Best tablets of 2021 | CNN


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Whether you’re looking for a portable media experience or a powerful, lightweight laptop replacement for travel, a tablet can fit the bill. These increasingly do-it-all devices can handle work and play, and even replace a laptop. After months of testing, we’ve found four top picks, one of which should fit your touch-screen needs, whichever platform you prefer. Apple’s iPad can handle work and play, the iPad Pro can replace your laptop, Amazon’s Fire HD series is great for on-the-go streaming and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab series continues to push Android tablets further with their DeX productivity environment.

Best tablet overall

The 8th Gen iPad stood out as the best overall option in our testing thanks to a zippy processor that crushes play or work tasks with ease. This tablet mixes performance and value in a way that no other tablet can.

Best performance

The 2021 iPad Pro is the fastest tablet we’ve ever tested and it runs effortlessly through all sorts of tasks — Photoshop exports, video renders, gaming, productivity tasks and streaming all happen without a hitch.

Best Android tablet

The Tab S7 is a clear winner, with enough power to keep up with whatever you can throw at it and plenty of battery life. While Android isn’t quite on par with iPad OS, Samsung DeX brings Windows-like multitasking to the Tab.

Best budget tablet under $200

The Fire HD 8 Plus can handle a host of everyday tasks and access Amazon’s library of content, including streaming movies and TV shows, e-reading and even some light gaming. For $109.99, it can do a lot, but know that the Amazon App Store is limited.

8th-Generation iPad

Jacob Krol/CNN

8th-Generation iPad

In comparison to the seventh-gen iPad, the eighth-gen iPad introduces a faster processor. It keeps the classic design and a quality display. But we found that the A12 Bionic chip inside boosted performance and improved the experience with iPadOS 14.

We threw a lot at the eighth-gen iPad throughout a full day of work. During our testing, it had no trouble handling lighter workloads, like firing off emails, browsing the web, typing, streaming content and even light gaming. Rendering video edits in iMovie or making minute changes to a series of photos in Photoshop did result in the tablet slowing down. The eighth-gen handled multitasking like a champ, even with three apps — Pages on the left, Safari on the right and Messages floating above…

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