We were also surprised to learn that tablets are still a thing, and that smartphones haven’t eaten enough of their lunch for them to disappear entirely. Here’s the tablet our readers thought was the best of 2016.

WINNER

Apple iPad Pro 9.7-inch
Price: From R10 499 (WiFi only, 32GB)

Specifications
  • A9X processor with M9 co-processor
  • 32GB storage – Also available with 64GB, 128GB and 256GB
  • 10 hours of battery life
  • AC WiFi – Also available with 4G cellular connectivity
  • 7-inch screen with 10-finger touch
  • 2048 x 1536 Resolution
  • iOS 9

Apple’s iPads have long been the tablet standard against which other manufacturers measure themselves, and naturally with that comes enviable sales and massive popularity with regular folks.

It’s no surprise, then, that SA’s regular folks voted the 9.7-inch iPad Pro as their very favourite tablet of 2016 with a rather impressive 37.9% of the votes – 9.2% clear of its closest competition.

This impressive win is likely because the 9.7-inch iPad Pro packs in all of Apple’s latest hardware, interface and screen technology into a compact and reasonably affordable package. Ten grand for the entry-level model is pretty good, especially as some non-Apple tablets can be found going for a lot more.

Also, don’t underestimate the fact that it’s not as extravagant in price or as large as the 12.9-inch model, something that likely appealed to the thrifty South African tech-buying public.

Votes
Percentage of votes: 37.9%
Runners-up: Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 (28.7%), Sony Xperia Z4 (18.6%)

Journalist’s choice

Deon du Plessis

As much as it pains me to admit it as I’m no Apple fanboy, Apple makes really good tablets so I must throw my support behind the readers’ choice. There’s no beating the iPad Pro’s gorgeous engineering, its performance is stellar and the screen is just beautiful – pin-sharp and vibrant. As much as they try, other vendors just can’t match the iPad for style, performance and raw tech appeal.

Deon got his first taste of PC gaming at the tender age of 11 when his father bought an 8088 XT, ostensibly to "help him with his homework". Instead, it introduced him to Leisure Suit Larry, King Graham, Sonny Bonds and many more, and Deon has been a PC gamer and hardware enthusiast ever since. He landed his first professional writing gig in 2006 at a prestigious local PC magazine, a very happy happenstance as he got to write for a living about things he loves - tech, PCs, gaming, and everything in between. He's been writing about it all ever since, and loves every minute of it.