What is the best tablet? While prior generations asked themselves things like ‘what will the year 2000 be like?’, ‘how much are we actually going to use the Internet?’, and ‘will books become extinct?’, our generation’s biggest question revolves around the fight between Android and iOS. This, of course, is directly linked to the question we’re all trying to figure out the answer to: what is the best tablet? Sadly, we might not ever find out because, given the fact tablets use different operating systems, it’s a bit like comparing apples to oranges. However, in order to shed some light on this never-ending fight for supremacy, we’ve compiled an essential guide to the best tablets of 2016.
- Introduction to tablets. 1
- What do you need a tablet for?. 1
- A tablet vs. a laptop. 2
- Android vs. iPad. 3
- Establishing your budget. 4
- Top 10 best tablets for 2016 and their reviews. 4
- Buying accessories for your tablet. 9
Before heading out to the store or opening your laptop to buy a tablet, there are some things we suggest you think about. For example, you should establish a budget beforehand because, evidently, the better you want it to perform, the higher its price will be. Secondly, you should take into consideration your other devices and what OSs they use. Of course, this doesn’t mean you can’t own devices that operate differently, but the majority of people usually pledge their allegiance to one OS and stay with it. Apart from that, you should also figure out what you need the tablet for, as its proficiency depends on that as well. Keep on reading for further details on all these topics.
As mentioned, deciding on the purpose you need a tablet for is one of the first things you have to think about. The more intricate the activities you plan for it are, the pricier the tablet will be. That’s because it needs a better processor and bigger memory to perform complicated tasks,. This will add up to the final bill.
Here are the main things you can do with a tablet.
- Use it as an e-reader – instead of a real book or Kindle, perfect for always staying on the move.
- Use it as a daily/weekly/monthly planner – seeing and arranging your calendar, mail, Google Keep, Evernote, and everything else in between, on a big screen vs. on your phone.
- Use it for apps and games – although simple games such as Candy Crush and Angry Birds, and not GTA or
- Use it for meetings – either to deliver presentations or take notes.
- Movies and music – when traveling, this is the perfect device for a movie. The screen is big enough, without the tablet being too heavy.
Taking all this into consideration, think about the tablet you need, as opposed to the tablet you want or think is just cool. If all you need is a platform to read PDF format books during your commute, then you’re all set with a low profile tablet that doesn’t cost as much.
This is another great question we all ask ourselves from time to time. The answer is in a somewhat grey area. Again, it depends on a multitude of factors such as price and user needs – what you intend to use it for and how much precision you need.
Here are the main differences between a tablet and a laptop:
- While using a laptop, you have a lot more control over what you’re doing than on a tablet. This becomes evident when using spreadsheets, creating documents and presentations. Taps and swipes just don’t do the trick.
- Tablets have a much better display quality than laptops. The best tablets currently available go as high as 300 pixels, whereas a laptop’s quality is much lower.
- Tablets are far smaller than laptop screens. Indeed, there are some exceptions, such as the Planar Helium, which has a 27-inch display, but it’s just that – an exception. On average, tablets have between 7-11 inches displays.
- Tablets are easier to carry than laptops, because they lack the physical keyboard, are smaller and thinner.
- If laptops excel in performance, tablets excel in simplicity. However, for some people this is a positive thing, while for others it’s a negative one.
- The simplest thing, such as web browsing, is different on the two devices, with the tablet loosing points to the laptop. There are still websites that don’t have a tablet-prone alternative, which will render them useless for a tablet user and force him to return to the ye’ faithful laptop.
Chocolate vs. vanilla, coffee vs. tea, Android vs. iOS. Which one to choose? People all over the world swear by one or the other. Ask an Apple fan why he loves his products so much and he’ll rave about how cool they are. Ask team Android and they’ll pin you down with logic and reason until you want to buy an ‘i’ product just to spite them. We are kidding, of course, but here are the main things you should consider before choosing between Android and iOS.
- According to surveys, users seem to think it’s a lot easier to unlock an Apple device than an Android-based one, because of the way their lock screens are constructed.
- The Apple app store has a far wider database than The Google store. It’s home to some 800 000 apps, out of which approximately 300 000 have been designed specifically for the iPad. By way of contrast, the Google store has far fewer apps for you to choose from.
- iPads are more stable than Android-based tablets
- iPads are considered, according to surveys, to be easier to use than Android tablets. However, this is a criterion you shouldn’t take into consideration until you’ve had the chance to operate both. Understanding and learning how to use a device is mostly based on each person’s level of intelligence, aptitude for technology, and personal preferences.
- Android offers customization with a capital C. Whatever your tablet might be, if it runs on Android, you’ll be able to turn and twist it as you wish, unlike the rather limited iPad.
- The Android app store, although smaller than the Apple one, is growing fast. This is because it lacks supervision, which means the number of apps posted there is bound to skyrocket soon enough.
As previously mentioned, it’s very important to set a budget limit before you go out shopping. You’ll soon discover that purchasing a very expensive tablet for the sole purpose of browsing Facebook and Instagram is not a very wise decision. Not surprisingly, the priciest tablets around come to us courtesy of Apple. Steve Jobs was indeed notorious for outrageously overpricing his merchandise that didn’t really do all that much to begin with. The computer doesn’t say ‘Hello’, remember?
Without much further ado, here are the best tablets for 2016, according to surveys and a fair amount of data crunching.
#10. Microsoft Surface Pro 4
It retails for about £749, and while it’s definitely an improvement from the last one they had released, it still has cons. It’s very thin and light, with a great display and enough power to last for hours. It has an amazing Surface Pen and a great Type Cover. However, it’s extremely expensive for a tablet and the Type Cover, which you will, indeed, need, is not included in the original price.
#9. Xiaomi Mi Pad 2
This little nugget retails at about £144. What’s funny about it is that most users have described it as an Android tablet parading as an iPad mini. We don’t know if Xiaomi intended for this to happen, but what we do know is that it’s a stylish and decent tablet, that may come in the 64GB model. Also, if you don’t like the iOS style interface, go right ahead to Android and customize it as you wish.
#8. Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet
The Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet costs £499, and it’s by far one of the best tablets ever made. What surprises you when you first come in contact with it is how thin and light it actually is. It has an excellent waterproofing choice and you will only need one cover for it. However, the fact that Sony insisted on cramming a Bluetooth keyboard into it, with no other option than to buy it alone, left us a bit bummed out. It simply makes it too expensive and that’s why we had to score it so low.
#7. Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact
This one retails for £269. It’s a lot smaller than what we’ve seen Sony come up with so far, which also makes it light and slim. It’s waterproof but its hardware didn’t really blow users’ mind. However, it does come with a PS4 Remote Play feature that really won gamers over.
#6. Amazon Fire
Well, it’s not perfect, but it’s fantastic for its unbelievably cheap price. It retails for £49 and it’s amazingly similar to Android. The Fire OS really resembles Android only without its apps, which seems to bother people to some degree. There are a few other cons as well: poor camera, the fact that it’s simply sluggish sometimes, and that it takes a really long time to charge. But it’s the best in its price range.
#5. Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4
Undeniably one of the best Android tablets in existence today. It retails for £319 and, in terms of hardware, it’s simply outstanding. This is why the only things users can actually complain about are the TouchWiz software and the fact that it costs more than its rivals. The added costs are due to some features people don’t really seem to be so keen on such as the fingerprint scanner and IR blaster. Therefore, its price is not really justified.
#4. iPad mini 4
This one has been reported to cost a bit too much as well since it retails at around £319, but users say it’s worth it. It has finally been given a great display and a very decent rear camera that will match your expectations of this device. It also has great build and more than satisfying battery life. All in all, as users put it, it’s actually difficult to fault the new iPad mini 4.
#3. Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 8
This one is so thin and light you almost won’t believe it’s real. On some occasions, it actually outshines its counterpart, the iPad mini 4 and its screen is reported as being a joy to use. Its design and power are also worth investing £319 in it.
#2. Google Pixel C
This year’s runner up is the Google Pixel C, which has a retailing value of £399 for 32 GB and £479 for 64GB. It’s unanimously considered that, as a stand-alone tablet, Pixel C is outstanding, topping even the Nexus 9, HTC’s creation. The storage might be a bit limited if you decide to go for the 32 GB model, but, on the other hand, it will save you money. However, the C doesn’t come with a keyboard. And this is a major downside. If you type a lot or plan to actually work on this tablet, you will definitely need to buy a keyboard. But it won’t come cheap, because it retails at a whopping £119.
This brings the C with only 32 GB at the stunning price of £518, which you shouldn’t really pay for a tablet, as it defeats the purpose to some extent. For this many a quid, you can easily buy a decent laptop, such as the Android ultraportable Marshmallow.
#1. Apple iPad Air 2
Let’s introduce a drumroll here, as we should for any first prize winner, but it can’t really come as a surprise to anyone that the Air 2 is the best tablet in the world. It’s almost common knowledge by now. You can buy the crown-winning tablet for £399, take it home, and play with its new touch ID feature, new screen assembly, and more powerful processor. It also has new, better cameras. If you need one, last piece of argument – most users seem to think no other tablet in the world even comes close to this one.
As we clearly saw above, buying accessories for a tablet is something you will have to do, one way or another. First and foremost, you will need a keyboard, because tablets lack the sense of control a laptop offers. Working and even surfing the web with mere taps and swishes will cease to satisfy you after a while. The same goes for writing. Shortly and surely enough, you will begin to miss your old keyboard and so decide to attach one to your tablet.
We also recommend you buy a case for your tablet to protect it from water, debris, sunshine, and impacts of any kind that might damage this otherwise delicate piece of equipment. The other essential accessory we advise you to buy is a table stand. Although tablets were designed with the idea of portability in mind, you will soon discover than holding it in your hand at all times is tiring and a bit difficult. A stand, such as this one we offer at Loxit, will come in handy when you want to watch a movie, read an e-book, write, make a presentation, take a selfie, and simply browse the Internet.
This was our essential guide to the best tablets you can purchase in 2016. Read carefully through it and we guarantee that you’ll find yourself tapping merrily on a tablet in no time at all.