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Best Tablets 2021: From Apple’s iPads to Android and Windows Devices

TABLETS HAVE YET to prove themselves essential, but that doesn't mean they aren't nice to have around.

A good tablet can be a portable TV screen around the house and a way to get some light work done away from your desk. Also, with a wealth of apps for drawing, painting, and making music, they're a great outlet for your creative impulses.

iPad Air (2020)

Why go Pro when the Air is this good.

Mobile Tablet device Display Apple
iPad Air (2020)

Apple's latest iPad Air is the best non-Pro iPads ever, and the tablet we recommend to most people. Instead of being an upgraded version of the entry-level iPad, the new iPad Air is essentially an iPad Pro without the fancy, niche features. It has a 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display with thin display bezels for a more modern design.

Under the hood is the A14 chip, making the iPad Air the first Apple product to flaunt the new six-core processor. So far, the performance numbers are impressive, with the Air outperforming some laptops. Battery life also remains excellent at 10 hours and 29 minutes, although competing slates endure for even longer.

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.

iPad 10.2 (2020)

The best tablet for most people.

Apple Mobile tablet device
iPad 10.2 (2020)

The iPad 10.2 (2020) isn’t the most thrilling of updates, as it’s really only a modest improvement on 2019’s iPad 10.2, but it’s still an improvement, and that makes it the best 10.2-inch iPad you can buy, and also arguably the best cheap iPad.

You'll find its predecessor down below in this list, but this tablet comes with an A12 Bionic chipset that makes it quite a bit faster than the older model. It also have a 20W charger packaged in the box, which means it's much faster at charging than previous models.

If you need a device for entertainment like watching movies, playing games, light working and multitasking, then this iPad is the one for you.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus

The best Android tablet.

Samsung Galaxy Tablet S7 Device
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 is one of the best tablets due to its battery life. This tablet can offer over 13 hours of battery life. Wow!

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ both have excellent cameras: a 13MP main camera and a 5MP secondary ultra-wide lens. On the front is an 8MP selfie camera. Both tablets are updates of the Galaxy Tab S6 and feature an improved S Pen that is included in the box. The Galaxy Sab S7 and Galaxy S7+ have faster processors and 5G connectivity.

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.

Microsoft Surface Pro 7

The best detachable 2-in-1 laptop.

Microsoft Surface Device Pro 7
Microsoft Surface Pro 7

If you want a tablet that has the potential to give you a full blown PC like experience, then the Surface Pro 7 is the one to consider. The Surface Pro lineup of devices has been the go to option for those looking for a thin and light Windows tablet that can convert into a PC.

The Surface Pro 7 has a kickstand at the back that can tilt the tablet in any angle making it one of the most ergonomic devices for use at various angles. It is also comfortable for those looking for a pad to show off their artistic skills. It can be combined with a keyboard and mouse for a full desktop like experience.

The design hasn't changed at all, but the Surface Pro 7 now has a USB-C port for charging and connecting peripherals. Microsoft still sells the comfortable Alcantara-clad Type Cover and the super-responsive Surface Pen, which makes it easy to draw or take notes on this tablet's vivid and bright 12.3-inch display.

Apple iPad Pro (12.9-inch, 2020)

The best tablet for power users.

Apple iPad Device Tablet iPad Pro
Apple iPad Pro (12.9-inch, 2020)

The 12.9-inch iPad Pro is the best tablet for power users, by some distance. It might not be a major improvement over its predecessor, but the new A12Z Bionic chip still performs well against full-fledged laptops.

The biggest improvement has more to do with software. Added cursor and trackpad support mean the iPad Pro is finally a true laptop replacement. You can now connect any Bluetooth mouse or wireless trackpad (like the Magic Trackpad 2) and use a cursor to navigate iPadOS 13.2. The feature will feel complete when Apple releases the Magic keyboard attachment with trackpad later this year (although it'll cost $349).

Not only does it have a dual-camera setup at the back but also a LiDAR Scanner as well. It comes with Face ID found on the iPhone eliminating the need for a fingerprint reader. There is a keyboard dock which is sold separately, for a fully immersive iPad experience. It also comes with a quad-speaker setup for an immersive movie watching and gaming experience.

How to choose the best tablet for you?

Choosing the right tablet requires the same thought process as buying a laptop. As with any product, the first thing you need to decide is your primary use for a tablet. If it's to browse the web on the couch or watch Netflix in bed, then you don't need to spend $1,000 on the iPad Pro.

If you need a tablet that can double as a laptop, then your best options are the iPad Pro or the Surface Pro 7 — tablets that can be paired with an attachable keyboard and support trackpad/mouse input. Both of these devices provide plenty of power for even the most demanding users. The size of the tablet is another consideration. Even though it doesn't look like it, But 12.9 inch screen it's still pretty massive feel in the hand.

If you want a tablet that can double as a Laptop, an iPad or a Windows- Powered 2-in-1 might be your best bet.


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