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Best Tablet 2024: The best options for all budgets and needs


Best tablet 2023

Once stuck in a no-man’s land between smartphones and laptops, tablets are now incredibly versatile devices and we’ve ranked the best of them to ensure that you get paired with the right one.

What’s most surprising about tablet computers in 2024 is that, in certain use cases, they can absolutely perform as your sole productivity device. For instance, writers can make use of apps like Google Docs and Scrivener while creatives have access to incredible editing apps like LumaFusion and Canva. Unless you’re looking to do some heavy duty 3D modelling, tablets have most tasks on lock.

There’s also a ton of choice out there to suit a wide range of budgets. For instance, if you have no limit on the amount you can spend then the iPad Pro M4 stands tall as a portable powerhouse, but for something more affordable there are plenty of solid Amazon Fire tablets to choose from. In fact, we have a separate rundown of the best Fire tablets that you can also peruse through.

Given their popularity and the fact that Apple has been developing its tablet range for many years now, it should come as no surprise that a handful of iPads appear on this list but if you use an Android phone and you want something that can pair well with your handset then we also have a ranking of the best Android tablets on the market.

Best tablet at a glance

  • Best overall: iPad Air 2024
  • Best Android tablet: OnePlus Pad – check price
  • Best for gaming: Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra – check price
  • Best for creatives: iPad Pro M4
  • Best for streaming: Lenovo Tab Extreme – check price
  • Best small tablet: iPad mini 6 – check price
  • Best Amazon Fire tablet: Amazon Fire Max 11 – check price
  • Best entry-level iPad: iPad (10th-gen) – check price
  • Best for home use: Google Pixel Tablet – check price
  • Best value tablet: Honor Pad 9 – check price
  • Best rugged tablet: Samsung Galaxy Active Tab 5 – check price

How we test

Find out more about how we test tablets below

Every tablet in this list has been properly tested and used for an extended period of time by one of our product experts. We categorically do not recommend a product unless it has been put through our lab tests and used by the reviewer as their main tablet for at least five days.

Lab testing includes colourimeter checks to gauge screen accuracy and max brightness levels, synthetic benchmarks to evaluate graphics and general performance, and battery drains to assess average discharge rates for basic office tasks, streaming video and gaming.

Our reviewer will then move on to consider the tablet’s performance for everyday use. This will see them use it as their primary tablet and enact common tasks such as movie streaming, gaming, web browsing and video calling. If the device is targeted at a specific market such as digital artists, they’ll also consider areas such as digital stylus support and whether it can effectively run relevant applications.

When a device is sent in for review with optional extras, such as a stylus and keyboard cover, we’ll assess its performance both as a standalone product as well as with any accompanying peripherals.

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Apple iPad Air 2024

The best overall tablet

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Pros

  • Landscape front camera
  • Two screen size options
  • Great performance
  • More storage options

Cons

  • No battery life upgrades
  • No ProMoton for 120Hz

Although it’s not the most exciting iPad in Apple’s range, for the vast majority of people the iPad Air 2024 will undoubtedly be the best choice, thanks to its high-end features, speedy performance and decent price point. 

Available in a choice of two sizes, the 11-inch model is better suited for those who travel a lot and want the most lightweight option while the 13-inch alternative makes it easier for multitasking. 

Regardless of the size you choose, both options boast IPS LCDs, offering up to 500 nits of brightness. Although this is bright and clear enough for everyday use, we would love to see the iPad Air get the OLED screen found on the new iPad Pro one day. 

Otherwise, the iPad Air is powered by Apple’s desktop-level M2 chip which boasts exceptional power, especially for such a reasonably priced tablet. In fact, we found in our benchmark tests that the iPad Air’s performance surpassed even the best Android tablets we’ve reviewed, including ones at double the price, like the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra. 

The iPad Air 2024 is fitted with two 12MP cameras, one at the front and another at the rear, with the latter able to shoot up to 4K video. The front camera is now landscape facing, which is much better for video calls. 

It’s worth noting that certain existing iPad accessories, such as the Apple Pencil 2, are no longer supported so you’ll need to invest in either the Apple Pencil Pro or Apple Pencil with USB-C.

The iPad Air 2024 is well deserving of the best overall tablet spot. Not only does it include high-end features, a powerful chip and promises security updates for years to come but it’s reasonably priced too. 

Review: Apple iPad Air 2024

Full review: Max Parker

OnePlus Pad

The best Android tablet

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Pros

  • Premium, svelte design
  • Large 144Hz display
  • 67W fast charging is rapid for a tablet

Cons

  • No fingerprint reader
  • Disappointing accessory software support
  • Android tablets lack key pro tablet apps

If you’re not a fan of Apple’s iPadOS operating system, the Android 13-based OnePlus Pad may be more up your street.

Based on our results, the device is a powerhouse product that goes toe-to-toe with – at times, even beats – the iPad Air at a technical level. It sports a CNC-milled aluminium body with a slight 2.5D curvature that sits comfortably in the hand, and it’s pretty svelte at just 6.5mm thick. Like the iPad Air, the frame offered no flex at all when pressed.

The screen is LCD, like the Air’s, but it has a 144Hz refresh rate – faster than practically any other tablet on the market at any price point. It’s also larger at 11.65 inches. This makes the OnePlus Pad the ideal Android tablet for gaming, and Dolby Vision HDR makes content from supported apps like Netflix really pop.

The aspect ratio is also unique at 7:5, making it a solid option for split-screen multitasking and even work purposes when combined with the optional Keyboard case and stylus. The keyboard case was a particular highlight with a satisfying typing experience, though software improvements are needed to truly make the accessories shine.

Battery life is another highlight for the tablet, easily able to last 11 hours before needing a top-up, and standby time was equally impressive. OnePlus claims it can last up to a month on standby, and while we couldn’t verify those claims, it was seemingly always ready to go.

Besides, with 67W SuperVOOC charging – some of the fastest on a tablet – the OnePlus Pad can go from flat to full in just over an hour. It’s just a shame that the charger isn’t included in the box.

Some minor issues that stopped us from fully recommending the OnePlus on the same level as the iPad Air relate to the device’s software and use of a slightly less powerful (but still capable) Dimensity 9000 chipset. As is the case with nearly all the Android tablets we test, many apps aren’t optimised to run on screens of this size, and the OS lacks some key pro-level apps available on iPad too.

Still, if you’re looking for a competitive Android-based tablet with great hardware and a tempting price, the OnePlus Pad should be your go-to.

Reviewer: Lewis Painter
Full review: OnePlus Pad Review

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra

The best for gaming

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Pros

  • Big display is ideal for movies and multitasking
  • IP68 water resistance
  • Access to previously iOS-exclusive apps
  • S Pen is great for note-taking

Cons

  • Not as portable as a regular tablet
  • More expensive
  • Very similar to its predecessor

If you’re looking for a big-screen tablet with plenty of power to run some of the best games available on Android, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra is the ideal option.

The display is not only huge at 14.6 inches, but with Samsung’s Dynamic AMOLED 2X display technology, it’s smooth, rapid and responsive in everyday use with a buttery smooth 120Hz refresh rate ideal for gaming. The size means it’s not as portable as other options in our chart, taking up a similar footprint to a MacBook Pro 13 in a rucksack, but the large dimensions will no doubt provide the edge in competitive online titles like Call of Duty Mobile and PUBG.

What’s more, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra sports a unique top-end chipset that makes it more powerful than any other Android competitor – though still not quite up to the task of de-throning the M2 of Apple’s iPad Pro.

Still, the exclusive Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy chipset packs a higher CPU clock speed and an additional GPU core compared to the regular 8 Gen 2, the Tab S9 Ultra can handle just about anything you can throw at it. That not only means AAA games with high graphics enabled, but split-screen multitasking, video editing and anything else you could think of.

Even if you’re not an Android mobile gamer, the gorgeous display is well suited to both cloud gaming and binging series on Netflix.

Elsewhere, the S Pen provides a satisfying writing experience with a faster response time than the Apple Pencil 2, and it comes in the box too. There’s also IP68 dust and water resistance, a rarity among tablets, and solid battery life that can comfortably get you through a week’s sporadic use.

It’s just a little annoying that, at comfortably over £1000/$1000, there isn’t a charger in the box to take advantage of the tablet’s 45W fast charging. Even the iPad range still comes with a charger in the box.

Reviewer: Lewis Painter
Full review: Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra Review

Apple iPad Pro M4 2024

The tablet for creatives

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Pros

  • Amazing screen
  • The 13-inch model is so thin and light
  • Big upgrades to the accessories
  • Landscape front camera

Cons

  • The whole package is very expensive
  • iPadOS still has issues
  • No charger in certain regions

We loved using the iPad Pro M4 for multiple reasons, from its stunning screen and lightweight body to its powerful and exclusive M4 chipset. Having said that, the iPad Pro M4 is jaw-droppingly expensive, so it should be considered as more of a luxury device. 

Available in either 11-inch or 13-inch models, the iPad Pro M4 boasts a vibrant OLED display which results in an HDR-capable canvas that fixes the common issues found with older Mini LED technology. Plus there’s 120Hz ProMotion which offers buttery smooth scrolling, something that’s unfortunately missing on the iPad Air M2. 

While both tablets are thin and lightweight, surprisingly the 13-inch model takes the title of the “thinnest Apple product ever” at just 5.1mm.

In the meantime you can still experience impressively speedy performance, as we found in our benchmark tests that the iPad Pro M4 easily surpassed any Android competition with sheer ease. 

Like the new iPad Air M2, the iPad Pro has readjusted its front-facing 12MP camera from portrait to landscape, which means it’s much more convenient for taking video calls. There’s now also just one 12MP camera at the rear, as Apple has ditched the ultrawide of its predecessor, but it can shoot 4K video. 

The iPad Pro M4 comes in a variety of storage sizes: 256GB, 512GB, 1TB and 2TB, with the latter two models equipped with a nano-texture glass display for a matte-finish. As the most expensive model (13-inch with 2TB) will set you back a whopping £2299/$2299, consider your needs properly before making the splurge.

Keep in mind that you’ll still get mostly the same performance from the cheapest £999/$999 11-inch iPad Pro M4. 

Unfortunately if you already own a Magic Keyboard then you’ll need to upgrade to the dedicated iPad Pro M4 model, as Apple has rejigged the magnetic arrangement. Not only that but you’ll also need to upgrade to the new Apple Pencil Pro or Apple Pencil USB-C, as the Apple Pencil 2 is no longer compatible. 

If you want an iPad purely for general scrolling or streaming then we would not recommend buying the iPad Pro M4. However, if you’re a creative professional who will utilise the power of the iPad Pro M4 then you won’t be disappointed. 

Review: Apple iPad Pro M4

Full review: Max Parker

Lenovo Tab Extreme

The best tablet for streaming

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Pros

  • Plenty of processing power
  • Stunning 14.5-inch OLED display
  • 68W fast charging capabilities

Cons

  • A little too expensive
  • Android lacks some ‘pro’ apps available on iOS
  • Not the most powerful processor available for the price

If you’re hankering after a big-screen tablet, but don’t fancy the iPad Pro 12.9-inch, then the Lenovo Tab Extreme is a solid – and even bigger, if you can believe it – alternative.

The Lenovo Tab Extreme embodies the extreme moniker with its huge 14.5-inch display, but it’s not just big, sporting a 120Hz refresh rate, a 3.5K resolution and OLED tech for vivid colours and deep, inky blacks that make streaming HDR content on Netflix an absolute dream. Paired with the sheer size, it’s a decent replacement for a TV when away from home and also proved a particularly well-suited option for cloud gaming.

Embedded around that huge display is an all-metal body that measures in at an exquisite 5.9mm thick, helping offset just how unwieldy the large tablet can be to move around. Still, it looks and feels just as premium as the iPad Pro does.

Trying to match the iPad Pro’s capabilities, the Tab Extreme is compatible with the Lenovo Precision Pen 3 and a new keyboard case, and the company sells a bundle with both included for £999/$949. The stylus is ideal for creatives with 4,000 points of pressure and minimal lag, while the magnetic keyboard case is perfect for getting some work done.

Battery life is also solid despite powering such a large display with a whopping 12,500mAh cell that’s comfortably larger than most external battery chargers. As such, the Tab Extreme had no problem lasting an entire workday with constant use, and with 68W charging, it charged from flat to full in just under 90 minutes.

When it comes to performance, the tablet is powered by MediaTek’s Dimensity 9000 chipset, paired with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. For reference, that’s the same chipset as the OnePlus Pad that costs half the price, but that’s more a testament to OnePlus’ value for money than the Tab Extreme being underpowered for the price.

Everyday performance is solid with no stuttering or lag, though our reviewer noted that the display’s 3.5K resolution was just too much to power high-end games. Performance is also behind what you’ll find from Qualcomm’s top-end Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and Apple’s M2 processor, so those that need the most performance should look elsewhere, but for sheer streaming and cloud gaming capabilities, the Lenovo Tab Extreme is a particularly strong (if not pricey) option.

Reviewer: Sean Cameron
Full review: Lenovo Tab Extreme Review

Microsoft Surface Pro 8

The best tablet for work

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Pros

  • Solid performance
  • Great screen for work and play
  • Reliable battery life, especially in 60Hz
  • Well-built kick stand

Cons

  • Signature Cover and Slim Pen 2 not included
  • Limited port selection

If you want a tablet-come-laptop for work then based on our testing, the Surface Pro 8 is the tablet to buy. This is largely due to the tablet’s use of full-fat Windows 11. Our tests revealed that this made it the most versatile option as a working laptop replacement.

The tablet uses proper laptop processors and has access to every app and programme available on Windows. As such, our reviewer found that it was the only device on the list that could comfortably be used both as a 100% functional laptop for work and tablet for entertainment.

With every other device, including the iPad models, we experienced times where we had to move to a laptop to complete some work tasks. This usually occurred when we needed to plug peripherals such as colorimeter or older external monitors into the device, because iPadOS and Android had failed to recognise them.

Paired with a Type Cover, we also found the keyboard is one of the best available to a tablet. The new keyboard has a carbon fibre layer, which makes it feel a lot sturdier to type on, removing the flex I experienced with past Type Covers. The key’s switches also have a more pleasing and tactile actuation point than Apple’s Magic Keyboards, making it more comfortable to work on for prolonged periods.

From a hardware perspective, the Surface Pro 8 performed admirably. The 13-inch tablet uses an LCD panel, which means it wasn’t quite as nice as the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra and iPad Pro 12.9-inch to watch Netflix on, which offer deeper blacks and generally more immersive viewing head-to-head. Nevertheless, screen quality is more than good enough for casual viewing on the go. I had no serious issues watching videos on a long train ride to Scotland.

The lack of a eGPU, like the 3050 Ti seen on the Asus ROG Flow Z13, meant we couldn’t get triple-A games to run locally at playable frame rates without radically downgrading the graphics. But the 120Hz refresh rate meant streaming games via GeForce Now felt suitably reactive with an Xbox controller connected.

During our review process we found battery life varied greatly, depending on what you were doing with the device. For office tasks such as word processing, video calling and managing Excel sheets, you’ll comfortably get a full workday’s use out of the Surface Pro 8, based on our experience with the device. But more intensive tasks, such as 3D modelling in Blender put a much bigger strain on the battery, with it lasting only around 3-4 hours. This is a lot less than the iPad Pro 12.9-inch.

Reviewer: Alastair Stevenson
Full review: Surface Pro 8 Review

iPad Mini 6

The best small tablet

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Pros

  • Great new design
  • Works with the second-gen Apple Pencil
  • Super-speedy thanks to the A15 Bionic chipset
  • 5G option makes for great portability

Cons

  • Odd storage sizes
  • Expensive
  • Some iOS elements are too small

If you want a tablet that can easily fit into even the smallest of bags, then the iPad Mini 6 is the device for you.

We haven’t always been the biggest fans of Apple’s Mini iPads, with them tending to be the slowest to get upgraded in any significant way. The iPad Mini 5 offered a good but dull design that focussed on performance improvements and little more.

Which is the reason we were so surprised by the iPad Mini 6 when it entered our labs for testing. It was immediately apparent on taking the device out of the box that Apple had put much thought and care into upgrading the Mini for today’s market. The device sports a completely new, more modern design, and a number of small but important upgrades make it the best small tablet to pass through our labs in the last half-decade.

Design-wise, it looks like a shrunk-down version of Apple’s current-generation Pro and Air tablets. It’s been upgraded to feature Apple Pencil 2 support, too. The latter is particularly welcome, since it means the Pencil can be magnetically docked and charged on the tablet. The docking mechanism is much more elegant than that featured on the older model – which forced you to charge the Pencil using the tablet’s Lightning port – and made it far easier for us to keep tabs on the stylus through testing.

The A15 Bionic chipset isn’t as fast as the M1 that features in Apple’s more expensive iPads, but based on our benchmarks and experience using the Mini 6 as our daily tablet, it’s still more than powerful enough. In our time with the tablet, we never noticed any slowdown, with apps universally launching in milliseconds and running with zero performance issues.

The only downside is that while the size is great for people who want a portable tablet, the Mini isn’t quite as good for video streaming or gaming in a home environment as its larger Air sibling.

We found the 8.2-inch screen isn’t anywhere near as immersive for video viewing as the iPad Air, let alone the Pro or Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra. As well as its small size, placing it next to the iPad Air, which also has an LCD screen, blacks weren’t quite as deep. Thankfully, its high max brightness meant it proved suitably dynamic for casual video in bed or while travelling.

The lack of Apple’s Promotion tech means it’s locked at a bog-standard 60Hz refresh rate. This coupled with its small size meant that although it’s fine for mobile gaming on the go, the device is ill-suited for more serious players looking for a tablet from which to stream triple-A games. We found the HUD and text on PC games running via GeForce Now were a little too small to comfortably read when the tablet was sitting on a desk.

For such users, the iPad Air or Xiaomi Pad 5 with their larger screens are far better options.

Reviewer: Max Parker
Full review: Apple iPad Mini 6 Review

Amazon Fire Max 11

The best Amazon Fire tablet

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Pros

  • Much more premium design than other Fire tablets
  • Great all-day battery life
  • Solid 11-inch 2K display

Cons

  • Limited app availability
  • Very slow to charge

Amazon has its niche at the market’s budget end with a swathe of its own Amazon Fire-branded tablets coming in all shapes and sizes, from the small Amazon Fire 7 (2022) to the kid-proof Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids (2021). However, it’s the newest in the Fire tablet collection that truly stands out, even compared to fully-fledged Android tablets.

The Amazon Fire Max 11 stands at the top of the Fire tablet collection, not only in price at £249/$229 but size, sporting an 11-inch display. The display is one of the main reasons to opt for the tablet, boasting a 2K resolution that delivers pin-sharp visuals when watching movies, reading books on the Kindle app and browsing the web. It’s also fully laminated with no gap between the protective glass and LCD panel to create that horrid hollow tap sensation present on most cheaper tablets (and even Apple’s iPad 10).

It feels like a more premium device than others in the collection, with an aluminium body, rounded corners and relatively slim bezels. In fact, it looks a lot like the iPad 10, just much cheaper. It’s a shame that it’s only available in slate grey – more colourful options could help Amazon’s tablet stand out in a sea of grey tablets.

Performance is also surprisingly impressive considering it sports an unnamed octa-core processor and just 4GB of RAM, performing much better in CPU and GPU tests than most of the similarly priced competition, and everyday performance was refreshingly free of stutter and lag.

The Amazon Fire Max 11 is compatible with an optional keyboard case and stylus, with the stylus magnetically attaching to the side of the tablet when not in use. Amazon hopes this will frame the tablet as a work device, but it’s not entirely up to the same standard as most competitors – and that’s down to Fire OS.

Despite running on Android 11, the Fire Max 11 (like all other Fire tablets) is devoid of Google services and Google Play, instead offering its own alternative in the form of the Appstore. While plenty of apps are available, including Microsoft Office, it lacks key apps like Google Drive or Dropbox that’d make it handy for work purposes. 

You will find most streaming apps, however, and plenty of free-to-play games, framing the tablet as more of a high-end (for Fire tablets, anyway) entertainment device than a work one. 

Reviewer: Lewis Painter
Full review: Amazon Fire Max 11 Review

Apple iPad 10

Best cheap iPad

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Pros

  • The design is a massive upgrade
  • USB-C is far more convenient than Lightning
  • Smart front camera placement
  • Unbeatable tablet apps and software

Cons

  • Huge price jump, especially in Europe makes its position in Apple’s iPad range confusing
  • Odd Apple Pencil integration
  • 64GB isn’t enough (256GB probably too much)

Bringing in a complete redesign for Apple’s entry-level tablet that makes it look far more like the iPad Air range, there’s a lot to like about the iPad 10. In addition to its new look and much like the iPhone 15, it’s done away with Apple’s Lightning port of old in favour of USB-C.

At present, the iPad 10 is also the only model in the entire iPad range that features a landscape placement for its front-facing camera, meaning that it works far more like a laptop or webcam when it comes to Zoom calls. No more video from a slightly off-centre angle.

Just like its predecessor, the iPad 10 has a strong battery life and you can readily anticipate getting through 10-hours of video playback, which is more than enough for plodding on through a day’s work. Unfortunately, there is a hefty price bump to contend with and the screen offers no laminated protection against sun glare so it’s not the best option to use in the great outdoors. Given that the iPad 9 is still for sale, the iPad 10 works far better as a productivity device than an entry-level tablet for entertainment.

Reviewer: Max Parker
Full review: Apple iPad (10th Gen) Review

Google Pixel Tablet

Best home tablet

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Pros

  • Sharp screen
  • Dock is a handy charging accessory and a unique feature
  • Far more affordable in the US
  • Pixel UI works well on a tablet

Cons

  • Dull design
  • The speaker dock doesn’t sound great
  • Screen only 60Hz
  • Price is far too high in the UK
  • Doesn’t have all the Nest Hub software features

In our Best Lists, we tend to only include products which score 4 out of 5 – picking up a Recommended badge in the progress. However, Google’s first Android Pixel tablet is still deserving of a spot because for the right type of buyer it is a great device.

What really sets this apart from all the other tablets on this list – including the iPads and other Android tablets – is the wireless docking station included in the box. Dock the Pixel Tablet onto this and it turns from a standard 11-inch device into a home hub, capable of playing music, showcasing snaps from Google Photos or just the time. It makes the tablet a device that can be used all the time, rather than sparingly for checking emails or browsing the web.

We would like the speaker to sound better, and Google Assistant isn’t always reliable for voice commands however it’s nice to see a tablet try something different.

Elsewhere, it’s all fairly standard stuff. The screen is sharp, yet the 60Hz refresh rate can’t match the OnePlus Pad and it feels like a little slow as a result. There are no official keyboard or stylus accessories either, so this isn’t a great choice for those who want a laptop replacement.

Reviewer: Max Parker
Full review: Google Pixel Tablet Review

Honor Pad 9

Best value tablet

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Pros

  • Big 120Hz screen
  • Supports all of Google apps and services
  • Affordable but reasonably powerful
  • Looks great

Cons

  • No fingerprint sensor
  • OLED would’ve been nice
  • Cameras are bang average

The Honor Pad 9 is an excellent value tablet, offering solid performance and a lovely display at an affordable £299.99 price. It’s also a better deal than the 10th-generation iPad for many people. 

The Honor Pad 9 has a slender, lightweight build at just 555g despite a large display. The 12.1-inch screen is surrounded by uniform bezels and the 8-megapixel front camera sits on the horizontal edge, ideal for joining video calls. All of the buttons are neatly located on the sides of the tablet and Honor has opted for facial recognition or a passcode over a fingerprint sensor. 

The 2.5K IPS display gets impressively bright and looks great despite not being an OLED screen. It also has a slick 120Hz refresh rate and a decent set of speakers, though the bass is lacking. 

Turn the tablet over and you’ll find a single 13-megapixel camera that’ll work in a pinch, but probably won’t come close to your smartphone camera. We found that the camera struggled to handle light, with daytime snaps often appearing washed out and indoor scenes overly dark. Video-wise, the rear camera supports 4K shooting at 30fps, or 1080p video at 60fps. 

Performance-wise, the Honor Pad 9 is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 6 Gen 1. Performance falls behind rival tablets like the iPad 10th gen and the OnePlus Pad, the price difference makes the Honor Pad 9 a great deal regardless. The tablet has no issue handling multitasking, videos and games, from Marvel Snap to League of Legends: Wild Rift. 

The tablet runs Android 13 with Honor’s own overlay and supports all of the expected Google services, including the Play Store, Gmail, YouTube and Google Drive. 

The Honor Pad 9 is able to last a full day on a single charge, with enough battery to stream a a few movies or watch hours of YouTube videos with a few rounds of Wild Rift to round it off. The 10th gen iPad, OnePlus Pad and Xiaomi Pad 5 all include longer battery lives but, again, at a more premium price. 

If you’re looking for a tablet with a slick design, solid set of features and great value price, the Honor Pad 9 is our top pick. 

Reviewer: Lloyd Coombes
Full Review: Honor Pad 9 Review

Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 5

Best rugged tablet

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Pros

  • Rugged design
  • Enough performance for most situations
  • Bright, fast screen

Cons

  • Only a single speaker
  • No kickstand
  • Duplicate apps preinstalled

While the Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra might be great for gaming and the iPad Air 5 is something of a productivity powerhouse, neither of these tables (or many of the tablets on this list) are designed to face the elements, so if you need something to carry with you in the great outdoors when the Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 5 is your best bet.

Samsung’s ‘Active’ range has been pairing tablet tech with rugged design for quite some time now, being the go-to option for those who need such a device on building sites, oil rigs or even when out in the woods. Building upon those expertise, there’s a lot to like about the Tab Active 5.

For starters, the rugged backing is not only easy to hold but it can also take a serious knock thanks to military grade MIL-STD-810H durability, as well as an official IP68 rating for water resistance.

Unlike most modern tablets, there are also pretty sizeable bezels on every side to avoid any accidental interactions with the touchscreen. If you’re wearing gloves however and touching the screen just isn’t an option, you’ll be glad to know that the tablet comes bundle with Samsung’s S Pen, so you can easily interact with any apps, even when it’s cold out.

What’s even rarer is the fact that the battery inside the Tab Active 5 can be removed and replaced without issue, so if you’re going to be away from a charging point for quite some time then you can simply cycle through any spare compatible batteries you have on hand.

When it comes to the software, the Galaxy Tab Active 5 is no slouch. The Exynos 1380 processor housed inside the device does a great job of powering through most apps with ease, as well as handling any multitasking when needed.

The only thing to bear in mind is that with just a single speaker in tow, the Tab Active 5 isn’t the best option when it comes to watching a bit of content, but given the intended use-case for this device, this probably isn’t the biggest setback.

Reviewer: Sean Cameron
Full Review: Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 5 Review

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FAQs

How much should you spend on a tablet?

This depends on what you want to do with the tablet. If it’s for young children you don’t want to spend lots on a device that will ultimately get broken or damaged down the line. If you just want to watch Netflix or play basic games there are also plenty of great affordable tablets available for less than $400/£400. Based on our experience, it’s only worth spending lots if you are a power user or creative that needs extra computational power and top end screen quality.

Do you need 5G on a tablet?

5G is a useful technology that lets you download huge files, and entire film series in minutes, if you’re in an area with good coverage. But unless you’re a professional looking to use a tablet for work on the go we don’t recommend investing in the tech for a tablet. 99% of the time it’s easier to just tether the tablet to your phone’s connection in the odd instance you need internet on your tablet while away from a WiFi connection.

Are iPads better than Android tablets?

From a hardware perspective this depends on the exact tablets you’re comparing. But, based on our experience testing both types of tablets, iPads software is better optimised for larger screens. This is because Android software is optimised purely for mobile phones while Apple’s iPadOS is bespoke made for tablet form factors.

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Comparison specs

You can see a detailed breakdown of all tablets included in this list below. The biggest differences occur between iPads and Android tablets. iPads universally run on Apple’s homemade A and M series CPUs, which based on our testing, tend to perform better than the Qualcomm and MediaTek chips used in their Android rivals.

UK RRP
USA RRP
EU RRP
CA RRP
AUD RRP
Manufacturer
Screen Size
Storage Capacity
Rear Camera
Front Camera
Video Recording
IP rating
Battery
Wireless charging
Fast Charging
Size (Dimensions)
Weight
ASIN
Operating System
Release Date
First Reviewed Date
Resolution
HDR
Refresh Rate
Ports
Chipset
RAM
Colours

Trusted Reviews test data

The table below details the test data we collected reviewing all the tablets included in this list. Apple’s iPads generally benchmark better than their Android rivals due to the better synergy between their parts and software. But they also tend to cost more which is where the biggest trade-off occurs.

Geekbench 5 single core
Geekbench 5 multi core
Geekbench 6 single core
Geekbench 6 multi core
sRGB
Adobe RGB
DCI-P3
Max brightness
1 hour video playback (Netflix, HDR)
30 minute gaming (intensive)
30 minute gaming (light)
1 hour music streaming (online)
1 hour music streaming (offline)
Time from 0-100% charge
Time from 0-50% charge
60-min recharge (included charger)
30-min recharge (included charger)
15-min recharge (included charger)
30-min recharge (no charger included)
15-min recharge (no charger included)
3D Mark – Wild Life
GFXBench – Aztec Ruins
GFXBench – Car Chase

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