The best tablets to buy in 2020

The best tablets to buy in 2020
What is the best tablet out there? This is one of the questions that seem easy and straightforward to answer at first, even though it is not. It is a question that doesn't have a universal answer. Some would immediately point at the most powerful options the market has to offer: those with gorgeous displays and immense amounts of processing punch, but also with the steepest prices. Others would rather go for something a bit more balanced: something a bit easier on the pocket, yet still capable of getting the job done. 

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No matter which side you're on, the list below surely contains a tablet that would serve you well. 



Apple iPad Pro 11- and 12.9-inch (2020)



Pros

  • The most powerful hardware on an iPad right now
  • Quad speakers, stereo sound
  • USB Type-C
  • Supports Apple Pencil, Smart Keyboard, Magic Keyboard
  • Thinnest bezels, thin and light body
  • 128 GB base storage tier

Cons

  • Pencil and Keyboard not included
  • No headphone jack

In early 2020, the iPad Pro scored its biggest update yet. It's thinner, a new magnetic Smart Connector, as well as a triple camera setup with LIDAR sensor to augment the AR experience. Inside ticks Apple's fastest chipset ever - the Apple Bionic A12Z, which is reportedly trumping average Windows laptops in terms of performance. There's also 6GB of RAM and 128GB of native storage for all your needs. This iPad Pro 2020 line supports the Apple Pencil 2 (sold separately), which will stick to the tablet magnetically and charge wirelessly. There are now two keyboard accessories to choose from — the Smart Keyboard 2nd gen and the upcoming Magic Keyboard, which brings the iPad closer to a laptop than ever. Last, but most certainly not least, the new generation of iPad Pros comes with USB Type-C instead of the Apple-proprietary Lightning connector. In theory, this opens the door for use with a ton of 3rd party accessories without them needing to be adapted for Lighting connector use first.

There's no 5G on the new iPad Pro 2020. But here's more good news — while the base 128 GB variant starts at $800, you can add $100 to that and get a 256 GB version! Unfortunately, if you want to go for the full package of Apple Pencil 2 and Magic Keyboard — those will set you back $120 and $300, respectively. It's not the cheapest option for sure, but it's a great package if you want the ultimate iPad experience — portability, speed, long battery life, and productivity.
   

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6


Pros

  • Beautiful display
  • Premium design with slim bezels
  • Powerful speakers
  • High-end chipset
  • S Pen included in the box
  • Decent cameras

Cons

  • No headphone jack
  • Software is a bit unpolished
As it does with smartphones, Samsung offers the best Android alternative to Apple's products. The Galaxy Tab S6 is a worthy competitor to the iPad Pro. 

Powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855, the Tab S6 is versatile in its uses. In combination with the gorgeous 10.5-inch AMOLED display, the tablet is great for gaming and movie watching alike. Your experience will be further enhanced by the quad speakers. Once again tuned by AKG, the speakers on the Tab S6 are a big improvement over previous generations and deliver surprisingly good sound for a tablet. 

On the down side, the headphone jack has been banished from this Samsung product as well, without even a dongle included to help you connect your old-fashioned headphones (Samsung will be happy to sell you one, though).

That's an odd decision on Samsung's behalf considering there's a much more expensive accessory inside the box: the S Pen. A handy tool that will not only help you take notes and control the tablet but can even spark the artistic side of you. 

The Tab S6 loses to the iPad Pro in some aspects, but with its lower price and "free" S Pen, it's a great choice for a high-end tablet, especially if you don't own any Apple products.


Apple iPad (2019)


Pros

  • Great value for money
  • Broad selection of apps and games
  • Solid battery life

Cons

  • Apple Pencil costs extra
  • Older chip
  • Underwhelming cameras
Apple refreshed three of its iPad lines last year and the "pure" iPad was last. Despite that, it got the oldest chip from the bunch. It's no slouch, however, the A10 will handle everyday tasks without much effort. The benefit of the dated hardware is the low price. Starting at just $329, the new iPad is very affordable for Apple's standards. 

Coming with Apple's new iPadOS, this tablet gives you a few more tools to control your files and apps, making it a slightly more productive device. 

The cameras are nothing impressive, but they'll do a good enough job of capturing your pet's shenanigans or showing your face to a distant relative on FaceTime.

To top it off, this model supports Apple's smart keyboard, in case you want to have some work done on the go. Unfortunately, the keyboard will set you back additional $160, almost half the price of the iPad itself. 

Still, this entry-level iPad is the perfect choice if you want to include another family member in your Apple services' family plan. Or if you yourself need a tablet to lazily browse the internet or stream movies, this iPad is the one to get.

 

Samsung Galaxy Tab S4


Pros

  • Premium look and feel
  • Comes bundled with an S Pen stylus
  • Beautiful and fluid software

Cons

  • Quad speakers sound just OK
  • Hefty build and glass back make it hard to handle
  • Older chip
  • Iris scanner can be a bit awkward on a tablet
  • Underwhelming cameras
Demoted after the release of newer models, the Galaxy Tab S4 now serves as a cheaper, albeit still premium option for a nice Android tablet. Paired with Samsung's keyboard cover (sold separately), it can be used for getting actual work done on the go. Samsung's software plays a key role here. Instead of merely stretching the interface you'd find on a phone, Samsung has loaded the S4 with a proper desktop-like layout optimized for tablet use. There are even goodies like windowed multitasking, which helps if you want to take notes during a video that's playing, for example.

To keep you entertained, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 offers a high-res OLED screen and a 4-speaker setup, although the latter could have been tuned to sound better. And for all your sketching and note-taking needs, there's an S Pen digital stylus in the box. This extra shouldn't be underestimated. It can be really useful but when sold separately, people would often skip on getting a stylus.
 



Amazon Fire HD 10


Pros

  • Cheap
  • Long battery life
  • Alexa support (if that's your thing)

Cons

  • Subpar performance
  • Bad cameras
  • Display resolution is not great
  • No Google Play Store

"Best" can mean a lot of things and while Amazon's Fire HD 10 can't keep up with the rest of the tablets on this list when it comes to specs, it has them all beat in one department: the price. Costing between 2 and 5 times less than the rest, the Fire HD 10 offers incredible value. 

Not for productivity, of course. Drawing is out of the question as well. But for watching a movie on a lazy Sunday or keeping your kid entertained during a long trip, that's when this cheapo tablet shines. Media consumption of any kind, be it TV shows, books or just browsing the internet, is the Fire HD 10's bread and butter. 

The 1920x1200 resolution of the screen is good enough for 1080p content and the octa-core MediaTek chip will move things around at, well, acceptable speed, let's put it this way.

The battery should last for at least 8 hours of video playback, so you'll be entertained during even the longest cross-country flights.

While the Fire HD 10 is technically an Android tablet, it's running on a heavily modified Amazon-centered software and doesn't come with Google's Play Store (there are ways to install it, if you insist). Still, Amazon's own app store offers enough variety to fit the relatively narrow focus of this tablet, so for most people this won't be an issue.

With easy access to content for every interest, the Fire HD 10 is the best tablet to get for your kids, parents or even grandparents. 

Related phones

iPad 9.7-inch (2018)
  • Display 9.7 inches 2048 x 1536 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP (Single camera) 1.2 MP front
  • Hardware Apple A10 Fusion 2GB RAM
  • Storage 128GB,
  • Battery 8827 mAh
  • OS iOS 13.x
MediaPad M5 8
  • Display 8.4 inches 2560 x 1600 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP (Single camera) 8 MP front
  • Hardware HiSilicon Kirin 4GB RAM
  • Storage 128GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 5100 mAh
  • OS Android 8.0 Oreo
MediaPad M5 10
  • Display 10.8 inches 1600 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP (Single camera) 8 MP front
  • Hardware HiSilicon Kirin 4GB RAM
  • Storage 128GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 7500 mAh
  • OS Android 8.0 Oreo
Fire HD 10
  • Display 10.1 inches 800 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP (Single camera) front
  • Hardware MediaTek 1GB RAM
  • Storage 32GB, microSDXC
  • OS Android 5.0 Lollipop Amazon Fire OS UI
Galaxy Tab S4
  • Display 10.5 inches 2560 x 1600 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP (Single camera) 8 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 4GB RAM
  • Storage 64GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 7300 mAh
  • OS Android 10 Samsung One UI
iPad Pro 11-inch
  • Display 11.0 inches 2388 x 1668 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP (Single camera) 7 MP front
  • Hardware Apple A12X Bionic 4GB RAM
  • Storage 1000GB, not expandable
  • Battery 7812 mAh
  • OS iPadOS 13.x
iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2018)
  • Display 12.9 inches 2732 x 2048 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP (Single camera) 7 MP front
  • Hardware Apple A12X Bionic 4GB RAM
  • Storage 1000GB,
  • Battery 9720 mAh
  • OS iOS 13.x

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