There is plenty of versatility in tablets, whether you want a rugged device you can let your kids loose on or a powerful model for advanced photo and video editing. Therefore the best tablet will depend of what you want to do with 2019.
All tablets offer a touch screen where you can run applications similar to those on a laptop or mobile phone, downloaded from an app store. Several tablet brands now cater for younger children, with safe apps and features built-in to limit inappropriate content.
Many tablets are just used to binge-watching Netflix or YouTube videos and you can pick up some basic models for under £100. Apple’s iPads remain a staple mid-range model, and if you need to use your tablet for more advanced tasks, or want the added flexibility of a keyboard, many are now equipped as two-in-one devices.
Do I want an Apple, Amazon, Windows or Android tablet?
There are four main operating systems for the four main varieties of tablet, all of which offer slightly different levels of complexity and different apps, so this can be a key choice to make when picking up a new tablet.
Here is a rundown of the main tablet operating systems and what you should expect from each:
Amazon: FireOS is the operating system developed for Amazon’s Fire tablets. It is based on Google’s Android so most popular Android apps are available. A popular choice on a budget, it is perfectly capable of running entertainment apps such as Netflix, Spotify and Amazon Prime Video, but has inbuilt adverts and pushes Amazon’s own services. Recent updates have seen Amazon add its Alexa voice control system to its tablets.
Android: Google’s Android operating system offers access to the PlayStore and a wide range of apps and Google features. Most are less expensive than Windows tablets and iPads, but users often feel Android apps are not as well developed as those for the iPad.
Windows: Most Windows tablets are a hybrid between tablet and laptop and run a version of Windows 10 that offers access to some Windows tablet only apps. These tablets often come with keyboards you can clip on to use them more like laptops.
How much should I pay?
The best cheap tablets you can buy will only set you back around £50 to provide basic functionality if you just want a Netflix machine. However, over time you may find them slow for advanced tasks and storage is limited. More powerful tablets with storage of 16GB and up will cost you anywhere from £70 to £150, depending on screen size and operating system.
Expensive tablets of £300 or more should have similar power to mini laptops, with larger screens, at least 4GB of RAM and a large amount of hard drive storage.