A tablet is excellent to have, especially if you work on the road or need a device smaller than a laptop but with nearly the same features. However, it’s looking at the features list that makes picking the right tablet challenging. You might not need everything that comes with the latest model, but some users do seek out tablets that can do everything, including making a cup of coffee (via a connected app, of course).
In this article: Amazon Fire HD 8 Tablet, 2021 Apple 10.2-inch iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tab S8.
Best features to have on a tablet
Among the first things people look for when deciding on a tablet are screen size and display technology. Tablets come in a variety of sizes, but an 11.6-inch display seems to be the sweet spot. It’s large enough so you can see everything clearly but just smaller than a laptop, and it weighs a lot less too. This makes it easy to carry around in a backpack. Anything smaller, and you might have a problem with resolution and display quality.
Speaking of resolution, the best for tablets as well as TVs is 4K. This is currently the highest resolution you get for hand-held devices with 3840 pixels by 2160 pixels. But this isn’t always the case with Apple’s iPad. Its latest devices use Retina Display, and the resolution usually changes based on its size.
Mobile phones and tablets are notorious for having poor-quality audio, especially when lots of people are huddled around a screen. The environment generally needs to be fairly quiet to hear sounds clearly, though this can be mitigated by connecting the tablet through Bluetooth to wireless speakers.
However, some tablets aim to provide a much better audio experience than their competition. For example, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S8 uses quad speakers and integrates Dolby Atmos software for expertly-tuned sounds.
If the speakers aren’t the best, don’t be dismayed. Almost every tablet should have a headphones jack or Bluetooth, and then the audio depends on your headphones.
Processor and camera
As with any computer, the primary drivers of all functions and features are the internal processor, memory and storage space. In short, a faster processor lets you do more resource-intensive actions without freezing up. Mobile games especially use a lot of processing power for their enhanced graphics as do video editing apps.
Coupled with the processor is the memory, which determines how quickly the tablet can switch between functions and access information. Generally, more memory means the tablet will run a lot smoother. And since memory isn’t easily upgradable, you must be sure of your requirements before buying a tablet.
It’s a bit frowned upon to pull out your bulky tablet (compared to a mobile phone) to snap a photo of something interesting. But having an excellent camera on your tablet can be a blessing if you have no other choice. While usually not as good as a phone, an 8-megapixel or 12-megapixel lens should be sufficient.
A tablet can do most things a laptop can, but it has an obvious drawback: It lacks a keyboard and mouse. If a tablet is compatible with external accessories, though, you can easily turn it into a word processor, a drawing board or a notebook.
There are several apps for Android and Apple tablets that work with interactive pens. These are excellent tools for creating digital art, sketching or penning down your creative thoughts. Similarly, connecting a Bluetooth keyboard makes replying to emails and fixing documents a lot easier.
Best tablets with the most features
It might only have an 8-inch display, but the Fire HD is packed with features. It uses a hexa-core processor for fast browsing and has 2 gigabytes of RAM and 32 GB of storage. The battery lasts 13 hours, and it’s more durable than the iPad. It gives you access to Amazon’s app store, where you can download your favorite streaming apps.
Sold by Amazon
With one of Apple’s latest tablets, there is almost nothing you can’t do while working remotely. It’s packed with a host of features many expect from the tech giant, such as a 10.2-inch Retina display, a battery that lasts 10 hours and Apple’s A13 Bionic chip. In addition, there is an 8-megapixel front-facing camera and a 12-megapixel camera on the back.
Sold by Amazon
Samsung has a solid history of creating gadgets that make your life easier. The Galaxy Tab 8 is no exception, as it has an 11-inch display and uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, and the 32GB of RAM is powerful enough for most resource-intensive tasks. If you feel creative, it’s compatible with Samsung’s variety of S Pens.
Sold by Amazon
Do you enjoy watching videos while on the road or just lounging on the couch? Then this 10.4-inch tablet is an excellent choice. The ultra-widescreen display has crisp visuals, and Dolby Atmos surround sound ensures you hear every footstep and piece of dialogue. It comes with two months of YouTube Premium and six months of Spotify Premium.
Sold by Amazon
Apple iPad 9.7-Inch with Wi-Fi
While the 10.2-inch iPad is the pinnacle for Apple tablets, don’t overlook the 9.7-inch version. It has many of the same internal features as the larger one, such as a Retina Display and True Tone capabilities, but it uses Apple’s A9 third-generation chip. It has 32GB of storage and RAM and an 8-megapixel rear camera.
Sold by Amazon
- Packed with a lot of features, the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite includes an S Pen and AKG dual speakers.
- The Lenovo Tab M10 Plus comes with 32GB of storage, has a 10.3-inch display and uses a 2.3-gigahertz processor.
- The Lenovo Yoga Smart Tab is a 10.1-inch tablet with 64GB of storage and 4GB of RAM and uses the Android operating system.
- Perfect for children, the Fire HD 8 Kids Pro Tablet has an 8-inch display, uses Dolby Atmos sound and has a battery that lasts 13 hours.
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Charlie Fripp writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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