Best tablet 2023on November 3, 2023 at 13:43 Tech Advisor


For some people, the tablet is an awkward middle ground between smartphone and laptop. But there are plenty of things that it does best.

If you’re planning on watching a lot of videos, enjoy mobile gaming or want to stay productive everywhere you go, a tablet is the device for you.

But while an iPad is the obvious choice, there are plenty of great alternatives these days. Several companies have made compelling Android tablets, while some devices run Windows or other software instead.

You might be able to get away with a book-style folding phone as a tablet replacement, but they tend to have much smaller displays than most tablets. So your best alternative to the 10 options in this list will be a 2-in-1 laptop.

Best tablets 2023

1. Apple iPad Air (2022) – Best overall


Great design

Large display

Compatible with Pro accessories


Awkward Touch ID placement

A little pricey

Thick bezels

While only featuring small tweaks compared to its predecessor, there’s little that really needed changing to make the best tablet on the market even better. That remains the case in 2023, and there’s even the possibility of discounts.

A move to Apple’s M1 chipset delivers stellar performance, especially when combined with the optional 5G support. You also have an excellent 12Mp front-facing camera with the Apple’s face-tracking Centre Stage tech, making it a superb choice for video calls.

Beyond that, it offers up the same premium design in an array of colours, Touch ID and compatibility with Apple’s Magic Keyboard and second-generation Apple Pencil. All Apple’s really done is given its best tablet an even longer lifespan.

If you want that 120Hz ProMotion tech or thinner bezels, consider the 11in iPad Pro instead, but you’ll pay quite the premium for these extras.

Read our full

Apple iPad Air (2022) review

2. Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Plus – Best Android tablet


Fastest Android tablet

Great screen and sound

Versatile interface and controls

Thin and waterproof


Apps and performance behind iPad Pro


Best Prices Today:

$999.99 at Amazon

For most people, the S9 Plus is the sweet spot in Samsung’s 2023 Galaxy Tab range. It offers almost everything you’d want in an Android tablet, without the extortionate price of the Tab S9 Ultra.

It’s insanely thin at just 5.7mm and now comes with an IP68 rating, full dust and waterproofing that’s very unusual to find on a tablet.  

The Tab S9 Plus is also more powerful than many laptops thanks to overclocked Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Galaxy Edition and a whopping 12GB of RAM. There’s not much you can’t do with this slate and it’s also got a gorgeous 12.4in 120Hz OLED display.

With the S Pen stylus, long software support, AKG speakers and optional 5G, there’s no doubting this is an excellent tablet.

Read our full

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Plus review

3. Xiaomi Redmi Pad SE – Best budget tablet


Premium design

Great battery life

90Hz display

Impressive audio


Slow charging

Only two years of OS updates

MIUI bloatware

For just £199, the Redmi Pad SE is exceptional value if you’re looking for a cheap Android tablet.

Its affordable price isn’t apparent from the design, with a premium aluminium alloy build but only 478g in weight. There’s enough room for a decent Full HD+ LCD display, and you even get a nice 90Hz refresh rate.

Performance from the Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 is solid, and audio is better than you’d expect from such a small device. Battery life is also one of its key strengths, although you will have to put up with slow charging speeds.

There are also a couple of software issues – all the extra apps Xiaomi adds to its MIUI Android skin, and the fact you’ll only get two new versions of Android (14 and 15).

But for under £200, it’s hard to complain about everything you’re getting.

Read our full

Xiaomi Redmi Pad SE review

4. Microsoft Surface Pro 9 – Best Windows tablet


Solid battery life

Premium design

Great keyboard cover and stylus

Excellent webcam


Poor performance on ARM models

Limited ports


If you rely on Windows or want a great tablet for productivity, the Surface Pro 9 is the best choice – provided you go for an Intel model.

A move to 12th-gen chips is the only upgrade of note (aside from removing the 3.5mm headphone jack), but that’s easy to forgive after the big upgrades introduced on the Pro 8. It maintains a sleek, premium design, with the 120Hz display the star of the show.

Other highlights include solid battery life, a great webcam and excellent accessories, even if the latter are still sold separately.

You might have see that there’s a new ARM-based model for 2022, which improves battery life, adds new video calling features and brings 5G to the Surface Pro for the first time. But the effect on performance and how some third-party apps run simply isn’t worth it for most people.

Read our full

Microsoft Surface Pro 9 review

5. Apple iPad Mini (2021) – Best small tablet


Compact design

Apple Pencil support

Superb performance


A little pricey

No Magic Keyboard support

The sixth-gen iPad Mini ditches the old form factor for something more akin to the iPad Air and Pro ranges; with an angular design, stereo speakers, Centre Stage technology and much smaller bezels than before.

The Mini’s 60Hz display has jumped to 8.3in, but without changing the physical size of the tablet – allowing for more display real estate without affecting its portable nature. It’s a gorgeous display too, with the highest pixel density of any iPad right now, even if it is a bit on the small side for true split-screen multitasking.

It’s powered by the same A15 Bionic silicon as the
iPhone 13 range, making it more powerful than the iPad Air at a similar price.

The Touch ID sensor has been moved to the Power button – like with the iPad Air – and there’s support for the second-gen Apple Pencil to boot. However, the lack of a Smart Connector on the rear means that it doesn’t have its own Magic Keyboard; a real boon for the iPad Air and Pro ranges, and the only real chink in the Mini’s armour.

Read our full

Apple iPad mini (2021) review

6. Apple iPad Pro 12.9in (2022) – Best tablet for creatives


Unmatched performance

Excellent range of features

Mini-LED screen


Expensive, especially in the UK

Not many apps take advantage of M2

Similar to previous-gen

The latest iPad Pro in the larger size is the most capable tablet on the market, sporting Apple’s desktop-level M2 chip that provides unmatched power, one of the best displays around with a 120Hz refresh rate and mini-LED backlighting that allows it to compete with OLED displays while being much brighter.

The experience is improved even more with the Apple Pencil and Magic Keyboard, with the latter turning the tablet into a fully-fledged laptop replacement. However, those are optional extras when the tablet has already gone up a whopping £250 in the UK for the cheapest model.

If you really will use all the raw power and creative features such as Hover mode on the Apple Pencil, then you may be able to justify it. Otherwise, look to the 2021 model or another iPad from the range.

Read our full

12.9-inch iPad Pro (2022) review

7. Apple iPad 10.2in (2021) – Best value iPad



Large display

Great performance


Dated design

Lacklustre cameras

Middling speakers

It might not be hugely different from the previous entry-level iPad, or as big as the new 2022 model but Apple has yet again created a tablet that’s very hard to complain about and will be an easy decision for many people as the cheapest way to get an iPad – even with a price increase on the original RRP.

If you’ve got the seventh or eighth-gen iPad, there might not be enough to tempt you, but there’s a lot to love here if you’re coming from an older device or want to dip your toe into the iPad experience.

It’s got everything you need from a tablet to do all the daily things you’d want, featuring a 10.2in TrueTone screen, A13 Bionic chip and 64GB of storage as standard.

Apple has since launched an updated 2022 model with refreshed 10.9in design, but we think the 10.2 is the better value buy with its much lower price.

Read our full

Apple iPad 10.2in (2021) review

8. Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra – Best big tablet


Stunning 14.6in display

Top-tier performance

Great S Pen stylus

IP68 rating


Very expensive

Many apps not optimised

No 5G in the US

Best Prices Today:

$1199.99 at Best Buy

The Tab S9 Ultra is total overkill for most people as a tablet, and very expensive. But it’s an impressive feat of engineering, and having a huge 14.6in canvas to work with can be useful.

That 120Hz OLED display is a joy to use, especially when combined with stellar performance from an overclocked version of Qualcomm’s flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip from late 2022. You also get decent battery life and an IP68 rating for water and dust resistance, all within an incredibly thin and light design.

Samsung includes an S Pen in the box, which is perfect for taking handwritten notes or digital art. But while the multitasking features are good, a lack of optimised apps really comes to the fore on such a large display.

With a high price tag and the keyboard cover sold separately, it’s not a realistic purchase for most people.

Read our full

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra review

9. OnePlus Pad – Best tablet speakers


Stunning 144Hz display 

Superb speakers 

Impressive performance 

Solid battery life


Hit-and-miss software

Only one storage option

No cellular option 

80W charger sold separately in UK

OnePlus took its sweet time launching a tablet but the wait, on the whole, was worth it.

We like the fetching premium design and, more importantly, a top-notch screen. Even if it isn’t OLED, the super-slick 144Hz refresh rate outpaces rivals.

Combined with amazing audio and reliable battery life, the Pad is an excellent choice for all forms of entertainment. It’s not so good for productivity, though. Only one storage capacity is a shame, as is the lack of a fingerprint scanner, but many buyers won’t notice these downsides.

Overall, the OnePlus Pad is a solid first effort if you want a mid-range Android tablet.

Read our full

OnePlus Pad review

10. ReMarkable 2 – Best E-Ink tablet


Thin, light and stylish

Excellent pen input

Powerful companion app

Continued software updates


Pen not included

Subscription unlocks all features

Very occasional software gripes

No backlight

For something a bit different to your traditional tablet, the ReMarkable 2 is well worth a look. This E-Ink slate might look like a stylish rival to the Amazon Kindle but you can do a lot more than read books on it.

The stunningly thin design is a highlight here and the custom OS makes tasks like note taking very easy indeed and there’s clever cloud syncing, screen casting and online storage too.

On the downside, you have to pay for a subscription for everything to work and sadly ReMarkable doesn’t include a stylus and the screen doesn’t have a backlight for using the tablet in the dark.

Read our full

reMarkable 2 review

Your buying guide to the best tablets in 2023

There’s lots to think about when buying a new tablet but we’ve got you covered with our buying advice below. Also, make sure to click through to the full reviews of any tablets you’re interested in to read more about them.



What should I look for when buying a tablet?

When buying a tablet there are lots of things to consider including build quality, design, size, core specifications, operating system, features, performance, battery life and more.

Which elements are important to you depends on what you need a tablet for. For entertainment, you’ll likely want to prioritise a large, colourful screen and good speakers but for productivity performance, battery life and accessories like a keyboard case are probably top of your list.

We have ranked the tablets above but that doesn’t automatically mean the one in first place is the best suited to your needs.

You’ll also need to decide how much to spend and devices can go beyond the $1,000/£1,000 mark if you buy a premium device in a high-spec model.

Of course, you can spend a lot less than that and we’ll often have cheaper models in this chart but also have a dedicated list of the best budget tablets if you have a tight budget.


Should I buy an Android, Windows or iPadOS tablet?

In the tablet world, you’ve got four main choices for operating systems: an iPad, an Android tablet, an Amazon Fire tablet or a Windows tablet.

Apple iPads run the company’s own iPadOS, which is widely regarded as one of the best out there. It’s easy to use and app developers usually make it their first choice, so you’re pretty much guaranteed to find what you’re after whether it’s a banking app or the latest games.

If you have an iPhone, then it’ll also be very familiar. This is valuable when you buy accessories that require apps – mainly smart home or fitness gadgets – as you may not be able to control these from a Windows (or Fire) tablet.

In most cases, apps are made available on Android as well as iPads, but not always. Android tablets can be cheaper than iPads, but there are some Samsung models which cost the same or are more expensive.

Windows tablets come in both cheap and expensive guises, with the advantage of being able to support the same programs you’re likely already used to running on your laptop or PC. There just aren’t as many finger-friendly tablet-optimised apps as you’d find on your phone or an iPad.

And that’s why most Windows tablets come with a keyboard (or at least offer one as an optional accessory) they’re really a hybrid of a laptop and tablet. But as you’ll find out in most of our Windows tablet reviews, this is rarely a case of getting the best of both worlds. One exception is the Surface Pro line, from Microsoft.

The fourth option is Amazon’s Fire tablets. These are based on open-source Android but are locked into Amazon’s own ecosystem, running on what’s called Fire OS. As such, you won’t find any Google services or apps on them natively, so bear this in mind. They are very affordable, though.

Bear in mind that some tablet makers use their own custom OS, such as the ReMarkable 2.


What is the best brand for tablets?

As already alluded to, Apple is probably the brand most people think of first when it comes to tablets thanks to the dominance of the iPad. If you can afford one and it ticks your boxes then great, but there are reliable alternatives.

As mentioned, Amazon makes its own Fire Tablet range but when it comes to Android and Windows slates there are almost too many to choose from – although we are big fans of Microsoft’s own Surface devices, many of which are tablets.

Many of the top brands make both Windows and Android tablets and we’d recommend looking at devices from the likes of Samsung, Lenovo, Asus and Xiaomi. Other brands include Huawei, Nokia, Realme and others.


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