Best tablets with cell service
No Wi-Fi? No problem. These 4G-enabled tablets can access the Web on the go.
Subscribing for cellular service on your smartphone is a no-brainer, but having the option on your tablet can be nearly as useful and convenient. 4G tablet speeds are fast if you live in available markets, but even if you don't, you can still enjoy cellular service -- albeit at slower speeds.
We've gathered some of the best tablets with cellular service on the market. Some carriers offer options like shared data plans for multiple devices or long-term contracts that sometimes include discounts. However, this post focuses on tablets with LTE capabilities -- not carriers or plans. Since pricing and availability depends on your location, visit your carrier's Web site or local store for more information on all data plans.
LG's latest crop of tablets includes a 7 and 8-inch pair that offer LTE capabilities. The simple slates run a pure version of Android and perform silky smooth. Neither have high-end specs or fancy bells and whistles, but their solid offerings and affordable pricing make them a rare LTE packing budget buy.
Read a full review of the LG G Pads here.
If you need a tablet on the go because you're the adventuring type, or you just want to watch Netflix in the bathtub while on vacation, the Sony Xperia Z2 has a rare and useful quality to its build -- it's waterproof. It's also an ultra-sleek slate with a distinct angular design and slim dimensions. Its sharp screen and swift performance don't disappoint either.
Read the full review for the Sony Xperia Z2.
In case you're not hip to tablet trends, 8-inch is the new 7-inch. There's an increasing number of manufacturers embracing the form factor, and LG is one of them. The G Pad is an 8.3-incher and -- despite its unfortunately high price tag -- it's a sleeper in the small-tablet category. It comes in a pure Google edition as well.
The iPad Air 2 is one of the most popular tablets on the market, and that's why it's widely available from various carriers. Pricing is traditionally steep, but it's one slim and smooth operator. If you've already bought into the Apple ecosystem, it's the best choice for keeping all of your media on the go -- just make sure you have a big enough data plan to avoid pricey overage fees.
If you're an Amazon Prime member, and you're in need of a tablet with more than Wi-Fi capabilities, the Fire HDX 8.9 is a no-brainer. It allows you to take advantage of the perks of your membership, like Amazon Instant Video, and its Android-based operating system is easy to use. The Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 also features Firefly, a unique item recognition app that can identify movie scenes, books, songs, and more.
The Nvidia Shield Tablet is the slate gamers have been waiting for. It's chock-full of features geared towards gaming, including its own controller, and it's a great Android tablet to-boot. The latest version of the operating system, Lollipop 5.0, allows you to keep tabs on your data usage.