There was a time when tablets had screen sizes of around 5 to 6 inches and were considered too large. Now smartphones have screens that size and tablets have had to get bigger. 7-inches was considered a good starting point for the tablet but with phones reaching there, 10 inch is considered a sweet spot for tablets.
This time we shall look at the best 10 inch tablet on the market. To find the best tablets we assessed the best picks from reputed websites like TechRadar, Cnet and PCWorld.
Further, we also looked at the best sellers on Amazon and Flipkart and read through the verified customer reviews to find what people liked or disliked in the products.
Note: If your budget is around Rs. 10,000 - 15,000, then check out our “best tablet under Rs. 10,000” and “best tablet under 15,000”.
Best 10 inch tablet
Apple iPad Pro
With specifications including a 120Hz Retina display, A10X processor, 4GB of RAM, Apple Pencil support, quad speakers and a huge battery, the iPad Pro is simply the best 10 inch tablet currently available.
Best 10 inch tablet
Apple iPad 2018 (6th Gen)
Apple's first budget focused stylus compatible tablet. The iPad 6th Gen is no slouch with an A10 processor, capacious screen, and competent hardware. It remains one of the only tablets in its price range that gives your great entertainment as well as productivity.
This is a really long post! Use these links to jump around.
Why Trust Us?
When we last reviewed tablets we talked about how the market is scarce with very few quality products. But this is limited strictly to Android only, Apple tablets are updated regularly and have been getting better and even more affordable over the years.
Given the article title reads "Best 10 inch tablet" it was only fair to include the very best tablets on the market, which are the iPads.
And no it's not just us who felt they were the best in the market but a whole lot of reputed technology websites like PCWorld, Cnet and TechRadar felt the same. We then wanted to see what the world’s biggest tech Youtubers like MKBHD, Austin Evans etc. felt about it so we spent quite some time going through their videos to see what they loved, liked and hated in the tablets.
Our final destination was to search on Amazon and Flipkart what people were buying and what they felt about the best 10 inch tablets on the market.
How we selected?
When you hear the word tablet, you imagine a large screen and stylus. These have for long been the ingredients for a tablet and even touchscreen phones. But Steve Jobs started a war on the stylus and we slowly started to see the death of the stylus in mainstream devices. Currently we have only a handful Windows and Android devices that use a stylus.
But today we are even seeing the death of the tablet. Samsung's flagship tablet in the market today, the Tab S3 was launched more than a year ago. While brands like Asus and Acer have altogether stopped making Android tablets. Lenovo still makes tablets but they arn’t mainstream. The only tablets worth buying are in the budget range as they at least offer decent value for money. To sum up, the tablet market is almost dead except for the iPads.
When we set out to find the best 10 inch tablet we started by looking through best picks of reputed websites from across the world like Cnet, PCWorld, TechRadar etc. What was common in all their lists was that the top two were always Apple iPads. The other common thing was all of them had the Samsung Tab S3 as the best Android tablet after the iPads. Some other picks were the Lenovo Tab 4, Amazon Fire Tab and Asus Zenpads. When we started to search for more information these tablets we found that they were either discontinued (Asus Zenpad), were unavailable in India (Amazon Fire tab), had not received updates for a long time (Samsung Tab S3) and were priced more than the premium iPads (Lenovo Tab 4 10).
Now before you brand us anti-Android do note we suggest Android phones all the time. Right from the beginning, Apple has paid a lot of attention to their tablet apps which are tailor-made to make good use of the larger screen real estate. While most Android apps just stretch to fill the screen compromising the whole tablet experience. Then there is the whole software update scenario where Apple products are supported for at least 3 years and Android tablets? Well, let’s not even go there. So all said and done we went the way of the Apple iPads.
Best 10 inch tablet
The best screen on a tablet
Class-leading 120Hz display a first in the tablet market
The fastest processor on a tablet
4GB RAM helps with multitasking tremendously
Supports the brilliant Apple Pencil
Impressive audio quality
Good battery life
Available in Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi + 4G versions
Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard have to be bought separately
Doesn't support fast charging by default
The iPads have always been a gold standard when it came to hardware and software. But Apple was not satisfied with Steve Job's touchscreen only vision. So in 2015, Apple iPad Pro was launched and along with it came a video that showed the beauty of using a stylus which was called as the "Apple Pencil". The video had Sir Jony Ive, Apple's Design lead talking about the merits of the Pencil that enhanced creativity at a level never before. Sir Ive’s trustful British accent and Apple’s minimalistic advertising at its peak did favour the iPad Pro but Steve Jobs probably rolled in his grave at the thought of an iPad with a Stylus.
But people embraced the iPad Pro and it was a huge hit. The iPad Pro combined with the Pencil allowed creative people a tool that was now much more portable and much more accessible than the age-old Wacom Cintiq's and other graphic tablets. You were now no longer confined to a desk with a large screen, computer and additional tablet you could be on a plane designing your next artwork or at a tourist destination sketching away a pretty landmark.
The iPad Pro 10.5 is the latest in the Apple Pro line up of tablets which focused on content creation like graphic design, art, writing and editing etc. There is also the 12.9 inch version for people who want a bigger screen but the 10.5 inch version hits the sweet spot in terms of size and portability.
Let us talk about the iPad Pro from two perspectives, starting with content creation and then consumption of the content.
The iPad is basically a big, flat piece of glass until the display is illuminated. When it is turned on you get quite simply one of the best display ever put on a tablet. Let’s start with numbers, shall we? A display resolution of 1668 x 2224 pixels in a creative friendly 4:3 aspect ratio with a pixel density of 265 ppi which Apple calls Retina quality. There is the support for ProMotion which gives you refresh rates of up to 120Hz and do note it is still an IPS LCD panel so you get great brightness as well, peaking at about 600 nits. Finally, for color accuracy, it even covers the DCI-P3 color space. So what do all these specifications mean? Simply put they mean the colors are truer, the display is extremely bright and sharp and everything from watching a movie to creating a drawing gives you an experience you've never seen before. We would actually love to quote what TechRadar said about the iPad Pro 10.5's screen "Overall, the screen quality is stunning in so many ways – but there's still the question of whether it's actually overkill." And this is so true, the 120Hz refresh rate is great if you are into a lot of creative work involving the stylus and you need the low latency while drawing (The latency is only 20ms, one of the lowest in the industry) but the previous iPad had nothing wrong in their screens. Some of the additional tech frankly will not even be noticed by a large section of the public but will make a sizable difference to people who actually need it.
When you talk from a creative’s perspective, there are two main technologies that we felt were very cool. The TrueTone which adjusts the screens white balance depending on the temperature of the light around you. So if you have a warm light the content on your screen will get cooler to make it look more accurate. Then there is ProMotion technology that enables refresh rates up to 120Hz which makes all the animations and movements very smooth. The screen is now collecting input data much faster so it doesn't miss out on any stroke and records all your pencil movements with greater accuracy.
For some of our more nerdy readers we have some more details about the performance of the screen from NotebookCheck:
The max brightness of the screen is 625 nits, which makes it one of the brightest iPad screens
DeltaE2000 (Color) value of 1.9 which is very good
DeltaE2000 (Grayscale) value of 2.8 which is good
Gamma value of 2.26 which is also very good
The color temperature was 7027K which is good
The iPad Pro 10.5 also covers 99.5% of the sRGB color space as shown
The iPad Pro 10.5 covers 78% of the P3 color space as shown
For those who want to know about reading display specifications click here. For readers who need a quick lesson on what everything about means read below:
The max brightness is the highest intensity of light from the screen. A larger number will give better visibility indoors and outdoors
DeltaE2000 (Color) is the difference between the measured color (displayed on the screen) and the true color. A lower value is the better result.
DeltaE2000 (Grayscale) is the difference between the measured gray value (displayed on the screen) and the true gray value. A lower value is the better result.
Gamma controls the overall brightness of the display. The Gamma value of a display must be as close to 2.2 as possible for accuracy.
The internals that works to keep the brilliant screen working are the brilliant A10X Fusion processor from Apple and the spacious 4GB RAM. The iPad Pro is smooth from the word go, rarely encounters a slowdown and will keep apps in memory for longer than you expect. RAM and Performance have rarely been issues with iOS due to its excellent memory management and the iPad Pro is no different. What’s actually great about the software is the support, you get updates for a minimum of 3 years which is a long time compared to Android’s slow and often spotty updates.
Given the larger screen, the software now has some features that let you be a bit more productive. The iOS 11 that ships with the iPad Pro 10.5 have some useful features like split-screen multitasking, redesigned multitasking screen, improved control panel and drag-drop support.
Now, what if you want to watch a movie and listen to some tunes, now that you are tired of sketching all day on your iPad Pro. Well, the experience will again blow you away. The display which was accurate for content creation will now impressive you with its amazing quality. The screen is also anti-reflective so you can quite literally sit under the sun and you will still get great visuals and viewing angles (This is partly due to the terrific 600 nits of brightness as well).
Quad speakers are what deliver the audio on the iPad Pro 10.5 and their experience is mind-boggling. Youtuber MKBHD called it the best audio on a tablet ever. TechRadar found the sound to be sharp, expansive and loud. All this is thanks to the newer much larger resonance chamber within the device that is filled with sound-amplifying foam which allows for a much richer and deeper sound. The 4 speakers are also quite smart in adjusting the sound depending on which way you are holding the device.
For audiophile reader out there who wouldn't be satisfied without a frequency response here, we do have one, thanks to the folks at Notebookcheck. The quad speakers on the iPad Pro can get pretty loud, peaking at 84.6 Db. The speakers have a very flat midrange which is clearly higher than the lows and the highs. The bass too is much better than competitors like the Samsung Tab S3. Overall the sonic experience is great and one of the better ones in the tablet market.
Traditionally manufacturers have been kind enough to adorn their tables with cameras so bad you never wanted to use it no matter how dire the situation. But the iPad Pro ruins it all, the 12 MPx rear camera and the 7 MPx front camera both borrowed from the iPhone 7 perform brilliantly. Now if great cameras on a tablet aren't over-kill the fact that the rear camera is optically stabilized and supports 4K video will surely be. Now even most Android flagships don't have optically stabilized cameras and here Apple provides them on a tablet. TechRadar claimed the rear snapper could take great photos in bright light while the front camera was very good. The camera quality is a boon, especially when used with apps that can read documents and scan stuff.
In terms of connectivity, you have Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac with MIMO, Bluetooth v4.2, A-GPS, NFC and GLONASS (4G version only). Also present is a headphone jack and lightning connector. For secure locking, there is the TouchID fingerprint sensor as well.
The battery is a behemoth 8134mAh and it needs it all due to the screen and processor. The iPad Pro does fall short when compared to the endurance of laptops but is still very good at around 8-9 hours as reported by TheVerge. The life will eventually depend on the tasks that you use it for. Anything that involves the screen running at 120Hz and the processor at full power will result in poorer battery life. Apple devices have always been known to charge very slowly, often being the slowest in the industry. The iPad Pro 10.5 is no different or is it? Using the bundled 12W charger can take around 4-5 hours to completely juice up the large battery. There is, however, a way to almost half the charging time, all you need is a lighting to USB-C cable and Apple's 29W charger. Users claimed the 29W charger allowed their iPads to charge fully in under 3 hours.
If you are in the market and have the budget for not only the best that Apple has to offer but the very best in the market than look no further than the iPad Pro 10.5. It offers you a brilliant screen that let’s you bring out the creativity in you, the Apple Pencil when used will ease your work, the processor makes mincemeat of all your tasks and the audio will transport you to another world. The Apple iPad Pro 10.5 then, is simply the best 10 inch tablet on the market.
Talking about versions and price the iPad Pro 10.5 comes in two main versions: Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi+4G. Each of these is also available in three storage versions of 64GB,256GB, and 512GB. Pricing starts at Rs.49,500 for the 64GB-Wi-Fi model and goes up to Rs.76,000 for the 512GB-Wi-Fi+4G model. The smart keyboard and Apple Pencil are sold separately. There are four color options also as shown above.
Note: When buying online do not there are only 3 storage versions of the iPad Pro: 64GB, 256GB and 512GB. If the iPad Pro is shown in any other capacity then it is the older generation iPad Pro with the 9.7-inch screen.
Budget 10 inch tablet
Good battery life
Available in Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi + 4G versions
Gives a great experience with the Apple Pencil
Misses out on the Pro's superb display features
No anti-reflective coating on the screen
Air-gap between screen and top glass
Only 2GB RAM
Apple Pencil has to be bought separately
Takes about 6 hours to fully charge
Doesn't support Apple fast charging
With the success of the iPad Pro lineup, Apple thought of making a device that will be affordable enough to be used by even school kids. With this train of thought, they launched the iPad 2018 or iPad 6th gen. The iPad 2018 brings one of iPad Pro’s coolest features - support for the Apple Pencil.
The processor has also got an upgrade which is now the A10 processor from the iPhone 7. That's about all that’s new when compared to the previous gen iPad.
But given the usefulness of the Pencil support which basically makes the iPad a tool for creative people rather than a toy for most, we felt it would be right to write the review from a creative person's point of view. We turned to Parkablogs, a blog by Singapore based Digital Artist Teoh Yi Chie who has done an in-depth video and article comparing his iPad Pro 12.9 and his new iPad 6th Gen.
His review looked at three main aspects of the iPad, the display, stylus, and performance. The iPad uses a 9.7-inch 2,048 × 1,536 resolution IPS panel that doesn't have any of the fancy ProMotrion and True tone technology as the iPad Pro. But Teoh Yi Chie said he still felt the display was very responsive and you wouldn't notice a difference until you put them side by side. Despite the lack of support for the wide P3 color gamut like the iPad Pro, Teoh Yi Chie still felt the colors were realistic. But he did comment that the screen is a little reflective and that he personally used a matte screen protector on it to cut down on the glare. This is because the iPad 6th Gen doesn't get the anti-reflective coating of the more expensive iPad Pro. Another point he noticed was that the iPad 6th Gen has a gap between the top glass layer and the screen which gives a hollow sound when the surface is tapped with the stylus, while the iPad Pro's gave a more dampened sound due to a tighter fit.
For some of our more nerdy readers we have some more details about the performance of the screen from NotebookCheck:
The max brightness of the screen is 513 nits, higher than its predecessor but lower than the iPad Pro's 600+ nits.
DeltaE2000 (Color) value of 1.2 which is very good
DeltaE2000 (Grayscale) value of 1 which is outstanding
Gamma value of 2.28 which is also very good
The color temperature was 6588K which was again very good
The display also covers 97.5% of the sRGB colorspace
Next, we come to the stylus and the digitizer performance. Normally when you look at a cheap windows tablet with a stylus they are designed for very basic tasks like taking down notes or interacting with the UI as the stylus doesn't possess the level of accuracy needed for drawing and sketching. The iPad 6th Gen with the Apple Pencil is far more capable than all of those. It can not just trace horizontal strokes but also can detect pressure allowing you to make strokes thicker and thinner based on the pressure you apply on the screen. But by far the coolest thing is the support for tilt sensitivity which helps you to color into things much quicker by simply using the large area of the titled pencil. Teoh Yi Chie said he felt the iPad 6th Gen's stylus implementation to be really good and felt it was very accurate. Another little action that some artists use when sketching on paper is that the place they palm of the paper to get more stability, the same can be replicated on the iPad 6th as it supports palm-rejection that ensures there are no randoms strokes created by the placing of your palm and the tablet knows that the stylus' strokes are to be picked up.
Talking about the 2GB RAM on the iPad 6th Gen and its comparison with the 4GB RAM of the iPad Pro, Teoh Yi Chie said you won’t feel a difference unless you create a whole lot of layers in Procreate or have a lot of apps running in the background. We feel potential buyers will know about this considering the value of the iPad 6th Gen. The 32GB space also is sufficient if you want to use it for artwork but if you need to make your iPad into an entertainment hub loaded with movies and stuff then you may need to pick the 128GB version.
Teoh Yi Chie from Parkablogs loved the performance of the iPad 6th Gen and went on to call it the best portable digital drawing tablet at the current price point.
Coming to the audio quality, the iPad 6th Gen has dual speakers that max out at around 75.7 Db. The frequency response chart shows a very linear mids and highs which is a very good thing, the bass although not that linear is still present and overall you get a very balanced sound.
Camera duties are handled by the 8Mpx sensor on the rear and a 1.2Mpx sensor on the front. Both are from the iPhone 5s generation. Notebookcheck found that despite their age the cameras gave good picture quality in good lighting conditions.
In terms of connectivity, you have Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac with MIMO. Bluetooth v4.2, A-GPS, and GLONASS (4G version only). Also present is a headphone jack and lightning connector. For secure locking, there is the TouchID fingerprint sensor as well.
Under heavy load at max brightness, the iPad 6th Gen with its 8000+mAh battery can last for more than 3 hours. With a lighter load, the battery lasts around 12 hours. Charging on the iPad is awfully slow often taking around 6 hours to completely charge. Also, you cannot even use the 29W charger as it is not supported, so you are pretty much left with the 10W charger and super slow charging speeds.
To sum up about the iPad 6th Gen, if you are a student who needs a portable educational device or an artist who wants to sketch on a budget or simply a wanderlust who needs a device to watch a few movies or listen to some tunes. The baby iPad has you completely covered with its great screen, capable processor, decent battery life, good audio quality and the stylus support.
The iPad 6th Gen too comes in multiple variants. You have the Wifi only variant in 32Gb and 128GB sizes. Then there is the Wifi + 4G variant in 32GB and 128Gb sizes. Pricing starts at Rs.26,000 going all the way up to Rs.46,000.
After Sales Service
Apple offers a 1-year warranty on its tablets. For any issue, you have to take the product to the service center for repairs/ replacement. To extend the warranty you can pick up AppleCare that will add another year to your warranty making it two years.
Accidental damage support is not covered by AppleCare so be careful with the devices. The most common repairs are for screen damage mostly due to drops. The iPad Pro 10.5's screen costs around Rs.30,000. While the iPad 6th Gen's screens replacement costs around Rs.17,000.
Who are our best picks for?
The iPad Pro 10.5 is the absolute best that Apple makes in the 10 inch segment. It has the best screen, the best processor, the best camera and the best speakers on a tablet. So all these factors combined the Pro is as the name suggests for a Pro. If you are a pro cartoonist or digital artist you won't find anything this capable and this portable anywhere else. The screen is also brilliant for watching movies and when combined with the terrific speakers you will find an unparalleled experience.
The iPad 6th Gen tries to be a more budget iPad Pro with its support for the Apple Pencil. It makes great sense if you need a great digital sketching tool without the cumbersome nature of the usual PC+Graphics tablet experience or the costs of the iPad Pro. Besides the sketching features, the iPad is again a very good tablet far superior to all of the Android offerings.
We said it before and will say it again the tablet market is pretty much dead except for Apple. Business is as usual for them will ever growing sales and fan following. If you are in the market for a tablet with a 10 inch screen then we have two great options for you.
If the best 10 inch tablet is what you seek then look towards the iPad Pro 10.5, a magnificent tablet that is quite simply Apple's best tablet ever.
For a “thrills with fewer bills” affair, you can pick Apple budget tablet offering, the iPad 6th Gen a capable tablet that now features support for Apple Pencil.