Best Tablets of 2014: The 10 Best Tablets to Buy This Year

Best Tablets of 2014: The 10 Best Tablets to Buy This Year

What are today’s best tablets of 2014? Find out in this constantly updated buyer’s guide, designed to make buying a new tablet easy.

Tablets have quickly taken the computer market by storm. Sales are exponentially increasing each year as the technology is refined and more cutting-edge features find their way into the hottest tablets.

When tablets were first taking off, many people were confused as to what they can actually use their tablet for.

Tablets have become much greater tools since then, leaving tablet owners boasting “what can I do on my laptop, that I can’t do on my tablet?”.

For the vast majority of computer users who don’t bother with anything advanced, a tablet can replace a laptop entirely.

Best Tablets of 2014

REVEALED: The Top 10 Tablets of 2014

Let’s get right to it; here are the 10 best tablets of 2014. We’ve included only the most important metrics along with each tablet to lower the signal to noise ratio for you.

Although we have “ranked” these tablets, don’t pay attention to the number. Instead, look at the “perfect for” field to determine if the tablet really is a good fit for you.

You can view the full technical specifications, customer reviews, and more detailed information, by clicking the “buy now” link below each tablet. You will not be charged until you’re ready to order the tablet.

10. Microsoft Surface 7ZR RT 64GB

Microsoft Surface 7ZR RT

Microsoft’s Surface line of tablets may not have penetrated mainstream popularity for the casual user, but there’s no doubt that this tablet is a productivity powerhouse.

The Surface RT is a very functional tablet with a ton of practicality in real world use. This is the tablet you buy to take to work, or school, then back home again when you’re ready to relax.

Falls Short: Little app selection when compared to Android, or iOS.

Perfect For: Students and business people.

Key Specs: 8 hour battery life, 64GB storage, 10.6-inch 1366×768 display, runs Windows RT OS. Includes Microsoft Office, 720p front and rear facing cameras.

List Price: $499.99. Get it for $299.99 on Amazon here.

9. LG G Pad 8.3

 

LG gPad 83

LG’s G Pad is a powerful tablet that is able to handle multitasking with ease. It’s greatest strength is the pure amount of processing power it offers.

It has a few unique features included on its software such as multi-user logins; allowing a personalized profile for each person who uses the device – great for families.

Falls Short: The hardware is meh. There is no physical home button on the device, and the 5MP camera leaves much to be desired.

Perfect For: Replacing a laptop for basic internet use.

Key Specs: 7 hour battery life, 16GB storage (expandable), 8.3-inch 1920×1200 HD display, runs Android 4.4, 5MP rear-facing camera, 1.3MP front-facing camera.

List Price: 349.99. Get it for $274.99 on Amazon here.

8. Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 7-inch 2014

Samsung Galaxy Tab 4

The Galaxy line of smartphones and tablets are among the most popular flavors of Android on the market for good reason.

At under $200, the Galaxy Tab 4 is an excellent value tablet that doesn’t skimp on anything important. It may not be the flashiest tablet, but at the price it’s at, we wouldn’t expect anything other than entry-level.

Falls Short: We would prefer a higher resolution, and the cameras are average at best.

Perfect For: Families looking to buy their first tablet on the cheap.

Key Specs: 10 hour battery life, 8GB storage (expandable), 7-inch 1280×800 display, runs Android 4.4, 3MP rear-facing camera, 1.3MP front-facing camera.

List Price: $199. Get it for $199.99 at Amazon here.

 7. ASUS VivoTab Note

ASUS VivoTab Note 8

The second Windows tablet on the list, the Asus VivoTab 8 centers around its included Wacom designed stylus.

The VivoTab makes a great buy for those of you looking exclusively for a Windows 8 tablet that relies on heavy stylus use.

Falls Short: Clunky design, less apps available than on Android or iOS.

Perfect For: Anyone who needs a stylus, or wants a tablet for note taking.

Key Specs: 8 hour battery life, 64GB storage, 8-inch 1200×800 display, runs Windows 8.1, 8MP rear-facing camera, 2MP front-facing camera. Includes Wacom stylus.

List Price: $379.99. Get it for $284.99 at Amazon now.

6. Google Nexus 7

Google Nexus 7 2014

Perhaps the best value tablet of the year, the Google Nexus 7 has remained a great buy since going through a second generation upgrade.

Accumulating a total of 2,317 perfect 5-star customer reviews on Amazon, it’s clear the Nexus 7 is one of the most popular tablets in 2014.

Falls Short: Available storage. You can get the Nexus 7 is a maximum size of 32GB, with no expandable storage options.

Perfect For: Anyone who doesn’t need more than 32GB of storage.

Key Specs: 10 hour battery, up to 32GB storage, 7-inch 1920×1200 HD display, runs Android 4.3, 5MP rear-facing camera, 1.2MP front-facing camera.

List Price: $269. Get it at Amazon for $259 now.

5. Amazon Kindle HDX

2014 Kindle Fire HDX

Amazon’s Kindle series of tablets are extremely easy to use for people of all ages.

Even if you find yourself stuck, the new “Mayday” button allows for near instant customer service from Amazon’s dedicated Kindle tech support.

Falls Short: Advanced setting control and customization. For new users, this may be a feature. It just works.

Perfect For: Children, seniors, and anybody who wants to access the internet and use applications without a steep learning curve.

Key Specs: 11 hour battery life, up to 64GB storage, 7-inch 1920×1200 HD display, runs custom Fire OS 3.0 based on Android, 720p front-facing camera. Also available in 8.9″.

List Price: $229. Get it for $199 at Amazon now. 

4. Apple iPad Mini with Retina Display

iPad Mini with Retina

Apple is famous for entering a market and creating the premium product that may cost more than the competition, but never lacks in features.

The iPad Mini is a chic tablet with beautiful design backed by the best app store on the market.

Falls Short: You don’t get to tinker with the nuts and bolts on iOS as much as you can on Android.

Perfect For: Anyone wanting to buy a tablet with good design as a top priority.

Key Specs: 10 hour battery life, 16GB storage, 7.9-inch 2048×1536 HD retina display, runs iOS 7, 5MP rear-facing iSight camera, 1.2MP front-facing FaceTime HD camera.

List Price: $399.99. Get it for $356.95 at Amazon now.

3. Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5

Samsung Galaxy Tab S

This monster of a tablet is a full-out laptop replacement for anybody out there looking to make the switch.

Aside from being loaded with enough power to do just about anything, the Galaxy Tab S is also equipped with a beautiful high res HD display.

Falls Short: Only 16GB of storage.

Perfect For: Laptop replacement, anybody in need of a multimedia machine, viewing movies or photos, anything that needs a gorgeous screen.

Key Specs: 9 hour battery life, 16GB storage, 10.5-inch 2560×1600 HD+ display, runs Android 4.4, 8MP rear-facing camera, 2.1 MP front-facing camera.

List Price: $499.99. Get it at Amazon now.

2. Nvidia Shield

Nvidia Shield

The Nvidia Shield is a brand new tablet that claims to “deliver the perfect mix of power, portability, and performance.”, and it does, for the most part.

The Shield is the clear option for serious gamers, looking for a tablet for the sole purpose of gaming, but it also covers all the other things you’d expect a tablet to do as well.

Falls Short: It’s heavier than it looks, weighing in at just under 400 grams. Gaming controller sold separately. No cameras on this tablet.

Perfect For: Serious gamers and performance enthusiasts.

Key Specs: 9 hour battery life, 16GB storage, 8-inch 1920×1200 HD display, runs Android 4.4, hardware gaming controls.

List Price: $399 + shipping at Amazon. Get it here.

1. Apple iPad Air

Best Tablet 2014 - iPad Air

The iPad Air is the best tablet to buy in 2014.

An unrivaled slim and sexy design powered sufficiently, and paired with a retina display. What’s not to like?

Unless you have strong feelings against iOS, or the iPad Air is outside of your price range, this is the best tablet to buy.

Falls Short: Expensive.

Perfect For: Just about everything. You probably don’t want to give it to a young child for risk of breaking it.

Key Specs: 10 hour battery life, up to 128GB storage, 9.7-inch retina HD+ display, runs iOS 7, 5MP rear-facing camera, 1.2MP front-facing camera.

List Price: $499 at Apple.com. Get it at Amazon now.

 Budget Tablets: Compare the Best Tablets of 2014 by Price

Here’s a quick bonus segment that allows you to compare all the similarly priced tablets listed above.

Best Tablets under $500

Tablets priced around $500 are considered high end.

These tablets shouldn’t have trouble accomplishing anything you want to do with them, and they feature industry leading quality all around.

2014 Tablets under $500Microsoft Surface 7ZR RT Tablets under 500 - Surface 7ZRGalaxy Tab STablets Under 500 - Galaxy Tab SiPad Air Tablets Under 500 - iPad
Display10.6-inch (1366×768)10.5-inch (2560×1600) HD+9.7-inch (2048×1536) Retina
Storage64GB16GB16GB – 128GB
OSWindows 8 RTAndroid 4.4iOS 7
Camera(s)720p front + 720p rear2.1MP front + 8MP rear1.2MP front + 5MP rear
Battery Life8 Hours9 Hours10 Hours
Weight1.5lbs1lb1lb
List Price$499$499$499
Best Price$299 – Buy$499 – Buy$499 – Buy

Best Tablets under $400

Tablets under $400 are middle of the pack, bordering on high end. It is more likely for somebody to spring the extra $100 to move up a tier, or save money by moving down a tier.

That doesn’t have to effect your buying decision. These are all good tablets worth their price tag.

2014 Tablets under $400Nvidia ShieldNvidia ShieldApple iPad MiniiPad Mini with RetinaAsus VivoTab Note  Asus VivoTab NoteLG G Pad  LG G Pad
Display8-inch (1920×1200)7.9-inch (2048×1536) Retina8-inch (1200×800)8.3-inch (1920×1200) Retina
Storage16GB16GB64GB16GB
OSAndroid 4.4iOS 7Windows 8.1Android 4.4
Camera(s)None1.2MP front + 5MP rear2MP front + 8MP rear1.3MP front + 5MP rear
Battery Life9 Hours10 Hours8 Hours7 Hours
Weight0.86lb0.73lb0.8lb0.74lb
List Price$399.99$399$329$349
Best Price$399.99 – Buy$329.99 – Buy$284.99 – Buy$274.99 – Buy

Best Tablets Under $300

These are the entry-level budget tablets, perfect for first time tablet owners not looking for something ultra-powerful.

2014 Tablets under $300Google Nexus 7 Google Nexus 7Kindle Fire HDXKindle Fire HDXGalaxy Tab 4 Galaxy Tab 4
Display7-inch (1920×1200)7-inch (1920×1200)7-inch (1280×800)
Storage16GB/32GB16GB/32GB/64GB8GB
OSAndroid 4.3Fire OS 3.0Android 4.4
Camera(s)1.2MP front + 5MP rear720p front1.3MP front + 3MP rear
Battery Life10 Hours11 Hours10 Hours
Weight0.64lbs0.67lb0.61lb
List Price$269$229$199
Best Price$259 – Buy Now$199 – Buy Now$179.99 – Buy Now

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