Apple iPad Air 2
The iPad Air didn’t really need to be thinner, but that doesn’t mean 6.1mm isn’t mighty impressive. This combines with reassuring weight and impeccable build quality to make this the most desirable tab on the planet. While the display is the same Retina resolution as before, clever screen tech brings the pixels closer to the surface, and the whole experience is even faster than before thanks to the new A8X chip. Basically it’s the best tablet in the world made even better.
Apple iPad Mini 2 With Retina Display
The iPad Mini 3 is out now but all it adds is Touch ID. The good news is that the Mini 2 is now down to $408, which is frankly bargain-tastic. That’s why the ‘old’ model stays in our Top 10 – if you’re after a mini-tablet of real quality, your choice has just got easier. Samsung has blessed the Galaxy Tab with one of the best tablet screens we’ve ever laid eyes on, plus an impressive camera and some incredible stamina – but there are performance niggles and Apple’s tablet app selection is still far superior.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5
At last, Microsoft has delivered on the promise of the tablet-cum-laptop hybrid. It proves there’s space in the world for a design that’s more productive than an iPad or Galaxy Note, but easier to hump around than a traditional laptop.
Microsoft Surface Pro 3
A stonkingly affordable tabtop with raw power, a neat design and great battery life – perfect for Office on the go, thanks to Intel’s new Baytrail CPU. The 1366x768 screen is a good ’un too, with crisp text, great contrast and colours that pop.
Asus Transformer Book T100
Google Nexus 9
The design isn’t as pristine, but this is a real Android contender to rival the iPads. You get the new Android 5.0 Lollipop software, bags of power and a super-sharp display. With 12 hours of video play and two front-facing speakers, it’ll be a great film buddy. A slim, light and reliable couch or commute companion, with a screen that looks brilliant despite being ‘only’ Full HD. The waterproofing may sway people away from choosing an iPad Mini and every gamer’s eyes will light up at the mention of PS4 Remote Play.
Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact
Samsung’s superb screen, design, performance and a wider selection of optimised apps mean that against many other Android tabs it’s still a winner. However, the new low price for the iPad Mini 2 makes the Galaxy Tab S 8.4 look rather pricey.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4
This really is the ultimate gaming tablet. The Shield’s sheer power and gaming smarts are incredible, with a console-quality controller and the option of seamless streaming from your PC. All it needs now is more made-for-Shield games… lots more.
Nvidia Shield Tablet
The Nexus has moved further ahead of the Android pack by virtue of getting an update to OS 4.4 KitKat. It’s now smoother, faster and more battery-friendly than ever, while its 323ppi 1080p screen and quad-core power still impress.
Google Nexus 7