The best tablets you can buy in 2018

Best Tablets of 2018

The best tablets are all about the deadly combination of offering a decent keyboard and a desktop style experience, to sound the death knell for laptops.

From Apple's larger iPad Pro to Android's Google Pixel or Samsung tablets, there's a lot of options out there. And unlike the best smartphones – Windows makes an appearance too.

We ranked these tablets based on multiple elements, including performance, battery life, screen quality and more, with price playing a pivotal role as well. 

If none of the tablets here tickle your fancy, then head on over to our tablet reviews pages, where you'll find in-depth reviews of many more models.

Let us know your thoughts on the top 10 (and what order you think they should go in) in the comment box below.

The iPad Pro 9.7 is one of the best tablets for an average user. Its A9X chipset and 2GB RAM provide immense power to handle every task smoothly. To aid this, the tablet allows you to connect the Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil as well.

The iPad Pro 9.7 is available in three storage variants, with the 256GB storage variant being the most expensive. 

  • What's next? The new iPad has only just launched, so we won't see a replacement for a while – but Apple's iPad Mini line is in need of an update, so keep an eye out for the iPad Mini 5 in the coming months.

iPad Pro 9.7

Some would call the iPad Pro 10.5 the best tablet in the world, but it's a tough choice between this one and the more recent (and more basic) iPad – the new Pro is in second solely because of its higher price.

If you can afford it, or you really need a tablet that can truly keep up with any app you want to throw at it, while also using the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard, this should be the device you look at.

The new ProMotion screen adds an impressive layer of fluidity to daily use – if not strictly necessary – and the smaller bezels means you're getting far more display in a footprint not much bigger than last year's 9.7.

It's an iPad for the professionals – but also one that media munchers will adore using. We do wish it could replace a laptop though.

Read the full review: iPad Pro 10.5

  • What's next? We're expecting a new iPad Pro 2 (and maybe two) to appear in March or April this year, to coincide with iOS 10.3 launch.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2

It may not be the best tablet on our list, but the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 is the best Android tablet you can buy right now.

It's stuffed full of power, has an excellent display and features the excellent S-Pen stylus, along with an optional keyboard.

The price tag could be a stumbling block, but if you're looking for the best Android has to offer in tablet form, the Galaxy Tab S3 is the slate for you.

Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy Tab S3

  • What's next? The Galaxy Tab S3 has just launched, so it won't be replaced anytime soon.

iPad mini 4

The best 7-inch tablet at the moment is definitely the iPad Mini 4. If you like the look of Apple's iPad Air 2 and iPad Pro, 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 pretty, 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 has a decent screen and more than enough power.

Read the full review: iPad mini 4

The iPad Pro won't be for everyone due to the size and cost, but for those it does appeal to (and can afford), you're unlikely to find a better tablet for your needs.

Whether its graphics, multi-tasking or providing a pseudo-Mac experience when you're away from the office, the iPad Pro is capable of a lot. 

Even the Pencil – hilarious name aside – is an impressive tool for a particular niche. For the more professional user, or just one that cares about a larger, more expansive screen to work on, this is the best tablet out there and more than capable of replacing a laptop.

Read the full review: iPad Pro

  • What's next? Like the smaller iPad Pro 9.7, there's a good chance we'll be seeing a refreshed iPad Pro 12.9 2, with more power than ever before (and the high price tag to go along with it).

Microsoft Surface Pro 4

Can a tablet really replace your laptop or home PC? But no tablet gets close to achieving that as the Microsoft Surface Pro 4.

It does a fine job with the full blown version of Windows 10, an integrated kickstand and optional keyboard attachment. Great for creative professionals, students and everyday folks alike, this is a top choice and one of best Windows devices we've reviewed.

Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Pro 4

  • What's next? We're expecting to see the refreshed Surface Pro 5 with a new rechargeable stylus alongside.

The iPad Mini 2 is a great tablet if you can get it for the right price – it's one of the best budget tablets around.

The things you'll miss are a better, clearer and brighter screen and improved design – but for many, that's perfectly acceptable and this slate is a great portal into the excellent world of iPads and its app ecosystem.

Read the full review: iPad mini 2

Tablet apps

As with today's best smartphones, 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 to get the most out of your tablet.

Also consider

If you're not quite ready to part with your cash, then take a look at the slates that will be coming out this year. These devices aren't out yet, but they're expected to be the best the market has to offer once they are launched, later in 2018.

iPad Pro 2018

Apple is said to be planning a new iPad Pro for this year. According to Macworld, the new iPad Pro will launch around April. The new tablet will be a tweaked version of the existing iPad Pro models and may be priced at $259. 

While Apple is sure to update the chipset, the device may also have the FaceID mechanism built in, giving Apple's tablet replacement a Windows Hello counterpart.

Microsoft Surface Pro 2018

Speaking on Windows Hello, Microsoft is also expected to update the Surface Pro tablet this year. The Surface Pro has been widely recognised as the tablet that comes closest to replacing a laptop.

The new tablet may finally be called the Surface Pro 5. However, this is just a rumour right now. This year's Surface Pro should run on Intel's 7th generation Kaby Lake processors, or possible even 8th generation ones. There is no word on the possibly pricing for this device, though Microsoft usually sells them for over $1000.

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