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The 13 best tablets of 2015


Decisions, decisions. With so many great tablets on the market, and new contenders arriving every few months, you can be forgiven for finding it difficult to make up your mind buying a new tablet presents a genuinely tough choice.

This is where Alphr’s guide comes in. Whether you want a sub- 100 Windows tablet, a premium Android tablet or simply can’t decide between the members of Apple’s growing iPad family, our constantly-updated chart of the best tablets is the helping hand you’ve been looking for.

Needless to say, this line-up includes every operating system going there are iOS, Android, Windows 8.1 and even Amazon Fire OS tablets here and the winners come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, not to mention with a rich variety of specifications and key features.

Bag a bargain

You might be thinking that some of the tablets in this chart look out of date this is because the latest, greatest tablets don’t always offer the best value. Hunt around for the best deals and you’ll find premium tablets like the Nexus 9 selling for 200, or last year’s iPad mini 2 going for 239. We update the list every week, so we’ll add details of those offers whenever they catch our eye.

Make the right choice

Not sure what you really want or need from your new tablet? Click onto Page 21 and take a look at our in-depth Buyer’s Guide. We explain everything you need to look for when buying a new tablet.

The best tablets of 2015: The chart

1. Apple iPad Air 22

Price when reviewed: from 399 inc VAT

The 13 Best Tablets Of 2015

Apple’s iPad Air 2 set the standard in the tablet market. It was the thinnest in the world in 2014, yet packed in a fingerprint sensor, a triple-core A8X processor and a stunningly good 9.7in display. It remains our favourite tablet for now, but with Apple having just announced the iPad Pro (click here to read our hands-on iPad Pro review), it may not be for very long. Click here to read our Apple iPad Air 2 review43

2. Microsoft Surface 35

Price when reviewed: 419 inc VAT, 64GB Wi-Fi ( 529 with Type Cover)

The 13 Best Tablets Of 2015

With a starting price of 419, the 10.8in Surface 3 is Microsoft s cheapest Surface yet, and it s a genuine contender for the best tablet you can buy. It s a touch smaller than the Surface Pro 3 and lighter, too, with both the tablet and Type Cover weighing 884g. Couple that with full Windows app support and superb battery life, and you have an adorable halfway house between a tablet and a laptop. Click here to read our Microsoft Surface 3 review6

3. Apple iPad mini 47

Price when reviewed: from 319 inc VAT

The 13 Best Tablets Of 2015

In many ways, the iPad mini remains the small tablet to beat. The performance enhancements in this version keep it ahead of (most) of its competitors, and the quality of third-party applications on iOS make it a superior platform overall (or at least that’s that Ian thinks – feel free to disagree on the review’s comments thread). However, the size of the iPad mini is beginning to feel like a compromise. If you want something to carry around with you at all times, the Apple iPhone 6s Plus may be a better option. Click here to read our Apple iPad mini 4 review98

4. Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 8in10

Price when reviewed: 300 inc VAT, 32GB Wi-Fi

The 13 Best Tablets Of 2015

Samsung has taken its rather lovely Galaxy Tab S 8.4 and given it a mighty impressive once-over. The screen size has shrunk to 8in, but the wider 4:3 aspect ratio makes a positive difference and image quality remains top dollar. Despite a 5.6mm thin body, both performance and battery life have taken a turn for the better, too. The only quibble? The price. Click here to read our Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 8in review1211

5. Nexus 913

Price: from 200 inc VAT

The 13 Best Tablets Of 2015

The Nexus 9 is an obscenely fast, turbocharged slab of a tablet. There are plenty of good points, too. It has a bright, super-high-resolution 8.9in display; there’s a vanilla, un-fiddled-with version of Android; and the speakers pump out the jams with the very best of them. Only build-quality quibbles leave it to fall short of tablet greatness. Recently, though, sales have seen the price tumble as low as 200 at that price, the Nexus 9 is one of best Android tablets on the market. Click here to read our Nexus 9 review14

6. iPad Air15

Price when reviewed: from 319 inc VAT

The 13 Best Tablets Of 2015

Can’t quite stretch to the iPad Air 2? Oh well, never mind. The iPad Air is now cheaper than ever, and it’s still a slimline slice of loveliness. The 32GB version is an absolute bargain at 359, and the 4G version at 459 is something of a steal, too. It might not have the sheer grunt of the iPad Air 2, but in all honesty, you’re unlikely to notice. Click here to read our Apple iPad Air review16

7. Apple iPad mini 217

Price when reviewed: 239 inc VAT, 16GB Wi-Fi

The 13 Best Tablets Of 2015

A two-generations old iPad mini is still a force to be reckoned with. For 219, you’re still getting a cute little tablet with good performance and ample battery life. What do you end up missing out on? Well, the new iPad mini 4 is faster, has a much, much better screen and comes with Touch ID. If you’re looking for a great compact tablet for sensible money, though, then the iPad mini 2 is still a contender. Click here to read our Apple iPad mini 2 review18

8. Microsoft Surface Pro 319

Price when reviewed: from 639 inc VAT

The 13 Best Tablets Of 2015

The Surface Pro 3 represents a confident step towards the best possible hybrid device. It still isn t brilliant in every scenario, but it feels considerably less compromised than the previous generations. This is one of the only tablets here which genuinely can double as a desktop PC. Click here to read our Microsoft Surface Pro 3 review20

9. Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet21

Price when reviewed: 399 inc VAT

The 13 Best Tablets Of 2015

It has since been superseded by the pricey Xperia Z4 Tablet, but the Z2 still retains a healthy appeal and unlike the Z4, you can buy it without a keyboard. It’s possible to pick it up for a bargain sum if you shop around, and the combination of an excellent display and superb battery life means that Sony’s tablet remains one the best of the Android tablet bunch. Click here to read our Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet review22

10. Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact23

Price when reviewed: 329 inc VAT

The 13 Best Tablets Of 2015

Sony’s super-skinny Z3 Tablet Compact is so thin and light we mistook it for a 7in tablet at first. In fact, it has an 8in display, and a top-quality 1,200 x 1,920-resolution one at that. All-round, this is the best compact Android tablet on the market right now but it is a little on the pricey side. Click here to read our Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact review24

11. Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.425

Price when reviewed: 319 inc VAT

The 13 Best Tablets Of 2015

A great compact tablet, with a top-quality screen, fast performance and superb battery life. Originally a little too expensive, but now that the price has fallen close to 200, it’s a real bargain. Click here to read our Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 review26

12. Linx 827

Price when reviewed: 90 inc VAT

The 13 Best Tablets Of 2015

For 90, the Linx 8 is a hugely appealing little Windows tablet. It doesn t have much RAM, which limits its potential somewhat, but performance, build quality and the range of features on offer are far in excess of what you should expect for the money. Click here to read our Linx 8 review28

13. Bush MyTablet 829

Price when reviewed: 100 inc VAT

The 13 Best Tablets Of 2015

A potent quad-core Atom processor, 32GB of storage and a good-quality 8in IPS screen make for one of the most affordable and competent budget Windows tablets yet. Popularity has its downsides, though: with Argos selling off the remaining stock for as little as 70, the few that are left aren’t likely to last long. Snap one up while you can. Click here to read out Bush MyTablet 8 review30

References

  1. ^ What you need to know (www.alphr.com)
  2. ^ http://www.alphr.com/apple/apple-ipad-air-2 (www.alphr.com)
  3. ^ Apple iPad Pro first-look review (www.alphr.com)
  4. ^ Apple iPad Air 2 review (www.alphr.com)
  5. ^ 2. Microsoft Surface 3 (www.alphr.com)
  6. ^ Microsoft Surface 3 review (www.alphr.com)
  7. ^ Apple iPad mini 4 review (www.alphr.com)
  8. ^ Apple iPhone 6s Plus (www.alphr.com)
  9. ^ The small tablet to buy (www.alphr.com)
  10. ^ Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 8in review (www.alphr.com)
  11. ^ Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 8in review (www.alphr.com)
  12. ^ Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 8in review (www.alphr.com)
  13. ^ Nexus 9 review (www.alphr.com)
  14. ^ Google Nexus 9 review (www.alphr.com)
  15. ^ http://www.alphr.com/apple/apple-ipad-air (www.alphr.com)
  16. ^ Apple iPad Air review (www.alphr.com)
  17. ^ www.alphr.com/apple/apple-ipad-mini-2 (www.alphr.com)
  18. ^ Apple iPad mini 2 review (www.alphr.com)
  19. ^ Surface Pro 3 Review (www.alphr.com)
  20. ^ Microsoft Surface Pro 3 review (www.alphr.com)
  21. ^ http://www.alphr.com/sony/sony-xperia-z2-tablet (www.alphr.com)
  22. ^ Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet review (www.alphr.com)
  23. ^ Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact review (www.alphr.com)
  24. ^ Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact review (www.alphr.com)
  25. ^ http://www.alphr.com/samsung/samsung-galaxy-tab-s-84 (www.alphr.com)
  26. ^ Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 review (www.alphr.com)
  27. ^ Linx 8 review (www.alphr.com)
  28. ^ Linx 8 review (www.alphr.com)
  29. ^ http://www.alphr.com/tablets/1000241/bush-mytablet-8-the-100-windows-tablet (www.alphr.com)
  30. ^ Bush MyTablet 8 review (www.alphr.com)

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