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Best Windows, iOS, Android and Linux tablets (August 2016)

No matter whether you want iOS, Android, Windows, or Linux - yes, a Linux-powered tablet - this list of the best tablets for 2016 has you covered!
HP Pavilion x2
1 of 9 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Windows 10 on a budget: HP Pavilion x2

This is the Windows 10 tablet for someone on a tight budget. As long as your expectations are grounded in reality, this Atom-powered tablet is a decent workhorse.

Tech specs:

  • 1.33GHz Intel Atom Z3735F
  • 10.1-inch 1,280 x 800 touchscreen display
  • 2GB RAM
  • Intel HD Graphics
  • 32GB flash storage
  • HP TrueVision HD webcam

Price: $299 | More information

Surface Pro 4
2 of 9 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Windows 10: Surface Pro 4

This is Microsoft's fourth-generation 2-in-1 detachable. It builds on the Surface Pro 3, adding faster and more energy efficient processors, more RAM and storage options, larger display, and better system cooling.

Whatever your Windows 10 tablet needs, there's a configuration of the Surface Pro 4 to suit you (although at the upper-end the price does get a bit steep).

Tech specs:

  • 2.2GHz Intel Core m3-6Y30 with HD 515 GPU/3.0GHz Intel Core i5-6300U with HD 520 GPU/3.4GHz Intel Core i7-6650U with Iris 540 GPU
  • 2736 x 1824 (267 pixels-per-inch) 10-point multi-touch display
  • 4 - 16GB RAM
  • 5 megapixels HD front-facing camera, and 8 megapixels 1080p HD rear-facing
  • 128GB - 1TB PCIe SSD
  • Stereo speakers
  • Surface Pen included
  • Optional Type Cover and Surface Dock

Price: From $899 | More information

Surface Pro 3
3 of 9 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Windows 10: Surface Pro 3

If you don't want the cutting-edge, then there are some good deals to be found on selected models of the Surface Pro 3 (but be quick because stocks seem to be running out fast).

Tech spec:

  • Windows 10 Pro
  • Intel i3, i5, or i7 4th generation processors
  • 12-inch 2160 x 1440 Full HD touchscreen display
  • Surface Pen included
  • 64GB - 512GB storage
  • 4 - 8GB RAM

      Price: From $599 | More information

      Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Edition tablet
      4 of 9 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

      Linux: Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Edition tablet

      Looking for a Linux-powered tablet? Well, I got a Linux-powered tablet for you! This is Canonical's first Ubuntu tablet built by the Spanish OEM BQ.

      Tech spec:

      • 10.1-inch 1280 x 800 (149 pixels-per-inch) 10-point multitouch display
      • 1.5GHz MediaTek quad-core MT8163A processor
      • 2GB RAM
      • 16GB storage,
      • MicroSD slot (up to 64GB)
      • 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, FM Radio
      • 8-megapixel camera with autofocus and dual flash
      • Front mounted speakers
      • Micro HDMI port
      • 7,280mAh Li-Po battery

      Price: Approx $230 | More information

      iPad mini 2
      5 of 9 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

      iOS on a budget: iPad mini 2

      iOS devices don't have to cost an arm and a leg.

      Want something that's between an iPhone 6s Plus and an iPad, and have it cost under $300? The iPad mini 2 is just the tablet for you. It lacks some of the features o the later iOS devices -- such as Touch ID - but it's still a very capable device.

      Tech specs:

      • 1.3GHz dual-core A7 CPU
      • PowerVR G6430 GPU
      • 7.9-inch 2048 × 1536 (326 pixels-per-inch) multi-touch display
      • 1.2 megapixels 720p front-facing camera, and 5 megapixels iSight rear-facing camera
      • 16GB/32GB storage
      • 1GB RAM
      • 6,471 mAh battery

      Price: From $269 | More information

      9.7-inch iPad Pro
      6 of 9 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

      iOS: 9.7-inch iPad Pro

      When people think about tablets, the iPad is the tablet that springs into their minds. An the new iPad Pro is the king of the iPads.

      Here Apple has taken the 12.9-inch iPad Pro and compacted it down into a form factor that existing iPad users will be familiar with. It even offers some improvements over the 12.9-inch iPad Pro in the form of an improved camera, better display, as well as being the first iPad to support True Tone Flash and Retina Flash.

      Tech specs:

      • 2.16GHz A9X 64-bit processor
      • 12-core PowerVR Series 7XT GPU
      • 5 megapixels 720p front-facing camera, and 12 megapixels 4K rear-facing camera (True Tone Flash and Retina Flash)
      • 9.7-inch 2048 x 1536 (264 pixels-per-inch) 10-point multi-touch display
      • 32GB/128GB/256GB storage
      • 2GB RAM
      • 7,306 mAh battery
      • Stereo speakers
      • Optional Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil

      Price: From $599 | More information

      Nvidia Shield Tablet K1
      7 of 9 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

      Android on a budget: Nvidia Shield Tablet K1

      A budget Android tablet with a focus on gaming.

      Tech specs:

      • Android OS, v6.0 (Marshmallow) over-the-air upgrade available
      • 8.0-inch 1920 x 1200 capacitive touchscreen display
      • NVIDIA Tegra K1 192 core Kepler GPU
      • 2.2 GHz ARM Cortex A15 CPU
      • 2GB of RAM
      • MicroSD card slot
      • 5-megapixel front and rear cameras

      Price: $199 | More information

      Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7-inch
      8 of 9 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

      Android: Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7-inch

      Didn't think Samsung would disappoint and not make the list, did you?

      Tech spec:

      • Android 5.1 (Lollipop)
      • 9.7-inch 2048 x 1536 QXGA Super AMOLED display
      • Octa-Core (1.9 GHz Quad + 1.3 GHz Quad)
      • 16GB storage
      • MicroSD card slot (up to 128GB)
      • 8MP rear camera
      • 2MP front camera
      • 5,870 mAh Li-Po battery

      Price: $399 | More details

      Google Pixel C
      9 of 9 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

      Android: Google Pixel C

      Everything about the Pixel C - from the beautiful yet sturdy aluminum build, to the excellent hardware - makes this a worthy contender to Apple's iPad.

      And, being a Google tablet, you're guaranteed to get Android updates before anyone else.

      Tech specs:

        • Android OS, v6.0 (Marshmallow)
        • 10.2 inches, 2,560 x 1,800 (308 pixels-per-inch) display
        • 64-bit NVIDIA X1 quad-core CPU with Maxwell GPU
        • 3GB of RAM
        • 32GB/64GB storage
        • 12-hour battery
        • Optional keyboard

          Price: $499 | More information

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