1 – Apple iPad Pro (2021)
from R15,700 | incredible.co.za
The sun will burn out and the universe will experience heat-death and there will probably still be an Apple tablet at the top of this list. We don’t plan it that way, but the company does make the best tablet hardware on the planet. The only reasons for not owning an iPad of some sort are a) not being able to afford one or b) not liking Apple for some or other reason.
If you don’t tick either of those two boxes, then this should tick all of yours. The iPad Pro lineup was already a stonking good laptop replacement (provided you had a keyboard cover). Adding Apple’s M1 processors into the mix narrow the gap between MacBook and iPad more than ever before. The rest of the reasons you should love the iPad are also all present. Excellent build and display (which goes up to 120Hz, finally), Apple Pencil support, and a very spiffy battery all add up to the best (if pricey) tablet on the planet.
2 – Apple iPad Air (2022)
from R11,900 | incredible.co.za
You’re going to see a bit of a trend going here. Apple’s new iPad Air has landed and it’s bringing the might of Apple Silicon M1 to the company’s lightest tablets. This means that it’s a tougher call than ever on whether you should buy an Air or a Pro. Apple should probably look at some sort of lineup merge in the near future. You’re more likely to play games than do office work on this range, however, so maybe the Air can stick around a little longer. The reason the Air takes second place? The Pro is still just a little bit more capable.
3 – Samsung Galaxy Tab S8+
R25,000 | samsung.com/za
Look, Samsung would love it if you paid R30,000 for the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra. So would you, if you had the cash to spare. But the 12in Super AMOLED S8+ will do just fine for most folks. This is the gold standard for Android-based tablets. It’s what every dinky little R2,000 job wants to be when it grows up. There’s S Pen support, an amazingly high-res screen, and scads of power behind the panel. The rear camera even records in 4K, like that’s a feature you’ll ever use your tablet for. But if you can’t stand Apple, this is your very next stop.
4 – Apple iPad (2021)
from R6,500 | incredible.co.za
So you just want a bog-standard tablet, that’ll do what you want it to and nothing more? Better yet, you don’t want it to cost more than R10,000? Apple’s standard iPad, which is due a refresh soon, still gets the job done with a vengeance. If you’re just looking to browse and watch, with a little light gaming thrown in, then you can expect good things from this A13 Bionic-powered sliver of premium Apple hardware.
5 – Microsoft Surface Go 3
from R8,500 | incredible.co.za
Microsoft’s hardware is pretty good, if you’re willing to give it a chance. The Surface Go 3 is nominally a tablet, though since it’s rocking Windows it’s really trying for the low-cost educational PC market. There are a bunch of cool features that make it suitable for the role, like stylus support, but don’t go all-in on this device if you’re after either speed or storage. There’s a Pentium chip inside, 4GB of RAM and just 64GB of storage at this price point. Still, it’s a quality alternative to the Apple-Samsung duopoly.