Tablets have been around for quite some time now and they are used everywhere – at home, at the office, outside and they have slowly started to replace laptops in terms of their business functionality. But tablets still have a lot to travel in terms of how they perform out there, although there are some pretty powerful ones already. But as they become more and more used, it is good to note that security is also important.
How We Gathered This List
When it comes to Tablets, the difference with smartphones is not one that is particularly big, except for the power and the screen. But also when it comes to tablets, other thing springs to mind – for what particular purpose are they going to be used. This is why when we have gathered the list for the most secure tablets, we have taken into consideration mainly the hardware part of the tablets in terms of the security, because when it comes to tablets security it often comes down to how you can optimize the software. This is why we have also taken into consideration how the software is prepared for each tablet and what are it’s security features as well. Here are the main areas of focus based on which we compared each of the tablets:
- OS Security.
- Hardware Protection and Durability
- Battery life
And after those we have also set up our verdict based on which you can see out opinion on why we have set the tablet we have set on a specific position.
The Privacy Issue
When we have gathered this list, we have refrained from the issues with the user privacy which are more than evident with each new device that is in our hands. And by now, if you are using any form of mobile device you are aware of the information gathering and that it is embedded within the privacy policies of each application and even in Google’s services. So when it comes to the most private tablet, it would likely be the one, which does not use any form of services that track information from it and if you are privacy – sensitive, you should understand how to protect your mobile devices from Spyware and Privacy invasive applications by reading the related article underneath:
If you want to understand what apps often do and how to protect yourself from privacy invasive apps, you can also visit the following article:
1.Getac F110 – Best Military-Grade (~$4000)
The Getac F110 is the type of device you can use for absolutely everything. The 139g tablet is 314x2017x245 mm in dimensions with a 11.6-inch screen which does mean that it has bezels, but hey, we are here to review security, after all. The resolution it’s running is quite standard – 1366 x768 pixels and the latest models of the tablet are using the Intel Core i7-6600U (U is for ultra-low power consumption) which is clocked at 2.6 GHz and is quite savage in terms of the punch It packs. The rear camera of the device is 1080P and the from is 8MP and it has a dual battery, running at 2,160 mAh, which is quite convenient if you are outside somewhere.
When it comes to the OS, there is good news and then, there is the bad news – It’s running Windows 10. Yes, if you are a security-head this does raise a lot of eyebrows, because Windows is the reason why people create exploits and vulnerabilities and most malware which is used in cyber-attacks that infect your computer with ransomware as well as other malware do mean that this tablet and it’s Windows 10 is intuitive and convenient to use, but a cyber-security nightmare. And yes, you will criticize what I have written just now, but that is my job, after all. And while Microsoft can prove that their operating system is zero-day proof or at least develop more systems, like their latest ransomware protection and add anti-tracking modes like the ones that prevent allegedly sending your keystrokes directly to Microsoft as you type them, people might start trusting it’s security after all. But then again, that is just a humble opinion.
And you migh ask why have I put this tablet on the spotlight when it’s using Windows 10. Well, there is a good reason for that and that reason is the fact that the tablet gives something more than Windows 10 as any other Windows device has done so-far – it gives you the freedom of choice. You can go for Linux and any other OS you want to configure, but you will need to have the technical expertise or know someone who will configure your Getac F110 to work on Linux and this includes getting all the modules (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, etc.) to also work on the OS, which does require custom drivers based on the hardware that is on the Getac. So yes, then, the Getac has the potential to become a security fortress most of all the tablets in this list since it is the perfect combination between power, customization and ruggedness.
Hardware, Protection and Durability
When it comes to the hardware of this tablet, one thing becomes evident – it’s not made to be for the regular consumer. The tablet features several different certifications for ruggedness:
- MIL-STD 810G
This basically means that this tablet is the type of device, designed to withstand moisture, extreme temperatures and water drops without being heavy or difficult to work with. Perfect, if you are traveling and working in a “safety shoes” type of environment.
The battery of this device is a 2,160 mAh in terms of capacity which is not something that looks big at first glance but, when you take a look at the fact that it is swap-able, meaning that you can recharge one of the batteries, while working with the other, which is an engineering decision on a high-level, indeed.
While the Getac F110 is the type of device that can do almost anything for you with a powerful processor, 4 Gigs of RAM and a choice of storage up to 1 TB, you basically have a high-end laptop in your pocked which packs a punch and withstands a lot of punishment. The dual-battery system is just a bonus to the impeccable performance of the device. The main reason why we like it and it’s on first spot is the fact that while it costs a kidney, the Getac F110 is the type of device which is the best in the business, if you set aside what type of customer are you – high-end tier or average customer. If you are looking for a nice and secure tablet for home, however, this is definitely not your pick but is also one that is not to miss in the military-grade and heavy-duty business environment.
- Weighs only 139g
- Has a dual battery that can be rotated.
- Very expensive.
- Lack of ports.
2.Panasonic Toughpad FZ-M1 (~$2500)
The Toughpad FZ-M1 is the type of device which is oriented towards the users who work outside and want a rugged device they can turn into a security fortress. It weights 450g and sizes up to 203x18x132 mm. It’s default OS is Windows 10 Pro and it’s screen size is 7 inch running at 1280 x 800 pixels. The CPU moving the device is Intel Core m5-6Y57 vPro with 4 gigs of ram and the storage is only one – 128 gigabytes, but the device has a microSD slot with which you can expand the memory if you need more space. In addition to this, the device also offers a 3,220 mAh battery capacity which is not exactly impressive, considering that for outdoor use it’s display will run on higher brightness and considering the price of the device.
As mentioned before, the Panasonic Toughpad FZ-M1 is one of those Windows 10 Pro devices which are really well suited to run Windows software. But for security, modifying Windows may not be the best thing and it is recommended to focus on installing and using Linux or other operating systems that are built to be secure by design, which is a good thing, because the Panasonic Toughpad FZ-M1 is a configurable tablet that gives you the freedom to choose the OS which suits you, if you have the technical knowledge.
Hardware Protection and Durability
When it comes to the hardware, the Toughpad FZ-M1 does not differ much with its main rivals – Getac. The Toughpad is dust resistant and water resistant and it’s primary plus over the Getac F110 is that it is designed to also have a port which allows you to set up the expansion ports you desire (Serial ports, Ethernet ports, 2D scanners, NFC, etc). So when it comes to the hardware of this device, it is as rugged as they come and you can rest assured that your information in the FZ-M1 will stay on it even after an earthquake. That is, if you are wiling to pay the price, of course.
The battery life of the Panasonic Toughpad FZ-M1 is not as impressive as you might think, and for the price you pay and the company could have added either dual battery together with the purchase or thought out how to increase it’s capacity. Nonetheless, it does work for enough time to ensure that you do your job in any environment.
The Panasonic Toughpad FZ-M1 is the best device in terms of display brightness and quality, which cannot be said for it’s battery capacity for the price it is offered at. Overall and all, it can be turned into a security fortress with the proper software in combination with it’s military grade endurance, but is a bit heavy in comparison with the Getac above.
- Very good display.
- Extremely expensive.
- A bit weak battery life.
3.Apple iPad Pro – Best Consumer – Grade (10.5 – Inch Model)
When it comes to consumer grade materials and a sturdy software that is secure and safe, the Apple devices are no match. The main reason for that is their built-in IOS which is specifically optimized for the Apple device in question. The latest 10.5 Inch iPad pro is no exclusion from this rule packing a powerful A10X chip which works with 4 GB of RAM with the latest iOS 11 and is always update-able to the newer iOS versions coming out. These updates are the sole reason why the iPad Pro is the type of device you wish to have when it comes to security. The display of the iPad Pro is 10.5 inch in diagonal and produces a higher resolution in comparison to the Getac and Panasonic – 1668 x 2224 pixels.
The security of the iPad Pro 1.5 is ensured by the security features of the iOS 11, which did fall behind a bit but are now up to date and they allow complete oversight over which privacy invasive applications you can block and what exactly you want to block on them, just like the latest Android offers. And not only this, but the latest iOS is also made with security at it’s core, preventing general malware to slither and their Security Guide explains in detail the main key points of focus in terms of making the devices impenetrable:
System Security – Ensured by the integrated secure software an hardware on the platform of the devices.
Encryption and data protection – the architecture and the design with security in mind that protects the user data even if the device is stolen and an unauthorized person attempts to use and modify it.
Network Security – It includes the network protocols which are used for authentication and encryption of the transportation of data across all OSI model layers.
Device Control – Tech that ensures the secure management of each iOS devices, which ensure unauthorized use and enable remote wipe via the Apple account if your device is stolen to protect your data.
Control of privacy – iOS capabilities, used to control Location and other user data.
Overall and all, they have created a well-made logical link between hardware and software in Sandbox-based protection methods that isolate separate programs so that even if a program is infected, the infection remains isolated as it cannot break out of the sandbox encryption. And to further secure the device, Apple have ensured secure boot and cryptographic signing by them to make sure that integrity is on point and if one of the boot components does not answer this signature, the device cannot boot.
And while we can go on and on about the latest iOS security features it does remain a fact that with time the device can be hacked after all, but still overall and all it remains secure by design, but lacks the ability and freedom to modify it, which makes it appropriate for the common users, but if you are a tech savvy person who is keen on open source and is very paranoid, this is not the device for you.
Hardware Protection and Durability
When it comes to the hardware of this device, it is not exactly of the durable segment, since it is very breakable, but then again, this is not exactly why you buy an iPad. And furthermore, when we discuss security, the iPad Pro does offer a lot of modules that secure it’s Hardware and Firmware. One of those is the Crypto Engine it runs to secure any possible modifications of the device. Another ones, like Device Key, Group key and Apple Root Certificate further prevent hardware tampering and in addition to those, the Kernel components themselves are also secured with Secure Enclave and a Secure Element embedded. All of these in combination with the rugged software make for a special device that also has Touch ID and Face ID unlocks and also AES-256 crypto engine built into the DMA path. This clever system is also present in the hardware of the iPad and the cryptographic tying of the components of one device are clever, because if the component is moved from the iPad to another iPad, they can no longer be accessible, because of the encryption and chaining of it.
The battery life of the iPad is more than enough at a 8134mAh and when we take into consideration the powerful display of the device and the optimized OS give it more than 2 days of average usage time without heavy internet use (YouTube HD movies, games, etc.). Overall and all, contrary to most Apple devices batteries, the iPad Pro really hits the spot with this one.
- Good Speakers
- 512GB version
- Expensive screen if you break it.
- Not as rugged as most tablets.
- Not a good replacement for laptops as Android is.
Apple may have been a bit of a disappointment with their latest batch of overpriced devices that have lost their inventiveness and the company did offer lower batteries here and there, but this is clearly not the case with the iPad Pro. Not only does it have a massive battery and the strength and security of Apple’s iOS but it also gives you exactly what you pay for – the best consumer-grade tablet on the market. But be aware to always buy it brand new, because if this display breaks, you should have warranty to cover it’s rather expensive repair.
4.Samsung Galaxy Tab Active – Best Budget(~$400)
This mini rugged tablet uses the Android 6.0 OS and has an 8-inch screen with a resolution of 800 x 1280 pixels. Similar to other Samsung tablets, like the S3, the device has a powerful battery of 4,450 mAh which does allow it’s Quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A7 chip to ensure a long-lasting life. The device has a 16 GB storage with a 1.5 GB f ram, which is a bit low in it’s segment, especially the storage space. The rear camera of the Galaxy Tab Active is 3.15 MP and the front is 1.2 MP, so it’s not exactly the best shooter either. But where the device excels is that it has an IP67 certification for dust and water resistance and drops above meter high – the perfect device if you want a rugged security device with ports, good build quality and also if you are on a budget. The Galaxy Tab Active also aims to be available for those who are looking for an Android alternative to the more expensive Getac and Panasonic rugged tablets and with the lighter Android it achieves just that.
The Operating system of the Samsung Galaxy Tab Active is Android 6.0 on which the most secure smartphones in the world are created to work with. And not only this, but he Android 6.0 also has similar features to it’s other competitors, like the iOS, such as end-to-end encryption and other security measures that prevent tampering as well. But since over 80% of the mobile malware is made for Android, you will need to further secure it by rooting it and adding custom security system of measures for protection, which is what I would do, if I were to buy this tablet. But make no mistake, the Android 6.0 is the more functional and closer to Windows In it’s multitasking and the ability to extract files, copy them and archive them plus interact with the file system of the device as if it is a computer – quite handy if you want to use the device for more advanced business activity on the go.
Hardware Protection and Durability
When it comes to the hardware, Samsung has made sure to provide just about enough build quality and industrial-grade protection according to the price of the device. The Tab Active has an IP67 certificate which is for dust as well as water resistance and it is also tested for drops to above 1.2 metres height.
The battery life of the Samsung Galaxy Tab Active ensures a device that can last you between 8 and 10 hours time, which is decent, especially when we take into consideration that you can replace it. And not only this but the device is also designed to easily support replaceable batteries, just like it’s more expensive competitor, the Getac F110, which by the way is $2500 dollars more expensive and has a less powerful battery – a key factor to consider if you like using Android, indeed.
- IP67 certification.
- Good Battery life.
- Best pick if you are on a budget.
- Good build quality.
- Very little storage.
- Not the best tablet in terms of ruggedness.
- It could have been upgrade-able to newer Android versions.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab Active is the best device here when it comes to the value you get for what you pay, especially if you are looking for a secure tablet, which can be modified to be secure enough to prevent third-party tampering and privacy invasive apps to tunnel into communications. And all of this is available at a low price of around 330 euros, which makes it the best budget pick on this list.
5.Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 (~$500)
Long gone are the days when Samsung started making mobile devices and oh my have they learnt from their mistakes, creating what appears to be the best Android tablet ever. Having a slim and aluminum design, the device works sharp as a knife and has an optional Bluetooth keyboard. It runs a powerful battery and always the latest Android version, which does rival Apple in terms of speed. The screen this time is sharper, more bright and colorful and gaming on this tablet is exquisite. Overall and all, there are several downsides to note on it, but this tablet the perfect flagship competitor of Apple’s iPad Pro.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 is running Android 7 which is the least buggy Android at the moment and has all of the functions of the Android 8. And what is more the device may soon be upgraded to the newer version – 8. Either way these two versions are e big step forward and their functionality is as close as you might get to an OS, designed to work on computers. And not only this, but in combination with the snappy Snapdragon 820 and 4GB of Ram, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 is one of the most powerful tablets in it’s class. And not only this, but the OS also offers other features as well, such as the complete management over the privacy collection of apps. When it comes to rooting this Android however, be careful because it is not as easy as the older Android version in the Galaxy Active Tab, since the Android 7 is more interconnected with the hardware components of the device.
Hardware Protection and Durability
Typical for Samsung is to use powerful Gorilla Glass technology to further secure the display of the phone which is 9.7-inch in diagonal size and offers a big resolution of 1536 x 2048 pixels. The device has a 32 GB storage space and features a front and rear cameras that respectively are 13 and 5 megapixels. What is the best here is definitely the stunning high-contrast display they offer, which is actually an HDR-ready screen – impressive! And when it comes to the hardware security, nothing lacks here. The device has end-to-end AES encryption and encryption of its communication channels and also some of it’s components are tamper proof so tat the memory cannot be accessed via unconventional ways.
When we discuss the battery life of this device, one thing becomes clear – it is plenty and gives you the sense that you can use the tablet for a long time, even though it’s heavy usage can naturally last you 1 day. But on average use, you can go for 2 and even more days with it’s 6000 mAh accumulator.
- Good design.
- Decent battery.
- Powerful chip.
- Keyboard costs extra.
- More pricey than some of it’s other rivals, like the Yoga Tab, which is similar in performance and battery life.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 is a big step forward in the history of the company and it is one of those tablets to use when you are out in a big city for longer periods of time and want to stay connected and perform your work activities on the go. When we set the expensive price aside, it has a sturdy design, which by no means is rugged, making It one of the best consumer-grade products you can buy and definitely the best running Android so far.