Technology

Product overview

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Tablet computers

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Do you still need a laptop?

We’ve tested over 70 tablets. Is it worth buying one? Or do you still need a laptop?

From our test

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Tablet or laptop?

A question we get asked a lot is “I want a new laptop, just to check emails and surf the internet. Which one should I get?”

The answer is: consider a tablet. If all you’re doing is surfing and emailing, then a tablet is ideal. Tablets are lightweight and super easy to use on the couch or in bed – they don’t have the size or bulky battery-charging requirements of a laptop.

If you do a bit of typing (longer than emails) or you’re looking for a lightweight work option, then you might want to invest in a detachable or bluetooth keyboard or even go for the Surface Pro range. In general, tablets can be great replacements for much of what you do on a laptop.

Compare the tablets we’ve tested.

IP ratings

If you plan on taking your devices out and about with you, it’s important they can withstand the elements. Ingress Protection (IP) ratings indicate how resistant a device is to water and solids (dust/dirt).

IP ratings have two numbers. The first relates to solids, such as dust, and has a maximum rating of 6. The second relates to water and goes as high as 8. An X rating means it hasn’t been assessed for that type of protection.

Examples:

  • IP55 and IP65 – Protected from most dust and low-pressure sprayed water
  • IP67 – Dustproof and resistant to water up to a metre in depth
  • IPX7 – Hasn’t been tested on dust particles, but is resistant to water up to a metre in depth.

See here for more on IP ratings and the different levels of protection.

First Look reviews

Our experts have trialled these tablets. Here’s what they thought of them.

Apple is the Top Brand

The Top Brand award recognises brands that perform consistently well across product testing, reliability and customer satisfaction.

We've awarded Apple the Top Brand for mobile phones and tablet computers as it leads the other brands in test performance and owner satisfaction.

Reliability

Apple was the only brand to record above-average reliability.

  • Above-average: Apple
  • Average: Lenovo, Samsung, Asus, Acer
  • Below-average: Microsoft, HP, Nextbook

Total number surveyed: 2883

Microsoft, HP and Nextbook were below the 93% category average. If problems arose, HP tablets were most likely to go wrong in the first 6 months (90% of HP tablets that needed repair).

For more on tablet reliability, see our survey.

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