In Review

Best tablets to buy in 2020: tried and tested

Easy to use and portable, tablets have benefited from a surge in demand

Smaller than a laptop but bigger than a smartphone, tablet devices have grown in popularity in recent years due to their ease of use and portability.

Described by TechTerms as a “portable computer that uses a touchscreen as its primary input device”, tablets have been developed by all the major technology manufacturers. There’s now a host of Apple, Android and Windows devices on the market.

According to a report by Canalys, demand surged for low-budget remote working equipment during the second quarter of 2020, with tablet shipments increasing by 26% from 29.7 million to 37.5 million.

The top five tablet vendors - Apple, Samsung, Huawei, Amazon and Lenovo - experienced double-digit growth, reaching shipment levels usually only reserved to the Christmas season.

The Week’s sister titles ITPro and Expert Reviews have tried and tested some of the best tablet devices to be released in 2020. Here’s what they had to say.

Apple iPad Pro 12.9in (2020)

Price: from £969 “Believe the hype - this is the most expensive and most ambitious iPad yet. Is it worth so much more than an iPad, or a competitor running Android? Absolutely yes, but only if you’re prepared to explore the professional aspects. Using the iPad Pro to mostly read on the train, or simply to browse Facebook, is a criminal waste of its capabilities. For once, Apple is justified in its hyperbole. While we can’t force ourselves to say that it is ‘utterly magical’, it’s the best all-round computing platform we’ve used in the past decade. Maybe even longer.” ITPro

Huawei MatePad Pro

Price: £499 “While the iPad family still has a far greater range of tablet-friendly apps, if you just want something to watch films, browse the internet and do light work on, the MatePad Pro meets those needs admirably. The quality of its iPad opposition means the MatePad Pro misses out on an award, but this is still an excellent tablet – and one that surprisingly isn’t hobbled by the lack of Google apps.” ITPro

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus

Price: £799 (pre-order) “In the end, whichever variant of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 you go for, you’re going to get an absolute belter of a tablet. The keyboard cover is nice (if you buy one), the tablet itself is lovely, DeX mode works well and the stylus is included in the box at no extra cost. Pair all that with the fastest Qualcomm processor to date, a slick 120Hz screen and the potential for 5G connectivity, and the Tab S7 Plus is a great tablet for everything from working on Word documents to watching Netflix. And the price, which is considerably less than the equivalent Apple iPad Pro, makes for an exceedingly tempting purchase.” Expert Reviews

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite

Price: £399 “Clearly, there are far better tablets for your money. But as far as Android is concerned, no tablet is as fully formed as the Tab S6 at this end of the price scale. The 10.2in iPad remains the best overall when it comes to sheer value for money but the Tab S6 Lite easily comes a close second. With cuts (mostly) in the right places, the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite is the Android tablet to beat.” Expert Reviews

Amazon Fire HD 8 (2020)
Amazon Fire HD 8 (2020) 

Price: £89.99 “Amazon’s 2020 update to its 8in tablet is its best yet, featuring a more powerful processor, twice the base storage and improved battery life. RAM has also been given a minor boost from 1.6GB to 2GB and although the 1,200 x 800px display is a little fuzzy compared to Apple’s tablet offerings, the Fire HD 8 (2020) is an absolute steal at under £100.” Expert Reviews

Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids’ Edition
Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids’ Edition 

Price: £199.99  “Amazon’s latest childrens’ tablet is its biggest and best to date. The screen is 2in larger than the Fire HD 8 Kids’ Edition, and the display is now Full HD with a resolution of 1,920 x 1,200. It also comes with a 12-month Fire for Kids Unlimited subscription, which offers thousands of hours worth of entertaining and educational content across videos, games, apps and ebooks.” Expert Reviews

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