In this edition of our tablet buyer's guide we finally saw Samsung regain its positions in the midrange as much as in the high-end. Samsung's Tab 4 tablets are finally worthy of recommendation.
The pinnacle of Samsung's tablet evolution - the Pro range, on the other hand, has seen a healthy price drop, so its members are more affordable now. For instance, since the last edition of this guide in March 2014, the mid-sized Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 was made irrelevant by the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 due to its price drop to more reasonable levels.
You may have noticed we are no longer recommending Windows RT tablets. The reason behind that is that the Windows RT platform has been made irrelevant by the relatively low number of available apps, the pressing competition from fast and capable Android tablets plus the influx of new tablets, running the proper version of Windows on Intel's new Bay Trail architecture.
Without undermining the importance of these full Windows tablets, we've deliberately left them out of this article. These tablets generally are outside of our main expertise as they are pretty much straightforward Windows computers. Their low price points however allow them to inevitably come up in the conversation whenever tablet purchase is considered.
Some of the more notable products on the market of this sort include the mid-sized Toshiba Encore 8, the Lenovo Miix 2 8, and the Dell Venue 8 Pro. All three of them have 1.86GHz Intel Atom Z3740 chipsets with Intel HD graphics, 2GB of RAM, 1280 x 800px screens, front and rear cams and run fully-fledged Windows 8.1.
Among the 10-inchers most notable are probably the 10.1-inch Asus Transformer Book T100 and the HP Omni 10. The Asus Transformer Book T100 comes with a detachable keyboard dock, which can even host an optional 500GB HDD. The Asus tablet however lacks a camera on the back and the otherwise good 10-inch screen has a resolution of only 1366 x 768 pixels. The HP Omni 10 on the other hand has cameras on both front and back and has a FullHD resolution screen and it's a bit cheaper, though it lacks a keyboard dock. Both of these have excellent real-life battery life of up to 10 hours.
When choosing one of these newfangled Windows tablets, bear in mind that their cheaper 32GB versions already have most of the storage taken up by the system files, so there is hardly any room for installing additional applications (hardly more than 12GB of user-available storage). The microSD slot is great for storing your multimedia files, but not so good for apps, so 64GB storage is probably the minimum you should be looking at there.
A noteworthy new addition to these Windows tablets is Microsoft's own Surface Pro 3, a 12-incher with a resolution of 2160 x 1440px. Just over 9mm thin, it weighs only 800g and has a built-in multi-angle kickstand. This one really stands out, as unlike the other Atom-based tablets, it's powered by Core i3, Core i5 and even Core i7 processors. The Surface Pro 3 is now available for pre-order in 22 countries worldwide (launch in August), but it doesn't come cheap. The cheapest option will set you back $800 or £640 (the keyboard case not included). We'll know whether the Surface Pro 3 is actually worth it, only when it becomes available later this summer.