WITH MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS (MWC) just around the corner, we can expect to see a host of new smartphones taking over our news feeds in the coming days. But what about the smartphone's beloved sibling, the dear old tablet - something that in recent years has become the backbone of our modern technological existence?
We certainly haven't forgotten about them, and we are sure you haven't either. The good news is, the market is still absolutely chocka with tablet offerings. If it's one thing we know, the tech industry does not need any new tablets, which makes the job of finding one even harder for prospective buyers, as the army of tablet manufacturers means even more confusion as to which is the best one for them.
So if you're in the market for something bigger than a smartphone, but not quite as pricey as a full on laptop, please continue to read below for our favourite tablets of 2017.
For those who want their tablet to be a laptop, too: Microsoft Surface Pro 4
Available at Microsoft from £749
The Surface Pro 4 has been on the market a while now, but it's still a worthy contender, especially if you need a new laptop too. For most tasks, including basic design work, the Surface Pro 4 will do the job well while providing a level of security, connectivity and visual fidelity that most convertibles, including those made for the enterprise, just can't match.
With a starting price of £749 for the basic model, it's not likely to tempt standard iPad or tablet users, but in place of a laptop the cost becomes more palatable. And if you're travelling much this year, you'll be glad to have one of these for the journey back, as you'll be able to catch up on any films you downloaded over the holidays, or finish off any work docs that need handing in when you go back to the office.
For the gaming cheap-skate: Amazon Fire HD 8
Available from Amazon for £89.99
With middling performance and a somewhat dated specs sheet, the Amazon Fire HD 8 is not a tablet to be taken too seriously. It certainly won't keep Apple or Samsung on their toes, but with for a tablet that comes in at under £100, the Fire HD 8 will do those simple jobs that many other tablets are way over qualified for.
The Fire HD 8 is powered by a quad-core 1.3GHz processor, 16GB storage and 1.5GB RAM - a 50 per cent improvement over the previous generation. None of these specs are going to blow your mind, but then go back a few years and you'd have paid big bucks for a tablet with these features. And while these are not the best specs in the world, they are certainly enough for mundane tasks, such as web browsing, Netflix binging or tapping away on a word doc. And better yet, it claims to provide users with a 12-hour battery life.
The Amazon Fire HD 8 is by no means ground-breaking, but for £90, it'll do most of what you ask of it without putting any substantial dent in your wallet.
For the light traveller: Lenovo Yoga Book
Available from Lenovo for £450
If you're in the market for a tablet you can take on your travels with you, then you should give the Lenovo Yoga Book a go, a fresh take on tablet design aimed at the creatives among us.
What makes the Yoga Book unique is its zero-travel backlit touch Halo keyboard, which doubles up as a digitizer so you can draw or write using a stylus. There's also a Real Pen feature, allowing you to switch from a digital to an ink tip to record a digital copy of whatever you draw or write on real paper.
Despite its tiny size, it packs a powerful punch, powered by an Intel Atom quad-core processor and 4GB of RAM. It's also super slim and super light, measuring 9.6mm thick and weighing just 690g, perfect for throwing in a small rucksack for those short business trips.
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