Which tablet is the fastest?
Tablets are supposed to be speedy devices. A large part of their appeal is that they turn on, boot up and access whatever it is you want to access quickly. Slow loading web pages, apps that are sluggish to respond and constant buffering when playing video are just some of the problems that affect slower tablets. That’s why we put all the tablets we test through a series of speed tests to see how well they fare.
You can find out more about our lab tests on our how we test tablets page.
We found that the Microsoft Surface Pro, with its Intel Core i5 processor, came out top of our speed tests. It’s designed to be a hybrid device – somewhere between an ultraportable laptop and a tablet – and its processor is similar to those used in laptops giving it that extra punch in the speed department.
The Surface Pro is followed by the Google Nexus 10 – making it the best performing dedicated tablet device. The Nexus wields a super-fast dual-core ARM Cortex A15 processor. Bringing up the rear is the cheap Versus Touchpad 7 which plods along with a very poor speed rating.
How do we work out which tablet is the speediest?
The ratings in the infographic are based on Geekbench testing, which assess a variety of factors including how fast data is shuffled round the system, how fast the screen can present the pixels being produced and how quickly it retrieves and presents info from its memory.
Each individual test is scored, the scores are mixed together and weighted which eventually presents a final numeric score. With Geekbench scores, the higher the number the better. 1000 is taken to be the base – so ideally you want a tablet with a higher score than 1000.
See our league table below for the raw Geekbench scores:
- Microsoft Surface Pro – 7257
- Google Nexus 10 – 2495
- iPad with Retina Display – 1769
- Google Nexus 7 – 1542
- iPad mini – 753
- Versus Touchpad 7 274
What does this mean in real life?
These numbers are all well and good but you might be wondering what this will mean when you lovingly scoop your tablet out of the box for the first time. Overall, the higher the Geekbench score, the faster the tablet should be in day to day use.
A faster tablet should mean your web browser opens quicker and accesses web pages faster. If you’re running multiple programs a faster tablet will also make sure you don’t see any slow down and fewer crashes. Similarly, videos should load quicker and you should see fluid playback.
Gamers will particularly benefit from a faster device, with slower tablets often grinding to a halt when playing higher end games. Overall speedy tablets make for a smoother, quicker tablet experience.
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