Looking for a new tablet computer in time for the holiday season? Whether you’re buying it for yourself like Ebenezer Scrooge or sharing the love with family, here are the best tablet PCs money can buy this holiday season:
Surface Pro 4 ($899 to $1799)
Released in October 2014, the Surface Pro 4 is simply the best tablet PC on the market today. Yes, it comes with a high price tag, but the price isn’t unreasonable considering you’re getting a full-fledged PC replacement.
All Surface Pro 4 models come with the full version of Windows 10, which means you can run all of the desktop software you know and love.
Additions like the Type Cover (which admittedly cost $150 extra) vastly improve the usefulness of the Surface Pro 4.
If you’re willing to shell out some extra coin for the Surface Pro 4, then you can upgrade your version to 16GB of RAM, a 256GB internal storage drive, and an Intel Core i7 processor for a total of $1799.
All Surface Pro 4’s come with a Surface Pen as well. Oh, and the 12.3-inch screen looks amazing.
It’s not a tablet PC for the lower end of the market. But if you want a tablet that completely replaces your desktop or laptop computer, the Surface Pro 4 can certainly be what you need.
Sony Xperia Z4 ($600)
Want a tablet PC-like experience but don’t want to spend a fortune on the Surface Pro? The Xperia Z4 is a good middle ground.
Yes, it’s an Android tablet, so it’s not technically a tablet PC. But the Xperia Z4 has some impressive distinctions.
First, it’s waterproof. You can literally use your tablet underwater. It’s also dustproof (note, Sony calls their tablet “dust resistant and water resistant” because Sony doesn’t want you to actually use your tablet deeper than one meter underwater, but it’s basically waterproof for all practical purposes).
The Xperia Z4 also has a stunning 10.1-inch display with 2560×1600 resolution, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, and a 6000mAh battery to keep everything chugging online.
The only real downside to the Xperia Z4 is its high price tag. Look for this tablet to go on sale over Black Friday and other upcoming holiday sales. If you can get it for under $500, it’s a real bargain.
Dell Venue 8 7000 ($300 to $400)
If you want to use your tablet for photography, then the reasonably-priced Dell 8 7000 is a smart Android tablet with a stylish flair. In terms of price to performance ratio, the Venue 8 7000 keeps up with some of its higher price competitors.
The Venue 8 7000 is also the skinniest tablet on the market today. If you hate bezels, then you’ll love the Venue 8 7000 because there are hardly any black edges around the outside of the tablet.
Plus, there’s a 3D camera. There are also powerful built-in image editing features. If you’re into tablet photography, the Venue 8 7000 is simply your best option.
Nvidia Shield Tablet ($300)
The Nvidia Shield Tablet is a two-in-one device. By itself, it’s an excellent 8 inch Android tablet that lets you perform all of the tablet-like tasks you would expect.
However, the Shield is also a portable Android game console that can be paired with an optional wireless controller. There’s also an HDMI output that lets you hook up to a TV to play on the big screen.
Oh, and you can stream certain supported PC games from your full-sized gaming PC to your tablet.
If you’re a gamer, and want to maximize gaming capabilities on your tablet, then the Nvidia Shield is the tablet to own. It’s as simple as that.
Surface 3 or Surface Pro 3
If the Surface Pro 4’s $1000 price tag is outside your budget, then the Surface 3 or Surface Pro 3 are your next best options. Last year’s models received a discount after the release of the Pro 4. They’re still pricey, but you’ll see Microsoft announcing more and more sales over the coming months.
On the Surface Pro 3, the 12 inch screen features a stunning resolution of 2160×1440 while you can choose to buy an Intel Core i3, i5, or i7 processor. There’s also a magnetic keyboard base.
The Surface 3, on the other hand, trades in some modest performance shortcuts for a vastly cheaper price tag. The Surface 3, for example, features a 10.8-inch, 1920×1080 resolution display with a 1.6GHz quad-core Intel Atom processor. It also has a kickstand with three different levels of adjustment. Oh, and it runs the full version of Windows – so you don’t have to rely on the sparse selection of apps in the Windows Store.