Best Tablets of 2018
Tablet launches are becoming more and more scarce with companies preferring 2-in-1-laptops and hybrids. Despite this, tablets are one of the more versatile options in the market that can suit any environment, regardless of whether you’re chilling at home or killing time on the metro.
The best tablets are ones that offer portability along with optimal productivity. Alas, the issue that remains is with so many options in the market with different operating systems, different sizes and price disparity, it can be difficult to figure out where to begin your search.
From Apple’s larger iPad Pro to Android’s Google Pixel or Samsung tablets, there’s a lot of options out there. And unlike the best smartphones – Windows makes an appearance too.
We ranked these tablets based on multiple elements, including performance, battery life, screen quality and more, with price playing a pivotal role as well.
1. iPad Pro 9.7
The latest iPad Pro is one of the best tablets on the planet
Weight: 437g | Dimensions: 240 x 169.5 x 6.1 mm | OS: iOS 11 | Screen size: 9.7-inch | Resolution: 1536 x 2048 pixels | CPU: A9X | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 32GB/128/256GB | microSD slot: No | Battery: Up to 10 hours | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 5MP
Expensive starting price
Lower power than larger version
The iPad Pro 9.7 is one of the best tablets for an average user. Its A9X chipset and 2GB RAM provide immense power to handle every task smoothly. To aid this, the tablet allows you to connect the Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil as well.
The iPad Pro 9.7 is available in three storage variants, with the 256GB storage variant being the most expensive.
2. iPad Pro 10.5
A bigger and better version of the Pro
Weight: 469g | Dimensions: 250.6 x 174.1 x 6.1 mm | OS: iOS 11 | Screen size: 10.5-inch | Resolution: 1668 x 2224 pixels | CPU: A10X | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 32GB/256GB/512GB | microSD slot: No | Battery: TBC | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 7MP
Screen adds a lot of expense
iOS still isn’t a good laptop replacement
Some would call the iPad Pro 10.5 the best tablet in the world, but it’s a tough choice between this one and the more recent (and more basic) iPad – the new Pro is in second solely because of its higher price.
If you can afford it, or you really need a tablet that can truly keep up with any app you want to throw at it, while also using the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard, this should be the device you look at.
The new ProMotion screen adds an impressive layer of fluidity to daily use – if not strictly necessary – and the smaller bezels means you’re getting far more display in a footprint not much bigger than last year’s 9.7.
It’s an iPad for the professionals – but also one that media munchers will adore using. We do wish it could replace a laptop though.
Read the full review: iPad Pro 10.5
3. Samsung Galaxy Tab S3
A top-notch iPad Pro rival
Weight: 429g | Dimensions: 237.3 x 169 x 6mm | OS: Android 7 | Screen size: 9.7-inch | Resolution: 1536 x 2048 | CPU: Snapdragon 820 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 32GB | Battery: 6,000mAh | Rear camera: 13MP | Front camera: 5MP
Great premium design
S-Pen stylus included in box
HDR-ready display is excellent
Keyboard is a costly extra
High price tag
Won’t replace your laptop just yet
It may not be the best tablet on our list, but the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 is the best Android tablet you can buy right now.
It’s stuffed full of power, has an excellent display and features the excellent S-Pen stylus, along with an optional keyboard.
The price tag could be a stumbling block, but if you’re looking for the best Android has to offer in tablet form, the Galaxy Tab S3 is the slate for you.
Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy Tab S3
4. 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
Smaller display can be hard to read
No Pro version
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 a) too big, b) too expensive or c) both, then you’re in luck as the diminutive iPad Mini 4 gives you the best of Apple’s tablet world in a form factor that’s not only pretty, but highly portable.
It lacks the Pro features of a keyboard or Pencil support (the latter would be really nice to have on this smaller display), but overall it has a decent screen and more than enough power.
Read the full review: iPad mini 4
5. iPad Pro 12.9
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: 64GB/256GB/512GB | Battery: 10,307mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 1.2MP
Heavier than many tablets
The iPad Pro won’t be for everyone due to the size and cost, but for those it does appeal to (and can afford), 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 a lot.
Even the Pencil – hilarious name aside – is an impressive tool for a particular niche. For the more professional user, or just one that cares about a larger, more expansive screen to work on, this is the best tablet out there and more than capable of replacing a laptop.
Read the full review: iPad Pro
6. Microsoft Surface Pro 4
The Windows tablet that can replace your Windows 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/256GB/512GB | Battery: up to 9 hours | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 5MP
Larger, sharper screen
Vastly improved Type Cover
Built in kickstand
Can a tablet really replace your laptop or home PC? But no tablet gets close to achieving that as 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 creative professionals, students and everyday folks alike, this is a top choice and one of best Windows devices we’ve reviewed.
Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Pro 4
7. iPad mini 2
A great tablet but a little old
Weight: 331g | Dimensions: 200 x 134.7 x 7.5 mm | OS: iOS 7 | 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
One of the oldest on test
Screen resolution not great
The iPad Mini 2 is a great tablet if you can get it for the right price – it’s one of the best budget tablets around.
The things you’ll miss are a better, clearer and brighter screen and improved design – but for many, that’s perfectly acceptable and this slate is a great portal into the excellent world of iPads and its app ecosystem.
Read the full review: iPad mini 2
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 to get the most out of your tablet.
If you’re not quite ready to part with your cash, then take a look at the slates that will be coming out this year. These devices aren’t out yet, but they’re expected to be the best the market has to offer once they are launched, later in 2018.
iPad Pro 2018
Apple is said to be planning a new iPad Pro for this year. According to Macworld, the new iPad Pro will launch around April. The new tablet will be a tweaked version of the existing iPad Pro models and may be priced at $259.
While Apple is sure to update the chipset, the device may also have the FaceID mechanism built in, giving Apple’s tablet replacement a Windows Hello counterpart.