Best compact tablet of 2015
By S21, 12 Nov 2015
2015 has been a good year for compact tablets. As smartphones have got bigger and more capable, so have tablets. While low-end tablets with 7-inch screens are still available, the trend is towards premium devices with 8-inch screens. We've picked out the three best 8-inch tablets of 2015 for you to choose from.
Today's best buy: Apple iPad Mini 4 128GB from Laptops Direct (£409.97)
1. Apple iPad Mini 4
Apple's products have often been criticised on S21 for being over-priced. But quality is rarely cheap and the iPad Mini 4 is fairly priced for what you get.
We've crowned it the king of compact tablets, and it really gives you everything you could possibly want in an 8-inch tablet.
As well as the latest version of iOS and Apple's famous ecosystem of apps and content, you get a superbly-built and ultraslim device with a fast processor, capable cameras, and an outstanding screen.
It even includes fingerprint security with Touch ID on the home button. Touch ID unlocks the device and also lets you make secure purchases in iTunes, iBooks and the App Store.
The memory of the base model is only 16GB, but you can also buy it in 64GB and even 128GB versions.
2. Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 8.0
Samsung's Tab S2 8 tablet for 2015 is impossibly thin and ultra-lightweight. Apart from its superb design, it features a stunningly high quality 8-inch Super AMOLED screen.
Behind the screen lies a powerful 8-core processor with a massive 3GB of RAM, capable of running the latest 3D games and demanding apps. The Tab S2 runs Android 5 Lollipop, giving access to more than 1.6 million apps.
One key advantage of the Tab S2 over the iPad Mini 4 is that its onboard memory is 32GB, and this can be increased further and at low cost by adding a microSD memory card.
It's an excellent tablet for taking photos too, with a powerful rear-facing camera, as well as a front-facing camera for video and selfies.
Available in 4G or Wi-Fi-only versions, it's a beautiful device and a real alternative to the Apple.
3. Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact
Similarly priced to the Samsung, Sony's Z3 Tablet Compact is another Android tablet with a stunning ultraslim and lightweight design. The Sony also has the benefit of being waterproof to a depth of 1.5 metres for up to 30 minutes.
The screen size is again 8 inches, and it's an excellent display, although it doesn't quite match the ultra-high pixel density of the iPad or the Tab S2.
Inside, it has a very fast quadcore processor that can match the 8 cores of the Samsung for speed, and it has a huge 3GB of RAM available for loading and running all the 3D games you might want to play. It also has two excellent cameras.
The basic model has 16GB, with a microSD memory card slot, and there's a 32Gb version available too. There's also a choice between 4G and Wi-Fi-only models.
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