The tablets still have to make themselves essential, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t nice to have. A good tablet can be a portable TV screen throughout the house and a way to do light work away from your desk. These slates are more and more efficient and versatile each year.
The ease of use and the best software on the iPad make it the obvious choice for most people, but if you don’t want an iPad, there are other options. Android tablets have gotten more useful, and Amazon’s affordable Fire tablets are worth it if your needs are basic. If you mostly want a laptop that can also be used as a tablet, an iPad or 2-in-1 running Windows might be your best bet. Our selection of the best tablets can help you decide.
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Update December 2020: We’ve added several new picks to this guide, like the iPad Air.