Best Tablet Review – 10 Best Tablets on Amazon with Reviews 2020Last Updated: December 1, 2020
Among the many amazing applications for everyone from high-powered executives to small children, tablets have also become an essential part of modern business. This guide to the top selling tablets on Amazon will assist if you’re planning to make a purchase.
Once regarded as little more than a flashy half-way house between the smartphone and the laptop or desktop computer, tablets are now almost everywhere. The user-friendliness of the world’s best tablet appliances make them suitable from everyone from business executives to students, full-time academics to toddlers in early learning.
Due to the sheer array of devices available in the tablet category–a fact that is underscored by the sheer volume of great tablet cases available online– it can be difficult to determine the merits of the latest releases from Apple, Samsung, Microsoft or Google, to name but a few.
Best Tablet Buyers Guide 2020
Here is AGENT’s handy guide to 10 of the top selling tablets on Amazon to help you reach your decision if you considering taking the plunge for the first time or upgrading to a new model. But first, here is a rundown of the top 10 tablet bestsellers on Amazon.
If you are looking for a reasonably priced, high performing tablet then the Fire 7 is for you. With its very attractive display, impressive quad-core processor and up to seven hours of battery life. It comes in numerous colours, so there is a Fire 7 to suit all tastes! Outside of the ultra intuitive Apple iPad experience, there is probably not a better introduction to the tablet market than the Amazon Fire 7. And where it trumps Apple is that it is almost hilariously reasonable in its price point, considering what you get for your money. The processing power is quite ample for the average user.
Number of Amazon Customer Reviews: 121,851
Average Review Rating: 4.1 out of 5 Stars
The design of the all new Amazon Fire 7 is nothing out of the ordinary for Amazon, as you may have seen in our reviews of other editions of the tablet in, for instance, our best 9 inch tablet and best 10 inch tablet review posts. It does come in a variety of appealing colours (including black, marine blue, punch red, and canary yellow), and with its matte plastic case, compact dimensions of just 7.6in x 4.5in x 0.4in, and weighing only 10.4oz, is simple both to carry around with you for handy one- or two-handed usage, or to transport in a bag or backpack.
Everything about the tablet is user-friendly, from its size and feel to the layout of its various ports, all of which are easily accessible and distinctive. The volume, power controls and headphone jack are on the top edge, as is the microUSB port for charging and syncing of the devices. The microUSB port (by which you can expand the default storage sizes of 8GB or 16GB right up to 256GB) is located on the size, and there is a single donor speaker on the rear.
Display & Speakers
The all new Amazon Fire 7 has a 1024×600 LCD screen, with a pixel density of 171ppi, is incredibly attractive for a tablet of this size. It’s crisp and clear for reading text, and the color range is excellent for video and still images too. If there is one criticism it’s that some Internet pages might look a little cramped, but surely that is an occupational hazard for a tablet in this size range, and if that is going to be a factor you won’t be shopping here in in the first place.
As noted, if you’re looking for high quality stereo sound, you need to look elsewhere (the Amazon Fire HD 8, for example, has an excellent quality stereo speaker set-up with Dolby Atmos). That having been said, although the sound from the single mono speaker is pretty limited, there is always the option of boosting it with a portable Bluetooth speaker or using headphones.
One of the best features for a tablet in this price and size range is its great introduction to the Amazon virtual assistant, Alexa. One of the really cool things about it is that if you by any chance have an Echo in your home, you’ll be able to pair your Fire 7 with it, and tell Alexa to send any Internet search results that you request to your tablet. Brilliant.
There’s a pair of cameras on the device too. The front-facing shooter is adequate either for fun selfies or for video calling, while the 2mp rear-facing camera, can take pretty decent images and also deliver 720p HD video recording, but the quality may be a little lacking if it’s incredibly important photographic work. Better off to think of the cameras as a fun extra rather than anything truly significant, and leave the photographs to your smartphone.
This is a pretty powerful little tablet for something in its size and price range. As you’ll be aware from our reviews of other Amazon devices, the fact that the Amazon Fire 7 is restricted to apps from the Amazon store may be a little annoying if you’re an experienced app user and want to have access to, for example, Google, YouTube and other common apps on your tablet. You’ll be able to get Amazon-curated alternatives, although this may not be acceptable to some users.
In terms of actual performance, the Fire 7’s OS 5.4 is based on Android 5.1, running on a 1.3GHz Mediatek processor. That’s pretty hi-spec stuff, but there is only 1GB of RAM, and this causes sluggishness when too many apps are running, and lags when switching between them. This might have been solved with more RAM, but that’s our speculation.
The user interface grows out of the Amazon browsing and shopping experience. That’s a brilliant feature for someone who is new to tablet computing, or who is a dedicated Amazon Prime customer. However, if you’re not, be prepared for non-stop selling on almost every page that you open. And be especially vigilant if your kids are going to be using this tablet, and tailor your settings to make purchasing a little more difficult!
Amazon claims that it’s possible to get up to 7 hours of reading, Internet browsing, watching video and listening to music. That sounds about right to us. We set a high quality video looped in the browser, with brightness and sound put up high, and we were able to get more than 4hrs 30mins, which for a tablet of that size is not bad. More moderate use will definitely take you closer to the 7 hours that Amazon claims is possible. However, please be aware that the charging time of this tablet is incredible slow. A full charge can take almost six hours, so please be sure that you remember to keep it well charged..
Best Tablet Review – Amazon Fire 7 – Summary
The Amazon Fire 7 is a smart, no-nonsense tablet, and any of its shortcomings are probably attributable to the low available RAM and some hardware components such as the speaker that might not just be up to the standard you want. However, for a tablet of this size and in its price range, this is close to perfect.
|Amazon Fire 7 - Our Verdict|
|The Amazon Fire 7 is not perfection in the classic sense—it's too flawed for that—but as an introductory device for a way into the world of tablet computing, it's very much ideal. Any shortcomings are attributable to the kinds of things (RAM and speaker quality) that people who shop at this end of the market are not troubled by.|
|Amazon Fire 7 - Pros||Amazon Fire 7 - Cons|
|The price of the Amazon Fire 7 is pretty amazing, considering the quality of display you get, and the access to the huge content library in the Amazon App Store is fantastic.||The Amazon Fire 7 is let down by sluggish performance, poor sound quality, and very mediocre cameras, and the Amazon-centric nature of the device means giving up familiar apps like YouTube.|
The Fire 7 Kids Edition is designed with durability in mind. The tablet is designed to make kids think that it’s not a toy, but Amazon has cleverly given it the kinds of safeguards to protect against the kind of knocks and mishaps that can befall an object that a child treats as a plaything. For one thing, there is a two-year guarantee. If the kids break it, you return it, they replace it, no questions asked. Brilliant.
That’s quite a statement of faith in its product by Amazon. The tablet also has a kid-proof case that protects it from drops and bangs, while parents are also given complete control over what their kids are getting up to online, enabling them to monitor what their children are viewing, and ensure that only age-appropriate video and websites are accessible. The case is available in blue, pink or green.
Although it’s limited to children, this is undoubtedly one of the best tablet options on the market. Some people feel that the Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids edition is possibly a better choice, but this one has the edge in our top 10 selection, as the slightly more affordable price tag will make it more accessible to a larger group of customers.
Number of Amazon Customer Reviews: 22,417
Average Review Rating: 3.9 out of 5 Stars
The Fire 7 Kids Edition is more or less the Amazon Fire 7 (see above) at a higher price tag. However, the higher price is buying you not just a padded case and a two-year ‘no questions asked’ warranty, but also a 12-month subscription to the kids books and games service, the Netflix-like FreeTime Unlimited, which is the all important source of the super customisable PIN-protected parental controls for the device.
An integral part of this tablet is the super protective case, which is spongy, tough and tactile and makes holding the device a fun thing to do. The case makes it a little larger than the standard Fire 7 at 8.6in x 5.4in x 1in, and weighing about 14.3oz, but this is still light and compact enough for your child to use, whether in the house or taking it with them in the car for a long journey, for example.
At first, you may wonder whether the case is worth the investment. But the first time your child drops the tablet, will be able to appreciate its value straight away. The case is thick and spongy, and so is likely to prevent any breakages, and absorb the shock when the tablet falls from significant heights onto hard surfaces.
There are a couple of options available: 8GB (with 4.5GB storage available to the user), or 16GB (with 11.6GB available to the user), although both can take an additional 200GB via microSD card expansion. In both cases, the relatively small default storage space is counted for by the FreeTime Unlimited portal, including the parental controls, and the beautiful child-centric User Interface.
Display & Speakers
Like the Fire 7, the Fire 7 Kids Edition has a 1024×600 LCD screen, with pixel density of 171ppi. This makes for a wonderful display for your child, who will love it for reading, or for experiencing the bright color graphics of the User Interface, and for viewing pictures and video images. The color is superb too.
Unfortunately, the speakers are like those on the standard Fire 7. A single mono speaker that is a little bit of a mismatch with the impressive quality of the screen display. However, it’s unlikely that this will trouble a young child too much, and we wouldn’t say it’s a deal-breaker. If it is, it’s a problem that can be easily rectified by means of a Bluetooth speaker.
In FreeTime Unlimited, even when the subscription has expired, parents will always have access to a comprehensive range of parental controls (behind PIN access) over this device. For example, you’ll be able to set usage time limits, whether that is in the form of specific limits for certain usage categories, or conditional limits, which require your child to complete a specified amount of educational usage, such as reading, before access to games and entertainment apps is permitted. This is one of the best parental controls in the entire industry. It works well because kids will tend to obey limits established externally rather than those insisted on by parents.
There are front and rear facing cameras on the tablet, which will provide your child with hours of amusement getting used to still images and video recording. The quality of the cameras is not amazingly good, but it’s more than adequate for fun use by children.
The Fire 7 Kids Edition has a 1.3GHz quad-core processor, which is powerful enough to provide your child with a very good tablet computing experience, but there is only 1GB of RAM, which will slow things down a little bit as your child becomes more accustomed to computing. The latest games, with their high quality graphics, may pose a performance problem for the Kids Edition.
This is the same as the battery life for the Fire 7. Streaming a video in the browser, with brightness and volume to the max, we got around four and a half hours, although with standard usage, you’ll get closer to the 7 hours that Amazon claims is possible. Using apps is less arduous on battery life than the browser is, and it’s more likely that your kids will prefer apps, so good news for them in this category!
Best Tablet Review – Amazon Fire 7 Kids Edition – Summary
The Fire 7 Kids Edition is an excellent choice for children, but if you have an older child who is a bit more accustomed to tablet computing, you may wish to go up a grade to the larger Fire HD 8 Kids Edition, for an improved display and sound, as well as superior performance.
|Amazon Fire 7 Kids Edition - Our Verdict|
|What we think, is that the Amazon Fire 7 Kids Edition is a wonderful tablet computing primer device for a child. However, it may not be powerful enough to hold your kids' attention before they have their eyes on an upgrade.|
|Amazon Fire 7 Kids Edition - Pros||Amazon Fire 7 Kids Edition - Cons|
|Incredibly good value for money, including access to an amazing suite of parental controls, a brilliant two-year 'no questions asked' warranty, in addition to expandable storage and a protective case.||Sluggishness in performance when too many apps are are a disincentive for increasingly tech-savvy kids, in addition to the Amazon App Store limits, and the device's inadequate audio quality.|
The Amazon Fire HD 8 is the new and improved version of the Amazon Fire 7, which, as we noted above, is a great starter tablet, but is blighted by performance shortcomings when handling advanced work. The Fire HD 8 is a fantastic 8 inch tablet for lovers of entertainment, who will be able to easily watch, read and play anything they want, with absolute ease. The screen is a stunning 1280×800-pixel resolution display.
And if having twice the default storage and amply increased battery power is not enough for you (it’s available in 16GB and 32GB versions), the 1.3GHz quad-core processor is capable of a lot more in this edition of the tablet. The Fire HD 8 is also available in a range of colors, including tangerine, pink, black, blue or green.
Number of Customer Ratings: 47,564
Average Rating: 4.2 out of 5 Stars
Whether it’s because you don’t want to go all the way up to the more expensive 10in tablet range, or if you simply prefer having a lighter and more portable and comfortable weight of device to carry and use, the Fire HD 8 is a very attractive device. In fact, we’d regard this as one of the best tablet devices available today, not just one of the best 8 inch tablets.
Yes, it’s got a basic build with pretty unimpressive materials, including the plastic back of the Fire 7, but it’s our belief that anyone will get over this plastic feel, when you figure that this is only about 10 dollars more expensive than the Fire 7 and other comparable tablets in the lower size category. Of course, plastic is not attractive to many people, and they can shop elsewhere. For us, it’s fine.
There is a nice range of colors to choose from—the standard black, canary yellow, marine blue, and punch red. If there is not a color there to suit just about everyone, there are cases available too. You are almost certain to find a cover or case that will be a perfect fit for your taste. Unlike the 7, however, for some reason the ports and buttons are situated along the top edge of the tablet (when held in portrait mode), but, perhaps because there are so many for one edge, they’re quite tightly spaced, so it’s inevitable that getting accustomed to these is going to be a learning experience, and perhaps one that you don’t want.
Display & Speakers
The display is very good for a tablet in this price range: an 8in display with a 1280×800-pixel resolution, and a pixel density of 189ppi. That’s an impressive number of pixels per inch. It’s perhaps not iPad quality, but it’s not far off, and when you’re in this price range, it is really outstanding, and difficult to conceive how it could be improved.
The speakers, meanwhile, are a huge improvement over the Fire 7, with their dual stereo speaker set-up, featuring Dolby Atmos. You will almost certainly be quite happy enough to use this solo, without any need for augmentation by a Bluetooth speaker.
Also available on the Fire HD 8 are two cameras, and they’re not bad at all. There’s a 5mp camera on the back, while the front-facing shooter can also handle 720p video. This means that you are going to have above-average quality for chatting with friends and business contacts via video conference calls. As for the quality of still images, it’s a bit average. It could be a lot better, although our reviewers tend to regard the cameras on tablets as more of a fun add-on than an essential, as this area is probably much better handled by smartphones. Still, given the quality of the rest of the package, it would be nice if the quality was a little bit better.
The 1.3GHz quad core processor is the same set up on as per the Fire 7 tablet. However, in the Fire HD 8, the expanded 1.5GB of RAM makes a huge difference. There was no lagging or responsiveness difficulties arising from any of our tests. In addition, whether you go for the 16GB or the 32GB edition of this device, they’re both expandable by a maximum of 256GB of additional storage.
The Fire HD 8 has a considerably improved battery life. It will manage around 12 hours in fairly standard use. However, we think that the length of time required for a full charge—up to six hours—is pretty ridiculous and a feature that really needs to be looked at by Amazon.
Best Tablet Review – Amazon Fire HD 8 – Summary
All in all, the Amazon Fire HD 8 is an incredible leap forward in quality from the Fire 7. It’s only when you fire up the Fire HD 8 that you appreciate the extent to which the Fire 7 is a starter and for less adventurous usage, whereas the Fire HD 8 has more power under the hood, and only for a marginal rise in investment. And as well as all this, it remains compact and lightweight enough for you to take it anywhere without any difficulty whatsoever.
|Amazon Fire HD 8 - Our Verdict|
|The Amazon Fire HD8 has an awful lot going for it from the performance point of view alone that it's recommended almost without reservation. It's processing power is great and display screen is of a very high quality indeed. However, don't forget that many of the apps you like will not be available from Amazon, and, if you're a fan of tablet photography, the cameras are really not much better than average quality. much going for it for a tablet in this price range, from its expandable memory to its slick operating system and processing power. If it wasn't for the cameras it would be close to the perfect 8in tablet.|
|Amazon Fire HD 8 - Pros||Amazon Fire HD 8 - Cons|
|We liked the functional design, the slick performance and expandable storage—these are the big pluses of the Amazon Fire HD 8.||The Amazon Fire HD 8 is let down only by the mediocre standard of its cameras, and by the limitations of the Amazon-centric UI.|
The Fire HD 10 tablet is designed to entertain. It also makes quite a stirring first impression, as it has Amazon’s largest display screen on its thinnest tablet chassis. The display and the sleek design alone make for a great investment, and performance is no slouch either, whether you need the device for work or entertainment purposes.
This tablet has a much better than average battery life of around 8 hours, and even though it’s Amazon’s thinnest tablet to date, it’s also one of the toughest and most durable. It eschews the funky color scheme choices of the 7 and HD 8 models for a more serious look, coming in a choice of black, white and silver aluminium.
Number of Amazon Customer Reviews: 16,375
Average Review Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
If you’re not a fan of Amazon design, it’s hardly worth reading this, because there is no real significant departure in the aesthetic from that of the Fire 7 Fire HD 8. It’s the usual no-frills stuff, with plastic casing and wide bezels at the top and bottom of the screen (or the left and right in landscape mode). We think it would be mistake if the design and materials of the Fire HD 10 were to put you off, however.
And actually, if you’re that bothered by the plastic, then why not go for the more expensive sliver aluminium option, which features an all-metal back and delivers the premium feel that you’re probably looking for.
This is a great device if you’ve already gone through the early learning process and want to progress to something a little bit more sophisticated. It is a little more sizeable than some of the other tablets—at 10.3in x 6.2in x 0.3in—but the slimline profile and weight of just 17.5oz means that it is light and compact enough to be carried in a handbag, backpack or briefcase.
It’s got a sturdy build, and it’s comfortable to hold, but a case with a kickstand might be an idea so you’ll be able to set it down for hands-free viewing if you’re going to be engaging in extended usage.
There are two cameras, and the controls and ports are well situated. Held in portrait, you’ll find the volume controls at the top left and the power button at top right, while the microUSB port mic and 3.5mm headphone jack are on the top edge. In portrait mode, you’ll find the stereo speakers are on the left edge, one at each end.
Display & Speakers
The display is an IPS 1920p x 1200-pixel resolution LCD touchscreen with a pixel density of 223 ppi. All visuals are crisp, clear and colourful, and definitely on a par with the Apple iPad 9.7, which has a pixel density of 264ppi resolution.
The dual-stereo Dolby Atmos speakers are great in landscape mode (for true stereo) and they’re powerful little performers, able to run in high volume without distortion (although be careful of the impact on device battery).
As with the Fire 8 HD, the Fire 10 HD has Alexa, and using it on the table is just as convenient and easy to use as it is on the Echo. Not only will you be able to do everything on the Fire 10 HD that you could on Echo—including searchs, opening apps, getting weather forecasts, finding and playing/pausing videos—but if you have an Echo already, you’ll be able to pair the devices.
Thanks to its MediaTek quad-core chipset and 2GB of RAM, the Fire 10 HD is pretty slick, although the user-interface (UI) is very Amazon-centric. In other words, this may be a deal breaker for anyone who has progressed beyond novice user level, as the lack of widely used apps that are available in Google Play or the Apple App Store will not fly well. Apart from that, though, this is pretty amazing performance-wise.
The IPS display and the stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos make this a fantastic device for viewing movies and television shows as well as gaming. And you won’t have to worry about getting a portable speaker or headphones for sound, because the Fire 10 HD speakers are a cut above.
Navigation is very smooth, and switching between apps and games is an almost seamless, flawless process. However, we noted that the loading time for some apps and games is a little bit on the slow side.
It’s possible to get a highly impressive impressive 10 hours of mixed use on the Fire HD 10, although brightness and volume can affect this, but not any more significantly than they would the battery on any other tablet. As ever with the Amazon products, though, charging time is a big disappointment. It can take up to five hours to complete a full charge from zero, which is just inexplicable!
Best Tablet Review – Amazon Fire HD 10 – Summary
The Fire HD 10 is a great option for anyone who is moving up in tablet computing beyond a starter tablet or a kids device. Of course, it is Amazon-centric in terms of the apps you’ll be able to get for it, but there are decent Amazon alternatives to your favourites, and the Alexa voice system is a great feature. The quality of the display and speakers is excellent, performance is almost flawless, and battery life is very good, albeit with a very lengthy charging time.
|Amazon Fire HD 10 - Our Verdict|
|The Amazon Fire HD 10 is great for anyone who needs a new tablet of premium performance standard, but at a medium price. It's also perfect for kids who want to progress beyond beginner level, and they'll be able to watch video and play games on an amazing quality screen with very good sound standards.
|Amazon Fire HD 10 - Pros||Amazon Fire HD 10 - Cons|
|The display, speakers and battery life of the Fire HD 10 are all exceptionally noteworthy—a big leap forward for Amazon.||The lack of some popular apps is a bit of a shortcoming, as is battery charging time (a frustrating 5 hours for a full charge).|
With an 8-inch display the Nvidia Shield K1 tablet fits comfortably in the palm of the hand. The Shield K1 is a fantastic all round tablet, particularly for gaming. Dual speakers and expandable storage make for a gaming experience that is world class.
Okay, the tablet has been discontinued and Nvidia is no longer making it. That should not be taken as an indication of inferior quality, however. It’s still widely available for purchase online, and it continues to be one of the best-selling 8 inch tablets available on Amazon.
It has often been referred to by critics as the best 8 inch tablet for gaming, and indeed, if you are a dedicated gamer who likes to take your gaming adventures on the road frequently (and especially if you can get your hands on the amazing Shield controller accessory, which can be purchased separately) then this might be the best tablet you could possibly imagine!
Number of Amazon Customer Reviews: 1,640
Average Review Rating: 3.9 out of 5 Stars
Applauded for its finely tuned balance between value, processing power, features and design aesthetics, the Nvidia Shield K1 scores particularly highly on the design front. Actually, for a gaming tablet it is incredibly understated, even more so than a Fire or an iPad, but it’s what happens when you fire it up and experience the effects of what’s under the hood that this tablet truly makes an impression.
This was one of the first tablets to bring the powerful Android 7.0 Nougat operating system into contact with amass audience, so while the actual chassis of the tablet is rather unremarkable because of the ease with which it will nestle into your hands, the operating system is an incredibly powerful piece of kit that is ideal for the hi-spec world of the latest gaming.
The back of the device has an anti-slip treatment that is rubberized and the feel of the device is more conducive to gaming than anything else you’d be using a tablet for. It has some of the extras of standard tablets like front and rear-facing cameras (actually both of 5mp resolution, which is a pleasant surprise, although neither are essential), and all ports and buttons are situated on the top or right edges of the tablet chassis. In addition, the speaker grilles are front facing.
Display & Speakers
The 1920×1200-pixels resolution of the 8in display screen is incredibly impressive for a tablet of this size, and you’ll find that it is more than a match for the graphic demands placed upon it by the latest games. Speakers, too, are very good. They’re not as good as what you’d achieve with an external speaker, but they’re still impressive. Perhaps for the full, immersive effect of gaming sound, however, either a Bluetooth speaker or a set of good quality headphones would be just the job for delivering the full potential of the gaming experience on the Nvidia Shield K1.
There are a couple of features that are available to be purchased separately from the tablet. One is the stylus pen. This is impressive enough, but probably not worth the trouble if you’re using the tablet for gaming only. However, if you are indeed using the Nvidia Shield K1 as a mobile gaming console, the $50-60 you’d pay for the Shield Controller would probably be a very worthwhile investment indeed. At this point, it’s a bit annoying that this is not bundled with the Nvidia Shield K1 tablet, but then if that were the case, it would put the tablet into another budgetary category.
Pulsing away at the very heart of the Nvidia Shield K1 is Nvidia’s own Tegra K1 chip, with its CUDA cores, as well as 2GB of low-power RAM, which will support common but demanding graphics features in the GeForce graphics card. This chipset and RAM set-up delivers a superior performance to some of the most expensive smartphones and tablets on the market. Seriously impressive, and for a gamer, fantastic processing power.
This is the only caveat to our positioning the Shield K1 as a dedicated gaming tablet. While standard usage will get you a highly impressive 10 hours of battery life on a single charge, you get only about half that time for gaming. You will definitely want to have it fully charged and ready to go at all times, and never be without either a charging cable or a portable power supply if you don’t want to be caught short.
Best Tablet Review – Nvidia Shield K1 – Summary
Overall, while there are a couple of negative points like battery life, we found the Nvidia Shield K1 to be a fantastic tablet for gamers who are looking for the convenience of a tablet with the processing power of a small laptop that will enable them to play the latest of computer games without a hitch while on the go.
|Nvidia Shield K1 - Our Verdict|
|The Nvidia Shield K1 is a particularly satisfying tablet for gamers, because it is take-anywhere convenient and ferociously powerful, and is available at ultra reasonable prices.|
|Nvidia Shield K1 - Pros||Nvidia Shield K1 - Cons|
|We enjoyed the Nvidia Shield K1's simplicity of design, offset by the sheer quality of the display and the power of the operating system at its heart.||It's light on accessories, and is discontinued (although this is likely to be a positive as it will be available at better value prices than ever before.|
This tablet could easily be mistaken for a laptop because it comes with a detachable keyboard which is sold separately. Microsoft hit the nail on the head with this high performing tablet you can use it comfortably on the go or at your desk.
Number of Amazon Customer Reviews: 653
Average Review Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Microsoft has a grand notion that this is the device that will finally bridge the tablet/laptop divide; an unified device on which you will be as comfortable watching video for entertainment as you will be preparing documents for work purposes.
On the aesthetics side, Microsoft have got the balance right, The Surface Pro 3 has long been regarded as one of the jewels in the Microsoft crown, thinner and lighter than its previous two iterations although coming with a much larger 12in display and higher screen resolution than ever before.
The cover is a thing of beauty with its built in keyboard and there is also a kickstand that makes it incredibly user-friendly when used as a tablet only. You should note, however, that the keyboard cover is only available separately, but it is nice to know that such a beautiful and functional option is readily available to take your tablet use to the next level.
Also incorporated into the sleek body is a full-size USB 3.0 port (hooray! we say!), a microSD card port, a mini DisplayPort, 5mp and 1080p HD front- and rear-facing cameras in addition to stereo speakers with Dolby Audio sound.
Display & Speakers
The Microsoft Surface Pro 3 has a 10.8in Full HD touchscreen of 1920×1280-pixel resolution, and it’s fast enough, clear enough, colourful enough and responsive enough to handle anything you could possibly throw at it.
To get the most out of this tablet, we feel it’s recommended to get your hands on the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Cover. It’s a beautiful thing, with backlit, mechanical keys, with QWERTY layout, and a full row of function keys (F1-F12) and it even comes complete with a pen holder for the Microsoft Surface Pen for Surface Pro 3, which is supplied as part of this package (it’s also available as a separate). Of course, neither of these features are indispensable, but they will definitely add huge degrees of functionality to your tablet usage, as it will turn the tablet into a de facto laptop as well as an electronic notebook.
This is quite heavyweight in performance terms. In addition to SSD storage options ranging from 64GB right up to 512GB, there’s a choice of 4GB or 8GB of RAM. Along with the Intel Core i5 1.9Ghz processor, this is incredibly powerful, and it’s little wonder that some critics proclaim it as a device that could well replace a laptop or standard desktop computer.
With a high resolution video streaming in the browser, with brightness and volume up to the mx, we got over seven hours of playback time. You’re going to get considerable more than that with standard usage. It’s still not up to the mark of Apple’s best iPads, but it’s still very good.
Best Tablet Review – Microsoft Surface Pro – Summary
This is an incredibly good tablet, almost on a par with the iPad, that can be coupled with an exceptionally good keyboard accessory. However, it is very easy to use, and we could well imagine someone who’s flitting between laptop and PCs opting to consolidate their computing activity with a device like the Microsoft Surface Pro.
|Microsoft Surface Pro 3 - Our Verdict|
|Premium standard build and design quality, with great extras like the keyboard cover (not supplied) and the Surface Pen (supplied), this is a real cut above in the tablet sector. Highly recommended.|
|Microsoft Surface Pro 3 - Pros||Microsoft Surface Pro 3 - Cons|
|Design and build are wonderful, the display is crystal clear and responsive, and performance is monstrously good.||It's a shame the keyboard is not included, as there is no storage for the stylus, and as a standalone the tablet seems a bit naked.|
At 6.1mm thick, Apple’s iPad Air 2 is certainly amongst the thinnest tablets available on the market. However despite this the Air 2 is as sturdy as they come, with incredible processing power and up to 10 hours of battery life. This is a universal tablet that would suit everyone, with its stunning 9.7in Retina display and an interface that is almost laughably easy to use.
Other features are like a succession of cherries atop an already delicious cake, including the self-adjusting screen that intuitively combats glare anywhere, whether inside or outdoors. We also loved the spilt-view feature that enables the user you to, for example, process emails while browsing the web or watching TV shows and movies on Netflix in another window.
Number of Amazon Customer Reviews: 5,467
Average Review Rating: 4.6 out of 5 Stars
The Apple iPad Air 2 has been one of the best selling Apple products, and that is not at all surprising. True, its 16GB memory will limit its use for some people, its performance in general is unsurpassable. When it was released, it was first hyped as the best tablet ever, and it was a view that gradually more and more users and reviewers began to subscribe to. And even today, it retains its power to surprise. It’s a little beast of a tablet, and we truly love it.
Display & Speakers
Simply put, the iPad Air 2 Retina display is stunning. Apple claims there is zero air between the layers that compose the display (backlight, touchscreen digitiser, LCD), and the display is also less reflective than on previous iPads (and also self-adjusting, as noted). What is surprising to the lay user is that the device is only 0.24in (6.1mm) thick, therefore one of the slimmest tablets available.
Something else that feels wonderful, and ever so Apple, is its seamless operation and built. It performs as flawlessly as it looks, and it is comfortable enough even for single-handed usage. An ergonomic marvel, like much of Apple’s products, you may well be loathe to obscure its elegance behind a protective case, but we think you’d be advised to get some form of protective cover, to fend off the scuffs and scrapes (and possibly worse) that will befall it in regular day to day use.
The speaker grille is a single row of holes alone the bottom of the tablet (rather than the twin row of the iPad Air), and the device is available in three colors—gold as well as space grey and silver. One thing that is gone from previous editions that we really liked is the mute button, although this is still accessible, just a screen swipe away, in the Control Centre.
The iPad Air 2’s front and rear cameras on the iPad Air 2 are just fine if taking photographs and editing video on an iPad are your thing. This is not our preferred mode of tablet usage, but both cameras take good quality pictures, and there is a plethora of modes and editing options available, including time lapse mode, burst mode and panorama mode.
The iPad Air 2 can be updated to the latest iOS, and in this edition of the device there are all kinds of improved apps such as Maps, Siri, News and Flipboard. Another new feature on the iPad Air 2 is multi-tasking, which you’ll now be able to do properly via the Split View, Slide Out and Picture-In-Picture modes.
The A8X chipset in the iPad Air 2 gives a performance speed that’s superior to its fastest competitors by up to 40 percent. There is absolutely no lag at all, even when you’re multi-tasking between a large number of apps.
The Apple IPad Air 2 has a very decent duration of battery. It comfortably provides up to 10 hours of usage time if you want to browse the internet and/or watch video. However, more rigorous testing in the form of looped video at maximum brightness and volume reveals that it’s possible to exert a serious toll on the battery. Gaming is also pretty demanding on the juice as well, so it would be wise to invest in a portable power source if you’re a gamer and intend to use this machine a lot for gaming while on the go. On the other side of that coin, when the iPad Air 2 is idling, power leakage is almost non-existent.
Best 9 Inch Tablet Review – Apple iPad Air 2 – Summary
This is an extremely effective upgrade of the original iPad Air. It’s lighter, significantly more slim, and the performance is nothing short of outstanding. Graphic quality and video visuals are stunning, and audio is incredibly impressive also. Perhaps battery life is the only negative note that we might sound here.
|Apple iPad Air 2 - Our Verdict|
|The Apple iPad Air 2 is one of the finest tablets available in this or any other year. Only the most censorious critics will be able to find fault with it. For the general user, it's as close as you get to perfection.|
|Apple iPad Air 2 - Pros||Apple iPad Air 2 - Cons|
|The big standout is that signature Apple solidity and aesthetic elegance, slick processing power and seamless functionality.||It's really difficult to find fault with the Apple iPad Air 2 at all. At one time, pricing would have been an issue, but the passage of time has sorted even that problem.|
Don’t let the bright colours deceive you, the Nabi Jr Kids Tablet is not a toy but an educational tool that makes learning fun for kids. The tablet has 30 pre-loaded child-friendly apps, so everything is age appropriate.
Number of Amazon Customer Reviews: 578
Average Review Rating: 3.4 out of 5 Stars
This Nabi device was in the vanguard of efforts to create a safe, educational tablet computing experience for children, with all of the educational benefits of the Internet, leavened with the best and most appropriate entertainment, and also equipped with the parental controls to ensure that usage times and particular content remained child-friendly.
It’s aimed at children in the 3-6 years age group, and the design is appealing to look at, protective to fend off child-like tumbles and drops, and very comfortable for little hands to hold. While the physical design is good, where this falls down is with its web browser, which is not very child friendly. However, its user-interface is lovely, and the built-in parental controls give a high degree control over content and usage times.
The touch screen is quite small (just 5in) but one nice thought is the 720p 2mp camera at the top of the device, which can be rotated through 180-degrees to face the fact. There are speakers on either side of the camera (at upper left and upper right), and the volume keys are on the right, and the headphone jack, microSD card slot and charger port are on the left.
Display & Speakers
The Nabi Jr 800×480-pixel screen is notably lower resolution than the other tablets on this review page, so we were pleasantly surprised by the quality of video and images on the display. Colours are bright and vibrant, viewing angles were just fine, and cartoons like Sonic the Hedgehog were a sheer pleasure to watch. Even movies are pretty decent to watch. There is nothing here that is ‘bad’ quality, although darker scenes in movies appear very dark, almost unwatchable, on the Nabi Jr display.
What was very impressive to use was the quality of the front-facing speakers. Music is very satisfying indeed via the speakers, with good separation, clear vocals, and can be played at a loud volume with no distortion. As noted, this was a pleasant surprise, especially when compared with the performance of some infinitely larger tablets on the market today.
The Nabi Jr runs on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, and it has two interfaces, one for children, one for parents. Parent mode is a standard Android interface, enabling you to easily scroll through apps and widgets, manage settings and download materials and apps. Child mode sorts apps into categories, and arranges these categories in coloured ties across the display. It’s quite lovely, and can easily be toggled to a standard thumbnail view, even while in Child mode.
The parental controls in the Nabi Jr is pretty good. You can handpick the apps that your children will be able to access, monitor their usage, and you can even use it to encourage responsible family life by getting them to take part in the Chore List app game.
There are around 30 or so apps in this little tablet out of the box, all of which are educational or child-oriented. It also comes preloaded with Spinlets+ TV, which gives full episode of a host of kids shows, with the first 30 days for free, and then a monthly membership for a very reasonable fee. However, the device is not preloaded with the Amazon app store (although apps can be downloaded from there in Parent mode).
The Nabi Jr has a Nvidia Tegra 2 Cortex-A9 CPU with 512MB of RAM, which is pretty surprising for a machine this small. Performance is impressively slick, with only a slight lag when loading up windows in the Internet browser. Things come up in a matter of seconds, more than swift enough for young users. The camera is crisp and clear enough to satisfy any young child getting accustomed to tablet photography for the first time. The fact that it can be rotated through 180-degrees makes it ideal for selfies and other fun activities.
Battery life is by far the poorest thing about the Nabi Jr. With continuous web surfing it’s unlikely you will get much more than four and a half hours.
Best Tablet Review – Nabi Jr. 5in Kids Tablet – Summary
The Nabi Jr. 5in Kids Tablet is a whole mixed bag of tablet performance. It has a very satisfying educational ecosystem and operating system, in addition to parental controls, which mean that you’ll be able to let your toddlers use it with complete peace of mind. On the other hand, older kids might find its selection of preloaded apps quite limiting. There is a one-year warranty to cover defective devices.
|Nabi Jr. 5in Kids Tablet - Our Verdict|
|This is an excellent introduction to tablet computing for very young kids, but for youngsters with more computing experience, it might be a little limited.|
|Nabi Jr. 5in Kids Tablet - Pros||Nabi Jr. 5in Kids Tablet - Cons|
|Very attractive, child-friendly design; a decent preloaded selection of children's apps, as well as a suite of tight parental controls.||The web browser is not particularly child-friendly, there's no direct access to Google Play or Amazon App Store, and battery life is poor.|
The Samsung’s Galaxy Tab A 10.1 is perfect to watch your favourite films on or catch up with the latest news on its striking 10.1″ hi-resolution screen. With up to 13 hours’ battery life, this is a perfect tablet for entertainment lovers.
Powered by an Octa-core processor, the Galaxy Tab A is an incredibly smooth operator. And if you go for the edition that comes with the S-Pen Stylus (a package that costs just a little bit more) you’ll be able to use it to use the tablet like a traditional notepad, writing notes directly onto the touchscreen.
Number of Amazon Customer Reviews: 2,363
Average Review Rating: 4.3 out of 5 Stars
The casing of the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 is good quality, and it has narrow bezels so it’s not much larger than (and therefore does not overpower) the beautiful display, which is a centrepiece feature of this device. At 1.16lbs, it weighs a little bit more than some of the other tablets here, and so might be a little bit more cumbersome for people with smaller hands to use. The available casings colors are white or black with silver accents, which create a classic, low key impression, and which will blend in well regardless of your surroundings, whether that’s at work, in the home or at school.
Rather surprisingly for its degree of computing sophistication, we found the Galaxy Tab A 10.1 to be a tough, rugged appliance, that you’ll be able to use with complete peace of mind, particularly if you’re taking it with you every day from place to place. You’ll be able to carry it around in your bag, and, particularly if you give it a protective case, there’s no reason to assume that you won’t be using the tablet for years to come.
Display & Speakers
The Tab A 10.1 display has quite remarkable clarity on its 1920×1200-pixel touchscreen with its pixel density of 224ppi. Another standout feature is the screen’s 16:10 aspect ratio, which is longer and narrower than the standard 4:3. However, if you prefer to use your tablet in portrait configuration, please bear in mind that we considered this to be superior ratio for landscape orientation. For portrait orientation? Not so much.
The stereo speakers on this model are located along the short edges of the device. The sound is pretty decent for internal speakers on a moderately priced tablet, even when it’s used in a quite noisy environment. Real audiophiles, however, are likely going to be looking for the boost that a portable Bluetooth speaker can give. Alternatively, headphones will work just as well if you’re not using the tablet with other people.
There is a microSD slot for a card, and the non S Pen version is sometimes bundled with a 32GB card. Whatever the case, it is easy to upgrade the machine’s storage capacity to well beyond that. There is also a micro USB v2.0 pot for charging with the supplied cable. Another feature that we liked on this appliance was its physical Home button and back and overview buttons. These do not take up any display space, and they’re easily found.
There is a pretty decent quality 8mp rear-facing camera with (unusually) a flash. The 2mp front camera is great for video conferencing, Skyping or FaceTime. These are both good quality items, but again, they’re not truly essential on a tablet. They are certainly no threat to the quality of images that a smartphone would provide.
As we’ve already said, if you prefer taking notes to typing, it’s worth investing in the edition of this package that is bundled with the S Pen Stylus. As a funky extra in that edition, there is a slot in the tablet body for storing the stylus. It’s a very nice extra indeed and worth the additional investment.
The Tab A 10.1 has an Android 6.0 Marshmallow running on a 1.6 GHz octa-core Exynos 7870 processor chip. This may not be the most powerful set-up, but it is certainly more than capable of meeting the demands that would be placed upon it for regular, everyday use. It might not be powerful enough for gaming or more specialised, advanced computing work, however.
There is a 7300 mAh battery in the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 which is quite adequate for moderate use. This kind of usage is going to have a generous battery life of up to 13 hours. However, if you’re constantly streaming video at a high brightness and volume settings, you will not get anything like this sort of battery life, and will need to keep the machine well charge or close to a fixed or portable power source at all times.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 – Summary
The Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 has a very large, attractive display screen and decent quality speakers, and it has sufficient processing power to meet all the demands that might be placed upon it in moderate, everyday usage. Battery life is generous, and the price tag is not unreasonable. It may be a little bit on the heavy side for some tastes, but that’s a sacrifice that might be unavailable in return for processing power and battery life.
|Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 - Our Verdict|
|There is nothing about the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 that would strike us as a deal-breaker. While it is not outstandingly powerful, it is a well designed and built tablet computer that is very good value for money.|
|Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 - Pros||Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 - Cons|
|The chief attractions of the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 are its display and sound quality, and its more than decent battery life.||Some users might find the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 a little bit too hefty, while its performance is nothing particularly special.|
The Microsoft Surface Pro 4 is an upgrade from the Pro 3. It’s thinner and lighter with a slightly larger and higher resolution display. The high contrast and low glare screen makes it perfect for use on the go and reading.
Number of Amazon Customer Reviews: 853
Average Review Rating: 3.6 out of 5 Stars
At the outset, we have to remonstrate with Microsoft for not bundling this device with the laptop. Yes, it would add another $100 or so to the overall value of the package. But by packaging it as a whole, with the keyboard as an integral part, rather than a ‘separate’ it would probably make it feel less like a sum of parts and more of a singular entity.
With that out of the way, let’s stop lamenting for what might have been and take a reasonably close look at what is. The good news is that this is without any debate whatsoever, the best Windows tablet on the market. In design terms alone, quite apart the add-on keyboard functionality, this is a complete winner. It’s one of the largest touchscreens in tablet land (12.3in) housed in a 15.17in x 9.21in x 1.58in casing. For all that, however, this still weighs only 1.7lbs, so even if it’s a little less compact, it’s certainly not a demanding weight for your bag or rucksack. Even with the keyboard cover, this still weighs just 2.5lbs.
There is a kickstand that can be adjusted to nearly any angle from 22 to 150 degrees. It’s a very durable kickstand, and will resist pretty much any pressure, whether you’re using your fingers or the stylus on the touchscreen. On the stylus, this can now be connected via magnetic connection strip to the right side of the keyboard—a big improvement over previous Surface editions.
Display & Speakers
The display is a wonderful thing. Having now grown to 12.3in, there has been a resolution increase to 2736×1824-pixels, with an aspect ratio of 3:2, exactly the same as A4 paper, which gears the Surface Pro 4 well towards work on layouts in standard paper sizes.
The stylus pen and keyboard are wonderful features, but as we remarked at the outset, it is a pity that the keyboard has not been bundled as an integral (if detachable) base component of the Surface Pro 4. Yes, some people don’t need it, some people don’t even want it, but many do, and those who do might regard it as unfortunate that they’re not packaged together, and stick with their laptops. Is this timidity on Microsoft’s part? Whatever the reason, it seems self-defeating for a company that makes it a mission to bridge the worlds of the laptop and the tablet.
This performs a little bit faster than the Surface Pro 4. You can choose from a variety of processors (Intel Core M, Core i5 and Core i7), and there is a whopping 8GB of RAM. Any of these configurations will provide swift processing power, whether on demanding software packages such as Photoshop, or the latest graphics-heavy games.
Battery life is pretty unremarkable for a machine this advanced. We were disappointed. We expected something with a bit more poke than six and a half hours with nothing more than a looped hi-res video with brightness and volume turned up. Of course, there will be a bit more power if you use the machine more moderately than such a test would permit, but we still expected more of the Surface Pro 4.
Best Tablet Review – Microsoft Surface Pro 4 – Summary
This is lightweight for easy portability despite the size increase, and the display and sound is quite wonderful. Even with the keyboard included in the configuration, it can be carried around much more conveniently than many laptops, and this suggests that Microsoft have made great strides towards its magical formula of a tablet that could replace a laptop. But given the importance of this mission to Microsoft, we’re baffled at the continued packaging of the keyboard as an accessory.
|Microsoft Surface Pro 4 - Our Verdict|
|This is a fantastic quality tablet, which can handle all tasks thrown at it without any lag in performance. We would have preferred if Microsoft had included the keyboard cover along with the tablet, but it's nice to have the option. However, until Microsoft go down this road, this will still seem like a compilation of separates, rather than a unified machine.|
|Microsoft Surface Pro 4 - Pros||Microsoft Surface Pro 4 - Cons|
|Great display, great sound, and quality of build is excellent. It's a winner in design terms.||Battery life is rather disappointing as is the continued non-inclusion of the keyboard cover with the tablet.|