There are countless tablet pc on the market, but which one is right for you? Whether you’re eyeing an iPad, one of the many Android tablets available, or a Windows slate for productivity, here are the key factors you need to consider when shopping, along with some of the top-rated models we’ve tested.
One quick note: The new iPad is out, but that doesn’t mean Apple is done with its tablet launches for the year. We’re expecting the next iPad refresh to come on the iPad Pro models, possibly in June. That said, we think now is as good a time as any to buy a new tablet, and the latest iPad is an especially good value.
Just like with a full-fledged computer, if you’re getting a tablet, you need to pick a camp. There are three main operating systems to consider: Apple’s iOS, Google’s Android (including its Amazon variant), and Microsoft’s Windows 10.
Windows is best if you need to run full-fledged office software with an add-on keyboard. Android tablets make great media players, eReaders, and kids’ devices, and you can often get better specs for the dollar than with iPads. iPads still have the broadest range of general-purpose tablet apps.
Google’s Android mobile OS gives you a choice of hardware from several different manufacturers and offers maximum configurability, a top-notch notification system, fast and smooth web browsing, and seamless integration with Google applications like Gmail, Google Maps, and Hangouts for video chat. Android also includes support for multiple user logins so you can share your tablet with a friend or family member, a useful feature that’s missing in Apple tablets (despite Apple’s Family Sharing, which isn’t the same thing). See our Android 6.0 Android Marshmallow review for more.