Tablets built for Netflix and chill (among other things)

Screen quality is a critical ingredient of a great tablet. These are the ones with the best.

Xiomara Blanco Associate Editor / Reviews - Tablets and monitors
Xiomara Blanco is an associate editor for CNET Reviews. She's a Bay Area native with a knack for tech that makes life easier and more enjoyable. So, don't expect her to review printers anytime soon.
Xiomara Blanco
2 min read

The importance of a tablet's screen quality can't be understated. I mean, the majority of your interactions with a 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. In addition to high resolutions and pixels per inch (ppi), 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 Pokemon Go battles even more hypnotizing and visually immersive. This list is updated as new tablets come out.

Screen specs compared

Tested specApple iPad Mini 4Asus ZenPad Z8Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 8.0Sony Xperia Z4
Maximum brightness 367 cd/m2420 cd/m2331 cd/m2430 cd/m2
Screen resolution 2,048x1,5362,048x1,5362,048x1,5362,560x1,600
Pixels per inch 326ppi320ppi320ppi298ppi
Screen size 7.9 inches8 inches8 inches10.1 inches
Aspect ratio 4:316:94:316:9

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

Sony Xperia Z4

Did you know Sony makes great tablets? Its Xperia Z4 model is a supremely thin 10.1-incher that's waterproof. It's among the fastest Android tablets and its crisp and bright large screen (the brightest on this list) displays lifelike and accurate colors. Read the full review.

Tab S2 8.0 is reader-friendly.

Josh Miller/CNET

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 8.0

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 is one of the thinnest and lightest tablets around. Its screen has a 4:3 aspect ratio, meaning it's a little more square in shape, 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.

The iPad Mini 4 is one of the best tablets you can buy.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Apple iPad Mini 4

Apple's smallest iPad is available in an older, budget-friendly model, the iPad Mini 2, but if you want the latest bells and whistles, including a more vibrant touchscreen, you'll have to update to the iPad Mini 4. Aside from a superior screen and thinner design, it also has a Touch ID fingerprint scanner, which the iPad Mini 2 is missing. Like the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 above, it has a 4:3 aspect ratio, resulting in thicker letterboxing. Read the full review.


An affordably priced Android tablet.

Josh Miller/CNET

Asus ZenPad Z8

A cheap tablet isn't hard to find. A good, cheap tablet is, however. That's why the Asus ZenPad Z8 is so special. It's an affordable tablet that looks good, performs smoothly and it even has cellular service. Its sharp screen displays saturated colors that make movies and images come to life. You'll be hard pressed to find a better tablet for the same price. Read the full review.

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