2017 Holiday Gift Guide: 10 Hot Tablets For The Techie On Your List

The Best Tablets Around

With the holiday season on our doorstep, many friends and family members will have a new tablet high on their wish lists. But which one will make the perfect gift for your loved ones?

As the tablet becomes a more established product, however, shoppers find themselves browsing a wide array of choices that range from well-known favorites, like Apple's iPad, the Microsoft Surface and the Amazon Kindle, to emerging challengers in the space such as Google and Huawei.

With so many options to sift through, buyers might have a tough time narrowing their lists down in time for the holidays. So CRN has done some research for you, highlighted in this list of 10 tablets that stood out to us this year.

Apple iPad 2017

Price: $330

The 9.7-inch version of this popular tablet features crisp display, a basic storage level of 32 GB and top-notch battery life.

The iPad might lack some of the flashier features of the more expensive iPad Pro, which comes with the Apple Pencil stylus and is compatible with iOS 11, but it also boasts a well-rounded user experience and quality device performance for a sweet price.

If price is less of an object or you're looking for your tablet to function more like a proper laptop, the 10.5-inch iPad Pro – starting at $650 – is another great option from Apple.

Microsoft Surface Pro 2017

Price: Starts at $700

The price tag is hefty, but the latest Surface Pro comes with an upgraded Core m3 CPU, improved battery life, 4 GB of RAM and a 128-GB solid-state storage drive. Users also have the option to add the Microsoft Pen stylus and a keyboard cover to go with the device's flexible kickstand.

Simply put, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better, more highly powered tablet that runs a Microsoft operating system than this year's Surface Pro.

Compared with predecessors that hit shelves in 2015 and 2016, the number of enhancements featured in the 2017 edition might seem modest. But if you're not already an owner of those previous models or prefer a Windows OS over the Apple interface, Microsoft's high-powered tablet is a fantastic choice that's hard to top.

Google Pixel C

Price: $500

With a compact design, powerful performance and at least 32 GB of storage, Google's latest Android tablet might be its best yet.

The Pixel C features a 10.2-inch display, great resolution, an Nvidia eight-core processor and a lightweight frame that puts it in competition with tablet heavyweights Microsoft and Apple. In fact, its battery life is better than both the Apple iPad Air 2 and Microsoft Surface 3 (12 hours and 42 minutes of video playback).

Buyers can add a Google keyboard, which also functions as a foldable protective cover, for $149.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3

Price: $600

Another Android-based device, the 9.7-inch Galaxy Tab S3 boasts excellent 2048 x 1,536-pixel display and is compatible with HDR content. The rear camera, which has 13-megapixel power and can shoot 4K video at 30 frames per second, is great, as is the audio quality.

This is a quality Android tablet with battery life that rivals the Pixel C and a stylus pen that comes with purchase. A keyboard is sold separately for $130.

Samsung Galaxy Book

Price: $1,150

Though more expensive than the Microsoft Surface Pro, the Galaxy Book includes the stylus and keyboard that Microsoft users are required to buy separately. Those inclusions, plus an impressive 12-inch display and sleek, Android-like design, give the Surface Pro a run for its money.

The high-end specs – including a dual-core i5 processor and 4 GB of RAM, for starters – makes streaming videos, surfing the web and multitasking a pretty effortless job. The tablet is also relatively lightweight for its size, at 1.66 pounds and a 7.36mm thickness, making it smaller than the Surface Pro.

Ultimately, the two devices are comparable. If you're looking for a high-powered Windows tablet that's great for watching TV, the Galaxy Book should meet your needs.

Huawei MediaPad M3

Price: $285

Shoppers on a budget, take note: the MediaPad M3 is a thrifty Android-based competitor to the Apple iPad Mini that offers HD display and powerful Harman-Kardon speakers.

The svelte build and 8.4-inch screen, which has 2,560 x1,600-pixel resolution, make this tablet a prime gift for anyone interested in watching TV, listening to music or playing games. The Huawei HiSilicon Kirin octa-core processor, Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS, 32 GB of onboard storage and the MicroSD slot, which supports up to 128 GB of card storage, all get the job done on that front.

The MediaPad M3 also offers a split-screen viewing option, a capability most smaller tablets lack. The design and performance combine to make this one a pretty smart buy if the user wants a tablet for casual entertainment.

Amazon Fire 8 Kids HD

Price: $130

Those with children, nephews, nieces or grandchildren will definitely want to consider the kids edition of Amazon's Fire 8, an 8-inch tablet with at least 32 GB of memory, 12-hour battery life and a sturdy child-proof case for protection when it's inevitably dropped.

Perhaps more importantly, parents can easily control which content their kids can and cannot access, and even set limits on the amount of time they can spend online in one sitting.

This tablet deal also includes one year's unlimited access to Amazon Fire for Kids content, which includes thousands of educational apps and games.

Lenovo Tab 4

Price: $170

This 10-inch Lenovo tablet of course has some drawbacks compared to the higher-end options available right now, but for the price, the Tab 4 can handle all your web browsing and video streaming requirements just fine.

On the plus side, Lenovo's device supports 10 hours of battery life, 16 GB of storage, a version of Android's Nougat 7.0 OS and a microSD slot if you need more space on your tablet.

And, in case you were wondering about more detailed specifications, the Tab 4 is Wi-Fi-enabled with a 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon apq8017 quad core processor, 2 GB of RAM and a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera.

HP X360

Price: $670

If you're looking for your tablet to do more of what a laptop can, HP's versatile 2-in1 tablet is likely to fit the bill with four different user modes enabled by its foldable design.

A seventh-gen Intel Core i5 processor and 8 GB of RAM, along with up to a terabyte of hard drive storage, give you enough space and power to accomplish pretty much anything a laptop could. The 15.6-inch display, Bluetooth 4.0 and dual speakers make for a nice media-consuming experience on top of it. The OS is Windows 10 Home.

And, if you need to record video (or chat with grandma), the X360 features an HD, 720-pixel wide-vision webcam.

Asus ZenPad 10.1-Inch

Price: $159

Another bargain buy to consider if an Amazon Fire 10 isn't your cup of tea, the 10.1-inch model of the ZenPad is another reasonably priced device that might make sense for a first-time tablet user.

The ZenPad has 16 GB of storage and 2 GB of RAM to go with a quad-core processor. For photo-takers, the rear camera is 5 megapixels and the front-facing one is 2 megapixels. The Asus tablet also has a microSD card slot that supports up to 64-GB devices.

The ZenPad might not beat out Amazon on price, but that certainly doesn't make it a bad deal – especially if you're not looking to empty your pockets this holiday season.