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.
Microsoft Surface Pro 4
Weight: 766g/786g | Dimensions: 292.10 x 201.42 x 8.45mm | OS: Windows 10 Pro | Screen size: 12.3-inch | Resolution: 2,736 x 1,824 | CPU: Various | RAM:4GB/8GB/16GB | Storage: 128GB | Battery: up to 9 hours | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 5MP
Can a tablet really replace your laptop or home PC? That’s still up for debate, but the best tablet trying to make that happen is the Microsoft Surface Pro 4.
It does a fine job with the full blown version of Windows 10, an integrated kickstand and optional keyboard attachment. Great for for creative professionals, students and everyday folks alike, this is a top choice and the best Windows Laptop we’ve reviewed.
Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet
Weight: 389g | Dimensions: 254 x 167 x 6.1 mm | OS: Android Marshmallow | Screen size: 10.1-inch | Resolution: 2560 x 1600 | CPU: Snapdragon 810 | RAM:3GB | Storage: 32GB | Battery: 6000mAh | Rear camera: 8.1MP | Front camera: 5.1MP
The Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet is the best option for PS4 owners as it allows you to stream games from your console direct to the tablet when you’re in another room of your house.
Link up your PS4 controller to the Z4 Tablet and you’ll be gaming in bed, in the kitchen and on the toilet.
The included keyboard dock in the box also makes for a great stand plus it’ll be getting Android 7 Nougat software in the future too.
However, there’s a question of how long that support will last, given the tablet is starting to disappear off sale in some outlets – so make sure you pick it up for a bargainous price.
Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact
Weight: 270g | Dimensions: 213.4 x 123.6 x 6.4mm | OS: Android Marshmallow | Screen size: 8.0-inch | Resolution: 1200 x 1920 | CPU: Snapdragon 801 | RAM:3GB | Storage: 16GB | Battery: 4500mAh | Rear camera: 8.1MP | Front camera: 2.2MP
Tablets don’t have to be big and cumbersome, and the rather clumsily named Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact is testament to just that.
It’s not Sony’s best tablet – that goes to the Z4 further up the page, but it’s super-slim profile, waterproof chassis, bright display and solid line up of specs means it’ll comfortably slip in your bag and won’t baulk at the first sign of rain.
However, it’s a little older now, so be warned that it won’t be getting all the Android updates you might hope for – and it, too, is on the cusp of being discontinued, so be warned that you’ll need to get it for a low price to make the purchase worthwhile.
iPad Air 2
Weight: 437g | Dimensions: 240 x 169.5 x 6.1mm | OS: iOS 10 | Screen size:9.7-inch | Resolution: 1536 x 2048 | CPU: Triple-core 1.5 GHz | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 16/64/128GB | Battery: 7340mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera:1.2MP
Until the iPad Pro 9.7, this was the best tablet in the world. Even though it has been replaced by Apple, it’s still a brilliant tablet that has further raised the bar for the rest of the competition in terms of build quality, features and performance.
The best part is this is now cheaper thanks to the release of the iPad Pro 9.7. Apple’s range of tablet-optimised apps and a slick user interface makes the iPad Air 2 extremely versatile while also being incredibly easy, and enjoyable, to use.
iPad mini 2
Weight: 331g | Dimensions: 200 x 134.7 x 7.5 mm | OS: iOS 10 | Screen size:7.9-inch | Resolution: 1536 x 2048 | CPU: Dual-core 1.3 GHz | RAM: 1GB | Storage: 16/32/64/128GB | Battery: 6470 mAh | Rear camera: 5MP | Front camera: 1.2MP
Apple has just jumped in with another addition to our best tablet ranking with its iPad mini 2 from all the way back in 2013 – but still on sale (although for how much longer is anyone’s guess).
It may not be as high-spec as the iPad mini 4, which is much higher in the list, but it’s much cheaper than the latest mini option and still offers a great choice if you’re looking for a small tablet.
Be warned that the screen resolution isn’t the sharpest, but if you just want an easy portal to Apple’s incredible range of apps and aren’t too bothered about specs, this is a great value option.