The Coolest, Best Tablets In 2016

tablet 2016

What is a tablet?

The tablet is actually a shortened name for tablet computer which is a mobile computer that comes complete with a touchscreen interface together with a battery and circuitry and it is all contained in one device. This is bigger than most modern smartphones but definitely smaller compared to a notebook.

  • Are cheap tablets worth buying?

Through modern innovations, tablets are now offered for a fraction of the price that they used to sell for. There are cheap tablets that are gaining much attention. There are new, cool, fast tablets with processing speeds as high as a normal personal computer. Whether a low or high end tablet will work for you or not will depend on the purpose that you have in mind. If you are looking for a tablet that works at the speed of light and can handle multitasking without a hitch, then cheaper tablets may not keep up with the pace that you have in mind. But if however, you are just into basic functions such as surfing the web, visiting social media sites and other web-related activities, these cheap tablets would be a wise buy.

The Coolest & Best Tablet Reviews:

Android vs iPad vs Windows

Android vs iPad vs Windows

All these Operating Systems happen to have some strength and weaknesses and they are all worth considering. Android devices offer the greatest flexibility among these three while iPad is a strong contender for having one of the simplest operating systems. Meanwhile, Windows happen to be a great choice for those who cannot live without their desktop apps.

Display

lenovo-tablets-windows-thinkpad8

This is also related to the size of the tablet’s screen. For cheaper tablets, it’s close to impossible to find one which has an AMOLED display but at a minimum, it should have an IPS panel, one with the highest possible resolution.

Tablets usually have a seven-inch display and you should not accept anything with a resolution less than 1280×720 pixels otherwise, you will see the pixels on your screen.

Keep in mind that the size of your screen is entirely based on your preference, bigger screens usually have a longer battery life and obviously, it is easier to read the display. Meanwhile, if portability is what you have in mind, one with a smaller screen would be the most practical choice.

Connectivity

tablet Connectivity

Some tablets that are available today can be connected through WIFI only while there are others that you can probably connect through cellular data that is hooked to a certain mobile service provider.

If you want a tablet that is highly portable, going for the one that supports cellular data might be the best option for you but this is more expensive.

Bluetooth support is another thing to consider as well as wireless charging. For connecting your device to a computer, try to consider the ideal cable. Apple tablets, for instance, have a proprietary cable that can be used for charging the tablet.

Storage

Most tablets today already have a slot for the micro SD card which is ideal since you would be able to extend the memory of your gadget. Older tablets will lack this slot but almost all of the new tablets now support miscroSD cards.

At a minimum, consider a tablet with 16GB storage space. There are some tablets with a lower storage capacity at 8 GB but apparently, buying one with such a limited storage system would not be in your best interests since you will be out of much-needed space soon.

Processor and memory

tablet Processor and memoryChecking on the performance of the tablet will always be the prime consideration over what the specs say. Remember that not all devices with the same specs can perform equally. Most of the built-in memory or the RAM ranges from 1 GB to 3 GB, it is always better to go for the one with bigger memory.

As for the processor, this will differ depending on the brand. Processors are labeled as the dual core, quad core and octa core, the higher the number of cores, the better the performance. Many tablets out there use Qualcomm’s ARM processor but Intel is also starting to gain popularity and is currently considered as the best one out there. Of course, the Intel Core CPU processor is way better than Intel Atom and this processor can be seen often on tablets that run on Windows.

Camera

tablet cameraThe minimum spec for the camera when you have a tablet is 5 MP. Many people who own tablets don’t pay much attention to this feature since the smartphone market is the one that puts more emphasis on the need for a high-end camera. There are many tablets today that come with two cameras and this is actually a good device when you are in video calls.

Size and weight

Tablets come in a wide range of sizes. The typical tablet is 7 inches but to those who are into larger screen displays, the one on the 10-inch screen would be a good choice. The size would be a highly personal matter and this would be based on the needs of the user.

The weight of the device would also be dependent not just on how big the tablet’s display is but also on the materials from which the tablet is made of.

Battery life

Battery life is another interesting thing about a tablet; you need to know how long it will last. For tablets, the minimum battery life should be 6 hours. You should also inquire how long it will take to charge the tablet since this is another important factor especially when portability is a huge consideration.

Buying Guide

  • Is portability a priority?

When portability is one of the most important considerations, you need to make sure that the battery life would be really long. Aside from that, you also need to make sure that the tablet is 8 inches or smaller and that it is highly lightweight.

  • What’s your budget?

Most tablets come with a $200 price range and these often have a screen display of 7 to inches meanwhile tablets that usually have a 10-inch display often comes at a $350 price range.

BEST ANDROID TABLETS

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 8.0

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 8.0

This tablet is a worthy contender for Apple’s iPad Mini 4 and it has a lightweight design which makes it really very easy to use and navigate.

Features

  • Tablet has a 3 GB RAM and an Octa-core processor (Exynos 5433)
  • Comes with a pixel density of 320ppi
  • Supports Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GNSS and a 4G LTE

Pros

  • Multitasking will never be a problem with this tablet with its Octacore processor
  • Has a Super AMOLED display to decrease power consumption
  • The tablet’s sensors are very sensitive and it even comes with a finger scanner sensor

Cons

  • Has an 8 MP main camera with no flash
  • Does not have a proximity sensor
  • No temperature sensor is present

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NVIDIA Shield Tablet K1

NVIDIA Shield Tablet K1

The Shield is the first tablet that can be used to stream games through the Nvidia Grid where you have a wide array the of the online game to choose from.

Features

  • This is powered by the Tegra K1 192 core GPU
  • Resolution is currently at 1080p HD
  • Has an internal 2GB RAM

Pros

  • Highly portable PC Gaming through Gamestream
  • This comes with a processor that is highly powerful
  • Has a great form factor

Cons

  • Has a highly limited 16 GB storage
  • Squishy buttons for the volume button and the power rocker
  • The tablet’s battery life is not that great

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Google Pixel C

Google Pixel C

This is a top of the end Android tablet which is the perfect alternative for an iPad. This tablet has been uniquely designed by the search engine giant Google.

Features

  • Has a powerful 64GB memory
  • Aspect ratio for the tablet is 1:1.42
  • Has a 3GB RAM and uses the Nvidia Tegra X1 chip

Pros

  • Has a huge display screen
  • Can switch easily between different apps
  • Battery life is really long

Cons

  • Does not have a cellular model and you are reliant on Wi-Fi for web connectivity
  • Does not have a microSD slot or a USB port
  • There is no trackpad or stylus

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Nexus 9

Google Nexus 9

Great screen quality is one of the major features of this tablet which is basically everything that Google has at a relatively low-priced gadget.

Features

  • Comes with a 2 GB RAM and a dual-core 2.6 GHz processor
  • Has a resolution of 1536 x 2048
  • Front camera is 1.6 the MP while the main camera is 8 MP

Pros

  • Aspect ratio is highly ideal at 4:3
  • Comes with a knock to wake feature
  • The speakers for this tablet are very strong

Cons

  • The quality of the display is not up to par
  • There is no microSD slot
  • Tablet design is quite uninspiring

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Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet

Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet

This is an impressive tablet that is thin and light and comes with software that could boost powerful performance and an impressive battery life.

Features

  • Runs on Android 5.0 Lollipop
  • Has a 64 bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor
  • Comes with a 3 GB RAM

Pros

  • Can be waterproofed and dust proofed
  • Has a Wi-Fi only model and one with 3G and 4G connectivity
  • Comes with a very long battery life

Cons

  • Price is higher compared to other tablets with the same quality
  • The Bluetooth keyboard is bundled with the device
  • Keys seem to be too small

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Dell Venue 8 7000

Dell Venue 8 7000

Dell made claims that this is the thinnest tablet in the world and it is certainly one of the most attractive tablets in the current generation.

Features

  • Comes with RealSense technology from Intel
  • This is an 8.4-inch tablet with a 2,560×1,600 resolution
  • Has an infinity display which is edge to edge

Pros

  • Comes with an impressive display
  • Tablet is considered to be the thinnest one yet
  • Is highly lightweight

Cons

  • Camera quality seems to be mediocre
  • Some features do not live to its expectations
  • The off-center style is not likable to all Dell users

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Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro

Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro

This has been dubbed as the ultimate video tablet gave its ability to stream a wide array of online videos making it the perfectly portable tablet.

Features

  • Has a front 5 MP camera and a 13 MP rear camera
  • Comes with a 780p resolution
  • Has a quad-core Intel Atom x5-Z8500

Pros

  • Has a very sharp display quality
  • Comes with a built-in projector and a great multimedia feature
  • Has a powerful performance and a solid camera

Cons

  • May contain some bloatware
  • This may have a higher price compared to other tablets
  • Can be a bit bulky

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AMAZON FIRE OS TABLET

Amazon Fire

Amazon Fire 7 inches

This is a fast and highly responsive tablet from Amazon that comes complete with all the necessary requirements that you would have for a tablet for everyday use.

Features

  • Has a vivid display with a 1024 x 600 IPS resolution
  • Comes with a front facing VGA camera and a 2 MP rear camera
  • Has a quad-core 1.3 GHz processor

Pros

  • Great size for reading e-books
  • Access to kids to the tablet can be restricted
  • Battery life could last for a very long time

Cons

  • Screen resolution is not up to par
  • The speaker is a bit too weak
  • Camera quality is not great

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Amazon Fire Kids Edition

Amazon Fire Kids Edition

This is just the kind of tablet that you need when your kids will be the one to use the device and there is a kid proof case which makes it more difficult for children to destroy it.

Features

  • Comes with a 2-year guarantee for Amazon to replace the product when it is broken
    Has parental control features allowing you to limit your child’s access to online material
    Comes with a 7″ screen size

Pros

  • Price is really low
  • When the device is broken within the warranty period, it will be replaced
    Specifically made for kids making it highly durable

Cons

  • Has a tendency to run too slow
  • May have a lower internal memory than ideal
  • Battery life can be a bit shorter than expected

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Amazon Fire HD 8

Amazon Fire HD 8

This is considered to be Amazon’s thinnest tablet but it is also among the most durable tablet brands in the market today.

Features

  • Tablet has an 8 inch HD display and an 189 ppm resolution
  • This runs with an updated Fire OS 5 user interface
  • Has a 1.5 GHz processor

Pros

  • Gives you access to a lot of free music and books
  • Allows you to maintain parental controls
  • Can be used for up to 8 hours

Cons

  • There tends to be a lag when you are switching windows
  • Device has a tendency to reboot
  • Screen resolution looks good but it can’t be considered as great

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IOS TABLET

Apple iPad Mini

Apple iPad Mini

This new tablet from Apple is a smaller version of the more popular mobile computer and this is a lighter and thinner version of the tablet.

Features

  • This tablet comes with an impressive resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels
  • It comes with an A5 processor
  • Comes with a 5 MP camera

Pros

  • Compatible with all apps in the Apple Store
  • Has an estimated battery life of 10 hours
  • Supports LTE connectivity

Cons

  • Does not come with the retina display
  • The processor is a bit too slow
  • Operating system, the iOS 6, has several weaknesses

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Apple iPad Air

Apple iPad Air

This is a remarkable tablet from Apple and it is considered to be part of the fifth generation. Plus, it comes with remarkable specs.

Features

  • This runs on iOS7 with a 64-bit A7 chip
  • Has a 9.7 inch Retina display
  • Weighs only 1 pound

Pros

  • Comes with a gorgeous retina display
  • Battery life is considered to be above average
  • Has an impressive front-facing camera

Cons

  • Does not have the touch id fingerprint scanner
  • Camera quality is similar to iPad 4
  • Does not have the 802.11 as

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WINDOWS TABLET

Microsoft Surface Book

Microsoft Surface Book

This tablet has been dubbed by Microsoft as “ultimate” and it is well deserved since there are a lot of people who find this as likable.

Features

  • Has an 8 GB RAM
  • Comes with an OS that runs on Windows
  • Comes with a maximum 12-hour battery life

Pros

  • There are several configuration options to pick from
  • Battery life is one of the best in its category
  • Comes with a comfortable keyboard

Cons

  • Device appears fatter when it is shut
  • When in laptop mode, it tends to wobble a bit
  • Battery life isn’t that long when it is in tablet mode

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Surface Pro 4

Surface Pro 4

The new design of the new Surface Pro is considered to be more impressive than previous models and it also happens to be lighter and thinner.

Features

  • Screen resolution is 2736 x 1824
  • Runs with Windows 10 Pro and a PixelSense display
  • RAM starts at 4 GB and a 128GB SSD

Pros

  • Has USB 3.0, a MicroSD slot as well as a Mini-DisplayPo
  • Rear camera is a bit decent starting at 5MP to as high as 8 MP
  • The tablet works faster compared to other tablets

Cons

  • Tablet design would feel a bit awkward at times
  • The price seems to be a bit too high
  • Using this tablet for a long time can be a bit hard to do given its weight

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HP Spectre x2

HP Spectre x2

This tablet and ultrabook combination are a close rival of the Surface Pro. It comes with a solid keyboard and an attractive body made from metal.

Features

  • Screen resolution is 1920×1080
  • Runs on Windows 10 and comes with a 8 GB RAM
  • Has an Intel Core 1.2 GHz m7-6Y75 processor

Pros

  • Keyboard feels great and is detachable
  • Kickstand is one of a kind and highly impressive
  • There are two Type C USB Ports

Cons

  • USB port is still 2.0
  • Battery life is disappointing
  • Hinge button is a bit stiff

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HP Pavilion x2

HP Pavilion x2

This is an awesome 2 in 1 tablet that is considered to have one of the best prices to performance ratio making it a great gadget.

Features

  • Tablet has a Windows 10 Home OS
  • Weighs 1.2 kilograms
  • Storage is 32 GB to 1 TB SSD

Pros

  • The tablet comes with the full-size USB on tablet
  • This device happens to be quite cheap
  • Comes with an ideal operating system

Cons

  • The keyboard dock does not have any extra port
  • Tablet display is low resolution
  • Has a small internal storage

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Lenovo Yoga 900

Lenovo Yoga 900

This convertible hybrid laptop happens to be one of the best as far as design and construction are concerned.

Features

  • Processor is a powerful Intel Core i7 CPU
  • Comes with a 16 GB RAM
  • Has a 13.3 screen size and a resolution of 3840 x 2160

Pros

  • Comes with a USB-C port
  • Resolution display is higher than 1080 p
  • Battery life is really long at 11 hours

Cons

  • Color display on the screen is not too vivid
  • The trackpad can be a bit clicky
  • This connects to an external display

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Dell Venue 11 Pro 7000

Dell Venue 11 Pro 7000

This convertible hybrid laptop happens to be one of the best as far as design and construction is concerned.

Features

  • Has Intel HD Graphics and the Intel Atom Z3770 processor
  • Main camera resolution is 8 MP
  • Battery size is 32 mAh and could last for 9 hours

Pros

  • Tablet’s battery could last for an entire day
  • You can charge the tablet through a microUSB
  • You can swap the batteries in the device

Cons

  • The device does not come with a stylus dock
  • There’s only a single USB 3.0 port
  • A keyboard dock will be costing you extra

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Conclusion

There are different kinds of tablets out there and the best choice would be highly dependent on the requirements that you are expecting to see and experience in a certain gadget. Your budget would be a primary consideration too. Needless to say, there are a lot of great, cool tablets that are available at a really affordable price.

Thao Nyugen
As editor in chief, Thao Nguyen is responsible for the editorial direction, media platforms, and business strategy of Technology Review.