20 Best Rated Tablets on the Market: The Heavy Power List
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20 Best Rated Tablets on the Market: The Heavy Power List

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Looking for the best tablets for business, education, or personal use? We’ve rounded up 20 of the best rated tablets on the market. Whether you need a reliable tablet for doing business on the go, a zippy tablet for home, or a low-cost tablet that fits a student budget, there’s something on this list that will be perfect for your unique needs. Read on to see which tablets made our list, and please note that all prices listed are subject to fluctuation over time.


1. iPad Air 2

Check out a short but sweet review of the iPad Air 2 in the video above from the Verge.

The iPad Air 2 is Apple’s most powerful tablet. CNET gave it a 4.5/5 star rating, and Engadget gave this tablet a solid 90 score in their own review. It’s just 6.1mm thick, making it ideal for people who want a slim, portable, lightweight tablet. It’s powerful processor makes this a stellar option for personal or student use, but it really shines as a business tab.

Price: $499 and up, depending on options selected

Buy it here.


Pros:
  • Weighs less than a pound
  • Great screen resolution
  • Battery lasts up to ten hours
  • A8X chip offers 2.5x faster graphics and 40 percent faster CPU than previous generations
  • Supports TouchID and Apple Pay

Cons:
  • Expensive
  • Using a case can ruin the line of the device and make it heavier
  • Some users may prefer a smaller form factor
  • Wired notes the Air 2 is heavier than the Nexus 9
  • Ars Technica notes the smart cover may not fit snugly

Find more Apple iPad Air 2 reviews and product information here.


2. Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2

Get an in-depth look at the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 in the video above.

The Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 was featured in TIME‘s article “The 4 Best Tablets Not Named ‘iPad’”. TIME highlighted this tablet because of its great battery life and total pixels. If you’re looking for a tablet that’s not made by Apple, this Samsung tab is a solid contender.

This tablet comes bundled with a Samsung S-Pen, which is ideal for people who prefer taking notes in longhand, or those who want to use the tablet for drawing. The S-Pen also allows you to take some handy shortcuts, which makes it a great tool for productivity. This would be a good tablet for business use, but the ability to draw with the S-Pen also makes this appealing to art students, or to parents who don’t mind sharing their tab with a kid.

Price: $597.99 and up, depending on options selected

Buy it here.


Pros:
  • Multi-window lets you see four apps at once
  • 12.2-inch 2560×1600 WQXGA Display
  • S-Pen
  • Includes Samsung e-Meeting, Hancom Office, and Samsung KNOX
  • Comes with 50GB of Dropbox storage

Cons:
  • Storage tops out at 64GB, which may not be enough for some
  • Somewhat heavy
  • Up to 13 hours of battery life per charge
  • Expensive
  • May be “too much tablet” for casual users

Find more Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 reviews and product information here.


3. Nvidia Shield Tablet

Check out Tested’s in-depth review of the Nvidia Shield Tablet in the player above.

Best known as a tablet for gamers, the Nvidia Shield is such a good all-around tablet that CNET featured it on their list of best tablets of 2014, specifically citing it as the best “pure gaming” tab on the market. This versatile tablet is awesome for gamers, but it’s also great for anyone who wants a powerful, small tablet for personal use.

The tablet is 4K ready, and you can also take advantage of tons of gaming perks. These perks include the NVIDIA GRID gaming service, with more than 20 blockbuster PC games available for free. You can also stream games from your GeForce GTX-powered PC and play them on the SHIELD tablet with NVIDIA GameStream.

Price: $299

Buy it here.


Pros:
  • 2.2 GHz Tegra K1 processor
  • Compatible with NVIDIA SHIELD Controller
  • Weighs under a pound
  • Ideal for mobile gaming or watching videos
  • Ready for Android 5.0 Lollipop with OTA Update

Cons:
  • 16GB of storage may not be enough to store all your favorite games (microSD expansion is possible, however)
  • Some tablets have a better rear camera
  • Some users may prefer a bigger screen
  • Controller not included
  • Some find the tablet to be “blocky” looking

Find more Nvidia Shield reviews and product information here.


4. Google Nexus 9

Check out Marques Brownlee’s review of the Nexus 9 in the video above.

PC World gave this tablet four out of five stars, arguing that the Nexus 9 is both powerful and user-friendly.

With a 64-bit Tegra K1 processor under the hood, a gorgeous display, and loud speakers on the front of the device, the Nexus 9 is great for people who are looking for a tablet to use primarily for home entertainment. Add in a magnetic keyboard, and this is a tablet that can be used for business or educational purposes as well.

Price: $399 and up, depending on options selected

Buy it here.


Pros:
  • Weighs under a pound
  • Powerful processor
  • Front-facing HTC BoomSound speakers
  • Easy to use one-handed, unlike bigger tabs
  • Nexus devices get the latest Android OS updates first

Cons:
  • Battery life is about 7 hours, less than the Apple iPad Air 2
  • No SD slot
  • Limited onboard storage
  • Color options lack personality
  • Front camera only records at 720p

Find more Google Nexus 9 tablet reviews and product information here.


5. Microsoft Surface Pro 3

Check out the Verge’s review of the Surface Pro 3 above.

The Microsoft Surface Pro 3 got a solid review from David Pogue on Yahoo! Tech, with the only caveat being that you are unlikely to want to splurge on this tablet if you only want to replace an existing tablet, rather than replace both a tablet and a laptop.

Engadget gave this tablet an 8.0, while IT Pro writes that the Surface Pro 3 has the edge over the iPad Air 2 in terms of inputs, specs, and connectivity. Overall, if you’re looking for a great business tablet than can easily work as well as a laptop, this is a device worth splurging on. There’s also a ton of different storage options to choose from, which is a nice perk for those who need more onboard storage.

Price: $779 and up, depending on options selected

Buy it here.


Pros:
  • Comes with Surface Pen (but not keyboard)
  • Versatile
  • Runs full Microsoft Office Suite
  • Up to nine hours of battery life
  • Many compatible accessories

Cons:
  • Type Cover is expensive
  • Expensive
  • Processors run the gamut from Intel Core i3 to Core i5 and i7
  • Somewhat heavy, especially with cover attached
  • Some users find customer support is lackluster

Find more Microsoft Surface Pro 3 reviews and product information here.


6. Asus Transformer Book T100TA (64GB)

Get up close and personal with this hybrid device in the video review above.

PC Mag named this tab one of the ten best out there, and also favored the Transformer Book with an Editor’s Choice seal of approval. The Transformer Book is a great choice for people who want a 2-in-1 device, but who can’t afford the steep price tag of a Surface. It boots up pretty quickly, which is a nice feature.

If you’re looking to save some cash, consider going for the older model, instead of the newer version.

Price: $339.99 (15 percent off)

Buy it here.


Pros:
  • Up to 11 hours of battery life
  • Keyboard Dock with USB 3.0 port included
  • Multiple color options
  • Microsoft Office Home & Student 2013 include
  • Versatile

Cons:
  • Highest storage option is a mere 64GB
  • Somewhat heavy
  • Processor a bit wimpy
  • Free unlimited ASUS WebStorage, but only for one year
  • Some users find battery life doesn’t live up to manufacturer’s claims

Find more ASUS Transformer Book 10.1 reviews and product information here.


7. Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 (3rd Gen)

Laptop gave this tablet a four star rating (out of five stars.) Engadget also gave this tab high marks, scoring it a 85/100.

There is a newer version of this item, which you can check out here. It does cost a little more, but it has slightly better specs. If you’re looking for a bargain, though, the third gen version of this tab is perfectly serviceable. The battery life is solid as well, with reading-only life set at a whopping 18 hours per charge.

Price: $349 and up

Buy it here.


Pros:
  • Easy tech support
  • 2.2GHz quad-core processor
  • 34 percent lighter than the previous generation
  • Dynamic image contrast, ideal for outdoor use
  • Console-quality game graphics

Cons:
  • Storage tops out at 64GB
  • Somewhat expensive
  • Price is higher for devices without special offers
  • Somewhat limited app selection
  • Some users have reported device bricking after watching Amazon videos

Find more Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9-inch tablet reviews and product information here.


8. Asus VivoTab Note 8

Check out the video above to see how the VivoTab Note 8 stacks up against the ThinkPad 8 and the Dell Venue 8 Pro.

PC Mag gave this an Editor’s Choice seal. If you need a tablet under $300, this is a solid bet. It’s portable nature makes this a great, lightweight tab for business or personal use. It even comes with a carrying case, which is a nice perk for first-time tablet buyers. This tablet is ideal for people who primarily use their tablet for note-taking or media playback.

Price: $276.98 (16 percent off)

Buy it here.


Pros:
  • Lightweight
  • Integrated Wacom active stylus
  • Pre-installed full license MS Office Home & Student included
  • 10MP rear camera
  • Expand storage by up to 64GB with the micro SDXC card slot

Cons:
  • Average battery life is just six hours
  • Limited ports
  • No LTE/4G option
  • Keyboard and mouse can be linked, but this tablet is made more for standalone use
  • Limited color options

Find more Asus VivoTab Note 8 reviews and product information here.


9. Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet

Get Android Authority’s take on this great tablet in the video above.

TechRadar ranked the Sony Xperia Z2 tablet as the third best tablet release of 2014. This waterproof tablet is ideal for people who use their tablet outdoors as part of their work or leisure time. It weighs less than a pound, and is just a quarter inch thick.

Price: $499.99 and up for LTE versions

Buy it here.


Pros:
  • S-Force Front surround audio technology
  • Asynchronous processor
  • Waterproof
  • Great display
  • Less expensive than some other tabs out there

Cons:
  • Battery life could be better
  • Still pretty pricey
  • May be too large for those who prefer being able to tuck a tablet in a coat pocket or small purse
  • Large bezels
  • Feels “bendable” to some

Find more Sony Xperia Z2 tablet reviews and product information here.


10. Samsung Galaxy Tab S (10.5-Inch)

Check out the video above, which features over 40 tips and tricks for Galaxy Tab S owners.

TechRadar gave the 10.5-inch version of this tab four and a half stars, with a full five stars given for the “performance” metric. The tablet includes the ability to expand up to 128 GB memory with a microSD slot.

There’s also an 8.4-inch version of the Galaxy Tab S, which may be a more appealing size for some tablet hunters.

Price: $449.99 and up (10 percent off)

Buy it here.


Pros:
Cons:
  • Some apps feel bloated
  • Not all Galaxy Gifts will appeal to all people
  • No HDMI port
  • Fingerprint scanner placement is awkward
  • Unlike some of the bigger Samsung tabs, this only runs two apps side by side

Find more Samsung Galaxy Tab S reviews and product information here.


11. LG G Pad 8.3

Check ou the video above from TechnoBuffalo to understand the perks of using this tablet.

TechRadar gave the LG G Pad 8.3 top marks for design, usability, and value. Customers at Best Buy have also given this tablet high marks. This little tab is great at multi-tasking, making this ideal for both business and students use. Its small size also makes it appropriate for use at home.

Price: $229 and up

Buy it here.


Pros:
  • Easy pairing with Android phones
  • Multi-task with QSlide Function and Slide Aside
  • Lightweight
  • Full HD display
  • Attractive design

Cons:
  • Hard to read in direct sun
  • Battery life could be better
  • Sound can be hard to hear in certain conditions
  • Some users may prefer a tablet made by the same company that made their phone
  • Limited color options

Find more LG G Pad reviews and product information here.


12. Microsoft Surface 2

One reviewer shares their experiences with the Surface 2 after using it for two months. Check it out in the video above.

For people who can’t afford the Surface Pro 3, the old Surface 2 may be a good fit. Pocket Lint and TheNextWeb both gave the Surface 2 favorable reviews on release. This tab runs touch-optimized Windows Store apps, and comes preloaded with Office and other apps.

Price: $369.99 and up, depending on options

Buy it here.


Pros:
  • Comes with Office
  • Allows creation of different user accounts
  • Versatile
  • Up to ten hours of battery life
  • Full HD display

Cons:
  • Somewhat limited app selection
  • Some dislike operating system
  • Some connectivity limitations
  • While it is a tablet, it really works best with keyboard attached
  • Despite being an older device, it’s still quite expensive

Find more Microsoft Surface 2 reviews and product information here.


13. VTech Innotab Max

Looking for the best kid-friendly tab? Check out the review of the VTech Innotab Max above.

If you’re looking for a kid’s tablet to keep your “grown up” tab in pristine condition, the VTech Innotab Max is a great choice. Gizmag rated this tablet as one of the best options out there for kids. This tablet has an adaptable design with a tough, kid-friendly cover. As your kid gets older, you can remove this cover to make the tab look more “grown up.”

Price: $95.94 (13 percent off)

Buy it here.


Pros:
  • Grows with your kid
  • Provides educational value
  • Affordable
  • An ever-expanding library of over 650 educator supported learning cartridges and apps
  • Suited for toddlers up to age eight

Cons:
  • Screen resolution is a bit low
  • Family Bulletin feature not coming until February 2015
  • Memory expansion is limited
  • InnoTab 3S Plus actually has better battery life
  • Touchscreen has limited responsiveness and durability

Find more Vtech Innotab Max reviews and product information here.


14. Asus MeMO Pad HD 7

Check out a review of this tablet in the video above.

PC Mag gave this tablet an “excellent” rating. It is affordable, lightweight, and offers microSD expansion. While it may lack some bells and whistles, it’s the perfect cheap tab for anyone who needs a simple solution for viewing documents or apps on the go.

Price: $128.99 (13 percent off)

Buy it here.


Pros:
  • Inexpensive
  • Rear and front cameras
  • Decent battery life
  • Smart Remove camera feature
  • Auto-upload photos from your device to the cloud

Cons:
  • Feels cheap
  • LCD blooming reported by some users
  • Somewhat limited expansion for memory
  • Other tablets offer similar features at a better build quality for around the same price
  • Controls aren’t placed ergonomically

Find more ASUS MeMO Pad 7 reviews and product information here.


15. HP Slate 7 Tablet (Beats Edition)

Get a closer look at this tablet in the video above.

As Engadget points out in their review of the HP Slate 7, there’s a lot that this tablet gets wrong. The battery life could be better, the display isn’t exactly glorious, and some users have reported latency issues. But all that being said, if the perfect tab for you is simply a cheap, sturdy tablet that can take a beating, then the Slate 7 is actually worth your consideration. It’s not perfect, but it is perfect for the needs of some. And if you splurge for the Beats edition, you may enjoy the audio aspects of this tab even more.

Price: $279.99 for Beats Special Edition, less for regular version

Buy it here.


Pros:
  • Optional Beats Special Edition adds great sound
  • Sturdy
  • Inexpensive
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Easy to use

Cons:
  • Battery life may not suit all demands
  • Display resolution could be better
  • Some users have reported “stuttering”
  • Not all users like the Beats brand
  • Other seven inch tablets offer better features and specs

Find more HP Slate 7 reviews and product information here.


16. Dell Venue 8 Pro

Check out the unboxing video above, which also includes a review, comparison, and benchmark section.

Ars Technica gave this tablet a mostly favorable review, though they had a few gripes about the camera and the benchmarks of this device. This tablet is available in a number of different configurations, so you can easily find an option that suits both your budget and your storage needs. If budget is your primary concern, this tablet may be ideal for your business or personal needs.

Price: $164.99 and up, depending on options selected

Buy it here.


Pros:
  • Nice battery life
  • Attractive design
  • Nice entry-level tablet
  • Affordable
  • Certified Refurbished versions also available

Cons:
  • Camera images are not terribly sharp
  • Limited ports
  • Limited array of accessories
  • Smaller screen makes this a poor laptop replacement for some
  • Display could be more crisp

Find more Dell Venue 8 Pro reviews and product information here.


17. Toshiba Encore 2 (10-Inch)

Learn more about the Encore tablet in the video above.

Laptop gave this tablet three and a half stars. While that’s not as high as some other tablets on this list, it’s still a solid review for a decent, all-around tablet. If you’re looking for a simple workhorse of a tablet, this is one of the best options. Plus, it’s quite affordable.

Price: $219.99 (19 percent off)

Buy it here.


Pros:
  • Reliable Atom processor
  • One-year subscription to Office 365 included
  • Synchronize across all your Windows® devices
  • Battery life can last up to 11 hours in some cases
  • Toshiba’s exclusive TruCapture app is great for capturing notes from a whiteboard or textbook (a great feature for students)

Cons:
  • Does weigh over a pound
  • Camera could be better
  • Awkward Start button placement
  • Can be hot to the touch when working on processor-intensive activities
  • Limited color options

Find more Toshiba Encore 2 10-inch reviews and product information here.


18. iPad Mini 2

Concerned about durability? Check out a drop test featuring this tablet in the video above.

Why the iPad Mini 2, and not the newer iPad Mini 3? As CNET notes in their iPad Mini 3 review, “Other than a gold option and Touch ID, the iPad Mini 3 is identical to last year’s model…the nearly identical and significantly cheaper iPad Mini 2 is a smarter buy.” Why not save your money by getting the older model, and use those savings to get some sweet accessories?

Price: $399.99 (20 percent off)

Buy it here.


Pros:
  • Small and portable
  • Rapidly coming down in price as it ages
  • Available in multiple storage sizes
  • Four times the resolution of the previous-generation iPad mini
  • Lots of accessories

Cons:
  • May not appeal to those with Android phones
  • Somewhat old model at this point
  • Apple’s own earbuds don’t fit everyone equally well
  • Limited color options
  • Not as zippy as an iPad Air

Find more iPad Mini 2 reviews and product information here.


19. Lenovo Yoga 10 HD+

Trusted Reviews gave this tablet an 8/10 score. Learn more about it in the video above.

The built-in stand lets you use this tablet in a variety of modes, making it ideal for one-hand use, use on a table, or use as a stand. The best feature here is the battery life, which can be 18 hours on a single charge. If you use it sparingly, these tablets can last for two or three days. If your primary concern when buying a tablet is awesome battery life, then this is the tablet for you. Since it goes so long between charges, this is a great bet for people who travel frequently for work.

Price: $372.81

Buy it here.


Pros:
  • Attractive design
  • Epic battery life
  • Use in one of three different viewing modes
  • Dolby Digital Plus audio
  • Display automatically optimizes screen brightness and contrast

Cons:
  • Limited battery
  • Does not come with keyboard or case
  • Screen may scratch if not protected
  • Some users dislike customer support
  • Could be faster and more responsive

Find more Lenovo Yoga 10 HD+ reviews and product information here.


20. EVGA Tegra Note 7

See this tab in action in the video above.

The Verge gave this tablet a fairly favorable review, and featured it in their roundup of best cheap tablets. While it didn’t take top honors, this little tablet was ranked higher than similar tablets from big names like Lenovo, HP, and Samsung. If you need a cheap tablet that will get the job done, this is a tablet choice you don’t want to overlook.

Price: $166.99 (17 percent off)

Buy it here.


Pros:
  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Unique bass reflex port
  • Built for NVIDIA Tegra wireless game controllers
  • Also great for gamers

Cons:
  • Limited color options
  • Could have a more powerful processor
  • Won’t appeal to those who want a Windows or iOS tablet
  • Battery life could be improved
  • 32GB storage with SD expansion

Find more EVGA Tegra Note 7 reviews and product information here.

1 Comment

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1 Comment

Robyn Mac

I agreed…
with all the amazing features of this outstanding Lg G pad tab with 8.3″ display. But my concern is comparatively affordable price with UN-match able features… Right now, I highly recommend to new buyers to compare the prices of existing stores available brands and easily find out the super cheap prices which purely suitable and according to your estimated budget.

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