Best premium tablets

These high-end slates are the cream of the crop, and you'll pay high prices for them.

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High-end tablets come with matching price tags.

Sarah Tew/CNET

There are some really great tablets out there, but a lot of them suffer from expensive starting prices. Pricing usually declines to a reasonable point, but only after those models are no longer shiny and new. If you don't want to wait, or don't have to, I've gathered the tablets that offer a high-end experience for a premium price.

With speedy performance, sharp and colorful screens and comfortable-but-cool designs, tablet manufacturers make you pay for the perfect balance of fashion, function and quality -- literally. Whether you've been saving up all summer for a slate or are just picking up a third to use exclusively to buy rare caviar, these tablet picks are the best high-end buys any buck or bitcoin can cop.


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One of the thinnest and lightest tablets available.

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For the Netflix addict

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2

Not to be confused with the smartwatch of the same name, the Galaxy Tab S2 comes in two sizes: a compact 8-inch model and a larger 9.7-incher. Both are stylishly slim and lightweight, rivaling the iPads for sleekest design, and amazingly vivid and colorful screens. If you want a tablet that's great for binge-watching on the go, you can't go wrong with either model.


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Big tablet with big dreams.

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For the artistic type

Apple iPad Pro

If you're more interested in making content than consuming it, the iPad Pro might be up your alley. It comes in a large 12.9-inch model, as well as a 9.7-inch model that's similar in size to the iPad Air 2. Apple offers an optional keyboard and stylus -- called the Pencil -- that allows you to treat it like a laptop or notebook. It's not meant for heavy-duty work like a full-size laptop, but if you're an artist, it works as an exceptional digital canvas for making art.


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Write on with Google's latest tablet.

Josh Miller/CNET

For the writer on the go

Google Pixel C

Less of a drawing person and more of a writer? The aluminum-wrapped Google Pixel C has one of the coolest, most compact designs of any tablet with a keyboard. Not only that, the keyboard, which attaches magnetically, doubles as a chic protective cover. Google's known for making great Android tablets, however the company's really outdone itself with the Pixel C's impressive design. I think it's the best-looking tablet since the iPad.


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A tablet that's basically a laptop.

Sarah Tew/CNET

For the student or businessperson

Microsoft Surface Pro 4

Be honest with yourself: Are you just looking for a tablet that can replace your laptop? If so, look no further than the Surface Pro 4. Microsoft punched up last year's model with a larger screen, a skinnier design and the latest Intel processors. Its fine keyboard accessory is a big part of what makes it so great, but that's sold separately. Expect to pay top dollar for this laptop-replacement-worthy tablet.


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

Editors' note:This article was originally published on April 14, 2014, and is updated regularly to reflect changes in the marketplace.

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