Apple, Android or Windows tablets – what's right for you?

Not sure of the difference between Apple, Android or Windows tablets? Read our guide on which one you'd prefer…

22 Jun 2018

Apple – iOS

iPad brought the tablet to the masses. It runs Apple’s own operating system – iOS.

As it’s designed specifically for Apple devices, setup is simple and it’s all-encompassing – you’ll get the hang of adding contacts, putting events in the calendar and scrolling screens in no time.

The software is updated regularly for the best user experience – its current version iOS 11.

Best bits

  • App Store: over 1.5 million apps available to download to your device, from Facebook to Netflix and more
  • iTunes and Apple Music: grow your music, TV and movie collection with Apple’s extensive library
  • Built-in apps: surf the web with Safari and find stuff you have saved with Spotlight
  • Sync your iPad, iPhone and MacBook: make a change on one and it’ll appear on all the others
  • Turn your iPad into a laptop: with a wireless keyboard and the Pages app
  • Video calling: use built-in FaceTime to call other iDevices
  • Multi-task withsplit-view apps: stream Netflix while browsing Facebook
  • Siri the digital assistant keeps you up-to-date on appointments and memos

Apple 9.7 iPad

Which Apple iPad should I buy?

Try the 128GB Apple 9.7” iPad. Its A10 Fusion Chip makes it super-fast. Whether you enjoy heavy graphic gaming or editing UHD video, this tablet is up to the job. And it’s light and durable for computing on the go.



Google’s OS is designed to be used on devices from multiple manufacturers.

Google makes its own Android tablets called Nexus. But Asus and Samsung tablets are also popular Android choices.

There are loads of Android variants. Why? Because each manufacturer adds its own ‘skin’ to the design by running their own software on top of it.

Even with different skins you’ll still get the best of Google’s services built-in. The latest version is Android Oreo.

Android tablets

Best bits

  • Sync your Android tablet and phone: share calendars, contacts and documents
  • Google Now on tap: tailored sports results, calendar updates and traffic information based on where you are and what you’re doing
  • Google Play: browse over 1 million apps as well as music and movies
  • Essays and spreadsheets: work on Google Docs and sheets or Office for Android
  • Customise your home screen: with colours, layouts and widgets
  • Battery saving: when not in use, it goes into low-power sleep mode and apps run on standby
  • New for Oreo: Picture-in-picture mode, quick zoom camera, notification dots and Autofill for passwords

See our range of Android tablets

Surface Pro


Designed for both keyboard/mouse and touchscreen controls, Windows 10 is an all-rounder – working on tablets, smartphones, laptops and computers.

Windows tablets work a lot like a PC – there are even 2-in-1 options that switch between laptop and tablet modes.

Best bits

  • Office apps: Word, Excel and PowerPoint all optimised for touchscreen
  • Sync with your Windows laptop: share files on OneDrive
  • Annotate webpages: use a stylus pen to make notes and draw on-screen
  • Cortana: a bit like Siri, but for Windows
  • Skype video calling: call friends or dial into conference calls with this handy tech
  • Windows Hello: log in with face recognition or your fingerprints
  • Latest from Windows 10: Storage Sense automatically frees up disk space and the Night light setting reduces blue light. Plus there’s 3D apps and 4K game streaming

Surface Pro

Which Windows tablet should I buy?

The Microsoft i5 Surface Pro gives you the best of both worlds – it’s a tablet that's perfect for serious multitasking and creative work. To make the most of it, scribble notes onto the screen with the Surface Pen or add the Surface Keyboard to type laptop-style.


Decided on an operating system? Now choose your tablet

Related in Tablet & iPad reviews

Introducing the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE 5G and Wi-Fi

03 Sep 2021

Why choose a tablet for school or uni?

25 Aug 2021

Could a Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 replace your PC?

31 Mar 2021

How to choose a tablet for schoolwork

05 Jan 2021

How to choose a tablet for fashion design

15 Jul 2020