The best tablets for Christmas
There are a lot of tablets out there, and knowing which one is the right one for yourself or a loved one this Christmas can be tricky.
Thankfully we've pulled together the 10 best tablets for Christmas into five handy categories - best flagship, best Android, best compact, best budget and best for movies - so you can easily pick the right slate for the festive season.
So don't hesitate, go forth and make someone's Christmas. We don't even mind if it's your own.
Best Flagship: iPad Air 2
When it comes to tablets, Apple is still a long way ahead of its competitors. While there are definitely Android phones that can compete with the iPhone, the iPad is still in a different class.
The iPad Air 2 is fast, thin and beautiful. Crucially too, it has the best selection of tablet-optimised apps available, so you can be sure that you are making the most of the 9.7-inch display.
Battery life is impressive, ensuring the Air 2 will see you through long car journeys and transatlantic flights, while Touch ID provides fingerprint security through the home button.
- Read our iPad Air 2 review
Alternative Flagship: iPad Pro
If the regular iPad just isn't big enough, you can supersize it with Apple's massive 12.9-inch slate. Just as beautiful as the Air 2, the Pro is surprisingly light for its size and is perfect for anyone who wants to take part in any slightly more creative endeavours.
The Apple Pencil (which is sadly sold separately) can be used in conjunction with the new tablet, enabling you to draw, paint and select with greater precision - which makes the tablet perfect for image editing and drawing on the go.
The Pro is also snapping at the heels of "hybrid" devices like Microsoft's Surface Pro 4 - with Apple selling a keyboard/cover that makes it the first Apple tablet properly designed for creation, and not just consumption.
- Read our iPad Pro review
Best Android: Samsung Galaxy Tab S2
One of the few genuine competitors to the iPad, Samsung's Tab S2 certainly competes with Apple on a technical level, and on size too.
The one big advantage the device has over the iPad is that it has a microSD slot, so storage can be upgraded and you can load up the device with tonnes of videos - perfect for taking on a long flight. And while Samsung's "TouchWiz" user interface is still grafted awkwardly on top of the standard Android interface, it isn't as obnoxious as previous iterations.
The Tab S2 is available in two sizes, 9.7-inch and 8-inch, ensuring Samsung has both Apple's flagship and mini tablet ranges covered.
- Read our Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 review
Alternative Android: Google Pixel C
The new kid on the Android tablet block is the Google Pixel C, a slate designed and built by the search giant without the aid of a third party manufacturer.
It's the first time Google's built its own tablet from start to finish, and for a first attempt the Pixel C is fantastic.
A superb screen, plenty of power and a handy optional keyboard dock makes this slate the best premium Android tablet around. It's not cheap, but it sure is pretty.
- Read our Google Pixel C review
Best Compact: iPad Mini 4
Once again, Apple emerges victorious with the iPad Mini 4, a diminutive 7.9-inch tablet that manages to pack almost as much punch as its bigger brothers.
The Mini 4 runs on an Apple A8 processor and 2GB of RAM, while the display boasts the firm's Retina technology.
As with other iPads, the real advantage here is in software the range of what is available. The size makes the Mini 4 perfect for reading books on Kindle, or catching up with latest news, as well as for watching videos. It is pretty much the perfect travel companion owing to its lightweight and compact size.
- Read our iPad Mini 4 review
Alternative Compact: iPad Mini 2
The iPad mini 2 has managed to outlast the iPad mini 3, which itself was pulled from shelves when the mini 4 rocked up. But why?
Simple really, the iPad mini 2 offers you the cheapest entry into Apple's tablet ecosystem as it blends compact design and still solid specs with an upgrade to iOS 9 at an attractive price tag.
There's a lot to like about the iPad mini 2, and while it may not have sparkling performance you could do a lot, lot worse.
- Read our iPad Mini 2 review
Best Budget: Amazon Fire
Amazon wowed us all earlier this year when it released the basic Amazon Fire tablet for just £50. What's astonishing about it is that while yes, we've seen budget tablets before, premium brands have never felt able to put their names on them - leaving the job to second or third tier manufacturers instead.
So not only is it a brave move by Amazon, but it is one that might just pay off as the Amazon Fire is pretty darn good for the price.
Sure, it has only 1GB of RAM rather than the more standard 2GB, and only 8GB of storage (4GB of which is actually useable) - but it is certainly good enough to meet your most basic of mobile needs.
- Read our Amazon Fire review
Alternative Budget: Nexus 9
Believe it or not, the feature packed Nexus 9 has had such a significant price drop over recent months it's now one of the best budget tablets on the market.
Made by HTC for the search giant, the Nexus 9 comes with a stunning 8.9-inch display, punchy processor and the very latest Android software in Marshmallow.
Add to that the fact it now costs less than £200 and will be first in line for future Android updates and you'll see the Nexus 9 can't do much wrong.
- Read our Nexus 9 review
Best for Movies: Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet
If you want to watch video on the go, this is the tablet for you. The Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet has a full 2K display which will make videos look amazing - and at 10.1 inches, is the closest you'll get to having a cinema when squeezed on to the train.
Better still, if it isn't just movies you want to watch the device is also great for working on, as Sony has designed a special clip-on combined keyboard/stand that sits elegantly with the premium-looking device.
As a final kicker, the Xperia Z4 Tablet is also waterproof, which means a bath-time Netflix binge is definitely on the cards. Someone pass the bubble bath...
- Read our Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet review
Alternative Movies: Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro
A built in stand, a massive battery and a razor sharp QHD display - the only thing this tablet's missing is a projector. Oh wait, it's got that too!
That's right, the Yoga Tab 3 Pro will take your Netflix and chill sessions on the road, with its built in projector giving you access to a 70-inch screen anywhere you can find a blank wall.
As if that wasn't enough there's a microSD slot allowing you to stock up on all your favourite videos, with Wi-Fi and 4G connectivity means you'll be able to stream and download pretty much anywhere.
- Read our Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 review