Best Tablets: A buying guide with Top picks for 2021

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A tablet is something that falls in the middle of a smartphone and a laptop. When a smartphone is not enough and a laptop is too much. However, this definition does not apply to the tablets of the modern generation anymore. They have evolved tremendously over the years and some of them are amazing pieces of technology. The number of models and brands have increased exponentially over the years making it really difficult to seal a choice. In this article we will resolve that issue by simplifying the buying process while giving you the best contenders for each category. From the best tablets for budget to the best tablets for school, it is all discussed. If this interests you keep reading.

 

How to pick your tablet

Android or Apple

 

Probably the biggest problem that buyers rack their brains over. Should I buy an Android tablet or should I buy an Apple tablet. The answer is quite simple actually, let us show you why.

Do you like google services? If so then the best option would be to go with an Android tablet as it allows you to easily sync your data with Google services without any complications. It also allows you to share your device with other users.

Do you like Apple services more? Apple applications are custom designed for each model, because of the limited number of Apple products on the market. Therefore each application is well optimised. This is impossible on Android as there are thousands of models on the market.

Do you like ease of use? Ease of use and Apple go hand in hand. Apple devices have intuitive interfaces and give the most clean user experience

Are you a hardware geek? Android devices have better hardware diversity and allow you to pick what you want rather than going with what you get.

 

WiFi vs SIM

Not all tablets support cellular networks. Some tablets work only through Wi-Fi and this could get problematic for some. But this can be resolved to a certain level by purchasing a portable hotspot, but again this extra money and more hardware to carry about.

 

Size 

 

The size of the tablet is mostly dependent on the screen. Larger screen sizes result in larger tablets. This is why most tablets are categorised using their screen size: for example, 10-inch tablets and 8-inch tablets.

Different users will need to go for different sizes depending on their requirements and line of work. The best tablets for budget will usually have lower screen size to minimize cost, whereas the best tablets for school will be much bigger in comparison. The best tablets for writers will need to have a clear screen with a sharp resolution; We recommend a resolution of 1280X800 for a 10-inch screen.

 

Our top picks

 

The Apple iPad 2020

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If you want to go with an Apple device but you do not have any special requirements then the Apple iPad 2020 is the way to go. It is one of the best tablets for school considering how well it works in most scenarios. This is still the best iPad to go with in general. The eight generation gives quite a significant boost to its speed and power due to its A12 Bionic Chip. If you are not familiar with A12 Bionic Chip, it was something that was previously exclusive to the higher end Apple tablets. It gives the device a much needed boost in power. If you are wondering what replaced the A12’s place on the high end Apple tablets, the answer is the A14 Bionic chip.

 

The tablet has a great screen to body ratio considering its modest price. In a way the Apple iPad 2020 is the one of the best tablets for budget users that prefer Apple products. Not to mention Apple has its own range of E-Pencils and Smart keyboards that work better than any other tablet accessory on the market. This makes it an exceptional choice when you are looking for the best tablets for school. The smart keyboard allows you to instantly transform the tablet into a writing tool making it great for writers. The keyboard has a great design which makes this one of the best tablets for writers.

 

The Apple iPad 2020 also gets the new iPadOS, which is the iPadOS 14. This OS works extremely well on the A12 Chip, allowing smoother applications and better functionality.

 

Features

Camera

Front:1.2MP Rear:8MP

Chip: A12 Bionic

Display: 2160x 1620 resolution at 10.2 inches

Storage capacity: 32GB and 128GB

 

PROSCONS
Better chip Big bezels
Better support for the Apple pencil and Smart keyboardNo storage compartment for the Apple Pencil
Colourful display with good resolution
Generous display size

 

 We give this a 4 out 5. The big bezels give it a really outdated look. We really wish they updated its design. Anyway it is still one of the best tablets for school.

4.0 out of 5.0 stars

Amazon Fire 7

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The Amazon Fire 7 is our choice when it comes to best tablets for budget that focuses on media. A media tablet is something that is used for media based applications only. In general media is defined as videos, movies, streaming and such. Therefore these tablets are not designed to do heavy duty work such as playing 3D games and running massive applications simultaneously. 

The price of the Amazon Fire 7 is very low compared to the other models on this list. It is probably one of the best tablets for budget users in that aspect. Even though it comes cheap, it does have a reliable processor. The Quad Core processor does give you some freedom when in use.

Not to mention that the tablet finally allows users to access Alexa completely hands free. The previous generations of tablets required the user to tap the screen to call in Alexa. The voice trigger is a welcome addition.

The screen resolution is not its best feature. It is definitely not as sharp as the Apple models. But for a budget media tablet it is not that bad. 

 

Features

Processor: Quad-Core 1.3Ghz 

Camera

Front: 2MP  Rear: 2MP

Storage: 32GB 16GB

Display: 7 Inches

Resolution: 1024×600

 

PROSCONS
Reasonable performance Lower resolution which may be uncomfortable at first
Super affordableAdvertisements on the lock screen
Ability to bring up Alexa completely hands free

 

For the rating we give this is a 5 out of 5. What about the lower resolution? Well, it was kind of expected in a device this cheap.

5.0 out of 5.0 stars

iPad Air 2020

 

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Ah the cream of the crop when it comes to iPads. In our opinion the iPad Air 2020 is the best iPad for your cash. It is a bit more pricier than the others, but for that price it comes with a boxload of new features. Why did we choose this over the iPad Pro? Well, the iPad Pro is what you buy if you have an extremely large budget. But for any regular user, this will be the best choice. Looking for the best tablets for budget while going for Apple? Here you go.

 

It runs on the latest A14 Bionic Chip which is extremely fast. Thanks to its performance rating we are positive that you are future proof for the next 3 years at least when purchasing the iPad Air 4. This will allow you to play those 3D games with no issue at all. Multi tasking will be a breeze.


In terms of design we were happy to see that the device does not have huge bezels in its display. This gives it a crisp clean look. The iPad is surprisingly light but has a good battery capacity that allows it to run for 10.5 hours on a single charge. Its retina display gives vibrant colours with good contrast that makes your binge watching sessions a real treat for the eyes.

 

 Features

 

CPU: A14 Bionic Chip

Resolution:2360×1640 Retina

Display:10.9 inch

Storage: 64GB/128GB

 

PROSCONS
Extremely good performance Lack of Face ID
High quality displayNo headphone jack 3.5mm
Really good front cam

 

We give this a 5 out 5. Hands down the most cost efficient iPad.

5.0 out of 5.0 stars

reMarkable 2

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We realised a lot of people are searching for the best tablets for writers. This does not mean tablets that writers can adjust for their work, but tablets that are designed for writing. For some users the iPad and its Apple pencil may not be enough. For them, the reMarkable 2 is here to blow their minds away. We sure were.

 

First off the tablet lasts for 2 weeks on a single charge. That is amazing, you can just leave on your study table till you get the urge to put in some words. It gives the user an authentic feeling that is very similar to using the pen and paper. This alone made us put it as the best option when it came to the best tablets for writers section. The device uses a special screen and a unique stylus to do this job.

 

It also has many other user hacks such as the ability to sync your documents with the cloud storage of your choosing. This will allow you to read your documents on an iPad, an iPhone, PCs, Macs and even on an Android device. Seamless connectivity. Not to mention that the reMarkable 2 software will automatically turn your scribbles and writings to editable text. That is right it won’t be a single static image staring back at you. Your teammates, coworkers can all view and edit your writings with no issue at all.

 

Features

CPU: 1.2GHz Dual Core 

Storage: 8GB
Display: 10.3 inches

Resolution: 1872×1404

 

PROSCONS
Best digital writing tablet on the marketNothing much you can do other than write notes and read them.
Stylus input has no latency
Feels like you are writing on paper

 

We give this a 5 out 5. This was built exclusively for the writers out there that want a replacement for traditional ink and paper but require the same authentic feel of writing. It gives just that and nothing more.

5.0 out of 5.0 stars

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7

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Our choice when it comes to Android tablets. You might be wondering why we did not include a choice for the best tablets for budget : Android, that costs a hundred dollars or so. The answer is simple; cheap Android devices degrade extremely fast. You might have a decent tablet at first, but use it for a few months and bam it will start to slow down. Therefore we chose our most reliable choice for our readers. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 is our pick when it comes to Android.

 

The tablet gives the iPad PRO a run for its money. It has an extremely powerful Snapdragon 865+ processor that can run anything that is available on the Playstore. For $500 you get something that is a little short of a tech miracle. The display has a 120Hz refresh rate, which makes it look absolutely amazing. If you are someone that is looking to play video games, then this will help you immensely.

 

The DeX mode is not that well optimised, we felt that App developers could improve it and they probably will. The device promises over 13 hours of run time when fully charged and we got 12 off it. Pretty close but we did spend a good portion of it playing PubG, so the drain is acceptable.

 

Features

CPU: Snapdragon 865+

RAM: 8GB/6GB

Display: 11 Inch

Resolution: 2560×1600 

Storage: 128GB/256GB

 

PROSCONS
Powerful processorKeyboard feels a bit cramped
120Hz displayDeX mode needs improvements 
Wonderful design

We give the Samsung a 4 out 5. The cramped up keyboard and the DeX mode needing improvements really was the reason it did not get 5 out 5. It is an amazing tablet, but to compete with the likes of the iPad PRO, it needs these.

4.0 out of 5.0 stars

Did you make your choice?

 

This wraps up our article on the best tablets to purchase in 2021. From the best tablets for budget users to the best tablets for writers, everything for equally covered above. Read through our buying guide and get an idea of what to look for in a tablet. Then look through our top picks to make your choice. If you like technology make sure to check out our latest article on the best drones to get in 2021.