2021 was the year that Android tablets made a long overdue comeback. We witnessed multiple brands entering the tablet space in India as well as in the global market. For the last couple of years, Apple dominated the tablet market with its iPad lineup while Samsung was only the major Android tablet maker, but in 2021 with most people from home and students attending classes online, the need for a large screen device was real and brands were quick to address it by launching tablets.
Most of the Android tablets launched were in the budget segment priced under Rs 20,000, while the mid-range and premium segments were dominated by new iPads and Samsung tablets. Realme was one of the first to take advantage and launch its first-ever tablet, it was soon followed by Nokia, Motorola, and Lenovo. Budget tablets are perfect for education and entertainment purposes while the premium ones are best suited for productivity. These are the winners for the best mainstream tablet as well as the best premium tablet of 2021 for the Indian Gadget Awards.
The Realme Pad was selected as the winner of the Best Mainstream Tablet of 2021 award, while the runner up is the Lenovo Tab K10.
Best Mainstream Tablet of 2021– Indian Gadget Awards 2021 Nominees
- Realme Pad
- Nokia T20
- Moto Tab G20
Lenovo Tab K10
- TCL 10 TabMax
The Realme Pad ticks almost all the boxes for an Android slate that costs less than Rs 20,000. This is a good tablet for students to attend classes online and also for entertainment purposes. The Realme Pad sports a powerful quad-speaker setup, slim design, and long-lasting battery life. It sports a 10.4-inch WUXGA+ LCD display with an 82.5% screen-to-body ratio and 360 nits of peak brightness. It is powered by the MediaTek Helio G80 and is paired with up to 4GB of RAM and 32/64GB eMMC 5.1 storage. The tablet is available in Wi-Fi only and LTE options. Realme has packed in a clean stock Android experience with just Google apps pre-installed. Lastly, the 8MP front-facing camera with a 105-degree viewing angle is great for video calls and meetings. Even though it’s the first tablet from the company, Realme has done exceptionally well here.
The Nokia T20 tablet rivals the Realme Pad with an almost similar price tag as well. The Nokia T20 sports an all-metal design and it comes in attractive colours. It has a sturdy build and feels comfortable to hold in your hands. It also sports a 10.4-inch LCD panel with 1200 × 2000 pixels resolution. The screen produces well-tuned colours and can touch 400 nits brightness. There is also a quad-speaker setup. The 5MP front camera isn’t the best in the segment, but decent enough for basic usage. Like Nokia smartphones, the Nokia T20 also runs on stock Android 11 一 clean, fuss-free, and easy to use. The tablet is powered by a Unisoc T610 chipset which is decent for basic tasks. Lastly, in terms of battery life, the 8200mAh on the inside, get the tablet going for two to three days.
Moto Tab G20
One of the most affordable tablets on the list, the Moto Tab G20 is priced at Rs 9,999 for the 3GB+32GB model. It comes in a Wi-Fi only variant. On the front, it sports an 8-inch HD+ IPS LCD display with 1280 x 800 pixels resolution and 360 nits peak brightness. It boots Android 11 out of the box with a near-stock Android look. Under the hood, it is powered by a MediaTek Helio P22T SoC which is paired with IMG GE8320 650 GPU. It has a 5MP rear camera and a 2MP selfie camera. The 5100mAh battery is supported by 10W fast charging.
Lenovo Tab K10
The Lenovo Tab K10 is a sub Rs 20,000 tablet that comes in four variants with up to 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, WiFi and LTE options. The Lenovo Tab K10 sports a 10.3-inch Full HD+ screen, 400 nits brightness and is powered by MediaTek Helio P22T octa-core processor. This tablet is also available in a battery-less version for enterprise usage. It comes with dual speakers with Dolby Audio certified sound. It is backed by a 7,500mAh battery and supports 5W charging.
TCL 10 TabMax
TCL, the brand which is popularly known for its smart TVs in India, launched its new tablet in India called the TCL 10 TabMax. The tablet comes in a 4GB+64GB configuration with Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi + 4G options. It sports a 10.3-inch Full HD display. It is powered by an unknown octa-core SoC with four Cortex-A73 clocked at 2.0 GHz and four Cortex-A53 at 2.0 GHz. The TCL 10 TabMax features a 13MP rear camera and an 8MP selfie snapper on the front. An 8,000mAh battery powers the tablet with 10W charging support. Lastly, the TabMax runs on Android 10 out of the box.
The Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch was selected as the winner of the Best Premium Tablet of 2021 award, while the runner up is the iPad mini.
Best Premium Tablet of 2021– Indian Gadget Awards 2021 Nominees
- Apple iPad Mini
- Apple iPad Pro
- Lenovo Tab P11 Pro
- Microsoft Surface Go 3
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE
Apple iPad Mini
Apple’s iPad Mini series is quite popular as it brings the best of iPad at a reasonable price without having to compromise much on specs and features. The latest iPad Mini 6th gen sports an 8.3-inch retina display with 500 nits of peak brightness and is powered by Apple’s A15 Bionic chip. It comes with up to 256GB of storage along with Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi+5G options. It sports a 12MP ultra-wide camera on the front and also a 12MP shooter on the back. As for the battery life, Apple says the new iPad Mini 6 can last up to 10 hours. The iPad Mini is also the only one that comes with 5G support, other than the iPad Pro. It also supports Apple Pencil, which needs to be purchased separately.
Apple iPad Pro
The latest refreshed Apple iPad Pro is the top of the line tablet from the company without any compromise. The new tablet from Apple is powered by the powerful M1 chip, which is also used on the Macbook lineup. With the iPad Pro, tasks like video editing and photo editing are hassle-free and so is the case for all apps and games. If you can get the iPad Pro keyboard separately, you can easily replace your existing laptop. The iPad Pro comes in two screen sizes – 11-inch and 12.9-inch. The 12.9-inch version comes with a Liquid Retina XDR mini-LED display with up to 1600 nits of peak brightness. Both Pro models have a 120Hz refresh rate. There is a dual-camera setup with a 12MP wide lens and 10MP ultra-wide lens. Selfies and video calls are handled by a 12MP true depth lens. The iPad Pro is for people who need the performance of a high-end laptop on a smaller form factor.
Lenovo Tab P11 Pro
The Lenovo Tab P11 Pro is made up of an aluminium alloy unibody with a dual-tone finish, it weighs just 5.8mm at its thinnest point while weighing 485 grams. On the front, you get an 11.5-inch OLED screen with 2k resolution (2560 x 1600 pixels). The display is also HD certified for streaming Netflix, Prime Video, and other OTT apps content in high definition. The Lenovo Tab P11 Pro is powered by a Snapdragon 730G processor paired with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of onboard storage. There is a dual 13MP + 5MP rear camera setup and a dual 8MP selfie camera on the front.
The front camera also supports real-time background blurring for video calls and face unlock with the ToF sensor. It packs in an 8,600mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0 support. The audio department is taken care of by quad JBL speakers with Dolby Atmos support. The Lenovo Tab P11 Pro also comes with optional accessories like a keyboard and stylus which will help enhance the user experience.
Microsoft Surface Go 3
Microsoft’s Surface Go 3 was launched in India in November with Windows 11 OS out of the box. It sports a 10.5 inch 3:2 display with 1080p cameras on both the back and front 一 this is one area where Microsoft gets an edge over its rivals. The Surface Go 3 is available in Wi-Fi and LTE options with up to 8GB RAM and 128GB storage options.
It also supports Dolby Audio technology and is fitted with studio microphones for a better audio experience. The battery life is just average here, lasting about a day on a single charge. The Microsoft Surface Go 3 is best suited for those whose work is dependent on Windows-based apps and services.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE
The Galaxy Tab S7 FE is Samsung’s third tablet in the Tab S7 series, after the Tab S7 and Tab S7+. Essentials like design, battery life, display, and audio experience are not compromised on the slate, while the software experience on the Samsung tab is still one of the best you can get on an Android-powered device. With the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE, you are getting a 12.4-inch LCD screen with a 60Hz refresh rate and a 1600 x 2560 resolution.
The display is backed by a dual stereo speaker setup 一 a great combo for entertainment. The tab is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G chipset, along with 4GB or 6GB of RAM 一 which is a capable SoC and handles all tasks well. The large 10,900mAh battery lasts long enough to binge-watch shows for a couple of days or get work done on a given day. You can take the experience to the next level with the included S Pen and optional keyboard cover.
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