Best premium tablets

You pay a premium for these high-end slates, but the cream of the crop comes at a cost.

Premium tablets pull out all the stops when it comes to specs and design. Sarah Tew

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 the slates are no longer shiny and new. If you don't want to wait, or don't have to, I've gathered the slates 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 bit coin can cop.

Apple's iPad Air
Apple's iPad Air is one of the sleekest tablets. Josh Miller/CNET

Apple iPad

The Apple iPad is the Brad Pitt of tablets -- if you've got the money to spend, it's a great choice, but a better suited possibility may be out there. However, if you're an iPhone user, the iPad super-sizes that experience in an ultra-cool package. Like most Apple gadgets, they rock a premium price to compliment their premium design. Read more about the Apple iPad Air.

LG G Pad 8.3 Google Play Edition
The G Pad has an 8.3-inch HD display. Josh Miller/CNET

LG G Pad 8.3 (Google Play Edition)

Though it doesn't get the perk of quickly released OS updates like the Nexus 7, the G Pad 8.3 is still the coolest pure Android tablet on the block. It offers a trendy 8-inch form factor that's thin, light, and minimally sleek and, performance wise, it's zippy and smooth. Starting at , this cool and compact slate also offers a pixel-packed screen -- the must-have fashion accessory of the season. Read more about the LG G Pad 8.3 (Google Play Edition).

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S slates are great for movie buffs. James Martin/CNET

Samsung Galaxy Tab S

Samsung continues to flood the tablet scene with a variety of shining stars in its Galaxy line-up. The latest are an 8.4-inch and 10.5-inch pair that rock vibrant super-AMOLED screens and fingerprint scanners for extra security. Samsung's TouchWiz interface is packed-to-the-brim with features with plenty of customization options, but it's still easy to navigate and user-friendly. Read more about the Samsung Galaxy Tab S

The Surface Pro 3 is thinner and lighter than the previous. Sarah Tew

Microsoft Surface Pro 3

The Microsoft Surface remains one of the best productivity tablets available and the refreshed Pro 3 boasts a thinner, lighter design, and larger, sharper screen. The slick removable keyboard cover and built-in kick-stand give the Surface a cool-yet-functional edge and it's design -- inside and out -- is geared towards those who need to get work done. Read more about the Microsoft Surface Pro 3.

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


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