Battery life is the one metric that truly affects all other aspects of a tablet’s functionality. So let’s take a moment to celebrate the longest-lasting tablets currently at the top of our list.
iPad Air 2
CNET rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 (Outstanding)
The good: The latest iPad Air gets an improved A8X processor, better rear and front-facing cameras, an even thinner and lighter design, an anti-reflective screen, a Touch ID fingerprint sensor, and more built-in storage at higher configurations than previous models.
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The bad: The Air 2 isn’t a big change from last year’s iPad in terms of overall function; battery life remains the same, although its battery life is already pretty good. Audio playback via speakers makes the thin metal body resonate more than before.
The cost: $499 to $500
The bottom line: The iPad Air 2 is a nice refinement and finesse of last year’s model. It has a bevy of tweaks and enhancements, along with a much faster processor and the welcome addition of Touch ID. Simply put: It’s still the gold standard for tablets.
Amazon Fire HDX 8.9
CNET rating: 4 stars out of 5 (Excellent)
The good: The Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 is the first tablet with Dolby Atmos audio-enhancing technology and Amazon’s item-identifying Firefly function. Its user-friendly operating system includes Mayday instant customer service, extensive parental controls and the ability to set up individual profiles, as well as a new function to extend battery life. It’s still one of the lightest and slimmest tablets around.
The bad: Amazon’s curated app store has far fewer apps and games than Google and iOS app stores. The heavily modified OS leaves little room for customization, and there’s no microSD card slot.
The cost: $379
The bottom line: Impressive Amazon features and an outstanding display make the Fire HDX 8.9 one of the best and most affordable media consumption tablets.
Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 (Android, 8-inch)
CNET rating: 3.5 stars out of 5 (Very good)
The good: The Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 has a comfortable, ergonomic design with a useful built-in kickstand. The sharp LED display is paired with booming speakers and a long-lasting battery.
The bad: The heavily modified Android overlay lacks an app tray and customization features. Home screens can’t accommodate lots of widgets.
The cost: $230
The bottom line: Practical, portable and affordable, the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 is a great option for casual, everyday use.
LG G Pad
CNET rating: 3 stars out of 5 (Good)
The good: The affordable LG G Pads have slim designs, IR blasters for universal remote control, and microSD card slots. The revamped interface features customization options and dual-window capabilities. Battery life is commendable, at 11 and 13 hours for the smaller and larger screen sizes, respectively.
The bad: Screen resolution is pixelated on the 10-inch model, touchscreen response is prone to lag, and performance is sluggish when running large apps and graphics-heavy games.
The cost: $252 to $258
The bottom line: Run-of-the-mill specs paired with sleek, minimalist designs make the LG G Pads attractive budget buys, but there’s little to distinguish them from similarly performing slates in the same price range.