Our selection for the best tablets to buy by the end of 2023

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Sitting midway between the realms of smartphones and laptops, touchscreen tablets continue to hold a significant presence in the market. Explore our 2023 comparison of the top touchscreen tablets to help in your decision-making as the year draws to a close.

While the tablet market may not exhibit the same dynamism witnessed in previous years, it continues to garner appreciation from consumers. Positioned between the expanding landscape of smartphones and the functionality of laptops, tablets typically feature touch panels ranging from 8 to 13 inches. Historically, Apple’s iPads have dominated the tablet market, standing out as premier models across various price brackets.

Recent developments showcase tablets encroaching upon the domain of ultraportable computers, propelled by increasingly potent processors and accessories such as keyboards that transform them into hybrid devices. Tablets are also ideal for family entertainment and on-the-go leisure. Additionally, they serve as valuable tools for students, particularly those in graphic arts, who can leverage them alongside a stylus.

The best tablets in the market in 2023

The Apple iPad Air M1 (2022): Top Contender for Best Tablet in 2023

In its 2022 iteration, the iPad Air finds itself in a more compelling comparison with the iPad Pro. The latest version of this high-end tablet boasts an upgrade to the Apple M1 processor, replacing the Bionic chip. This enhancement promises to deliver power akin to that found in MacBooks or even iPad Pros.

Remaining conservative in its design, Apple maintains the familiar lines of its new tablet. The 10.9-inch screen retains a Full HD display and a classic 60Hz refresh rate. The iPad Air also offers optional 5G compatibility, solidifying its status as the premier tablet on the market in 2023.

The entry-level price for the new iPad Air starts at $699 for the base version with 64 GB of storage.

For those looking to transform it into a more serious work machine, we recommend investing in a high-quality case/keyboard combination. In this category, the Logitech Folio stands out for its excellent build quality, comfortable keyboard, and the inclusion of a touchpad.

If the classic iPad Air feels a bit too large for your liking, consider the iPad mini. The new iteration features a modernized design, an Apple A15 processor, and an 8.3-inch display. While the price may see a slight increase, it presents an excellent compact alternative to the iPad Air.

The Apple iPad 10 (2022): A Family-Focused Tablet

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As is customary each year, Apple introduces the tenth generation of the iPad, refreshing its product lineup. Despite a slight increase in purchase price, surpassing $500 in the context of inflation, the iPad 10 comes with noteworthy new features. The introduction of the USB-C port, in particular, is a welcome addition, enhancing the longevity of your investment.

Foremost, the iPad 10 provides a comprehensive user experience with iPadOS, offering a plethora of apps and widgets. Everyday usage is a genuine pleasure, powered internally by the Apple A14 Bionic chip. The tablet is available in 64 or 256 GB storage capacities, with performance adequate for recreational use. However, for more demanding tasks, upgrading to an M1 is recommended.

In terms of battery life, the iPad 10 delivers a commendable two days of use without any issues. The included 120W charger allows the tablet to reach full capacity in just an hour and a half of charging. Noteworthy is the 10.9-inch LCD panel, boasting a brightness of 501 cd/mĀ² in tests, well-calibrated for everyday use. Additionally, a 12-megapixel wide-angle camera is positioned on the back of the iPad.

The primary drawback of the iPad 10 lies in its elevated price, priced at $589 for the 64 GB version and $789 for the 256 GB version. While it represents a necessary investment for those seeking a durable product, post-release promotions make it an enticing option with a compelling quality/price ratio.

The Apple iPad Pro 12.9 M2: Unrivaled Power in a Tablet

Following the 2021 iPad Pro that introduced the Apple M1 chip, also present in MacBooks, Apple continues the trend with the 6th generation, now featuring the M2 chip. This upgrade results in an impressive boost in performance.

In essence, the 2022 version closely resembles its 2021 counterpart, sporting a 12.9-inch mini-LED panel, a flat-edged aluminum chassis, a dual rear camera, and a USB-C port. Mini-LED technology, previously seen in some televisions, contributes to enhanced brightness and, more notably, a higher contrast ratio. Notably, this new screen technology is exclusive to the 12.9-inch version, not the 11-inch model. However, the standout feature of this new version is the arrival of the exceptionally powerful M2 chip.

The front camera undergoes a significant improvement, now featuring a 12MP ultra-wide-angle sensor. Leveraging the power of the M2 chip, it introduces an impressive tracking function during video calls, ensuring you remain centered in the frame.

Regrettably, a somewhat parsimonious move by Apple is the exclusion of a keyboard and stylus with the iPad Pro. Nonetheless, the Magic Keyboard is an excellent accessory, blurring the line between tablet and traditional computer even further when paired with the iPad Pro. It distinctly stands out as the premier tablet for professional tasks. However, the price tag reflects its advanced capabilities, nearing that of a high-end computer or even surpassing it, given recent price increases. The starting price stands at $1469 for 128 GB of storage capacity (WiFi).

The Apple iPad 9 (2021): Budget-Friendly Excellence

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The latest iteration of the Apple iPad in 2021 undergoes incremental improvements. The design remains familiar with its wide bezels and a front Home button featuring Touch ID. On the processing front, there’s a transition to the A13 Bionic Fusion chip, as seen in the iPhone 11, providing approximately 20% more power than its predecessor.

While not a powerhouse, the iPad delivers ample performance for the majority of tasks under optimal conditions. The camera module sees an upgrade, now featuring a 12MP sensor paired with a 122Ā° ultra-wide-angle lens. This new sensor introduces compatibility with Center Stage.

Maintaining the same 10.2-inch diagonal format as the previous year, the iPad now boasts True Tone compatibility in its panel, adapting the color temperature to ambient light. The Smart Connector remains present, facilitating connections with accessories such as keyboards or the Apple Pencil.

Charging through the Lightning port yields a commendable battery life of around ten hours, a notable feature for tablets in this category. It’s worth noting, however, that Apple has not transitioned its iPad range to USB-C, which some users may find disappointing.

While not revolutionary, the iPad 9 stands out as an honest update, serving as the go-to choice for those seeking an excellent tablet for non-professional use.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra: Pinnacle of Android Tablets

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In the competitive touchscreen tablet arena, Samsung stands as the primary contender against Apple. The newly unveiled Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra boasts an impressively slim profile at 5.5mm. While the tablet’s layout closely resembles its predecessor, the Tab S8 Ultra, with a distinguishing camera block, the overall design, including the notch, remains consistent. Notably, this model achieves IP68 certification, marking Samsung’s inaugural tablet to carry this water and dust resistance rating.

True to Samsung’s reputation, the touchscreen display excels. Featuring an AMOLED panel with a 16:10 aspect ratio, a refresh rate of up to 120Hz, and HDR10+ compatibility, the screen delivers a visually immersive experience. During testings, the interface showcased a commendable brightness of 976 cd/m2, although the Delta E score of 6.24 was somewhat disappointing.

The standout feature of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra lies in its exceptional performance. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 paired with a minimum of 12GB of RAM proves to be a powerful combination, delivering excellent results for demanding software and high-performance mobile games. Additionally, the tablet supports expandable storage through a micro SD card. In terms of performance, the Samsung tablet only finds competition from the iPad Pro.

Running on OneUI 5.1.1, the tablet offers a seamless software experience for daily use, while its camera performance is decent, if not extraordinary. The battery life, averaging about fifteen hours for mixed use, falls short of being groundbreaking, especially considering the two-hour charging time. Priced starting at ā‚¬1,349, the Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra emerges as the top Android tablet in the market, posing a formidable challenge to the iPad.

The Xiaomi Pad 6: Exceptional Value in the Android Tablet Arena

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Renowned in the smartphone market, Xiaomi has expanded its presence into the tablet domain, starting with the Pad 5. Its successor, the Pad 6, emerges as an outstanding mid-range model, offering a compelling blend of features and cost-effectiveness.

Sporting an 11-inch screen, Xiaomi’s tablet boasts a clean design and a well-crafted aluminum build. Despite utilizing an LCD panel, it delivers an impressive 2.8K resolution and an adaptable refresh rate of up to 144Hz. The display strikes a balance in terms of brightness, sufficient for indoor use, and color accuracy, with a slightly blue hue (7254K). The inclusion of a Snapdragon 870 chip is a welcome surprise, providing robust performance, especially in gaming. Xiaomi has equipped the tablet with a sizable 8840 mAh battery, promising up to 16 hours of usage according to the manufacturer. In real-world usage, the tablet proves capable of lasting several days with typical browsing and video playback.

True to Xiaomi’s style, the software experience is powered by MIUI, featured in version 14 based on Android 13. While it may lack some customization options, it remains user-friendly and efficient for multitasking. The tablet’s camera capabilities are commendable, making it a viable option for video calls.

With the Pad 6, Xiaomi solidifies its position in the mid-range segment of touchscreen tablets. It stands as a reliable choice for those seeking an alternative to the iPad without breaking the bank, offering a robust set of features at an enticing price point.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite: A Budget-Friendly Android Option

Galaxy Tab S6 Lite

The introduction of an entry-level tablet from Samsung is a notable event. As indicated by its name, the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite is a streamlined iteration of the Tab S6.

While maintaining exemplary design and build quality, Samsung does make some compromises, particularly with the display. In contrast to the vibrant Amoled screens found in other Samsung tablets, the Tab S6 Lite opts for a “simple” LCD panel. Despite lacking Amoled technology, the display is of high quality, with the main drawback being a slightly lower brightness. A more significant compromise is evident in the use of the relatively lightweight Exynos 9611 processor, especially noticeable during gaming with its 4GB of RAM. However, the tablet’s battery life remains commendable, offering approximately ten hours of use per charge.

In summary, Samsung presents a decent model with the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite. Although it falls short when compared to an iPad in a similar price range. For those committed to the Android ecosystem, it remains an intriguing choice, particularly considering its value for money.

The Honor Pad 8: Affordable Large-Format Tablet

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Concluding this lineup, we introduce the Honor Pad 8, a generously sized tablet available at a remarkably attractive price point. Honor, stepping into the tablet arena alongside active competitors like Xiaomi and Oppo, presents a device featuring a 12-inch LCD screen, a Snapdragon 680 SoC paired with 4 GB of RAM, and dual 5 MP photo sensors. The tablet offers a substantial 128 GB of storage capacity.

The Honor Pad 8 follows a conventional design for large touchscreen tablets, but it manages to distinguish itself with its expansive 12-inch panel. This sets it apart from competitors offering smaller screens at a comparable price. While the tablet utilizes an LCD display, the 2000 x 1200 px resolution and quality are commendable. With a well-covered sRGB color space.

Notably, the audio component of the Honor Pad 8 is a highlight, a relatively rare feature on tablets. Equipped with eight speakers, it delivers sufficiently powerful sound without significant distortion. It is an ideal choice for a comfortable movie-watching experience. However, the absence of a headphone jack requires reliance on Bluetooth audio devices or those connected via USB-C.

In terms of performance, the Honor Pad 8 lives up to expectations, providing smooth day-to-day operations and the ability to handle small games. Regarding battery life, the tablet impresses with a 7250mAh battery and 22.5W fast charging. Ensuring usage over several days with a 2-hour full charging time.

In summary, the Honor Pad 8 stands out as a perfect tablet for leisure, suited for sedentary use, and all at a genuinely appealing price.

The Google Pixel Tab: A Unique Concept with Mediocre Specifications

Google Pixel tablet

Marking Google’s reentry into the tablet market, the Pixel Tab offers an intriguing concept by including a dock that transforms the tablet into a Smart Display, akin to a Nest Hub. This dual functionality covers various uses, rendering the product particularly appealing for home use. However, despite its innovative approach, the Google touchscreen tablet falls short in terms of technical specifications, particularly given its price tag of $670. Its positioning, especially when compared to the iPad Air M1, proves to be notably challenging.

While the tablet’s adaptability as a Smart Display enhances its appeal for household applications, the lackluster technical specifications may leave some users wanting more. In a market where competitors offer robust features at similar or even lower price points, the Pixel Tab faces a tough comparison. Its pricing, especially when compared to the high-performance iPad Air M1, raises questions about its value proposition.

In essence, the Google Pixel Tab presents a unique and versatile concept but is challenged by its underwhelming technical specifications. Making its position in the market somewhat strained, particularly against formidable competitors.”

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