Like smartphones, tablets have become an essential part of our everyday lives. Just get on the tube in the morning and you are bound to see at least a couple of people glued to their tablets. From photos, videos, documents to eBooks and emails – tablets are tremendously versatile tools that can make your life …
Like smartphones, tablets have become an essential part of our everyday lives. Just get on the tube in the morning and you are bound to see at least a couple of people glued to their tablets. From photos, videos, documents to eBooks and emails – tablets are tremendously versatile tools that can make your life a whole lot easier. But with more and more manufacturers rolling out new models with different designs and features selecting the right tablet is no simple undertaking. Will you jump on Apple’s high-speed train and get one of the most elegant tablets on the market? Or will you turn your back on Cupertino’s high price tag and join the Android revolution? We’ve pulled together the top tablets on the UK market to help you make the most of your money.
Apple iPad Air
Ever since the first iPad was launched in 2010, Apple has kept a tight grip on the tablet market. And with the release of the iPad Air, the Cupertino-based company has finally nailed it. The iPad Air is lighter and thinner than its predecessors without feeling flimsy or cheap. Add a beautifully crafted design coupled with light, aircraft-grade aluminium and you have what is frankly the most beautiful tablet to look at.
At the heart of the iPad Air lies a powerful 63-bit A7 Chip that runs more demanding applications and games with ease. Together with the high resolution Retina display, a 5-megapixel iSight camera, advanced wireless and the most extensive selection of apps, Apple’s iPad Air will tick all your tablet boxes. A must-have item for gadget lovers – provided you can dig deep into your pockets because Apple’s flagship will set you back a minimum of £ 399.
Apple iPad Mini 2 with Retina
Apple’s iPad Mini2 with Retina Display is just as good as the iPad Air, only smaller and thus ideal for long commutes. It features a slim aluminium unibody design with rounded corners which fits comfortably in one hand. Like its big brother, the iPad Mini 2 comes with a Retina display and extra pixels, producing crisp text and impressive colour accuracy. The sharpest screen in its class makes reading websites or eBooks a thrilling experience. Apple also made the mini four times more powerful than the original. If you are looking for a perfect balance between screen resolution, size and portability, the Apple iPad Mini 2 remains the best choice.
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition
Apple might still be the top rated manufacturer on the tablet market, but Android based units are slowly aiming for the crown. The ultra-sleek 2014 edition of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10.1 comes loaded with high-end specs and is a top pick for professionals and gamers alike. The 10.1-inch full HD screen allows for eye-popping colour and clarity. The Note 10.1 2014 Edition is frankly one of the best Samsung tablets with improved stylus and multitasking features.
Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2
Big. Bigger. Galaxy NotePro 12.2. Samsung’s 12-inch tablet is a real beast and there is nothing quite like it around in terms of size and performance. The impressive 12.2-inch Super Clear LCD screen boasts 2560 x 1600 pixels at 247 ppi for visually stunning pictures and Full HD videos. Equipped with a split Octa-core processor, 32 GB of internal memory and 3GB Ram, Samsung’s Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 can manage simple and heavy-duty tasks with ease. Its Multi Window function lets you open up to four apps simultaneously to make the most of its huge screen. This powerful and well-built tablet is more aimed at the professional market and too big and expensive for occasional browsers and gamers. Unless you absolutely need the bigger screen size and pack of features you may be better off with the Galaxy Note 10.1.
Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet
Incredibly thin and ultra-light for a 10-inch tablet, Sony’s Xperia Z2 tablet boasts the latest audio technology and some standout features such as waterproofing. It’s loaded with a monstrously powerful processor which makes it the perfect companion for work and play. The latest Android operating system (4.4 KitKat) and Sony’s Entertainment Network (SEN) make the Xperia Z2 Tablet the perfect fit for entertainment buffs. Only the lower screen resolution and a thick side bezel give the Z2 tablet a dated feel.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4
With the Galaxy Tab S 8.4 Samsung has finally thrown in a true contender against the ever-popular iPad Mini. Thinner and lighter than Apple’s iPad Mini, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 is all about a slim and gorgeous design. Similar to the Galaxy S5, the Galaxy Tab S 8.4 has a dimpled pattern at the back, which makes it comfortable to hold. It features a stunning Super AMOLED display with a slightly better pixel density than the iPad Mini. The result is photos and videos that impress with rich, vibrant colours and outstanding clarity. Packed with an octa-core processor, a fingerprint scanner and the latest Android software Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S is one of the best Android tablets on the market.
LG G Pad 8.3
The G Pad 8.3 marks LG’s comeback to the tablet market after pulling out in 2012 to focus on smartphones instead. And it’s a strong comeback indeed. The G Pad 8.3 is by far the best tablet LG has ever made and priced at £199 it’s a real bargain. A lightweight aluminium shell gives the LG G Pad 8.3 a premium design with an iPad Mini-like feel. In terms of performance, the LG G Pad 8.3 lags a bit behind its competitors, especially with regard to pixel density there are higher-resolution small-screen tablets around like the iPad Mini with Retina Display and Google’s 2013 Nexus 7.
However, the most significant downside is that LG’s tablet runs Android Jelly Bean rather than the latest KitKat version. Nevertheless, an array of features and extras including an infrared transmitter and a Micro-SD card slot make the LG G Pad 8.3 a great choice for a small tablet, especially in terms of design. It is definitely a tablet you won’t be ashamed to be seen with in public.
Huawei MediaPad X1
Can’t decide between getting a new phone or tablet? You don’t have to as Huawei has blurred the line with its MediaPad X1. It’s a 7-inch Android tablet that lets you make phone calls and measuring 183.5 x 103.9 x 7.18mm it’s among the smallest and lightest tablets in its class. It’s extremely portable, feels comfortable in you palm and has a premium look. The 13 MP rear camera can snap some decent pictures, while the 5 MP front-facing camera is ideal for video chats and selfies. Huawei’s MediaPad X1 boasts HD resolution but the screen fails to display text and images as sharp as its main contender, Google’s latest Nexus 7. However, if you are looking for a new Android alternative and don’t mind a slightly outdated processor and operating system, the Huawei MediaPad X1 may be worth considering.
The 2013 model of the Google Nexus 7 remains one of the finest 7-inch tablets around. It combines an ultra-portable design, decent power and stunning screen performance with and knockout price of £199. If you are looking for a decent tablet bargain and don’t mind a slightly outdated design the Nexus 7 is an unbeatable treat. But bear in mind that there is no microSD slot, so you are limited to whatever size you decide to buy.