There’s no denying that tablets have grown smarter over the years. Still, they haven’t been able to attract the kind of traction that manufacturers would at least hope for. Tablets are the connecting link between a smartphone and a netbook/laptop and provide far bigger screens than smartphones without being overtly cumbersome while commuting like laptops. Sounds tempting, but they haven’t transpired into success stories. Not to say, companies haven’t been trying. More often than not it’s the same companies — that once took the onus of making the tablet mainstream – that are burning the midnight oil and still coming out with more. And, some of these are good.
If you’re unfazed by the phablet storm and mind carrying a laptop at all times, there are certainly some very good tablet options that are worth your time and money. Here are a few.
Google’s 2012 Nexus 7 tablet made by Asus still holds its ground firmly three years post launch. The Nexus 7 has a 7-inch HD screen with 800×1280 pixels resolution and 216 ppi pixel density. The screen is protected by Corning’s Gorilla Glass. The tablet is powered by a quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor coupled with 1GB RAM. The 16GB memory variant of the tablet can be purchased at IRs.9,499. It runs Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean out-of-the-box and is upgradable to Android 5.1.1 Lollipop. As expected, it runs a stock version of Android with zero bloat or unwanted apps. It is backed by a 4,325 mAh battery which is non-removable. Buy this for top notch build quality and vanilla Android experience.
Â Launched in 2014, Xiaomi’s Mi Pad already has a successor. The Mi Pad 2 – as it is called – isn’t Â available in India though. We love the Mi Pad for what it’s worth. A fantastic tablet wrapped in peppy polycarbonate shell, the Mi Pad became a runaway hit in India on launch and still turns many heads. It comes with a 7.9-inch QuadHD IPS display with a 1536×2048 pixels resolution and Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection. The tablet is powered by a quad-core Nvidia Tegra K1 processor with 2GB RAM. The 16GB memory variant of the tablet costs IRs.12,999. Expandable storage is supported. The tablet runs Android 4.4.4 KitKat-based MIUI which is the only downside of this tablet. Xiaomi’s MIUI works well on its phones, not so much on tablets. It’s a work in progress and subject to improvement in future iterations. The tablet uses a 6,700 mAh battery which is non-removable. Buy this if you’re looking to play lots of graphical games and/or watch high-resolution movies.
The iPad Mini 2 comes with a 7.9-inch QuadHD screen with a 1536×2048 pixels resolution and 324 ppi pixel density. It is powered by a dual-core A7 processor with 1GB RAM. The variant of the iPad Mini 2 is priced at IRs.19,490. The tablet runs Apple’s iOS 7 and is upgradable to iOS 9.2. It promises up to 10 hours of internet browsing time over Wi-Fi. Buy this for the excellent Retina display on-board and slick performance thanks to excellent hardware-software integration.
The Galaxy Tab S2 is easily the best Android tablet that money can buy right now. It balances good looks with spot-on user experience and is the viable iPad alternative that many had been waiting for. And yet there are areas where it outshines the iPad, most noticeably expandable storage. It comes with a 9.7-inch QXGA Super AMOLED screen and is powered by an octa-core Exynos 5433 processor coupled with 3GB RAM. The 32GB memory, Wi-Fi and 4G variant costs Rs.39,400. The Tab S2 runs Android 5.0.2 Lollipop out-of-the-box with the company’s TouchWiz UI on top. It is backed by a 5,870mAh battery.
The recently launched Surface Pro 4 is the first Surface tablet to make its way to India. The Surface Pro 4 runs the full version of Windows 10 therefore it is capable of running all your Windows 10 apps the way you would on a laptop/PC. Microsoft intends to replace your laptop with the Surface Pro 4. And it does with the help of a keyboard accessory and a next-generation Surface Pen. Prices start at IRsRs.89,990 for the base model (Surface Pro 4 Intel i5, 4GB RAM and 128GB memory) and go all the way up to Rs.1,44,990 for the high-end (Surface Pro 4 Intel i7, 16GB RAM and 512GB memory). The keyboard accessory (or Type Cover) is sold separately for Rs.12,490 and is backward compatible with previous-generation Surface tablets. The tablet comes with a 12.3-inch (2736 x 1824 pixels) PixelTouch display with an aspect ratio of 3:2 and pixel density of 267ppi. It is said to offer as much as 9 hours of video playback on a single charge.