Fathers Day is right around the corner, and this could be a great time for Dad to get a tablet. Maybe his old one looks like it went through a war, or if he doesn’t have a tablet he might have gotten tired of having to put his reading glasses on to see his phone.
There’s no one “best tablet” because needs and wants very from person-to-person. That’s why we bring you a range of suggestions for tablets for your pater familias.
Apple iPad Air 2
Apple makes the most popular tablets on the market, and it’s latest and greatest is the iPad Air 2. It’s especially recommended for Dads that already have an iPhone, or want an easy to use device.
This model sports a 9.7-inch, 2048 x 1536 (QXGA) touchscreen. It runs iOS 8.1 on a 1.5 GHz, tri-core Apple A8X 64-bit processor. It starts at $500 for a version with 16 GB of storage.
There is a huge array of apps available for this tablet, so it’s a very flexible computer. It can be used for web access, email, ebooks, games, watching TV, and much more.
Read our Apple iPad Air 2 Review
A cheaper alternative is the iPad Air, which isn’t as powerful but sells for $100 less.
Microsoft Surface 3
The latest from Microsoft is the Surface 3. This is a smaller, more affordable version of the Surface Pro 3, and is a better fit for dads who are looking for a general-purpose mobile computer.
It runs Windows 8.1 on an Intel Atom processor, with a 10.8-inch 1920 x 1280 display and a starting price of $499. Microsoft offers a useful add-on keyboard ($130) and a stylus pen.
There’s a tremendous array of Windows software on the market, but much of this was designed to be used on laptops with a keyboard and mouse, rather than a touchscreen, which is why the optional pen comes in handy.
Naturally, this computer will be upgradable to Windows 10 when it’s released next month.
Read our Microsoft Surface 3 review
If Dad has been extra good, you might want to go for the Surface Pro 3. It starts at $799, but is larger and more powerful.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 9.7
If dear ol’ Dad has ever said “I wish I could get an iPad that runs Android OS”, then Samsung might just have the tablet he’s looking for: the Galaxy Tab A 9.7 resembles Apple’s offering in many ways, but it’s not so cutting-edge and it costs less.
This model has a 9.7-inch 1024 x 768 screen, so it has a low pixel density. It runs Android 5.0 Lollipop on a 1.2 GHz quad-core processor, with 1.5GB of RAM. There’s a 16 GB of built-in storage and microSD slot.
There’s an enormous amount of Android software available, but much of this was designed for phones so it doesn’t look its best on larger displays. Still, it’s usable, plus there are quite a few apps that have been formatted for tablets.
Read our Samsung Galaxy Tab A 9.7 review
An alternative with a larger, higher-res screen is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5. It sells at a higher price, though.
Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 AnyPen with Windows
A dad’s life can be hard, but Lenovo’s latest tablet can stand up to a lot. Its “AnyPen” screen was designed to allow someone to use almost anything as a stylus, so the screen’s tough as nails. And its unusual shape gives room for a very large battery, enough to go at least 10 hours between charges, which makes it a standout among Windows 8.1 models.
With its 8-inch, 1920 x 1200 display, this version of the Yoga Tablet 2 is the smallest on this list, and the Intel Atom processor doesn’t give it high-end performance, but it is a good option for those who don’t need to bring a full-size powerhouse with them when they travel. It has a microSD card slot, but no video-out port nor does it have a full-size USB slot.
It costs $350.