There’s no disputing that Apple’s iPad is one of the most popular tablets in history. With each release, they manage to add something new to the mix that keeps things interesting. When the original iPad Pro released, it made waves with it’s huge screen and powerful specs. But some questioned the sheer size of the tablet.
Much has changed since then. With their latest release, Apple is cramming all of the power of the Pro series into a smaller format. But does the iPad Pro’s smaller sibling have what it takes to keep up with the pack? We’ve scoured the reviews of the biggest tech sites on the web so that you don’t have to.
Let’s see what they have to say!
If you’ve seen any pictures of the iPad Pro 9.7-inch, you’ve probably come to the same conclusion most reviews were quick to point out. On the outside, the new iPad is essentially an iPad Air 2. The two exceptions are a slightly protruding camera lens and the small dots along the edge for the Smart Connector.
When you think of Samsung, you probably think of their flagship line of mobile phones and tablets. With the Galaxy TabPro S, the Galaxy series transitions to the world of Windows. The specs on paper look solid, but does the real-life performance and experience of this new hybrid tablet stack up? Let’s see what the reviews are saying!
Across the board, reviewers were impressed with the design of the TabPro S. Combining a matte-finish plastic case with shiny metal trim and the sleek Samsung aesthetic, most reviewers noted it felt as good, if not better, than any Samsung Galaxy flagship they’ve used. Even with the included keyboard case, the hybrid also comes in thinner than most of the competition at the time of writing. At just over 1.5lbs, this tablet/laptop mash-up is ready to hit the road without weighing you down. The Inquirer took their test model around town for a few days and proclaimed, “ The device proved itself a robust piece of kit despite measuring just 6.3mm thick.”
One area where reviewers were less happy with the design was Samsung’s choice to include only a single USB-C port and a 3.5mm jack. If you’re looking to connect older devices, or use a thumb drive while charging, you’ll need to pick up an adapter.
Bluetooth connectivity for blind or visually impaired users
No front lighting
Not enough changes from 2014 version to warrant an upgrade
No 3G connectivity
It’s been two years since Amazon revamped their entry-level Kindle. The 8th generation Kindle comes with a handful of upgrades and comes in two colors: black and white. When compared to the 7th generation Kindle, the 2016 Kindle is 11 percent thinner and 16 percent lighter and has a more rounded design making it easier for experts to hold for long amounts of time.
As far as the screen goes, there’s no change from the previous version. It uses the same 6-inch, 167ppi resolution touch screen. While good enough, critics did notice text looked blurry from far away, although they mention at regular reading distance the text was sharp enough. Those hoping for page turn buttons will have to pay extra for the Oasis or Voyage as this entry-level device only offers a touchscreen. For most, this is no issue as they found the touch screen perfectly usable for turning pages and navigating the user interface. The one issue they did notice, however, was the darkness of the screen. Unlike other members of the Kindle lineup, his one does not offer front lighting, The eBook Readers states “My biggest problem with the new Kindle is how dark and gray the screen looks. Maybe it’s partially because I got a white one and it highlights how not white the screen background color is.”
Amazon has successfully cornered the eReader market and each new Kindle release is better than the last. The Kindle Oasis is no exception. It is thinner than its predecessor measure in at 0.14 inches and weighs a mere 4.6 ounces, lighter than a standard paperback. Reviewers were surprised by its sturdiness despite its light weight and thinness. There were no creaks or any flex thanks to the electroplated metal alloy over the plastic case.
Besides making it lighter and thinner, Amazon also updated the design slightly. Rather than having the same thickness throughout, one edge of the Oasis is thicker than the center. This slight change provided reviewers with a better grip, though it only works when there is no cover.
Incredibly thin and light for better ease of use and comfort
Mediocre battery life
4:3 aspect ratio not great for movie viewing
Some flexing when twisted
A year after the Galaxy Tab 2 10.5, Samsung released the Tab S2 9.7 – an updated and redesigned version of the popular tablet and direct rival to Apples iPad Air 2. It is actually both thinner (0.22 inches) and lighter (390 grams) than the iPad Air 2. Like other Samsung devices, it comes with a matte, plastic back and a metal trim. For the most part experts call the overall look and design "professional" though they add the build quality leaves much to be desired as they noticed some flex when applying pressure or twisting. Still, they add they'd rather have it thin and compact as it improves comfort and overall ease of use.
The 9.7 part of the Tab S2 comes from the 9.7-inch, Super AMOLED display. The 2048 x 1,536 resolution only works out to around 264ppi due to its large size. While not as sharp as its predecessor, critics still described it as very crisp and clear. Like other Samsung products, the AMOLED screen on the Tab S2 9.7 provided experts with vivid albeit oversaturated colors, excellent contrast and dark, inky blacks. They also were impressed with the screen brightness with Stuff.TV states, "…you can reach eye-searing levels, bright enough for outdoor reading on a sunny day." Perhaps the biggest change is in the aspect ratio from 16:10 to 4:3. This means the screen is squarer, which experts preferred as it made it easier for them to browse the web and improved their experience with productivity tasks like spreadsheet work. Still, they found movie viewing experience better on a 16:10 as this size matches most TV screens.
Improved Touch Cover for excellent typing experience
Responsive touch screen
Type Cover sold separately
Poor battery life
Core package comes with lower processor than the Pro 3
When Microsoft released their first Surface, critics and consumers alike were excited by the idea but disappointed with the end result. Now onto the fourth iteration however, the Surface series has seen huge upgrades to the hardware and continued to receive some subtle design updates.
The tablet sports the same all-magnesium unibody as its predecessors and almost the same dimensions at 7.9 x 11.5 inches. It just so happens to be slightly thinner at 0.33 inches and a bit lighter as well at 766 grams. While light, critics add that it does get a bit uncomfortable to hold for long periods of time when used as a tablet.
A closer look revealed to reviewers that Microsoft also managed to trim the bezel around the screen despite the fact the display on the Pro 4 is larger than the Pro 3 at 12.3 inches. But the screen is more than just slightly larger, it packs in more pixels as well. With a resolution of 2736 x 1824 it offers a pixel density of 267ppi, which is higher than its main competitor – the iPad Pro. The high resolution naturally offered testers a very crisp and sharp experience whether they were reading text, viewing images or watching movies.
Kobo is known for pushing the boundaries with their eReader designs. One look at the Aura One’s sizeable screen shows that it’s going to be a little different than most models currently available, but that comes with a bigger price tag as well.
What else does the Aura One offer and what are reviewers saying? We’ve dug through the best reviews out there so you don’t have to. Let’s see what everyone thinks of this behemoth of an eReader!
Reviewers were quick to point out that though the Aura One was bigger, it was still easy to use. Everyone loved the rubbery grip coating on the back of the device. TechCrunch described the eReader as “big, but not unwieldy.” Digital Trends summed up opinions nicely, saying, “Despite its size, I had no problem reading one-handed on the subway with the Aura, though two hands are best. Swiping the screen to turn the page will be intuitive enough to anyone with a smartphone, but hard buttons would feel better.”
The Aura One is also IPX8 certified for worry-free use poolside or in the bath.