The best tablets you can buy in 2017

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Update: The new iPad has landed, and after going through our in-depth review process Apple’s latest slate has managed to break into our top 10 best tablets list. Find out where it places below (spoiler: it’s high, really high).

Best tablet 2017

The best tablets are all about combination, with most offering a decent keyboard and desktop-style experience to sound the death knell for laptops.

From Apple’s larger iPad Pro to Android’s Google Pixel or Samsung tablets, there’s a lot of choice out there. And unlike the best smartphones – Windows makes an appearance too.

We rank smartphones based on multiple elements, including performance, battery life, screen quality and more, with price playing an important part too.

If none of the tablets here tickle your fancy, then head on over to our tablet reviews pages, where you’ll find in-depth reviews of 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

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

Great speakers

Good storage

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. But, you can buy the 32GB variant at Rs 39,900 from Flipkart.

  • What’s next? The new iPad has only just launched, so we won’t see a replacement for a while – but Apple’s iPad Mini line is in need of an update, so keep an eye out for the iPad Mini 5 in the coming months.

iPad Pro 9 7

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

Great speakers

512GB version

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 – but 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

  • What’s next? We’re expecting a new iPad Pro 2 (and maybe two) to appear in March or April this year, to coincide with iOS 10.3 launch.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2

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

  • What’s next? The Galaxy Tab S3 has just launch, so it won’t be replaced anytime soon.

iPad mini 4

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

Brilliant screen

Sleek design

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

Expansive screen

Hugely powerful

Great speakers

Expensive

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

  • What’s next? Like the smaller iPad Pro 9.7, there’s a good chance we’ll be seeing a refreshed iPad Pro 12.9 2 in the first half of 2017, with more power than ever before (and the high price tag to go along with it).

Microsoft Surface Pro 4

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 Laptops we’ve reviewed.

Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Pro 4

  • What’s next? We’re expecting to see the refreshed Surface Pro 5 in spring 2017, with a new rechargeable stylus alongside.

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

Amazing screen

Solid design

Cheap price

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

Tablet apps

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.

Also consider

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.

Microsoft Surface Pro 2018

Speaking on Windows Hello, Microsoft is also expected to update the Surface Pro tablet this year. The Surface Pro has been widely recognised as the tablet that comes closest to replacing a laptop.

The new tablet may finally be called the Surface Pro 5. However, this is just a rumour right now. This year’s Surface Pro should run on Intel’s 7th generation Kaby Lake processors, or possible even 8th generation ones. There is no word on the possibly pricing for this device, though Microsoft usually sells them for over $1000.



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