The best tablets of 2016 are all about combination, with most offering a decent keyboard and desktop-style experience to sound the death knell for laptops.
From Apple’s larger iPad Pro to Android’s Google Nexus and Samsung tablets, there’s a lot of choice out there. And it’s more than just iOS 10 and Android Marshmallow devices (with Android Nougat on some too), unlike the best smartphones – Windows makes an appearance too.
iPad Pro 9.7
Weight: 437g | Dimensions: 240 x 169.5 x 6.1 mm | OS: iOS 10 | Screen size:9.7-inch | Resolution: 1536 x 2048 pixels | CPU: A9X | RAM: 2GB | Storage:32GB/128GB/256GB | microSD slot: No | Battery: TBC | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 5MP
While there are plenty of brilliant Android tablets around at the moment, the newest iPad offers a lot of the power of the larger iPad Pro, along with the Smart Keyboard and Pencil support, but brings it in a much more bag-and-palm friendly size. Oh, and those four speakers are just brilliant too.
It’s a decent laptop alternative for those trying to work out if they need the worry of a new Windows device, but only if you’re working on rudimentary files. Free access to Apple’s office suite helps a huge amount though…
Google Pixel C
Weight: 517g | Dimensions: 242 x 179 x 7mm | OS: Android Nougat | Screen size: 10.2-inch | Resolution: 2560 x 1800 | CPU: Tegra X1 | RAM: 3GB | Storage:32GB/64GB | Battery: up to 10 hours | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 2MP
Google’s Pixel C is simply the best Android tablet. It has it all: a fantastic display, heaps of power and a premium design. Plus, for those willing to splash the cash, the keyboard is a great accessory. It’s not quite a laptop replacement, but for those in the market for a premium Android tablet – look no further. That’s especially great as you can now download Android 7 Nougat software.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2
Weight: 256g/389g | Dimensions: 198.6 x 134.8 x 5.6mm/237.3 x 169 x 5.6mm | OS: Android Marshmallow | Screen size: 8.0-inch/9.7-inch | Resolution: 1536 x 2048 | CPU: Octa-core | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 32GB/64GB | Battery:4000mAh/5870mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 2.1MP
There are plenty of reasons to invest in the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 – especially if you’re after a top Android tablet.
This is the best tablet that Samsung has ever produced – it’s both reading and web surfing-friendly, has a sensational Super AMOLED screen, and you can pick it up in 8-inch and 9.7-inch variants.
Almost impossibly thin, pumped full of power and with a slicker interface it gives the best iPads a real run for its money – although we’re still waiting for a refresh, which this line badly needs.
iPad mini 4
Weight: 299g | Dimensions: 203.2 x 134.8 x 6.1mm | OS: iOS 10 | Screen size:7.9-inch | Resolution: 1536 x 2048 | CPU: Dual-core 1.5 GHz | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 16GB/64GB/128GB | Battery: 5124mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 1.2MP
The best 7-inch tablet at the moment is definitely the iPad mini 4. If you like the look of Apple’s iPad Air 2 and iPad Pro, but find them a) too big, b) too expensive or c) both, then you’re in luck as the diminutive iPad mini 4 gives you the best of Apple’s tablet world in a form factor that’s not only beautiful, but highly portable.
It lacks the Pro features of a keyboard or Pencil support (the latter would be really nice to have on this smaller display) but overall it’s got a decent screen upgrade and more than enough power to enjoy every day.
Weight: 713g | Dimensions: 305.7 x 220.6 x 6.9mm | OS: iOS 10 | Screen size:12.9-inch | Resolution: 2048 x 2732 | CPU: Dual-core 2.26 GHz | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 32GB/128GB | Battery: 10,307mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 1.2MP
The iPad Pro won’t be for everyone due to the size and cost, but for those it does appeal to (and can afford it) you’re unlikely to find a better tablet for your needs, and you’ll swiftly find it indispensable.
Whether its graphics, multi-tasking or providing a pseudo-Mac experience when you’re away from the office the iPad Pro is capable of so much.
Even the Pencil – hilarious name aside – is an impressive tool for a particular niche. For the more professional user, or just one that cares about a larger, more expansive screen to work on, this is the best tablet out there and more than capable of replacing a laptop.