After the release of Apple’s iPad Air 2022 and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S8 lineup last year, the world of tablets hasn’t changed much. At IFA, Lenovo announced updated versions of the Tab P11 and P11 Pro with updated internals and even an 11.2-inch OLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate on the Pro. Apple’s latest tablet is an updated 10.9-inch iPad, but at $449, it’s more of an upgrade than an alternative to the less expensive 10.2-inch iPad. Amazon recently released updated versions of its Fire HD 8 tablets with a new “Tap to Alexa” feature. While there haven’t been many revolutionary releases recently, you’ve still got plenty of solid tablets to choose from if you’re in the market for a new one. Let’s break down what you should look for before deciding on a new device and our current best tablets.
The best overall Apple iPad Pro
The best Android Tablet Samsung Galaxy Tab S8
The best Windows tablet Microsoft Surface Pro 9
The best budget Apple iPad 10.2 inches
The best tablet for children Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Pro
Which OS is right for me?
Before you start looking at specific devices, think about how your new tablet will fit in with the gadgets you already have and how you plan to use it. For example, if everyone in your house uses Macs and iPhones, it might not make sense to buy an Android tablet, even if you were tempted by the huge 14.6-inch screen of the new Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra. This goes double for those with a large library of purchased videos and music that may be more difficult to access after switching platforms.
Another consideration is the type of work you will be doing. That’s because while most modern tablets can browse the web or play games, some operating systems like iPadOS and Windows 11 are better designed to support multitasking and productivity than Android or even Chrome OS. It’s a similar situation with software, because while most popular apps and games are available on both Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store, more specialized software may only be properly supported on desktop platforms like Windows or macOS.
What screen size do I need to get?
Determining the best screen size for you will also depend on the type of work (or entertainment) you intend to do. Larger screens make it much easier to watch two programs side by side, and larger displays also provide a more immersive movie viewing experience. But at the same time, the bigger the tablet, the less likely you’ll want to move it around. This means that not only will you want to analyze your workspace (i.e. if you have a desk or plan to work from the couch or even your bed instead), you’ll also want to think about how the device will fit into your daily routine or commute. a job (if you have one).
Finally, you’ll want to consider any additional components or accessories you plan to use, which can range from detachable keyboards to things like external microphones or a stylus. The good news is that many of today’s best tablets offer some kind of keyboard accessory that allows the device to function more like a 2-in-1 than just a content-consuming device. Some tablets are also equipped with features such as microSD card slots that support the possibility of memory expansion, or additional 4G or 5G connectivity, which can be a real advantage for those who travel a lot. And if you plan to use the tablet primarily for work, you might want to pick up a USB hub to connect all your favorite peripherals.
Best overall: Apple iPad Pro
The best overall
Powered by the same Apple M2 chips found in the MacBook, the iPad Pro is one of the fastest and best-looking tablets you can buy today. It’s available in two sizes (11 and 12.9 inches) and works with a range of accessories, including the Apple Pencil and the extremely useful (but expensive) Magic Keyboard.. And thanks to ProMotion’s 120Hz mini LED displays, the iPad Pro screen boasts high brightness and smooth image, whether you’re watching a movie or creating a slideshow. The latest versions of iPadOS also make Apple’s most premium tablet a much more efficient work device, adding new sidebars for quickly switching between apps, a more powerful desktop-like UI for Safari, and a variety of new toolbars.
The main downside is that starting at $800 for the base 11-inch model with 128GB of storage, Apple’s iPad Pro isn’t cheap, and that’s without any extras like cellular or a keyboard. But given that the new iPad Pro is likely more powerful than your current laptop, there’s really nothing you can throw at Apple’s flagship tablet that it can’t handle.
One last note: If you like the iPad Pro but want something more affordable, there’s also the fifth-generation iPad Air. This one runs on the M1 chipset, but has Apple Pencil support and optional 5G connectivity. And with a 10.9-inch screen, it’s almost the same size as the smaller iPad Pro. The main difference is that the iPad Air’s display isn’t as bright and doesn’t support a 120Hz refresh rate. But if you’re okay with that, the 5th-generation iPad Air is essentially an iPad Pro with a less fancy screen, starting at $599 instead of $799.
Best Android tablet: Samsung Galaxy Tab S8
The best Android tablet
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8
Available in three sizes – 11-, 12.4- and a whopping 14.6-inch model – Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S8 line has the right screen size for almost any need. And while Android isn’t typically as geared toward productivity as Windows or iPadOS, Samsung’s Dex mode offers a desktop-like user interface with multi-window support and a taskbar for powerful multitasking.
Samsung’s mobile displays are also some of the best in the business, with support for 120Hz refresh rates and vivid colors from OLED panels. And unlike Samsung’s line of flagship phones, the Galaxy Tab S8 still comes with microSD card support, although unfortunately Samsung hasn’t found a place for a dedicated headphone jack. You can even choose from three different covers: a simple cover, a keyboard cover, and a keyboard cover with a built-in touchpad, so you can choose the right accessory for your needs.
Best Windows tablet: Microsoft Surface Pro 9
The best tablet on Windows
Microsoft Surface Pro 9
While most people think of Microsoft’s Surface Pro devices as a line of 2-in-1 devices, since they don’t come with a keyboard (you have to buy one separately), that technically makes them tablets. But don’t be fooled, with Windows 11 and support for a range of 12th Gen Intel processors, Microsoft’s Surface Pro is built for productivity.
The latest Surface Pro 9 has a gorgeous display with a smooth 120Hz refresh rate and improved stereo speakers, and an infrared facial recognition camera lets you log in instantly. Another nice bonus is that, unlike many tablets, the Surface Pro 9’s solid-state drive is accessible to the user, allowing you to upgrade its memory yourself whenever you want. And with improvements in Windows 11, the Surface Pro 9 is better suited to life as a tablet without the need to connect a smart keyboard, thanks to larger app icons and more user-friendly touch controls.
Best budget: Apple’s 10.2-inch iPad
The best budget
Apple iPad 10.2 inches
If you just want a basic tablet at a reasonable price, it’s hard to go wrong with the standard Apple iPad. Starting at $329, the base iPad has a 10.2-inch display with good brightness (500 nits) and a relatively fast A13 Bionic chip. It’s also the last iPad to still have the old Touch ID home button.
After last year’s update, the ninth-generation iPad received updated features, including support for the Apple Pencil, improved cameras (front and rear), and double the amount of main memory (64 GB instead of 32 GB). And just like its more expensive siblings, the standard iPad is available in a Wi-Fi-only model or with optional 4G LTE cellular connectivity. The entry-level iPad is also the cheapest Apple device to sell you access to the App Store, making it a good multimedia device and a convenient way to manage your media library on other Apple devices at an affordable price.
Best tablet for kids: Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Pro
The best tablet for children
Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Pro
Starting at $200, Amazon’s device is the cheapest tablet on this list, and unlike the more adult-oriented fare, it comes with a child-resistant case and a two-year warranty.
If you’re looking for a new tablet for your child, the Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Pro is an easy choice. Starting at $200, it’s the cheapest tablet on this list, and unlike the more adult-oriented fare, it comes with a child-resistant case and a two-year warranty. Amazon says that if your child breaks the tablet, the company will replace it for free.
Other useful add-ons include a free one-year subscription to Amazon Kids+ , which gives you access to over 20,000 games, books and apps designed for kids. There’s also a handy parent dashboard that lets you set time limits, content filters, and educational goals. And while its 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage isn’t much, its 1080p display is sharp enough and it has a microSD card slot for storage expansion. And if you want a slightly smaller and more affordable option, there’s the $140 Fire HD 8 Kids Pro.
Author: Konstantin Kryvopust