Back in the day, a tablet was simply for reading ebooks and, yikes — with a black and white display. Today with millions of apps to choose from, a majority of Brits over age 16 own a tablet, taking it from a luxury to a much-loved necessity in more than half of homes.

State of the Art

Concert-hall quality sound in a small package. HUAWEI

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For music lovers, the Huawei MediaPad M5 Lite has four speakers created by state of the art audio designers Harman Kardon, delivering concert hall audio effect and even 3D surround sound. Other bells and whistles extraordinaire in the tablet include a short, under three hour charge that will last for gaming sessions of up to eight hours and video watching for 13 hours. The Children’s Corner area has five eye-comfort settings for youngsters’ eyesight, a 25 cm distance reminder and guidance for their posture as well as the very necessary limited timing so those eyes don’t stay glued to the screen — as well as lots of fun interactive games.

Modern Classic

Entertainment central — seven hours of reading, surfing the web, video watching and listening to music on a single charge. Amazon

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Among a plethora of choices, one of the best value and advanced tablets on the market is the Amazon Fire 7 which has double the storage of previous models, plus is small and light enough for a largeish pocket or a handbag — and has Alexa on hand to help.

Very Durable

Parental controls let you set time limits and control other settings from your phone. Amazon

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In the UK, nearly half of families use a tablet to support their children’s learning, play and creativity. For children, the virtually indestructible Fire Kids Tablet comes in a waterproof kid-proof case to protect against spillage and drools — and thankfully if the little blighters do manage to break it in under two years, Amazon will replace it free of charge. The internet is blocked as is social media, and screen time can be limited, as well as educational goals and curfews set.

Advanced Features

An option that can double as an artist’s canvas. XP-Pen

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Be inspired by David Hockney’s tablet art, for budding artists the XP-PEN Artist22 offers the latest stylus design with a non-slip rubber pad and even a non-slip pen stand. Replicating an artist’s easel, the detachable and adjustable stand makes every angle accessible, while the 178-degree viewing angle gives every artist the view of precision that would make even Hockney happy.