THE BEST TABLETS IN BRIEF
Although the tablet market has been slowing down in recent years, tablets remain popular for large touchscreen enthusiasts who want a more comfortable mobile experience on the go or at home. Depending on your needs, it’s important to choose your tablet carefully to avoid paying a high price for multimedia use only. What are the best tablets for your needs and your budget ? Discover our selection.
APPLE IPAD PRO 11 2020
The best shelf
After a first iPad Pro in 2018, Apple redesigned its copy in 2020 with a new edition of its tablet. While the first version marked a real paradigm shift for the tablet, this new version makes adjustments, but no revolutions. We find all the key arguments of the previous model: screen with reduced edges, Face ID, like the Apple Pencil or the perfectly calibrated 120 Hz screen.
Like its predecessor in its day, the iPad Pro 2020 is the best performing tablet on the market thanks to its Apple A12Z Bionic SoC, an enhanced version of the previous A12X. Not surprisingly, it guarantees top-notch performance for a mobile device, which is all the more important for this iPad, which is aimed primarily at a professional audience. There is also the USB-C port, which allows you to be compatible with many peripherals and even recharge your smartphone thanks to its large battery. It is also compatible with all Apple accessories, including the second-generation Apple Pencil.
The other novelty of this cuvee is the arrival of a second photo sensor at the rear and especially a Lidar for new features in augmented reality. The iPad Pro is now a solution to consider instead of a laptop for creative people, especially those who travel a lot. This is all the more true with the arrival of iOS 13.4 which now perfectly supports trackpads and mice. This gives a new impetus to the iPad, which is getting closer and closer to a Mac with a touch screen. You’ll find all the details in our test of the iPad Pro 2020.
SAMSUNG GALAXY TAB S6
The best under Android
After the Galaxy Tab S5e in the spring of 2019, Samsung split from the Galaxy Tab S6 at the end of the following summer. This is the true high-end tablet from the Korean firm. So it’s the iPad’s competitor in the Android world. iPad OS remains in our opinion the best OS tablet, but OneUI is defending itself well on this slate.
The Galaxy Tab is a complete tablet with a 10.5″ screen displaying 2560 x 1600. Not surprisingly, it is equipped with one of those AMOLED tiles that Samsung has the secret for bright colours and infinite blacks. Performance is also on the agenda with an 8-core processor running at 2.8 GHz and 8 GB of RAM.
Like her predecessors, she takes charge of a stylus. Samsung can transfer to its tablet the know-how acquired on its Galaxy Note. The same technology is found on the Tab S6, which can also be used with a keyboard. Coupled with DeX, this gives a package that is quite similar to a laptop.
Its 7040 mAh battery finally gives it an excellent autonomy. It also has the merit of being particularly thin – less than 6 mm – and offers 256 GB of storage by default. To find out more, check out our test of the Galaxy Tab S6.
Samsung announced in early August the Galaxy Tab S7 and Galaxy S7+ along with the Galaxy Note 20, bringing a nice evolution to the Tab S6, including a 120Hz screen on one model and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ SoC. The “Plus” version brings 5G compatibility as an option and the screen is switched to AMOLED while slightly increasing in size. The vintage looks very good, but we’ll wait to test it before giving you a final recommendation. In the meantime, you can check out our Galaxy Tab S7 handling. If you are already sure of your choice, you have the prices just below.
APPLE IPAD 2019 10.2
The best value for money
The new Apple iPad has a lot in common with its predecessor. First of all, the design is similar with its wide borders and the Home button with Touch ID on the front. It, too, is powered by the A10 Fusion chip, the same one that powers the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, to ensure a smooth user experience every day. Then, but more anecdotally, there’s also the same duo of 8-megapixel cameras on the front and back, enough to do a FaceTime from time to time.
The new iPad features a screen, still Retina with its 3.5 million pixels, which now offers a diagonal of 10.2 inches, compared to 9.7 inches for the iPad of 2018. In addition, this new version aims to go further than previous generations by meeting more needs, particularly in terms of productivity. With its Smart Connector, it can now accommodate a keyboard for use as a PC and it also supports the Apple Pencil.
It is also possible to transform the tablet into a real gaming console by connecting via Bluetooth an Xbox, PS4 or MFi-certified controller. A feature that takes on its full meaning with the arrival of Apple Arcade. Finally, the autonomy is still estimated at around ten hours, rechargeable via its Lightning port.
Samsung also has a mid-range tablet with the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite. Released in April it should, like its big sister, compete with the iPad. We’re waiting to test it before giving our final opinion, but you can already read our take on the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite. It’s pretty encouraging.
MICROSOFT SURFACE PRO 7
The hybrid par excellence
Microsoft’s Surface Pro is the ultimate hybrid solution, running Windows 10. So you have a real PC in a tablet format. And if you really want to be productive, the detachable keyboard with a TouchPad will turn your tablet into a real laptop.
With the Surface Pro 7, Microsoft has maintained a design and connectivity that is very similar to previous models. It features a 12.3-inch 2:3 aspect ratio screen, an adjustable stand at the rear and three ports on the right side: USB C, USB 3.1 Type-A Classic and the Surface connector.
As far as the machine’s features are concerned, they are simply monstrous. We’re moving to the 10th generation Intel Core processor, with always i3, i5 or i7 depending on the version. The processor will be supported by 4 to 16 GB of RAM and 128 GB to 1 TB of SSD storage. It integrates a 5 megapixel front camera, compatible with Windows Hello for facial recognition, and a back camera that allows filming in Full HD. Finally, it has an autonomy of 10.5 hours in normal use according to the manufacturer.
AMAZON FIRE HD 8 2020
Compact and cheap
Amazon Fire HD has been offering good quality, inexpensive tablets for many years. Available for around a hundred euros depending on the configuration, they can perform the basic functions expected of a tablet: multimedia and web browsing.
The latest addition to this range is the Fire HD 8 (2020) which offers an 8-inch HD display with 1280 x 800, 32 or 64 GB of storage with relatively satisfactory performance. It is one of the few small tablets on the market today. The iPad Mini is a solution, but at 429 euros this latest version is far too expensive for our taste to recommend. There is also a 7-inch version of the Amazon tablet, but we were quite disappointed by this one. This is evidenced by our test of the Fire 7.
Its specificity is to run under FireOS, a fork of Android without the Play Store, but with the Amazon Appstore. However, the Amazon App Store is rather complete and you can find most of the applications you need on a tablet. Its updated look and its affordable price, starting at 99 euros on Amazon, make it a very interesting product. Especially with a refined look and much thinner screen borders. You will find all the details in our test of the Fire HD 8 2020.
GOOD TO KNOW BEFORE BUYING
WHAT CAN A MODERN TABLET DO?
After having been on the upswing for a few years, the market for tablets has been in decline recently. With larger and larger smartphones, the interest in slates has indeed diminished. That’s why they are increasingly focused on productivity with keyboards or styli. Thus, while high-end tablets remain excellent terminals for consultation, they are becoming more and more creative tools. Cheaper products will always make very good secondary terminals.
IPAD, SAMSUNG GALAXY OR MICROSOFT SURFACE: WHICH ONE TO CHOOSE?
The contraction of the tablet market has significantly reduced the number of brands still effectively engaged in the markets. There are actually only three serious ones left: Apple and Samsung and Microsoft. To a lesser extent, we can also add Amazon, which remains a reference in the entry-level segment.
WHAT’S THE RIGHT SCREEN SIZE FOR HIS TABLET?
At a time when smartphones have screens of 6 inches or more, we’d advise you to turn to 9-inch or larger to really enjoy your slate. Smaller terminals, around 7 inches, may also make sense in some more particular cases. Amazon with its Fire HD 8 also offers an in-between that may appeal to some.
DO I HAVE TO INVEST IN ACCESSORIES FOR MY TABLET?
It depends on what you want to do with it. If you’re just looking for a second screen to surf on your couch and watch videos more comfortably than with a smartphone, the accessories will be dispensable. Conversely, if you see your slate as an object of productivity, you’ll be advised to invest in at least a keyboard.
We wish you a good purchase. Good luck 😉