Best tablet brands
By Adam Marshall
When buying a new tablet, you should go for a brand that has a reputation for quality, innovation and value. Find the right tablet brand for you with our guide.
From organising your schedule to staying entertained on the go, tablets can play an important role in your everyday life. So if your tablet's screen goes on the blink or the battery stops charging, it can prove an unwelcome – and potentially expensive – inconvenience.
To find out which tech brands are the most – and least – reliable, every year we ask more than 6,000 Which? members to tell us about the technology products they own. So whether you're set on an Apple iPad, one of the Samsung Galaxy range or a Windows tablet, you'll know which brand to trust.
Or, to simply discover the best tablets we've tested, click through to all our Best Buy tablets.
Best and worst tablet brands
Our survey revealed a massive difference in tablet reliability scores. The best brand had an impressive 85% score, with fewer than one in 10 owners experiencing a fault within the first three years. Whereas a third of those that own the worst-performing manufacturer's tablets reported an issue in the same period.
You can see exactly what our members think of the major tablet brands by looking at the table below, which shows the scores for manufacturers including Apple, Samsung, Google and Amazon. Which? members should log in now to unlock the scores in the table. If you’re not yet a Which? member, try full access for one month with a £1 trial.
|Tablet brands rated|
|Brand||Average test score1||Reliability rating2||Customer score2||Verdict|
|77%||85%||As well as being the best-loved tablet brand among our survey respondents and getting the best reliability rating, this manufacturer consistently leaves our testers with smiles on their faces. There are loads of high-scoring models to choose from, so - with such an impressive average test score - it's likely that the one you pick will be a Best Buy.|
|68%||70%||With a series of consistently high scoring tablets, but no Best Buys, there's still plenty to say in favour of this manufacturer, and our members seem to think so too. Part of its success is undoubtedly due to the budget prices its tablets are available at.|
|75%||76%||With plenty of high scoring models, including the best model we've tested, there's plenty to love about this brand. The customer score and high reliability rating also speaks volumes about the level of polish of its tablets. With plenty of Best Buys from this manufacturer, you'll be spoilt for choice.|
|72%||66%||Making consistently high scoring tablets without ever quite conquering the Best Buy threshold, these devices are reliable too. Their waterproof shells probably help, leaving you confident that splashing out on one will leave you with a long lasting product.|
|78%||59%||This manufacturer doesn't produce a huge number of tablets, seemingly concentrating on quality rather than quantity. It's Android models do well in our lab testing, and it's usually worth the long wait between new models from this brand.|
|67%||53%||Perhaps better known for its laptops, generally its tablets are nothing to write home about. The company goes for a mix of Android and Windows tablets, so you should be able to get hold of a model that suits your preference. Usually our testers aren't too impressed by their tablets, but the customer score is on the rise and it now boasts a Best Buy among its number.|
|75%||61%||A real tech giant, this manufacturer has produced some truly exceptional tablets, although the price tags have been almost as eye-watering as the specs. However, for those looking for a model that straddles the line between tablet and laptop, there's plenty of choice here.|
|74%||64%||This brand doesn't produce tablets anymore, although you can still pick up its older models if you shop around. It's a shame, because it offered decent tablets with a more than agreeable price tag.|
|61%||46%||The reliability and customer satisfaction score of these tablets are disappointing, and its tablets are never spectacular in our lab tests. If you're after a device that will last and last, you may want to buy one from a manufacturer with a higher reliability star rating.|
Reliability rating and customer score based on feedback from more than 6,000 Which? members, surveyed in August 2015
Choosing the best brand of tablet
Our reliability score is based on models purchased in the past two years. Previously owned models are also taken into account for those who purchased their current model to replace one with a fault. The customer score is based on satisfaction and the likelihood of recommending the brand to a friend.
The top brand takes all the plaudits - highest average test score, best for reliability and most-liked by its owners. But its closest competitors aren't too far behind, and there are plenty of Best Buy tablets available from a variety of manufacturers.
Not only does our survey allow us to identify the heroes and villains of the tablet market, but it also gives us an insight into what problems tablet owners most commonly come across. The main culprits are:
27% screen freezing - tablet displays may be dazzling, but frozen screens have left a lot of our members cold
16% faulty touchscreen - dodgy touchscreens will leave you wishing your tablet came with a mouse
15% shortened battery life - as you repeatedly use, charge and recharge your tablet, the more often you'll see a 'low battery' warning
Our annual reliability survey is a great way to quickly discover the manufacturers you can trust, and those worth avoiding. But to help you narrow down exactly what tablet to splash your hard earned cash on, we put every single model through an array of tough lab tests.
See which ones most impressed our testers by checking out our tablet reviews.