tablets
Tablets go with you wherever you choose to work from next - the house, in transit or on vacation. Image Credit: Unsplash/Roberto Nickson

With remote jobs becoming the new norm, computer tablets just make sense. You will want a machine that is as convenient and flexible as your work schedule, always ready to fly with you on spontaneous travels. Easy to pack and boot up, tablets see to your day-to-day tasks with an efficiency comparable to fast processing laptops and personal computers (PCs).

Shopping for a decent but affordable tablet in a market dominated by popular models can be overwhelming. Ideally, you should be reviewing four main components before hitting the purchase button, according to experts.

What should I look for when buying a tablet?

tablets
Your choice of tablet will boil down to your needs. A family tablet, for instance, will do just fine without the elaborate specs that might suit a content creator more. Image Credit: Unsplash/Surface

Lijosh John, a technical service engineer at Al Barsha Electronics LLC in Dubai, has repaired several tablets in his career. What should be of concern first and foremost, he says, is the display quality.

Display quality: A tablet’s touchscreen feature naturally demands a large display to accommodate our requests. While artists would gravitate towards a bigger screen, as seen in the Apple iPad Pro’s 12.9-inch display, cinephiles should consider an Active Matrix Organic Light-Emitting Diode (AMOLED) display, as well. For the deepest blacks on screen and faster refresh rate, tablets with AMOLED screens light up colours pixel by pixel.

Performance: Then comes the performance level of the device, which depends on the processor chip or the engine of the tablet. “Apple’s M1 chip supports heavier graphics than the usual processors, so it’s mostly used for gaming and designing,” said John, adding that a decent performing tablet should at least have a 2.4GHz processor speed.

Battery life: The longer the battery life the better, but some tablets drain their power reserve faster than others. “Samsung Galaxy tablets tend to consume more power in the displays, so their battery life is shorter than the Apple iPad,” said John. He also advises against charging tablets when in use, which is a common cause of battery swelling. Hours of simultaneous charge and discharge damages the cells in the battery, explains John.

Random access memory (RAM) storage: To improve speed and prevent lag, go for a tablet that has a minimum of 6GB RAM, says Prem Kumar, a service technician at Techbayt Electronics LLC, Dubai. He says this advice especially applies to Android tablets, which end up lagging upon multitasking.

Taking all of this into account and more, we compiled some of the best tablets on Amazon, for content creators and students alike. And, do hurry because our selection is discounted for a limited period of time. If you have an old iPad in need of repairing, you can get that fixed as well through Amazon – hire pros to patch up your device at home via Amazon Home Services.

Receive your brand new tablet the very next day, when you purchase as a Prime member.

1. Best Overall: 2021 Apple iPad Pro (12.9-inch, Wi-Fi + Cellular, 128GB), Silver 

Pros

  • Ideal for artists and graphic designers, thanks to its M1 chip
  • Face ID unlock
  • 5G cellular with Wi-Fi
  • 12.9-inch Liquid Retina Extreme Dynamic Range (XDR) screen
  • 12MP front camera always keeps you in the centre
  • 8GB random access memory (RAM)

Cons

  • The stylus and keyboard are sold separately
  • Not as customisable as Android tablets

The 2021 12.9-inch display is the latest Apple iPad Pro in the series. Like the previous 11-inch, this model runs on the streamlined Apple-developed M1 chip. Your gaming needs and 3D modelling ventures will thrive with the M1 chip, since it carries an 8-core central processing unit (CPU) for performance and an 8-core graphics processing unit (GPU) for faster graphics. Its Liquid Retina XDR screen delivers the best canvas for creative pursuits and TV show binge-watching, with brightness levels peaking at 1,600 nits. Hold video conferences with confidence through a 12-megapixel selfie camera that moves when you move. Despite its power-hungry features, the Apple iPad Pro can impressively last nine hours of web surfing on a single charge.

Bonus: Buy with zero per cent instalments and pay Dh330.22 for 12 months with select banks. Add an Apple Pencil (2nd Generation) for Dh448 and an Apple Magic Keyboard for Dh1,299.

Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh227, a one-year accidental damage protection for Dh380, and a two-year damage protection and one-year extended warranty for Dh484.

2. Best for Students: 2020 Apple iPad Air (10.9-inch, Wi-Fi, 64GB), Space Grey

Pros

  • Edits 4k videos and runs games easily on A14 Bionic chip
  • Nearly 11-inch of Liquid Retina display
  • Converts handwriting to text
  • 7MP HD front camera
  • 6GB of RAM

Cons

  • No Face ID sensor
  • Storage options are limited between 64GB and 256GB
  • Apple Pencil is sold separately

The 4th generation of Apple iPad Air is less expensive than the Pro series for missing pricier components like the M1 chip, Face ID sensor and a larger display. Yet, the tablet is just as versatile with top-notch specs – the 10.9-inch Liquid Retina Display still makes sketching on Procreate a breeze and the 7MP HD front camera works well for online classes. Instead of the M1 chip, this model of iPad Air runs on an A14 Bionic chip, which dedicates six cores to performance and four cores to graphics. According to Kumar, the Air series is the most popular tablet among students for its versatile note-taking options.

Bonus: Buy with zero per cent instalments and pay Dh185.62 for 12 months with select banks.

Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh142, a one-year accidental damage protection for Dh238, and a two-year damage protection and one-year extended warranty for Dh303.

3. Best Android Tablet: Samsung Galaxy Tab S8+ 

Pros

  • Includes stylus that charges on the tablet
  • Converts handwriting into text
  • Split screen makes multitasking easier
  • Expandable MicroSD storage for up to 1TB
  • 8GB of RAM

Cons

  • Fast-draining battery
  • Clip Studio Paint runs on a six-month trial

Save Dh271 when you shop the latest Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Plus today. Sporting a large 12.4-ich AMOLED screen, this model (along with S8 and S8 Ultra) is the slimmest and toughest S Tab yet. The best part is that your tablet comes with an S Pen that magnetically snaps onto the back of the S8 Plus. It’s how the stylus charges itself as well, so you never have to worry about misplacing it. If Apple has Procreate, Samsung tends to your creative flair with the Clip Studio Paint app. And the tablet even casts onto a second PC screen in the DeX mode for close-up editing or drawing sessions.

4. Best Travel Tablet: HUAWEI MatePad 10.4 inch 2022

Pros

  • Compatible with mouse
  • Long battery life
  • Multi-window display
  • Lightweight at 450 grams
  • Expandable MicroSD storage of 512GB
  • 8MP front camera

Cons

  • Only 4GB of RAM
  • Screen casts on a Huawei MateBook only
  • Huawei M-Pencil and keyboard are sold separately

The new Huawei MatePad 2022 is a lightweight wonder, weighing only 450 grams. It has a 10.4-inch screen that supports 2K resolution and has four speakers tucked away for an immersive audio experience. When tapping gets tiring, switch to a mouse to resume your tasks, an accessory that helps you preview app windows without opening them. Speaking of apps, you don’t have to sacrifice any. Keep tabs on at least four running applications on the screen, so that you can take minutes in meetings and more. The impressive user experience doesn’t end there – the Huawei MatePad completes the tasks of one app on two separate windows. Think texting and emailing on your work suite at the same time.

Bonus: Buy with zero per cent instalments and pay Dh88.25 for 12 months with select banks.

Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh86, a one-year accidental damage protection for Dh143, and a two-year damage protection and one-year extended warranty for Dh182.

5. Best Budget for Family: Lenovo Tab P11 Plus 

Pros

  • Child-friendly account for apps, games and books
  • Four Dolby Atmos speakers
  • Noise cancellation in video calls
  • 6GB of RAM
  • Fast charging

Cons

  • No headphone jack
  • Lenovo Pen and keyboard pack are sold separately

If you’re looking for a general tablet to keep around the house, the Lenovo Tab P11 Plus fits the bill. It has a sufficient 6GB RAM that prevents lag but operates on a slower 2.0GHz processor for the price point. Still, reviewers who tend to pick up the tablet occasionally are satisfied with the responsive 11-inch screen, ample storage of 128GB and smooth application switching, from emails to games to e-reader. Advertised as a family tablet, the P11 Plus introduces your children to more than 10,000 teacher-approved apps, games and books via Google Kids Space. This is your best bet for light, everyday usage.

Bonus: Buy with zero per cent instalments and pay Dh80.76 for 12 months with select banks.

Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh57, a one-year accidental damage protection for Dh95, and a two-year damage protection and one-year extended warranty for Dh121.

6. Best for Work: Microsoft Surface Pro 8

Pros

  • Built-in 180-degree kickstand
  • 8GB RAM
  • 4.2GHz processor speed
  • Compatible with Xbox console
  • Large 13-inch screen

Cons

  • Heavy at 889 grams
  • No SD card slot for storage extension
  • Keyboard and pen are sold separately

A cross between a laptop and a tablet, the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 is one of the pricier tablet ranges out there. It operates much like your personal Windows computer, running on an 11th Gen Intel Core processor with amazing speeds of 4.2GHz and a rapid screen refresh rate of 120Hz. Your essential work apps, from Microsoft Teams to Microsoft 365, are readily available, making your transition from laptop to tablet easier. And while other models need a separate case to prop up the device, the Surface Pro 8 comes with a built-in kickstand on the back. Prop it up for video calls or set it low for editing; match the angle to the task for up to 180 degrees. However, John says Surface Pro is a tricky tablet to repair and can quickly become costly when it comes to the processor chip.

Bonus: Buy with zero per cent instalments and pay Dh274.92 for 12 months with select banks.

Warranty: The manufacturer offers a one-year warranty. Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh332, a one-year accidental damage protection for Dh369, and a two-year damage protection and one-year extended warranty for Dh424.

Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.