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Demand for tablets has spiked under lockdown, with sales up 13.6 per cent in 2020 according to IDC Research. It’s not difficult to see why. Tablets help keep us connected, without tethering us to our home offices or wrestling laptops in the living room.
We self-medicate with tablets for fun and business, catching up with Line of Duty on BBC iPlayer, or using them as lightweight laptop replacements. Children love them too.
According to the latest market report from the market analysts at Futuresource, 34% of kids use their tablets to listen to music, while 27% of home workers interviewed use tablets as part of their home working set up.
They work well really as second screens for web searching and video conferencing, so it’s worth investing in a diddy desktop stand.
They’re certainly part of my daily routine, allowing me to keep up with social shenanigans, and in the evening do a little ebook reading. Tablets have never been faster, sharper or better equipped than they are now.
So what model is best for you? Read on for our guide to the best tablets for Apple fans, Android users and Amazon devotees, you can buy right now…
Best Android tablet: Samsung Galaxy Tab A7
If you’re after an Android tablet, this Samsung Tab A7 with bundled 64GB MicroSD card is a tremendous deal, at just £219. It features a large 10.4-inch display and offers unfettered access to the Google Play Store, so there’s no shortage of apps available. Android tablets are great workhorses for productivity and entertainment.
Buy it: Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 10.4" Tablet | £219 from Currys PC World
Google Assistant is on hand, and you can use the A7 as a controller for your smart home gadgets too. The tablet features an 8Mp main camera and 5Mp front facing snapper.
Slot in the freebie 64GB microSD card and you’ll find yourself with loads of space to download TV shows from Netflix, Prime Video and Disney+, making this a brilliant travel companion.
Best Amazon Fire tablet: Fire HD 10
It may be locked to Amazon’s ecosystem, but there’s no doubting the incredible value of this slick 10-incher. If you’re a Prime subscriber, it’s our top buy. It runs fast, and has a generous 12 battery life, but the cameras, 2Mp front and rear, are basic.
Buy it: Fire HD 10 Tablet | £94.99 from Amazon
This isn’t the right tablet choice to work on though. You can’t use apps from the Google Play Store, but Amazon’s own app store has most general entertainment bases covered. In addition to Amazon Prime, you can use it to stream Netflix, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, ITVHub and All4, amongst others, and there’s a full suite of social apps, including Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Youtube, and it works with Amazon Alexa.
Overall, great value.
Best Apple iOS tablet : Apple iPad (2020)
The original, and for many users still the best, Apple’s iPad is now up to its 8th incarnation, and looks much like its predecessors, it’s a gorgeous machine to use. It features a crisp 10.2-inch retina display, 1.2Mp front and 8MP rear camera and a healthy 10 hour battery life. Significantly it runs on Apple’s A12 bionic processor, said to be 40 per cent faster than its predecessor. We’ll take that.
Buy it: Apple 10.2" iPad (2020) | £329 from Currys PC World
Usability is quintessentially Apple, while build and finish are top notch.
You’ll inevitably pay a little more for an iPad than the competition, but in our experience, they last a lot longer. File under fabulous.
Watch: New iMacs announced