The 2-in-1 may be king but these noble tablets can certainly hold their own.
While just a few years ago it seemed that everyone was rushing to build an “iPad killer”, a crunch in the tablet market has led to many manufacturers dropping them from their line-up. You can blame the preponderance of 2-in-1 laptops for that, with some people wanting the best of both worlds. But there’s good news for anyone who still wants a dedicated tablet: while you may have fewer choices, the devices that remain are quality products from reliable, big-name brands.
Apple 9.7-inch iPad Pro
Apple’s iPad Pro range seems to be the company’s answer to the plethora of 2-in-1 devices. The Pro has a super-high-resolution screen (2048 x 1536 pixels), which is bright and sharp, as well as some serious power. A 4G version is also available. Add the optional Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard case and you can leave the laptop at home. If you want something even more business-ready, upgrade to the 12.9-inch display. From $849
Microsoft Surface Pro 4
Microsoft’s Surface Pro range is still the purest Windows touch experience you can get. With a 12.3-inch screen and Intel Core processor, this is a fully powered Windows PC yet it weighs well under 800 grams. You can pair it with a Surface Pen and optional keyboard or just make use of the super-sensitive touch screen. There are a lot of hardware configuration options, enabling you to opt for more power, memory and storage – though you’ll pay about $4000 for the top-of-the-line model. From $899
Samsung Galaxy TabPro S
Samsung’s move into Windows tablets has proven to be a successful one. The 12-inch TabPro S range offers all the convenience of a traditional tablet plus the functionality of a Windows laptop. There are some particularly noteworthy touches, including Samsung Flow, which syncs with your Samsung Galaxy phone and lets you read and reply to texts and notifications from the tablet; and a fast-charge feature that powers the battery to 100 per cent in just 2.5 hours. $1349
Apple iPad Mini 4
If you’re after an entertainment device rather than a workhorse, the latest iPad Mini is an ideal option. At just 6.1 millimetres “thin” and weighing less than 300 grams, this is an almost pocket-sized companion compared with some of the other tablets on offer. The 7.9-inch screen has excellent resolution and the battery life is impressive given its size, which means it’s perfect for watching video on the move or even a mobile gaming session. From $579
Touch and go
With a tablet called MediaPad M3, Huawei is making no bones about this gadget being built for fun. It has an 8.4-inch screen with sharp resolution, which is great for streaming the media of your choice. And the Harman Kardon speakers, located at the top and bottom, offer bigger sound than you’d expect from a compact tablet just 7.3 millimetres thick. But the best feature is the price: $US299. Although yet to be officially launched in Australia, you can buy it online for just $389.
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