Shopping for a tablet is not the easiest of tasks. There are so many considerations to make and so many options available to you. There are some popular tablets and others not so popular but still good enough to meet some specific needs. Unlike smartphones, we don’t have new tablets being launched quite as often. This can be attributed to the fact that most people already own one and are not looking to upgrade. Further, high end smartphones are coming equipped with everything a user may need. In this article we are going to review 5 contenders for best tablet of 2017. Some of these are recently launched like the 10 inch iPad while some have been in the market for some now like the Microsoft Surface Pro 4. We shall also look at the Samsung galaxy Tab S3, the Amazon Fire HD 6 and the Google Pixel C. So then which is Amdology’s best tablet of 2017? Let’s find out!
The Microsoft Surface Pro 4 is one the best tablets out there. It runs on the Windows 10 Pro operating system as you’d expect. This tablet is very useful for people who work on the go. Running the windows OS means that it will integrate seamlessly to numerous software that are used in day to day work. For instance, designer using this tablet will run Photoshop which is a windows app and work on the go.
This tablet is a two in one. It is first a tablet but can also be used as a laptop. It runs similar specs to most laptops. It runs the Intel processors, either the Core m3, i5 or i7 range of processors. It has Intel HD or Iris graphics and upto 1 GB of RAM. It will support upto 1TB of storage. You’ll have to choose the specs you want in your tablet, the higher the specs the higher the price.
The Surface Pro 4 will have a kickstand that can be adjusted to any angle. This will help people using it for work. The 12.3 Pixelsense screen on this tablet has a high contrast ratio as compared to other tablet screens. It has lower glare favoring people who will spend hours looking at it.
The design of the Surface Pro 4 is as thin as it can get, considering that they have retained the USB ports. It has a bigger screen than its predecessor but is thinner mainly due to thinner bezels. It comes in just at 8.4mm which is quite impressive considering the top specs that have been put in there. It weighs just 766g for the Core m models and 786g for the Core i models. This means that the tablet is highly portable.
The Surface Pen comes included with this tablet. It attaches magnetically to the left side. However, the keyboard Type Cover doesn’t come included and users will have to buy it.
If there is one tablet that rivals the iPad Pro, then it has to be the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3. This is the best Android tablet in the market. The design of Tab S3 is as we have come to expect with Samsung products. The galaxy Tab S3 comes at just 6mm which is very thin. It weighs just 429g. These measurements better those of the iPad Pro. It is made of glass and metal and comes in two colors; black and silver giving it a premium feel. However, the back being made of glass makes it slippery and likely to slide off when placed on a surface that is not flat. However, you can keep in a cover which will reduce the likelihood of falling off. There is an official book cover or a keyboard cover which you will have to buy separately.
The Galaxy Tab 3 has four speakers and a USB-C port. The home button makes a comeback and contains a fingerprint scanner. The scanner can to be used to unlock the tablet, sign into websites and verify your Samsung account. As it should be, the sensor is fast and reliable.
Samsung deploys the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor ensuring smooth performance even when running the most intensive apps. The RAM is at 4GB and 32GB of storage expandable to 256GB through the microSD slot. While other Galaxy Tablets run on windows, this one runs on the Android Nougat 7.0. Tablets don’t normally have the best cameras, the Galaxy Tab S3 comes with a 13MP rear camera and a 5 MP front camera. The Tablet comes with a Stylus pen which is greatly improved. It has a smaller tip and improved pressure sensitivity.
The Galaxy Tab S3 has a 9.7 inch screen with a 4:3 aspect ratio. It has super AMOLED display technology but more importantly supports HDR High Dynamic Range making it a future proof tablet. HDR ensures better contrast. Even though most vides currently don’t support this, we are sure to see more of this in future.
The battery will give you 12 hours of video playback. It is rated at 6000mAh which is not the highest but is pretty good. It will recharge through the USB-C port at around two hours. But is it the best tablet of 2017? Let’s check out the competition.
The Amazon Fire HD 6 is one of the smallest tablets. At just 6 inches wide, this tablet is highly portable and suits people who want a bigger screen to watch videos than your average phone may offer. This Tablet also comes quite cheap, so would be suitable for people on a budget or for parents who want to buy one for their kids. But don’t get me wrong, it is not just meant for kids as it is very versatile in its uses. It weighs around 290g and will fit into a back pocket. However, it is 10.7mm thick which might make it less appealing as compared to other thinner tablets. But compared with price of these others, there is always a compromise to make.
The Fire HD 6 comes with a micro USB port but no expandable memory. It comes with 8GB of storage. You can’t run much games or videos here. However, the designers want you to stream videos from Amazon Prime or Netflix rather than storing them.
The display is an IPS screen with a resolution of 1280*800 pixels. This resolution won’t do justice to HD videos. The screen is topped with Gorilla glass which makes it more resilient.
This tablet runs the Fire OS which is based on Android but made by Amazon. This makes it feel different than your typical Android device. There are no Google maps and no Play app store which is a big deal. Amazon has given preference to Amazon digital services but you’ll still run Android apps.
The Fire HD 6 has a 3400maH battery which is ok for the size and price. It will last around 10 hours of video playback. You’ll get around 3 hours while gaming. We can vouch that this isn’t the best tablet of 2017, but it’s still the only option for the niche it fills.
Google Pixel C has long been touted as the best Android Tablet ever made. This claim has largely been true but we are yet to see if it still retains this title as more tablets are set to be launched in 2017. The Google Pixel C has been designed and made by Google unlike their previous devices which were made for them by other device manufactures. It is also a 2 in 1 meaning you can easily convert it to a laptop by attaching a keyboard. The tablet attaches to the keyboard through some strong magnetic hinges. The tablet can then be raised at any angle without it detaching from the keyboard. To detach, slide the tablet sideways.
The price is at the higher end due to the design, build and specs. The keyboard comes separately. It weighs 517 grams and is 7 mm thick. The default orientation is landscape with two stereo speakers on each side. This is a 10 inch tablet with the screen at 10.2 inches. The screen has a resolution of 2560*1800. The screen has good contrast, brightness and color accuracy besides being more power efficient.
Google Pixel C runs the Marshmallow Android 6.0 operating system. This ensures users have access to apps on Play store making it better for work. The Google Pixel C uses the quad core Nvidia Tegra X1 chip paired with a Maxwell GPU. It has 3GB of RAM and runs at 1.9GHz. The battery is quite impressive; it will run for several days under normal use due to the screen technology. The camera, just like other tablet cameras is nothing we can write home about. However, for the Google Pixel C, the camera is ok and can take good but not great photos.
This tablet is easily one the contenders for Android’s best tablet. With its 2 in 1 capability, high processing power and longer battery life, it is an option worth considering for fun or work.
The iPad pro comes in two sizes the 12.9 inch iPad and the 9.7 inch iPad. It is not only the screens that is different; the cameras are different as well with the 9.7 inch iPad having a better camera. There a few upgrades on the smaller iPad over the larger one. This is not to mention the convenience that comes with the smaller, more conventional size. We shall be mainly reviewing the 9.7inch iPad Pro.
The iPad Pro was touted as a laptop replacement by Apple. With the 2 in 1 capability, this tablet is truly a great computing tool but is far from replacing the laptop. There are still some numerous tasks that are better done using a laptop than a 2 in 1 tablet. Having said that, the iPad Pro excels in the tablet niche with its great performance.
The camera is better than the bigger iPad pro. It has a 12MP rear camera with 4K recording capability. It has a real flash to boot. The front camera is 5MP with retina flash. There is the notion that we don’t have good cameras in tablets as most people don’t prefer taking photos with tablets. However, it is absolutely important as there are people who might need it for work or even for fun photos.
Both Ipad Pros run on the A9X processor and run the iOS 9 operating system. The 9.7 inch has 2GB RAM while the 12.9 inch has 4GB RAM. The iPad 9.7 has upto 256GB of storage though 32GB is the standard. They have good battery life with 11 hours of video playback which is several days of normal use.
Some of the considerations you have to make before buying a tablet include the size. They come in a variety of sizes based on the manufacturer. Do you want a 7 inch tablet or a 10 inch tablet? You can get larger sizes up to 13 inches but 7-10 inch is widely considered perfect since it will be comfortable to use and will also fit comfortably in a small backpack or handbag. Depending on the manufacturer, the tablet may either run on the Windows, Android or the iOS operating system. Some users will prefer one platform over the other due to the nature of use or just as a matter of preference. Be sure to check out the platform before making a purchase. Some apps and accessories may only work with one platform. A simple guide to follow is that for fun and entertainment, iPads and android based tablets will come in handy, for work and productivity, windows tablets will be best.
Another major consideration to make is battery life. Just like in smartphones, battery life is a major issue with tablets. If you are going to use it outdoors for long periods of time, you’ll have to go with one that will last long enough. Any tablet going for less than 6 hours will be a problem. Recharging time is also an issue as you don’t want to wait for hours on end whilst the tablet is charging. Storage will also be a consideration especially if the tablet doesn’t have a microSD slot.
Based on all these considerations and the reviews of the various tablets, we can say that that the 9.7 inch iPad Pro is the best tablet in the market right now and one which we can recommend.