Tablets with the best screens

Screen quality is a critical ingredient of a great tablet.

A few of these tablet screens could put some of your TVs to shame. James Martin/CNET

The importance of a tablet's screen quality cannot be understated. The vast majority of your interactions with a given tablet take place on its display.

When it comes to qualifying the best, there's more to the screen quality of a tablet than meets the eye -- proverbially speaking. There's a lot of focus on high resolutions and pixels per inch (ppi) and, although these are important, there are other components that contribute to the overall quality of a screen. Brightness and black levels, as well as color accuracy and range, are all equally important factors to consider.

We've rounded up the tablets with the best screens, taking into consideration the various traits that together make Netflix binges and Angry Birds marathons even more hypnotizing and visually immersive. This list is updated as new tablets come out.

Across the board

Dell Venue 8 7000 Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 8.0 Sony Xperia Z4
Maximum brightness 368 cd/m2 252 cd/m2 331 cd/m2 430 cd/m2
Screen resolution 2,560x1,600 2,5601x1,600 2,048x1,536 2,560x1,600
Pixels per inch 361ppi 359ppi 320ppi 298ppi
Screen size 8.4-inch 8.4-inch 8-inch 10.1-inch
Aspect ratio 16:9 16:9 4:3 16:9

A waterproof tablet is hard to find. Josh Miller/CNET

Sony Xperia Z4

For the past few years Sony's been consistently churning out noteworthy tablets. Its latest, the Xperia Z4, is no different. The 10.1-incher is supremely thin and light and its performance is among the fastest Android tablets. Its large HD screen is bright and crisp and, though it features a wide range of colors, color reproduction still looks lifelike and accurate. Like its predecessors, it's also waterproof. Read the full review.

A reading-friendly screen Josh Miller/CNET

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 8.0

Samsung's latest flagship tablets are some of the thinnest and lightest around. The Galaxy Tab S2 8.0, unlike its predecessor (see below), has a 4:3 aspect ratio. This means the screen is a little more square, and not as wide as the majority of tablets with a 16:9 aspect ratio. The size is better suited for reading and browsing the Web, however HD video still looks razor-sharp -- the black bars on the top and bottom of the video (also known as letterboxing) are just a bit thicker. It also comes in a 9.7-inch model. Read the full review.

Last year's Galaxy Tab S still holds up. Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Samsung Galaxy Tab S

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 was released last year, though it's by no mean out of date. The super-AMOLED screen is similar to the one found on this year's model, the Galaxy Tab S2 (above), but with a higher resolution, resulting in more pixels-per-inch. It's sharp and vibrant, with rich color and deep contrast that make real life look dull in comparison. It also comes in a large 10.5-inch model. Since the screens are bigger with a wide aspect ratio (16:9), the older models are better for watching video. Read the full review.

A high-end tablet with a razor sharp screen. Josh Miller/CNET

Dell Venue 8 7000

You probably don't associate Dell with high-end tablets, but you should. The Venue 8 7000 is a sleek 8.4-inch model with a lot going for it. Its slim and lightweight aluminum design feels solid and luxe, and its sharp screen doesn't disappoint either. It's one of the best small tablets you can buy and, if you're a fan of photography, you'll get a kick out of its depth-sensing rear camera. Read the full review.

Want to see more? Check out our list of best tablets overall.

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