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Unbox 2015 Holiday Buyer’s Guide: Tablets

These awesome tablets should be in your holiday shopping lists

Tablet releases may have slowed down this year, but there’s still plenty of awesome, value packed tablets that you can buy for yourself or your loved one before the holidays are over.
While big-screened phones may be a great way to consume content and play games, nothing beats the sheer screen real-estate of tablets. Here are some awesome tablets that you can get in
the market today, and deserve to be with you during the holidays:


Samsung Galaxy Tab S2

While demand for high-end, luxurious tablets have tapered off the past few months, Korean firm Samsung still makes high-end tablets to match the offerings of Apple, their main competitor.
Their Galaxy Tab S2 is their highest-end tablet for 2015, offering bleeding edge specs and more importantly a QHD Super AMOLED display that’s to die for.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 specs

  • Octa-core Exynos 533 processor
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 8-inch,/9.7-inch QHD Super AMOLED display, 2048×1536 resolution
  • 32GB of storage, expandable via microSD up to 128GB
  • 8-megapixel rear camera
  • 2.1-megapixel front camera
  • 3G, LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, fingerprint scanner
  • 4,000mAh (8-inch), 5,870mAh (9.7-inch) battery

The Galaxy Tab S2 may not be for the faint of heart considering its price, but the tablet (which is available in both 8.4 and 9.7-inch sizes) is one of the best Android tablets you can
buy today. It’s gorgeous, slim and more importantly, premium – things that matter to the discerning consumer that’s after a tablet that just has an affordable price tag.

You can read our full review of the 9.7-inch variant of the Galaxy Tab S2 here.


Cherry Mobile MAIA Smart Tab

Looking for a tablet that can do both Android and Windows AND won’t leave your wallet ravaged? Cherry Mobile has something for you, in the form of their MAIA Smart Tab. This particular tablet can pull double duty as a Android and Windows tablet with a simple press of a button, giving you access to both awesome OS’ for cheap.

Cherry Mobile MAIA Smart Tab

  • 1.8GHz Intel Atom Z3735F quad-core processor
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 8-inch HD display, 1280 x 800 resolution
  • 32GB of storage, expandable via microSD
  • 5-megapixel rear camera
  • 2-megapixel front camera
  • WiFi, Bluetooth
  • 3800mAh battery
  • Android 4.4 KitKat, Windows 8.1
  • Php 4999

What’s great about the MAIA Smart Tab is that it runs Windows 8.1 (which you can upgrade to Windows 10), and will run most of the x86 applications you have, making it the perfect tablet for students. Pair it with a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, and viola – you now have an inexpensive tablet that you can take anywhere with you.

The MAIA Smart Tab is very affordable, and is priced at just Php 4,999. You can read our hands-on of it here.


ASUS ZenPad S 8

Usually when you buy an Android tablet, you either get an awesome but expensive tablet or have to settle with an affordable but not-so-nice looking one. ASUS has managed to buck this trend with their ZenPad S 8, a tablet that has the beauty and power of a high-end tablet that has a price of your typical mid-range smartphone.

ASUS Zenpad S 8 Z580CA specs:

  • 2.3Ghz Intel Atom Z3580 quad-core 64-bit processor
  • PowerVR Rogue G6430 GPU
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 8-inch QXGA panel with Corning Gorilla Glass 3, 2048 x 1536 resolution
  • 64GB of storage
  • 8-megapixel rear camera
  • 5-megapixel front camera
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, GLONASS, Miracast
  • 15.2Wh Li-polymer battery
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop

While the ZenPad S 8 does have its faults specifically relating to battery life, you’d be hard pressed to find another tablet that’s as beautiful and as value packed as the ZenPad S 8.

You can read our full review of the ASUS ZenPad S 8 here. The ZenPad S 8 is priced at Php 16,995.


Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro

Easily one of the more unique tablets in this list, the Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro is a tablet that’s unlike any other in the market. Aside from being able to contort itself in multiple unique positions, the Yoga Tab 3 Pro is probably the only tablet being sold today that has an integrated projector screen in its body.

Lenovo YOGA Tab 3 Pro Specs

  • 2.24Ghz Intel Atom X5-Z8500 quad-core CPU
  • 10.1-inch QHD IPS Display, 1440 x 2560 resolution
  • 16GB/32GB Internal Storage, Expandable up to 128GB
  • 13.0-megapixel primary camera with autofocus
  • 5.0-megapixel secondary camera, fixed focus
  • 3G, 4G/LTE,
  • WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, 180-degree rotatable built-in projector
  • Android 5.1 Lollipop
  • 10,200mAh Battery with Fast Charging

Yes, you read that right – the Yoga Tab 3 Pro has a projector screen in its body, capable of producing a projected image up to 70-inches in size. This makes the Yoga Tab 3 Pro THE tablet to buy if you want to share content to your friends and family, but its price probably won’t endear it to a lot of people, coming at a whopping Php 29,990 in the PH.

You can read more about the Yoga Tab 3 Pro here.


Starmobile Engage 10 Pro

Most people can’t decide between a tablet or a notebook, so local company Starmobile has decided to offer both in their Engage 10 Pro. The Engage 10 Pro is a hybrid Windows device, meaning the display can be detached from the keyboard to turn it into a handy Windows tablet.

Starmobile Engage 10 Pro specs

  • Intel Atom Z3735F Baytrail-T processor, 1.8 GHz Quad Core
  • 10.1-inch Multitouch Capacitive Screen with In-Plane Switching (IPS); 1280 x 800 resolution
  • 32GB storage, expandable via MicroSD up to 64GB Expansion
  • 5-megapixel rear camera
  • 2-megapixel front camera
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, mini HDMI
  • 7500mAh Li-Ion battery
  • Windows 10

When it was first offered at the start of the year, the Engage 10 Pro was running Windows 8.1. Since then, Starmobile has started updating the Engage 10 Pro offered in stores to Windows 10, which slightly increased the performance of the device, making it an ideal device for students and mobile workers looking for a portable, inexpensive work machine.

You can read about the Starmobile Engage 10 Pro here. The Starmobile Engage 10 Pro is priced at Php 11,990.

John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.

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    1. Yeah. i would say if you can find a cheap grey market iPad Air 2, that may be the best value for your money as a media consumption device. The newer iPads are not worth the money though.

      The Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 is indeed the best Android tablet you can buy. It’s still expensive imo considering it doesn’t have the highest specs like the Sony Z5 tablet. However the Z5 is just terrifyingly and laughably expensive that it would be better if you just add a little more money to buy yourself a powerful Surface (Windows) tablet.

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