fbpx
Latest News
A guide to the best tablets out there

A guide to the best tablets out there

We looked at screen size, display quality, battery life, memory, storage, and bonus features to determine which tablets are actually worth your money.

All products featured here are independently selected by our editors and writers.If you buy something through links on our site, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission.

Tablets are one of our favorite tech advancements of the last decade. They’re compact and sleek devices that you can bring with you anywhere to get some work done on the road or use at home to watch a movie or read an e-book while sitting on the couch. Tablets are wonderful if you need something a little more advanced than a smartphone, but smaller and more compact than a laptop. 

SEE ALSO: Best tablets to get for your kids

However, with so many different types of tablets out there, it’s difficult to find the perfect one for you. 

Do you want an Android tablet? Perhaps an iPad? Windows 10? Maybe an Amazon Fire tablet would be a good fit? We took the time and pored through countless reviews and articles from various sources — including our own Mashable tech team and our colleagues at PCMag — to find the best tablet for just about anyone.

What is the best cheap tablet?

If you’re on a budget, the Fire HD 10 is going to be your best option. It’s durable, has excellent battery life, is kid-friendly, and is significantly less expensive than many of the other tablets on this list. It also doesn’t sacrifice size for the price – it’s comparable to iPads in terms of screen size (though the iPad is superior when it comes to functionality).

What is the best tablet to buy used?

Shopping renewed or refurbished tech is a great way to save money, especially if you’re making a purchase for your kids or are prone to destroying gadgets yourself. We really love Apple’s iPad (we know, you’re not surprised), which is pretty easy to source great used options. Other tablets on this list tend to be a bit more challenging when it comes to finding used devices.

Most tablets made specifically for kids will already be equipped with built-in parental accounts, timers, and pre-selected websites or apps that are strictly for kids. Easy enough.

General purpose tablets aren’t a bad choice at all — many sites name the iPad as one of the best tablets for kids even though it’s technically for everyone. These won’t have the same built-in parental controls as tablets specifically for kids, though, so you’ll need to get creative if you’d rather your kid not have unlimited access to the internet. Apple and Android have features that can filter or block content and prevent purchases, but the closest thing you’ll be able to get to close monitoring is by installing . Opting for a tablet that’s not kid-specific might not be the best for parental controls, but it can save you money down the line because you won’t have to buy a whole new device when your child ages out of their kid tablet.

If you’d prefer to just make the family tablet more kid-friendly instead of purchasing a new one, Osmo is a super neat iPad and Fire Tablet add-on. The connects to your tablet for hands-on exercises that coincide with physical pieces that move on-screen when your kid moves them in real life. Subjects include numbers, words, tangram, Newton, and art, plus extra packs for more advanced stuff like STEM and coding.

Things to keep in mind when shopping for a tablet for kids: Screen resolution (depending on the amount of movie watching and gaming they’ll be doing), storage (they’ll probably have more apps than you do), the intensity of parental controls (for obvious reasons), and rugged-ness (because kids are basically adorable destruction machines).


Easy to use for anyone • Impressive speed

Not as powerful as other tablets

Even if you’re a Windows 10 or Android user, the Apple iPad is the best tablet for just about anyone.

Apple iPad

It’s a classic for a reason: The iPad is a top-notch tablet for pretty much anyone.

  • Screen size:
    10.2 inches
  • Memory:
    2GB
  • Storage:
    32GB or 128GB
  • Battery life:
    Up to 10 hours
Let’s face it. The Apple iPad is the gold standard of tablets. Even if you’re typically a Windows 10 or Android user, no other tablet really comes close — the iPad wins when it comes to interface, build quality, and the number of apps created just for iOS.
Armed with Apple’s A12 Bionic chip and a 10.2-inch Retina display, the iPad is optimized for iOS 12. While there are more powerful tablets out there (including the iPad Pro), the standard iPad’s 2GB of memory and either 32GB or 128GB of storage will suit most casual users. And if you already have a MacBook, it’ll sync with that device with ease.
It’s also compatible with Apple’s Smart Keyboard as well as the Apple Pencil, both of which are, somewhat annoyingly, sold separately.

Inexpensive • Full HD • Crisp and clear display • Large storage capabilities

Made of plastic • No access to the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store • Features-wise, it’s best for Prime members

For $150, the Amazon Fire HD 10 delivers the the most bang for your buck, with its brilliant display and access to thousands of movies, games, and more.

Fire HD 10 Tablet

This tablet gives you some solid bang for your buck — at only $150, we’d say it’s the best deal on this list.

  • Screen size:
    10.1 inches
  • Memory:
    3GB
  • Storage:
    32GB or 64GB (expandable up to 1TB)
  • Battery life:
    Up to 12 hours
At only $149.99, Amazon’s Fire HD 10 Tablet can do quite a bit for its ultra-low price point.
Armed with a full HD 10-inch touchscreen display, the Fire HD 10 packs in over two million pixels for crisp, clear images and videos. Not only can it play full HD movies at 1080p, play music from Amazon Music, and run mobile games from the Amazon App Store, it also doubles as a hands-free smart home hub with the Alexa assistant built-in. Not even the Apple iPad can be used as a smart home hub like the Fire HD 10.
The tablet comes in 32GB and 64GB varieties, but it’s also expandable up to a whopping 256GB with a microSD card. If you’re a Prime member, then you’ll also get access to thousands of books, magazines, songs, movies, and TV shows for free. The Fire HD 10 can do so much for just $150 that it’s a steal! 

Kid-proof case • Excellent battery life • Two-year replacement guarantee • Includes a year of Amazon Kids+

Older kids might outgrow the tablet

Amazon’s Fire HD 10 Kids Edition is a durable and kid-friendly tablet at a low price.

Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition Tablet

Equipped with solid parental controls and protected by a colorful case, this tablet is a must for parents and kids alike.

  • Screen size:
    10.1 inches
  • Memory:
    3GB
  • Storage:
    32GB (expandable up to 1TB)
  • Battery life:
    Up to 12 hours
The Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition is a fairly basic tablet, but it gets the job done for young kids. It ships with a colorful and durable “kid-proof” case that will stand up to drops, throws, and spills. It also has a two-year “worry-free” guarantee — if something happens to the tablet during that time frame, Amazon will replace it with no questions asked.
To keep kids from accessing mature content, the tablet comes with a free year of Amazon Kids+, which offers more than 20,000 books, movies, TV shows, and games made for kids. On Amazon Kids+, users can’t use Alexa or any social media, and in-app purchases can’t be made without a parent accessing the account and giving the OK. (Worth noting: A few parents on the reviews page mentioned that they didn’t love the interface.)
Aside from the restrictions inherent to Amazon Kids+, parents are also able to set restrictions on screen time, permissible websites, and curfews for each user. (Speaking of users, there can be up to four different child profiles.)

Small and compact • Optimized for the Apple ecosystem • Long battery life

Expensive for how small it is

Although it’s an older model, the compact and lightweight Apple iPad mini is still worth the investment, especially if you take long trips.

Apple iPad Mini 4

This tablet’s power and small size make it a great choice for traveling.

  • Screen size:
    7.9 inches
  • Memory:
    2GB
  • Storage:
    64GB or 256GB
  • Battery life:
    Up to 10 hours
Coming in at 7.9 inches and weighing less than a pound, the Apple iPad Mini is the most compact tablet you can buy right now, which makes it nice for travel. The iPad mini is ideal for flights or long bus or train rides with up to 10 hours of battery life. There’s even an option to get the iPad Mini with cellular if you need those capabilities on the go.
The iPad Mini comes with either 64GB or 256GB of storage, so you can load up on movies or trip photos. It’s powered by Apple’s A12 Bionic chip and features an 8MP back camera and 7MP front camera. It’s also compatible with Apple Pencil.

Inexpensive • Expandable storage with microSD • Long battery life

Slower than an iPad • Can’t store apps on microSD card

While it’s definitely not the most advanced tablet, the Tab A is affordable and easy to take on the go.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A

If the iPad Mini is out of your price range, the Tab A is a decent alternative.

  • Screen size:
    8 inches
  • Memory:
    2GB
  • Storage:
    32GB or 64GB (expandable up to 512GB)
  • Battery life:
    13 hours
The Samsung Galaxy Tab A is a cheaper alternative to the iPad Mini. It clocks in at 8 inches and has 32GB or 64GB storage options — both costing less than $200. It runs slower than an iPad, but that’s to be expected with such a large price drop.
The Tab A holds a charge for up to 13 hours, which is pretty impressive for such a small device. It’s a nice starter tablet for older kids or to take with you while you travel.

Comes with built-in LTE • Doubles as a laptop

Signature Type Cover and Surface Pen sold separately

Microsoft Surface Pro LTE is a powerful beast to get work done while traveling. If you’re on the road and away from the office, this tablet will help you get down to business.

Microsoft Surface Pro LTE

This is a strong and robust workhorse for attending to business on the road.

  • Screen size:
    12.3 inches
  • Memory:
    8GB
  • Storage:
    256GB
  • Battery life:
    11 hours
Paired with the Signature Type Cover and the Surface Pen, the Microsoft Surface Pro LTE features the power of a laptop with the portability and ease of use of a tablet. The hybrid packs a punch with Intel’s 7th generation Dual Core i5 Processor and a built-in LTE modem that’s unlocked for just about any cellular service provider. This means you’ll always have a connection to the internet, even if you don’t have a WiFi hotspot accessible.
The Surface Pro LTE also features a brilliant 12.3-inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 2736 x 1824, which is powered with Intel HD Graphics 620, one USB 3.0 port, 8GB of memory, and 256GB SSD storage. This tablet/laptop hybrid also packs in a nice 11-hour battery life, so you’re not always tethered to a wall charger. It also runs Windows 10 Pro, so you can get some real work done.

Beautiful display • Intuitive interface • Great cameras • Powerful processor • Plenty of storage options

Apple Pencil sold separately • Expensive (but worth the investment)

The Apple iPad Pro marries the laptop and the drawing tablet in one ultra-portable device that’s great for artists. If it (and its accessories) are in your budget, then it’s worth the investment.

Apple iPad Pro

This feature-laden iPad can serve as both laptop and drawing tablet.

  • Screen size:
    11 inches
  • Memory:
    8GB or 16GB
  • Storage:
    128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB
  • Battery life:
    Up to 10 hours
There’s a lot of hype surrounding the Apple iPad Pro, and it’s well-deserved. In fact, it’s the best iPad Pro that Apple has ever made.
The Pro’s 11-inch Liquid Retina display is nearly edge-to-edge. Its “ProMotion” technology helps make it seamless to draw on and its True Tone color helps make it pop. Powered by the Apple M1chip, up to 16GB of RAM, and up to 2TB of storage, the iPad Pro is particularly suited to Adobe creativity apps. Its 10-hour battery life isn’t the longest on this list, but it’s still pretty solid.
One downside of the iPad Pro is that you have to purchase an Apple Pencil to draw and sketch with it. This is an additional $125, but it’s an investment worth taking on to get the most out of the iPad Pro, which starts at $799.

Clear, vibrant display • Built-in surround sound • S Pen attaches to the device • Long battery life

No headphone jack • Doesn’t run large Adobe projects as well as the iPad Pro • S Pen attaches to the back, which makes the tablet hard to set down

While it’s not quite up there with the iPad Pro, the Galaxy Tab 6 is good for multitasking and includes the S Pen.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 has great functions and a long battery life.

  • Screen size:
    10.5 inches
  • Memory:
    6GB
  • Storage:
    128GB or 256GB (expandable up to 1TB)
  • Battery life:
    Up to 15 hours
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 has a beautiful 10.5-inch Super AMOLED display, an easy-to-use touchscreen, and built-in Dolby Atmos surround sound, making it great for watching movies.
It’s built for multitasking with a fast processor that lets you quickly switch between apps without any lag. The tablet also comes with the S Pen for note-taking, designing, and whatever else you could need a stylus for. It magnetically attaches to the back of the Tab 6 for easy storage and charging. You can also add on a keyboard (sold separately) for even more functions.

Comes in fun colors • Powerful chip lets you edit videos and play games • Compatible with iPad Pro accessories

More expensive than the regular iPad • Not compatible with older iPad accessories • Only two storage options

As one of Apple’s most powerful iPads, the Air will let you run larger applications and edit videos with ease.

Apple iPad Air

The iPad Air opens up a world of possibilities for photo and video with a super fast A14 bionic chip.

  • Screen size:
    10.9 inches
  • Memory :
    4GB
  • Storage:
    64GB or 256 GB
  • Battery life:
    Up to 10 hours

If you’re a content creator, video editor, or digital creative in the market for a new tablet, the iPad Air is a very solid choice. The A14 bionic chip is ultra-fast, and will let you edit 4K videos, draw detailed graphics or art pieces, and even do some serious gaming with console-level graphics (it’s compatible with PS4 and Xbox controllers). 
The Liquid Retina display features True Tone, P3 wide color, and has an anti-reflective coating, so all your work, art, and entertainment will come through with clear, crisp visuals. iPad Air has a 7MP front-facing FaceTime HD camera, and also has the same 12MP rear camera as the iPad Pro, so you can capture 4K video and high-resolution photos. It also switches over to a USB-C port, meaning you can connect cameras, hard drives, and external 4K monitors plus transfer data up to 5Gbps.
The iPad Air comes in the classic silver, space gray, and rose gold, but also added two cool new hues — sky blue and green — to the mix. While it won’t work with the older lightning-cable based Apple accessories, it is compatible with the newer iPad Pro accessories, like the second-gen Apple Pencil and the Magic Keyboard, which will really enhance your iPad experience.  

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *