Best tablets of 2014


Here's a collection of the tablets rated highest by CNET editors. Visit our tablet page for all the latest news, and be sure to see our list of the Best Android tablets, highlighting only Android OS devices. For general tablet-shopping advice, visit our Tablet Buying Guide.

Your first choice

Apple iPad Air

Functionally, the iPad Air is nearly identical to last year’s model, offering only faster performance and better video chatting. But factor in design and aesthetics, and the iPad Air is on another planet. It’s the best full-size consumer tablet on the market.

Price: $499.00 - $598.00 Check prices

4.5 stars Outstanding Thinner, lighter, faster, best

Best pure gaming tablet

Nvidia Shield Tablet

Even if you don't take advantage of its gaming prowess, the Nvidia Shield Tablet is one of the most versatile -- and affordable -- high-performance 8-inch Android slates you can buy.

4 stars Excellent

Best Android tablet

Google Nexus 7

A low price, consistent updates, and a sharp bright screen are just a few of the many reasons the Nexus 7 stands above all other Android tablets.

4.5 stars Outstanding Google Nexus 7 (2013)

Best small tablet

Apple iPad Mini (with Retina Display)

It's the iPad Air in a smaller more affordable package. And with an A7 chip in tow, access to Apple's still unbeatable App Store, and a razor-sharp screen, the Mini with Retina is the best small tablet yet.

Price: $369.00 - $479.00 Check prices

4.5 stars Outstanding Pricey, mighty Retina Mini is best small tablet yet

Best media consumption tablet

Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9

With everything that was great about the HDX 7 and more, the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 isn't just a great value, it sets the standard for a media consumption tablet.

4 stars Excellent

Feature-rich, small, and powerful

Samsung Galaxy Tab S (8.4-inch)

With its slim design, fantastic screen, and oodles of power, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 is a superb smaller tablet, and a worthy competitor to the ever-popular iPad Mini.

Price: $479.00 Check prices

4 stars Excellent

Best large media tablet

Samsung Galaxy Tab S (10.5-inch)

Samsung's best tablet to date and our top Android entertainment tablet.

4 stars Excellent

Best productivity tablet

Microsoft Surface Pro 3

While the new Surface Pro 3 is Microsoft's best PC to date, it's more successful as a tablet than a laptop replacement.

4 stars Excellent