Update: The best tablet in 2017 remains the iPad Pro, edging out all of the best Android tablets even after nearly a year since it launched in the US. Apple’s vast app ecosystem made this decision easy. Here are the best iOS, Android and Kindle tablets ranked for February.
The best tablets in 2017 are all about combination. They all offer thin-and-light designs, but have decent keyboard and desktop-style experiences.
A good tablets makes you ask the question: Why do I even need a laptop? Here’s the problem. There are a lot of choices out there, from Apple’s larger to Android’s Google Nexus and Samsung tablets.
And it’s more than just and devices, unlike the – Kindle and Windows tablets actually make an appearance, too.
We rank tablets based on multiple factors, including performance, battery life, screen quality and more, with price playing an important part in the final tally.
If none of the best tablets here take your fancy then head on over to our tablet reviews pages, where you’ll find in-depth reviews for many more models.
Let us know your thoughts on the top 10 (and what order you think they should go in) in the comment box below.
1. iPad Pro 9.7
A brilliant tablet that brings power to portability
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
Pencil and keyboard support
Pricey with accessories
Not as much RAM as larger iPad Pro
The best tablet you can buy right now is the iPad Pro 9.7 – the smaller screen with powerful innards is the best combination on the market.
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!
There’s no Apple iPad Pro 2 release date just yet, or even confirmation that such a tablet exists. You’re safe to buy this one right now.
Read the full review: iPad Pro 9.7
2. Google Pixel C
This is the best Android tablet
Weight: 517g | Dimensions: 242 x 179 x 7mm | OS: Android Marshmallow | 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
Plenty of power
Keyboard is pricey option
No more 32GB model
Google’s Pixel C is simply the best Android tablet. It has a fantastic display, heaps of power and a premium design. It pairs well with a Google Pixel or Google Pixel XL smartphone and even runs the Android 7.0 Nougat update.
It’s not quite a laptop replacement, but there’s a fantastic keyboard accessory if you’re willing to pay extra. Be warned: You won’t find the cheaper Google Pixel C 32GB model on sale through the Google Store. Only the 64GB is sold there now, though you can still find the 32GB deals through other retailers.
Read the full review: Google Pixel C
3. Nvidia Shield Tablet K1
An 8-inch gaming tablet at a great price
Weight: 356g | Dimensions: 221 x 126 x 9.2mm | OS: Android Marshmallow | Screen size: 8.0-inch | Resolution: 1920 x 1200 | CPU: Quad-core | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 16GB | Battery: 5200mAh | Rear camera: 5MP
Top-end gaming features
Doesn’t come with key accessories
Android still lacks great games
This isn’t the discontinued Google Nexus 7, but it’s slightly bigger cousin made by famed graphics card maker Nvidia. Obviously its speciality is gaming with a compatible controller. Just don’t be fooled into thinking the gamepad comes with the Nvidia Shield tablet. Not at its current asking price of $199.
Strangely, it doesn’t come with a charger either. That’s okay. You probably have plenty of microUSB cables and wall adapters. What’s important is that this can play Android games and stream both Steam games and Nvidia Grid games. It’s a small tablet, but a mighty big value.
4. 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
Thinner, lighter design
Rare expandable memory
Small specs upgrade
So-so battery life
There are plenty of reasons to invest in the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 – especially if you’re looking to buy one of the best Android tablets. This is the best tablet that Samsung has ever produced – it’s both reading and web surfing-friendly, has a sensational Super AMOLED screen.
You can pick it up for a new low price 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 literal money.
We’ve heard whispers of a Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 release date, but we don’t expect to be able to buy that one until after MWC 2017 this month and we suspect it’ll launch at a obviously higher price, whereas this tablet has been discounted over the last several months.
Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy Tab S2
5. iPad mini 4
The best small-screen tablet
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
Touch ID finger scanner
No 3D touch
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 too big, too expensive or both, then you’re in luck. With no official confirmation of an iPad mini 5 yet, 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.
Read the full review: iPad mini 4
6. Asus ZenPad 3S 10
If the iPad were made in China… wait.
Weight: 430g | Dimensions: 240.5 x 163.7 x 7.2mm | OS: Android Marshmallow | Screen size: 9.7-inch | Resolution: 1536 x 2048 | CPU: Mediatek MT8176 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 32GB/64GB | Battery: up to 10 hours | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 5MP
Strong, hi-res display
Mediocre battery life
Not great build quality
You can’t look at this new Asus ZenPad 3 10 and not think of an iPad. It has the same 9.7-inch display, but it runs Android instead of iOS. It has a sharp screen and the performance is solid, even if you don’t recognize the chipset by name. It just can’t match the best Apple iPad tablet due to its inferior battery life and build quality. But that might not matter if you fancy is cheaper price.
Read our full review: Asus ZenPad 3S 10
7. Microsoft Surface Pro 4
The tablet that can replace your laptop
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
Larger, sharper screen
Vastly improved Type Cover
Built in kickstand
Type Cover still sold separately
Intel Core m3 at entry level
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 right now is the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 – and it does a fine job with the full blown version of Windows 10.
It has an integrated kickstand and optional keyboard attachment, making it ideal for creative professionals, students and everyday folks alike.
Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Pro 4
8. iPad Pro
Apple’s biggest slate isn’t its best, but it’s not far off
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
Battery life could be longer
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. 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 Apple Pencil – hilarious name aside – is an impressive tool for a particular niche. Not everyone will dig it. But for serious pros who need more than the iPad Pro 9.7, this is the best tablet to replace a laptop.
Read the full review: iPad Pro
9. Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet
Lighter, faster, waterproof… a real iPad Air 2 rival
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
Improved lightweight design
Keyboard dock included
Expensive price tag
The Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet is the best tablet option for PS4 and PS4 Pro 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 PlayStation 4 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.
If you can get used to Sony’s version of the Android user interface and handle the price tag, this isn’t a bad option. There’s no Sony Xperia Z5 and it may be skipped entirely for a Sony Xperia Z6, but this is not a reason to hold off on buying right now, as it’s merely a rumor.
Read the full review: Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet
10. Nexus 9
A perfect all round Android tablet
Weight: 425g | Dimensions: 228.2 x 153.7 x 8mm | OS: Android Marshmallow | Screen size: 8.9-inch | Resolution: 1536 x 2048 | CPU: Dual-core 2.3 GHz | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 16/32GB | Battery: 6700 mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 1.6MP
Great value for money
Stock Android experience
Subpar display quality
Originally a rather expensive Google-branded tablet, the Nexus 9 has now dropped so much in price it’s the best value tablet out there. There’s a whole load of power, stock Android and a high-resolution screen making it a great all-round tablet at a very affordable price.Best of all, it runs the latest version of Android: Android 7 Nougat.
You won’t find the Nexus 9 available to buy through Google’s official website anymore. All Nexus-branded devices have been banished since the company ushered in the Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL. But you can still find it for a cheap price on Amazon and at other retailers.
Read the full review: Nexus 9
As with today’s best smartphones, applications play a big role on tablets – once you’ve decided which of these tablets is right for you, check out our top app lists so you can get your fill of Temple Run, update your friends on Facebook and read the latest news, all on a bigger screen.
If you’re not quite ready to part with your cash, then take a look at these other noteworthy slates – they’re one that almost made our top 10 best tablets list or are coming out soon.
iPad Air 2
The iPad Air 2 is still a good choice
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
Unbeatable app selection
Volume silencer gone
16GB is too little storage
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.
Good news: it’s now cheaper thanks to the release of the newer iPad Pro. Apple’s range of tablet-optimized apps and a slick iOS 10 user interface makes the iPad Air 2 extremely versatile while also being incredibly easy, and enjoyable, to use.
Read the full review: iPad Air 2
Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact
Compact, portable and powerful
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
Great battery life
Very thin and light
Screen sharpness beaten by others
Not an incredible value
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.
Read the full review: Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro S
Windows 10 where you’d expect Android to be
Weight: 693g | Dimensions: 290.3 x 198.8 x 6.3mm | OS: Windows 10 | Screen size: 12-inch | Resolution: 2160 x 1440 | CPU: Intel Core M | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 128GB/256GB | Battery: up to 10.5 hours | Rear camera: 5MP | Front camera: 5MP
Good use of Windows 10
The Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro S was unveiled at the very start of 2016 and boasts a great screen, solid build and Windows 10. It’s an odd device, but one that works better than we expected it to. The keyboard dock isn’t great, with a cramped mouse and keys which aren’t the easiest to type on – but over all Samsung’s made a solid Windows slate.
Read our review: Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro S
Weight: 640g | Dimensions: 278.8 x 194.1 x 6.9mm | OS: Windows 10 | Screen size: 12-inch | Resolution: 2160 x 1440 | CPU: 6th Gen Intel Core m | RAM: 4/8GB | Storage: 128/256/512GB | microSD slot: No | Battery: 4430mAh | Rear camera: No | Front camera: 5MP
No MicroSDS card slot
Only one USB port
Huawei’s first Windows 10 device is a well-designed 2-in-1 that rivals the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and iPad Pro in places. It’s a promising, yet pricey, first 2-in-1 from the Chinese company, managing to feel fresh despite arriving late to the party.
Read our review: Huawei MateBook
Sony Xperia Z6 Tablet
The high-end waterproof tablet
We haven’t seen a new Xperia tablet in over a year, but this one could make an appearance at MWC 2017 after being a no-show at least year’s event. We fully expect it to feature a waterproof design, bumped up specs and a higher-than-average price tag. This is a Sony product after all. But we could use a high-end Android tablet to rival everything that Apple is doing.
Tips for Sony: what we want to see on the Sony Xperia Z6 Tablet
iPad Mini 5
Thinner, lighter and even more portable?
The popular iPad mini range has won fans around the world, probably due to the fact it’s the cheapest iPad offering in Apple’s range. While the arrival of the iPad mini 5 in 2017 is likely, there’s a small question mark around whether Apple will bother after criticism for its less than impressive iPad mini 3 update. If it does arrive expect more power with a new processor, the latest version of iOS 10 on screen and the same premium metal body.
What it needs to beat: iPad mini 4