2016 Holiday Shopping Guide: Best Tablets

by Reads (2,489)

The holiday shopping season is upon us, and a new computer is on many people’s wish lists. The editors of TabletPCReview have compiled a list of the best tablets on the market now for those buying a gift for a loved one or themselves.

This is the time of year when people are buying devices for personal use, not business, so our list focuses on the most capable models for a general consumer.

That also means no surprises, as the iPad and Surface Pro make the list. No Android tablets made the cut, however. It’s been a slow year for Android tablets, with no major flagships launching.

Apple 9.7-Inch iPad Pro

Best Tablets 2016, Apple 9.7-inch iPad Pro

There’s a good reason why Apple’s tablets are the best tablets: they are easy to use but highly functional. The version of the iPad Pro with a 9.7-inch display is the company’s latest and greatest, as that size screen makes it a good balance between portability and functionality. It’s right for casual web surfing or social networking, but can handle professional applications like Microsoft Office.

The Apple Smart Keyboard can turn this computer into a 2-in-1, or there are third-party options for doing the same. Another optional addition is the Apple Pencil, pressure-sensitive stylus for sketching, painting, or taking hand-written notes.

The iPad Pro is built around a 2.26GHz 64-bit dual-core processor, with 2GB of RAM. Apple offers it in 32GB, 128GB, or 256GB of storage capacity, depending on price. It depends on a single Lightning port for most of its wired connectivity needs.

Be sure to read our Apple 12.9-inch iPad Pro Review

Samsung Galaxy TabPro S

Samsung Galaxy TabPro S or 12.9-Inch Apple iPad Pro

Samsung Galaxy TabPro S

Those who prefer the additional capabilities of Microsoft Windows 10 should look at Galaxy TabPro S. In terms of thin-and-light Windows devices, it’s one of the best tablets. It’s a bit larger than Apple’s offering, as it sports a 12-inch Super AMOLED display, but at 1.5 pounds it actually weighs slightly less.

Unlike many of its rivals, Samsung bundles this computer with a clip-on keyboard, so it’s ready to be both productive and entertaining right out of the box.

The TabPro S is powered by an 2.2GHz dual-core Intel Core m3 processor with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of built-in storage. It has a minimal number of ports, depending on a single USB-C port for almost everything, and doesn’t include a memory card slot.

Don’t miss our Samsung Galaxy TabPro S Review.

Microsoft Surface Pro 4

Microsoft Surface Pro 4

Microsoft Surface Pro 4

Another very strong Windows tablet the Microsoft’s flagship model, which is even larger, boasting a 12.3-inch screen. It also has more ports than many competitors, including a microSD card slot.

Unlike the other models on this list, the Surface Pro 4 comes with an active pen/stylus. However, the add-on keyboard to turn it into a laptop is an optional extra.

Most consumers should be satisfied with the version with a 2.2GHz dual-core Intel Core m3 processor with 128GB of storage capacity, as this is a configuration capable of handling multimedia and moderate gaming, as well as Microsoft Office. Those who want a more business-oriented computer should consider the i5 or i7 versions.

Read our Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Review

Apple 12.9-Inch iPad Pro

Best Tablets

Apple 12.9-inch iPad Pro

The larger version of Apple’s flagship tablet is probably too big for most consumers, except possibly for those who want to watch a lot of movies on their mobile device.

This version of the iPad Pro has the same processor as the smaller one, and twice as much RAM, so it is the most powerful iOS device available. It’s quite likely more computer than most people need.

Apple makes a version of the Smart Keyboard for this version too, and the Apple Pencil works with it as well.

Read our Apple 12.9-inch iPad Pro Review.


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  1. tutor4pc

    No doubt those tablets are top of the line.
    As you mentioned, at this time people look for personal use items and I decided to buy a CHUWI 10 Pro for my wife. It comes with a keyboard similar to the Samsung and also with an active pen. Important for me are the retina style display, a long battery life and more ports, like real USB and micro SD. Also, the device sports Android AND Windows 10.
    What I miss on all these devices are functions that every phone has from GPS to all sorts of sensors. All manufacturers goof with the speakers, they should be on the front side near the short edges so that I can watch a movie with a good stereo sound.