Top 5 Tablets of 2015: Should YOU buy a Tesco Hudl, Apple iPad or Google Nexus?
It's been another stellar year for tablets, but which one is best suited to your needs?
It has been a tumultuous year for tablets.
Tesco canned its hugely popular budget Android range, the Hudl. Apple decided not to refresh its best-selling 9.7inch iPad Air, but instead released a large-screen productivity tablet, the iPad Pro. Meanwhile, Microsoft has doubled-down on its effort to convince consumers to swap their traditional laptops for a convertible two-in-one tablet device.
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Express.co.uk has spent the last year reviewing the latest top-tier tablets from the likes of HTC, Google, Apple, Samsung and more.
But which of these 2015 tablets should you pickup? Express.co.uk has rounded up the Top 5 Tablets of 2015 –
Best 2015 Tablet For Productivity – Microsoft Surface Pro 4
After four iterations of the Surface Pro formula, Microsoft has finally cracked it.
The Surface Pro 3 proved that you could replace your laptop with a two-in-one tablet, but the Surface Pro 4 is the device you want to replace your tablet.
It's svelte and lightweight but packs powerful laptop-like internals and a vibrant, pixel-packed touchscreen display.
The full Windows 10 desktop operating system, USB 3.0 port, microSD card reader and Mini DisplayPort mean this device is endlessly flexible and productive, even with the most memory-intensive professional apps.
Microsoft has kept the same industrial design as last year, but simply refined the formula
A lack of compelling tablet apps and the 3:2 aspect ratio mean the device stumbles in portrait
The Surface Pen is slick and accurate – and now has a universal in-app eraser on the tip
The hefty price tag – especially when you include the dramatically-improved Type Cover keyboard accessory – and mediocre battery life could turn off some users.
Its also worth noting that the Surface Pro 4 isn't a great tablet. The Windows App Store still lacks the blockbuster indie titles that populate the Google Play and Apple App Store.
But no other 2015 tablet can match the Surface Pro's flexibility and raw power.
Without a doubt, the Surface Pro 4 is the best hardware ever shipped by Microsoft.
Best 2015 Tablet For Android – Google Nexus 9
The only Nexus tablet currently on sale via the Google Store is easily the best option for Android lovers.
With the latest operating system updates and patches direct from Google and an untouched Android look, the Nexus 9 boasts the best of Android 6.0 Marshmallow.
Unfortunately, the build quality of the HTC-built 9 leaves a lot to be desired.
For a tablet built to flaunt the colourful Android OS, the Nexus 9 is surprisingly bland
The HTC-built tablet has a thin metal band and soft-touch egg shell plastic case
The protruding rear shooter comes complete with auto-focus and a separate LED flash
The tablet creaks, squeaks and groans during light use and the pixel-packed display is surprisingly underwhelming and bland.
The latest Nexus tablet hit the market with a hefty price tag – although thankfully, that has dropped within the last year.
Google has slashed the price from £319 at launch down to £199 from a number of UK retailers.
That makes the disappointing plastic hardware – built by HTC – a little easier to swallow.
However if price isn't an issue and you would prefer a premium feel to your Nexus device, it might be worth waiting for the upcoming Pixel C table to hit the UK.
Best Small Screen 2015 Tablet – Samsung Galaxy Tab S2
Samsung has pulled it out of the bag with this svelte, eight-inch beauty.
The tablet – which is just small enough to use one-handed – is lightning fast, powerful and packs a bonkers battery life.
Samsung has fitted a gorgeous 2048 x 1536 eight-inch Super AMOLED display to the device that shines, whether you're working in Microsoft Word or watching the latest blockbuster from Google Play Movies.
If you can handle the price tag and TouchWiz interface, the Gear S2 is an awesome device
The protruding rear camera makes the device wobble, when placed on a flat surface
The eight-inch Super AMOLED screen is one of the best money can buy
Unfortunately the Galaxy Tab S2 doesn't run on pure Android OS but Samsung has ditched some of its infamous bloatware.
The protruding camera module – which makes the device rock when its on its back – is a glaring flaw in the otherwise sleek industrial design.
And at £319, the pricey eight-inch Galaxy Tab S2 might turn some people off.
But if you can swallow the price tag and the Samsung TouchWiz OS, this is a stunning little tablet for work and play.
Best 2015 Tablet For People On A Budget – Amazon Fire Tablet
Tesco this summer confirmed it had "no plans" to continue its hugely popular budget tablet – the Hudl.
The hugely popular Android tablet is now sold-out in the majority of Tesco stores – but what can fill its place as the best budget tablet?
Enter the Amazon Fire.
The Amazon Fire has a stellar build quality – especially for its £49 asking price
The budget tablet packs an impressive seven-inch IPS display
Amazon Fire runs on FireOS which is clean and simple to use – if a little undeveloped
Do not be fooled by its £49 price tag, this budget tablet packs an impressive seven-inch IPS display, nifty 1.3GHz quad-core processor and solid battery life.
The tablet runs on Amazon’s own Android-based operating system, FireOS. It's clean and simple to use, but honestly, FireOS isn't anywhere near as attractive or feature-packed as alternatives from Google and Apple.
And whilst the Amazon Fire has a jaw-droppingly low £49 price tag, tablet owners will have to put up with a slew of adverts from the online retailer filling up your lockscreen.
That means every time you hit the power button, your screensaver will be replaced by a bumper advert for the latest app, game or Amazon online service.
Granted, these advertisements are a small price to pay for such a well-built budget tablet – and for £49, you really won't find anything else as well-built or functional as the Amazon Fire.
Best Overall 2015 Tablet – Apple iPad Air 2
Apple is credited with popularising tablets – and the Cupertino company still dominates the category.
Over the years Apple has slowly refined and tweaked its award-winning tablet formula – and the result of all that work is the iPad Air 2.
In fact, the technology firm is so chuffed with its 9.7inch tablet that it chose not to update it this year.
Apple has refined and honed its award-winning iPad formula – and the iPad Air 2 is the result
Apple has packed an eye-watering 264 pixels-per-inch display fitted into a lightweight 6.1mm frame
The Apple iPad Air 2 has an eye-watering 264 pixels-per-inch display fitted into a lightweight 6.1mm frame.
And if you want to indulge in some tablet photography, Apple has packed an eight-megapixel iSight camera capable of shooting 1080p video, slow-motion footage at 120 fps and sweeping 43MP panoramas.
Touch ID brings biometric security to your tablet and in-app purchases, too. And iOS 9 has some clever multi-tasking features which allows you to run two apps side-by-side, or watch a video within another app.
Apple has also bundled its M8 Motion Coprocesser in the tablet, which continuously measures data from the accelerometer, compass, gyroscope and barometer to keep you informed about your activity throughout the day.
Coupled with an App Store brimming with the best dedicated tablet apps available (Microsoft released a touch-based version of Office 365 on iPad before its own Surface range!) and the support security blanket of the Genius Bar, the iPad range is still miles ahead of the competition. Even if it is a year older!