PhoneArena Awards 2014: Best tablets
posted by PhoneArena Team / Dec 18, 2014, 3:09 PM
Tablets are pretty neat and handy, aren't they? They keep us entertained when we're bored, they make it easy to get in touch with friends, they help us with work and studies, they can even keep Junior occupied when mommy and daddy need some peace and quiet. Not all tablets are made equal, however, and it is our job to highlight the ones deserving the attention of our readers.
This brings us to today's category in our PhoneArena Awards series, where we highlight the year's top tablets. We had the chance to review dozens of slates over 2014's course, and many of them were pretty good, but at the end of the day, these are the three we liked best.
Apple iPad Air 2
In 2010, Apple single-handedly defined what a modern tablet should look and feel like. Today, more than four years later, the iPad is still on top of the tablet food chain despite the stiffer-than-ever competition. Sure, it may not be the perfect tablet, but it is quite possibly the best tablet one can get. Its latest iteration, the iPad Air 2, is light, well-built, and unbelievably thin, which makes it an ideal companion, be it when you're on the go or simply chilling in the couch. It also packs a beautiful screen that's clearly visible even outdoors. With the new A8X system-on-a-chip and 2GB of RAM, performance is never an issue, and with iOS's broad selection of tablet-optimized software, there's an app or game to match any need or taste. And if that's not enough, the tablet's 8MP camera can take presentable shots when a better snapper isn't around. All of this is wrapped in a meticulously-crafted, metal-made body that's a pleasure to touch.
Google Nexus 9
It may not be the prettiest tablet out there, but seriously, you won't really care once you get to know the Nexus 9 better. That's because its appeal is the inside. Built by HTC, it is the device meant to showcase Google's Android 5.0 operating system and Material Design in all their unaltered beauty. You get some pretty serious hardware under the hood, too, including a 64-bit Tegra K1 SoC and 2GB of RAM, which have no troubles handling anything you throw at them. To keep you entertained, the Nexus 9 is equipped with a great-looking, high-res screen and front-facing stereo speakers. And with its 6700mAh battery, the slate is one of the longest-lasting in our book. What more could you ask in exchange for $400?
Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact
How many water- and dust-resistant tablets can you name? Not much, probably. Well, the Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact happens to be one of those few tablets resistant to the elements, but that's far from all there is to like about it. Sony's 8-inch slate carries "Compact" in its name for a good reason – it is one of the lightest, thinnest, and most portable tablets in its class. Better yet, its compact size is not dragging its battery life in any way. In fact, the Z3 Tablet Compact has excellent battery life, as our benchmarks confirm. But it gets even better once you inspect its specs sheet. With a Snapdragon 801 SoC and 3GB of RAM, Sony's petite slate is both fast and future-proof.
This story is part of:PhoneArena Awards 2014 (11 updates)
20 December PhoneArena Awards 2014: Best Smartphones Have you ever wondered how many new phones have been announced this year? Well, with all the minor and major manufacturers in business worldwide, arriving at the exact number would be a challenging task. On the other hand, we can easily provide you with statistics on how many new handsets have made it into our database over the course of 2014. The figure stands at over 600 and includes phones of all shapes and sizes – anything from the basic-yet-cheap Nokia 130 to the pricey and feature-packed Samsung Galaxy S5...
19 December PhoneArena Awards 2014: Best phablets "Phablet" is a word that didn't even exist until several years ago. Today, these devices bridge the gap between smartphones and tablets by delivering the best of both worlds. They're small enough to be carried in a regular pocket, yet sufficiently large for us to enjoy the web, our apps and games, and our media to their fullest...
Now reading18 December PhoneArena Awards 2014: Best tablets Tablets are pretty neat and handy, aren't they? They keep us entertained when we're bored, they make it easy to get in touch with friends, they help us with work and studies, they can even keep Junior occupied when mommy and daddy need some peace and quiet. Not all tablets are made equal, however, and it is our job to highlight the ones deserving the attention of our readers...
17 December PhoneArena Awards 2014: Best cameraphones Did you know that the world's most popular camera is not exactly a camera? It is a smartphone, actually – the Apple iPhone. This should come as no surprise since smartphone cameras have been getting better and better, rivaling their point-and-shoot counterparts in terms of quality and features. Besides, our smartphones are conveniently within reach whenever we need to capture a special moment. Dedicated digital cameras aren't always as close...
16 December PhoneArena Awards 2014: Best smartwatches The race for the consumer's wrist has never been as intense as it is today. Smartwatches are at the peak of their popularity, and chances are they'll be making more and more headlines over the coming years...
Posts: 6628; Member since: Feb 10, 2012
No Tab-S? Seriously? Or Note 12.2? What do those bring that the Note tabs doesn't? They can't even do 10% of what the Note tablet is capable off.
posted on Dec 18, 2014, 3:16 PM 12
Posts: 234; Member since: Mar 11, 2014
Note I totally agree, but the Tab S isn't great all round. Nice screen and design, but after playing with a few in different stores, I found it's the LAGGIEST tablet I've ever played with, even with no apps. Every single thing stutters massively. Albeit, this was the Exynos 5420 version, seems that SoC is not meant for 1600p displays. Snapdragon is probably better.
posted on Dec 18, 2014, 3:30 PM 5
Posts: 6628; Member since: Feb 10, 2012
I have the Tab S 10.5, and i never ever noticed any lag on it. I am not sure if the US version is also packed with the exynos processor. But yeah, no lag what so ever. The last time i faced a bit of lag was on the S4, but never on the Tab pro 8.3, Tab S 10.5, S5, Note 3 and Note 4.
posted on Dec 18, 2014, 3:45 PM 2
Posts: 533; Member since: Jun 23, 2012
Played with one in store at a couple different stores and also noticed massive amounts of lag. Picked one up on sale (exynos version) and took it home and it doesnt lag at all, everything is super fast. Loading times are especially fast. Not sure why the store demos lag so much.
posted on Dec 19, 2014, 11:51 AM 0
Posts: 2486; Member since: Jan 26, 2014
One word: TouchWiz...
posted on Dec 18, 2014, 4:30 PM 2
Posts: 1067; Member since: Dec 06, 2013
People gonna be mad that there's no Surface in here.
posted on Dec 18, 2014, 3:18 PM 3
Posts: 136; Member since: Jun 03, 2012
Nvidia Shield Tablet is a much better choice than the Nexus 9. It's cheaper with basically the same internals and can do much more. Grid game streaming is so cool! It has a stylus and is just an all around better tablet.
posted on Dec 18, 2014, 3:20 PM 6
Posts: 1612; Member since: Jan 16, 2012
This. Nexus 9 is pricey. They fixed the build issues but still, you can't beat the nice things of the shield tablet. Along with what you said, having proper dual screen operation via hdmi is also a big plus.
posted on Dec 18, 2014, 3:23 PM 1
Posts: 474; Member since: Dec 29, 2013
Definitely agree, and this is coming from somebody who was nearly dead set on adopting 64 bit Android with the Nexus 9 at first opportunity. It's just too costly, and the build quality issues, although supposedly resolved still leave a sour taste. Those two compromises make me even more unwilling to swallow a 4:3 aspect ratio. Overall, it was a serious letdown for the Nexus line, sad considering they've previously been a great line of tablets.
posted on Dec 18, 2014, 3:35 PM 2
Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014
Not to mention Nexus 9 contains a half-baked chip that a lot of Nexus 9 owners say runs hot most of the time. I'm not sure why Nvidia resurrected a failed technology, but including dynamic code translation seems really dumb. Maybe there is some long term plan for integrating CPU/GPU code where it makes sense, but for now it is just adds jitter and lag to the Nexus 9 experience.
posted on Dec 18, 2014, 6:22 PM 0
Posts: 375; Member since: Jan 28, 2014
Fully ignoring pricing makes no sense. The Sony tab is one of the worst tablets ever if you factor in pricing. The Air 2 is surpassed by the original Air and both get outcalssed by the Min 2 at 300$. The Xiaomi Mi Pad suffers a bit on the software side but it still is a much better buy than almost everything. You guys actually picked some of the worst tablets available and nobody should be foolish enough to buy any of those when they can do muchbetter.
posted on Dec 18, 2014, 3:34 PM 2
Posts: 17041; Member since: Jun 17, 2009
1. Surface Pro 3 . . . . 2. iPad Air 2 3. Who cares?
posted on Dec 18, 2014, 3:58 PM 2
Posts: 600; Member since: Apr 25, 2014
surface pro is a hybrid, it is a desklet or tabletop (sound pokemon tho) :D this tablets are nowhere near on surface. hehe
posted on Dec 18, 2014, 9:17 PM 0
Posts: 802; Member since: Jan 06, 2012
I think surface is not in the same category. It runs windows and I'm not sure if the battery life is comparable to other tablets in daily use. Android and ios tablets are great to just watch a movie and hanging around the house etc. Also windows 8 is very confusing and also not very good. Lets hope for 10 to make it up.
posted on Dec 20, 2014, 1:20 AM 0
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