Microsoft Surface Pro 3

Microsoft has positioned its Surface Pro 3 as a "MacBook-killer" more than a tablet, but it's really a laptop-tablet hybrid that deserves recognition here as well as the best laptops list.

While we said tablets maximize the mobile experience, most aren't true laptop replacements. Microsoft's entry fills both rolls, and for the most part it's up for the task.

Surface Pro 3 has a whole lot of power, an impressive display and a useful Type Cover for when you need to get some serious work done. It's got the muscle to compete with the best ultrabooks and the portability and ease of use to be an iPad Air 2 alternative.

It's not perfect. The battery life is seriously weak by tablet standards and it's a pricey bit of kit, but if you really want one device to fill both roles then this is the best option out there.

Quick verdict

The Microsoft Surface Pro 3 is an impressively powerful and versatile device. There's a sense that it's a jack of all trades, master of none, but it's the best hybrid around and that's reason enough to consider it if you don't want or can't afford both a tablet and an Ultrabook.

Microsoft Surface Pro 3 review

Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1

Samsung is no stranger to tablets, in fact the South Korean giant has flooded the market with more slates than we know what to do with and the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 is arguably the best of them.

It's clad in slightly underwhelming plastic like most Samsung devices, which is a bit of a shame given what a high end machine the Tab Pro 10.1 is, but once you experience its tremendous power and amazing screen it's a disappointment which quickly slips away.

In fact there's very little else to dislike about it. This is a top tier slate through and through and it's versatile enough to comfortably be used for work or play.

Quick verdict

The Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 might not have the premium build of the iPad Air or the waterproof credentials of the Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet but in most other ways it's just as high end and it slightly undercuts them too.

More: Best tablet apps

As with today's best smartphones, applications play a big role on tablets – once you've decided which of these tablets if 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.