Best tablet 2022: the 8 top options for every buyer

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Best tablet 2022

Picking a tablet can be a challenging experience. Right now, you’ll find multiple models from numerous brands targeting different types of user.

Even within Apple’s range you’ll find a number of options, and potential overlap with the company offering everything from laptop-sized iPad Pros to dinky iPad Minis. While the choice is welcome, it also makes it all too easy to pick up the wrong tablet for your specific needs, potentially wasting precious time and effort.

Here to help ensure you don’t invest in a lemon, Trusted Reviews and its team of product experts has scoured the market, testing every tablet they can find to offer clear buying advice on the models worth your hard-earned cash. We put every tablet through its paces using a mix of lab and real-world tests to offer accurate data and experience-based advice.

In addition, we’re well aware that not all buyers will have the same core priorities when purchasing a tablet. For example, artists looking for a tablet to sketch on will likely want a big-screen device with solid active stylus support. Parents will probably look for an affordable device to keep the kids entertained, with build quality and robust content controls featuring high on the list of wants. Equally, power users will want a device that offers support for a keyboard dock and access to full-fat productivity suites such as Microsoft office.

To ensure we offer the best advice, our reviewers always consider both those areas that are important to a particular category of user, plus those factors that the majority will care about when picking a tablet. These include how good the screen is for colour accuracy, brightness and general use, as well as audio quality. After all, a tablet with a wonderfully bright and accurate screen will still be terrible for streaming if its speakers sound tinny.

From there we consider build quality – if it’s kid-friendly, for example – before going on to gauge gaming and general performance, plus battery life. Of course, all of the above is assessed in relation to the price.

This roundup includes our pick of the best tablets we’ve currently reviewed, covering the best iPads, Microsoft Windows slates and Android tablets. If you already know which tablet type you’re after then you can see a more curated selection of our recommendations in our best tablets for kids, best Android tablets and best iPad guides.

Editor’s note: We haven’t reviewed all the latest Android tablets, with our team still waiting for samples of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S8 and Galaxy Tab S8 Plus. We’ll update our guide once we’ve had these models in for testing.

How we test

Find out more about how we test tablets below

Every tablet in this list has been properly tested and used for an extended period of time by one of our product experts. We categorically do not recommend a product unless it has been put through our lab tests and used by the reviewer as their main tablet for at least five days.

Lab testing includes colorimeter checks to gauge screen accuracy and max brightness levels, synthetic benchmarks to evaluate graphics and general performance, and battery drains to assess average discharge rates for basic office tasks, streaming video and gaming.

Our reviewer will then move on to consider the tablet’s performance for everyday use. This will see them use it as their primary tablet and enact common tasks such as movie streaming, gaming, web browsing and video calling. If the device is targeted at a specific market such as digital artists, they’ll also consider areas such as digital stylus support and whether it can effectively run relevant applications.

When a device is sent in for review with optional extras, such as a stylus and keyboard cover, we’ll assess its performance both as a standalone product as well as with any accompanying peripherals.

iPad Air 5

The best tablet for most people

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Pros

  • Great display
  • Support for excellent accessories
  • Seriously powerful internals
  • Attractive design and array of colours

Cons

  • Annoying front camera placement
  • No 128GB storage option
  • Creaky body

The iPad Air 2022 is the best all-round tablet we’ve reviewed and the option we’d recommend to most people.

Reviewing the device, we struggled to find any serious issues with the tablet. Straight out of the box, the tablet presented the premium, well-built feeling that has assured iPad Air tablets have been consistent high scorers at Trusted Reviews. The metal finish feels nice to the touch and suffers no flex when pressed; following a fortnight with the device, and an accidental drop, our review unit remained free of any damage free.

As a piece of hardware, it’s also excellent. In tests we found the iPad Air 2022 more than powerful enough for everyday use. Powered by Apple’s M1 chip, the same silicon seen in its MacBook Air M1 and the more expensive Apple iPad Pro line, the tablet blasted through every process thrown its way. Every game we opened ran hassle-free, and the device never once heated up, even when tackling large-scale vector graphics work in Affinity Designer. Trust us when we say – despite being part of Apple’s Air, not Pro, line of tablets, this is a powerhouse performer.

Apple’s iPadOS software is also significantly more developed than that of Android. During testing, we never struggled to find an app for the process we wanted to run. This makes it wonderfully flexible and suitable for use as a backup when paired with the option Apple Pencil and Magic Keyboard.

The only minor issue is that, like all Apple peripherals, the keyboard and stylus are expensive additions. We also aren’t the biggest fans of the keyboard cover’s switches, which still feel a little squishy compared to most of the dedicated laptops we test. We’d only recommend it for taking notes during lectures, rather than for writing dissertations, as a result.

The 11-inch screen is great for watching video content, offering suitably bright and accurate colours for an immersive viewing experience. Our reviewer was also impressed with the tablet’s speakers, which offered surprisingly powerful and detailed audio, to make watching TV in bed a blast.

If that wasn’t enough, our tests showed that the iPad Air 4 is capable of offering users all-day battery life. Our reviewer regularly managed 10 hours of heavy use before the tablet required charging. Streaming 10 hours of a downloaded iTunes video, the battery still had 3% remaining during our tests.

Our only slight quibble is that, unlike many of its Microsoft and Google rivals, the screen is a basic LCD panel with a locked 60Hz refresh rate. This means the device fell slightly short of delivering the deep blacks seen from its Pro Mini-LED siblings and Android rivals such as the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra, which has an OLED screen.

We’d also have liked Apple’s Promotion to make an appearance. Promotion is a screen technology that boosts the tablet’s refresh rate to 120Hz, enabling it to render twice as many images per second. The feature works great and, based on our experience, ensures the Pro screens feel much smoother to use than those of the Air models.

Ordinarily, we’d have forgiven the Air considering its price; but, recently, we’ve seen rival devices at the same price, such as the Xiaomi Pad 5 with its 120Hz screen, pass through our labs. As such, the Xiaomi Pad 5 is a great alternative for those looking for an all-round awesome 11-inch tablet, but who aren’t embedded in Apple’s software ecosystem.

Reviewer: Max Parker
Full review: iPad Air 2022 Review

Xiaomi Pad 5

The best Android alternative to the iPad Air

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Pros

  • Excellent screen that’s ideal for Neflix and gaming
  • Decent every day performance
  • Good build quality
  • Powerful speaker setup

Cons

  • Software features some bloatware
  • Demanding tasks heavily impact battery

The Xiaomi Pad 5 is the closest like-for-like rival to the iPad Air 2022 that we’ve tested. Based on our results, the device is a powerhouse product that goes toe-to-toe with – at times, even beats – the iPad Air at a technical level. Out of the box our reviewer was immediately taken back by the tablet’s build quality, with its pristine metal edges looking great and its flat back feeling solid enough to survive the odd bump and scrape. Like the iPad Air, the frame offered no flex at all when pressed.

The screen is LCD, like the Air’s, but it has a faster 120Hz refresh rate. This made it much better for gaming, with our reviewer regularly running GeForce Now on the device on his lunch break during testing. The screen also features Dolby Vision HDR support, which, again, on paper gives it an edge over the Air.

In real-world use the Xiaomi came close to matching the iPad Air as a home entertainment station. Colours looked wonderfully vibrant watching HDR content from Netflix, and the speakers, while not quite as controlled as the iPad Air’s, did a decent job of adding to the immersion felt when consuming content. The speakers can reach quite high volumes, and we didn’t detect any distortion, even when using the tablet at its max level. Distortion is a common issue across many of the mid-range Android tablets we test, such as the Galaxy Tab S7 FE.

The Xiaomi Pad 5’s battery life is excellent, with our review unit matching the iPad Air 4 in offering around 10 hours of video playback in tests. This involved looping content stored on the device until battery life dropped to zero. Using the device as his primary tablet for a fortnight, our reviewer never once struggled to get a full week of regular use from the Pad 5. This entailed using it as an e-reader on his commute to work, and a web-browsing and media-consumption station through the evenings.

Some minor issues that stopped us fully recommending the Pad 5 on the same level as the iPad Air relate to the device’s software and use of a slightly older Qualcomm Snapdragon 860 CPU. As is the case with nearly all the Android tablets we test, many apps aren’t optimized to run on screens of this size. As a result, we found most – including Facebook and Instagram – looked slightly stretched out on the Xiaomi Pad 5.

In addition, software support for the Xiaomi isn’t as solid as that offered with the iPad; Xiaomi offers no firm pledges about how many updates it will guarantee for the Pad 5. This is a big deal – not receiving updates to the latest version of Android would radically shorten the Pad 5’s lifespan, diminishing its long-term appeal. By comparison, Apple iPads are updated to new versions of iPadOS so long as their hardware can run it.

Reviewer: Alastair Stevenson
Full review: Xiaomi Pad 5 Review

Asus ROG Flow Z13

The best for gaming The best for gaming

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Pros

  • Extremely portable with hybrid design
  • Great performance for casual gaming
  • Superb screen quality
  • Option to boost performance with eGPU

Cons

  • Poor battery life undermines portability
  • Optional eGPU is very expensive
  • Type cover is a poor gaming keyboard replacement

The Asus ROG Flow Z13 is one of the first, and only, tablets designed to offer a full-fat PC gaming experience that isn’t reliant on a cloud service such as GeForce Now.

Out of the box, however, the tablet doesn’t scream gaming, with the black slate being blissfully free of any RGB lighting. In fact, our reviewer described the Windows tablet as looking a lot like a first-generation Microsoft Surface Pro, featuring a rugged but chunky tablet section with a reliable kickstand, which could easily see the device used in a lecture hall or coffee shop without drawing too much attention.

Like all the Microsoft Windows tablets we test, the device is clearly designed to be used as a laptop first and tablet second. The kickstand and attachable keyboard, coupled with its large dimensions, make it a lot less comfortable to hold and use in landscape orientation than most Android or Apple iPad rivals.

However, if a mobile PC gaming tablet that can double as a laptop for basic office tasks is what you’re after, it’s an excellent choice.

The big differentiator between the Asus ROG Flow Z13 and the sea of other Windows tablets, including Microsoft’s current Surface Pro 8, is the fact that it comes with a dGPU option. Specifically, the review unit we tested was powered by an Intel Core i9-12900H CPU and an Nvidia RTX 3050 Ti GPU. There’s also a cheaper version available, which comes with a less powerful Intel Core i5-12500H and Intel Iris Xe graphics.

The 3050 Ti GPU is a rarity – we haven’t seen it in any other tablet – and a clear sign of the tablet’s gaming focus, as well as the primary reason for its increased size.

During testing, the combo saw the ROG Flow Z13 play games at surprisingly high frame rates. We managed to get big-name titles including Borderlands 3, Dirt Rally and Horizon Zero Dawn running at playable rates post-30fps, with the tablet set to a 1080p resolution during our time with the device. Less demanding titles, such as Fortnite and Apex Legends, ran much smoother and at times approached 60fps, again with graphics settings lowered. As a rule of thumb, games need to run at 30fps or higher – any lower and it will look like it’s chugging.

As an added bonus the Z13 also has an external GPU option. This is an expensive peripheral that lets you radically boost game performance by connecting the Asus ROG Flow Z13 to an external XG Mobile dock containing a much more powerful RTX 3080 graphics card. Our tests showed the connection led to three times better performance when gaming.

The only downside to the device is its high upfront cost, and the fact that some sacrifices have had to be made to accommodate the 3050 Ti graphics card. For starters, the keyboard isn’t as comfortable to use as the Type Cover available for the Surface Pro 8. In tests we found the Asus keyboard felt cramped, with its keys failing to offer as tactile feedback as the Surface’s keyboard – which itself isn’t perfect.

The added graphical grunt also heavily impacted battery life. During our time with the Asus ROG Flow Z13, it never once managed to last more than five hours running productivity applications, and its battery would die in less than two hours while lightweight gaming. This is radically behind competing devices such as the Surface Pro 8, which managed to last a full work day (eight hours) when tested.

We’d also suggest that any buyers simply looking for a way to play PC games on-the-go consider the Valve Steam Deck. In tests we found the Steam Deck, which comes with attached gamepad controls, managed to match the Asus ROG Flow Z13’s performance and offered longer battery life. The only downside is that it can’t be used as a laptop replacement in the same way as the Asus.

Reviewer: Ryan Jones
Full review: Asus ROG Flow Z13 Review

iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2021)

The tablet for creatives

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Pros

  • The updated display is mostly very good
  • Excellent for HDR content
  • So much power
  • Design remains the best of any tablet

Cons

  • Some display blooming in various situations
  • A lot of power but not much to really take advantage of it
  • 128GB storage is stingy at the price

The iPad Pro 12.9-inch is the best tablet we’ve tested for digital painters, designers and pretty much any other creative looking for a mobile sketch or edit station.

As the Pro branding would suggest, the tablet is a large-screen iPadOS slate designed to offer creatives as sizeable a canvas as is humanly possible on which to work. Reviewing the device we found it ticks all the boxes you’d expect of a powerhouse, $1000/£1000-plus tablet.

Standout performance in our tests was delivered by its screen, with the Mini-LED 12.9-inch screen proving to be the best mobile panel for HDR content. From the moment we powered up the tablet, we were wowed by the level of brightness on offer, and the accuracy of the colours displayed. The move to Mini-LED also made blacks look incrementally deeper than those rendered on the older iPad Pro and iPad Air 2022, which both use an LCD panel.

Cracking out our colorimeter, our naked-eye impressions were confirmed, with the iPad Pro delivering one of the best performances we’ve seen for a tablet marketed at creatives. The tablet easily broke the 1000-nit threshold when we played bright HDR content – but, more impressively, we detected a top 525-nit peak “regular use” brightness. By comparison, competing tablets such as the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 peaked at around 400 nits, running the same test. A nit is a measurement of luminance, with one nit roughly the brightness of a single candle. When measuring brightness, a higher figure is better.

Sitting in a park, our reviewer was able to happily sketch on the screen using an Apple Pencil in bright sunlight, a setting that rendered competing tablet screens – from the Xiaomi Pad 5 and Microsoft Surface Pro – illegible.

Our positive experience was further enhanced by the tablet’s Promotion tech and developed iPadOS software. Promotion is Apple’s marketing term for high refresh rate. It means the iPad Pro 12.9-inch can display up to 120 images per second. For artists this is important, since the added smoothness will make it much easier to sketch on the iPad. Coming from the iPad Air 2022, which has a 60Hz refresh rate, the difference in experience was night and day. Sketching and coloring comic pages in Procreate using the Pro was a far superior experience.

The hardware is supported by one of the best app ecosystems for creatives, outside of Windows or MacOS. Throughout testing, we never struggled to find an app for our workflow, which featured the full Adobe Suite, great vector packages such as Affinity Designer, Final Cut Pro for video editors and more music creation apps than could easily be counted.

In addition, the M1 chip at the heart of the device is more than powerful enough to easily run every app tested, with our reviewer noticing zero performance issues, even when editing video in Final Cut Pro and working on an incredibly large, multi-layer painting in Procreate.

The only downside is that the iPad Pro 12.9-inch price and proportions make it an expensive luxury that isn’t as portable as its Air sibling. As such, we’d recommend the cheaper iPad Air 2022 first to anyone other than creatives, or buyers with serious cash to burn.

Reviewer: Max Parker
Full review: iPad Pro 12.9-inch Review

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra

The best tablet for streaming

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Pros

  • Large screen is perfect for streaming movies and playing games
  • Fast performance
  • Great work from Samsung makes it quick and easy to scribble notes using the included S Pen
  • The DeX desktop view is a welcome bonus when you need to do basic office work

Cons

  • The big screen means demanding tasks like gaming put a serious drain on its battery
  • Not a lot of creative apps on Google’s official app store compared to iPadOS

If you’re hankering after a big-screen tablet, but don’t fancy the iPad Pro 12.9-inch, then the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is pretty much your only other option at the moment.

The tablet was unveiled alongside the smaller Galaxy Tab S8 and Tab S8 Plus, which we’re yet to review, and is being marketed by Samsung as a direct rival to the iPad Pro. 

The moment our reviewer took it out of the box it was apparent that Samsung has put all its eggs into the Ultra’s size and screen. Measuring in at 14 inches, the Ultra is the biggest tablet on this list and – aside from the Wacom Mobile Studio Pro – the largest tablet to pass through our labs. It took our reviewer a good two days to get used to the tablet’s generous proportions, and the lack of a kickstand means you’ll 100% need to invest in a case to fully take advantage of all the tablet has to offer. All-in-all, If you want a satchel-friendly tablet that can easily be used one-handed, this definitely isn’t the tablet for you.

But, if you want a big screen for immersive video streaming or GeForce Now cloud gaming sessions then we couldn’t recommend the Ultra enough. On powering up the tablet, its screen immediately proved to be one of the best we’ve seen on an Android tablet for media consumption.

The 14.6-inch AMOLED panel is wonderful for watching video and playing games, the AMOLED tech presenting perfect blacks. This, coupled with solid brightness, saw this tablet deliver the best HDR performance we’ve seen from an Android tablet. Streaming BladeRunner, details lost in dark scenes on the older Galaxy Tab S7 Plus and Xiaomi Pad 5 were on full display here. Add to this detailed audio from its speakers, and you have a wonderfully immersive viewing experience.

The tablet also features a top 120Hz refresh rate, which is great for gaming. Streaming games over the cloud with a Razer Raiju controller connected, the large screen offered fantastic reactive gameplay in 1440p, making it a great option for gamers looking for a tablet to play on when away from the TV.

This was aided by the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra’s solid battery life, with the tablet generally offering three-plus-hours of gaming over the cloud – more generous than the two hours we achieved using the Asus ROG Flow Z13. The only downside is that you’ll need a reliable 5G or Wi-Fi connection; the tablet’s Android software means you can’t access key gaming marketplaces, such as Steam, for local triple-A gaming.

Despite its size, and the fact it comes with an S Pen stylus included, we’d recommend creatives and power users on the hunt for a laptop replacement opt for the iPad Pro 12.9-inch or Surface Pro 8 instead. Although the Tab S8 Ultra’s screen is great for entertainment, our colorimeter tests show that it doesn’t cover as much of the Adobe and DCI-P3 color gamuts as the iPad Pro. Specifically, it covered only 72.1% of the sRGB and 74.7% of the DCI-P3 gamuts. This puts it roughly on a par with the Surface Pro 8, but behind the iPad Pro 12.9-inch. Ideally, we’d want any screen designed for creatives to cover at least 80% of these gamuts. Gamuts are ranges of colours used to gauge how accurately images rendered on a screen are compared to how they will look when physically printed.

We didn’t get a chance to test the tablet’s official keyboard cover, but we found that Android’s offering of creative and productivity apps isn’t on a par with iPad OS or Windows 11. The Adobe creative suite on Android is a cut-down version designed for mobile phones, not the full fat version you’ll find on iPad OS or Windows, limited to basic filters, cropping and repair functionality. Krita also remains the only painting app that’s properly optimized for stylus inputs and with proper keyboard shortcut support.

Reviewer: Alastair Stevenson
Full review: Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra Review

Microsoft Surface Pro 8

The best tablet for work

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Pros

  • Solid performance
  • Great screen for work and play
  • Reliable battery life, especially in 60Hz
  • Well-built kick stand

Cons

  • Signature Cover and Slim Pen 2 not included
  • Limited port selection

If you want a tablet-come-laptop for work then based on our testing, the Surface Pro 8 is the tablet to buy. This is largely due to the tablet’s use of full-fat Windows 11. Our tests revealed that this made it the most versatile option as a working laptop replacement.

The tablet uses proper laptop processors and has access to every app and programme available on Windows. As such, our reviewer found that it was the only device on the list that could comfortably be used both as a 100% functional laptop for work and tablet for entertainment.

With every other device, including the iPad models, we experienced times where we had to move to a laptop to complete some work tasks. This usually occurred when we needed to plug peripherals such as colorimeter or older external monitor into the device, because iPadOS and Android had failed to recognise them.

Paired with a Type Cover, we also found the keyboard is one of the best available to a tablet. The new keyboard has a carbon fibre layer, which makes it feel a lot sturdier to type on, removing the flex I experienced with past Type Covers. The key’s switches also have a more pleasing and tactile actuation point than Apple’s Magic Keyboards, making it more comfortable to work on for prolonged periods.

As an added perk, the keyboard also has a dock for the Slim Pen. This sits on its top long side and has a clever magnetic mechanism that charges and hides the pen when the tablet section is attached. The system is much more elegant than the magnetic docking systems seen on the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra and iPad Pro.

From a hardware perspective, the Surface Pro 8 performed admirably. The 13-inch tablet uses an LCD panel, which means it wasn’t quite as nice as the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra and iPad Pro 12.9-inch to watch Netflix on, which offer deeper blacks and generally more immersive viewing head-to-head. Nevertheless, screen quality is more than good enough for casual viewing on the go. I had no serious issues watching videos on a long train ride to Scotland.

The lack of a dGPU, like the 3050 Ti seen on the Asus ROG Flow Z13, meant we couldn’t get triple-A games to run locally at playable frame rates without radically downgrading the graphics. But the 120Hz refresh rate meant streaming games via GeForce Now felt suitably reactive with an Xbox controller connected.

During our review process we found battery life varied greatly, depending on what you were doing with the device. For office tasks such as word processing, video calling and managing excel sheets, you’ll comfortably get a full work day’s use out of the Surface Pro 8, based on our experience with the device. But more intensive tasks, such as 3D modelling in Blender put a much bigger strain on the battery, with it lasting only around 3-4 hours. This is a lot less than the iPad Pro 12.9-inch.

The screen’s color gamut coverage also isn’t quite up to scratch for creatives, based on our colorimeter checks. We found it covers only 73.4% of the Adobe RGB and 75.7% of the DCI-P3 gamuts favored by creatives that work in physical media. This means the iPad Pro 12.9-inch will be a better option for most painters, photographers and designers.

Reviewer: Alastair Stevenson
Full review: Surface Pro 8 Review

iPad Mini 6

The best small tablet

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Pros

  • Great new design
  • Works with the second-gen Apple Pencil
  • Super-speedy thanks to the A15 Bionic chipset
  • 5G option makes for great portability

Cons

  • Odd storage sizes
  • Expensive
  • Some iOS elements are too small

If you want a tablet that can easily fit into even the smallest of bags then the iPad Mini 6 is the device for you.

We haven’t always been the biggest fans of Apple’s Mini iPads, with them tending to be the slowest to get upgraded in any significant way. The iPad Mini 5 offered a good but dull design that focussed on performance improvements and little more.

Which is the reason we were so surprised by the iPad Mini 6 when it entered our labs for testing. It was immediately apparent on taking the device out of the box that Apple had put much thought and care into upgrading the Mini for today’s market. The device sports a completely new, more modern design, and a number of small but important upgrades make it the best small tablet to pass through our labs in the last half decade.

Design-wise, it looks like a shrunk-down version of Apple’s current-generation Pro and Air tablets. It’s been upgraded to feature Apple Pencil 2 support, too. The latter is particularly welcome, since it means the Pencil can be magnetically docked and charged on the tablet. The docking mechanism is much more elegant than that featured on the older model – which forced you to charge the Pencil using the tablet’s Lightning port – and made it far easier for us to keep tabs on the stylus through testing.

The A15 Bionic chipset isn’t as fast as the M1 that features in Apple’s more expensive iPads, but based on our benchmarks and experience using the Mini 6 as our daily tablet, it’s still more than powerful enough. In our time with the tablet, we never noticed any slowdown, with apps universally launching in milliseconds and running with zero performance issues.

The only downside is that while the size is great for people who want a portable tablet, the Mini isn’t quite as good for video streaming or gaming in a home environment as its larger Air sibling.

We found the 8.2-inch screen isn’t anywhere near as immersive for video viewing as the iPad Air, let alone the Pro or Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra. As well as its small size, placing it next to the iPad Air, which also has an LCD screen, blacks weren’t quite as deep. Thankfully, its high max brightness meant it proved suitably dynamic for casual video in bed or while travelling.

The lack of Apple’s Promotion tech means it’s locked at a bog-standard 60Hz refresh rate. This coupled with its small size meant that although it’s fine for mobile gaming on-the-go, the device is ill-suited for more serious players looking for a tablet from which to stream triple-A games. We found the HUD and text on PC games running via GeForce Now were a little too small to comfortably read when the tablet was sat on a desk.

For such users, the iPad Air or Xiaomi Pad 5 with their larger screens are far better options.

Reviewer: Max Parker
Full review: Apple iPad Mini 6 review

Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids

The best tablet for kids

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Pros

  • Super-chunky case offers a lot of protection
  • Excellent parental controls
  • Worry-free guarantee
  • Bright screen

Cons

  • A little expensive
  • Limited app library

Most tablets – including the Apple iPad Mini 6 – are expensive, and while they’re well built, based on our experience they’re certainly not toddler-proof.

Instead, we’d recommend you pick up Amazon’s Fire HD 10 Kids (2021). The tablet is bespoke designed for kids, and having crash-tested it with a duo of 5-10-year-olds, we believe it to be the perfect option for any parent looking for a slate to keep their kids entertained.

The biggest reason we recommend this tablet is its rugged bumper case, which coats the tablet in a shockproof foam and plastic outer shell. Following a week’s use by the tablet’s intended market, we can attest to its build quality. The device survived being thrown around a playroom with zero regard for its safety, as well as more than a few rage throws at the peak of a tantrum. On top of that, in the event that your progeny does manage to break the device, Amazon offers a two-year guarantee that will see the company replace the tablet without question. This is the key reason we recommend this tablet as the best option for kids.

The hardware is fairly basic. The 10-inch LCD screen looks washed out next to the panels of the iPad Air and Xiaomi Pad 5, but is sharp enough to read comfortably and fine for watching cartoons. Apps take noticeably longer to load; but the FireOS software is great for kids. During testing we found that the advanced parental controls make it quick and easy to filter what content kids can access, restrict or block in-app purchases and limit how much screen time they get each day.

In addition, the bundled one-year subscription to Amazon Kids+ offered enough content to keep kids entertained. Reviewing the device we found oodles of videos, games, books and audible books on the marketplace, each of which had been vetted safe for use by kids, all available for download and offline use.

The only thing to be aware of is that, when we gave our test subjects unbridled access to use the device as they wished during a long drive, they managed to drain a fully charged Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids (2021) in just over four hours. If you want to avoid tantrums during longer trips then you’ll want to invest in an external battery pack.

The childish design and restricted software also mean you’ll likely want to avoid the tablet if you have slightly older kids. We’d recommend parents with kids aged 9 and above look at a lower-end, full-fat Android tablet such as the Galaxy Tab S7 FE, which offers a more adult design and access to Google’s full application ecosystem.

Reviewer: David Ludlow
Full review: Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Review

FAQs

How much should you spend on a tablet?

This depends on what you want to do with the tablet. If it’s for young children you don’t want to spend lots on a device that will ultimately get broken or damaged down the line. If you just want to watch Netflix or play basic games there are also plenty of great affordable tablets available for less than $400/£400. Based on our experience, it’s only worth spending lots if you are a power user or creative that needs extra computational power and top end screen quality.

Do you need 5G on a tablet?

5G is a useful technology that lets you download huge files, and entire film series in minutes, if you’re in an area with good coverage. But unless you’re a professional looking to use a tablet for work on the go we don’t recommend investing in the tech for a tablet. 99% of the time it’s easier to just tether the tablet to your phone’s connection in the odd instance you need internet on your tablet while away from a WiFi connection.

Are iPads better than Android tablets?

From a hardware perspective this depends on the exact tablets you’re comparing. But, based on our experience testing both types of tablets, iPads software is better optimised for larger screens. This is because Android software is optimised purely for mobile phones while Apple’s iPadOS is bespoke made for tablet form factors.

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Comparison specs

You can see a detailed breakdown of all tablets included in this lists specs in the table below. The biggest differences occur between iPads and Android tablets. iPads universally run on Apple’s homemade A and M series CPUs, which based on our testing tend to perform better than the Qualcomm and Meditek chips used in their Android rivals.

UK RRP
USA RRP
EU RRP
CA RRP
AUD RRP
CPU
Manufacturer
Screen Size
Storage Capacity
Rear Camera
Front Camera
Video Recording
IP rating
Battery
Battery Hours
Fast Charging
Size (Dimensions)
Weight
ASIN
Operating System
Release Date
First Reviewed Date
Model Number
Resolution
HDR
Refresh Rate
Ports
GPU
Chipset
RAM
Connectivity
Colours
Display Technology
Screen Technology
Touch Screen
Convertible?

Trusted Reviews test data

The table below details the test data we collected reviewing all the tablets included in this list. Apple’s iPads generally benchmark better than their Android rivals due to the better synergy between their parts and software. But they also tend to cost more which is where the biggest trade off occurs.

PCMark 10
Geekbench 5 single core
Geekbench 5 multi core
3DMark Time Spy
CrystalDiskMark Read speed
CrystalMarkDisk Write Speed
Brightness
Black level
Contrast
White Visual Colour Temperature
sRGB
Adobe RGB
DCI-P3
PCMark Battery (office)
Battery Life
Battery recharge time
Borderlands 3 frame rate (Full HD)
Horizon Zero Dawn frame rate (Full HD)
Dirt Rally (Full HD)
Max brightness
1 hour video playback (Netflix, HDR)
30 minute gaming (intensive)
30 minute gaming (light)
1 hour music streaming (online)
1 hour music streaming (offline)
Time from 0-100% charge
Time from 0-50% charge
3D Mark – Wild Life

The post Best tablet 2022: the 8 top options for every buyer appeared first on Trusted Reviews.

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