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Back to School: Best tablets for students 2014

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Heading back to school or starting university? Whether you need a cheap Windows or Android tablet that's bag-friendly and can hammer out assignments, we pick the best tablets for students to buy in 2014.

At home the tablet is the go-to gadget for quickly browsing the web, streaming TV shows on Netflix or Lovefilm or most likely clocking up a ridiculous amount of hours playing games.

When it's time to wave goodbye to the six week summer holiday and get back into work mode, most people will probably opt for a laptop over a tablet to take into the classroom or the library. There's plenty of reasons to consider a tablet as an alternative instead.

You can jump to the one you want below, or read on to get a little more advice on what to look out for.

Best Cheap Windows 8 Tablet and Laptop Hybrid: Asus Transformer T100
Best Tablet for Books and Content: iPad Air
Best 8-inch Tablet for Books and Content: iPad mini 2 Retina

Best Tablet for Office Support: Microsoft Surface Pro 3
Best 8-inch Tablet for Reading: Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4
Best Cheap 7-inch Android Tablet: Nexus 7

The most obvious one is the difference in size. Whether it’s 7-inch or 10-inch, tablets are slimmer, lighter and more portable to carry around in your bag.

Worried about how to work on Word documents or annotate PDFs? Most tablets come pre-installed with office apps more than capable of doing the job. If you need something more comprehensive, there’s plenty of great office apps on the Apple App Store and Google Play. You'll also have access to digital textbooks and a host of educational apps.

If you are not sold on the idea of typing on a touchscreen, there are ways around it. You can go for a tablet with a keyboard dock or invest in a compatible Bluetooth keyboard. If you really need to have that pen on paper feel, buying a stylus is the ideal solution. The technology does work better on tablets with the right screen sensitivity though.

You can avoid blaming a corrupt USB stick for deleting your work as most tablets come with free cloud storage letting you access content from anywhere. Some will also include SD card and USB support so you can still transfer work easily between devices.

Whether you have £130 to spend or mum and dad can afford to stretch the budget, we’ve picked out the best tablets to buy for students and why they should be the perfect fit.

If you're after a laptop, you can check out our round-up of the best laptops to buy for students

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