Best Cheap Tablets 2019-2020-Finding the best Android tablet isn’t an easy buying decision, as they come in all shapes, sizes and prices. But there’s hope.We’ve tested and sorted through the latest Android tablets in order to come up with a top 10 list, all ranked below. Our recommendations are a combination of performance for your dollar, design, features, build quality and value.This comprehensive Android tablet list will be updated frequently throughout 2017, as Samsung, Google and many other companies continue to release new tablets and upgrade the software with Android Nougat and Android O. Must Go to our Best Budget Tablets of 2019-2020 tablet reviewsBest Seller List USA Best Seller List UK
So you’re ready to buy a tablet and you’re more interested in using Google’s Android platform over Apple’s iOS. Perhaps you’re not a fan of Apple, or you just prefer the look, feel and customizability of Android (not to mention its much lower price tag; tablets start under $75). Whatever the reason, there are many Android tablets on the market ranging from the super light and portable to a powerful Google-made tablet that can practically replace your laptop. Best Tablet 20% off
If you’re looking for the very best tablet to buy, get Apple’s 10.5-inch iPad Pro. It’s the ultimate combination of premium design, specifications, paired with powerful software and an unrivalled ecosystem of accessories and apps., Coffeemaker,Refrigerator,Ice Maker, Best Rice Cooker,Best Toaster Oven
The best thing about it, has to be the design but there’s a lot more going for it including the powerful specs, decent battery life and versatility. The breadth of accessories (including the awesome Apple Pencil) is quite something, too.
How to choose the best tablet 2019
Let’s face it, tablets aren’t the most exciting devices in the world of tech right now, there’s not that much innovation going on, and they’re not exactly flying off the shelves.
But bear with us, because most households in the UK still own one (or more), and buying a tab should be a big decision, because, unlike smartphones, your tablet will stick around for longer than two years. So what should you look out for in a tablet?
A great screen is a start, as that’s what you’ll be staring at most of the time, great speakers are also important, as these are devices primarily used for consuming media.
Key features to look out for include water resistance (so you can watch Netflix in the bath), and a MicroSD slot to fill up with plenty of media. If you’re planning on using the tab for work a physical keyboard or stylus could be useful.
Now, you may notice that our three top tablets are iPads, that’s because we think iOS is much better suited to larger screens than Android, and the app ecosystem is much better. Of course, we have the best choices for Android users as well.
|Best Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 Tablet||Best Under $100-Amazon Fire HD 8|
|Best Affordable-Amazon Fire HD Tablet||Best Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 Tablet|
|Best Under $50-Amazon Fire 7 Tablet||Best Samsung Galaxy Tab S Tablet|
The world’s first HDR-ready tablet
Weight: 429g | Dimensions: 237 x 169 x 6mm | OS: Android 7 Nougat | Screen size: 9.7 inches | Resolution: 2,048 x 1,536 | CPU: Snapdragon 820 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 32GB | microSD slot: Yes | Battery: 6,000 mAh | Rear camera: 13MP | Front camera: 5MP
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 is easily the best Android tablet to date, headlined by an HDR-ready display, four powerful speakers and an upgraded S Pen that’s included inside the box. The keyboard folio is a worthwhile extra.
It shocks us to say this, but it’s actually a bit too future-proofed in some ways. Its HDR screen looks great, but the trove of promised content from Netflix and Amazon isn’t here yet – at least not on tablets. But that shouldn’t stop you from considering Samsung’s latest and greatest if what you’re after is a top-tier Android tablet.
Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy Tab S3
Android’s iPad killer
Weight: 430g | Dimensions: 240 x 164 x 5.5mm | OS: Android 6 Marshmallow | Screen size: 9.7 inches | Resolution: 2,048 x 1,536 | CPU: Mediatek MT8176 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 32/64GB | microSD slot: Yes | Battery: 10 hours | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 5MP
The Asus ZenPad 3S 10 might look like an iPad in design, but given its roots in Android, it’s obviously a much different beast.
For your money, it’s a hard ask to find another Android tablet that puts classy design at the forefront like the ZenPad 3S 10. Paired with its gorgeous 2K display and strong audio performance, it makes quite the impression from a multimedia perspective.
Our review points out that there are a few low points in the presentation, like the average battery life, but issues aside, the amount of features and performance level you get here is well worth the low asking price.
Read the full review: Asus ZenPad 3S 10
3. Best Google Pixel C Tablet
Google’s own tablet is excellent
Weight: 517g | Dimensions: 242 x 179 x 7mm | OS: Android 7 Nougat | Screen size: 10.2 inches | Resolution: 2,560 x 1,800 | CPU: Nvidia Tegra X1, quad-core | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 32GB | microSD slot: No | Battery: 10 hours | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 2MP
Google’s first foray into crafting its very own tablets started couldn’t have gone much better. While it was once the best Android tablet out there, the Pixel C is still recommended for a few reasons.
Its design borrows from the gorgeous Chromebook Pixel, then builds upon it with versatility to allow easy switching between a standalone tablet or a laptop. Android power-users will also appreciate that it runs stock OS and thus, like Nexus and Pixel products, the Pixel C is now running the latest software, Android Nougat, with support for Android O coming soon.
The Pixel C certainly isn’t cheap, but you won’t find another Android tablet packed with this slick combination of power, style and the latest software updates.
Read the full review: Google Pixel C
Best android tablet 2020
4. Best Battery-Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro Tablet
A tablet that balances novelty and performance well
Weight: 667g | Dimensions: 246 x 179 x 4.6mm | OS: Android 6 Marshmallow | Screen size: 10.1 inches | Resolution: 2,560 x 1,600 | CPU: Intel Atom x 5-Z8500, quad-core | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 32GB | microSD slot: Yes | Battery: 10,200mAh | Rear camera: 13MP | Front camera: 5MP
Most tablets are very similar to one another, but not the Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro. It sits in its own sub-category of Android tablets that try and succeed at being weird, yet awesome.
This tablet has all of the usual amenities that one desires in a 2017 tablet, including some extras, such as 2,560 x 1600 display and a huge 10,200mAh battery. But this tablet also houses a hidden projector that can splash the screen onto a wall for night-time viewing. Cool, right? It’s novel and useful.
Read the full review: Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro
A beautiful, compact tablet from the phone maker
Dimensions: 215 x 124 x 7.3mm | OS: Android 6.0 Marshmallow | Screen size: 8.4 inches | Resolution: 2,560 x 1,600 | CPU: Octa-core | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 32/64GB | microSD slot: Yes | Battery: 5,100mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 8MP
One of the best things about the Huawei MediaPad M3 is its build quality. The slim, light aluminum frame looks and feels good in the hand.
The screen and speakers are great, too. These attributes alone make the MediaPad M3 a competent entertainment tablet. And despite a few instances of lousy gaming performance, the Kirin 950 does an admirable job of keeping things smooth.
You can find a cheaper tablet further down on the list, but you’ll be giving up on the compact, premium design of the MediaPad M3.
Read the full review: Huawei MediaPad M3 8.0
Best Cheap Tablet 2020
6. Best Under $100-Amazon Fire HD 8 Tablet
The best you can get at this price
Weight: 369g | Dimensions: 214mm x 128mm x 9.7mm | OS: Fire OS | Screen size: 8-inch | Resolution: 1280 x 800 | CPU: Quad-core 1.3GHz | RAM: 1.5GB | Storage: 16/32GB | Battery: Up to 12 hours | Rear camera: 2MP | Front camera: VGA
The Amazon Fire HD 8 (2017) is among the best of the retail giant’s tablets, as while it’s in many ways lower end than the similar HD 10, the smaller screen is sharper as a result, and the price is lower.
It also delivers surprisingly strong gaming performance, with a decent amount of power for the money. The speakers aren’t great and the cameras are awful, but tablets aren’t for taking photos and you can always use headphones.
What you do get is solid if not spectacular performance, and tight integration with Amazon’s other services through Fire OS, all at a price that’s well below most of the non-Amazon branded competition. You should also note that if you already own the 2016 version of this tablet, it won’t be worth upgrading to the 2017 version as the differences are very minimal.
Read the full review:
7. Best Affordable-Amazon Fire HD 10 Tablet
An affordable way to enjoy Amazon’s media
Weight: 432g | Dimensions: 262mm x 159mm x 7.7mm | OS: Fire OS | Screen size: 10.1-inch | Resolution: 1280 x 800 | CPU: Quad-core 1.5GHz | RAM: 1GB | Storage: 16/32/64GB | Battery: Up to 8 hours | Rear camera: 5MP | Front camera: HD
The Amazon Fire HD 10 is the company’s flagship tablet, but to call it a flagship is misleading, as while it’s top of the range it sports middling specs at best. But that’s okay because it’s very, very affordable.
Its 10.1-inch 1280 x 800 screen doesn’t provide a very sharp picture, but audio fares much better thanks to loud and clear stereo speakers, and with up to 64GB of built in storage plus a microSD card slot there’s plenty of room for apps, games and other media.
Which is all good, because this being an Amazon product you’re faced with things to buy, download, rent and stream at every turn.
Read the full review:
Best Affordable Samsung Tablet
8.Best Overall-Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 Tablet
This ultra-light Android tablet is now an even better deal
Weight: 389g | Dimensions: 237 x 169 x 5.6mm | OS: Android 6 Marshmallow (Nougat incoming) | Screen size: 9.7 inches | Resolution: 2,048 x 1,536 | CPU: Exynos 7 5433, octa-core | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 32GB | microSD slot: Yes | Battery: 5,870mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 2.1MP
Samsung is firing straight at the iPad’s greatest weakness with the Galaxy Tab S2: storage capacity. The latest from the popular smartphone and tablet maker offers 32GB of internal storage as the standard out of the box, with support for up to 128GB via the microSD slot.
It also stands out amongst the greater tablet competition with a stellar 2,048 x 1,536 Super AMOLED display and Samsung’s own zippy Exynos 7 5433 octa-core chipset, which consists of a 1.9GHz quad-core processor working in tandem with a 1.3GHz quad-core processor.
Given that the Tab S3 sits at the top of our list, the S2 still comes recommended given that it is now an even better deal.
Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy Tab S2
Best Tablet For Kids
9. Best Under $50-Amazon Fire 7 Tablet
Almost unbelievably cheap
Weight: 295g | Dimensions: 115mm x 192mm x 9.6mm | OS: Fire OS | Screen size: 7-inch | Resolution: 1024 x 600 | CPU: Quad-core 1.3GHz | RAM: 1GB | Storage: 8/16GB | Battery: Up to 7 hours | Rear camera: 2MP | Front camera: VGA
Tablets don’t get any cheaper than this – well, functional ones don’t anyway. The incredibly low price and sturdy design make the Amazon Fire a great choice to give to a kid – in fact, Amazon’s even built a (pricier) version specifically for children.
But even for a grown audience the Amazon Fire far exceeds expectations, with a fairly bright 7.0-inch screen, acceptable speakers, solid battery life and even reasonable performance, with a snappy interface and the ability to run most games.
Fire OS won’t suit everyone and this isn’t a tablet that impresses once you take the price out of the equation, but for what the Amazon Fire costs it would almost be rude not to consider it.
Read the full review:
Best Samsung Tablet
10.Best Samsung Galaxy Tab S Tablet
Samsung’s last-gen tablet has a better screen than its latest
Weight: 464g | Dimensions: 247 x 177 x 6.6mm | OS: Android 4.0 KitKat | Screen size: 10.5 inches | Resolution: 2,560 x 1,600 | CPU: Exynos 5, octa-core | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 16GB | microSD slot: Yes | Battery: 9.5 hours | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 2.1MP
Today’s tablets vary incredibly in terms of size, hardware, available features, and OS. Take a look at some of the best tablets available today with Apple iOS, Microsoft Windows 10, or Android on board.
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro
$500 BUY NOW
The defining feature of the Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro is an integrated 50-lumen projector, which can display a 70-inch image on a wall or ceiling. Other key features of the multimedia-centric Android slate include a 10-inch Full HD display, four front-facing speakers tuned by JBL, and a splash-proof body. The device also has excellent battery life (up to 15 hours).
Best Amazon Fire HD 8
from $80 BUY NOW
The 8-inch Amazon Fire HD 8 tablet has stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos support, which make it perfect for entertainment on the go. Available in four colors (black, blue, red, and yellow), the tablet also comes with Amazon Alexa support out of the box, giving you the option to enjoy news and media content, as well as control smart home devices with your voice. Like all Amazon hardware products, the Fire HD 8 tablet has solid build quality.
Best Overall: ASUS ZenPad 3S
ASUS released the ZenPad as a direct challenge to rivals at Samsung and Apple, including similar specs and build quality, but with more storage and at a lower price. This is the ultimate tablet for most people, delivering the latest and fastest technology at a stomachable price point.
The smart and sleek design gives priority to the 9.7-inch 2k IPS screen, which runs on ASUS proprietary VisualMaster technology for a stunning 2048 x 1536 resolution. It scores 264 ppi, which is the same as the iPad. The gorgeous screen has an impress 78 percent ratio compared to the body, leaving just enough room below for a super accurate fingerprint sensor that is quick and convenient. In addition to the fingerprint scanner, the device has a microSD slot for additional storage and a USB-C port for quick charging. There isn’t room for much more, as the bezel is less than a quarter inch thick, which ASUS claims is the thinnest in the world. The back sports a smooth premium anodized aluminum body that is both strong and attractive.
Most impressive of all is the lightning fast performance, thanks to a beastly hexa-core 2.1 GHz processor, 4GB of RAM and the Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS. Just for good measure, ASUS threw in dual five-magnet speakers, an 8MP camera and a high-capacity battery to make this tablet the best overall package on the market at an unbeatable price.
Best Under $75: Amazon Fire
If you’re looking for an inexpensive Android tablet that can do just about everything more pricey tablets can do, the seven-inch Amazon Fire is your best choice. The price means the tablet might not be the fastest on the market (it has a 1.3 GHz processor) or have the best picture quality (1024 x 600 screen resolution), but it’s a solid choice for reading e-books through the built-in Kindle app, or watching videos through Amazon’s streaming service. (Netflix, Hulu, and other services are also available.) The Amazon Fire only has 8GB or 16GB of storage, though that can be expanded locally with a microSD card or via cloud storage. The seven-inch tablet is also incredibly lightweight at just 11 ounces, about the same weight as a paperback book.
The Fire runs Amazon’s own OS, which is based on Android, but doesn’t have any of the official Google apps. That means no Google Play Store for apps, though Amazon does have its own app store that includes access to 38 million TV shows, songs, movies, books, apps and games.
Best Value: Huawei MediaPad T1
Huawei proves that a $100 tablet can be worth buying with its new Mediapad T1. The compact seven-inch screen sports a slim and lightweight design, just 8.5MM thick and weighing just 15 ounces. The screen resolution is a respectable 600 x 1024 pixels with oncell IPS to reproduce over 90 percent of Adobe RGB color space for bright color and contrast. That may not rival the latest Samsung Galaxy, but it combines with a 178-degree, wide-view angle for a pleasurable viewing experience on an entry-level tablet.
The device’s real standout value comes in its mighty battery that can last over 300 hours on standby time or continuously browse the Web for eight hours without a recharge. The battery is housed in a light silver metal unibody case, which prominently features Huawei’s logo. Performance, while not blowing away any benchmarks, delivers for the pricetag. It runs on a Spreadtrum SC7731G chip with 28nm quad-core 1.2 GHZ ARM, and runs the Android 4.4 KitKat operating system and EMUI 3.0 powered by Huawei.
Best Design: Huawei + Harman Kardon MediaPad M3
Every element of Huawei’s premium tablet is designed to indulge the senses. As such, this 8.4-inch tablet boasts a beautiful 2560 x 1600 IPS screen to treat the eyes to vibrant and colorful images in Ultra 2k display. The screen is accentuated by a stylish and narrow bezel that bleeds into the edges. It sports an aluminum body that is thin, light and easy to hold, making room for a Micro SD slot. But Huawei also partnered with audio titans Harman Kardon to deliver the best acoustics on any tablet. With a speaker on both top and bottom, the MediaPad 3 produces high-fidelity audio louder than any other tablet on the market.
In addition to the stunning audio-visual design, this tablet packs impressive hardware. Expect fast speeds, thanks to the 2.3 GHz processor and 4 GB DDR3 RAM. You can choose between 32 GB and 64 GB of internal memory, almost none of which is wasted on pre-installed bloatware.
Best Battery Life: Lenovo Yoga Tab 3
This widescreen Android tablet from Lenovo sports an innovative design and a battery life that can last the entire waking day. The distinctive black case holds a 10.1” 2560×1600 Full HD screen with IPS crystal-clear display, which allows for wide-angle viewing and brightness even outdoors. At the bottom is a cylindrical bar that houses built-in dual speakers with Dolby Atmos for one of the most immersive audio experiences on a tablet.
Forget the Bluetooth speaker at home? No problem, the sound is loud and dynamic enough to fill a room and the long battery life means you will have no problem using it as a sound system for an entire day. The 15 hours of battery life also means you can watch movies on the gorgeous screen for a trans-Pacific plane ride. Snapdragon 652 processor, 3GB RAM and a 32GB SSD provide enough computing power to handle any application, and at a lightweight two pounds, it can go with you anywhere.
Best from Google: Google Pixel C
With a high-resolution (2560 x 1800), 10.2-inch display, an NVIDIA Tegra X1 processor and a battery that lasts for more than 10 hours, the Pixel C is the best Google tablet available at the moment. The Pixel C receives all the latest Android updates as soon as they’re available, something that many other devices struggle to do. And unlike many other tablets, the Pixel C starts at 32GB of storage, with a 64GB version also available. The Pixel C also features an 8MP rear-facing camera that can take quality photos, and it weighs just 1.13 pounds.
If you want a powerhouse tablet but can’t stand typing on a glass surface, Google has you covered with the optional keyboard that doubles as a screen cover and extra charging battery. The keyboard connects to the Pixel C magnetically, and can adjust to multiple angles unlike keyboards on other tablets. With the keyboard and the side-by-side multitasking features found in betas of Android N, the Pixel C practically doubles as a laptop.
Best 2-in-1: Samsung Galaxy Tab S3
Many of the best 2-in-1s run Windows because of its superior desktop capabilities, but the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 will make you forget you ever knew that. Design-wise, it’s a worthy competitor to the iPad Pro. It has a vivid 9.7-inch Super AMOLED display that claims to be the world’s first HDR-ready tablet. This produces higher contrast ratios and brighter highlights, which does wonders for darker scenes, but don’t expect to find a lot of HDR content just yet. You’ll have to wait a bit until streaming services catch up. At least you’ll be ready when they do.
The S3 runs Android 7.0 Nougat with a Samsung overlay that’s easy to navigate. At the heart is a Snapdragon 820 processor, which is powerful enough for your computing needs, but unfortunately not as good as Snapdragon 835, which rolled out in the Galaxy S8. It also has 32GB of internal storage and a 6,000mAh battery that yields above-average performance.
Perhaps the biggest advantage of this tablet over an iPad is the inclusion of its S Pen. The S3 version is bigger and more pressure-responsive than those used with Samsung phones, and that helps users truly unlock the potential of the 2-in-1. Of course, to do that you’ll also need the keyboard attachment, which is sold separately.
Best Overall: Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 8-inch
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 is a great Android tablet for those who want something that resembles an iPad but don’t want to use iOS. Samsung is known for adding a lot of superfluous software to Android (eye-tracking software that is often wonky and its own Siri-esque virtual assistant), but some of the features found in the Tab S2 like split-screen multi-tasking and the SideSync app that mirrors your Samsung phone on the tablet are incredibly useful.
The eight-inch version of the Galaxy Tab S2 features a 1.8GHz quad-core processor, making it one of the fastest tablets on this list, and the 2048 x 1536 screen resolution means it’s perfect for watching videos or reading. The Galaxy Tab S2 is also available in a nine-inch model, for those who prefer a slightly larger display.
Runner-Up, Best Design: Samsung Galaxy Tab A
Samsung’s Galaxy Tab A 10.1” is designed for entertainment and performance. The vibrant high resolution screen has a 1920×1200 resolution and a gorgeous image, thanks to the powerful Octa-core 1.6Ghz processor and 2GB of RAM. You can expand the memory from 16GB to an additional 200GB with the microSD reader. You can also connect directly to a TV or another device with the microUSB.
Android Marshmallow 6.0 is the latest and greatest version of the operating system, making for a clean UI and easy transfer. It also lets you open up two apps side by side, for easy multitasking between messaging and games. And if you have additional Samsung devices, Quick Connect makes transferring videos and photos between TV easy. All this comes in a device that weighs barely over a pound and has a battery life that can last up to 13 hours.
Best Gaming: Fusion5
A good gaming tablet should come with a powerful processor, Bluetooth connectivity, ample storage space and a nice screen. While the Fusion5 might not have the nicest camera or speakers, it has all of those requirements and at an excellent price, making it the perfect dedicated gaming tablet.
It packs a powerful MediaTek MT8163 64-bit Quad-core processor which generates 3D graphics and Quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 MPCore through a 1080p video decoder for high-performance media. Your app store games will run great and look great on the 10.1-inch IPS 1080p HD screen that is built for media consumption. The tablet also has 32GB of internal storage space, so you can have plenty of games downloaded, while Bluetooth 4.0 allows you to connect wireless headphones or even a keyboard to get the best gaming experience.
Which brand is right for you?
Many tablet brands share the same layout, design and media features across devices, which can make navigation and organization easier as you work and play. Whether you prefer to use the same operating system as your other devices, or you don’t mind a little variety, you can learn more about the different features each brand has to offer below.
Apple users can access their iTunes, calendar and contacts on their iPad, and sync with their iPhone and Apple TV. Select iPad models come equipped with the Siri voice-activated assistant for convenient navigation of the browser and operating system.
The Samsung Smart Hub feature allows users to watch movies and listen to music on their tablet, plus sync contacts and media with their smart TV. Using Smart Remote, users will also be able to control their Samsung TV directly from their tablet.
Microsoft Windows users can retrieve files from Microsoft Office and sync contacts, music and more across their Windows tablet, phone and PC. Microsoft tablets connect to other devices with a convenient USB port, and can even connect to the TV through an Xbox.
Amazon tablets allow users to separate profiles for each individual, and see character, artist or other content with X-Ray for music, movies and TV. With the exception of Fire HD, a mayday button provides free on-demand device tech support when it is needed.
Tablet Operating Systems
If you’re familiar with the iPhone, you’ll feel comfortable with Apple’s iOS for iPad. iOS is easy to understand right from the start and offers smooth interactions and intuitive menus. It’s linked with Apple’s App Store with their huge selection of apps for the iPad, plus an extensive selection of music, books and movies. If you’re into customizing the look and feel of your tablet, you may find fewer customization options with Apple iOS than with other operating systems.
Samsung Galaxy, Amazon Fire
Google’s popular Android operating system, with its food-inspired versions (KitKat, Jelly Bean, Ice Cream Sandwich), offers an ever-improving interface and a ton of customization options, so you can tailor the look and feel of your tablet. You’ll find a wide array of tablet-enabled apps, plus a good selection of your favorite music, books and movies in the Google Play store.
Amazon Fire tablets use the Android OS combined with the Amazon.com ecosystem for easy buying and downloading of books, movies and music.
Windows OS-based tablets, like the Microsoft Surface, follow the format of familiar Windows-based operating systems found on your desktop or laptop PC. They’re great for work since many offer versions of familiar programs such as Word, PowerPoint, Excel and more. The Windows Store offers a wide array of apps, games, videos, movies, music, books and popular Windows programs. Plus, Windows 8.1 tablets qualify for a free upgrade to Windows 10. Learn more about upgrading to Windows 10.
Smaller 7″ or 8″ tablets are great for the commute on the bus or airplane. Just a bit larger than the average smartphone, these compact tablets are small enough to fit in most pockets.
Larger screens (10″+) offer great views and better resolution for watching movies and videos, viewing Web pages, playing games and provides plenty of screen space for typing documents.
Resolution refers to the number of dots (pixels) on the entire screen. You’ll see greater detail on a high-resolution screen which is important when viewing HD movies and playing graphic-intensive games.
How much internal memory
do you need?
Most tablets provide a decent amount of internal memory (storage) to house the OS, apps, photos, videos, games, books and music. If you plan to store a lot of movies and music on your tablet you’ll want one with more internal memory. Another option is to store your media files on the cloud. A cloud is a location where you safely store your files other than your hard drive and access them anytime via a Wi-Fi or a cellular connection.
With most tablets, you need to be within a Wi-Fi hotspot to connect to the Internet. Connected tablets let you access the Internet using a cellular network (such as 4G or 4G LTE), similar to the ones cell phones use. No need to try to find and pay for Wi-Fi hotspot access. Connected tablets offer a data plan similar to cell phone data plans. Many carriers now have plans that let you combine your devices into one shared data plan so you can add your tablet to your existing plan for a low monthly fee.
Tablets for Kids
Tablets designed for kids have fun and colorful designs with protective bumpers and rugged designs to withstand active users. These tablets also come preloaded with a variety of fun games and educational activities, which you can tailor to your child’s age or grade. Although they are designed for younger children, parents can also use the tablet by switching from kid mode to a parent mode.
A case will not only protect your tablet from bumps and scratches but can also be used as a stand for comfortable viewing. Get a laptop-type experience by adding a keyboard to your tablet. Some attach to your tablet while others use Bluetooth so you can work wirelessly. Add some app-enabled devices and keep track of your health and fitness level, collect credit card payments, control your home’s temperature, play interactive games and more.
Shop Online or In Store
Find a wide variety of tablets on BestBuy.com. Your local Best Buy store has a wide selection of the latest tablets, many of which are available to compare and test out. Plus, our friendly Blue Shirts are there to answer questions and help with trading in your old tablet for Best Buy gift cards. Our Geek Squad® Agents are also on hand to help you pick the best protection plan for your needs, install a screen shield and help set up your new tablet.
Is a tablet right for you?
Maybe your heart’s already set on a tablet, and if so, feel free to skip this bit. If not, it’s good to know there are other options similar to the tablet that you may not have considered:
- Ultrabook: A serious challenger to the tablet, Ultrabooks are light, slimline laptops that are relatively cheap. They’re ultra-portable and designed to have excellent battery life, but with the speed and features you’d expect from a full-sized laptop, but also with extra security features built into the motherboard.
- E-readers: With the arrival of the tablet, e-readers are fighting back by gaining capabilities to take them beyond mere ebooks. Leading the charge are Amazon’s Kindle Fire and the Nook Color, offering colour touchscreens and even a range of general-purpose apps, further blurring the line between e-readers and tablets.
- Convertible tablet: Also known as a two-in-one or hybrid laptop, it has the power and performance of a laptop computer, with the convenience and versatility of a touchscreen tablet via a removable or foldaway keyboard.
The most important consideration when you’re choosing your tablet is the operating system that will best suit your needs. The OS affects which content ecosystem you’re tied to – Google Play (Android), iTunes (Apple) or Windows (Microsoft). Each has their own app store and though they might all have some of the same apps, they’re not interchangeable between platforms. So if you have an Android, an Apple and a Windows device, you’d probably have to buy the same app three times to run it on each platform.
- Apple’s iOS was the pioneer of apps with iTunes and its App Store. Such heritage means that a wide range of apps covering myriad interest categories – often available for free or at low cost – exist for all iPad models. Apple boasts more than a million apps in its App Store, with around half that number having iPad-specific versions.
- Google’s Android OS is the biggest challenger to Apple’s iOS, with apps available through Google Play and various branded online stores offered by tablet manufacturers. Android allows more scope for customisation, so if you like to fiddle and tweak your operating system it may be a better option. It’s also more highly targeted by viruses and other malware, which means if you use an Android tablet it’s highly recommended that you install antivirus software. Android is available on a wide range of tablets from different manufacturers, so you have a wide choice of hardware. Android OS 4.1 or later is preferable, as this version has major improvements in architecture specifically for tablets.
- Microsoft, relatively late to the market with its Surface tablets, has a big challenge ahead to make up lost ground with its app store. The 12-inch Surface Pro models and the newer, smaller (10.8-inch) Surface 3 models offer the full Windows 10 environment, so you can easily use existing Windows programs on these tablets and they’re upgradeable to Windows 10. The Windows RT operating system of the original Surface and Surface 2 tablets only runs apps from the Windows app store.
As with laptops, screen size on tablets is measured diagonally from corner to corner and usually expressed in inches. Tablets typically fall into three categories: compact (5-inch to 8-inch), medium (over 8-inch to 11-inch) and large (over 11-inch).
- A compact tablet is especially portable, lighter and easier to carry, as well as usually being cheaper.
- Medium and large tablets provide a bigger screen area that can be especially useful for productivity apps, games and web browsing. Their larger size may mean they have a longer battery life because they have space for a bigger battery, but that’s not always the case – all iPads, for example, are claimed to have a 10-hour battery life, regardless of size.
Screens, also called displays, generally range from 1024 x 600 pixels up to 2560 x 1600 pixels in resolution. Display resolution is expressed in pixels-per-inch (ppi) and the higher the resolution the sharper text and images will appear. Higher resolution screens also require faster processors to manipulate all those extra pixels and consume more power, affecting the device’s battery life.
When Apple launched its breakthrough Retina display on the third-generation iPad, it set the bar very high for competitors. The Retina display is so-called because the resolution is so high that the eye can’t distinguish individual pixels when viewed from a normal distance.
The iPad‘s 9.7-inch screen has a pixel density (resolution) of 264ppi (double that of the non-Retina display iPad 2). The iPad mini (with Retina display) has an even higher pixel density of 326ppi (double that of the original iPad mini), which is the same as the Retina display iPhone.
Theoretically, this means that higher resolutions were unnecessary as the difference would be unnoticeable. However, this hasn’t stopped competitors from pursuing even higher resolutions, now well over 400ppi.
If you’re considering an Apple iPad, think carefully about how you’ll use the tablet and what your storage needs will be before you buy. Unlike most of the tablets from Microsoft and Google, the storage in an Apple iPad cannot be upgraded using an expandable microSD card.
Most tablets vary in capacity from 16GB to 128GB. How much space you’ll need depends on how you intend to use the tablet. All tablets are fine for general use like checking emails, browsing the web, and streaming videos and other content over the internet, because that doesn’t require much information to be actually stored on the tablet itself.
If you like to carry around your music, videos and lots of apps, however, storage capacity on the tablet will be an important consideration. For light use, 16GB may be enough, but remember that the tablet operating system and mandatory apps will take up a decent amount of that space even before you put your own content on it. For many people, 32GB is becoming the starting point, especially when you consider that many games can now be more than 1GB in size.
- Tip: If your tablet has external connections like an SD card or USB slot (as many Android and Windows tablets do), you can get away with less storage internally. Extra storage can be added via a memory card, USB flash drive or even an external hard drive. There are also wireless storage devices for tablets without hardware connections, like the iPad.
Most tablets have Wi-Fi built in, and many offer a version that includes mobile broadband – 3G or 4G – for data, but that means signing up for a separate plan. The other option is a Wi-Fi only tablet. These can be used, as the name suggests, over Wi-Fi connections, but also by using your smartphone as a mobile hotspot (available on most recent models). However, a 4G tablet with its own plan may be worthwhile if your phone plan is restricted to 3G.
Although connections are a major consideration for PCs and laptops, they’re less so for tablets, most of which use a combination of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and apps for storage and transfers. Apple tablets have little in the way of hardware connections, though some devices can be added via adapters to the tablet’s dock port, or wirelessly by purpose-built devices. Android tablets generally offer more variety in hardware connections, with a USB port, HDMI-out or memory card slots for extra storage being common.
- Tip: You can usually connect a keyboard or monitor via Bluetooth if you don’t have a USB or HDMI plug.
Battery life is important due to the ultra-portability of tablets. Ideally, they should last a full day of normal use before you need to recharge.
Processing speed (GHz)
The processing speed of your tablet, measured in gigahertz (GHz), isn’t such an important decision in your tablet choice as it is when choosing a desktop or laptop computer. That’s because there aren’t so many processor options. iPad models all have the same processor in each generation but with Android-based tablets it’s very difficult to compare speeds between models due to the different processors used.
If you’re looking to do some computing on the go, the obvious first choices are either a laptop or a tablet. But there’s a third option that promises the best of both worlds – the convertible laptop. Also known as a two-in-one or hybrid laptop, this versatile combo computer looks like a laptop but instantly converts to allow use as a keyboard-free touchscreen tablet.
But is a two-in-one computer better? Do you get the best of both worlds or is it more a case of “jack of all trades, master of none”? Tablets have the notable advantage of portrait-viewing mode, which is great for reading books and magazines in particular. They’re also generally the thinnest and lightest mobile computing solution.
A laptop is stuck in landscape view only – but laptops are generally more powerful, run all your desktop programs, and have the singular advantage of a built-in hardware keyboard and trackpad.
A convertible laptop should have all of these advantages in one compact package, as well as the ability to instantly switch from laptop to tablet mode.
Find out more in our test of convertible (hybrid) laptops.
Prices for tablets range from below $150 to more than $2000 depending on size, capacity and connectivity options. The convertibles we tested ranged in price from under $500 to $1700.