 10, on the cheap

Weight: 562g
Dimensions: 261.8 x 167.3 x 8.5mm
OS: Windows 10
Screen size: 10.1 inches
Resolution: 1200 x 1920
CPU: Intel Z8350
Storage: 64GB
Battery: 6500mAh
Rear camera: 2MP
Front camera: 2MP
Reasons to buy
+The extra flexibility of Windows 10+Clear and sharp display

Chinese firm Chuwi might not be the most instantly recognisable brand name in this list, but don't let its relative obscurity put you off – it's pushing out some fine budget tablets running Windows 10, though the specs are of course more modest than on rival slates.

While Windows 10 is in theory more capable than Android, bear in mind that those low-end specs will make running the likes of Photoshop and iTunes difficult. If you want to go Microsoft though, and just need a tablet for basic tasks, then the Hi10 Pro fits the bill.

best tablets 2020

(Image credit: Apple)

How to choose the best tablet for you in 2020

More than ever before, choosing a tablet is about choosing an ecosystem. If you plump for a Kindle Fire you're electing to join Amazon’s ecosystem, which is based on Android but does its own proprietary thing with its own proprietary App Store. 

Go for Android and you're betting on Google, even though Google's enthusiasm for tablets is tepid t the moment – it seems to prefer Chromebooks that also double as tablets. If you go for an iPad you're embracing Apple, and if you buy a Windows tablet you're going down the Microsoft road.

There are pros and cons of each. Apple and Amazon are the safest for kids, and Apple the most secure. Android has arguably the worst user experience, and Windows fewer really good tablet apps. But it really comes down to what you want to do, and what apps you intend to do it with.

As far as the hardware goes, screen size is perhaps the most important factor. Right now 7 inches seems too small when smartphones are just a fraction smaller, while anything over 11 inches is difficult to carry around. On-board storage can be paltry too, so look out for expansion options and/or good cloud storage services.

Best tablets 2020: who are the best tablet makers

When it comes round to tablets today there is one name that dominates all others — Apple. Apple's original iPad created the modern tablet industry as we know it today and since then each year these slick slates have raised the bar in terms of user experience.

While other manufacturers have challenged the iPad, it is fair to say that for the vast majority of users, unless they have to have a tablet running a non-iPadOS operating system, then an Apple iPad should be the first thing they consider. This is why Apple's iPad feature so highly in our best tablet guide.

Moving away from Apple, and Samsung is the next biggest producer of tablets, with its Tab range delivering powerful Android tablets that run, basically, like giant phones. These tablets deliver access to the Google Play Store, so rival the iPads in terms of apps, and also tend to be well specced, too.

Microsoft's Surface range of systems has also started to make some waves in the tablet industry, with the Windows-running slates offering an even closer-to-laptop experience for non Apple Mac users. The Surface Go in particular stylishly shows that    Windows needn't not be the preserve of full-blown laptops.

Lastly, in terms of makers of note, it would be impossible not to mention Amazon and it Fire range of tablets. These tablets run FireOS, which isn't quite as good as the operating systems running on Apple and Android tablets, but they do offer all the basics and almost all the major apps most users want. The Fire tablets are super cheap, too, and the modern ones comes with Amazon's Alexa AI assistant built in.

Obviously, there are plenty of more tablet makers out there, including Lenovo, Huawei, Chuwi, Acer and even Google, so be sure to browse the plethora of tablets on offer before making a decision on an upgrade.