The best tablet you can buy in the US this year is about to change that to the debut of the new iPad 2018. We're adding it to our list soon thanks to its great value.
We're picking from our top recommendations of iOS 11, Android Nougat and even Windows 10 tablets, all offering thin-and-light designs and most with 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 many new iPads to the series of Samsung tablets.
We rank tablets based on multiple factors, including performance, battery life, and screen quality, with price playing an all-important role in the final tally.
1. iPad Pro 10.5
Apple's new flagship tablet
Weight: 469g | Dimensions: 250.6 x 174.1 x 6.1 mm | OS: iOS 11 | Screen size: 10.5-inch | Resolution: 1668 x 2224 pixels | CPU: A10X | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 32GB/256GB/512GB | microSD slot: No | Battery: TBC | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 7MP
The iPad Pro 10.5-inch is best for anyone who wants a serious tablet upgrade, even though the cheaper iPad 9.7 remains good enough for most people.
It has standout features that give it a productivity boost, including Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard compatibility. When iOS 11 comes out, this tablet will be a suitable laptop replacement for certain consumers.
The new ProMotion screen adds an impressive layer of fluidity to daily use - if not strictly necessary - and the smaller bezels means you're getting far more display in a footprint not much bigger than last year's 9.7.
It's solely ranked second because of its higher price. It's almost double the price in the US. That said, it's an iPad for the professionals - but also one that media munchers will adore using.
2. iPad Pro 12.9
Apple’s super-sized tablet is ready for multitasking
Weight: 677g | Dimensions: 305.7 x 220.6 x 6.9 mm | OS: iOS 11 | Screen size: 12.9-inch | Resolution: 2732 x 2048 pixels | CPU: A10X | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 32GB/256GB/512GB | microSD slot: No | Battery: 41 Wh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 7MP
This is the biggest and, to some, represents the best iPad that Apple makes. It's fast, powerful and a visual treat thanks to its fluid ProMotion screen with lots of feedback. That makes it ideal for multitasking and the Apple Pencil.
Of course, that Apple Pencil, the Smart Keyboard Cover and new 512GB size all cost more than most people want to pay. It also has the same specs as the 10.5-inch version. This makes the iPad Pro 12.9 ideal for media professionals who want to be productive and entertained big a giant iPad display.
Read the full review: iPad Pro 12.9
3. New iPad (2017)
The best iPad for anyone looking for the basics
Weight: 469g | Dimensions: 240 x 169.5 x 7.5 mm | OS: iOS 11 | 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
For most people on a budget, 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)
4. 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
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
5. 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 11 | 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
The iPad Pro 9.7 is still one of the best full-featured iPads you can buy thanks to its smaller screen that can help replace your laptop with iOS 11.
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.
Read the full review: iPad Pro 9.7
6. 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
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
7. Microsoft Surface Pro
The Windows tablet that can replace your Windows laptop
Weight: 768g/770g/784g | Dimensions: 292 mm x 201 mm x 8.5 mm | OS: Windows 10 Pro | Screen size: 12.3-inch | Resolution: 2,736 x 1,824 | CPU: Intel Core m3, i5 or i7 | RAM: 4GB/8GB/16GB | Storage: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB or 1TB | Battery: up to 13.5 hours video playback | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 5MP
Today's best Microsoft Surface Pro 2017 deals
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 is the Microsoft Surface Pro.
We’re surprised Microsoft has refrained from calling this the Surface Pro 5 as it's a big upgrade on the 4 - although it is rather expensive, like many tablets in this list.
It does a fine job with the full blown version of Windows 10, an integrated kickstand and optional keyboard attachment.
Great for for creative professionals, students and everyday folks alike, this is a top choice and one of best Windows Laptop we've reviewed.
Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Pro
8. 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
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
9. Huawei MediaPad M3 8.0
An okay slate with a crucial flaw
Weight: 310g | Dimensions: 215.5 x 124.2 x 7.3 mm | OS: Android Marshmallow | Screen size: 8.4-inch | Resolution: 1600 x 2560 pixels | CPU: Hisilicon Kirin 950 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 32GB/64GB | microSD slot: Yes | Battery: 5100 | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 8MP
The Huawei MediaPad M3 8.0 is our favorite tablet for most multimedia, as the name suggests. It has a brilliant-looking 8.4-inch screen, a fashionable slim design and booming Hi-Fi stereo speakers.
It doesn't wow with high-end games, however. You addictive run-of-the-mill puzzle games won't be a problem, but it doesn't tackle real tablet gaming well with its 2.3 GHz octa-core chipset, according to our tests. But at its affordable price, unless you demand excellent 3D gaming performance, this is still a solid choice for anyone looking for a great tablet.
Read the full review: Huawei MediaPad M3 8.0
10. Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro
You'll buy it for the integrated projector
Weight: 666.8g | Dimensions: 246.9 x 179.1 x 4.7 mm | OS: Android Marshmallow | Screen size: 10.1-inch | Resolution: 1600 x 2560 pixels | CPU: Intel Atom x5-Z8500 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB | microSD slot: Yes | Battery: 10,200 | Rear camera: 13MP | Front camera: 5MP
Lenovo gives us a fairly unique Android tablet that includes a projector inside and has other multimedia chops to spare. Its large 10.1-inch screen is the biggest on our best tablets list aside from Apple's massive 12.9-inch iPad Pro, and the 12.3-inch Microsoft Surface Pro.
While its great for multimedia consumption, that projector and all of the other components make this a weighty option. We're also not a fan of the sometimes glitchy UI. It's Android, but Lenovo's flavor of Android. But you're not going to get a more convenient tablet and projector combo anywhere else.
Read the full review: Yoga Tab 3 Pro
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.