What's the best tablet for 2015? Today's latest tablets compared and rated - constantly updated
The tablet is now a thing - from the days when nobody thought a laptop without a keyboard to a good thing to today, where a slate full of more power than some games consoles is nestled in bags across the world.
And with that popularity comes the dreaded notion of choice. Do you eschew Apple's high prices, join the Android brigade and find the best iPad alternative? Or jump on board Cupertino's lovetrain, and use one of the most popular tablets on the planet?
There are a lot of cool new tablets coming down the pipeline too: we've got the Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet, a monster with all manner of high specs with a very light chassis, and the Android-powered iPad-a-like Nokia N1 from the now-non-phone Finnish brand.
We've made it easy for you and pulled together the top 10 tablets of the moment available in Australia.
It's a difficult process divining which place each of these excellent tablets should occupy in our list, so we take into account multiple elements including performance, battery life, screen quality and more.
Price plays a part, as does age: a tablet that's been replaced by a sequel will tumble down the rankings as you can get all the great features on a better slate.
If none of the top 10 tablets here take your fancy then head on over to our tablet reviews pages, where you'll find in-depth reviews for many more models.
Let us know your thoughts on the top 10 (and whether you think we've got the order wrong) in the comment box below.
10. iPad Air
People scoffed when Apple launched the first iPad, but the sector has grown exponentially since the first generation device landed and with the Air the Cupertino firm has now nailed the formula.
It's been usurped by the iPad Air 2, for obvious reasons, but with a price drop and a still-impressive spec list it has every reason to still be a viable purchase.
Impressive design coupled with a thinner, lighter chassis makes for a premium and quite frankly beautiful tablet, and Apple's powerful A7 and M7 chips under the hood means it chews through even the toughest tasks in next to no time, even if it's not in the same power league as the Air 2.
"It's not just Apple's best tablet, it's the only tablet you should be considering if you're keen on a larger screen." That's what we said in the verdict of our in-depth iPad Air review. While the Galaxy Tab S is a brilliant tablet, the Air just took things to the next level.
It may not quite be a match for the iPad Air 2, but the original iPad Air is still one of the very best tablets around and it's not even among the most expensive any more.
- Read more in our iPad Air review
9. Google Nexus 7
The new Nexus 7 took over from the original 7-inch effort from Google in 2012, packing a 1.5Ghz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM and comes with either 16GB or 32GB of storage
Offered up at just 260g, it's the perfect tablet for slinging in a bag and hurtling down to the local supermarket, or is equally adept at being a long-haul saviour, with reams of apps, a decent slug of battery life and that all-new high-res 7-inch IPS display with a resolution of 1920 x 1200 display with 323 ppi.
It's unclear how long this tablet will stay on sale for, as it's been shifted out of the limelight by the new Nexus 9, but as a different form factor there's a good chance it will stick around on the virtual shop shelves for a while, along with the latest version of Android.
But it has some decent features, a low-risk update policy and is built in a way that makes it feel both premium and robust enough to chuck around the house. That's a enough good mix in our eyes.
If you're considering a tablet now and are already dabbling in the Android ecosystem, we see no reason why shouldn't take the plunge with a Nexus 7, especially if you don't like the size (or price) of the Nexus 9, although it's starting to age rapidly.
If you haven't invested at all with Android, you're still in a good place to start. You could check out the iPad mini 2, which is advisable for those who have racked up a lot of App Store purchases, but it's still not as affordable as the Nexus 7.
- Read more in our Nexus 7 review
8. Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2
Never one to leave a tablet niche unexplored, Samsung pushed screen sizes up to new heights with the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2.
Thankfully that's not all it has going for it, as the Note Pro 12.2's 3GB of RAM and quad-core processor give it superior performance, while the S Pen becomes truly useful in combination with the slates large, bright screen.
It's an obvious choice for digital artists or anyone else who wants a device they can be productive on, but the bigger screen makes it great just for web browsing and watching videos too.
On the flip side the increased size makes it a little unwieldy and the build quality is a touch creaky thanks to the larger chassis, but is offset by the sheer expanse of screen to play with.
Its big screen and S Pen support make the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 an extremely useful productivity tool - if you're a fan of the Note range, there's very little better on the market and Samsung seems to be successfully convincing the world that the stylu... sorry, S Pen is still relevant to today's gadget fans.
- Read more in our Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 review
7. iPad Mini 2
Hey, it's the iPad Mini 2... right next to the Mini 3? There's a reason for this: they're pretty much identical, apart from last year's model not having TouchID and now only coming in 16GB and 32GB flavours.
It's also has a substantial price drop, which is why it's hanging around so high in the list - in fact, we'd advise most people go for this older model if they're hankering for a smaller iPad, as it's got all the same power and display specs as the current model, for less cash.
Plus it has access to all those lovely apps and Apple's brilliant-for-tablets iOS 8 - not a bad choice at all.
The iPad mini 2 is almost flawless in so many ways. The rich App catalog mean it's a device that will grow with you, and the 64-bit A7 chip and Retina display are certainly future-proofing users from an outdated device.
Yes, it's older, but it's still a very usable device and offers access to a brilliant ecosystem for a lot less cash than before.
6. iPad Mini 3
The iPad mini range is still a brilliant proposition, offering the best of the iPad but squishing it down into a smaller package.
Well, that's what happened last year - this year Apple has basically rebooted the Mini 2, put TouchID on the front, made it gold and called it a new tablet.
It's only ahead of the older version ( a cheaper option while offering the same specs minus the biometrics) due to this being a list of the best tablets, and this is the best mini tablet from Apple, but it's not offering a lot more than last year's model.
What it does bring is good though: iOS 8 works very well on the mini 3, and the overall speed and compact size is still a very good combo, even at the higher price.
The iPad mini 3 isn't a bad tablet. It's got a great OS, new features and is still attractively designed. It's just that all these features are available on the mini 2 for a lot less money.
Touch ID is a nice feature, but it's not enough to recommend this tablet. It hasn't matched the Air 2 in tech spec, yet the price hasn't dropped. And you can get nearly all the good features cheaper on the iPad mini 2.
Buy the iPad mini 2, or wait a few months and see if Apple Pay and Touch ID-enabled apps start to roar in popularity unless you really want to make sure you've got the best iPad mini on the market.