Technology Surface Pro, iPad or Fire: Best tablets for the holidays
Adobe Fresco drawing and painting app is out on iPad, coming soon to Surface
Time to break out the stylus.
Black Friday sales are expected to take a bite out of prices on tablets, which could be a thoughtful gift to consider buying for an important person (or even an entire family). Many people consider getting a tablet, but never actually buy one, so it could be a near-guaranteed hit to give as a gift. The sometimes-low prices and family-friendly practicality puts tablets into holiday gift territory in a way that phones (which can be a personal choice) and laptops (which can break your budget) just don't.
The field of tablets has shrunk even further this year, with Google backing off Android tablets and Apple still not updating its top-of-the-line iPad Pro in 2019. Our advice: Spend as little as possible. Expect many of these to be on sale around Black Friday.
Adobe may reveal Illustrator for iPad in November
Adobe's plan to bring full-featured apps to the iPad might not be limited to Photoshop. Bloombergcontacts claim Adobe will preview an iPad version of Illustrator, its vector graphics editor, at its MAX conference starting November 2nd. It wouldn't be ready until 2020, but it would give creatives another major tool if more narrowly-focused apps like Fresco aren't enough. A spokeswoman for Adobe wouldn't confirm or deny the rumor, telling Bloomberg that the company had "nothing new to share at this time."As with Photoshop, both Adobe and Apple have mutual interests in bringing Illustrator to the iPad.
Do you want a casual iPad, an even-less-expensive Fire tablet or a Microsoft Surface? Here are the best tablet choices.
All of these products (or previous versions thereof) have been fully reviewed or anecdotally tested by CNET editors. Note that CNET may get a share of the revenue if you buy anything featured on our site.
The latest iPad (10.2-inch, 7th generation, 2019)
An obvious affordable choiceSarah Tew/CNET
Apple's small refresh to its entry-level iPad increases the screen size just a bit, offers long-lasting battery life and adds support for smart connector-attached keyboards. Older processor aside, this is a perfectly good iPad, and it's already on sale. But for an even better deal, consider Apple's 2018 9.7-inch iPad, which has nearly identical hardware specs (aside from screen size that's an inch smaller) -- you can often snag theof the device for $300, which is a .
WhatsApp might soon receive the major update you’ve been waiting for
WhatsApp is easily one of the most popular messaging apps out there, and Facebook’s only chat app that supports end-to-end encryption, just like iMessage on the iPhone. The advantage of WhatsApp is that you can use it across devices to stay in touch with your contacts regardless of their mobile operating system. However, WhatsApp isn’t perfect, and some users have been waiting for years for Facebook to roll out a few features that could turn it into an even more powerful iMessage alternative. Some of those features include support for multiple devices, as well as a custom version of the app for tablets — or at least for the iPad.
iPad Mini (2019)
Expensive, but the best smaller tabletSarah Tew/CNET
Apple refreshed the Mini in the spring with Apple Pencil support and an A12 processor that outperforms the bigger 10.2-inch basic iPad. Confusing, huh? Just know that this is a great tablet that can be filled with apps that make it more of a gaming tablet or a drawing tablet, but its smaller size may not suit people who want to use it as a laptop replacement.
iPad Pro (2018)
The best iPad, but...Sarah Tew/CNET
Apple's Face ID-enabled, USB Type-C iPad Pro has the best processor and best design, and works with Apple's improved, newer Pencil from 2018. This powerful tablet with hours of battery life and a liquid retina display also may be on sale this holiday. But you may also consider an IOU and wait for the next version of the device if it arrives early-to-mid 2020.
Adobe Illustrator is coming to the iPad in 2020
It's been over a year since Adobe first announced it was bringing Photoshop to the iPad, and the app finally debuts today. Not letting any time pass before moving on to the next challenge, Adobe is announcing that it's working to do the same for Illustrator at its annual MAX design conference. The app won't arrive until sometime in 2020, but when it does, the company's two biggest desktop design applications will be available for use on Apple'sThe details are scarce for now, and even Adobe admits the process is "still in the early stages." The company did say that it's "reimagining the Illustrator experience," which includes leveraging the "unique capabilities" the iPad offers -- things like touch and the Apple Pencil.
Kindle Fire 7 (2019)
The most affordable tabletSarah Tew/CNET
Amazon's rock-bottom tablet prices are always shocking, and this year's Fire 7 is a solid budget tablet pick for basic video/game/kid apps needs. As always, Amazon Prime lets you get a lot more out of it content-wise, and Amazon's Fire ecosystem is more limited than Android. But if you're buying for a child, definitely invest in the Kids Edition, which includes a rubberized case, a free year of kid-friendly FreeTime Unlimited content -- and a no-questions-asked two-year replacement warranty for damaged units.
Amazon Fire HD 10 (2019)
A better but still low-cost Amazon tabletAmazon
The 10-inch Fire tablet Amazon just released is faster and better than the 7 and 8-inch Fire tablets, and it's still a pretty low $150 (or less). It also charges its battery life via USB-C now.
Microsoft Surface Pro 6
Laptop-tablet that's often on saleSarah Tew/CNET
Microsoft has a newer, but last year's 6 is still good, and sometimes comes in a great bundle with its keyboard. Anyone looking for the best tablets to use for work or a tablet that can become a full PC, look no further.
Adobe deploys artificial intelligence to enhance creativity
The American software company has taken advantage of its Adobe Max conference, which runs in Los Angeles until November 6, to showcase its latest creations, notably with regard to the integration of artificial intelligence using its proprietary Sensei technology, in a range of different products. The new software will take the form of a camera, which makes it possible to retouch any image, mainly by using artificial intelligence and a wide range of filters including artistic ones. The goal of Photoshop Camera is to create spectacular and artistic images destined for publication on social networks.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6
One of the last good Android tablet optionsSarah Tew/CNET
It's getting almost impossible to find Android tablet options from name-brand manufacturers, but Samsung still makes them. The Tab S6 Android tablet is expensive, but it's compact and has an optional keyboard with trackpad, and connects to monitors using Samsung's DeX technology. This is the one to consider if you want Android.
HP Chromebook X2
Chromebook that's also a tabletSarah Tew/CNET
For the right price, the Chromebook X2 could be one of the best tablets of the bunch as far as deals go. A functional Chromebook laptop that's also a detachable tablet, and it can also play Android apps.
Apple’s rumored Mini-LED iPad and MacBook Pro could arrive in 2020 .
Apple’s answer to OLED could arrive as early as next yearKuo had originally broke the rumor that Apple was working on laptops and tablets with the new screen technology earlier this year, but at that time, he put the date as either 2020 or 2021. The new research note pins that down, predicting that Apple will release both an iPad Pro and a 16-inch MacBook Pro with Mini-LED screens as early as the end of next year.
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