Our best tablet guide aims to make finding a great tablet easier, as with so many to pick from, it can be hard to choose. New options are arriving all the time too, most recently the iPad 10.2 (2021) and iPad mini (2021), so read on to see how they rank below.
There are plenty of other excellent tablets to choose from too though, such as the iPad Air 4 (2020), the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus, the Lenovo Tab P11 Pro, and the iPad mini (2019). You’ll find all of those and many more in our list below.
The best tablet won't be the same for everyone, so they're all worth considering. Factors that you should bear in mind will include operating system, size, price, and specs. If price is your main focus, be sure to check out our best cheap tablet guide.
To make things easier, each entry below shows you all of those things at a glance, along with an overview highlighting why you might - or might not - like each of them.
And if you don't see anything you like, it's worth checking back regularly, because we're expecting new additions throughout the year and in early 2022, with the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 for example likely to land before too long, and that looks set to be a serious iPad Pro rival.
The iPad Pro 12.9 (2021) is a spectacular tablet, with its headline feature arguably being the M1 chipset that powers it. This chipset was lifted straight from Apple’s top-end Macs, so you’re truly getting desktop power in a tablet here.
But that’s not all this tablet has going for it. For the first time in an iPad, it also has a Mini LED screen, with a remarkably high 1,600-nit peak brightness, a 120Hz refresh rate, and a 2048 x 2732 resolution. It’s crisp, bright, vibrant, and all-round impressive.
The iPad Pro 12.9 (2021) also has a long-lasting battery, a decent camera, a premium aluminum design, and support for the Magic Keyboard and Apple Pencil 2 – these are sold separately, but turn it into a real productivity machine.
So if you want to get some proper work or creation done on a tablet, or you’re just a big tablet gamer, the iPad Pro 12.9 (2021) will be the perfect device. But if your needs are lighter then you might find this too expensive and too big.
Note: we’re only talking about the 12.9-inch model here. There’s also an iPad Pro 11 (2021), but we haven’t reviewed that yet. On paper it’s largely similar, but with a less impressive screen that doesn’t use Mini LED.
Read the full review: iPad Pro 12.9 (2021)
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The iPad 10.2 (2021) is an affordable iPad and it looks it, as it’s now the only current model with an old-fashioned, bezel-heavy design. We’re not big fans of this aspect of it, but almost every other part of the iPad 10.2 (2021) impressed us.
From its excellent 12MP ultra-wide selfie camera (which gives video calls a major upgrade), to its True Tone display tech (which helps with outdoor visibility), there’s a lot to like here. You also get double the storage of the previous model and a power boost, so this might be a budget iPad, but it’s still a highly capable tablet.
Read the full review: iPad 10.2 (2021)
Huawei's HarmonyOS 2 powered tablet makes a bang with powerful specs powered by the Kirin 9000E processor. Huawei has done a good job refining it's new OS to make it one of the slickets Android experiences. It may not support GMS but for some, that could be considered a plus.
The highlight is undoubtedly its screen, which is an 12.6-inch 1600 x 2560 OLED panel with 240 pixels per inch and DCI-P3 wide colour gamut. It’s a big, sharp, and being OLED arguably gives it an edge over LCD rivals – including Apple’s entire iPad range. About the only thing missing is a higher refresh rate.
That screen makes it great for visual media, but it’s great for audio too, thanks to eight speakers. There's also support for a keyboard and stylus giving you the full tablet experience. In fact, paired with the Huawei MateView Pro, it supports Huawei's Smart Office experience with wireless connectivity making Huawei devices work cohesively.
On top of that it also has an impressive 10,500 mAh that supports SuperCharge and reverse wireless charging. Huawei has always had great cameras and if you like taking photos from your tablet, the 13MP camera along with the 8MP Ultrawide should do a good job.
Read the hands-on review: Huawei MatePad Pro 12.6
The first Android tablet on our list is the best tablet that Samsung has ever made, and it's a serious rival to the iPad Pro range that you've read about above.
In fact, its screen arguably has those slates beat, as it’s a 12.4-inch Super AMOLED one with a 2800 x 1752 resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate. The iPad Pro range can match much of that, but those slates have LCD screens that aren't as good.
Inside is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus chipset, which is the most powerful you can get inside an Android product and it comes with a premium metal build that is incredibly slim with it only being 5.7mm thick.
Want high speed internet? A version of the Galaxy Tab S7 Plus also comes with 5G connectivity, and you'll get the Samsung S Pen stylus in the box for free. Android isn't as good as iPadOS is on tablets, but if you want an Android alternative to an iPad this could be it.
Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus
The iPad mini (2021) is a big upgrade for Apple’s tiny tablet range, as it sports a more modern design with a bigger 8.3-inch screen squeezed into an even smaller space than the old model’s 7.9-inch display.
The new mini also comes with a lot more power and 5G support for the first time on a mini model. Elsewhere the changes are smaller, and we weren’t overly impressed by the battery life of the iPad mini (2021), but it’s still not just the best small iPad but the best small tablet from any brand.
Read the full review: iPad mini (2021)
The iPad Pro 11 (2021) is a superb tablet, but one that’s just ever so slightly underwhelming in the face of the iPad Pro 12.9 (2021) with its Mini LED display.
This instead has to settle for LCD like its predecessor, but it still has a great 11-inch 1668 x 2388 screen with a 120Hz refresh rate, and it has the same overpowered Apple M1 chipset as its larger sibling, so nothing should slow this down.
The iPad Pro 11 (2021) also has a smaller, lighter build than the 12.9-inch model, making it more portable – as a result of its smaller size and inferior screen it’s also more affordable, though certainly far from cheap.
If you do have extra cash to spend though, you can always shell out on a Magic Keyboard or an Apple Pencil, both of which are supported. All of which means this is a very powerful, versatile slate – albeit one that’s slightly let down by its restrictive software.
Read the full review: iPad Pro 11 (2021)
The iPad Air 4 (2020) is arguably the best tablet for anyone who can’t quite justify splashing out on the very best, as it has many of the things that make the iPad Pro range great, but it costs less.
In fact, the iPad Air 4 (2020) actually has a newer A14 Bionic chipset. That’s what you’ll find in the iPhone 12 range, and it’s exceptionally powerful.
The iPad Air 4 (2020) also supports both the Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil, so it’s almost as good as a laptop replacement or general productivity device as an iPad Pro.
With good all-round specs too and a wide range of colors that you can buy it in, the iPad Air 4 (2020) is a great choice for a lot of people – though the cheapest model only comes with 64GB of storage, which won’t go far.
Read the full review: iPad Air 4 (2020)