How to choose a high-powered tablet for work or play

There’s probably no better time to embrace the tablet PC, aka the laptop killer, than now. Here is a buyer's guide plus 3 of the best high-powered tablets on the market.

Couple using tablet while travelling.
  • Mark Gambino
  • September 2019

Available in many hardware configurations and sizes, there’s a high-powered tablet for every purpose.

Many tablet displays now offer 1080p HD equivalent resolution, regardless of the screen size ratio, and up to 3K HDR displays on premium tablets. For digital drawing and design, a high-res screen is a must. Display brightness is usually spoken of in “nits” – the higher the number, the brighter the screen.

The processors driving modern tablets are now capable of powering desktop-class apps. The more powerful the chip, the more you can accomplish. Be mindful, though; with great power comes great prices. If you only intend to send emails and browse the web, there’s no need to spend a lot of money on a powerful tablet.

For good value, there is the Lenovo Tab E10 opens in new window (AUD $199). This inexpensive 10.1-inch tablet is ideal for media streaming, browsing and email. A microSD expansion slot offers plenty of storage options and a bright display with a wide viewing angle make sharing your screen easy.

If it’s grunt you want, consider the Apple iPad Mini opens in new window (from AUD $599). This 7.9-inch tablet features True Tone, for accurate white balance, and a 500-nit anti-reflective screen. The A12 chip, a sibling to the A12X powering the iPad Pros, is suitable for processor-intensive apps and games.

The Apple Ipad Mini
The Apple iPad Mini may be small but packs in a powerful processor and plenty of storage.

With the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 opens in new window (from AUD $349), a large 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage gives you entertainment options aplenty to explore on the tablet’s HD display and Dolby Atmos speakers. And up to 13 hours of battery will keep you busy on long trips.

Your choice of operating system will go hand-in-hand with the hardware you choose, be it Apple’s iOS, Google’s Android or Microsoft’s Windows. While similar, the apps available for each can vary. Likewise, tablets will either be Wi-Fi only, or both Wi-Fi and cellular, which you will need a data plan with a mobile carrier to use when away from Wi-Fi.