(Pocket-lint) - 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.

And although we've got a selection of 2-in-1s below, we've also got a separate guide if you want even more. 

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.

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Amazon Fire 7

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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 a 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.

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Amazon Fire 8 HD

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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.

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Apple iPad mini (2019)

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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. 

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Apple iPad (2019)

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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.

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Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e

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The Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e features most of the fundamentals of Samsung's top-end Galaxy Tab S7+ 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. 

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Apple iPad Air (2019)

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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 good price point, the iPad Air (2019) is a very compelling offering.

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Apple iPad Pro 12.9 (2020)

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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.

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Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+

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Samsung's latest flagship tablet is an absolute beast, and has a soaring pricetag to match its specs.

You get a superb screen and brilliant internals to make for what is pretty clearly the all-round best Android tablet going right now. That said, being the best Android tablet doesn't make you the best overall tablet, or indeed the best value. 

However, if Android is your system of choice and you want a superb experience with no budgetary restrictions, this is a tempting option. 

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Microsoft Surface Pro 7

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The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 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.

Writing by Britta O'Boyle and Dan Grabham.