The GSMArena tablet buyer's guide: June 2014

June 2014

GSMArena team, 02 June 2014.

The GSMArena tablet buyer's guide: June 2014

It's been a while since we published the last edition of our tablet buyer's advice series. That's mainly down to the lack of much movement in the market since March. But we've been keeping a close eye on all developments and we are now ready to present you the latest edition of our tablet buyer's guide.

Tablets may not be as prominent on this website as smartphones but we are equally passionate about both. And as much as we enjoy testing the latest gadgets in and out, we hope too that while doing that we help you make informed buying decisions. That's what these buyer's guides are for.

We cater to a quite diverse international audience, so most of the times we won't be mentioning specific prices but we're sure you'll recognize a deal when you see one. Our job would be to list what we think are the best tablets out there, so you'd be safe whichever of these you go for.

We've broken down our tablet recommendations into three distinct categories: compact, midsize, and full-size. As of this issue, we will be catering to mainly Wi-Fi-only devices, but we'll make sure to mention 3G/LTE-enabled options as we go. On each page the different options will be listed according to their price range - from affordable to ridiculous, each with their own merits.

We get things started in the compact tablet category. Compacts are growing in popularity not only in casual living room environments, but also out in the open and even in corporate scenarios, thanks to their versatility and portability. This category also offers the cheapest way to get into tablets in the first place so we assume there would be a lot of first-time buyers here. What may be surprising is that our recommendations list is the shortest in the compact category.

Moving on, mid-size tablets are for people who want a bit more screen estate all the while maintaining portability. There is not a clear-cut definition for a mid-size tablet - it can range from anywhere between 7.5 to 9 inches. We'll make sure to give you plenty of choice when it comes to finding the right combination of size, features, and price. This is the newest category of the three and it might as well attract new tablet users who have been so far unwilling to commit to either of the two extremes of the tablet range - the 7-inchers and the 10-inchers.

Finally, full-size tablets are those that touch or cross the 10" mark. This is where top manufacturers like Samsung, Sony, and Apple will duke it out for dominance. Some of these tablets are just a keyboard away from compact laptop territory, so that's another way you may want to go.

For each section, we order our recommendations starting with the cheapest, most worthwhile tablets available from a reputable manufacturer. While so-called "whitebox" offerings from lesser-known makers are surging and account for a huge portion of the tablet growth - particularly ones running Android. However, their affordable price is oftentimes the result of using low-cost components and they simply don't offer a reliable and consistent user experience (let alone regular software updates).

Above all, we value tablets with high-grade screens, robust performance, good build quality and rich connectivity options. We consider a poor screen to be a deal breaker and having wide viewing angles with no serious shift in colors and contrast is a must for a solid tablet user experience. Where possible, we would always pick a higher resolution screen as well.

We don't consider cameras to be important on tablets and if you are only going to view your photos on the tablet's screen, then a high resolution camera is hardly a must. Still, we'll try and mention when a particular tablet has a camera worthy of using.

We like seeing tablets with card slots to cheaply top up the built-in storage but we reckon 16GB is the minimum built-in memory you should consider. For modern day tablets without card slots, we always recommend getting the 32GB version, as a mere 16GB of storage simply doesn't cut it anymore.

On the next page we get started with our compact tablet recommendations but you can jump right to what you're looking for using the links below:

Or, just sit back and enjoy the June 2014 edition of our tablet buyer's guide page by page.

Reader comments

  • Amir

I'm interested in the new Samsung 8.4, but can someone explain what does it mean that the tablet comes with no DivX and AC3? I am sure that if it was a big issue Samsung would have put it on, or am I wrong?

  • AnonD-152462

Android and iPad only lineup? Boring!!!!

  • verde

I wish for a 10 inch tablet with 720p screen, without cameras and without microphone, thin, light and with good specs (2GB RAM, 16GB storage and good CPU and GPU). And only Wi-Fi, in order to be cheap. Is there a tablet like this?