The Best Knife Sets

I’ve browsed the knife-set offerings at many home-goods stores over the years — though they’re initially appealing, upon closer inspection, I inevitably notice some pieces in strange sizes or with unappealing curves that I know will go to die in my cutlery drawer.

Buying prepackaged multiples of cookware and tools of any kind can be tricky, but the key is assessing what you really need, whether you’re starting completely from scratch, redoing the basic makeup of your collection, or simply want to add a handful of additional blades to what you already own. To find the very best compositions, I talked to nearly a dozen experts and tested several groupings myself and ended up with a varied list: three pieces all the way up to 20-something, all chef’s knives or mixed kinds, ones that include sharpening tools and blocks (and ones that don’t). Read on to find the assortment that best suits your own kitchen.

Best overall knife set

Wüsthof Ikon 6-Piece Starter Knife Block Set

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Number of pieces: Six | Style: European

Wüsthof is a classic company. It’s the one that cook and Top Chef Canada host Eden Grinshpan was told to buy when she was in culinary school, the one cookbook author Erin Gleeson registered for when she got married a decade ago and still uses, and the one preferred by multiple celebrity chefs with varying cooking styles (a quick Google search will tell you that both Ina Garten and Gordon Ramsay swear by them). “They’re just superhigh quality, and they really stand the test of time,” Grinshpan says. “I still have some of the pieces in my kitchen.” This particular set comes with a paring knife, a chef’s knife, and a serrated knife — the only three you really need when it comes down to performing most cooking tasks, as I explained before. It also includes some helpful (not superfluous) accessories: a wooden block to hold your blades safely, a honing steel to sharpen the edges, and a pair of “come-apart” kitchen shears (the “come-apart” makes them easy to clean). “I use the scissors all the time,” Gleeson says, “for cutting everything from pizza and flatbreads to scallions.”

Best less expensive knife set

Wüsthof Gourmet 6-Piece Starter Knife Block Set

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Number of pieces: Six | Style: European

This more affordable set from Wüsthof has a similar setup. The paring knife is a half-inch smaller (which shouldn’t make any noticeable difference), the serrated knife is three inches smaller (a utility knife intended to cut things like tomatoes as opposed to crusty bread), and the block is made from a different variety of wood (beechwood instead of acacia). Most notably, the knives are stamped (cut from one large sheet of steel) instead of forged (made from a single bar of steel that is heated and then pounded into shape by hand or machine). This makes them not quite as durable but much cheaper — and they can totally do the trick (and do it well), especially if you aren’t particularly hard on your knives.

Best simple knife set

Material Kitchen The Trio of Knives

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Number of pieces: Three | Style: Japanese

Strategist-favorite brand Material Kitchen sells a knife set with the three most basic, essential knives. The eight-inch chef’s knife is a favorite of recipe developer and writer Rebecca Firkser, who says it’s balanced in her hand and has stayed in great shape for over three years when sharpened every couple of months at home. “I got it in the neutral color, which is just plain pleasing to me in a sea of black-handled knives,” she says. Notably, the serrated knife is six inches long, which is significantly shorter than most. While it wouldn’t be substantial enough to cut through a round cake layer to even out the surface, it can handle other tasks well, like slicing bread and tomato slices. I, for one, even prefer shorter blades since they give you more control. And finally, there’s a 3.5-inch paring knife for intricate tasks.

Best piece knife

Made In the Knife Set

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Number of pieces: Four | Style: European

Made In makes a relatively uncommon combination of knives — the three essentials, plus a Nakiri knife, which I have found to be a useful addition. It looks a bit like a small cleaver but is meant for cutting vegetables with an entirely straight edge. The blade is only six inches long (two inches shorter than another Nakiri I own that I find too big for nuanced tasks like chopping through cauliflower). This one gives great control and is still hardy enough to hack away at a squash. I also really like the chef’s knife, which is on the heavier side (eight ounces) without feeling burdensome. The weight feels good in my hand and helps guide the sharp edge seamlessly through whatever I’m cutting.

Culinary producer Kiano Moju first bought this set when she was stocking her culinary creative studio, a kitchen she needed to outfit from scratch. “They hold really nicely,” she says. “When I was working at Sur La Table years ago, someone taught me how to cut with your thumb on the top of the spine, and it balances nicely if that’s how you use your knives. They’re well balanced, and not too heavy at all. Plus, they’re really cute. They come in red, which is my favorite.”

Best knife set with steak knives included

J.A. Henckels 15-Piece Premium Quality Knife Set

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Number of pieces: 15 | Style: European

J.A. Henckels is the more affordable sister brand to Strategist-favorite Zwilling, and this set was a top pick from a previous version of this story. We can understand why it’s so popular among readers — it boasts 4.7 out of five stars on Amazon, with nearly 13,000 ratings. “The knives, while stamped not forged, still have decent heft,” one reviewer notes. “And the handles, though polymer, don’t feel like low-quality plastic.” Beyond quality, there’s an additional feature — one that isn’t usually a part of kitchen-knife sets — that makes this particular buy stand out: It includes six matching serrated steak knives that, according to one reviewer, “don’t rip or shred meat.”

Best knife set without a serrated knife

Global Classic 3-Piece Knife Set

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Number of pieces: Three | Style: Japanese with some European influence

Every other set on this list includes a serrated knife, but if you’re looking to expand your collection without that particular blade, this Global collection fits the bill. (I once found myself in that exact predicament: I already own a serrated blade that I love and find to be plenty for the relatively infrequent tasks it is made for, but wanted a few other straight-edged blades for the high volume of cooking that goes on in my kitchen.) With this configuration, I got a 7-inch chef’s knife (notably, our best overall chef’s knife), a 5-inch utility knife, and a 3.5-inch paring knife. They all hold an ultrasharp edge, are lightweight enough to maneuver with ease but heavy enough to feel in control, and have a comfortable grip. In particular, I reach for the utility knife more than expected. Its size is right between the other two with more of an angled blade. This combination makes it useful for tasks that aren’t so delicate but still require some precision, like cutting into a head of broccoli.

Best paring knife set

Opinel Essential Small Kitchen Knife Set

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Number of pieces: Four | Style: European

Andrew Brady, chef and partner at the Boston-area restaurants Dear Annie and Field and Vine, has several sets of these knives in his work kitchens at all times because they’re so versatile. The collection comes with a classic paring knife, two serrated paring knives (with more pronounced and subtler teeth), and a bonus vegetable peeler. “Smaller knives tend to be made more cheaply,” he says, “but these are sharp.” He calls the dramatically ridged model a “serious workhorse” that’s great for peppers and chilis, garlic, and shallots, or “small foods that still benefit some serious serrated power,” he says. The subtler ridged one, which he uses for more delicate tasks like cutting through tarts and cherry tomatoes, also comes with a hook-like shape at the tip of the knife. That feature is “useful for handheld tasks where you need to get into a piece of food, like cutting the button off a Brussels sprout or the stem off a strawberry,” he says.

Best knife set for camping

Messermeister Adventure Chef 6-Piece Summit Set

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Number of pieces: Six | Style: European

This recommendation from recipe developer and cookbook author Louisa Shafia isn’t strictly a knife set with only knives included, but it comes from the knife company Messermeister, which she has been using since she went to culinary school a couple of decades ago. It’s a compact camping set with two particularly good knives — a foldable six-inch chef’s knife and a foldable six-inch fillet knife (yes, those are full-size, made from the same steel as their regular ones). “It’s everything you would need to go camping and make really nice food,” Shafia says. “You can even handle things if you catch a fish. Plus you need something to cut against that’s not gonna ruin the knives, so it’s nice that it comes with a cutting board.”

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Best Computer Monitors 2023

Working from home has become the new normal for many people, so finding the best computer monitor is more important than ever. After all, you surely want to see the best visual quality from your coworkers’ best webcams. And while many PC components are still enduring depressing shortages, performing a screen upgrade is one of the most accessible and impactful changes you can make to your gaming rig at the moment. 

Below, we list the best computer monitors across various categories, from gaming to budget 4K and HDR.

But before diving into the deep end in a quest for the best computer monitor for you, we’ll cover a few basics first.

The Best Computer Monitors You Can Buy Today

1. Samsung Odyssey G7 32-Inch

Best Computer Monitor Overall

SPECIFICATIONS

Screen Size / Aspect Ratio: 32 inches / 16:9

Resolution: 2560 x 1440

Refresh Rate: 240Hz

Panel Type: VA

Adaptive-Sync: FreeSync Premium Pro

TODAY’S BEST DEALS

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REASONS TO BUY

+

+ Size and shape ideal for gaming or work+

+ Low input lag+

+ Accurate color without calibration

REASONS TO AVOID

-No speakers

Earning a 5-star rating from Tom’s Hardware, the Samsung Odyssey G7 32-inch is the best computer monitor. For gamers, it boasts the strongest curve currently available, 1000R, for incredible immersion, along with speedy gaming numbers. The 240Hz monitor has a 1ms (GTG) response time and put up a 5ms response time score in our testing, beating some 165Hz screens by 2ms. In addition, benchmarking showed input lag at 20ms, a full 6 to 10ms faster than some 165Hz screens we’ve tested, including the Dell S3220DGF also on this page.

This is also a strong work monitor. Its 32-inch panel offers plenty of height for productivity, like working on long spreadsheets in a way that’s easier than on a 32-inch ultrawide. And at a 2 to 3-foot viewing distance, we don’t have any distortion issues with that dramatic curve. Just be sure to bring your own audio because, despite the price, there are no speakers here.

No matter what you use the G7 for, you can expect strong image quality backed by 2,201:1 contrast out of the box, as well as accurate DCI-P3 color.

2. Dell S3222DGM

Best Gaming Monitor

SPECIFICATIONS

Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 32 inches, 16:9

Resolution: 2560 x 1440 @ 165 Hz

Panel Type: VA

Refresh Rate: 165 Hz

Response Time (GTG): 4ms

Adaptive-Sync: FreeSync Premium Pro

TODAY’S BEST DEALS

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REASONS TO BUY

+

+ Sharp image with vivid and accurate color+

+ Premium level contrast+

+ Solid video processing+

+ Excellent build quality

REASONS TO AVOID

-No HDR

The Dell S3222DGM is the best gaming monitor for many gamers. This follow-up to the highly-rated S3220DGF boasts a 32-inch VA panel, QHD resolution and 165 Hz refresh rate with Adaptive-Sync support. Other perks in its favor are 85 percent coverage of DCI-P3 and a display curve with an 1800mm radius. 

However, Dell really knocks it out of the park with the S3222DGM’s contrast ratio. VA panels are known for their excellent contrast, but the S3222DGM is rated at an impressive 3,000:1, easily blowing away IPS competitors. But our sample managed to better that figure by a third, coming in at 4,000:1 in instrumented tests.

This 32-inch monitor offers plenty of vertical screen real estate without the need for scrolling and 1440p resolution, the current sweet spot between image quality and gaming performance. And while the S3222DGM is targeted primarily at gamers, we found that it is also great for general productivity and anything in between. 

While the S3222DGM lacks HDR support, its excellent contrast doesn’t detract from that missing «bullet point» and its overall performance is hard to beat at this price point. Throw in Dell’s usual solid build quality, and this represents a great monitor for enthusiasts looking to build out a mid to high-budget gaming PC.

3. LG 27GN950-B

Best Computer Monitor for 4K Gaming

SPECIFICATIONS

Screen Size / Aspect Ratio: 27 inches / 16:9

Resolution: 3840 x 2160

Refresh Rate: 144Hz

Panel Type: IPS

Adaptive-Sync: G-Sync Compatible, FreeSync Premium Pro

TODAY’S BEST DEALS

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REASONS TO BUY

+

+ Local dimming produces VA-like contrast+

+ Wide and accurate color gamut+

+ Fast and responsive

REASONS TO AVOID

-Oversaturated sRGB mode

With a 1ms (GTG) response time and 144Hz refresh rate, the LG 27GN950-B is the best computer monitor for 4K gaming. If you’ve got the graphics card, ideally one of the best graphics cards, you need to handle 144 frames per second (fps) at 4K; this monitor will ensure that power doesn’t go to waste. In our testing, the monitor showed a 7ms response time, keeping up with pricier 4K, 144Hz screens, like the Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ, and even beating some when it came to input lag. Plus, FreeSync Premium Pro and G-Sync Compatibility will fight screen tears for those times when framerates drop below 48 fps.

Although VA panels are known for their high contrast, based on our benchmarks, this IPS monitor can hold its own, hitting 1,034.7 before calibration and 8,475.3:1 with HDR. Those who want the most accurate color may find the sRGB mode too saturated, but the 27GN950-B proved accurate when it came to the more colorful DCI-P3 space.

For more top-of-the-line 4K gaming screens, visit our Best 4K Gaming Monitors page.

4. Samsung UR59C

Best Budget 4K Computer Monitor

SPECIFICATIONS

Screen Size / Aspect Ratio: 32 inches / 16:9

Resolution: 3840 x 2160

Refresh Rate: 60Hz

Panel Type: VA

Adaptive-Sync: None

TODAY’S BEST DEALS

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REASONS TO BUY

+

+ Quality build+

+ Effective curvature

REASONS TO AVOID

-No USB ports-

-Needs calibration

If you want an affordable screen with many pixels, the Samsung UR59C is the best budget 4K monitor for you. The VA panel delivers contrast (2590.5:1 after calibration), making everything from photos to videos to games look better. This is clearly not a high-end gaming monitor with a 60 Hz refresh rate, 4ms (GTG) response, and no FreeSync or G-Sync. But casual gamers can make do, thanks to the combination of high pixel density and high contrast, keeping games looking realistic.

Curves are generally more effective on ultrawide screens, but the UR59C’s 1500R curvature was effective and beneficial for this 32-incher, such as when multitasking with multiple windows. And if you don’t mind calibrating, you can get rid of the UR59C pesky color errors, which, unfortunately, were visible out of the box. Our calibration settings reduced the error from 4.3dE to 0.9dE.

Are you interested in more high-res, low-price displays? Check out our Best Budget 4K Monitors round-up.

5. Aorus FO48U 4K OLED

Best Computer Monitor for HDR Gaming

SPECIFICATIONS

Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 47.5 inches / 16:9

Resolution: 3840 x 2160

Panel Type: OLED

Refresh Rate: 120Hz

Response Time (GTG): 1ms

Adaptive-Sync: FreeSync Premium

TODAY’S BEST DEALS

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REASONS TO BUY

+

+ Stunning image with deep contrast+

+ Over 100% coverage of DCI-P3 color

REASONS TO AVOID

-Not as bright as a premium LCD-

-No Dolby Vision

Making HDR pop over SDR is all about contrast, and for the ultimate contrast, there’s nothing better than OLED. The Aorus FO48U’s massive OLED panel not only delivers immeasurably high contrast, but we recorded 107.7% coverage of the DCI-P3 color space and near-flawless grayscale tracking. As a result, you get a rich image that’s also accurate out of the box. However, it’s not as bright as a premium LCD (399 nits with HDR, according to our testing). 

Aorus’ OLED monitor is fit for high-speed HDR gaming on both PCs and consoles, thanks to DisplayPort 1.4 with Display Stream Compression (DSC) and HDMI 2.1, respectively. The monitor held its own against 120Hz and 144Hz rivals in our speed tests, only falling 4ms behind its OLED gaming rival, the Alienware AW5520QF. Unfortunately, you don’t get Dolby Vision or support for the 50p and 24p TV formats, but the monitor has two 15W speakers and one 20w speaker for outstanding audio quality. 

For more on ensuring your HDR upgrade is noticeable, read about how to choose the best HDR monitor.

6. Asus ProArt PA32UCG

Best Computer Monitor for HDR

SPECIFICATIONS

Screen Size / Aspect Ratio: 32 inches / 16:9

Resolution: 3840 x 2160

Refresh Rate: 120Hz

Panel Type: IPS

Adaptive-Sync: FreeSync, G-Sync Compatible

TODAY’S BEST DEALS

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REASONS TO BUY

+

+ Phenomenal, accurate image quality in all respects+

+ Dolby Vision support (with firmware update)+

+ 1,600-nit, 1,152-zone backlight

REASONS TO AVOID

-‘Only’ 120 Hz refresh 

Asus has gone all out with the ProArt PA32UCG, combining 1152 dimming zones in its full-array Mini-LED backlight. A quantum dot film covers a considerable color gamut, almost 78% of Rec.2020. And it is the brightest monitor we’ve ever tested at over 1700 nits peak. To that, it adds precise out-of-box accuracy for every color mode in use today. Though it includes many calibration options and a bundled colorimeter, it’s ready for work or play, with no tweaking necessary.

And unlike its predecessors in this league, the refresh rate isn’t locked at 60 Hz. The ProArt PA32UCG brings FreeSync and G-Sync compatibility along with a 120 Hz refresh rate. If you need 144 Hz, you can do it over DisplayPort in the PA32UCG’s Rendering Mode. And its HDR support is complete as well. Many monitors deliver HDR10, but the ProArt is one of the very few to add Dolby Vision. Sure, the $5,000 price tag pushes this screen out of most people’s price range, but if you’re looking for the monitor that makes HDR content look its best while also being great for media creation and a little high-refresh gaming on the side, this monitor has no rival.

7. Lenovo ThinkVision M15

Best Portable Monitor

SPECIFICATIONS

Screen Size / Aspect Ratio: 15 inches / 16:9

Resolution: 1920 x 1080

Refresh Rate: 60Hz

Panel Type: IPS

Adaptive-Sync: None

TODAY’S BEST DEALS

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REASONS TO BUY

+

+ Sturdy kickstand and flip-out foot with good resistance+

+ Slim and lights

REASONS TO AVOID

-Flimsy sleeve-

-USB-C (DisplayPort 1.2 Alt Mode) only

A lot of us are finding ourselves working in tight spaces these days. If you’re looking to add another screen to your space, the Lenovo ThinkVision M14 is the best portable monitor. Its most standout feature is a critical one: a reliable, strong kickstand that’s easy to use, thanks to two flip-out feet. While many portable monitors are stuck with flimsy sleeves that double as stands, you can intuitively prop up the ThinkVision M14 at a -5 to 90-degree tilt or even in portrait mode. Unfortunately, its travel case isn’t as tough.

According to our benchmarks, with 244 nits max brightness and 98% coverage of the sRGB color space, the ThinkVision M14 is perfect for surfing the web or watching a movie in SDR. USB-C connectivity, meanwhile, means it won’t run out of battery when plugged into a laptop. It can also deliver as much as 65W of power to a device if plugged into a wall adapter. But those whose PC or device, such as a Raspberry Pi, doesn’t have a USB-C port with DisplayPort 1.2 Alt Mode and USB PD 2.0 or better will be out of luck.

If you prefer a portable touchscreen monitor, check out the touch version of the M14 via our Lenovo ThinkVision M14t review.

8. Asus ROG XG17AHPE

Best Portable Gaming Monitor

SPECIFICATIONS

Screen Size / Aspect Ratio: 17.3 inches

Resolution: 1920 x 1080

Refresh Rate: 240Hz

Panel Type: IPS

Adaptive-Sync: FreeSync

TODAY’S BEST DEALS

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REASONS TO BUY

+

+ HDMI, USB-C and USB-A connectivity+

+ Easy-to-access OSD with many options

REASONS TO AVOID

-More expensive than a good 240 Hz desktop monitor-

-Questionable origami stand

With a 240Hz refresh rate, 3ms (GTG) response time, and even FreeSync, the Asus ROG XG17AHPE stands high above the competition and easily snags the best portable gaming monitor crown.

However, the XG17AHPE is as expensive as it is unique. In fact, you can buy a much larger desktop-sized monitor with the same amount of speed for cheaper than this, over $400 17.3-incher. And the origami-style cover Asus includes isn’t sufficient for protecting this expensive piece of hardware or providing a reliable stand.

But the XG17AHPE also delivers strong side viewing angles, a lot of brightness (285.6 nits) and a surprising amount of color (109.5% sRGB). There are also many connectivity options, making it easy to tether it to everything from your laptop to your Raspberry Pi.

The Best Tablets of 2023

Welcome to our exhilarating blog post where we embark on a journey through the fascinating world of tablets. With their sleek designs, powerful performance, and a multitude of features, tablets have revolutionized the way we interact with technology. From browsing the web and streaming videos to gaming and productivity, these versatile devices have become an indispensable companion in our daily lives.

In this blog post, we’ll present to you our carefully curated list of the top 10 tablets available in the market today. We’ve scoured the tech industry, examining their specifications, user reviews, and expert opinions to bring you the best of the best. Whether you’re a tech enthusiast looking for the latest cutting-edge tablet or a casual user seeking a reliable device for everyday tasks, this list is sure to provide you with valuable insights and help you make an informed decision.

Our selection encompasses a wide range of brands, operating systems, and price points, catering to diverse preferences and budgets. We’ll delve into the unique features, performance capabilities, and overall user experience offered by each tablet on our list. From the sleek and stylish designs to the stunning displays and exceptional battery life, we’ll explore all aspects that make these tablets stand out from the crowd.

Join us on this captivating journey as we countdown the top 10 tablets that have captured our attention and earned accolades for their innovation and excellence. Whether you’re a student, a professional, or simply someone who enjoys staying connected on the go, we’re confident that you’ll find a tablet that meets your needs and exceeds your expectations in our comprehensive list.

So, without further ado, let’s dive into the world of tablets and discover the cream of the crop—the top 10 tablets that are set to redefine the way we experience technology.

Best tablet overall

pros & cons

pros

  • Modernized design with a USB-C port
  • Landscape front-facing camera is superior to other iPad models
  • Four new colors to choose from

cons

  • $120 price bump from predecessor
  • Dongle required to charge Apple Pencil (1st gen)

Apple iPad specs: Display: 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display with True Tone | Processor: A14 Bionic chip with 16-core Neural Engine | Storage: 64GB or 256GB | Biometrics: Touch ID | Colors: Silver, Pink, Blue, Yellow  | Cameras: 12MP f/1.8 wide, 12MP Landscape f/2.4 front | Weight: 1.05 pounds | Dimensions: 9.79 x 7.07 x .28 inches | Connections: USB-C, Smart Connector | Battery life: Up to 10 hours of video playback with USB-C charging

Apple’s tried-and-true tablet, the base model iPad, is arguably the best value out of Apple’s tablet lineup — especially thanks to its versatility and compatibility. 

«There’s an endless array of accessories, there’s a lot of iPad-specific software, and you can use it for watching content, for browsing the internet, for games, for education, etc.,» said Avi Greengart, a consumer tech analyst at Techsponential. «For productivity, you can add a keyboard or pencil to it. It’s also powerful enough for light computing tasks that consumers think of when they’re looking for a tablet.» 

When it comes to features, you essentially get the same suite as the more expensive iPad Pro and iPad Air models, but in a more lightweight form factor and a 10.9-inch Liquid Retina, True Tone display. Additionally, this model breaks out of iPad’s traditional space gray and silver color palette, adding pink, blue, and yellow in addition to sleek silver. 

In his hands-on testing, June Wan determined that if you’re shopping on a budget, last year’s iPad should «make the most sense,» especially given the A14 Bionic processor, USB-C support, 5G support for on-the-go tasks, and a new 12MP ultra-wide camera. There’s also a Magic Keyboard Folio made specifically for this iPad. It includes an adjustable kickstand with a 14-key function row for shortcuts. 

A callout to note, however, is that this iPad doesn’t support the 2nd-gen Apple Pencil, which means you’ll have to use a dongle in order to use it. 

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Best Amazon Tablet

fire-max-11-1

pros & cons

pros

  • Affordably priced, especially when bundled
  • Solid battery life
  • New, modernized design

cons

  • Performance is just alright
  • Important productivity apps are missing

more details

Amazon Fire Max 11 specs: Display: 11-inch, 2000 x 1200, 410 nits brightness, 213 ppi | Processor: MediaTek MT8188J, 2.2Ghz Octacore processor | Storage: 64GB or 128GB | Memory: 4GB | Colors: Gray | Cameras: 8MP rear and 8MP front-facing camera | Weight: 490 grams | Dimensions: 259.1 x 163.7 x 7.50 millimeters | Connections: 3.5mm headphone jack, USB-C port | Battery life: 14 hours

The Fire Max 11 is Amazon’s newest and best tablet yet. It still runs Fire OS, which means you’ll lose access to any of Google’s apps and services. However, Amazon’s own App Store has many of the same apps that regular Android devices have access to — including Netflix, Facebook, and Spotify.

It’s possible to get work done on the Fire Max 11, within limits. You can’t get apps like Slack via Amazon’s Appstore, and the Silk browser is hit or miss. That said, if you’re someone who just wants a high-quality tablet that’s affordably priced and can moonlight as a mediocre productivity tool, then the Fire Max 11 is for you. 

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Best Samsung Tablet

A Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra with keyboard attached

pros & cons

pros

  • Giant display
  • It comes with an S Pen
  • Battery life
  • 5G option

cons

  • A keyboard accessory to take full advantage of isn’t included
  • Pricey

more details

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra specs: Display: 14.6-inch, 120Hz refresh rate, Super AMOLED 2,960×1,848 display | Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 | Storage: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, microSD up to 1TB | Memory: 8GB, 12GB, 16GB | Colors: Graphite | Cameras: 13MP and 6MP rear. 12MP and 12MP ultra-wide front camera | Weight: 1.6lb | Dimensions: 12.85 x 8.21 x 0.22 inches | Connections: USB-C | Battery: 11,200mAh

If you’re looking for an Android tablet, the Samsung Galaxy Tab s8 Ultra is one of the best Android tablets. The Tab S8 Ultra features a 14.6-inch Super AMOLED display, runs on the Android 12 operating system, and Samsung’s S Pen stylus is included in the box. When ordering your Tab S8 Ultra, you can equip it with 512GB of storage and 16GB of memory for $1,399, however, it’s likely overkill.

The base model comes with 8GB of memory and 128GB of storage, and a microSD card for adding up to an extra 1TB of storage to the tablet, the combination of which should be enough for most. 

Dan Gookin, an author of technology books, said that Samsung’s lineup of tablets is the best option for Android users who want good hardware in a tablet: «I believe Samsung is the only major player left for the Android tablet market, which makes them a good choice if you want to stay on Planet Android,» he said. 

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Best Android tablet for entertainment

oneplus-pad-hero

pros & cons

pros

  • Display looks good
  • Solid performance
  • Battery life

cons

  • Android apps still need tablet improvements
  • Not a tablet for productivity
  • It looks and acts a lot like an iPad

more details

OnePlus Pad specs: Display: 11.61-inch, 144Hz refresh rate, LCD 2,800×2,000 display | Processor: MediaTek Dimensity 9000 Mobile Platform | Storage: 128GB | Memory: 8GB | Colors: Halo green | Cameras: 13MP rear. 8MP front camera | Weight: 555 grams | Dimensions: 189.41 x 258.03 x 6.54mm | Connections: USB-C | Battery: 9,510mAh

OnePlus is better known for its smartphone lineup where the company has led the way with producing phones that include a ton of features and performance while undercutting the competition when it comes to cost. And for the most part, that’s exactly what’s happened with the OnePlus Pad. 

This Android-powered tablet has month-long battery standby, along with impressive daily battery life. I also found it quick and snappy for daily tasks like checking your email, playing games or browsing the web, all on a display that looks fantastic. 

OnePlus also sells a keyboard case and a stylus for the OnePlus Pad, which more or less turns the OnePlus Pad into an iPad Pro dupe. And that’s where the stellar Pad experience starts to struggle. 

Trackpad gestures and navigation are finicky, and a lot of the same interface features — such as the mouse pointer — on the OnePlus Pad come straight from Apple’s iPadOS interface for the same feature. 

That said, if you’re looking for a tablet that’s great for keeping you entertained with very light work, then the OnePlus Pad and its 11.61-inch 2.8K display are worth a long look.

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Best compact Windows tablet

The Surface Go 3 (left) has a slimmer screen bezel than the first-generation model (right), but is unchanged from the Surface Go 2.

pros & cons

pros

  • Windows Hellow
  • Lots of ports
  • Up to 256GB storage

cons

  • Can only install apps from Microsoft Store in Windows 10 S Mode

more details

Microsoft Surface Go 3 tech specs: Display: 10.5-inch PixelSense Display | Processor: Intel Pentium Gold or Intel Core i3 | Storage: 64GB or 256GB | Memory: 4GB or 8GB | Biometrics: Windows Hello face sign-in | Colors: Platinum | Cameras: 8MP rear, 1080p video. 5MP front facing camera | Weight: 1.07 pounds | Dimensions: 9.65 x 6.9 x 0.33 inches | Connections: 1 x USB-C, 3.5mm headphone jack, 1 x Surface Connect Port, microSD card reader | Battery life: 11 hours

The design hasn’t changed for the Go 3, meaning it should work with all of the original accessories, including the Type Cover keyboard. The Go 3 has faster internals that provides a better overall experience and performance, and this time around, all three configurations of the Go 3 use an SSD instead. Previously, the combination of slower storage via an eMMC drive and the Intel Pentium processor wasn’t an enjoyable experience. 

It can also run Windows 10 in S Mode, which limits you to installing apps from only the Microsoft Store, along with a few other security features. But you can opt for the full Windows 10 experience by leaving S Mode.

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Best laptop replacement tablet

Appel iPad Pro 2022

pros & cons

pros

  • iPadOS 16.1’s new multitasking feature
  • Strong performance thanks to M2 chip

cons

  • The most expensive, by a long shot
  • Not many changes compared to previous model

more details

Apple iPad Pro tech specs: Display: 11-inch Liquid Retina display or 12.9-inch Liquid Retina XDR display with ProMotion and True Tone | Processor: Apple Silicon M2 | Storage: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB or 2TB | Biometrics: Face ID | Colors: Silver, space gray | Cameras: 12MP wide, 10MP ultrawide rear and 12MP TrueDepth FaceTime front | Weight: 11-inch: 1.03 pounds 12.9-inch: 1.5 pounds | Dimensions: 11-inch: 9.74 x 7.02 x 0.23 inches, 12.9-inches: 11.04 x 8.46 x 0.25-inches| Connections: USB-C Thunderbolt/USB-4 | Battery life: 10 hours

Apple’s 2022 iPad Pro lineup is by far the most capable and impressive iPad lineup we’ve seen, making it our best overall pick as a laptop replacement. It’s also the most expensive, by a long shot. The design hasn’t changed all that much on the outside, but on the inside, you’ll find Apple’s M2 processor which consists of 20 billion transistors — 25% more than the M1. It’s the same exact processor that Apple is using in the new 13-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air.

In our testing, we found it to be faster and more capable than any other iPad model we’ve tested to date, noting the hardware «continues to overpower the software.» You can expect downloads up to 2.4Gbps, twice as fast as the previous model, 15% faster performance, and up to 35% faster graphics performance.

The Pro also supports the 2nd-generation Apple Pencil, and there’s a new hover feature thanks to the M2 chip. The feature works like this: once the tip of the Apple Pencil gets near the iPad Pro’s display, and when it’s within 12 millimeters, parts of the interface come to life in apps that support the new feature. The Smart Connector is on the back of the iPad Pro, giving you the option to use it with the Magic Keyboard, which includes backlit keys and trackpad, or Apple’s Smart Keyboard.

And, although the differences between the 5th-generation and this 6th-generation model are more subtle, the M2 chip is really what shines here, making it a powerhouse tablet. The iPad Pro, combined with iPadOS and the M2 chip, is as close as you can get to a laptop without actually buying a laptop. 

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The best Android tablet

pixel-tablet-3

pros & cons

pros

  • Good performance and battery life
  • Finally, Android tablet apps done right
  • The Charging Speaker Dock makes it a Nest Hub

cons

  • No official keyboard case
  • Hub Mode could use some quality-of-life improvements

more details

Google Pixel Tablet tech specs: Display: 10.95-inch LCD, 2560×1600, 500 nits | Processor: Google  Tensor G2| Storage: 128GB or 256GB | Biometrics: Fingerprint sensor | Colors: Hazel, rose, porcelain  | Cameras: 8MP front, 8MP rear | Weight: 17.39 ounces | Dimensions: 10.2 x 6.7 x 0.3 inches | Connections: USB-C, pogo pins | Battery life: Up to 12 hours of video playback 

Google’s first Android tablet in years is exactly what Android tablets should have been all along. It’s true, not all apps are optimized for the larger screen, but Google’s gotten clever in the way it handles those apps, while also getting a bunch of developers on board with updating their apps for the bigger display. 

Not only is the app experience better with the Pixel Tablet, but it pulls double duty acting as a smart home hub when it’s not in use thanks to the included Charging Speaker Dock. The $129 accessory (if you want to buy extras) has a built-in speaker that ups the bass by 4x, while enabling a hub mode feature that effectively makes the Pixel Tablet more like a Nest Hub, instead of a tablet. Oh, and you can even cast music or video from another device to the Tablet when it’s docked. 

Unfortunately, right now there isn’t any sort of official keyboard or stylus for those who want to get some work done on the Pixel Tablet. But for those who are looking for a reliable Android tablet for watching shows, online shopping, playing games or just using their favorite Android apps — Google’s Pixel Tablet has you covered. 

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Best middle-of-the-road tablet

Apple iPad Air (5th generation)

pros & cons

pros

  • Great battery life
  • M1 processor
  • 4K video capable
  • Up to 256GB storage

cons

  • Only one USB-C port

more details

Apple iPad Air tech specs: Display: 10.9-inch Retina display | Processor: Apple Silicon M1 | Storage: 64GB or 256GB | Biometrics: Touch ID | Colors: Space gray, starlight, pink, purple, blue | Cameras: 12MP rear, 4K video. 12MP Ultra Wide camera | Weight: 1.02 pounds | Dimensions: 9.74 x 7.02 x 0.24 inches | Connections: USB-C port | Battery life: 10 hours

Apple’s latest update to the iPad Air is more of a catch-up announcement than anything. The 5th-generation iPad Air keeps the same design we saw Apple bring to the Air in late 2020, but it now boasts an M1 processor and 5G connectivity. 

The Apple iPad Air still sits confidently between the base iPad and the iPad Pro when you look at price, but it’s effectively caught up to the iPad Pro in terms of performance. With a 10.9-inch display, a Touch ID sensor that doubles as a power button on the side of its housing, it’s more affordable and slightly different than the iPad Pro. The new iPad Air still works with the Magic Keyboard and second-generation Apple Pencil. 

Where the iPad Pro is the model for those who want nothing but the best, the iPad Air is the model for those who want to use the tablet for work and play, without big sacrifices in performance or features. In our review, we said the iPad Air is «where your search should begin and, likely, end» if you’re in the market for an iPad.

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Best tablet for drawing

Overhead image of person's hand holding a pen and writing on a black Wacom drawing tablet

pros & cons

pros

  • Three sizes to choose from
  • Industry-leading amount of pressure sensitivity levels
  • Included stylus

cons

  • Need an external screen to use
  • Need to replace the nibs of the stylus often

more details

Wacom Intuos Pro tech specs: Display: Small, medium, or large | Weight: 0.99-2.86 pounds | Dimensions: ‎16.79 x 11.19 x 0.31 inches | Connections: USB and Bluetooth

When it comes to drawing tablets, Wacom is one of the industry leaders. With virtually no lag and 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity in the battery-free pen included, this no-screen tablet is the best one on the market for professional artists looking to create while providing a natural drawing experience.

While this writer’s experience using it as a non-artist was simply for fun, professional artists and graphic designers will appreciate the Pro Pen 2’s sensitive pressure points that allow you to go light and thin or dark and thick with your strokes. You can use the tablet to zoom in and out of your artwork, making fine-tuning details a breeze. 

The possibilities are endless when it comes to creativity with the Wacom Intuos Pro tablet, and that is reinforced with a fully-customizable ExpressKeys located on the side of the active area. These buttons allow for artists to add their most-used tools for them to easily access.

Its lightweight design is perfect for using it on a desk or on your lap, and with multiple sizes available, you can use this practically anywhere. This tablet connects to both Windows and Mac devices.

You’ll also get free access to drawing-specific apps and services, like Clip Studio Paint Pro for two years, Boris Optics for one, and have the option to test Corel Painter Essentials 8 and Corel AfterShot Pro 3 for 90 days. 

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Best tablet for reading

Amazon Kindle Oasis (3rd generation)

pros & cons

pros

  • IPX8 water resistant
  • Adjustable warm light for nighttime reading
  • Page-turning buttons

cons

  • No USB-C connector
  • No headphone jack for audiobook reading

more details

Amazon Kindle Oasis tech specs: Display: 7-inch 300 ppi e-ink screen | Storage: 8 GB or 32 GB | Colors: Champagne gold or graphite | Weight: 6.6 ounces | Dimensions: 6.3 x 5.6 x 0.13-.33 inches | Connections: USB port | Battery life: Up to 6 weeks (at 30 minutes per day)

The Kindle Oasis is the ultimate tablet for reading since it’s a high-tech device with features geared toward helping you read. Even though this Kindle hasn’t been updated by Amazon since 2019, it has adjustable warm light to make reading more comfortable at night. It also auto-adjusts light settings when you’re reading in direct sunlight, automatically rotates for page orientation, and has a physical page turn button so flipping pages is easier than ever. 

The screen is Amazon’s signature e-ink technology, which is very different than the display you’ll find on an iPad. Instead, e-ink provides a paper-like display for readers with 300 pixels per inch (ppi) and 25 front-light LEDs. 

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Best tablet for kids

Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Tablet

pros & cons

pros

  • Affordable
  • Kids edition has many perks
  • Easy to use

cons

  • Performance will be an issue
  • Amazon’s Appstore is hit or miss

more details

Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids tech specs: Display: 8-inch display | Processor: Hexa-core 2.0 Ghz | Storage: 32GB or 64GB (expandable by up to 1 TB) | Memory: 2GB | Colors: Blue, purple, Disney Mickey Mouse, or Disney princess | Cameras: 2 MP front and rear-facing cameras with 720p HD video recording | Weight: 18.3 ounces | Dimensions: 8.7 x 7.1 x 1.1 inches| Connections: 3.5mm headphone jack, USB-C port | Battery life: 13 hours

Amazon just updated this tablet model last year, making it faster and with a longer battery life. Not only does it have a kid-proof case built to withstand 3 to 7-year-olds, but it also comes with a free one-year subscription to Amazon Kids+. 

The tablet also grants users an Amazon FreeTime Unlimited subscription, which grants you access to thousands of kid-friendly ad-free books, as well as movies, games and other kid-friendly and educational content. 

The tablet’s kid-friendly case is also worth mentioning, because it protects against drops and bumps, and it comes complete with an adjustable stand so your kids can go hands-free. But Amazon does offer you a two-year worry-free guarantee in case the tablet does succumb to playtime.

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