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Best Tablets To Buy in March 2021
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Last updated: 21 May 2021
You might think that the rise in smartphone technology is making them obsolete, but tablets continue to prove powerful and versatile devices that enable you to browse, watch or work on the go. Unsurprisingly, there is almost too much choice, all varying in size, weight, operating system and, of course, price.
To help make that decision a bit easier we’ve selected some of the best deals out there this October, arranged by manufacturer/operating system.
If you’re struggling to work out what you need from your tablet, here are some questions to help guide your choice:
What do I need my tablet for?
If you’re using this for work, then it’s worth considering something with a higher RAM and storage. Similarly, if you work a lot with graphics, you’ll need a model that can handle high resolution images and can run image editing software without crashing!
If it’s just for browsing and general viewing, you’ll be fine with something at the lower end of the budget.
Which OS should I go for?
This depends entirely on taste! Some people like to have their phone, laptop and tablet all running on the same OS; it certainly makes it easier to share files between them, plus you won’t get confused when switching from one user interface to the other.
Do I need to draw or type with my tablet?
If you need drawing capabilities – for example with a stylus pen – then it’s worth considering something with a bigger screen and decent graphics. Many tablets do come with compatible stylus pens, and some even allow for third party hardware (this is often cheaper). Others work best with folding keyboard cases, giving it more of a laptop feel.
The end of summer and back to school sales mean some computers are a total steal, so it’s worth buying now while they’re still available.
Working from home or on the go? Make sure you stay connected by using our broadband comparison tool, to get you the best possible deal on your internet.
Best Apple Tablets
You’ll see we haven’t included the most recent Apple iPad Pro 2020. This is because, despite it’s impressive capabilities, we wanted to focus more on budget friendly models. Thankfully, there are retailers who sell older Apple items – it might even be worth looking at second-hand Mac retailers if you’re really set on buying one.
Apple iPad 10.2in (2019)
While companies update their models all the time, you don’t always need to go for the newest to get a good deal. Often the slightly older models work just fine and will certainly be cheaper.
The real difference with this model when compared to the 2018 one is the introduction of the all-new iPadOS. Specifically designed to support desktop web browsing and iron out all previous issues with the Files app in previous models, this new OS makes for a breezy user experience. If you opt for this tablet, it’s worth getting one of Apple’s Smart Keyboards too, which now feature a touchpad so you can use it like a laptop.
iPad Mini 5
While on the outside, nothing has changed here since the iPad Mini 4, inside it’s an entirely different story. Now with Apple’s new Bionic A12 chip, 3GB RAM and an 8MP, f/4.2 rear camera, this update packs a lot in.
Now running on the latest iOS 12, this tablet is also compatible with non-Apple stylus pens, meaning you don’t have to shell out £90 every time you lose it! It’s a really powerful device and is certainly the best on the market for its size.
Best Amazon Tablets
Amazon Fire HD 8 (2020)
Amazon’s updates to the previous 2018 model mean this tablet boasts a more powerful processor, significantly improved battery life, twice the base storage (now 32GB), and 2GB RAM. The 1200 x 800 px display isn’t as sharp as its competitors over at Apple, but at £90 it is a very strong choice for a budget tablet.
User experience is, on the whole, quite fluid except for some minor glitching when switching between apps. Although Amazon tablets still don’t have the extensive app library you’ll find on Apple, Android and Windows devices, the 12+ hour battery life, Alexa support and additional USB-C charging make this device worthwhile.
You can also check out the other tablets in this series if you need something slightly different. For a super budget find, have a look at the Fire 7; or for something a bit more souped up, the Fire 10 might be just what you need.
Best Android Tablets
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1
This 2019 tablet is the best of both worlds: affordable and high functioning. Boasting a 10.1-inch HD display, 2GB RAM and 32GB storage, it runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow on an Exynos 794A processor to give you a sleek and smooth user experience.
The Dolby Atmos surround sound speakers and 13-hour battery life make this a perfect device to watch TV and movies on the go. With two cameras (8MP rear and 5MP front-facing) and a sleek metal frame, it’s easy to take decent quality photos as you travel too.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite
This tablet, the younger, thinner sibling of the Galaxy S6, is one of our top picks because it’s both affordable and powerful. The sleek design is reminiscent of the Apple iPad, for those looking for a similar experience at half the price.
With a 10.4-inch display, 4GB RAM and 64GB storage (plus the option to expand it with a microSD card, there’s not a lot you can’t do on this tablet. It also comes with the S Pen; a magnetically attached stylus for doodling and note-taking that doesn’t require charging. With a battery life of 13 hours, you can comfortably take this on long journeys without having to worry.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus
At the top of end of the budget we have the Galaxy S7, an impressive tablet that behaves a lot like a laptop. Running off a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus CPU and a 120Gz, HDR10+ “Dynamic AMOLED” display with 5G capabilities, it’s an ideal machine for graphic and image based remote working.
The DeX mode setting allows you to work with a mouse and keyboard if you want a proper computer setup, although you would probably have to fork out on Samsung’s 2-part keyboard cover in order to get the best functionality.
Lenovo Tab 4 8
Sitting somewhere in between tablet and smartphone, the Lenovo Tab 4 8 is an impressive model for its size and price range.
With 2GB RAM, 16GB storage and 1280x800 resolution screen, it might not seem particularly noteworthy, but this tablet performs well all-round and has a sleek, comfortable design. It’s great for light, every-day use.
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro (with integrated projector)
The team at Lenovo have created something quite unique here by including an integrated projector into the Yoga Tab 3 Pro.
Boasting a 10.1-inch screen with 1600x2560 resolution and running off Intel Atom x5-Z8500 with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage, this is a really powerful machine, even before you get to the exciting multimedia capabilities. The only real downside is, despite the best efforts of the design team to keep the projector as compact as possible, the tablet itself is still a bit heavy.