The 10 best tablets you can buy in 2017

Our best Android, iPad and Kindle tablet picks

Update: Our best tablets list has changed twice this month thanks to the debut of Apple's New iPad and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3. Tablets are having a comeback story in 2017.

Apple is sitting cozily at the top of our list with two great options for tablet lovers. However, don't count out the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 so quickly. Stocked with plenty of power and nearly just as much in the way of productivity chops as our top choice, it's a fine option for many.

But then again, you really can't go wrong with any of the best iOS, Android and Kindle tablets ranked below for 2017.

Original article follows below.

The best tablets in 2017 are all about combination. They all offer thin-and-light designs, but have decent keyboard and desktop-style experiences.

A good tablets makes you ask the question: Why do I even need a laptop? Here's the problem. There are a lot of choices out there, from Apple's larger iPad Pro to Google's Pixel C and Samsung tablets. 

And it's more than just iOS 10 and Android Nougat devices, unlike the best smartphones - Kindle and Windows tablets actually make an appearance, too.

We rank tablets based on multiple factors, including performance, battery life, screen quality and more, with price playing an all-important part in the final tally.

1. New iPad (2017)

The best iPad, giving you plenty of power and bang for your buck

Weight: 469g | Dimensions: 240 x 169.5 x 7.5 mm | OS: iOS 10 | Screen size: 9.7-inch | Resolution: 1536 x 2048 pixels | CPU: A9 | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 32GB/128GB | microSD slot: No | Battery: approx 8,800mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 1.2MP

Beautiful 9.7-inch screen
Cheaper than predecessor
Thicker than Air 2
No 256GB option

For most people, the best tablet you can buy right now is the new iPad (2017). it has a crisp 9.7-inch display, punchy A9 power and a lower price tag than the tablet it replaces - the iPad Air 2.

The new iPad (2017) doesn't reinvent the tablet, in fact it doesn't differ much at all from its predecessor. The only real upgrade is the chipset, with Apple's A9 heart giving the new iPad more power - however it's the price which is the real winner.

There's no 16GB model, with the iPad kicking things off at a more reasonable 32GB, and considering that's cheaper than the entry-level iPad Air 2 it offers serious value for money.

Read the full review: New iPad (2017)

iPad Pro 9 7

2. iPad Pro 9.7

A brilliant tablet that brings power to portability

Weight: 437g | Dimensions: 240 x 169.5 x 6.1 mm | OS: iOS 10 | Screen size: 9.7-inch | Resolution: 1536 x 2048 pixels | CPU: A9X | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 32GB/128GB/256GB | microSD slot: No | Battery: TBC | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 5MP

Great speakers
Pencil and keyboard support
Pricey with accessories
Not as much RAM as larger iPad Pro

The best full-featured tablet is the iPad Pro 9.7 - the smaller screened version of the iPad Pro 12.9 that wants to replace your laptop.

While there are plenty of brilliant Android tablets around at the moment, the newest iPad offers a lot of the power of the larger iPad Pro, along with the Smart Keyboard and Pencil support, but brings it in a much more bag-and-palm friendly size. Oh, and those four speakers are just brilliant too!

There's no Apple iPad Pro 2 release date just yet, or even confirmation that such a tablet exists. You're safe to buy this one right now.

Read the full review: iPad Pro 9.7

3. Samsung Galaxy Tab S3

A future-proofed tablet with a screen ahead of its time

Weight: 429g | Dimensions: 237.3 x 169 x 6mm | OS: Android Nougat | Screen size: 9.7-inch | Resolution: 2048 x 1536 | CPU: Snapdragon 820 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 32GB | Battery: 6,000mAh | Rear camera: 13MP | Front camera: 5MP

Includes the S-Pen stylus for free
HDR-ready future-proofed screen
Keyboard is a costly extra
Tablet multitasking can't replace laptops

You're not going to find a better, full-featured Android tablet than the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3. It has a HDR-screen for the ultimate contrast ratio, four speakers that sound as good as those on the iPad Pro and an larger S Pen that's included. 

You won't get a free keyboard cover, which helps makes this a good on-the-go productivity tool. It costs extra. You also can't get HDR video content at any price. Netflix and Amazon will eventually roll out HDR streaming movies and TV shows in the future (they have done so for 4KTVs), so you're really buying into a 2-in-1 tablet with features you can't use right away.

Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy Tab S3

iPad mini 4

4. iPad mini 4

The best small-screen tablet

Weight: 299g | Dimensions: 203.2 x 134.8 x 6.1mm | OS: iOS 10 | Screen size: 7.9-inch | Resolution: 1536 x 2048 | CPU: Dual-core 1.5 GHz | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 16GB/64GB/128GB | Battery: 5124mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 1.2MP

Brilliant screen
Sleek design
Touch ID finger scanner
Older processor
No 3D touch

The best 7-inch tablet at the moment is definitely the iPad mini 4. If you like the look of Apple's iPad Air 2 and iPad Pro, but find them too big, too expensive or both, then you're in luck. With no official confirmation of an iPad mini 5 yet, the diminutive iPad mini 4 gives you the best of Apple's tablet world in a form factor that's not only beautiful, but highly portable.

Read the full review: iPad mini 4

5. Asus ZenPad 3S 10

If the iPad were made in China... wait.

Weight: 430g | Dimensions: 240.5 x 163.7 x 7.2mm | OS: Android Marshmallow | Screen size: 9.7-inch | Resolution: 1536 x 2048 | CPU: Mediatek MT8176 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 32GB/64GB | Battery: up to 10 hours | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 5MP

Strong, hi-res display
Swift response
Mediocre battery life
Not great build quality

You can't look at this new Asus ZenPad 3 10 and not think of an iPad. It has the same 9.7-inch display, but it runs Android instead of iOS. It has a sharp screen and the performance is solid, even if you don't recognize the chipset by name. It just can't match the best Apple iPad tablet due to its inferior battery life and build quality. But that might not matter if you fancy is cheaper price above all else. 

Read our full review: Asus ZenPad 3S 10

6. Google Pixel C

So close to being the best Android tablet

Weight: 517g | Dimensions: 242 x 179 x 7mm | OS: Android Nougat | Screen size: 10.2-inch | Resolution: 2560 x 1800 | CPU: Tegra X1 | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 32GB/64GB | Battery: up to 10 hours | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 2MP

Fantastic screen
Premium design
Plenty of power
Keyboard is pricey option
No more 32GB model

Google's Pixel C is simply one of the best Android tablets out there. It has a fantastic display, heaps of power and a premium design. It pairs well with a Google Pixel or Google Pixel XL smartphone and even runs the Android 7.0 Nougat update. In fact, it's one of the few ways that you can try the new Android O developer preview.

It's not quite a laptop replacement, but there's a fantastic keyboard accessory if you're willing to pay extra. Be warned: You won't find the cheaper Google Pixel C 32GB model on sale through the Google Store. Only the 64GB is sold there now, though you can still find the 32GB deals through other retailers.

Read the full review: Google Pixel C

7. iPad Pro

Apple's biggest slate isn't its best, but it's not far off

Weight: 713g | Dimensions: 305.7 x 220.6 x 6.9mm | OS: iOS 10 | Screen size: 12.9-inch | Resolution: 2048 x 2732 | CPU: Dual-core 2.26 GHz | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 32GB/128GB | Battery: 10,307mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 1.2MP

Expansive screen
Hugely powerful
Great speakers
Too large for most users
Battery life could be longer
Expensive

The iPad Pro won't be for everyone due to the size and cost, but for those it does appeal to (and can afford it), you're unlikely to find a better tablet for your needs. Whether its graphics, multi-tasking or providing a pseudo-Mac experience when you're away from the office the iPad Pro is capable of so much. 

Even the Apple Pencil - hilarious name aside - is an impressive tool for a particular niche. Not everyone will dig it. But for serious pros who need more than the iPad Pro 9.7, this is the best tablet to replace a laptop.

Read the full review: iPad Pro

Microsoft Surface Pro 4

8. Microsoft Surface Pro 4

The tablet that can replace your laptop

Weight: 766g/786g | Dimensions: 292.10 x 201.42 x 8.45mm | OS: Windows 10 Pro | Screen size: 12.3-inch | Resolution: 2,736 x 1,824 | CPU: Various | RAM: 4GB/8GB/16GB | Storage: 128GB | Battery: up to 9 hours | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 5MP

Larger, sharper screen
Vastly improved Type Cover
Built in kickstand
Type Cover still sold separately
Intel Core m3 at entry level

Can a tablet really replace your laptop or home PC? That's still up for debate, but the best tablet trying to make that happen right now is the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 - and it does a fine job with the full blown version of Windows 10.

It has an integrated kickstand and optional keyboard attachment, making it ideal for creative professionals, students and everyday folks alike.

Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Pro 4

9. Nvidia Shield Tablet K1

An 8-inch gaming tablet at a great price

Weight: 356g | Dimensions: 221 x 126 x 9.2mm | OS: Android Marshmallow | Screen size: 8.0-inch | Resolution: 1920 x 1200 | CPU: Quad-core | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 16GB | Battery: 5200mAh | Rear camera: 5MP

Rock-bottom price
Top-end gaming features
Doesn't come with key accessories
Android still lacks great games

This isn't the discontinued Google Nexus 7, but it's slightly bigger cousin made by famed graphics card maker Nvidia. Obviously its speciality is gaming with a compatible controller. Just don't be fooled into thinking the gamepad comes with the Nvidia Shield tablet. Not at its current asking price of $199. 

Strangely, it doesn't come with a charger either. That's okay. You probably have plenty of microUSB cables and wall adapters. What's important is that this can play Android games and stream both Steam games and Nvidia Grid games. It's a small tablet, but a mighty big value.

Read the full review: Nvidia Shield K1 review

10. iPad Air 2

The iPad Air 2 is still a good choice

Weight: 437g | Dimensions: 240 x 169.5 x 6.1mm | OS: iOS 10 | Screen size: 9.7-inch | Resolution: 1536 x 2048 | CPU: Triple-core 1.5 GHz | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 16/64/128GB | Battery: 7340mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 1.2MP

Sleek
Superbly powerful
Unbeatable app selection
Volume silencer gone
16GB is too little storage
No longer in production

Until the iPad Pro 9.7, this was the best tablet in the world. Even though it has been replaced by Apple, it's still a brilliant tablet that has further raised the bar for the rest of the competition in terms of build quality, features and performance.

Good news: it's now cheaper thanks to the release of the newer iPad Pro and the new iPad, which ditches the "Air" moniker. 

Apple's range of tablet-optimized apps and a slick iOS 10 user interface makes the iPad Air 2 extremely versatile while also being incredibly easy, and enjoyable, to use.

Read the full review: iPad Air 2

Tablet apps for your new purchase

As with today's best smartphones, applications play a big role on tablets – once you've decided which of these tablets is right for you, check out our top app lists so you can get your fill of Temple Run, update your friends on Facebook and read the latest news, all on a bigger screen.

Also consider

If you're not quite ready to part with your cash, then take a look at these other noteworthy slates – they're ones that have likely been on the list in the past or are coming out soon.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2

A top notch iPad rival

Weight: 256g/389g | Dimensions: 198.6 x 134.8 x 5.6mm/237.3 x 169 x 5.6mm | OS: Android Marshmallow | Screen size: 8.0-inch/9.7-inch | Resolution: 1536 x 2048 | CPU: Octa-core | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 32GB/64GB | Battery: 4000mAh/5870mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 2.1MP

Thinner, lighter design
Rare expandable memory
Improved interface
Small specs upgrade
So-so battery life

There are plenty of reasons to invest in the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 - especially if you're looking to buy one of the best Android tablets at an affordable price. This was the best tablet that Samsung had ever produced before the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 launched.

You can pick it up for a new low price in 8-inch and 9.7-inch variants. Almost impossibly thin, pumped full of power and with a slicker interface it gives the best iPads a real run for its literal money. You're basically only missing the S Pen, keyboard and HDR screen and speaker upgrades from the new version. 

Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy Tab S2

Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet

Lighter, faster, waterproof... a real iPad Air 2 rival

Weight: 389g | Dimensions: 254 x 167 x 6.1 mm | OS: Android Marshmallow | Screen size: 10.1-inch | Resolution: 2560 x 1600 | CPU: Snapdragon 810 | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 32GB | Battery: 6000mAh | Rear camera: 8.1MP | Front camera: 5.1MP

Gorgeous display
Improved lightweight design
Keyboard dock included
Problematic UI
Expensive price tag

The Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet is the best tablet option for PS4 and PS4 Pro owners, as it allows you to stream games from your console direct to the tablet when you're in another room of your house. Link up your PlayStation 4 controller to the Z4 Tablet and you'll be gaming in bed, in the kitchen and on the toilet. The included keyboard dock in the box also makes for a great stand. 

If you can get used to Sony's version of the Android user interface and handle the price tag, this isn't a bad option. There's no Sony Xperia Z5 and it may be skipped entirely for a Sony Xperia Z6, but this is not a reason to hold off on buying right now, as it's merely a rumor.

Read the full review: Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet

Sony Xperia Tablet Z3 Compact

Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact

Compact, portable and powerful

Weight: 270g | Dimensions: 213.4 x 123.6 x 6.4mm | OS: Android Marshmallow | Screen size: 8.0-inch | Resolution: 1200 x 1920 | CPU: Snapdragon 801 | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 16GB | Battery: 4500mAh | Rear camera: 8.1MP | Front camera: 2.2MP

Great battery life
Very thin and light
Waterproof body
Screen sharpness beaten by others
Not an incredible value

Tablets don't have to be big and cumbersome, and the rather clumsily named Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact is testament to just that. It's not Sony's best tablet - that goes to the Z4 further up the page, but it's super-slim profile, waterproof chassis, bright display and solid line up of specs means it'll comfortably slip in your bag and won't baulk at the first sign of rain. However, it's a little older now, so be warned that it won't be getting all the Android updates you might hope for.

Read the full review: Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact

Samsung Galaxy TabPro S

Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro S

Windows 10 where you'd expect Android to be

Weight: 693g | Dimensions: 290.3 x 198.8 x 6.3mm | OS: Windows 10 | Screen size: 12-inch | Resolution: 2160 x 1440 | CPU: Intel Core M | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 128GB/256GB | Battery: up to 10.5 hours | Rear camera: 5MP | Front camera: 5MP

Sleek design
Good use of Windows 10
Poor keyboard
Plastic design

The Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro S was unveiled at the very start of 2016 and boasts a great screen, solid build and Windows 10. It's an odd device, but one that works better than we expected it to. The keyboard dock isn't great, with a cramped mouse and keys which aren't the easiest to type on - but over all Samsung's made a solid Windows slate.

Read our review: Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro S

Huawei MateBook

Huawei MateBook

The jump to Windows yields mixed results

Weight: 640g | Dimensions: 278.8 x 194.1 x 6.9mm | OS: Windows 10 | Screen size: 12-inch | Resolution: 2160 x 1440 | CPU: 6th Gen Intel Core m | RAM: 4/8GB | Storage: 128/256/512GB | microSD slot: No | Battery: 4430mAh | Rear camera: No | Front camera: 5MP

Solid design
Keyboard accessory
No MicroSD card slot
Only one USB port

Huawei's first Windows 10 device is a well-designed 2-in-1 that rivals the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and iPad Pro in places. It's a promising, yet pricey, first 2-in-1 from the Chinese company, managing to feel fresh despite arriving late to the party.

Read our review: Huawei MateBook

iPad mini 4

iPad Mini 5

Thinner, lighter and even more portable?

The popular iPad mini range has won fans around the world, probably due to the fact it's the cheapest iPad offering in Apple's range. While the arrival of the iPad mini 5 in 2017 is likely, there's a small question mark around whether Apple will bother after criticism for its less than impressive iPad mini 3 update. If it does arrive expect more power with a new processor, the latest version of iOS 10 on screen and the same premium metal body.

What it needs to beat: iPad mini 4