Updated 19 July 2022
Our tests are independently conducted and reflect the test editor's honest and objective opinions. Selection of products and test results are in no way influenced by manufacturers, retailers or other internal or external parties.
The iPad you need, even if it's not the one you want
Price class: Medium Size: 10.2” Resolution: 2160 × 1620 pixels Chip: Apple A13 Bionic (2x2.65 GHz + 4x1.8 GHz) Camera: 8 MP, selfie camera: 12 MP Video recording: 1080p@30fps Input and output: 1 Lightning, magnetic connector for keyboard Storage: 64/256 GB Speakers: 2
The 9th generation Apple iPad is the tablet you really need, and – fortunately – also the cheapest of Apple tablets. You get sufficient performance for most tasks, enough to keep this tablet usable for a few years. It works OK with games and manages everything else even better, which makes it really difficult to see why you’d need any of Apple's more expensive machines.
The 2021 edition of the iPad is actually a rather boring one. The shape is the same as it has been for three generations now. The pen support is still just Apple's first generation. It’s also the only iPad that still runs on Apple’s Lightning connector, as all other tablets have switched to USB-C.
Below the screen you will, as usual, find the TouchID fingerprint reader.
Inside you now get the A13 Bionic instead of last year's A12. This does give the iPad a real performance boost, although of course not the same power as in the Air or Pro models. But even if some games may load a little more slowly, they still work fine in most cases.
Most changes have happened in the front camera, which now has ten times more megapixels, going from 1.2 to 12. But this is largely because the selfie camera has now received support for Center Stage. This means the camera “follows you” if you move your head slightly to the side.
Of course, the camera doesn’t actually move, and so this is just a combination of a little AI and some image cropping. Which is what the extra megapixels are for. This technology first appeared in spring's iPad Pro machines and is actually quite fun. Perfect for making video conferencing that bit better.
As we’ve already said, this year’s iPad is a fairly boring update to an existing product. But even so, you still get most of what you need or want in this package.
This year, the storage memory has doubled, so the smallest iPad now starts at 64 Gb. That’s not tons, but if you don’t intend to store videos and photographs, and are more inclined to download apps and games, then it is enough.
If you want to draw and sketch, the first generation Apple pencil also works very well. If you need a keyboard, there is both Bluetooth and a magnetic connector on one long side to attach one. Most of the functions from iPadOS are here and they work really fast, so you have a complete system with significantly more apps and a longer update time than any Android tablet on the market.
The 9th generation iPad has enough power, screen, battery and other functions to make most people happy. Sure, the iPad Mini is pretty cool, the Air is pretty cool and the Pro is cooler in every way. But in terms of what you get for your money, this basic iPad is actually very affordable.
An incredibly powerful tablet
Price class: Premium Size: 11” (also available as 12.9") Resolution: 2388x1668p Chip: A12X Bionic 64 bit architecture Camera: 12 MP, selfie camera: 7 MP Video recording: 4K Input and output: 1 x USB-C, microphones Storage: 64/256/512/1000 GB Speakers: 4 pcs
The iPad Pro is an extremely powerful tablet. Whether you really need this much power in a tablet is the question. The apps and games we tested ran smoothly, but on the other hand they ran smoothly on our old iPad Pro which has a good few years under its belt.
However, if you do need a lot of power, you certainly won’t be short of it with the latest generation iPad Pro, because it’s more powerful than the average computer.
The iPad Pro also comes with a razor-sharp screen with excellent colour reproduction and all the technology you’d expect in a tablet. For example, it has facial recognition, charging via USB-C and a very good battery life. We had no problem at all leaving it 2-3 days between charges when using it sparingly.
However, we felt it needed a fingerprint reader because the facial recognition isn’t always 100%. For example, it has problems recognising people wearing hats and scarves.
And the camera isn’t as good as we’d expect from an Apple device. Images become slightly grainy in poor lighting. The size of the tablet also makes it unsuitable for photography, not that that’s its primary purpose.
In terms of size however, and from a completely different perspective, the iPad Pro is very inviting as an entertainment device. We tested the 11-inch version which, with its razor-sharp screen and slimline design, is a nice alternative for a tablet. However, the format could have been more film-friendly, such as 16:9, which we think is better suited for the kind of things people use tablets for.
If you’re looking for an alternative to a hybrid computer, the iPad Pro should definitely be on your list, as in many ways it’s even better than a hybrid computer. But as a tablet, it’s unnecessarily powerful and expensive. If that’s what you're looking for, we’d recommend the regular iPad models, with significantly lower price tags but still enough power for entertainment.
There are just not enough apps and games yet that need this much power.
Similarly if you’re going to use it as a student computer, which it’s definitely capable of, you should probably buy the Smart Keyboard Folio instead – and possibly even the Apple Pencil – to take fast notes. The keyboard then doubles as a protective case and stand for your iPad.
It feels a bit like Apple is straddling the fence here both in terms of power and price with its two latest tablets. To get decent storage, you have to pay as much as you would for an average computer. So from the point of view of using the tablet for entertainment, we wouldn’t recommend an iPad Pro. It's a bit like buying a Ferrari and using it as a commuter car. If, on the other hand, you want to use it as a computer, it’s a good buy.
The iPad Pro is a great device, totally superior to all others, but it does cost accordingly. It all depends on how you intend to use it and how deep your pocket is. But you’ll definitely be happy with your purchase once you’ve got it in your hands.
Far more than you need
Size: 10.9" Resolution: 1640 x 2360 pixels Chip: Apple M1 Camera: 12 MP, selfie camera: 12 MP Video Recording: 4k@60fps Inputs and outputs: 1 USB-C Storage: 64-256 GB Speakers: 2.
The fifth generation Apple iPad Air is a surprise, while still being exactly what we have come to expect. A surprise because many believed that Apple’s M1 chip would remain reserved for the iPad Pro, but it can also be found here. As expected, because in practise the M1 chip is the only thing that sets this tablet apart from the previous generation.
While Apple’s regular iPad is definitely good enough for the majority of us, and will therefore continue to be the healthier choice for most people, it has always felt a bit old.The price, and Apple’s product strategies, are obviously most to blame for this, but the design is familiar and the performance has always been good, but not spotless.
Therefore, the iPad Air is available as an intermediate between the standard iPad and the iPad Pro. While we shouldn't say that it’s a cheap tablet, it’s still a little cheaper than Apple’s Pro segment and, especially now, much faster than the standard iPad.
This means that you will not miss any iPad OS updates for many years to come. You won't feel like a big app or game has overcome the tablet – it has all the power you need.
With full power, this naturally also means that you have access to most of the things that iPad OS has to offer. The selfie camera now fixes on Center Stage, which keeps you at the centre of your video calls. Apple Pencil generation two is fully supported, just like with the iPad Pro. All functions for running several apps simultaneously on the screen are also there.
At the same time, the tablet's price ranges is synonymous to getting a fully capable computer for the same amount, even the cheapest Macbook Air computers are in this range. In terms of the productivity offered by iPad OS and its apps, they go far – but not all the way to what a fully-fledged computer does. Then only the pen is really the advantage here.
Similarly, you won't get the luxury features of the iPad Pro: for example, four speakers, 120 hertz screen refresh (only 60 here), or the larger iPad’s better screen. The very welcome USB-C port is also not as functional as with its older sibling. Face ID is also replaced by fingerprint readers on the power button - which works, but often feels a bit cluttered.
Apple’s iPad Air, now in its fifth generation, gives you a tremendous amount of power in a medium-price format – at least according to Apple. In many ways, it’s a fantastic tablet that will last for many years. But given how well Apple’s cheapest iPad works, we still feel that this intermediate stage still feels a bit unnecessary.
Spot-on hardware – shame about the software
Size: 11" Resolution: 1600x2560 pixels, 120 hz Chip: Qualcomm Snapdragon 860 Camera: 13 MP, selfie camera: 8 MP Video Recording: 4k@30fps Inputs and outputs: 1 USB-C Storage: 128 GB Speakers: 4.
On paper, the Xiaomi Mi Pad 5 is a brilliantly capable tablet with an excellent price tag. But when we use it, sadly it feels like almost every scenario raises serious doubts about the software and its future.
Let’s deal with the negative aspects straight away. Android hasn't been specifically made for tablets for many years now. Instead, it has largely been up to either the app developers or the hardware manufacturers’ own software shells and functions to tidy up the experience. While this has usually worked quite well, Xiaomi appears to have well and truly dropped the ball.
It may be called MIUI 12.5, but it’s the old Android 11 chugging away in the background. In many ways, Xiaomi’s MIUI shell comes straight from the phones and no serious effort at integration with the tablet’s larger format has been made. Meanwhile, there’s no official word about how long the tablet will be supported with new versions of the operating system, something that’s otherwise become standard with the phones. This means we don't know anything about Xiaomi’s intentions regarding Android 12, or more interestingly the tablet-adapted Android 12L. This setup just about works, but doesn't feel like it’s made for the bigger screen.
The cameras are another disappointment. On the back, there’s a camera package that appears to be two large cameras, but on closer inspection is only one. While that’s not a big deal, we feel a bit cheated. The camera on the back could also be moved to the front, because you do actually use it. On the front instead, there’s a rather disappointing camera that fails to impress during video calls.
It’s a real shame about all the above, especially the software. Because this is a tablet that’s in roughly the same price range as Apple’s entry-level iPad, but has the hardware that most closely resembles the three times more expensive iPad Pro.
The design is also reminiscent of the Pro’s angular shape and impressive build quality. The screen is generous, has good resolution and a really high refresh rate in a generally good screen. There are four speakers around the screen and Dolby Atmos certification on it, which is great. The only thing missing from the outside is a fingerprint reader.
The inside houses a Snapdragon 860 chip. Not exactly the top chip, but definitely powerful enough for everything you might want to do. Xiaomi Mi Pad is a great luxury tablet at a really good price. Sadly, the fact that the software is already on life support with an unpromising future really spoils the overall impression.
Large screen and included pen gives you an affordable tablet
Size: 12.6" Resolution: 1600 x 2560 pixels, 120 hz Chip: Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 Camera: 13 + 5 MP, selfie camera: 8 + 8 MP Video Recording: 4k@30fps Inputs and outputs: 1 USB-C Storage: 256 GB Speakers: 4.
Lenovo Tab P12 Pro belongs to the category of tablets designed for productivity – which has now become one of two decent fixed categories for tablets with either Android or iPad OS, the other being more focused on low price and media consumption. Lenovo Tab P12 Pro gives you a large and fast screen, together with a generously included pen at a fairly affordable price.
The pen is one of two parts that make the P12 Pro into a “Pro”. It’s sensitive and accurate enough to be a really useful pen for both notes and sketches. The pen is easily stored on the back of the tablet with a magnetic attachment. The second of the two pieces is a keyboard case, which is sold separately. Unfortunately, we have not been able to find information on whether the case will be sold in Sweden with a Swedish keyboard and, if so, at what price.
Despite a relatively low price tag, the pen is included. The screen is another luxury aspect when considering the price. 12.6" is more than enough in this context, while at the same time you get an update rate of 120 hertz, and an overall great oled screen.
The tablet itself is really thin and, at the same time, has a nice construction of mainly metal. Both the front and back give you dual cameras, which is unusual. However, the one front camera is only used for facial recognition, while the rear camera does an entirely OK and basic job, but no more.
If we had pinpoint an aspect that shows the price tag, it would be the processor. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 870 is in no way a slow chip – on the contrary. However, it is a clear step down from both this year’s and last year’s top models.
The software also explains the price tag. Most of the time, it is well built and rich in features, including screen sharing with Windows computers and a special productivity mode on the tablet itself. On the other hand, Lenovo does nor echo its parent company Motorola in promising a long update time for Android. Instead, there is only one major Android update. In addition to running two apps side by side, there are no tremendous opportunities to run apps in windows or similar functions that professional tablets with Android usually have (which is also the case with Motorola’s Ready For technology).
In terms of hardware, there wasn't much we lacked from the Lenovo Tab P12 Pro, especially considering the price. However, they could have consulted their colleagues at Motorola, in order to get more out of the software and, at the same time, keep it updated for longer.
Price class: Medium Size: 10.2” Resolution: 2160 × 1620 pixels Chip: Apple A12 Bionic (2x2.5 GHz + 4x1.6 GHz) Camera: 8 MP, selfie camera: 1.2 MP Video recording: 1080p@30fps Input and output: 1 x Lightning, magnetic keyboard connector Storage: 32/128 GB Speakers: 2
The eighth generation, 2020 model or whatever you want to call it... in any case, the latest Apple iPad is a really competent package for what can be considered a reasonable price. At the same time, it feels a bit like the last of its kind.
Talking about the new things doesn’t take long at all. Apple’s latest iPad has been given the A12 chip, unlike last time when it had the A10. And that is the only difference. It certainly makes the tablet much faster, but otherwise it’s identical to the 2019 model.
However, if you’re coming from a slightly older iPad, depending on the model year you already have, you’ll get both a larger screen (10.2 compared to 9.7 inches), support for the Apple Pencil (ludicrously only the first generation) and a magnetic connector to easily attach a keyboard.
At the same time, it was a good construction from the start, so it definitely doesn’t feel cheap. We’d have preferred to see the tablet use USB-C for charging, because this (along with the ageing iPad Mini) is now Apple's only tablet with a Lightning connector.
If we were to continue listing things that could have been updated, a better camera for video calls would have been good. Common to all devices using iPadOS is that they don’t support multiple users, something that, given its price class this tablet lacks more than its more pro-oriented bigger siblings (seriously, Apple TV supports multiple users, so this is just ridiculous).
But this is an iPad and although most of it’s familiar, none of it’s bad. Apart from the user account issue, iPadOS, which the tablet version of iOS is now called, is a very mature, function-packed and stable system. Of course, its biggest strength is the App Store, whose plethora of apps designed for larger screens is much superior to that for Android. At the same time, this tablet will keep up with updates for a good many years to come, which means the price tag doesn't seem as high.
The eighth generation iPad is perfect for anyone who “just wants a tablet” without wasting money on luxury features. It’s fast and will be able to keep up for years to come. And if you want to jazz it up with a pen or keyboard, it’s a great choice.
Wants to be a small media centre for the whole home
Price class: Premium Size: 13” Resolution: 1350x2160 pixels Chip: Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 (1x3.2 GHz+ 3x2.42 GHz+ 4x1.8 GHz Camera: No, selfie camera: 8 MP, ToF camera Video recording: 1080p@30fps Input and output: 1 x USB-C, Micro HDMI Storage: 256 GB Speakers: 4, stereo
What is a tablet actually used for? If you ask many of the manufacturers, the answer is increasingly often that it’s a work machine you can do all your work on. If you ask the average user, the answer is more likely that it’s for watching films and TV shows, going online and playing games. And the Lenovo Yoga Tab 13 has been created for the latter category.
With a 13” screen and Lenovo’s now classic rod-shaped long edge, it’s hardly a tablet made to be small, thin and convenient. Instead, the idea is for the tablet to be a central part of your home.
In addition to the large screen, you also get a built-in stand. This can be positioned steplessly, from the recessed position to a wide range of table-stand positions and all the way out to a handle, so you can hang the tablet on a hook if you want. Another detail that clearly reduces portability but increases the versatility where it’s intended to be used.
The tablet also has no rear cameras, because Lenovo’s argument is that you don’t need those on what is essentially the family's Netflix machine. Instead, you have a totally OK camera for video calls, combined with an auxiliary camera for facial recognition. There’s no fingerprint reader here either.
If you still want to get some kind of business use out of the tablet, Lenovo kindly includes a micro HDMI port so you can use it as a secondary monitor for a computer, which is nice.
In many ways, the Yoga tab 13 simply feels very well thought out for acting as a kind of home hub for the family. The extra lump at the bottom allows a little more room for the speakers, giving the sound a bit of an extra boost too.
At the same time, we’d have liked to see a much better screen for this price tag. It’s true that you get quite good resolution, although not 4K, and support for Dolby Vision. At the same time, we would have liked to have seen a little more brightness and at least 90 Hz refresh rate to make gaming a little more fun on the tablet. However, the Snapdragon 870 chip inside feels fully functional with plenty of speed for everything you want to do.
In terms of software, it’s pretty clean and “standard Android” overall. Google now have a built-in kids’ mode and an entertainment hub for tablets. The latter brings together streaming services as well as games and books in its own interface, although we have to say that reading books on a 13” tablet is a bit fiddly. However, Lenovo don’t say how long they intend to update the tablet for in the future.
The Lenovo Yoga Tab 13 is ideally suited to acting as a home entertainment hub and also as a secondary screen. At the same time, the price is quite high, which means you really have to appreciate those 13 inches the screen offers. Step down to 10 inches and there are plenty of options for half the price.
Samsung goes all in
Price class: Premium Size: 11” Resolution: 1600 x 2560 pixels Chip: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 (1x3.09 GHz, 3x2.42 GHz, 4x1.8 GHz) Camera: 13+5 MP, selfie camera: 8 MP Video recording: 4K @ 30 FPS Input and output: 1 x USB-C, magnetic contact Storage: 128 GB Speakers: 4
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 is Samsung's attempt to bridge the tablet category and the slightly more diffuse "a tablet can also be a computer" category. In terms of performance, you get pretty much what's in their top mobile model, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, including the pen.
The pen that comes with the Tab S7 is significantly chunkier, but also more comfortable, than the one you get with the Note 20 series. However, the shape means you don’t get a dedicated space for it inside the tablet, but have to settle for a magnetic mount or a special pocket in the accessory shell.
The pen uses the same technology as the Note one does, with an incredibly fast response time and an even more "authentic” writing feeling.
When it comes to hardware in general, there’s a decent camera, really good sound from the four speakers and ample storage space in combination with the already fast Snapdragon chip. The screen may not be quite in the same class as the Note 20, but the OLED screen offered is still among the best you can find on a tablet.
The battery life is also pretty impressive. If you want to use this for an entire working day, in most cases it will cause you no problems.
Other than the pen, productivity is the big thing here. This is achieved primarily through Samsung's DeX mode, which in this case means a very Windows-like desktop environment and the ability to run apps in windows. When DeX works as it should, it really feels like the best of both the Android and PC worlds.
Sadly, we find a lot of apps don’t want to play nicely with the whole windows concept, which leads to quite a buggy experience at times. Of course, much of this is due to the fact that Android isn’t built to run this way (yet), but the fact is that these glitches make the potentially fantastic experience lag a fair bit behind against the much simpler approach of arch-rival iPad Pro; a product that can boast of a much more lively ecosystem of tablet-adapted apps.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 is the best Android tablet you can buy today, period. Sometimes DeX mode is fantastic, the pen is incredibly accurate and even if you completely skip DeX, you still get a really well-built tablet. At the same time, DeX isn’t perfect and you risk having to settle for a phone app expanded to tablet size. A fantastic combo from both Samsung and Android is well on its way to offering a new kind of computer experience.
Wonderful hardware with OK software
Price class: High end Size: 10.8 ins Resolution: 2500 x 1600 pixels Chip: HiSilicon Kirin 990 Camera: 13 + 8 megapixels Storage: 128 GB RAM: 6 GB Connections: USB-C Battery: 7250 mAh, fast charge up to 40 watts, reverse wireless charging
Huawei have previously released a number of slightly simpler tablets under the name of Mediapad, but with the Matepad Pro they’re now stepping up and trying out the slightly tougher high end segment. It's obvious that Huawei would want to try to challenge the top tablets in terms of both function and status – Apple's iPad Pro and Samsung's Galaxy Tab S series – and, were it not for the elephant in the room, they might well have succeeded. This tablet is slightly cheaper than the two aforementioned giants’ products, but still matches their top models in terms of hardware. Of course, the problem here is Android, or rather the lack of a fully-fledged version of that operating system, as well as Google's framework and all its services. And you just can’t ignore that. Although Huawei have their own app store which is steadily growing, it hasn’t yet gone as far as it’s going to need to. However, it’s undeniably easier to live with running web versions of various services on such a large screen than it is on a phone.
The tablet has a really nice design, with thin screen edges and rounded corners. The back cover, in dark grey aluminium, gives it a solid and robust feeling which corresponds to how it feels when you hold it. It quite simply feels premium.
The IPS screen is 10.8 inches, and it has a fairly high resolution of 2500 x 1600 pixels. It’s bright and, just like Huawei's computers, it offers wonderful colour reproduction that really makes you feel good. Of course, Huawei's excellent Kirin 990 chip is also pretty special, and 6 GB of RAM along with 128 GB of storage is definitely plenty. You can also supplement this with a memory card if you want more storage, but unfortunately Huawei has only used its own memory cards for a few years now. The problem isn’t that these are expensive, but that they’re often quite difficult to obtain.
The sound is also really impressive. Regardless of where we place the tablet, it’s rich, full and detailed thanks to the four speaker drivers. We must also praise the cameras, which are really good for tablet cameras (these aren’t devices you’d primarily use for taking photographs or videos). The most important thing in the context of a tablet – which are often used for video conferencing – is the selfie camera. In this tablet, you can find this in a so-called camera hole in the screen, which you barely notice. The resolution of the rear camera is 13 megapixels, while the selfie camera offers 8 megapixels. More than good enough.
Huawei have also released two accessories in the form of the M-Pencil stylus and the Smart Magnetic Keyboard, which means that it can to an extent be used like a laptop. The accessories work very well, they’re stylish and they do exactly what they promise to do. How useful they are in practice, however, is another matter, as this tablet will never be a replacement for a laptop.
The battery is rated at a generous 7250 mAh and supports 40 watt charging. Just like Huawei's newer mobile phones, the Matepad Pro also supports reverse charging, meaning that you can charge other gadgets wirelessly by placing them against the back of the tablet.
If you don’t care about the absence of Google's services, and can imagine doing a fair bit of work to create a tablet that at least feels like an Android device, this is an extremely affordable high-end tablet you might want to consider. But if you want an easier time, you should probably spend a few hundred more and go for an iPad Pro, or even take a closer look at Samsung's Galaxy Tab S6.
HUAWEI MatePad Pro 10.8-inch 2K FullView Tablet - HUAWEI Kirin 990, 6 GB RAM, 128 GB ROM, Multi-screen Collaboration, EMUI 10.0.1 (Based Android 10.0), Wi-Fi, Midnight Grey
Huawei MatePad Pro MRXW09 - UK Model - Midnight Grey - 128GB - 6GB RAM - Wi-Fi Only - OPENED BOX
Huawei MatePad Pro MRXW09 - UK Model - Midnight Grey - 128GB - 6GB RAM - Wi-Fi Only - OPENED BOX
Fully equipped medium class tablet
Price class: Medium Size: 10.4” Resolution: 2000x1200p Chip: Exynos 9611 (4x2.3 GHz, 4x1.7 Ghz) Camera: 8 MP, selfie camera: 5 MP Video recording: 1080p Input and output: 1 x USB-C, microphones Storage: 64 GB Speakers: 2 pcs
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite not only has a complicated name, but would have done better to be marketed as something other than a budget version of the Tab S6. Yes, you have Samsung's S pen to write on the screen with, but it’s also a very competent medium class tablet in itself.
To start with the pen, it's actually one of the most annoying features of the tablet. There's no problem with the pen or the note and sketch functions that are built-in. There are a few less functions than with Note phones, but the main functions are still there and they work well. The best one is making handwritten notes in a floating window while watching a video or similar.
The disadvantage is that the tablet lacks the Note series' characteristic pen holder. Instead, it’s supposed to be stored along one long side with a sort of folded magnetic bracket. This means you’ll quickly put the pen away and then almost forget that the tablet supports one at all.
As a regular tablet, however, this one is exemplary for its price class. The build quality is high and even if the screen isn’t the most crisp, the resolution is easily sufficient and the screen's performance doesn’t leave very much to be desired.
On the inside, there’s more than enough to keep you satisfied. In terms of performance, the S6 Lite ranks at about the same level as last year's Galaxy S10 phones, which isn’t at all bad. Storage is decent and can be expanded with a memory card if needed.
The cameras are pretty much what you’d expect for a tablet, i.e. nothing to write home about. However, the selfie camera is good enough to handle video conferencing and the speakers work well enough for both film and conversation. So, yes, overall, it’s reasonable for the price tag.
In addition to all that, the S6 Lite has inherited many functions from both the more expensive tablets and phones. This means that, in addition to everything Android has to offer and the pen functions, you have a lot of extra functions, security solutions and a clever child mode to take advantage of.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite would probably have benefited from being called something less budget-price like. Because if you want the perfect Android alternative to the iPad, in about the same price class, this is the ideal choice.
The ideal budget tablet
Price class: Medium Size: 9.7 ins Resolution: 1536x2048p Chip: A10 Fusion 2.34GHz Camera: 8MP Video recording: 1080p Input and output: 1 Lightning, headphone jack Storage: 32/128 GB Speakers: 2 pcs
The 2018 model of the Apple iPad has an obvious place in the iPad family. While Pro models are intended for professional use and this year's Air model is the more go-to adult model, this version of the iPad is the usual gateway to the range. It’s a simple, inexpensive way into Apple's ecosystem and a way to introduce the iPad as a tool in schools and so on.
The standard edition of the iPad has been updated with a slightly fresher system chip compared to its predecessor, and it now supports Apple Pencil (first generation). The pen, and support for it, are included so it has no "missing” functionality in the entry-level model, and they also allow for more advanced drawing on the tablet than fingers alone can handle.
The A10 chip in the iPad was hardly the most modern chip even when the tablet was first released. But there’s still plenty of power for most things you’ll want to do with it, and we never felt the tablet was slow. Games do load a little slower than on more expensive models, of course, but for the applications the tablet is intended for, it’s good enough.
You’re not really lacking any of the functions in iOS, and can write, run some apps simultaneously on the screen and so forth. Of course not at the same speed, but fast enough for most people.
In addition to faster processors, more expensive and more recent iPads boast both the more versatile USB-C connector, a screen that adapts colours to ambient light and a special connector for Apple's own keyboard (though a Bluetooth keyboard still works just as well). In addition you also have the differences in screen size and resolution compared to the iPad Pro.
These are important aspects to remember. Because an iPad looks more or less like it always did, and iOS looks and works like it always did. Apple's ecosystem, with the App Store and the amount of apps adapted for tablets, still far outshines Android.
iOS for tablets isn’t perfect, and in particular it lacks support for several users, but the apps still make the iPad really appealing.
At the same time, not many people need an iPad as a replacement for a laptop for serious work. For most users, the iPad is something to read on, check emails, browse the internet, play games and so on (or as an entertainment machine for the kids). For those tasks, Apple's cheap iPad works really well and is definitely enough for most people. In a world of rising Apple prices, it’s also the closest to a budget model you’re likely to find, but still a good one.
Apple's 2018 edition of the iPad is still a perfect choice for the everyday user, and it doesn’t feel like too many important modern functions are missing.
Quirky tablet with its heart in the right place
Price class: Medium Size: 10.8” Resolution: 2560x1600p Chip: HiSilicon Kirin 960s Camera: 13 MP, selfie camera: 8 MP Video recording: 1080p **Input and output: **1 x USB-C, microphones Storage: 64 GB Speakers: 4 pcs
The Huawei Mediapad M5 is part of Huawei's attempt to go for the iPad Pro market. In many ways it succeeds, although the design of the tablet is a bit confusing.
The tablet's design feels both luxurious and well-built, with a solid combination of metal and glass. On the back there are four speakers, which means that you get really good sound in all positions.
What’s less good, however, is the positioning of the logo, camera, buttons and connections. It’s difficult to say exactly what it is, but during all our months with the tablet, we never learned where everything is on it.
It’s clearly intended to be used in landscape mode, but the home button is placed for use in portrait mode. And the charging connector is located next to the power and volume buttons, which is also a bit confusing.
Fortunately, it’s the touchscreen you’ll use the most. And it’s a really nice screen, too. Maybe not the absolute best screen we've seen, but in every way pretty decent in terms of resolution, colours and blacks.
On the inside, there’s a really fast chip from Huawei's own company Hisilicon, which gives plenty of oomph to both work and games. While there is support for memory cards in the tablet, we think that 64 gigabytes of storage feels a bit stingy. However, we can’t criticise the battery life, which is fine for a full working day, if that’s how you're going to use the tablet.
Using Android on a tablet has long been a bit of an annoyance. This is because very few apps are adapted to the format, unlike how things are for the iPad. However, this has improved over recent years and in combination with Huawei's own interface over Android, it can be seen as manageable nowadays, but apps still appear in strange resolutions and so on because they aren’t adapted to the larger format.
This isn’t Huawei's fault, but it's still a problem. Nor have Huawei added quite as many business functions and connections to computers to the Mediapad M5 as they have in their Mate series of phones, for example. You can buy a keyboard to make it feel more like a laptop, but there’s no support for a more advanced pen.
The Huawei Mediapad M5 is incredibly well built and really fast. At the same time, it feels like a bit of a confused design, but it’s still a really good choice for anyone who wants a tablet primarily for entertainment use.
The performance diminishes the overall impression
Type: Tablet Screen: IPS 10.6 inch (2000 x 1200 pixels) System circuit: Mediatek Helios G80 Working memory: 4 GB Storage: 64/128 GB and Micro SD card slot Front camera: 8 Megapixels Rear camera: 8 Megapixels Battery: 7700 mAh Other: Headphone jack
Android-based tablets in the slightly lower price segments often struggle with performance problems. Unfortunately, so does Lenovo’s Tab M10 Plus, which could have been a really good buy if it wasn't for its shortcomings in this particular area.
Well-built tablet It’s a relatively thin and well-built tablet for its price class, which gives a slightly more expensive look in terms of appearance. It doesn't weigh much either, given its size (10.6 inches), but lies quite comfortably in your hand while surfing online or watching YouTube videos on the sofa in the evening. Unfortunately, this is exactly the kind of activity you can use it for and not much else.
The screen isn't great. It has a reasonable resolution, but not high enough to avoid the feeling of pixelation at close range. Colours and blacks leave a lot to be desired, and if we have to note something positive about the screen, we'd have to say the brightness.
Impressive sound What stands out is the speakers. In fact, the sound is really impressive for a tablet in this price range. The reason for prioritising this is something of a mystery, but it is nonetheless a fact.
But as is often the case when it comes to this product category and price class, the overall experience falls flat due to performance. There is a Mediatek Helio G80 under the shell, and it delivers quite poorly. Those who have tested a simpler Android tablet know that they often feel like there is no response, and this phenomenon is also noticeable when it comes to the TAB M10 Plus.
Is this a good purchase? No, not if you want a tablet in the broader sense of the word. But if you’re looking for a tablet that can act as a Spotify player in the living room, or that will only to be used to watch YouTube videos and surf with few tabs open, then it’s simply ok.
Good idea that’s late to the party
Price class: Budget Size: 10.4” Resolution: 1200x2000 pixels Chip: Unisoc T610 (2x1.8 GHz + 6x1.8 GHz Camera: 8 MP, selfie camera: 5 MP Video recording: 1080p@30fps Input and output: 1 x USB-C, 3.5 mm contact Storage: 64 GB Speakers: 2
The old Nokia made tablets long before Apple even came up with the idea of the iPad. Now that Nokia is being driven by HMD Global, they’re rather late to the tablet party with the Nokia T20 – and that shows in several ways.
Despite the low price tag, we still have to say that the Nokia T20 does two things well: firstly, the battery lasts a long time, which we can thank the minimal hardware for, and secondly, the tablet actually feels much more expensive than it is. The shell is aluminium and the whole construction feels very solid. However, you don’t get any luxury features in terms of design, such as thin screen frames. But despite that, the format is fine for a tablet with this screen size.
As you’d expect Nokia are using on a fairly clean version of Android and promise updates to Android itself for two years plus three years of security updates.
Android 11 tablets now also have Google Kids Space, which works a little as a separate account for kids. It has its own graphics and is very controllable by parents. It works quite well and feels like a good alternative to every manufacturer cobbling together such an interface themselves. At the same time, it feels a bit focused on the youngest children.
The Nokia T20 is being launched in tandem with the Bond film No Time To Die – a film that, as a result of the pandemic, is about a year and a half late coming to cinemas. Our guess is that the tablet was included in the launch plan back then and has been on a shelf waiting for the film to be released.
The anonymous system chip Unisoc T610 was released in June 2019 and was already a budget chip even then. Two years later, it’s hardly improved with waiting. Because although you can do most things with the Nokia T20, it's frankly a bit slow. And we really don’t want to think about how slow this tablet is going to feel in two years’ time.
The screen itself does at least an OK job. For its price class, it performs as expected and won’t leave you disappointed. The microphone and selfie camera are quite dull, however. The former seems to be constantly set too quietly for the person on the other end of the conversation, and the front camera leaves a lot to be desired in terms of quality. And this is despite the fact that Nokia is aiming the tablet at families and home workers.
The Nokia T20 is a budget tablet, of course. But, sadly, although it has great build quality, a long update period and good battery life, it’s a bit lacking when it comes to performance.
Falls short of the acceptable limit
Size: 10.5" Resolution: 1200 x 1920 pixels Chip: Unisoc T618 (2 x 1.8 GHz + 6 x 1.8 GHz Camera: 8 MP, selfie camera: 5 MP Video Recording: 1080p@30fps Inputs and outputs: 1 USB-C, 3.5 mm Storage: 32–128 GB Speakers: 2
When it comes to tablets, iPad is the elephant in the room, and many manufacturers are working around that fact with either pro or budget tablets. Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 belongs in the latter category and is also virtually identical to the Nokia T20 tablet in that segment.
The similarity between the Samsung and Nokia tablets verges on the ridiculous. There’s a difference of 0.1 inch in screen size and a hair’s breadth in resolution and system chip (the dark horse Unisoc T61x), but in all other respects they’re identical. Samsung offers its A8 with three different storage options, while Nokia makes do with just one, but both are available with 4G at a really attractive price.
You can really only tell them apart on the outside. You’ll recognise Samsung’s now classic design for tablets, which in the simpler models feels like it hasn’t changed much for at least a decade. But it feels well made and you get both a headphone plug and a stereo speaker. You also get a really nice screen for the price tag.
While Nokia T20 runs on an Android that’s relatively clean, albeit outdated, Samsung runs on its One UI overlay. While we thought the Nokia’ tablet was a little sleepy, but got the job done, Samsung’s tablet is extremely slow to react. It takes a good few seconds from wake-up to reacting to something we do, and as a rule you have time to type a couple of characters with the keyboard before they appear on the screen. This begs the question: If the Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 is this tired when it’s new, what will it be like after a year or two?
Since we have such a good comparison on hand, it’s clear that Samsung’s own interface and add-ons are weighing down the Galaxy Tab A8 more than they should. The Nokia T20 is the smarter choice in this price range, but unless you feel that you absolutely must get 4G as cheaply as possible, we advise you to move up a price notch to get a tablet that flows more smoothly from the start.
It’s hard to imagine that tablets have only been on the market for a few years. The Apple iPad created this new computer format and now there are lots of different models and sizes from manufacturers such as Samsung, ASUS and HP. As early as 2014, more tablets were sold than regular computers. The iPad still dominates the higher price segment, but there are many interesting tablets in the low and medium-price segments. Which tablet is best for you? The answer depends on several different factors, such as your budget, your size preferences, any support for mobile broadband, but also what the tablet will be used for. Your needs will vary depending on whether you plan to browse the internet from your sofa or work with spreadsheets at the office.
Two operating systems dominate the market today, Android from Google and iOS from Apple. Most apps are made for both of these systems and today there are hundreds of thousands of applications and games to download with a single click. Microsoft has also launched operating systems for tablets. In fact it’s launched two different versions. One version for simpler tablets with low-power ARM processors (which are also used by Apple and Android), and another version for advanced x86-compatible tablets based on the same processor technology as standard Windows computers. So far, however, they haven’t seen any real sales success, which in turn has led to Windows tablets having to wait much longer to access the same apps that are available on the Apple Appstore and Google Play.
We continuously test and recommend the most interesting tablets on the market. Soon we’ll be reviewing even more models. Next in line to be tested are the iPad Air, iPad Mini and Google Nexus 7.