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.
The Nexus 7 is one of the best 7-inch tablets out there. Starting at $229, it rocks a supersharp screen, performs smoothly, and -- since it's a Google-branded slate -- it gets the latest Android OS updates. The Nexus 7 is also light and compact, making it a great candidate for a travel buddy or simply a portable (purse-friendly) tablet.
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 is one of the best Apple tablets yet, and thanks to its popularity, it's widely available from various carriers. Its price is traditionally steep, but it's one smooth operator. With Apple's consistently sleek design and zippy performance, the iPad Air dazzles on the inside and out. 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 Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 is a no-brainer. It allows you to take advantage of the perks of your membership, like streaming video, and its Android-based Mojito OS is easy to use -- though a little restricted. The Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 recently got dethroned as the slate with highest PPI, but it's still a stunner (and great for binge-watching Betas).