The Best Tablet of 2016 (and 2017?)

There are SOOOOO many tablets to choose from that it’s almost mind-boggling.   But we have researched all of the most practical options and arrived at one tablet that stands out from the others as offering the best performance and features for the buck.   And it is……….

Wait, we probably should mention some runner-ups.  If you are an Android buff, you’ll likely want Google’s Pixel C.  It’s pure Android on a high-performance device.  But it’s expensive ($550+) and heavy.  But if you can afford the tablet and the physical therapy visits for the likely tendonitis, then go for it.

If you are heavily invested in the Amazon environment, then the nice folks at that buyer-frenzy site offer a number of options.  The FireHD 10 probably offers the best deal combined with value.  But it’s screen resolution is so-so and it’s sorta, well, it’s $130.  You get largely what you pay for.

And if you are all-about-Apple then you’ve got to go with the iPad Pro 9.7.  It’s fallen below the $500 threshold and it is beautifully designed.  Our biggest complaint is that it is $200 more than it should be, when you consider the alternatives out there.   Plus, its graphics aren’t as good as the iPad Air2.

And if you are a Microsoft junkie, then we encourage you to get some professional help.  Yes, you can get the Surface Pro 4 for almost $700.  Or, for the same amount of money, you can get our recommended tablet about about 3 sessions with a psychologist who might be able to help you realize that Windows tablets just aren’t necessary anymore.  Plus, extra cost for the keyboard accessory is a rip-off!

Finally (begin drum roll), we get to our recommended pick.  It actually isn’t our pick as much as the overall consensus among professional reviewers out there.  Consumer Reports, Tech Radar,  C/Net and PC Magazine all rate the Asus ZenPad 8.0 (also sold as as ZenPad Z580C) as the best value tablet on the market in 2016 and possibly 2017.

The 328-pixels-per-inch resolution delivers excellent resolution. The 9-hour battery life will get you through the work day, not to mention almost any flight. And the tablet comes with 32GB of storage—double the amount you find on most budget-friendly tablets.   It’s a stylish Android tablet with excellent performance and a $169 price that’s just right.   The ZenPad 10 can be purchased for a bit more. Sure, it has too much bloatware, but that’s, in part, how they keep the price low.

This is a well-designed, well-priced and durable devise that may not have the specs of the Samsung Galaxy Tab or the panache of the iPad, but for $169, you just can’t get more bang for your buck out of a tablet.   If you need more performance, then we recommend you look at Chromebooks.

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