The 10 Coolest Tablets of 2015 (So Far)

Tablet Takeover

The tablet market is continually facing pressure due to the small, portable devices' longer-than-expected refresh cycles, but that hasn't stopped vendors like Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo and Samsung from staying strong in the tablet game.

Even as market research firm IDC forecasts the global tablet market's growth to steadily slow to 2.1 percent in 2015, vendors have continued to push the limits with new device launches, introducing innovative enterprise features on newly released tablets such as stylus pens, kickstands and larger screen sizes.

From the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 to the Microsoft Surface 3, here are 10 of the coolest tablets released in 2015 so far.

For more on the "coolest" of 2015, check out "CRN's 2015 Tech Midyear In Review."

Lenovo Tab 2 A7

Lenovo at the Consumer Electronics Show this year introduced two new budget Tab 2 A7 tablets -- the 9.3mm-thick Tab 2 A7-10 and the slightly thinner 8.9mm-thick version, the Tab 2 A7-30.

This new entertainment tablet, which is intended for music and multimedia on the go, runs on a powerful MediaTek 1.3GHz quad-core processor and is powered by Android 4.4 KitKat.

Complete with a 7-inch display and SIM card support, Lenovo's Tab 2 A7 tablet series boast peak entertainment features through utilizing Dolby Laboratories sound technology for enhanced audio in the tablet's speakers.

The Tab 2 A7-10 is priced at $99 while the Tab 2 A7-30 costs $129.

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 With AnyPen

Lenovo also used CES 2015 to take the wraps off its Yoga Tablet 2, a more expensive alternative to its Tab 2 A7.

The 8-inch full-HD display Yoga Tablet 2 runs on Windows 8.1 and contains an Intel Atom processor.

With innovative features such as a kickstand to reposition the device, a stylus called AnyPen technology, and a free one-year subscription to Office 365, the Yoga Tablet 2 is targeted at enterprise-focused customers.

Like the Tab 2 A7, the Yoga Tablet 2 also contains Dolby Laboratories audio technology and an advanced rear camera. The Yoga Tablet 2 costs $299.99.

Sony Xperia Z4

Sony in March unveiled its latest high-end ultrathin tablet in the Xperia line, the Sony Xperia Z4.

This new tablet features a larger, 10.1-inch screen with 2K display. The Android tablet also runs on Qualcomm's Snapdragon 810 processor with integrated LTE and 64-bit octa-core CPU.

At just 6.1mm thick, Sony's Xperia Z4 is ultrathin, portable and contains waterproof features.

Hewlett-Packard Pro Slate 8

HP in January debuted the Pro Slate 8, an enterprise-targeted metal-framed tablet with an 8-inch display.

The HP Pro Slate 8 is powered by a 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon quad-core processor and runs on Android 4.4, in addition to a battery life of 13 hours.

HP also added an ultrasound stylus, called the Duet Pen, and a docking port so users can utilize the tablet with a keyboard and mouse.

The HP Pro Slate 8 is priced at $478.99.

Hewlett-Packard Pro Slate 12

In addition to its Pro Slate 8, HP unveiled its Pro Slate 12 tablet, a larger, more expensive version that is folder-size and around 8mm thick.

The massive 12-inch HP Pro Slate 12 comes with the same enterprise features as the Pro Slate 8, such as the Duet stylus pen and a docking port, and also runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon quad-core processor and the Android 4.4 operating system.

This tablet is a more expensive version of the Pro Slate at $581.99.

Lenovo Ideapad Miix 300

In March, Lenovo dropped its new Ideapad Miix 300, an 8-inch Windows tablet that will go on sale in July.

Built for productivity, this 9.3mm-thick tablet will be powered by a quad-core Atom Bay Trail chip and runs on Windows 8.1 with Bing. Similar to Lenovo's Yoga Tablet 2, users of the Ideapad Miix 300 will receive a free one-year subscription to Office 365.

The Ideapad Miix 300 tablet will start at $149, according to Lenovo, and hits shelves in July.

Silent Circle's Blackphone+

Silent Circle, a startup known for making the ultra-secure Blackphone (pictured), in March debuted a tablet that is built from the bottom up to secure and protect sensitive data and information, the Blackphone+.

The Blackphone+ tablet will have a 7-inch screen and a Qualcomm processor, and will be the "world's first privacy-focused tablet," according to Silent Circle.

The price for the new Blackphone+ was not revealed, but more information will be publicized as the tablet's release date in the fall approaches.

Nokia N1

The Nokia N1 tablet, unveiled in March at Mobile World Congress, has a very similar look to the iPad Mini.

Nokia's newest 6.9mm-thick tablet is powered by a 64-bit Intel quad-core processor and comes with a 7.9-inch laminated display and Type-C reversible connector.

The tablet is available in natural aluminum and lava gray, and runs Android 5.0 Lollipop. The Nokia N1 has been released in China and Taiwan, but not yet in the U.S.


BlackBerry, primarily a smartphone device and security software company, in March partnered with Samsung and IBM to unveil the SecuTablet.

SecuTablet is an ultra-secure version of the 10.5-inch Galaxy Tab S, an ultra-thin HD tablet that will be equipped with a micro-SD security card from BlackBerry's secure communications subsidiary, SecuSmart. Meanwhile, IBM's bundling software will protect personal applications.

The SecuTablet will sell for around $2,380, according to BlackBerry, and will be released in the summer.

Microsoft Surface 3

Microsoft's Surface 3, unveiled in March, is a thinner, lighter rendition of the company's Surface Pro 3. The 10.8-inch-screened tablet contains 10 hours of battery life and Microsoft's signature integrated kickstand, turning it into a laptop when users need it, and a stylus dubbed Surface Pen.

Surface 3 packs a quad-core Intel Atom processor and allows easy connection for peripherals with a full-size USB 3.0, microSD card reader and Mini DisplayPort. Finally, with the Surface 3's Windows 8.1 operating system users can receive an included one-year subscription to Office 365 Personal.

The Surface 3 is priced at $499.