ITProPortal's top 10 tablets of 2014

What are the best tablets available in 2014? ItProPortal takes you through the top 10 on the market right now and through into next year.

Tablets, tablets, everywhere - not too long ago if you asked someone what a tablet was they would take you to a local pharmacy.

Now, with a staggering array of devices to choose from, it can be tough to decide what to splash that hard-earned Christmas bonus on. We’ve decided to make it easier for you and have pulled together what we at ITProPortal believe are the best tablets of 2014.

10. Tesco Hudl 2

Tesco has hit the nail on the head with their tablet pricing plans. The Hudl was a revolution, and Tesco has continued in that vein to bring you an upgraded tablet at a fraction of the price (check out our review).

Featuring an 8.3-inch screen with a resolution of 1920 x 1200 and an Intel Atom Z3735D quad-core CPU, what Tesco packs into the Hudl considering its cost is mind-boggling. The only downside is that the tablet comes loaded with bloatware, which can slow up the otherwise speedy processor.

9.

Amazon Fire HD 7

Amazon targeted the mid-range with its new set of tablet, and knocked it out of the park in terms of bang for your buck (review here). The 7, while not vastly different to its predecessor, has upgraded process time, cameras and performance. Some of the bugs that plagued the HD 6 have been dealt with, too.

The retail giant seemed to have perfected the formula in the HD 6, and improving upon it created a tablet perfect for those looking for their first model.

8.

Google Nexus 7

Though the Nexus 7 was released way back (in terms of tech) in 2012, it’s still the perfect tablet for portability and battery life. Though it may not be on sale for much longer, dinosaur as it may be, the Nexus 7 is a great entry-level tablet.

With a 1.5 GHz quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM its power is nothing to sniff at either. With tonnes of apps, high-res 7-inch display and 1920 x 1200 resolution, the Nexus 7 can still hold its own amongst the newer, bigger boys in the tablet market (you can see our full review here).

7. Microsoft Surface Pro 3

Microsoft has labelled the Surface Pro 3 as the tablet to replace a laptop. With a choice of Intel core i3, i5 or i7 processor, it certainly packs a punch (we've got our review here). The 12-inch 2160 x 1440 LCD screen remedies the cramped feeling that users had with the previous Surface Pro models, too.

Add in the magnetic keyboard and you’d be forgiven for assuming at a glance that the Surface Pro is a laptop. At its high price, however, some may be better off getting themselves a computer, rather than a tablet.

6.

Apple iPad Mini 2

The iPad Mini range offers the best of the iPad yet squashed down into a smaller package. Though Apple has recently unveiled a newer, shinier brother to the Mini 2, it’s essentially the same tablet with TouchID.

With the newer tablet released the Mini 2 will experience a substantial price drop, making it very attractive for those looking for everything an iPad offers – floods of apps, swish UI, quality build design – but don’t want to break the bank.

5. Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2

The Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 is in a class of its own in both features and size (see our review here). Every inch Samsung on the looks department, the tablet’s size means an effortless use of on-screen keyboards and side-by-side app usage.

Featuring 3GB of RAM supporting a 1.9 GHz Samsung Octa-core processer, the Galaxy Note Pro also comes with 32GB of internal storage, which can be modified by a microSD.

4.

Google Nexus 9

We labelled the Nexus 9 the first “magical” Android tablet. Built to challenge the iPad Air, it features a 4:3 ratio and an 8.9-inch screen size. HTC brought over its design and sound capabilities, with the Boomsound speakers in particular giving incredible quality in playback.

The Android interface is buttery-smooth and the rear-facing camera of a high quality. If you want a mid-size Android tablet to buy, this would be the one.

3.

Sony Xperia Z3

The Xperia Z3 Tablet is an incredible update to what was already one of the best tablet offering on the market in the Z2. It’s light, well made and high powered (see how it fares in our iPad Air 2 vs. Xperia Z3 specs comparison).

Running smoothly during both game play and media consumption, the Xperia’s snappy 2.5 Ghz Qualcomm 801 processor and Adreno 330 GPU chew through even the most strenuous of tasks. A neat feature is its PlayStation 4 integration, meaning that if you own the console its games can be played from the tablet. No more having to pause when you go to the toilet.

2.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10

The Galaxy Tab 10.5, the larger cousin of the 8.4, has astounding picture quality (review here). It’s 10.5 inch AMOLED display is great for watching movies on the go, while a 14-hour battery life means you won’t be cut short.

Samsung’s flagship tablet is functional, choosing performance and power over premium design. Almost the same weight as the iPad Air, it comes with a larger screen and an eight core processor that tears through even the most demanding of tasks.

1.

Apple iPad Air 2

The iPad Air was a great tablet, but who would the folks at Apple be if they didn’t try and one-up themselves every year? The iPad Air 2 offers more advanced tech than the original, while still retaining the same price bracket (to see just how fast click here).

Apple’s new offering also packs a punch with its new A8X CPU, giving you loads of extra horsepower under the hood. Unbelievably lighter than the previous model, the battery life is also incredible, even the cameras have been tweaked.

The combination of power, screen quality, design and upgraded OS make the iPad Air 2 the complete package. Apple have seemingly made a device with no major flaws and undoubtedly the best tablet in 2014.

Now we just have to wait and see what 2015 will bring.