There’s never really a good time to buy a tablet. It seems that new ones are coming out every time of year – Apple just introduced a new one, for example, but come September we’ll be inundated with even more for the back to school season. That’s why it can be tough to write these stories, since the tablet market seems to change more frequently than the smartphone market, where you typically know when new phones are coming.
So, I figured I’d draft up a quick list of what I think are the best tablets right now. There are other good tablets. But I need to start somewhere, so let’s take a look.
Galaxy TabPro S
I just reviewed the Galaxy TabPro S, and it’s still my favorite on the market right now. It runs on a Core M processor and has a full version of Windows 10, which means you can run all of the regular Windows app you’re used to running. You’ll be limited, sure, by high-power games and apps like Photoshop, but it’s a highly portable machine that comes with its own keyboard for $899. Plus, if you own a Galaxy smartphone, you can even receive notifications, unlock the tablet and more.
Surface Pro 4
I love what Microsoft’s doing with the Surface Pro 4 line. They’re tablets that just as easily double as full-blown Intel Core i-powered laptops. They’re not cheap, especially once you add in the keyboard, but they’re worth the price. The latest keyboard is excellent, performance is solid for everyday tasks (these aren’t really made for video editing, but you could if you had to), and I love the full-size USB port. Toss in the backlit keyboard and support for the Microsoft Surface Pen and the Surface Pro 4 is a great option.
Great tablet if you’ve got the cash. I don’t think I can recommend one over the other – the two models (12.9 and 9.7 inch) are very similar, though the larger model has more RAM. They’re both also expensive, but beautifully built and with access to Apple’s incredible App Store. The Apple Pencil and keyboard will improve your productivity, and a few folks around our office actually use various models of the iPad Pro for planning, scheduling and more.
Amazon Fire Tablet
If you’re on a super tight budget, look no further than the Amazon Fire Tablet. It’s priced at $50 – sometimes lower when Amazon has a sale – and offers really solid performance. You won’t have the sharpest screen or the longest battery life, but it’s a great portal to books, Amazon Prime video, music and games. Plus, you can add your own storage and load it up with your own content if you don’t pay for Amazon Prime.
NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet K1
I know, I know, it’s getting a little long in the tooth. But I also think we’ll see something pure from Google sometime in May, and I’m not sure NVIDIA has plans to update this soon. Plus, the NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet K1 is just $200 and offers an almost pure Android experience, kick-ass access to streaming PC games, a solid display, great speakers and decent battery life. I still love this tablet and it’s my go-to option for Android use.