If you’re looking for the best tablet you can buy in 2019, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve tested, reviewed, then listed the top 10 tablets you can buy right now, to help you decide on your next slate of choice.
Picking the best tablet is an important job, as a good slate acts as a powerful laptop replacement for work, entertainment, and communication, all while remaining easy to carry around.
We’ve looked at loads of factors to choose which the best tablet is, including how great its display is, how long it lasts in terms of battery life, how fast it is to use, and if it supports a reliable keyboard. Price is an important factor too.
Talking of price, Black Friday 2019 is coming up, with Cyber Monday 2019 just after it. The sales bonanza at the end of November is sure to bring savings to lots of the best tablets, making them even more affordable, so make sure to check back to TechRadar then when we bring you all the best deals.
We’re regularly updating this ranking too, so expect to soon see new products enter from time to time (like the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6), plus there’s the upcoming switch for Apple tablets that will soon sport iPadOS rather than iOS.
You’ll notice that while the top-ranked tablets are all iPads, Samsung and Windows tablets are here too. And just because there’s a new tablet doesn’t mean we rank it better than the old one, as price is important too.
Best tablets at a glance:
- Apple iPad Pro 11 (2018)
- Apple iPad Pro 12.9 (2018)
- iPad (2018)
- iPad Air (2019)
- iPad Mini (2019)
- iPad Pro 12.9 (2017)
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S4
- iPad Mini 4
- iPad Pro 10.5
- Microsoft Surface Pro
These are the best tablets available in 2019
1. iPad Pro 11 (2018)
The best tablet you can buy right now
Weight: 468g | Dimensions: 247.6 x 178.5 x 5.9 mm | OS: iOS 12 | Screen size: 11-inch | Resolution: 2388 x 1668 pixels | CPU: A12X Bionic | Storage: 64GB/256GB/512GB/1TB | microSD slot: No | Battery: 7,812mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 7MP
Pencil clips on, finally
Insane amount of power for a tablet
Software limits laptop experience
Pencil and keyboard expensive extras
The iPad Pro 11 is the best tablet you can buy today. It’s expensive for sure, but it’s Apple’s most powerful tablet and furthers the 2-in-1 design ethos if you spring for the keyboard cover folio.
It has a laptop-like experience in design and performance, and the new Apple Pencil magnetically clips onto the frame of the new iPad Pro. With superb speakers and a great new screen-to-body ratio, it’s hard not to fall in love with the finely crafted hardware design.
However, there are setbacks for the iPad Pro 11 that you should be aware of. The iOS 12 software feels limiting when trying to multitask and perform laptop-like tasks.
Another strictly mobile challenge: it doesn’t have a headphone jack. If you want the standard 3.5mm jack in a computer-like device, you’ll spring for an actual computer.
Everything about the Pro 11 makes it the best tablet experience if you’re looking for an iOS-based slate – you’ll just need to swallow the high price and keep in mind that it’s not a true MacBook replacement.
Read the full review: iPad Pro 11
2. iPad Pro 12.9 (2018)
The best big tablet around right now
Weight: 632g | Dimensions: 280.6 x 214.9 x 5.9 mm | OS: iOS 12 | Screen size: 12.9-inch | Resolution: 2048 x 2732 pixels | CPU: A12X Bionic | Storage: 64GB/256GB/512GB/1TB | microSD slot: No | Battery: 9,720mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 7MP
Tremendous processing power
Battery life could be longer
Face ID isn’t perfect
The iPad Pro 12.9 (2018) isn’t just the best tablet toy can buy thanks to its 12.9-inch screen. It’s also the most expensive, which is why it isn’t at the top of this list.
Its like a giant digital canvas that fills your needs whether you need a personal workstation, easel, portable cinema, book-shaped loudspeaker, music mixing desk, or a range of other functions.
However, it’s also extremely expensive, and doesn’t feel like such a step up from the iPad Pro 11 (2018) as its higher price would suggest.
With it’s unrivaled processing power, massive display, snappy operating system, and the fact you can use it with the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard, it’s definitely a tablet you should consider if you’ve got money to burn – but you can do better if you’re on a budget.
Read our full review: iPad Pro 12.9 (2018)
3. iPad (2018)
The best tablet for the average consumer
Weight: 469g | Dimensions: 240 x 169.5 x 7.5mm | OS: iOS 12 | Screen size: 9.7-inch | Resolution: 1536 x 2048 pixels | CPU: A10 Bionic | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 32/128GB | microSD slot: No | Battery: Up to 10 hours | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 1.2MP
Works with Apple Pencil
Its education ambitions are overhyped
Smart Keyboard Cover incompatible
This is the best tablet for the average consumer and for education, even if it isn’t the most powerful one on sale. It’s simply a great value.
The new iPad (2018) replaces the very similar 2017 model and, before that, the iPad Air 2 in Apple’s lineup, slotting in below the Pro range.
It works with the Apple Pencil, offering you the cheapest way to doodle on the 9.7-inch glass, though you can’t get the Smart Keyboard with this non-Pro model. It also has the same luxurious metal unibody as the rest of Apple’s iPad range, though notably it’s ever-so-slightly thicker than the iPad Air 2 or iPad Pro at 7.5mm.
With the Touch ID fingerprint sensor included, iOS 12 under the hood and up to 10 hours of battery life when web browsing or watching videos, it’s a great media player and a strong tablet choice if you’re not planning to use it heavily for productivity.
Read the full review: iPad (2018)
4. iPad Air (2019)
The best tablet for the average consumer
Weight: 456g | Dimensions: 250.6 x 174.1 x 6.1 mm | OS: iOS 12 | Screen size: 10.5-inch | Resolution: 1668 x 2224 pixels | CPU: A12 Bionic | Storage: 64GB/256GB | microSD slot: No | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 7MP
Brilliant-looking laminated screen
Cheapest Smart Keyboard iPad
Uses the 1st Gen Apple Pencil
Traditional design doesn’t wow
If you’re looking for a good compromise between Apple’s new Pro tablets and the base iPad 9.7, this is it. It’s compatible with Apple’s excellent Smart Keyboard Cover and priced right for students looking to take notes on a powerful laptop.
It does have Apple Pencil compatibility like all of Apple’s new tablets, but it’s not the best tablet for artists. The Pro versions support Apple Pencil Gen 2 with extra gesture features and magnetic charging. This iPad Pro 10.5 sticks with the older Gen 1 Pencil and has just two speakers instead of four. But everyone should be fine with the fast A12 chipset.
Read the full review: iPad Air (2019)
5. iPad Mini (2019)
The best (and only) small tablet on our best tablet list
Weight: 304g | Dimensions: 203.2 x 134.8 x 6.1 mm | OS: iOS 12 | Screen size: 7.9-inch | Resolution: 1536 x 2048 pixels | CPU: A12 Bionic | Storage: 64GB/256GB | microSD slot: No | Battery: 5,124mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 7MP
Perfect portable size
Surprisingly powerful specs
Uses the older Apple Pencil
Apple doesn’t have a foldable phone, but if it did, but might look something like the new iPad mini 2019 when unfolded. It hasn’t really changed since the last version almost four years ago, but it doesn’t need to: we love the small size.
You can flip open the smart cover, scribble some notes, and toss it in a bag without too much worry. Yes, the design is dated and there are thick bezels outlining this screen, but the price is right for a portable tablet with a lot of power. You really shouldn’t consider buying any other small tablet on the market (notice: it’s the only one on our best tablet list).
Read the full review: iPad mini (2019)
6. iPad Pro 12.9 (2017)
A great, big-screen tablet
Weight: 677g | Dimensions: 305.7 x 220.6 x 6.9 mm | OS: iOS 12 | Screen size: 12.9-inch | Resolution: 2048 x 2732 pixels | CPU: A10X Fusion | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB/256GB/512GB | microSD slot: No | Battery: 10,875mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 7MP
Great, large tablet screen
Too expensive as a laptop replacement for some
We really like the iPad Pro 12.9 for its large size and it’s the closest thing we have to a 2-in-1 touchscreen MacBook. It just happens to run iOS 12 instead of macOS.
It’s the best productivity and entertainment tablet around thanks to its 12.9-inch screen, four speakers and the iOS 12 dock and multitasking interface. Apple has redesigned its Control Center interface to make app switching even easier, and this tablet is compatible with the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard.
It’s biggest weakness? The iPad Pro 12.9-inch price, and the size isn’t a good fit for everyone. But If you can afford it and want the largest-sized iPad available, you’re going to love this – it’s a laptop-replacement for a lot people out there.
Read the full review: iPad Pro 12.9 (2017)
7. Samsung Galaxy Tab S4
The best tablet for those who don’t want Apple’s offerings
Weight: 482g | Dimensions: 249.3 x 164.3 x 7.1mm | OS: Android 8.1 | Screen size: 10.5-inch | Resolution: 1600 x 2560 | CPU: Snapdragon 835 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB/256GB | microSD slot: Yes | Battery: 7,300mAh | Rear camera: 13MP | Front camera: 8MP
Comes with S Pen stylus in box
Large 10.5 inch screen is great
Destop DeX interface needs work
Keyboard design is unintuitive
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 is an upgrade over the Galaxy Tab S3 with an expanded 10.5-inch screen size and longer battery life, but it comes at a higher price and with a lofty promise to do so much more.
We really like the idea behind Samsung Dex for its desktop interface, but it’s non-touch-friendly UI, performance issues, and questionable optional keyboard case prevent it from being a true desktop replacement.
If you’re looking for a premium Android tablet the Galaxy Tab S4 tops the billing, but it promises more than that and just doesn’t deliver on everything. Don’t get us wrong, the Tab S4 is indeed better than the Tab S3 and it’s dropped in price since launch.
Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy Tab S4
8. iPad Mini 4
The best small-screen tablet
Weight: 299g | Dimensions: 203.2 x 134.8 x 6.1mm | OS: iOS 11 | Screen size: 7.9-inch | Resolution: 1536 x 2048 | CPU: A8 | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 16GB/32GB/64GB/128GB | microSD slot: No | Battery: 5,124mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 1.2MP
No 3D touch
The best 7-inch tablet at the moment is definitely the iPad Mini 4. If you like the look of Apple’s new iPad 9.7 (2018) and the iPad Pro range, but find them a) too big, b) too expensive or c) both, then you’re in luck as the diminutive iPad Mini 4 gives you the best of Apple’s tablet world in a form factor that’s not only beautiful, but highly portable.
It lacks the Pro features of a keyboard or Pencil support (the latter would be really nice to have on this smaller display), but overall it’s got a decent screen upgrade and more than enough power to enjoy every day.
Read the full review: iPad Mini 4
9. iPad Pro 10.5
This former flagship tablet is still one of our favorites
Weight: 469g | Dimensions: 250.6 x 174.1 x 6.1 mm | OS: iOS 11 | Screen size: 10.5-inch | Resolution: 1668 x 2224 | CPU: A10X Fusion | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB/256GB/512GB | microSD slot: No | Battery: 8,134mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 7MP
Screen adds a lot of expense
iOS still isn’t a good laptop replacement
The iPad Pro 10.5-inch is one of the best tablets for anyone who wants a serious upgrade, even though the cheaper iPad 9.7 remains good enough for most people.
Apple’s iPad Pro 10.5 has standout features that give it a productivity boost, including Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard compatibility. With iOS 11 on board this tablet is even a suitable laptop replacement for certain consumers.
The new ProMotion screen adds an impressive layer of fluidity to daily use and the smaller bezels means you’re getting far more display in a footprint not much bigger than the iPad Pro 9.7.
It’s an iPad for the professionals – but also one that media munchers will adore using.
Read the full review: iPad Pro 10.5
10. Microsoft Surface Pro
The Windows tablet that can replace your Windows laptop
Weight: 768g/770g/784g | Dimensions: 292 x 201 x 8.5mm | OS: Windows 10 Pro | Screen size: 12.3-inch | Resolution: 1824 x 2736 | CPU: Intel Core m3, i5 or i7 | RAM: 4GB/8GB/16GB | Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB | microSD slot: Yes | Battery: up to 13.5 hours video playback | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 5MP
Improved Surface Pen
No Surface Pen in package
Not as powerful as some rivals until Core i7
Can a tablet really replace your laptop or home PC? That’s still up for debate, but the best tablet trying to make that happen is the Microsoft Surface Pro. We’re surprised Microsoft has refrained from calling this the Surface Pro 5, as it’s a big upgrade on the 4 – although it is rather expensive, like many tablets in this list.
It does a fine job with the full blown version of Windows 10, an integrated kickstand and optional keyboard attachment.
Great for for creative professionals, students and everyday folks alike, this is a top choice and one of the best Windows laptops we’ve reviewed.
Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Pro
As with today’s best phones, applications play a big role on tablets – once you’ve decided which of these tablets is right for you, check out our top app lists so you can get your fill of Temple Run, update your friends on Facebook and read the latest news, all on a bigger screen.