I’ve had my crack at pointing out what I feel are some of the best tablets released in 2014. Now it’s your turn. The Ratings and Comments left by Best Buy customers are a resource that shouldn’t be overlooked when shopping for any product, and I find the feedback is extremely valuable. People think of things or have experiences that I simply don’t encounter during the course of a 1,000 word review and while my time with many review products is measured in days, feedback and ratings can reflect weeks or months spent with new gear. With that intro, here are five of the best tablets being sold today, as rated by Best Buy customers.
In no particular order (they’re all good).
4.7/5 (17 ratings, 17 reviews)
Previously known as the iPad Mini with Retina Display before being re-named the iPad Mini 2, this is the tablet that I use and I love it. Not too big, not too small, great display and zippy.
If you must have Touch ID or a gold case, then it’s the iPad Mini 3 for you. Otherwise, given that every other spec —including CPU, display and camera— is identical to the newest iPad, the iPad Mini 2’s price cut makes it a sweet deal.
B from Ottawa, ON posted this summary of their iPad Mini 2 (iPad Mini with Retina Display) experience:
I’ve owned the full sized iPads before this one, and I’ve found them to be just too large for travelling easily and for reading while holding the iPad with one hand. I mostly surf the net, shop, watch Youtube and read articles with my iPad. I’ve found the mini with retina display to be excellent for that. The extra resolution you get with the retina display helps with reading since the letters are a little smaller on this iPad. I was used to heavier iPads but this one is feather light and again so easy to take with you anywhere, especially travelling. If you are looking for a lighter and smaller iPad for doing any of the above mentioned tasks, look no further. Very satisfied.
5/5 (8 ratings, 9 reviews)
When I had Samsung’s new Galaxy Tab S tablets here, I was particularly impressed by the Galaxy Tab S 8.4, the compact one of the bunch.
I’m not usually a huge fan of 16:10 aspect ratio tablets, but as a single-hand device, this one works pretty nicely. And that Super AMOLED display is superb —incredibly sharp (it’s virtually impossible to make out a pixel no matter how much you squint) and with amazing colour and contrast.
Best Buy customers seem to agree in a big way, awarding the Galaxy Tab S 8.4 a near perfect score (technically it got a few 4.9s, but they round up), and a 100 percent positive ranking —literally, no-one has anything bad to say about this device.
Icarus from Ontario says:
Best tablet yet! Amazing screen, battery life and intuition for novice users. Comes ready to use and impress right out of the package. Stands head and shoulders above the competition.
4.5/5 (17 ratings, 18 reviews)
The Surface Pro 3 was another tablet that got my nod as one of the best you can buy, and not because it’s the only Windows 8.1 Pro tablet around. There are others, including last year’s Surface Pro 2.
However, I felt that Microsoft nailed it this time, somehow managing to stuff a high performance CPU usually used in a PC (an Intel Core i3, Core i5 or even Core i7) into a case that’s slimmer and lighter than before. And they also pulled this off with a significantly larger 12.2-inch display.
The Surface Pro 3 is the best Windows 8 tablet experience I’ve encountered and with the optional, improved Touch Cover 2 add-on, this truly is a tablet that can take on a notebook PC.
Chulamin from Calgary, AB left this review of the Surface Pro 3:
The most useful tablet to date. I’ve used them all. iPad, Androids of all sizes with and without pens. For me this has everything else beat. I use it at the office, at home and I carry it with me wherever I go. It tethers great with my smart phone or any available wi-fi. The handwriting recognition is almost perfect even with my chicken scrawl. It was Worth every penny.
4/5 (1 rating, 1 review)
Not every great tablet has to cost $499.
Asus may not be a familiar name to everyone when it comes to tablets, but the company has earned its chops. It built the highly regarded Nexus 7 tablet for Google, one of the most popular Android tablets ever released. The Asus MeMO Pad 7-inch tablet offers a solid Android experience at a budget-friendly price —it has a quad-core CPU and HD display. With its built-in microSD card reader, you can also buy the base 16GB model and expand the storage cheaply using microSD cards.
ZC from Toronto liked the MeMO enough to leave a review, but didn’t care for the battery life (for the record, the official rating for this model is 9 hours):
This tablet is a great tablet except the battery. The battery has a short life.
4/5 rating for first generation (28 ratings/18 reviews)
Apple’s iPad Air set new tablet standards for thinness, power and attractive design.
The first generation iPad remains a favourite and for good reason —its A7 CPU and Retina display still pack a punch and with iOS 8 make for an excellent all-round tablet experience. And you can now pick up the original iPad Air at a discount.
The latest model, the iPad Air 2, gets even better, adding the new A8X CPU, 2GB of RAM (for the first time in an iOS device), a bonded display for sharper and brighter images, an excellent camera and the Touch ID fingerprint sensor.
Dustin from Trent Hills left this review of the first generation iPad Air:
Great buy. I bought this iPad for traveling, so I can read magazines and watch a few movies while away from home. Amazing picture quality and good sound. Battery life is pretty good —a 2 hour movie uses about 20-25% of the battery to play a HD movie with screen brightness at full.
Koushik from Burnaby BC recently bought an iPad Air 2 and says, simply:
All should have this product!
There you have it, the customers have spoken. If a tablet is on your holiday shopping list this year, there are five more great choices —all rated at 4 stars out of 5 or better, by Best Buy customers who own them.