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More - Sep 1, 2016

4 of the Best Tablets for Back to School

A rundown of the latest iOS, Android and Windows tabs for class and home

You don’t need to be an A student to appreciate all the benefits of a tablet: they’re super-thin and light, simple to use and offer instant-on access, an all-day battery, plus millions of apps to customize the experience. Question is: which one should you invest in? You’ve got options, so here’s a look at a few recommended tablets to consider.

For the Budget-conscious 

Lenovo TAB 2 A7-20, $150, lenovo.com

Want something portable and affordable? The Lenovo TAB 2 A7 is a seven-inch tablet ideal for toting around school, reading ebooks and digital textbooks, and watching flicks when you’re unwinding after class (with front-facing Dolby-supported speakers). Despite its entry-level price, this Android-powered tab features a quad-core processor and IPS HD touchscreen display, and while it houses only eight gigabytes of internal storage, it’s expandable to 32 GB via microSD.

For the Family 

Samsung Tab A 10.1, $399, samsung.ca

Billed as a sharable device for the family, the Samsung Tab A 10.1 offers a large and colourful 10.1-inch screen, with magnetic book cover (not included) that allows you to modify the viewing height to fit the application – be it typing up homework, flicking through recipes or binge-watching your favourite show. It supports multiple users, so everyone in the fam can have their own profile, while also allowing parents to control access to content. Expand the storage up to 200 GB with an optional microSD card. Battery life tops 12 hours.

For Creative Types 

iPad Pro, starting at $799, apple.ca

Sold with a 9.7-inch (from $799) or 12.9-inch (from $1,049) display, Apple’s iPad Pro is a versatile device that lets you tap, swipe or draw on its sharp Retina display. Along with powerful art apps, students can work with familiar productivity tools (including Microsoft Office), even in split-screen, using Apple Pencil, typing on its smart virtual keyboard, or via a keyboard accessory. Between its fast processor and graphics, cameras and clear sound, iPad Pro is a premium pick for high-school and post-secondary students.

For a PC Replacement 

Surface Pro 4, from $999, microsoft.com

There are tablets and there are laptops, but the Surface Pro 4 straddles the line between those two form factors. By day, write notes using the bundled Surface Pen on the 12.3-inch HD touchscreen. At night, prop up the kickstand, attach an optional Type Cover keyboard and crank out an essay. Or use your fingertips to flick through movies, games or ebooks. Powered by an Intel Core processor and Windows 10, Surface also rocks a USB port, microSD slot and more.