5 Of The Best Tablets You Can Buy

Posted by Andrea Baker on

When it comes to high-end tablets there are some big-name players delivering big results. It's hardly surprising the most talked about tablets of the year make the grade with Microsoft, Samsung and Apple amongst the list. But a couple of others also hit the soprano notes. Here's are the top 5 tablets if your budget stretches to the high end market.

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Microsoft Surface Pro 4

Noted by Tech Radar as "perhaps one of the best tablets ever made", the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 is the closest thing yet to a laptop in tablet form.

It's widely acclaimed by critics for its speed, resolution and flexibility, and packing a price tag of AUD$1349 from Microsoft it definitely has a place in the high-end range. This price includes the popular add-on of the stylus but not the type-cover, which will set you back another AUD$199.95.

Utilising the Windows 10 operating system, the Surface Pro 4 is popular as a laptop alternative for workers dependent on Microsoft Office, and also features a 12.3-inch screen, 8GB RAM, and 256GB hard drive. To assist with work-on-the go it boasts a USB port and MicroSD card reader. The cameras comprise 8MP rear-facing and 5MP front facing varieties.

With the Surface Pro 4 released in October 2015, rumours are now circulating about a new generation of this popular tablet, possibly due to hit the market in March 2017. 


Samsung Galaxy TabPro S

Earlier this year Samsung released its 2-in-1 option, the Galaxy TabPro S, and in a bold and popular move, included a type case in the purchase price of AUD$1200. This makes it a more affordable alternative than the Surface Pro 4 and means you’re up and running straight out of the box.

Like the Surface Pro it runs Windows 10, making this a great option for workers needing the flexibility of Microsoft Office. With a 12-inch screen, 4GB RAM, and either 128GB or 256GB onboard storage, it lasts up to 10.5 hours. Also included are two 5MP cameras, Bluetooth and WiFi.

The only thing letting the Galaxy TabPro S down is its lack of access to external storage and ports. It features a single USB type C port, which is also used as a fast charge point.

You can see our full article on the TabPro S here.  


iPad Pro 12.9"

Available in 12.9 inches or 9.7 inches, PC Advisor describes the iPad Pro as "the best iPad Apple has ever made". While both are excellent options, the focus here is the 12.9-inch variety, which retails from AUD$1249.

Thin and light, the Pro is acclaimed for its sharp looks, superb performance, high resolution of 264ppi and the usual iPad features, including the sturdy iOS operating system. In this model it is iOS9.

The Pro is also compatible with accessories like the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard, but these will set you back an additional AUD$165 and AUD$269 respectively.

Inside the tablet has 4MB RAM, and either 32GB or 128GB storage. As with all iPads there are no ports or external storage features. Cameras come in the 8MP rear facing, and 1.2MP front facing varieties.   


HP Spectre X2

HP Spectre X2 falls into the hybrid category, coming out of the box with a keyboard included, all for a starting price of AUD $1288. Again, this is tablet running Windows 10, making it a great option for workers who want a portable option.

This not so little number, measuring 12-inches, is widely compared to the Surface Pro 4, but has a few tricks up its slim, sleek sleeve. One of these that has reviewers like CNET raving is its solid and substantial keyboard which includes features like extra speakers that activate when the tablet is slotted into place. It also boasts an 8MP RealSense camera that can scan in objects in 3D with the right software. The front facing camera is 5MP variety, bringing it in line with the Surface Pro 4.

Included in the base price is 4MB RM, a 128GB solid state drive and Core M5 processor. This makes it zippy and capable of handling numerous apps and video streaming, while maintaining battery life. On that note the battery lasts around seven hours in tests. It features external storage access in the form of MicroSD card slot, and two USB C sized ports.

On the down side, the U-shaped kickstand is sturdy, yet a little tricky to initially find. 


Sony Xperia Z4

Slightly smaller than other tablets mentioned here, the Sony Xperia Z4 also comes in with a slightly lesser price tag of AUD$799. That's a discount too; it originally hit the market in 2015 in Australia at $1099. Noted by CNET as "the best tablet you've never heard of", it runs on the Android Lollipop 5 operating system, has a 10.1-inch screen and is slim at 6.1mm.

Arguably its defining feature is that it's dust and waterproof, which has the less co-ordinated coffee drinkers amongst us breathing a huge sigh of relief. Not only that, it can withstand the thrills spills and brief rain showers of mobile life.

The Xperia Z4 also includes 32GB memory, MicroSD and MicroUSB ports. Stunning resolution of 299ppi, makes it "one of the only slates capable of putting up a fight against the iPad Pro 9.7," according to Tech Radar.

The Android system means you can tweak it as much or as little as you please. The tablet can also be set up to respond with pre-determined actions like loading your playlist when you insert headphones into the jack at certain times.

Sony offers an additional genuine Bluetooth keyboard for $229, but CNET notes the plastic build make it feel cheap in comparison to the tablet.    

Final Thoughts

If you're forking out the big bucks for a tablet that can do more than just surf the net it pays to shop around to find a device that will meet your needs. Whether that's the operating system, external storage access or processing speed, there are plenty of brands willing to provide a lot for a high-end hit to the wallet.