The range of tablets available shrunk last year as Google backed off Android tablets and Apple didn't update its top-of-the-line iPad Pro, but there's hope for tablets this year with potential updates for both the iPad and Surface tablets.
Rumor has it that Apple may debut a 2020 iPad Pro as soon as next month. The new model will potentially feature a new Mini-LED screen and a triple-lens rear camera that supports 3D sensing for augmented reality. Microsoft is also rumored to reveal a Surface Go 2 tablet in the spring.
Do you want a casual iPad, an even-less-expensive Fire tablet or a Microsoft Surface? Here are some of the best tablet choices we've tried.
All of these products (or previous versions thereof) have been fully reviewed or anecdotally tested by CNET editors.
The latest iPad (10.2-inch, 7th generation, 2019)
An obvious affordable choice
Apple's small refresh to its entry-level iPad increases the screen size just a bit, offers long-lasting battery life and adds support for smart connector-attached keyboards, making the best tablet for most. Older processor aside, this is a perfectly good iPad, and it's already on sale. But for an even better deal, consider Apple's 2018 9.7-inch iPad, which has nearly identical hardware specs (aside from screen size that's an inch smaller) — you can often snag the 128GB version of the device for $300, which is a great deal. Read our Apple iPad 10.2-inch 2019 review.
$329 at Amazon
Read more: Best 2-in-1 PCs in 2020 for when you need a laptop and tablet in one
iPad Mini (2019)
Expensive, but the best smaller tablet
Apple refreshed the Mini last spring with Apple Pencil support and an A12 processor that outperforms the bigger 10.2-inch basic iPad. Confusing, huh? Just know that this is a great tablet that can be filled with apps that make it more of a gaming tablet or a drawing tablet, but its smaller surface size may not suit people who want to use it as a laptop replacement. iPad Mini review.
$384 at Amazon
Read more: Best laptops, desktops and tablets for designers and creatives in 2020
iPad Pro (2018)
The best iPad, but…
Apple's Face ID-enabled, USB Type-C iPad Pro has the best processor and best design and works with Apple's improved, newer Pencil from 2018. This powerful tablet is set with hours of battery life and a liquid retina display. It is a fabulous drawing tablet, and there are lots of drawing apps on the App Store. Its rear camera is also nothing to sneeze at, taking 8MP photos. But you may also consider an IOU and wait for the next version of the device rumored to be on its way soon. Read our Apple iPad Pro (2018) review.
$674 at Amazon
Read more: Best laptops of 2020
Amazon Fire 7 (2019)
The most affordable tablet
Amazon's rock-bottom tablet prices are always shocking, and this year's Fire 7 is a solid budget tablet pick for basic video/game/kid apps needs. It has a relatively small screen size, but, as always, Amazon Prime lets you get a lot more out of it content-wise, though Amazon's Fire ecosystem is more limited than Android. But if you're buying for a child, definitely invest in the Kids Edition. Beyond parental controls, this version includes a rubberized case, a free year of kid-friendly FreeTime Unlimited content — and a no-questions-asked two-year replacement warranty for damaged units. Stop living in fear of a shattered screen! Read our Amazon Fire 7 (2019) review.
$50 at Amazon
Read more: Best Andriod tablets for 2020
Amazon Fire HD 10 (2019)
A better but still low-cost Amazon tablet
The 10-inch Fire tablet Amazon is faster and better than the 7 and 8-inch Fire tablets, and it's still a pretty low $150 (or less). There are two storage options, 32 GB and 64 GB. It also charges its battery life via USB type-C now Fire HD 10 gets an upgrade.
See at Amazon
Read more: Laptop vs. Chromebook: Which portable computer is best in 2020
Microsoft Surface Pro 6
Laptop-tablet that's often on sale
Microsoft has a newer Surface Pro 7, but 2018's model is still good, and sometimes comes in a great bundle with its keyboard. Anyone looking for the best Windows tablets to use for work or a tablet that can become a full PC, look no further. Read our Microsoft Surface Pro 6 review.
See at Amazon
Read more: The best Chromebooks for 2020
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6
One of the last good Android tablet options
It's getting almost impossible to find Android tablet options from name-brand manufacturers, but Samsung still makes them. The Tab S6 Android tablet is expensive, but it's compact and has an optional keyboard with trackpad, and connects to monitors using Samsung's DeX technology. You don't really need a monitor, though, as the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 has a super AMOLED display. This is the one to consider if you want Android. Galaxy Tab S6 hands-on.
See at Amazon
Read more: Best 15-inch laptops for 2020
HP Chromebook X2
Chromebook that's also a tablet
For the right price, the Chromebook X2 could be one of the best tablets of the bunch as far as deals go. It's a functional Chromebook laptop that's also a detachable tablet, and it can also play Android apps. Read our HP Chromebook x2 review.
See at Amazon
Originally published earlier this year.
Comments Tablets Computers Amazon Prime iPadOS Amazon Google Microsoft Samsung Apple Notification on Notification off Mobile