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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.

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We survey thousands of Which? members every year to find out how reliable their tablets are, so we can give you the full picture when you're out shopping for your shiny new Apple, Android or Windows device. We've uncovered the top brands that are dependable, and those that will let you down.

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 5,000 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.

Below, we've collected the results of our reliability survey for each tablet brand.

Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive reliability ratings in the table below. If you're not yet a member, sign up for a £1 trial to get instant access.

Best and worst tablet brands

Our survey revealed a massive difference in tablet reliability scores. The best brand had an impressive 90% score, with fewer than one in 10 owners experiencing a fault. Whereas nearly 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, Asus 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.

Which tablet brands are the most reliable?

Brand name Reliability rating Percentage score
90%
89%
83%
82%
77%
74%
66%
66%
66%
Table notes
Reliability rating and customer score based on feedback from over 5,000 Which? members, surveyed in 2017. Data correct as of October 2017.

Key

Member Content

Which tablet stays fault free longest?

The graph below shows how the brand that stays fault-free for longest compares to the worst brand and the average. Which? members can see how brands compare for faults and which are the best and worst in the table underneath.

Brand name % faults after one year % faults after five years
8% 21%
2% 9%
2% 9%
14% 29%
5% 33%
5% 12%
6% 19%
4% 13%
9% 32%
Table notes
Results based on reliability survey of over 10,000 Which? members. Data correct at October 2017.

Key

Member Content

How tablet brands compare

Our reliaiblity survey proved something of an eye-opener, and showed a huge disparity between the most reliabile brands, and those that were likely to let you down. While owners 9% of owners of the top tablet brand were likely to experience a fault in the first five years of ownership, a whopping 33% could expect something to go awry of the worst brand. 

Reliability data is important to us, which is why we'll remove Best Buy status from those brands that are consistently poor and score well below what we'd expect in our reliability survey. A tablet might be great for those first few weaks out of the box, but if it's not dependable, we can't recommend it.  

Looking to buy? Check our reviews of the latest models in our tablet reviews

Common tablet problems

Our reliability survey gives us an insight into the most common faults for tablets, and what is most likely to go wrong.

Of the total faults reported in this year's reliability survey, these were the most common that were cited:

  • 15% - Screen freezing
  • 13% - Shortened battery life
  • 8% - Won't boot up

A frozen screen can usually be remedied with a hard reset of the tablet - instructions on how to do this will vary, but it's usually a case of holding a combination of buttons down until the tablet reboots itself. It it happens on a regular basis, it could be the symptom of a more serious underlying issue. 

Batteries gradually decrease their capacity over time, and you'll find that older tablets can't hold the charge they once could. There are measures you can take to eek a little more life out of your battery, such as turning off demanding features such as Bluetooth, and turning down the screen brightness. Tablets also have their own power management settings, which you can use to refine how much battery your tablet is using during sessions.

If your tablet won't boot up, the first thing to try is to plug it in. It seems obvious, but it could simply be that it has run out of steam. If this doesn't bring you any joy, it could be that the charger is faulty, so it's worth trying another to see if that makes any difference.  

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