Our updated list of the best tablets in 2018 now includes iOS 11, Android Nougat and even Windows 10 tablets, all offering thin-and-light designs and most with decent keyboard and desktop-style experiences. Apple is expected to announce new iPad models soon and we will update this list when that happens.
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 many new iPads to the series of Samsung tablets.
We rank tablets based on multiple factors, including performance, battery life, and screen quality, with price playing an all-important role 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 of many more models.
1. iPad Pro 10.5
Weight: 469g | Dimensions: 250.6 x 174.1 x 6.1 mm | OS: iOS 10 | 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
The iPad Pro 10.5-inch is best for anyone who wants a serious tablet upgrade, even though the cheaper iPad 9.7 remains good enough for most people.
It has standout features that give it a productivity boost, including Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard compatibility. When iOS 11 comes out, this tablet will be a suitable laptop replacement for certain consumers.
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 solely ranked second because of its higher price. It’s almost double the price in the US. That said, it’s an iPad for the professionals – but also one that media munchers will adore using.
Read the full review: iPad Pro 10.5
2. Microsoft Surface Pro
Weight: 768g/770g/784g | Dimensions: 292 mm x 201 mm x 8.5 mm | OS: Windows 10 Pro | Screen size: 12.3-inch | Resolution: 2,736 x 1,824 | CPU: Intel Core m3, i5 or i7 | RAM: 4GB/8GB/16GB | Storage: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB or 1TB | Battery: up to 13.5 hours video playback | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 5MP
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 is the Microsoft Surface Pro.
We’re surprised Microsoft has refrained from calling this the Surface Pro 5 as it’s a big upgrade on the 4 – although it is rather expensive, like many tablets in this list.
It does a fine job with the full blown version of Windows 10, an integrated kickstand and optional keyboard attachment.
Great for for creative professionals, students and everyday folks alike, this is a top choice and one of best Windows Laptop we’ve reviewed.
Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Pro
3. New iPad (2017)
Weight: 469g | Dimensions: 240 x 169.5 x 7.5 mm | OS: iOS 10 | Screen size: 9.7-inch | Resolution: 1536 x 2048 pixels | CPU: A9 | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 32GB/128GB | microSD slot: No | Battery: approx 8,800mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 1.2MP
For most people on a budget, the best tablet you can buy right now is the new iPad (2017). it has a crisp 9.7-inch display, punchy A9 power and a lower price tag than the tablet it replaces – the iPad Air 2.
The new iPad (2017) doesn’t reinvent the tablet, in fact it doesn’t differ much at all from its predecessor. The only real upgrade is the chipset, with Apple’s A9 heart giving the new iPad more power – however it’s the price which is the real winner.
There’s no 16GB model, with the iPad kicking things off at a more reasonable 32GB, and considering that’s cheaper than the entry-level iPad Air 2 it offers serious value for money.
Read the full review: New iPad (2017)
4. Samsung Galaxy Tab S3
Weight: 429g | Dimensions: 237.3 x 169 x 6mm | OS: Android Nougat | Screen size: 9.7-inch | Resolution: 2048 x 1536 | CPU: Snapdragon 820 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 32GB | Battery: 6,000mAh | Rear camera: 13MP | Front camera: 5MP
You’re not going to find a better, full-featured Android tablet than the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3. It has a HDR-screen for the ultimate contrast ratio, four speakers that sound as good as those on the iPad Pro and an larger S Pen that’s included.
You won’t get a free keyboard cover, which helps makes this a good on-the-go productivity tool. It costs extra. You also can’t get HDR video content at any price. Netflix and Amazon will eventually roll out HDR streaming movies and TV shows in the future (they have done so for 4KTVs), so you’re really buying into a 2-in-1 tablet with features you can’t use right away.
Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy Tab S3
5. iPad Pro 12.9
Weight: 677g | Dimensions: 305.7 x 220.6 x 6.9 mm | OS: iOS 11 | Screen size: 12.9-inch | Resolution: 2732 x 2048 pixels | CPU: A10X | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 32GB/256GB/512GB | microSD slot: No | Battery: 41 Wh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 7MP
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, and you’ll swiftly find it indispensable.
It’s also worth noting that this 2015 model has been replaced by a much-upgraded version, complete with better internals and a nicer screen – although you can still buy the older variant from many retailers.
If you’re considering the iPad Pro (2015) then whether its graphics, multi-tasking or providing a pseudo-Mac experience when you’re away from the office the Pro is very capable.
Even the Pencil – hilarious name that we’re now getting used to 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
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.