Halfway between a personal computer and a mobile phone, tablets are a great alternative to both of these devices. They are ideal for surfing the Internet, reading e-books and enjoying multimedia content. Moreover, because they’re lightweight and really comfortable, they’re the perfect travel companions.
Over the last few years, their performance and capabilities have not stopped growing. At the same time more and more models are becoming available on the market. Currently, you can find devices focused on different uses. Some tablets are even designed for a more professional use, like that of a laptop.
- 1 Key Facts
- 2 Ranking: The best tablets on the market
- 3 Shopping Guide: Everything you need to know before buying a tablet
- 3.1 What is a tablet exactly?
- 3.2 What are the main uses for tablets?
- 3.3 What are the advantages and disadvantages of tablets?
- 3.4 Who are tablets recommended for?
- 3.5 What storage capacity do I need in a tablet?
- 3.6 What operating systems are there?
- 3.7 What are the best microprocessors for tablets?
- 3.8 What care do tablets require?
- 4 Purchase Criteria
- 5 Summary
- Tablets are very comfortable and light devices, which makes them very portable and easy to transport – perfect to take on the road. In general, the most popular models have 7″ and 10″ screens. However, some manufacturers offer devices with larger displays.
- The most common uses for tablets are surfing the Internet, reading news or electronic books, checking email, watching shows or movies and playing video games.
- Everyday there are more types of models with better performance and more applications. However, there are mainly three types of operating systems for tablets: Android, iOS and Windows.
Ranking: The best tablets on the market
Below, we offer you our complete ranking with the five best tablets currently available on the market. Each one stands out for some particular feature. Nonetheless, they are all devices that give you great value for your money. We have made this ranking so you can choose the tablet that is best for you.
No. 1: Apple, iPad with Wi-Fi 128 GB
The Apple iPad is still the best value for your money. It integrates a 9.7″ Retina display and an A10 Fusion chip with 64-bit architecture. In addition, it has a battery that offers several hours of life and the identity sensor for Touch ID. It is available in two storage options: 32 GB and 128 GB.
This product has enough power to fluidly manage multiple applications at the same time. It allows you to edit video in 4K and is ready for augmented reality technology. In addition, together with the Apple Pencil it can be used as if it were a notebook. It’s only weakness is it’s deficient camera.
No. 2: Samsung Galaxy Tab S3
This superb tablet offers similar features to Apple’s iPad, albeit under Google’s software. It integrates a Quad-Core Snapdragon 820 microprocessor and comes with 4 GB of RAM. In addition, it has a storage capacity of 32 GB, expandable up to 256 GB with a microSD card.
With the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 you can enjoy a 9.7″ super AMOLED screen with a resolution of 2048 x 1536. Plus, it comes with a 13 MP main camera. Its battery offers 12 hours of autonomous life, and it fully charges in just 170 minutes. Lastly, it includes an S Pen with which you can get even more use out of the tablet.
No. 3: iPad Pro
The features of Apple’s iPad Pro are truly spectacular. Unfortunately, it’s price doesn’t lag behind. The brain of this beast is a Bionic A12X Chip with Neural Engine. It includes easy Face ID recognition. It comes with multiple storage options, there are versions with 64GB, 256GB, 512GB and 1TB of capacity.
Its 10.5″ Liquid Retina screen extends to the edges offering amazing image quality with truly vivid colours. It also comes with the Apple Pencil and the Folio Smart Keyboard, making it the perfect tablet for professional applications. Users have reviewed it as a replacement to the conventional laptop, and it weighs less than 500 grams.
No. 4: Huawei MediaPad M5
Huawei’s tablet comes with a Kirin 960 8-core Hisilicon processor with Mali-G71 GPU and 4 GB RAM. In addition, it has a storage capacity of 32 GB. It is available in two versions, one with a 10.8″ screen and one with an 8.4″ screen. Both in high resolution 2K quality.
This model integrates four Harman Kardon speakers with professional tuning for surround sound. It has a long lasting battery life and it has very fast recharging times. The main drawback of this tablet is that it does not include an input jack for headphones. However, it does have a 13 MP front camera and an 8 MP rear camera.
No. 5: Amazon Fire 8 HD
This tablet is one of the best options if you’re looking for the best value for your money while enjoying all Amazon services. It has an 8″ HD screen, a 1.3 GHz Quad-Core processor and 1.5 GB of RAM. In addition, the display has a resolution of 1280 x 800 with more than one million pixels (189 dpi).
It’s available with two storage capacities: 16GB and 32GB. Keep in mind storage is expandable to up to 400GB with a microSD card. Don’t forget, with it you can access all the content of the Amazon Appstore. The battery life lasts up to 10 hours and its price is below 200 dollars, making it one of the best and most affordable tablets on the market.
Shopping Guide: Everything you need to know before buying a tablet
In order to acquire the perfect tablet, it’s helpful that you take into account a series of questions. Don’t forget that there are different types of tablets, each with specific characteristics. For this reason, in this section we address the most frequently asked questions buyers have. This way, you will have as much information as possible come decision time.
What is a tablet exactly?
A tablet is a digital device with a touch screen and no integrated keyboard. They become small computers with slightly lower performance power than personal computers, but much lighter and way more portable. They are usually smaller than a computer, but larger than mobile phones.
What are the main uses for tablets?
Tablets have a multitude of applications and uses. Some of the most common are: checking Facebook or Instagram, surfing the Internet, reading and responding to emails, reading news or e-books and playing games. They also have interesting educational applications and used to watch movies and listen to music.
If the tablet is going to be used by children or if it is going to be within their reach, it is important to have parental control. In general, nowadays, almost all of them have this option and the possibility of creating specific profiles for minors.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of tablets?
Without a doubt, one of the main advantages of tablets is that they are very comfortable and lightweight devices. This makes them perfect for travel and to be used anywhere. Plus, their screens are big enough to see multimedia content without straining your sight.
Another interesting advantage of these devices is that they don’t need a keyboard or mouse. Other plus points are that their screens are touchscreens and they have a simple interface. On the other hand, its performance is much lower and less versatile than that of a personal computer. Moreover, they don’t usually have large storage capacity.
Who are tablets recommended for?
You may be interested in buying a tablet if you only need a device that allows you to surf the Internet, enjoy multimedia content and perform basic tasks. Furthermore, it is a great device to use for educational activities on both a personal and professional level. Some models are tailored to have professional applications.
What storage capacity do I need in a tablet?
Since you’re not going to use the tablet to save movies or install space-intensive programs, you don’t actually need a large storage capacity. For this reason, the minimum capacity you will probably need is 16 GB, although ideally it should be at least 32 GB.
What operating systems are there?
Currently, the three most used operating systems in tablets are Android, iOS and Windows. Each offers a number of advantages and disadvantages. Android is the most popular operating system, so it has numerous applications and devices. However, it’s not as easy to use as Apple’s iOS.
Additionally, Android devices are cheaper and it’s store has a multitude of free applications. If you can afford it, Apple iPad models with the iOS operating system ensure superb performance. Lastly, windows-based tablets are designed for a more professional use.
|iPad||Offers superb performance. Their operating system is fluid, simple and easy to use.|
|Android||They have a large number of applications, many of them are free of charge. In general, they are cheaper. They offer great customization possibilities.|
|Windows||They are focused on a more professional profile. Its operating system is quite powerful, although it requires longer learning time.|
What are the best microprocessors for tablets?
In our opinion, some of the most powerful microprocessors are Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835, Huawei’s Kirin 960 and Apple’s A10x. If you can afford it, don’t hesitate to invest in a good chip that guarantees top performance.
What care do tablets require?
Tablets require basic care. For starters, it’s important to avoid having them come into contact with water, after all they are electronic devices. In addition, although many are designed to withstand impact, it is important to avoid knocks and falls. Of course, it’s a good idea to keep your operating system up to date and to prevent exposure to extreme temperatures.
Next, we are going to analyze a series of important aspects that you must take into account before acquiring a tablet. Some are general purchase criteria for electronics, others are specific to this type of device. It’s a good idea to be aware of certain technical features regarding tablets when making your choice.
- Purpose and use for the device
- Design and quality of materials
- RAM memory
- Storage capacity
- Screen size
- Resolution and type of display panel
- Battery life
- Internet connection
- Operating system
Purpose and use of the device
Before buying a tablet it is important that you are clear about how you are going to use it and what you need it for. If you’re going to use the tablet mainly for surfing the internet and reading mail, you’re good with a low-end device. However, if you’re going to make more professional use of it, it’s best to opt for high-end equipment.
If you plan to use it to enjoy multimedia content, it’s a good idea to choose one with a larger screen and a good sound system. If you want it as a complement to other equipment, then you’d better choose an all-terrain tablet. It’s always best if they have enough power and frequently updated software.
Design and quality of materials
If you’re one of those who likes to take in the world through their eyes, you’re sure to attach a lot of importance to this detail. Yes, design matters and if you don’t agree, just ask Apple. Keep in mind it’s not only the design, but also the quality of the materials that matters. In general, tablets are made of metal or plastic. The latter is the most used in the lower range devices.
The metal is, in principle, much more resistant and for some, also much more elegant. As far as the glass on the screen is concerned, the best option is to use a “Gorilla Glass” with this material to ensure magnificent protection. Finally, the colour of the device you choose will be entirely up to you, after all, you will be the one that has to look at it the most.
RAM influences the number of applications you can have open at the same time and the speed and performance of the operating system. In general, tablets usually have 1 GB or 2 GB of RAM. However, the best models reach 3 GB or even 4 GB. Here, no doubt, the more, the better, but also the more expensive.
This criteria is especially important if you opt for an Android device. In this types of equipment, RAM is the key element that enables multitasking. Also, since it’s not an expensive part on its own and the performance difference is very noticeable, more RAM is well worth the effort and money. In the long run, this will ensure a longer and more durable life of the tablet.
The microprocessor of the tablet is a fundamental element in its performance. It is the spec that will determine its fluidity and response speed. Furthermore, this aspect is also responsible for the tablets graphics performance. Remember that more important than the number of cores it has, is the power and efficiency of each of them.
The best microprocessors are usually from the following brands: Apple, Huawei, Qualcomm, Intel or MediaTek. As with smartphones, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon is quite common. Apple’s “A” microprocessors, Samsung’s Exynos and China’s Huawei Kirin are also well known.
In general, tablets do not have a large storage capacity. Luckily, some models make up for this deficit with the possibility of expanding capacity through SD cards. In general, it is cheaper to buy a micro SD card than to buy a tablet with a lot of storage.
In any event, our advice is that you at least opt for a device that has a minimum of 32 GB of storage. After that, even if you are one of those people who thinks that the more, the better, but this is not always true when tablets are concerned. If you want the tablet mainly for reading books and surfing the internet you probably don’t need more than 32 GB.
Currently, there are predominantly two models of tablet. On the one hand, there are those of 10+ inches, and on the other, we find those of 7″. If you want a device that you can easily take anywhere, then a 7″ is for you. Conversely, if you plan to work with the tablet frequently, you’d better choose a 10″+ model.
In recent years, some larger models have appeared. These are 12″ devices, such as the iPad Pro or Microsoft Surface Pro. These tablets have been developed for more professional use. Given their performance, they can replace personal computers in many tasks.
Resolution and type of display panel
The higher the screen resolution, the sharper the image and the better the viewing angles. In short that means better image quality. A standard value could be HD (1,200 x 800). However, you must not let yourself be guided by this criterion alone. Pixels per inch are also important. The higher the number, the better the resolution and the sharper the image.
Please note that the same image resolution on a smaller screen means a larger number of pixels. Thus, 1,200 x 800 pixels in a 10″ tablet is not the same as in a 7″ tablet. In any case, if you’re looking for the best image quality, the 12.9″ iPad Pro delivers 2,732 x 2,048 at 264 pixels per inch.
It is also important that you consider the type of panel on the screen. This factor is essential to preserving image quality from oblique angles. This also determines how vivid and precise the colours are. We recommend that you opt for IPS or PLS technology. Never settle for anything inferior.
The battery life of a tablet is another one of the most important aspects that you must have in mind when buying one of these devices. When considering the autonomy of a device, remember that battery capacity is measured in milliamperes per hour (mAh). Our advice is not to buy a device with less than a 5,000 mAh capacity. Moreover, if it also allows for quick charging, that’s even better.
Of course all tablets offer internet connection via WiFi. However, there are models that also allow connection via 3G/4G (LTE) networks. These types of connections allow you to not have to depend on having access to WiFi. Just remember that if you use them with a cellular network they create a greater expense due to the monthly cost of that network.
If you are going to use the tablet away from home or in an environment with difficult access to WiFi, then you should choose a tablet with an LTE connection. Otherwise, you can do without this option, since the devices that have this capability tend to have significantly higher cost. Which doesn’t include the monthly fee you would have to pay for the network.
You also have to consider the type of WiFi and Bluetooth you have. A newer version of Bluetooth means more range, better synchronization and greater energy efficiency. The vast majority of high-end devices integrate Bluetooth 4.2. However, the 5.0 is already becoming a standard.
As far as WiFi is concerned, the recommended type is 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, which uses the frequencies of 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz, with a range of 30 meters and a transfer rate of 7 Gbps.
The operating system and tablet model are directly related. Of the three that exist, our advice is to choose either an Android-based device or an Apple iPad. Our recommendation is that you discard any Windows-based tablet, since they are quite expensive for the few features they offer.
Regardless, you may be interested in a tablet with Windows if you need it for professional use and want to take advantage of the possibility of having the Office tools. Moreover, Android is an overall much more flexible operating system than iOS. Specifically, Android Oreo, a Google system, offers excellent features.
You probably want the tablet to last as long as possible. Of course, it is not an easy task, especially in these times when it seems that electronic devices need to be constantly renewed. However, in order to try to make the tablet you buy have a long life you must take into account some details.
To begin, remember that it’s important that the operating system is supported and updated regularly. When it comes to hardware, it is essential to choose a device with a good microprocessor and enough RAM. Keep in mind that updating any component of a tablet is really difficult.
The tablet you purchase should be compatible with accessories such as keyboards, mice, and a stylus. These can be from the same manufacturer or from third parties. The Korean manufacturer Samsung, which integrates the Samsung DeX system into many of its devices transforms the tablet into a small PC, stands out in this criteria.
The brand of a tablet is essential to consider for several reasons. Of these, two stand out: the manufacturer’s warranty, customer service and the possibility of receiving operating system updates. When you purchase a tablet from a well-known brand, you are assured to get a quality product that comes with adequate technical support.
The first point (warranty) is really important, since the device you buy may have some kind of technical problem. Make sure that the tablet you choose has a guarantee of at least two years. Some of the most well-known manufacturers are: Apple, Google, Amazon, Samsung, Microsoft and Huawei.
One of the consequences of the tablet fever that emerged a few years ago is that the market is currently saturated with a large number of models. In these circumstances, it becomes more difficult to choose which device to buy. This is why it is important that you are clear about what uses you need it for.
From there, there are a number of aspects you have to consider. Of course, price and manufacturer are two fundamental criteria. Similarly, screen size and image resolution are key aspects as well. In terms of performance, it is essential that they have a good microprocessor and sufficient RAM memory.
We hope you found this guide useful. If you think so, we’d appreciate it if you’d share it with your friends and leave us a comment.
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