The big manufacturers Apple and Samsung regularly go head-to-head in the competition for the best tablet. In the latest test, Stiftung Warentest shows who is in the lead. An inexpensive insider tip from Huawei is also included.
Due to the different operating systems, it is more important than ever to get to grips with the current models. We present the test results from the 07/2021 issue of “test” and the updated best list from the end of October.
This is how Stiftung Warentest tested
Stiftung Warentest has now tested 135 tablets from manufacturers such as Apple, Samsung, Lenovo, Huawei and Medion. Eleven new models were added at the end of October. The devices have a screen diagonal of 8 to 13 inches.
The tablets have the different operating systems Android 10 or 11 and iPadOS. All devices have Bluetooth and WLAN. Some models also have a cellular chip installed. Thus, you can also surf on the go.
Functions such as surfing, video and photo, sound, camera and 3D games (30 percent of the total score), display, battery and handling (20 percent each) as well as versatility (10 percent) were examined.
Tablets in the test – the results
A total of five of the tested tablets received the test quality rating “good”, five received a “satisfactory” and one model only made it through the test with a “sufficient”. As in Stiftung Warentest’s 2020 tablet test, devices from Apple and Samsung came out on top and achieved the best results.
The test winner with a screen diagonal of at least ten inches was the Apple iPad Pro 2021 with the “test” quality rating “good (1.7)”. New in second place is the Huawei Mate Pad 11 with a “test” quality rating of “good (1.8)”. The best Samsung tablet is the Galaxy Tab S7, which already scored “good (1.8)” in the last test.
The price winner is the Lenovo Tab M8 HD with an eight-inch screen, which scored “good (2.4)”.
Test winner tablet: Apple iPad Pro 2021
The test result: Apple’s iPad Pro is the test winner with an overall rating of “good (1.7)” in both 11-inch and 12.9-inch. Stiftung Warentest especially praises the speed and performance. The display receives the rating “very good”.
Product details: The Apple iPad Pro 11-inch in the current third generation has at least 128 GB of storage and Apple’s own M1 processor. The chip provides an enormous performance boost and is also used in the MacBook Air. The tablet also gets closer to the laptops in terms of working memory. Thus, 8 to 16 GB are integrated depending on the model.
Apple has not changed anything in the slim design compared to the predecessor. New features are 5G mobile and a fast USB 4 port. The IPS display is unchanged compared to the predecessor. It measures 11 inches and has a resolution of 2,388 x 1,668 pixels. The rear camera has twelve megapixels. A LiDAR scanner is also integrated to display rooms, objects and people in 3D. According to the manufacturer, the device lasts up to ten hours when fully charged.
Price-performance winner in second place: Huawei Mate Pad 11
The test result: With an overall grade of “good (1.8)”, the Huawei MatePad 11 takes second place. The tablet is one of the best Android models in the test and convinced the testers especially with its good price-performance ratio. It is significantly cheaper than the competitors from Samsung and Apple.
Product details: Huawei’s MatePad 11 can technically compete with Apple’s and Samsung’s tablets and costs considerably less. It has 64 GB of expandable storage, 6 GB of RAM, and a display with a 120 hertz refresh rate. The resolution is 2,560 x 1,600 pixels. The battery life is up to 14 hours. The Qualcomm processor with eight cores delivers a lot of performance in everyday use. There is little criticism in terms of hardware. In contrast, you have to live with restrictions in the software.
Huawei, there was something. The company is not allowed to trade with US companies and thus cannot offer the Android operating system and Google services on the devices. Many apps are available via the company’s own app store, but you can only install some programs like WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter via detours. In contrast, the Harmony OS operating system is clearly based on Android. Thus, you can quickly find the overview. If a particularly large selection of apps is not important for you, the Huawei tablet is a cheap alternative.
The best Samsung tablet: Galaxy Tab S7
The test result: The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 scores a test rating of “good (1.8)”, which also puts it in second place. The tablet scores with very good handling.
Product details: The Galaxy Tab S7 has an OLED display with 11 inches and a resolution of 2,560 x 1,600 pixels. With a 120 hertz refresh rate, movements look particularly smooth. The eight-core processor has a performance of 2.2 gigahertz. The S Pen is also part of the equipment. It can not only be used for writing, commenting or drawing, but also as a remote control.
The storage can easily be expanded up to one terabyte with a microSD card. 5G mobile and an ultra-wide-angle camera with 13 megapixels are also on board. Together with the Galaxy Tab S7+, it is one of the best and fastest Android tablets on the market.
The price tip: Lenovo Tab M8 HD
The test result: Among the models with a screen diagonal of eight inches, Lenovo’s Tab M8 HD achieves the overall grade “good (2.4)”. It primarily stands out due to its low price and long battery life.
Product details: The Lenovo Tab M8 HD is one of the cheapest models in Stiftung Warentest’s comparison. The battery achieves a runtime of up to twelve hours. The handy tablet offers a 20.3-centimeter screen with a resolution of 1,280 x 800 pixels. It has a working memory of two gigabytes and an internal memory of 32 gigabytes, which can be expanded with a micro-SD card.
A small drawback: The rear camera only has a resolution of five megapixels, and the front camera even only has 2 megapixels. It is therefore less suitable for taking high-quality photos. A USB-C port is also not included.
Conclusion of the Stiftung Warentest test
As in the tests of the past few years, most of the current tablets received good scores. Especially the iPads from Apple and the Galaxy models from Samsung achieve top rankings.
The current best tablet is Apple’s iPad Pro. Samsung and Huawei are close behind. The iPad is a bit more expensive, but it offers by far the largest selection of apps and convinces with a long update guarantee. The best Samsung tablet in the test is the Galaxy Tab S7.
A cheaper alternative is the powerful Huawei MatePad 11: At just 400 Euros, it costs less than half as much as the test winner from Apple. However, you have to do without Google services for that. If you want to save even more and do not attach quite as much importance to speed, we recommend the Lenovo Tab M8 HD, which is also well suited for children.
Frequently asked questions about tablets
Safety in tablets – what should you look out for?
If you buy a tablet, make sure that the operating system is as up-to-date as possible. This ensures that all security gaps are closed and the system also gets regular updates and new features.
Tablet operating systems: iPad OS or Android?
It makes sense to use the operating system that you also use on your smartphone or PC/laptop. This way you can synchronize your devices and make extra sense of them. If you use a Mac or an Apple smartphone, an iPad is therefore the right choice. Otherwise, you will do well with an Android tablet if your smartphone also runs on this operating system.