There has been a steady decline in tablets entering the market, with companies such as Microsoft now labelling their tablets or 2-in-1 devices as laptops.
Still, tablets are incredibly versatile devices that are great to have around the home, on the go or for the kids to play around with. Surf the internet, tap out a quick email, watch TV via iPlayer or Netflix, play games – tablets are the go-to devices for when you want to sit back and enjoy everything the internet has to offer. However, with hundreds of different models all in different shapes and sizes, not to mention different operating systems and prices, it can be hard to know where to start.
In this article, we've rounded up all our favourite tablets, no matter the budget. Whether you're after Android, Apple or Windows, there's a tablet here for you. We've also included a handy buyers guide to help you choose – see the page three.
The new Microsoft Surface Pro has been announced and we're waiting to get our hands on Microsoft's latest creation. We'll be sure to update this article once we've reviewed it. If you don't fancy a tablet, why not see our best laptops of 2017 article.
Best tablets to buy 2017
1. Microsoft Surface Pro 4
Price when reviewed: £879
The Surface Pro 4 is a fantastic laptop replacement – it's in a true class of its own. It has one of the best styluses out there and has a lot of processing power for intensive tasks. When used with its keyboard, the Surface Pro 4 becomes a powerhouse multitasking machine, where its integration with Windows 10 really shines through. If you're looking for the ultimate Windows 10 portable experience, the Surface Pro 4 is an excellent choice.
Key specs – Processor: Dual-core 2.4GHz Intel Core i5-6300U; Screen size: 12.3in; Screen resolution: 2,736 x 1,824; Storage: 256GB; Size: 292 x 201 x 8mm, Weight: 1.37kg (inc keyboard & power brick); Operating system: Windows 10
2. Apple iPad Pro 9.7in
Price when reviewed: £540
The iPad Pro 9.7in is one of the best tablets Apple has ever made. With its powerful processor, high-quality screen, speakers and even camera, there's very little competition for the iPad Pro 9.7in. It's smaller than the 12.9in variant, making it much less awkward. It doesn't quite replace a laptop, but its capabilities are vast, making it one of the best tablets on the market today.
Key specs - Processor: Dual-core 2.16GHz Apple A9X; Screen size: 9.7in; Screen resolution: 2,048 x 1,536; Storage: 32/128/256GB; Size: 240 x 170 x 6.1mm; Weight: 437g; Operating system: iOS 10.
3. Apple iPad Pro 12.9in
Price when reviewed: £799
The iPad Pro 12.9in is an extremely large tablet with a very high-resolution screen, amazing speakers and a good battery life. With its additional accessories, including the Apple Pencil, the tablet becomes a useful tool that can be used in different scenarios. If you're an artist, or seeking a big tablet, the iPad Pro 12.9in is a fantastic pick.
Key specs – Processor: Dual-core 2.16GHz Apple A9X; Screen size: 12.9in; Screen resolution: 2,732 x 2,048; Storage: 32/128GB; Size (WDH): 221 x 6.9 x 306mm; Weight: 713g; Operating system: iOS 10
4. Apple iPad Air 2
Price when reviewed: £390
The iPad Air 2 is a thin and yet powerful tablet for its price. The Air 2 comes with Touch ID and has a relatively fast processor, useful for multitasking and browsing, while its integration with iOS works flawlessly and provides a smooth experience. A worthy tablet, and still a fantastic iPad to purchase.
Key specs - Processor: Tri-core 1.5GHz Apple A8X; Screen size: 9.7in, Screen resolution: 2,048 x 1,536; Storage: 16/32/64/128GB; Size (WDH): 169.5 x 6.1 x 240mm; Weight: 437g; Operating system: iOS 10
5. Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7
Price when reviewed: £370
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 binned its 16:9 display for a 4:3 ratio, making it compete directly with the Apple iPad Air 2. Its resolution and colour accuracy are impressive for a tablet of its size. It runs on Android fluidly and has a premium build quality, making it a great iOS alternative.
Key specs – Processor: Octa-core 1.9GHz + 1.3GHz Samsung Exynos Octa 5433; Screen size: 9.7in; Screen resolution: 2,048 x 1,536; Storage: 32GB; Size (WDH): 169 x 5.6 x 237mm, Weight: 389g, Operating system: Android 6.0.1
6. Apple iPad mini 4
Price when reviewed: £395
The iPad mini 4 is one of the best compact tablets Apple has ever produced. It has a fantastic display, a decent processor and is ultra portable at only 299g. This makes it a great tablet to take on the go. In comparison to other Apple products, the mini 4 is aimed at those who value portability over speed.
Key specs – Processor: Dual-core 1.5GHz Apple A8; Screen size: 7.9in; Screen resolution: 2,048 x 1,536; Storage: 16/64/128GB; Size: 134 x 6.1 x 203mm; Weight: 299g; Operating system: iOS 10
7. Asus ZenPad 3S 10
Price when reviewed: £350
The Asus ZenPad 3S 10 has a gorgeous design and an impressive IPS display. It's a good iPad alternative, and if found for less than £300, it's a better buy than the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7in, which is also highly regarded for its performance.
Key specs – Processor: Hexa-core 2.1GHz MediaTek MT8176; Screen size: 9.7in; Screen resolution: 2,048 x 1,536; Storage: 32GB; Size (WDH): 163.7 x 7.15 x 240.5mm; Weight: 430g; Operating system: Android 6 ZenUI
8. Google Pixel C
Price when reviewed: £538
The portable and elegant Google Pixel C is a great tablet for single task working and multimedia playback. It has an impressive battery life and coupled with its keyboard (sold separately), it's great for long commutes. As a Google device, it receives Android updates extremely quickly, and you'll be able to experience true vanilla Android. Unfortunately, its OS does limit its use, meaning it isn't quite a laptop replacement.
Key specs – Processor: Octa-core 1.9GHz Tegra X1; Screen size: 10.2in; Screen resolution: 2,560 x 1,800; Storage: 64GB; Size (WDH): 179 x 7 x 242mm; Weight: 520g, Operating system: Android 6.0.1