If you're looking for the best new tablet to buy, you've come to the right place. While the iPad looms large over this category, there's actually still plenty of choice in tablets both big and small.
Only devices we have reviewed in full appear on this list, but we cover all operating systems and all sizes. We've also included some 2-in-1 devices that are basically full Windows PCs, but the key is that they have a detachable keyboard rather than being a laptop - check out our guide to the best laptops as well.
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Remember that in tablets, newest doesn't always mean best - the tablet category moves a lot slower than phones, so a tablet that's even a couple of years old is still worth considering. Here are the best tablets to consider, ordered by size.
Best 7 and 8-inch tablets
Amazon Fire 7
The Amazon Fire 7 won't win any awards for its design, but it does offer a solid build, great value for money and seamless integration with your Amazon account. Its screen resolution isn't the best, it's not the quickest to charge and the battery life could be better, but the Fire 7 is easy to recommend for anyone looking for a tablet for kids.
If you want something larger than your phone for browsing and shopping, or watching catch-up TV or movies in bed, then Fire 7 is an great choice. It's a tablet that is so affordable, it's almost disposable. As a bedside companion or travel pacifier for the children, the Fire 7 should be the among first devices that you consider.
Amazon Fire 8 HD
The Fire HD 8 sits in a sweet spot between Amazon's incredibly good value Fire 7 and the larger Fire HD 10. While the performance and features of the Fire HD 8 betters those of the Fire 7, it also manages to outlast the Fire HD 10, making it a slightly more enticing proposition for those who want to travel with it.
The Fire HD 8 positions itself well for entertainment, especially for those who are Prime members, where the value for money cannot be disputed. Whether you're a globetrotter, looking for a travel tablet, or just something to entertain your kids, the Fire HD 8 is well worth considering. At this price point, there's very little else that comes close.
Apple iPad mini (2019)
The Apple iPad mini 5 is faster, slimmer and more accomplished than its predecessor. It's now supremely powerful and is as much iPad as many people will need; a lovely, compact tablet with an anti-reflective screen coating that makes it good for watching movies, playing games, and reading or writing on the go.
As well as unparalleled power for its price point, the 2019 iPad mini retains the device's most recognisable features: the 7.9-inch screen size alongside Touch ID - the screen real-estate is nearly twice that of the iPhone 11 Pro Max. Expect Face ID to come to its successor, though.
Huawei MediaPad M5
There's a lot to like about the Huawei MediaPad M5. It is as much as you might want from a tablet designed to entertain you, a great portal for your browsing, movies and gaming and it offers the performance that will satisfy many while avoiding the temptation to encourage you to use it for work. It's also well built, a pleasure to use, delivers good audio performance and it's got a smart fingerprint sensor too.
Its biggest challenge is that it's similar in price to the iPad mini and even the larger 10.2-inch iPad, too.
Best 9 and 10-inch tablets
Apple iPad (2019)
The Apple iPad (2019) replaces the 2018 model (a little further down this list) with a larger display and a Smart Connector for keyboard and accessory support. It misses a couple of features off its list compared to the more expensive iPads, such as Face ID, an anti-reflective display and it opts for an older processor, but this tablet remains the best affordable tablet money can buy at this size.
It has the ideal performance for apps and media consumption, an affordable price point, Apple Pencil support and iPadOS is excellent for multi-tasking. Despite numerous other iPad options, the iPad 10.2 (2019) is the perfect iPad option for many – as there's no better entry-level tablet around.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e features most of the fundamentals of Samsung's top-end Galaxy Tab S6 but for a lot less money. It offers excellent speakers - perfect for entertainment - a lovely bold OLED screen and a great battery life, along with a solid design.
There's no stylus support and no 3.5mm headphone jack, but that's pretty much as far as its weaknesses go.
Apple iPad Air (2019)
The Apple iPad Air (2019) is pricier than the iPad 10.2 above but it's a lot like the more expensive iPad Pro models, just without the name, Face ID, USB Type-C connector and the uniform bezels.
This iPad delivers a powerful and speedy performance, a battery life that will last all day, great features like Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard support and the iPadOS user interface only improves the experience. With a sub-£500 price point, the iPad Air (2019) is a very compelling offering.
Apple iPad 9.7 (2018)
The 2018 Apple iPad might have been succeeded by the 10.2-inch model but it still offers a solid, consistent tablet experience at a great price and likely cheaper than the newer model if you can find it.
Its design is still lovely, it's compatible with iPadOS and its performance is both slick and reliable. There's also support for the super - if costly - original version of the Apple Pencil, though no Smart Connector for the keyboard like the new model. It's not the iPad to pick if you want a laptop replacement, but it's a great tablet for entertainment and general tasks.
Lenovo Tab 4 10 Plus
Lenovo's Tab 4 10 Plus is a few years old now but it offers good screen quality and general performance, making it perfectly adequate for a mid-range tablet.
It's not as well built or considered as an iPad, despite costing a similar sum of money but as a media consumption machine, the Tab 4 10 Plus fits in comfortably with day-to-day life. It offers an easy-to-use, simple and reliable platform for watching Netflix in bed, or keeping up your progress in Real Racing 3.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 has been replaced by the Tab S5e and the Tab S6, but it's still worth bearing in mind, especially considering its price point is much lower now. It might not offer the latest design but it still is still good-looking, slim and lightweight, whilst also offering a fabulous AMOLED display that packs in pixels and HDR brightness.
A brilliant S Pen stylus is included in the box (a keyboard isn't included but is available) and despite being succeeded by more powerful models, as Android tablets go, the Tab S3 shouldn't be ignored if you can find a good price.
Best 2-in-1 tablets
Apple iPad Pro 12.9 (2018)
The 12.9-inch Apple iPad Pro is a quite exceptional device that delivers a lovely design, fantastic display and brilliant performance that really is laptop-class. The second-generation Apple Pencil and redesigned keyboard might cost extra on top of an already pricey device, but they are great additions.
On the go, this model is a natural laptop replacement, making a number of things easier, especially with the iPadOS user interface. It might not completely replace the laptop in the office environment for everyone just yet, but it's an exceptional tablet overall.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is expensive but as far as Android tablets go, it's hands down the best one around. It offers a beautiful vivid display, excellent power, brilliant speakers and it's an great device for drawing on.
Like the iPad Pro, it won't be enough as a laptop replacement for everyone and as we said, it most certainly isn't cheap, but if Android is your thing and you want best-of-best then the Tab S6 is the choice.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S4
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 might have been succeeded by the Tab S6 but this tablet is still a tablet that means business. It's cheaper than it was when it first launched and while still pricey, it has a fantastic display, lovely design, great battery life and a great keyboard experience if you buy it.
Android tablets haven't always had the best reputation not least because Android tablet apps tend to be a little substandard, but Samsung's tablets - including the older Tab S3 above - are devices to be reckoned with and the S Pen stylus is included in this device as it was the S3.
Acer Aspire Switch Alpha 12
With the Acer Aspire Switch Alpha 12, the Taiwanese company's bet is on liquid cooling, affordability, and a full laptop-like experience straight out of the box. It has a limited battery life and it doesn't offer the smallest or lightest design, but as a full laptop-replacement, or 2-in-1, the Acer Aspire Switch Alpha 12 ticks many of the right boxes.
Its stand is solid, the silent operation from the LiquidLoop cooling system is an obvious benefit and there's plenty of power on hand. It's also affordable, delivers a decent screen and a keyboard and stylus are both included in the box.
Microsoft Surface Pro 6
The Microsoft Surface Pro 6 has a refined design, a lovely keyboard that makes for a great typing experience - even if you do have to buy it separately - an excellent screen and plenty of power.
Battery life has improved over the previous generation and although this 2-in-1 tablet can get expensive to the point that a laptop might actually make more sense, it's a really well made do-anything Windows device. With an official Type Cover clipped into place, the Surface Pro is a formidable machine that not only looks better than its rivals, but brings fewer compromises than many too.