The smartphone market is saturated. That means competition is stiff, and vendors are forced to come up with unique ways to stand out from the crowd. In the tablet world, Samsung is known for its high-endurance phones, with features like waterproofing and screen durability. This year, Samsung has decided to shake things up with its Galaxy Tab S3, a tablet that ditches the metal frame of its predecessor in favor of a simple plastic body, leaving the company’s signature design elements—a metal frame and glass back—without any protection.

When we first saw the Surface Pro 4 in 2014, we thought Microsoft had finally crafted something that could truly compete with the iPad. Since then, the line has progressed to include a Surface Book and a Surface Phone, and now the Surface Pro 5 is poised to be the best Surface yet. In this article we’ll take a look at what’s new and what’s coming in the Microsoft Surface Pro 5.


If you’re looking for a portable media computer or a powerful, lightweight laptop replacement for on the go, a tablet may be just what you need. These increasingly versatile devices can work and play and even replace a laptop. After months of testing, we have selected our four favorites, one of which should meet your touch screen needs no matter what platform you prefer. Apple’s iPad lets you work and play games, the iPad Pro can replace your laptop, Amazon’s Fire HD series is great for streaming on the go, and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab series pushes Android tablets further with its DeX performance environment.

The best tablet in the world

The iPad of 8. The 2nd generation was the best in our test thanks to a fast processor that can handle games and work tasks with ease. This tablet combines performance and value like no other tablet.

Best Performance

The iPad Pro 2021 is the fastest tablet we’ve ever tested, and it performs every task effortlessly: Photoshop exports, video rendering, games, productivity tasks and streaming, all without a hitch.

Best Android tablet

The Tab S7 is a clear winner, it has enough power to handle anything you put in front of it and a fairly long battery life. While Android doesn’t reach the level of the iPad’s operating system, Samsung’s DeX brings Windows-like multitasking to the Tab.

The best budget tablet under 200 euros

The Fire HD 8 Plus can handle many everyday tasks and has access to Amazon’s content library, including streaming movies and TV shows, reading e-books and even light gaming. At $109.99 it’s a good deal, but be aware that Amazon’s app store is limited.

Jacob Krol/CNN

iPad from 8. Generation

Compared to the iPad of the seventh generation, the iPad of the eighth generation has a faster processor. The classic design and high quality screen have been retained. But we found that the A12 Bionic chip inside provides better performance and enhances the iPadOS 14 experience.

We’ve been talking a lot about the eighth-generation iPad all day. In our test, light tasks such as email, web browsing, typing, streaming and even light gaming were handled without issue. Editing videos in iMovie or making small changes to a series of photos in Photoshop caused the tablet to slow down. The eighth generation handles multitasking like a champ, even with three apps at once – Pages on the left, Safari on the right, and Messages on top.

The eighth-generation iPad is ideal for everyday tasks (email and web browsing, plus some games). However, if something technical is involved, it’s best to opt for the more powerful iPad Pro or iPad Air.

And even if we do confuse you with aspect ratios and other technical jargon, let’s get right to the point: The screen quality of the iPad is simply amazing. The text is clear and bold, so you don’t have to strain to read it, whether you’re sitting on the couch or on the beach. We’ve enjoyed using eighth-generation iPad to make FaceTime calls, watch movies, surf the web, and read books – even in low light. This is made possible by the True Tone feature, which allows the iPad to adjust the color temperature of the screen to the environment.

The screen displays colors accurately and does not reduce brightness to 10. This way, nothing gets washed out, which makes streaming content very enjoyable. Watching Avengers: Endgame, for example, we were amazed at how much everything on the screen caught our attention: the orange and yellow lights of the explosions, the bright red, blue and white of the characters’ costumes. Despite the excitement, our only concern is that the screen isn’t quite round.

But the visible bezels around the screen won’t disappear, as the familiar and reliable Home button is the main control on the eighth iPad generation. The familiar user interface lets you return home with a single tap and activate multitasking with a double tap. The camera is also placed vertically at the top, which can lead to awkward selfies and FaceTime calls when the iPad is used horizontally. (The iPad Pro has the same camera on the front, but our budget and Android models have it in a better spot: on the side.)

Perhaps the most interesting addition is on the left. The Smart Connector provides a dedicated port for accessories like the Smart Keyboard or the Logitech Combo Touch. No more awkward pairing or charging of multiple devices. So you can easily combine accessories and increase your productivity. In addition to touch, keyboard, or stylus, iPadOS fully supports trackpads and mice as inputs.

You also don’t have to worry about being tied to an outlet. We were able to actively use the eighth-generation iPad for about 11 hours. However, on busier days, with more calls and streaming, the runtime approached nine and a half hours. In our rather formal battery test, where we set the brightness to 50%, turned on airplane mode and played a video until the device ran out of power, we found that the device lasted 9 hours and 30 minutes. That’s two hours more than the previous model.

Whatever you call it, the eighth-generation iPad continues to offer an exceptional combination of performance and value. We bet this tablet will perfectly meet your needs, whatever they may be, and at a price that won’t break the bank.

We’ve had the new iPad Pros in use for a week – here’s why they’re the new tablets to beat:

Posted by CNN Underscored on Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Apple has really matured the iPad Pro, and the fifth-generation Pro in 11- or 12.9-inch configurations can replace your laptop if you’re willing to work within the confines of iPadOS.

The M1 chip (the same one found in the MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, 24-inch iMac, and Mac Mini) is the star of the iPad Pro, offering extremely high processing power. With an 8-core processor, an 8-core GPU, and a 16-core neural engine, the iPad Pro delivers smooth performance no matter what the task. The efficient and responsive chip is the main reason why the iPad Pro outperformed all other tablets we tested.

This tablet can really handle any task. Large photos are exported in a few milliseconds. The PDF file will be saved immediately. We could render 4K movies, export huge Photoshop photos, import and export data, all at the speed of a MacBook and with no problems.

Apple’s iPadOS gives you access to hundreds of thousands of apps from the App Store. While the first iPad Pros weren’t suitable to replace a laptop due to the lack of multitasking, Apple has made the iPad Pro a performance contender with the introduction of side-by-side multitasking in iOS 9. The Pro will get iPadOS 15 this fall, which includes a menu to manage multitasking. We used the beta version and found the new approach easier. Additional features, like the handy Quick Note feature (which lets you take notes from anywhere on the iPadOS), give the Pro a notebook feel.

While the screen performance of the eighth-generation iPad is impressive, the iPad Pro shines with its ProMotion display. The higher refresh rate ensures a smooth picture, whether you’re working on a spreadsheet or watching the latest episode of Ozark or Loki.

Whether you choose the 11-inch or the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, the screen gives you plenty of room to multitask. Those who opt for the 12.9-inch model will be in for a treat, as it has a mini-LED screen. More than 10,000 light-emitting diodes (LEDs) behind the glass create a stunning image that can be bright and saturated or dimmed to create deep blacks and contrast. It’s brilliant because it lets you color text, scale for high frame rate games, and gives this tablet the sharp ability to edit movies in Luma Fusion. Unfortunately, the Mini LED is only available in the 12.9-inch model, while the 11-inch model has a classic Retina display.

In short, the image quality is better than that of the eighth-generation iPad, iPad Air and iPad Mini. The higher resolution provides more vivid colors and a wider color gamut for better picture quality.

For video calls, Apple has used a clever trick: with CenterStage, you can always stay in focus with the front-facing camera, and it’s a dynamic experience. When you physically move or move your head, the iPad Pro keeps you in view. Even better: It works in FaceTime, Zoom, Webex, Slack and Google Meet.

Performance and screen quality make the Pro a laptop competitor, but when you pair the iPad Pro with the Magic Keyboard, it feels like a true 2-in-1, if not a full-fledged computer, even though it’s expensive. The iPad Pro with Magic Keyboard and Apple Pencil costs more than the MacBook Air, but you get a true multimode experience that makes the most of iPadOS. Depending on the task at hand, you can type, use a stylus (great for notes and drawings) or use your fingers.

However, the iPad Pro is not the only iPad that can do this: The eighth-generation iPad (our general choice) and the latest iPad Air model support these features. The main difference is processing power and a better screen, which is important for those who want to use the iPad as their primary device.

One drawback is the single USB-C Thunderbolt 3 port (the MacBook Air has two). It can do a lot, but you only have one thing in mind. To get the most out of it, or even to keep it charged while using an external screen, you’ll need to connect it to a USB-C hub, like the models from Satechi or Hyper that are designed specifically for the iPad Pro (though other USB-C hubs will work too if you need more ports). This means you can connect peripherals like SSDs, cameras, and even external displays. We use the iPad Pro as an everyday device and connect it to the Hub to access external storage and a large screen.

It’s simple: The iPad Pro is a monster that is truly a multi-mode device that allows for multiple inputs. The speed of the processor, combined with iPadOS, makes exporting, smooth multitasking with apps, and completing any task effortless. Add in a quality display and accessories, and you have a winning formula for replacing a reliable laptop.

Jason Cipriani/ CNN

When it comes to Android tablets, there aren’t many options. Samsung is essentially the only company that regularly releases new Android tablets every year. Amazon’s Fire tablets are powered by Android, but they use a heavily customized version of the operating system with support for Google apps and services.

Yet the flagship Tab S7 also shines in a limited area. It runs on Android with full Google support and some Samsung customizations (One UI). The Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ processor powers the device (which is pretty fast). This fast chipset is paired with 6GB of RAM, which means it’s ready for multitasking.

The combination of processing power is also enough to run Samsung’s DeX – which turns the standard Android interface into a laptop-like interface – although we did notice some slowdowns in this mode. Application compatibility, such as. B. Android apps on a Chromebook, was incomplete, although still useful if you need to work in a different environment. You can activate it automatically by connecting the S7 to Samsung’s keyboard accessory, which is sold separately for $199.

The Tab S7 has an 11-inch screen with a 16:9 ratio. He’s a little taller and thinner than z. B. the 11-inch iPad Pro. It’s an LCD screen, and the picture was sharp and clear when viewing movies, web pages, and even photos. It also supports refresh rates up to 120 Hz for a smooth image like on an iPad. The Tab S7 is not the only tablet Samsung has released this year. There’s a larger Tab S7+ with a 12.4-inch Super AMOLED screen – this higher-quality screen is a big difference, but it didn’t prove a clear winner in our test, with brighter colors or more vivid images. Both screens were about the same regardless of the test.

The S7 is powered by an 8,000 mAh battery. In our battery benchmark test, which consists of a video replay with the tablet in air mode and screen brightness set to 50%, the S7 lasted 15 hours and 22 minutes. In other words: The S7’s battery lasts all day and the rest of the next day.

The Tab S7 comes with 128GB of internal storage and even supports 5G connectivity in its cellular version. It supports 45-watt fast charging via USB-C and comes with an S Pen stylus.

Compared to previous Galaxy tablets, the Tab S7 offers a more complete package. Battery life, performance and screen quality are incomparable. If you’re looking for a high-end Android tablet, the Tab S7 is the best choice.

Jason Cipriani/ CNN

As soon as we unpacked the Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus, we noticed its modern design, which is similar to the Kindle Paperwhite. The rounded edges are a worthy improvement over the dated, very boxy design of earlier Fire HD tablets.

The front-facing camera has been moved so it’s at the top of the screen when you hold the tablet in landscape mode – one of the few tablets to do this – which improves the look of your video calls.

Perhaps the biggest new feature of the Fire HD 8 Plus is wireless charging. You can attach your 8-inch tablet to any wireless charging dock compatible with Qi technology, or you can order your tablet with Amazon’s own wireless charging dock for $139.99. And you don’t have to worry about unplugging while charging, because once the cradle is in place, Show mode is activated, turning the tablet into a makeshift Echo Show smart screen. You can interact with Alexa just like any other Echo device, ask for weather updates, control smart home devices, ask random questions or ask for a joke.

Let’s face it: It’s not the fastest tablet we tested, but it’s powerful enough for everyday tasks. For example, you should be able to shop on your favorite sites, make Zoom video calls, and scroll through your social media with Amazon’s Silk browser without any problems. You can even play light games, but don’t expect to be amazed by the loading speed of the games or the quality of the graphics.

In our tests, the Fire HD 8 Plus had a battery life of about 10 hours. That’s more than enough power to watch the latest Amazon Prime Video series on a flight across the country, and the remaining charge is enough to spend a few hours with your favorite Kindle books when you check into a hotel late at night.

The biggest hurdle to overcome is learning how to navigate Amazon’s Fire OS. It runs on Android, but without any Google services. This means that you, for example. You won’t find Google’s Gmail or YouTube apps, for example, and you’ll have to use Amazon’s app store, which has a limited selection (though many popular apps, including Netflix, Minecraft, Disney+ and Instagram, are available). The user interface has a steep learning curve, but once you get used to the layout, you shouldn’t have any problems.

While apps take longer to load, multitasking isn’t the smoothest, and the lack of Google apps can be annoying, the Fire HD 8 Plus is by far the best tablet we’ve used in this price range. And the fact that it functions as an Echo Show while charging adds value to a device that would normally just be a paperweight waiting to be charged.

Tablets can vary greatly in their purpose and capabilities, but we wanted to look at a variety of devices. After analyzing dozens of expert opinions (including our own) and applying our own knowledge of the tablet market, we arrived at a list of 12 devices to compare. Prices ranged from $109 to $999. But before we looked at the price, we wanted to objectively test what features we expect from a good tablet.

Each device was evaluated according to the following parameters: Design, screen, battery life, performance, software, speakers, connectivity, ports, accessories and warranty. The categories we thought were important were given more weight, namely design, display, battery life and performance. A tablet is primarily a visual device because it is a large screen, so the screen and design are important. Performance determines how smooth your experience is and what you can do on the device. Of course, the longer battery life means you won’t have to charge the device as often.

For each tablet, we ran the battery from full to empty while watching a movie with 50% screen brightness and airplane mode on. We used countless apps, streamed programs and movies, listened to music, played games of varying intensity, etc. We also looked at the display quality and the actual construction of the tablet. In terms of design, we looked at the shape and comfort, the feel in the hand and more subtle aspects such as the relationship between the bezel and the screen. Finally, we checked and tested the available ports and connected several other devices via Bluetooth.

See the detailed breakdown of categories below.


  • Portability : We took into account the size, thickness and weight of the tablet. A lighter, more compact tablet that fits into more holders or is easier to hold is more popular.
  • Quality of work: We made notes about how the tablet felt in our hands. We wanted tablets that weren’t too heavy, with rounded edges and high-quality materials that felt good in your hand.
  • Materials used : We studied the composition of the material the tablet is made of. We compared whether the tablets were plastic or metal and glass, and what metal was used (e.g. stainless steel or aluminium).


  • Screen Size: We measured the aperture ratio, i.e. the part of the tablet surface corresponding to the screen itself, compared to the edges (the areas without a screen).
  • Resolution: We checked the resolution of the tablet screen in pixels, that is the width and height of the screen.
  • Vibrancy and contrast : We tested many visual images (still and moving images) with light and dark colors. We looked at whether the color blended, how light the color could be and how dark the tone could be.
  • Quality in daily use: We took qualitative notes on the tablet’s day-to-day screen performance in various lighting conditions, testing features like glare and image sharpness in the dark.

Battery life

  • Ungraded battery test results: We subjected the tablet to a standard battery test. Specifically, we drained the battery while watching a movie in Air mode at 50% screen brightness, recording exactly how long the tablet lasted.
  • Quality of use: We took notes on the tablet’s performance at different battery levels. We found that the device handled multitasking, movie streaming, and other activities well with high and very low battery levels.


  • Processor and RAM : We analyzed the processor in the tablet and the number of GB of RAM available.
  • Benchmarking tests : We’ve run GeekBench 5 tests on all devices where possible, as well as some exports and renders.
  • Everyday use for entertainment and productivity: We pushed the tablet to its limits for multitasking, video streaming and gaming, if those can be achieved naturally at all.


  • Software : We evaluated the functionality and variety of pre-installed software on an iPadOS, Android or Fire OS tablet. If the tablet came with a lot of bloatware, i.e. extra and unnecessary applications, we disabled them. It’s also a bad sign that the tablet has trouble running the included software.


  • Speaker: On each tablet, we listened to the same playlist, composed of different genres: jazz, rock, pop, rap, classical, EDM, etc. We compared features like volume, bass, and clarity of voices and instruments between tablets. We compared characteristics such as volume, bass and clarity of voices and instruments between tablets.


  • Communications: We evaluated the stability of the tablet’s connection to both the Internet over Wi-Fi and to various connected Bluetooth devices.


  • Power/Data : We looked at which ports on the tablet are used for data and/or power (e.g. USB Type-C, Micro USB or Lightning ports). For example, USB Type-C can charge faster than Micro-USB, so a tablet that uses the former option will score better in that category.
  • Headphone jack : We checked to see if the tablet has a headphone jack (and if it works), and if it does, we gave it a rating. It’s all about user choice, and opting for an audio jack offers more value.
  • Clean connections: We have listed all the ports that are specific to the brand of tablet and the function(s) of these ports.


  • Warranty: We have reviewed the warranties for each unit. Longer guarantees and/or guarantees covering more problems or damages were valued higher.

iPad Air 3. Generation (469 euros, originally 499 euros;

The $499 iPad Air is in the middle of the iPad range. It’s faster and feels thinner than the seventh-generation iPad, but it’s not as fast as the iPad Pro. It’s sort of an intermediate step between the base model and the top-of-the-line model, but for most users it’s significantly more powerful than the seventh-generation iPad. Therefore, given the price difference, we think the choice should be the seventh-generation iPad and the iPad Pro.

iPad Mini 5 (399 euro;

The iPad Mini 5 still takes the ultraportable but powerful spot, but with its 7.9-inch screen, the iPhone 11 Pro Max is right behind it. It’s a busy device on which iPadOS 13 runs very well and supports quite a bit of multitasking, even on a narrow screen. We just think the iPhone is probably the right choice for most people. When you choose the seventh-generation iPad, you get more versatility and ultimately more value for your money.

Fire HD 10 (starting at $149.99;

The new Fire HD 10 does a lot of things right and fixes a lot of things from its predecessor – in particular, the faster processor makes for a smooth FireOS experience that doesn’t choke under pressure. The 10.1-inch HD screen is great for streaming, but at $149.99 it’s not much better than our budget choice. At this price, the Fire HD 8 Plus is a better choice. Plus, it’s easier to transport.

Galaxy Tab S6 (€ 649,99;

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is an impressive Android tablet that lets you combine performance and entertainment. It’s fast and high quality, but it seems to us that even at $649.99 the device doesn’t offer as much as competing operating systems.

Galaxy Tab S6 Lite ($279.99, originally $349.99;

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite offers an Android experience with slow but steady performance and exceptional battery life. The key feature is the included S Pen stylus, which works seamlessly with Samsung’s suite of productivity applications. In the end, the Tab S6 Lite fails to win the title of best device, as its lesser performance doesn’t justify the $349.99 price tag.

Surface Go 2 (starting at $399;

Microsoft’s Surface Go 2 looks just as good as the previous generation and runs a full-fledged version of Windows 10. The screen is bright and clear, and the battery lasts more than enough to last all day. However, we don’t recommend the entry-level model, as the slower processor and memory hurt overall performance. You end up paying $629 for a more powerful model. The Go 2 is perfect for those who really want to stay in the Windows 10 ecosystem with Microsoft hardware, but it will cost you.

Read the rest of the CNN Underscored practice test:

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best tablet to buy in 2021?

The best tablet to buy in 2021 is the Apple iPad Pro.

Which is the best tablet to buy 2020?

The best tablet to buy in 2020 is the Apple iPad Pro.

Is a tablet worth it in 2020?

Tablets are still a popular option for many people, but they are not as popular as they once were. The iPad is still the most popular tablet, but it is not the only one. There are many other options available to consumers today that can be used for different purposes. Tablets are still a popular option for many people, but they are not as popular as they once were. Tablets are still a popular option for many people, but they are not as popular as they once were.

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