If you are in the market for a new tablet, but are specifically looking for a device in the 10-inch size range, there are a number of great options out there for you.
Over the last short while we’ve been talking about the best cheap tablets, best Android tablets, we’ve talked about which iPad is the best to buy, and now we want to cover what is the best 10 inch tablet on the market. As mentioned, there are many great 10-inch tablet options out there for you. Apple’s full size iPad qualifies, there are a good handful of hybrid devices running Windows and the world of Android devices encompasses hundreds of tablet options
Before we get started
I want to say one important thing before we get started here today, we are about to make recommendations for the best 10-inch tablets on the market, but we will make these suggestions with little regard to their accompanying software ecosystem.
Please take the time to consider which ecosystem is right for you, perhaps you’ve been living in the world of iOS and are not looking to change. Maybe Apple devices have never tempted you and you still live on Windows or have moved to Android. Bottom line, the best tablet for you is likely the one that works on your chosen ecosystem.
What to look for
Just how does one decide what the best 10 inch tablet is? For starters, we recommend looking for quality in materials and craftsmanship. From there, specifications are a factor one must consider carefully. Overall design and availability of accessories are important, and the price tag can be the final deciding factor for any tablet purchase.
Let’s look at a few contenders for best 10 inch tablet. Note: Keeping in line with how these devices are generally marketed, we will consider any tablet from about 9.7-inches up to 10.5-inches in this 10-inch category.
Google Pixel C
Following in the footsteps of the Chrome OS powered Chromebook Pixel, Google’s in-house developed Pixel C ships with Android, much to the surprise of many enthusiasts. This is a 10.2-inch device with 2560×1800 resolution, offering up 308 ppi. Running Android 6.0 Marshmallow out of the box, this Nvidia X1 powered tablet includes 3GB of RAM, 32GB or 64GB of internal storage, offers up respectable ‘all day’ battery life and will set you back $500 without the optional detachable keyboard.
Best of all, despite the debated lack of multi-tasking capabilities of Android, the Pixel C offers you the full Google Play Store, including all of the best apps to get you through work and play. Also, USB Type-C is a fun addition and leap forward to the next generation of charging, data syncing and more.
Apple iPad Pro 9.7
Leading the charge for Apple, we have the iPad Pro 9.7. As Apple’s latest introduced flagship tablet, the iPad Pro 9.7 is an excellent tablet option for those looking for a fairly powerful device to keep up with their favorite games or productivity apps.
We don’t want to gush here too much, but we are huge fans of this new tablet. Rocking the best of iOS 9.x, including support for the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard, look for the new True Tone display that automatically adjusts blue light levels to improve color reproduction, not to mention is brighter. All-in-all, the iPad Pro 9.7 is a superb device in the iOS line, one that we would gladly recommend for any iPad shopper.
Best of all, the iPad Pro 9.7 is the first tablet around to rock 256GB of internal storage. Now we’re talking.
We recently discussed which iPad is the right iPad for purchase, but there is no question, the iPad Pro 9.7 is the cream of the 10-inch iOS crop. Starting price is $599, with a top end model running you a little north of $1000.
Apple iPad Air 2
The Apple iPad Air 2 is a long running flagship tablet, it is an excellent tablet option for those looking to save a few dollars but still get a full size iPad that can keep up with their daily needs. It lacks a few things that the newer Pro tablets offer, but is still a great in-hand tablet.
We have featured the iPad Air 2 many times lately, and for good reason. This tablet is Apple’s first tablet to take advantage of all of the bells and whistles from the iOS 9 update, including multi-tasking features and Apple News. Until the release of the iPad Pro line, the iPad Air 2 was the most powerful in the iPad line and still is a really nice tablet option.
We recently discussed which iPad is the right iPad for purchase, the iPad Air 2 is still a good option, but do take a look at the iPad Pro 9.7 if you are trying to be productive or future-proof your purchase. Starting prices will be around $420 now, with a top end model running you about $750.
Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet
While Sony has been under fire for a lack of flare and innovation in the last couple years, this sour outlook somewhat overlooks that they are still producing high quality devices. The Xperia Z4 Tablet is the Japanese manufacturer’s flagship tablet, offering powerful specification, sleek looks, waterproof exterior and excellent display quality.
Running Android, the Xperia Z4 Tablet offers up the best of Google’s mobile operating system, at least with a little Sony skin on top. We were instant fans of this tablet, and we think you will be too. Availability is still a little inconsistent across the globe, so expect to drop about $600 on this Sony tablet.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2
It is an understatement to say that Samsung has more than one device on the market, as such, it would have been really easy to squeeze in more than one tablet here. The difference between some of the tablets is subtle, but one device jumps out at us today, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2.
Running around with a powerful Exynos 5433 SoC, 3GB of RAM and an optional detachable keyboard, this Android tablet is one of many Samsung tablets worthy of your consideration, including the 8-inch version pictured above. Grab that 10-inch version for around $499 and up.
ASUS Transformer Pad series
Once again, we are not really suggesting a single tablet here, but we cannot discuss best 10-inch tablets without at least an honorable mention to the popular Transformer line of tablets by ASUS. With more than one version to choose from, running Windows or Android, you will generally be greeted with a 10.1-inch device with detachable keyboard.
While the somewhat overweight Transformer tablet suffers when used for casual purposes, the full size USB ports, extra battery life and sturdy construction make for an excellent productivity tablet. Two people very close to me have Transformer Pad tablets, one Android and one Windows. Both people use these devices daily and almost never detach the keyboard, happily treating the devices as laptops.
Prices start around $179 for the Windows powered Transformer Book with Windows and Android options working beyond $300 for the ASUS Transformer Infinity Pad, some models include a detachable keyboard, otherwise, than can be another charge as well.
Lenovo ThinkPad 10 and Yoga tablets
If what you are looking for is to get down and dirty with productivity, Lenovo has a new tablet that may suite your needs. The Lenovo ThinkPad 10 is an Intel powered Windows tablet with specs that get into laptop territory. Of course, you can purchase the optional attached keyboard to basically turn the ThinkPad into a laptop, if that’s your thing.
On the other hand, if you are looking for great physical versatility, in other words, a device that can operate in as many positions as possible, a convertible like the Yoga tablet has got you covered. While the Yoga line of tablets have never been particularly high-end on the spec sheets, we think it deserves consideration for its flexible form-factor.
We want to briefly step outside of this 10-inch size restriction to mention the NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet and the Microsoft Surface Pro 4. While the SHIELD tablet is smaller, and the Surface tablet is larger than 10-inches, we think they are great tablets, ones that you may still consider looking at, if you are flexible enough to look outside of that 10-inch range.
Which is the best?
Ah, there’s the thing, remember when we told you that the best tablet for you was going to be the one that fits your desired needs and software ecosystem? Yes, that is the reason we cannot outright claim one tablet as the best tablet out there.
I will go so far as to saying that in the iOS camp, there is no competition to the iPad Air 2. In the Windows camp, the Lenovo ThinkPad 10 is pretty hard to beat. And over to Android, while there is little question that Samsung tablets are the most popular out there in the 10-inch range, we would put forth that the Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet is the one to beat as an overall package on the market today.
Playing it safe, let me also mention that there are tons of other tablets out there, including many in the 10-inch size range, that may be better in one manner or another than the tablets we’ve put forth today. We are also posting this list just days before IFA 2015, where we expect to see several new tablets announced, if not launched. My point is, this list may be out of date before it is a week old, if not already.
That is where you come in, share with us in the comments below what you think is the best 10-inch tablet, and why.
Further reading: Best Windows tablets