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Best tablet 2022: The top tablets from Apple, Amazon, Samsung and more

Nathan Spendelow Ben Johnston
29 Nov 2022
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Versatile and supremely portable, these are the best tablets on the market right now

Apple and Amazon dominate the tablet market but there are plenty of appealing alternatives out there, which makes choosing the best tablet for your needs less straightforward than it may first seem. With a huge number of models available in a range of sizes, running different operating systems and costing anywhere between £50 and £2,000, it can be hard to know which is the best tablet for you. That’s where we come in.

We’ve tested and reviewed tablets from all of the biggest manufacturers and put together a list of the most impressive across a range of categories. In addition to bitesize reviews of the best tablets on the market, we’ve included a comprehensive buying guide detailing which features you should prioritise and the other important things to consider before making a purchase.

All of the tablets on this list will enable you to surf the internet, write a quick email, stream a TV show or partake in a family Zoom call, but some do those things far better than others. So, if you want to ensure you’re getting the very best tablet that you can afford, read on.

READ NEXT: Our guide to buying a refurbished iPad online

Act quickly and you can grab a £100 discount on a 64GB iPad Air

Despite now being sold by Apple for £669, you can still take home a 64GB iPad Air for £569 on Amazon, provided you beat the price increase. As we explain in the roundup, it’s a high-performance piece of tech, whilst still managing to be pleasingly slim and light. It can be yours right now at a heavily discounted price.
Amazon
£669 via Apple
£569 via Amazon

Act fast and pay £60 less for a 64GB Ninth-generation Apple iPad

The Ninth-generation basic iPad has also seen a similar price increase, jumping up to £369 on Apple’s website. But, act quickly and you can grab it for a lower price at Amazon. In our roundup, we noted how this great all-rounder will be a top-value pick for most people - and that’s especially true at £309.
Amazon
£369 via Apple
£309 via Amazon

Prefer Android? Our top choice is now £200 off

If you're in the market for an Android tablet, this Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra offer is a steal. Previously costing £999, this big-screened beauty can now be had for just £799. It's not the cheapest that you'll find, but if you want the largest and most beautiful display from your tablet, this deal is the best way to get it.
Argos
Was £999
Now £799

Best tablet: At a glance


How to choose the best tablet for you

What do you need your tablet to do?

On paper, all tablets do mostly the same things. The difference comes in how well they perform. If you just want a tablet for browsing the internet, watching Netflix and maybe a little light gaming, a 12.9in iPad Pro is overkill, even if it does handle all of the aforementioned tasks brilliantly.

Likewise, if you want to use your tablet for any kind of demanding work – chopping up 4K video or playing the greatest mobile games – the cheap and cheerful Amazon Fire 8 HD isn’t going to cut it, either. If you’re caught somewhere in the middle, you’re looking at a price between the two. Set aside a budget of somewhere between £250 and £350 and you’ll have plenty of choice – especially if you’re happy looking at the previous generation of hardware for bargains.

READ NEXT: The best tablet deals this month

Which operating system do I need?

Tablets come with three main operating systems: iOS for iPads, Android or Windows for everything else. Amazon’s Fire tablets come with their own Fire OS but in reality, this is a heavily modified version of Android designed to sell you Amazon goods more effectively.

In some respects, it makes sense to stick to what you know when in search of the best tablet. It’s certainly easier to stay within the same ecosystem, as everything will have a great familiarity about it – and Apple products, in particular, are very good at syncing between Mac, iPhone and iPad. Likewise, if you’ve only ever used iPhones and Windows laptops, taking the plunge with Android will take a little getting used to. But, in truth, it doesn’t matter which one you use that much, what with cloud storage being what it is. It’s very easy to move documents and files between all three, be it through Dropbox, Google Drive or OneDrive.

READ NEXT: The best iPad cases

Do you want to draw or type with your tablet?

Tablets are designed to be poked with the finger, although as a general rule, iOS and Android have a better handle on this than Windows. All the same, certain devices have their own pressure-sensitive stylus for drawing or note-taking. In the case of iPads, this is the Apple Pencil for the iPad and first-gen iPad Pro tablets or the second-gen Apple Pencil for the more recent iPad Pro tablets. Sadly, you won’t get a stylus included with your iPad so you do need to factor the cost into the overall price if you plan on using one.

Microsoft Surface devices all support the Surface Pen, which is again sold separately. A number of Samsung’s tablets come with the company’s own S Pen in the box, too.

Included keyboards are even less common, but as a rule of thumb, you can use any Bluetooth keyboard with a tablet. Some, such as Logitech’s K780, are designed to be used with multiple Bluetooth devices and even contain a raised lip to hold your tablet in place.

An all-around better solution is to buy a cover with a keyboard built-in so it’s there whenever you need it. Apple’s official iPad keyboard case starts at £159, while similar options for the Tab S and Microsoft Surface go for broadly the same price. You can save a few quid by going for third-party alternatives, which exist for all the most popular tablets, but be sure to check customer reviews before investing as they may behave oddly or not be up to snuff.

How does Expert Reviews test tablets?

We use four different methods when testing tablets. First, we start with processing speeds, using the publically available Geekbench 5 and GFXBench applications on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. A tablet's display quality is measured using a colorimeter and DisplayCAL software, and this determines colour accuracy, contrast and maximum brightness.

Battery life ties into this, since we set the screen brightness to 170cd/m2, turn off all data connections and play a looped 20-hour video in the VLC app. When the tablet runs dry, we simply charge it up, switch it on and record the timestamp. A tablet's cameras are tested under a variety of different conditions, including indoors and low-light, as well as using the cameras for conferencing.

READ NEXT: The best wireless keyboards


The best tablets to buy in 2022

1. Apple iPad 10.2in (2021): Best tablet for most people

Price: From £299 l Buy now from Amazon

Apple's cheapest iPad gets better with every iteration and the 2021 model is no exception. Admittedly, this year's refresh isn't the most exciting but it's £10 cheaper than it was last year and includes three noteworthy upgrades.

The first sees the processor updated to Apple's A13 Bionic CPU. That's still two generations behind the chip inside some of the company's newest iPhones but it's an improvement nonetheless. The tablet's front-facing camera has seen a more significant upgrade, with the 1.2MP camera on last year's model replaced by the same 12MP ultrawide camera found on the iPad Mini (2021).

Finally, Apple has brought its True Tone colour matching technology to the display. This picks up on the tone of ambient light in your environment and matches the display's white point to that colour temperature so your eyes don't have to readjust when you look up from the screen.

There's still no USB-C - Apple is still sticking with its Lightning connector on the 10.2in iPad - but aside from that, there's very little to dislike about the latest iteration of the best-value tablet around. Affordable and supremely versatile, the Apple iPad 10.2in remains the best tablet around for most people.

Read our full Apple iPad (2021) review for more details

Key specs – Processor: A13 Bionic; Screen: 10.2in, 2,160 x 1.620; Storage: 32GB; Size: 250 x 174 x 7.5mm; Weight: 493g; Operating system: iPadOS 15


2. Amazon Fire HD 10 (2021): Best Amazon tablet

Price: £150 | Buy now from Amazon

The Fire HD 10 is one of Amazon’s latest tablets to get a refresh, and the 2021 model is even better value than ever. It houses the same MediaTek MT8183 Helio P60T processor as the 2019 model so doesn’t represent a huge jump forward in terms of performance, but it remains very snappy during daily use, booting quickly and switching between multiple apps with minimal fuss.

The main changes come in the form of an additional 1GB of RAM and an 8% reduction in weight. These may not seem like much, but they’re welcome tweaks to an already successful formula, especially given the 2021 upgrade hasn’t seen a price rise. There’s a new software feature of note, too, with split-screen mode allowing you to view two apps simultaneously.

If you’re willing to spend an extra £30, the Fire HD 10 Plus comes with an additional 1GB of RAM (4GB total), has a slightly different soft-touch finish and supports wireless charging. And for those wanting to use their tablet as a laptop, there's a Productivity Bundle available for £210 that includes a Bluetooth keyboard and a 12-month subscription to Microsoft 365.

Read our full Amazon Fire HD 10 (2021) review for details

Key specs – Processor: Octa-core 2GHz MediaTek MT8183 Helio P60T; Screen: 10.1in, 1,920 x 1,200; Storage: 32 or 64GB; Size: 247 x 166 x 9.2mm; Weight: 465g; Operating system: Android 9 (Fire OS 7)


3. Apple iPad Air 5 (2022): Best mid-range tablet

Price: From £569 | Buy now from John Lewis

If you’re looking for a powerful tablet but can’t quite stretch your budget to the iPad Pro, then the fifth-generation iPad Air is your next-best choice. It houses the same processor used in the iPad Air and recent MacBook laptops and has CPU and graphical performance that outstrips laptops costing almost twice as much.

It’s thin and lightweight, too, and comes with a decent 12MP (f/1.8) camera, though it does lack a flash and the secondary ultrawide camera that features on the new iPad Pro. Its only other real drawback is that the accessories that will transform it into a true laptop replacement are very pricey: with the official Magic Keyboard and Apple Pencil 2, you’re looking at a total outlay of around £1,000.

Read our full Apple iPad Air 5 (2022) review for more details

Key specs – Processor: Apple M1; Screen: 10.9in, 2,360 x 1,640; Storage: 64GB, 256GB; Size: 248 x 179 x 6.1mm; Weight: 461g; Operating system: iPadOS 15


4. All-new Amazon Fire 7 (2022): The best budget tablet

Price: From £60 | Buy now from Amazon

The most recent refresh of Amazon’s budget tablet offers enough technical improvements over its predecessor to justify the £10 price increase. Battery life gets a marked improvement, now lasting roughly ten and a half hours, with a new processor boosting general speeds and responsiveness.

Quality of life features returning from the previous model include hands-free Alexa, a 3.5mm headphone jack and a microSD card slot, now allowing you to extend the internal storage by up to 1TB. Given that the All-new Fire 7 (2022) is only available in 16GB and 32GB variants, this extra capacity is greatly appreciated.

The 7in screen is still a bit weak by modern standards, and the restrictions of Amazon’s FireOS haven’t seen any improvements, but these feel like small concessions for how much the All-new Fire 7 gets right. If you’ve got a hard budget, this is the best value you’re going to get out of a budget tablet.

Read our full All-new Amazon Fire 7 (2022) review for more details

Key specs – Processor: Quad-core 2GHz MediaTek MT8168; Screen: 7in, 1,024 x 600; Storage: 16/32GB; Size: 118 x 181 x 9.67mm; Weight: 282g; Operating System: FireOS 8


5. Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra: Best Android tablet

Price: £899 | Buy now from Argos

With laptop-like performance and 5G capabilities, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is a tablet to be reckoned with. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 CPU inside it excelled during our in-house tests, showing the S8 Ultra to be a powerhouse capable of handling pretty much any task thrown at it.

The large 14.6in 120Hz, HDR10+ Super AMOLED display delivers rich and bold colours and is generally one of the best tablet viewing experiences we've ever witnessed. It really is that good.

Like its predecessor, the Tab S8 Ultra features DeX mode: an interface designed to work with a mouse and keyboard. Sadly, you’ll have to fork out for Samsung’s two-part keyboard cover to get the most out of it, but if you do, the Tab S8 Ultra effectively doubles up as a big-screen laptop.

With its impressive DeX mode, free S Pen stylus, superb performance and the potential for 5G connectivity, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is an Android tablet capable of taking on the mighty iPad Pro.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra review for more details

Key specs – Processor: Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1; Screen: 14.6in, 2,960 x 1,848; Storage: 128GB, 256GB or 512GB; Size: 327 x 209 x 5.5mm; Weight: 726g; Operating system: Android 12 (One UI 4.1)


6. Amazon Fire HD 8 (2020): Best tablet under £100

Price: £90 | Buy now from Amazon

Amazon’s 2020 update to its 8in tablet is its best yet, featuring a more powerful processor, twice the base storage and improved battery life. RAM has also been given a minor boost from 1.6GB to 2GB, and although the 1,200 x 800 display is a little fuzzy compared to Apple’s tablet offerings, the Fire HD 8 (2020) is an absolute steal at under £100.

All of those tweaks equate to a 30% increase in power, as evidenced during our in-house testing. The 2020 model achieved impressive single- and multi-core CPU scores in the Geekbench 3 CPU test and hit twice the frame rate of the 2018 iteration during our on-screen graphics test. The general user experience feels fluid on the whole, though we did experience some juddering while switching between applications.

Amazon tablets still suffer from a limited app library, but with battery life upwards of 12 hours, built-in hands-free Alexa support and the addition of USB-C charging, the Fire HD 8 remains the budget tablet to beat.

If you’re willing to pay a bit more for the Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus (2020), you’ll get improved battery life, 1GB more RAM, wireless charging, a faster charger included in the box and Kindle Unlimited free for three months.

Read our full Amazon Fire HD 8 (2020) review for more details

Key specs – Processor: Quad-core MediaTek MT8168; Screen: 8in, 1,280 x 800; Storage: 32GB; Size: 202 x 137 x 9.7mm; Weight: 335g; Operating system: Android (Fire OS)


7. Apple M1 iPad Pro (2021): Best iPad tablet

Price: From £958 | Buy now from Amazon

If you want the best tablet that money can buy, look no further than the iPad Pro. This year’s models are powered by Apple’s M1 processor and are faster and more responsive than ever – we’re talking laptop levels of performance wrapped up in a supremely portable package.

But the upgrades don’t stop there. The 12.9in model now features a Liquid Retina XDR display that delivers the highest peak brightness we’ve come across in a portable computer and excellent colour accuracy to boot. There’s also a Thunderbolt 3 port (the 2020 iteration had to make do with a USB-C 3.1 Gen 2 port) and a new ultrawide front camera that uses “Centre Stage” technology to keep your face centred in the frame during video calls.

The only thing holding the iPad Pro from true greatness is the lack of proper support for external monitors. You’re able to duplicate your iPad Pro’s display on a monitor while connected via the aforementioned Thunderbolt 3 port but sadly can’t spread apps across the two screens. It’s a frustrating limitation of the iPadOS platform but only really an issue if you intend on using the iPad Pro as your primary work machine. If you’re simply after a handheld device boasting exceptional performance and stunning visuals, the iPad Pro can’t be beaten.

Read our full Apple M1 iPad Pro (2021) review for more details

Key specs – Processor: Octa-core Apple M1; Screen: 11in (2,388 x 1,688), 12.9in (2,732 x 2,048); Storage: 128GB–2TB; Size: 11in – 248 x 179 x 5.9mm, 12.9in – 281 x 215 x 6.4mm; Weight: 11in – 468g, 12.9in – 684g; Operating system: iPadOS 14


8. Microsoft Surface Pro 8: Best Windows tablet

Price: From £817 | Buy now from Amazon

Microsoft’s eighth-generation tablet-laptop hybrid still offers the same premise as its forebears, but quite a lot has changed in this recent model. From the display to the connectors to the basic shape, the Surface Pro 8 is unlike anything that came before, and with improved internals, we're looking at the best Windows 11 tablet yet.

Looking similar to the pricier Surface Pro X, the Pro 8's two USB-C ports now support Thunderbolt 4 connections, with max data speeds of 40Gbits/sec. The detachable keyboard, despite costing extra, remains one of the best on the market, and the new charging connector works wonders, too. The integrated kickstand can be used to set the Surface Pro 8 to any viewing angle you wish, and the 3:2 aspect ratio display is perfect for working on while in laptop mode. The new 120Hz refresh rate is a real treat, as well.

Performance was also rock-solid in our tests, with the Intel Core i7-1185G7 CPU outperforming its predecessor with more than double the speeds in our benchmarks. Battery life remains the only sticking point, but at seven hours it isn't atrocious by any means.

Read our full Microsoft Surface Pro 8 review for more details

Key specs – Processor: Quad-core 3GHz Intel Core i7-1185G7; Screen: 12.3in, 2,880 x 1,920; Storage: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB; Size: 287 x 208 x 9.3mm (without keyboard); Weight: 892g (without keyboard); Operating system: Windows 11


9. Apple iPad mini (2021): Best compact tablet

Price: From £479 | Buy now from Argos

The original iPad mini launched way back in 2012 and this sixth-generation model has finally got rid of its predecessors' chunky upper and lower bezels. That has seen the overall size decrease but the screen size jump from 7.9in to 8.3in. The iPad mini 2021 now more closely resembles an oversized iPhone rather than a shrunk-down tablet and that's no bad thing.

The new model also comes with a USB-C port, support for the Apple Pencil 2 and packs Apple's A15 Bionic processor - the same CPU used by the company's latest range of smartphones. It's nippy as a result and that speedy performance is complemented by a sharp 2,266 x 1,488 display that delivers colours in the sRGB gamut with exceptional accuracy. There's also support for Apple's True Tone tech, which helps reduce eye strain by matching the white point on the screen with that of ambient light in the room.

The absence of a 3.5mm audio jack is a little annoying and battery life could be better, but for those seeking a quick, compact, well-designed tablet that balances screen size and function, the iPad mini is just the ticket.

Read our full iPad mini (2021) review for more details

Key specs – Processor: Apple A15 Bionic; Screen: 8.3in, 2,266 x 1,448; Storage: 64GB; Size: 195.4 x 134.8 x 6.3mm; Weight: 293g; Operating system: iOS 15


10. Nokia T20: Best Android OS

Price: £140 l Buy now from Amazon

Not got much to spend on a tablet but are put off by Amazon's somewhat restrictive Fire OS? Thankfully, Nokia has just the thing: the Nokia T20 costs about the same as the Fire HD 10, with a similar list of core specifications albeit with full-fat Android and no gaudy software overlay whatsoever. This "stock" version of Android 11 doesn't come with any pre-installed bloatware apps, with only the basic Google applications and services when you first boot it up.

What's more, since this is barebones Android, the software experience feels much more refined and you have all of the Play Store's wide selection of games, apps and services at your fingerprints, too. The Fire HD 10, by comparison, has a smaller list of apps and doesn't receive as many updates – the Nokia T20 gest three years worth of security updates and two years of core OS upgrades.

There's always a sticking point, however, and unfortunately with the Nokia T20 the main issue is with the screen. While the 1,200p resolution display looks good on paper, unfortunately, due to restrictive DRM certification, you can only view movies and TV shows at a maximum resolution of 480p. This is a shame because otherwise, the Nokia T20 is a remarkably competent budget tablet and a solid Amazon alternative nonetheless.

Read our full Nokia T20 review for more details

Key specs – Processor: Quad-core 1.8GHz Unisoc T610; Screen: 10.4in, 2,00 x 1,200; Storage: 64GB; Size: 248 x 158 x 7.8mm; Weight: 465g; Operating system: Android 11


11. Honor Pad 8: Best-value Android tablet

Price: £270 | Buy now from Amazon

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra above may be our favourite Android tablet, but the Honor Pad 8 comes a close second.

While performance is a little sluggish compared to its Apple rivals, the large 12in 2,000 x 1,200 screen is vivid, sharp and is surprisingly colour accurate, while battery life clocks in at a highly impressive 14 hours – a bit longer than the 10.2in iPad. The Honor Pad 8's 5MP rear camera and 5MP selfie-cam will cater for all your photographic needs and performance is surprisingly competent for a tablet at this price, too.

Read our full Honor Pad 8 review for more details

Key specs – Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 680; Screen: 12in, 2,000 x 1,200; Storage: 128GB; Size: 278 x 174 x 6.9mm; Weight: 520g; Operating system: Android 12


12. Lenovo IdeaPad Duet: Best Chrome OS tablet (that’s also a laptop)

Price: £299 | Buy now from Currys

Google may have abandoned the Pixel Slate some time ago, but this tablet-cum-laptop from Lenovo proves that Chrome OS tablets are alive and kicking. Its strength comes in its versatility – use it as a tablet when you’re on the move (or on the couch) or attach the clip-on keyboard it comes with to transform it into a fully functional, if rather small, Chromebook.

Its Full HD 10.1in screen is of excellent quality, with decent maximum brightness and superb coverage of the sRGB colour gamut, while its battery lasted over 16 hours in our video playback test – a frankly staggering result given how compact it is.

Read our full Lenovo IdeaPad Duet review for more details

Key specs – Processor: MediaTek P60T; Screen: 10.1in, 1,920 x 1,080; Storage: 4GB; Size: 160 x 240 x 7mm; Weight: 450g (without keyboard); Operating system: Chrome OS


13. reMarkable 2: The best digital notepad

Price: £299 l Buy now from reMarkable

A monochrome E-ink tablet that's purely designed for note-taking, the reMarkable 2 is a great distraction-free option. With a screen that mimics the feel of paper, it doesn't come with apps like Netflix or Twitter, but it is able to share your notes via Wi-Fi so you can access your doodles elsewhere.

Writing felt remarkably natural in our tests, in a way that scribbling on an iPad with an Apple Pencil never does, and the syncing works wonders, too. The only downside is the price, and the fact that you have to pay extra for the stylus isn't ideal, either. Still, if you've got the money and you're in the market for a great digital notepad, then you won't find any better.

Read our full reMarkable 2 review for more details

Key specs – Processor: Dual-core 1.2GHz ARM; Screen: 10.3in, 1,404 x 1,872; Storage: 8GB; Size: 188 x 246 x 4.7mm; Weight: 404g; Operating system: Codex

Buy now from reMarkable


14. Lenovo Tab P11 Pro: Best-value laptop alternative

Price: £600 | Buy now from Argos

If you’re in the market for a laptop alternative, Lenovo’s Tab P11 Pro should be your first stop. The tablet itself is here bundled with a detachable keyboard, a magnetic stand and a stylus pen, all for an incredibly competitive price. Not only that, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a laptop that is as lightweight as the P11 Pro – at just 485g, this is a seriously portable machine.

The slim build doesn’t come at the expense of quality, either: the 11.5in OLED screen delivers exceptional colour reproduction and apparently reaches a peak brightness of 500cd/m², meaning that it can do a movie justice as well as handle your daily workload. With the Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G chipset running the show, it’s nippy enough, too, producing respectable scores in our benchmark tests.

Though speeds aren’t on the same level as some competitors – such as the lightning-quick Apple iPad Air – the P11 Pro has a secret weapon in its battery life. In our standard video-rundown test, with the brightness set to and flight mode on 170cd/m², it lasted for 17hrs 28mins. If all-day battery life is an important feature for you, there’s not much better out there than the P11 Pro.

Read our full Lenovo Tab P11 Pro review for more details

Key specs – Processor: Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G; Screen: 11.5in, 2,560 x 1,600; Storage: 128GB; Size: 171 x 264 x 6mm; Weight: 485g; Operating system: Android 10


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