Tablets provide excellent utility, great accessibility and open up a world of possibilities from your fingertips. That is if you use the right ones. Tap or click here for 10 tips and tricks for your iPad.
You can be creative with graphic design and art, watch your favorite shows and viral video clips, or turn a tablet into a pop-up workstation wherever you are.
They’re powerful, fun, and fit into your life perfectly. We’ve found the best tablets for every use you can think of for any budget.
2021 iPad 10.2” in Space Gray – Best overall value
Cost-effective, high-quality, and the best all-around deal that meets in the middle of the road on every feature. iPads aren’t cheap, but Apple made this model completely adjustable based on what you need in a tablet.
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Choose from a 64GB or 256GB internal storage limit, depending on what you plan to use the tablet for. Mobile gamers and photographers should opt for a higher limit. The only downside to Apple is there are no slots for microSD cards on iPads.
If you’re constantly on the go, you can choose Wi-Fi + Cellular for connectivity. You’ll enjoy the high pixel density in your 10.2” screen with beautiful color quality and sharpness.
The 2021 iPad works with the first-generation Apple Pencil. You can always connect to your drawing apps if you’re a digital artist. Creativity comes with you wherever you go, so why shouldn’t your tablet?
With 10 hours of battery life and a low-battery mode to save extra energy, you can bring this in the morning and not worry about charging it throughout the day. Lithium-ion batteries fade over time, so after 1-3 years of use, you’ll still have at least 7.5 hours of battery life. Apple didn’t skip out on the battery quality.
Take photos with the 12MP ultra-wide front camera. The 2021 model can feel sluggish compared to the iPad Pro. That’s because the A13 Bionic chip in this tablet doesn’t hold a candle to the M1, but it’s still leaps and bounds ahead of most Android tablets.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite – Best Android tablet
Samsung is the king of Android tablets and phones. Its 10.4” S6 Lite is a budget-friendly beast that comes with upgrade options and works for creative users just as well as the iPad 10.2”.
Choose from a 64GB or 128GB internal memory. Unlike Apple, Samsung lets you expand this by up to 1TB with a microSD card. It’s not the same as expanding internal storage, but it works well for file storage on creative projects.
It’s lightweight at just over a pound and has a medium-grade resolution of 2000 x 1200 for good clarity and excellent PPI, but it sometimes lacks color density compared to the Retina Display in iPads. It’s the best picture you can get in this price range, but you will notice a difference if you’re an Apple user.
Thanks to the Octa-Core processor, the S6 Lite runs with lightning-fast responsiveness. It includes the S Pen for digital artistry. Beyond creating, you can use it to navigate your tablet, assist in eBook reading, and make the entire experience that much more intuitive.
The S6 Lite comes with a remarkable 13-hour battery life, which dominates nearly every other tablet in this class and price range. Everything charges via USB-C, so if you need to recharge at any point, it’s much quicker than the old micro USB tablets.
It has a great battery life and included S Pen (which is usually expensive) and excellent responsiveness. Android tablets do not get better than this if you’re looking at the cream of the crop.
Fire HD Tablet 10 – Best for media and eBooks
Amazon started selling the Fire Tablet to boost eBook sales, and now, it’s entirely comparable to mid-tier Android tablets and slightly outdated iPads. Plus, it’s ridiculously cost-effective. While it’s not the perfect tablet for every occasion, it excels at eBooks and visual media (as you might have imagined).
The Fire HD 10 includes a 1920 x 1080p display, similar to most PC monitors. This is a vast difference from other tablets and why it’s so cost-effective. Instead of opting for 2000+ horizontal pixels, Fire HD 10 opted for the exact resolution you’re used to.
Choose from 32GB or 64GB internal storage, and enjoy a long battery life of 12 hours. Fire HD 10 doesn’t quite have the RAM capabilities to use as a workstation or digital artistry platform, but it has more than enough to surf the web, read eBooks, watch videos and movies, and work for most basic needs.
The only downside is that you can only use Amazon apps. There’s no access to Google Play or its apps, so you must account for that before committing.
You can utilize Alexa for hands-free operation or turn it off entirely. If you share your tablet with your child, the Fire HD 10 has some of the most durable construction (and excellent high-density cases).
Lenovo Yoga Smart Tablet – Best budget pick
Lenovo isn’t the first name you think of when hearing about tablets. It’s a quiet contender with this budget-friendly pick that includes features you wouldn’t expect.
It has a unique handle design that holds the 3.5mm headphone jack and a speaker grate on either end. This makes it far more intuitive to hold while reading eBooks and pop up for a great viewing angle while watching media.
The Yoga Smart Tablet comes with a decent 64GB of RAM working in tandem with an octa-core processor to deliver fantastic touch responsiveness and quick page loading. Switch from app to app with no problem and little to no lag.
With a screen resolution of 1920 x 1200, you get excellent PPI and clarity over every type of media you view. With decent color accuracy and stark contrast mixed with the peak 320 nit brightness, you’ll use the TV less often than this tablet.
Lenovo provides a great viewing experience comparable to the Fire HD 10 but lacks battery life. It has just over seven hours, enough to get things done but not enough to binge an entire TV show without a charger nearby.
When something is a budget-friendly option, there usually are compromises. Lenovo hits the middle of the road on many features, from storage to sound. If you want to try a completely different tablet experience than before, this is the way to go.
2021 Samsung Tablet S7 FE – Best for professionals
Samsung is just too good; we can’t avoid putting another one of its tablets on this list. If you want to get professional-grade results, you need a professional tablet. The S7 FE is Samsung’s 2021 model, so it comes at a discount since it’s not the most current model.
It includes the Galaxy S Pen for creative projects and effortless scrolling. Beyond the S Pen, you can upgrade connectivity to a Wi-Fi + LTE plan. If you bring this with you to show employers or clients what you’re working on, the constant connection is impressive.
With a deep, rich 2560 x 1600 pixel display, everything appears crisp and clear while allowing for superior zoom function compared to other Android tablets.
This runs on Qualcomm processors with eight cores and up to 64GB of internal memory. The only other memory option is 256GB, although you can also use microSD cards for file storage.
One area that tablets tend to commonly lack is speaker quality. Samsung stepped up to the plate with decent bass and superior depth in the audio output, so you won’t have to pop in earphones when you show your friend a funny video.
This is the most professional Samsung tablet you can get your hands (and digital pens) on.
2022 Apple iPad Air – Best luxury option
You want the best of everything, and that’s what Apple wants to deliver. The 2022 iPad Air has every feature imaginable and does not skimp on the details. Choose from a 64GB or 256GB model, and then get into the nitty-gritty.
With a beautiful 10.9” Liquid Retina display featuring True Tone technology, you can access P3 wide color, making an intense and rich media viewing experience. There’s an anti-reflective coating on top of the glass, so you don’t have to worry about the sun keeping you down.
Apple seems to be dead-set on keeping its front-facing and rear-facing cameras at 12MP for iPads, which leads to some fantastic photographs even if you’re not a photographer. Take stunning full HD videos, then use the stereo landscape speakers to play them back and share.
Running on the glorious M1 chip, there isn’t a more responsive and lightning-fast tablet on the market today. With pinpoint touch accuracy to the 5G capability, you can enjoy multiple apps and media without interruption.
We do have to throw Apple under the bus for one thing: it claims this has an all-day battery, but it only lasts for a little over five hours. Running this level of efficiency costs power, so be sure to have a charger nearby if you plan on taking this out of the house for the day.
Best Tablet Buying Guide and FAQ
What’s the best resolution for a tablet?
The bare minimum resolution for a clean and clear user experience is 1280 v 800 pixels. This is low by today’s standards, considering that Apple uses a 2732 x 2048 resolution in its iPad Pro 12.9” model.
The rule of thumb is that you want good pixel density, known as PPI (pixels per inch). Having at least 200 PPI on a tablet is ideal. Compare this against full HD monitors with an average PPI of around 82 (depending on screen size). There’s a reason that using a tablet has a richer user experience and higher quality media viewing.
Are iPads better than Android tablets?
Yes, iPads come with higher quality features, higher-resolution displays, and innovative technology such as the M1 chip (iPad Pro only). While many Android tablet manufacturers copy each other to keep up with the times, Apple innovates.
Few Android tablet companies, such as Samsung, actually strive to make meaningful advances yearly. If quality is your concern, iPads are a better choice.
Which tablet brand is best?
Apple arguably creates the best tablets. iPads tend to have higher screen resolution, better touch screen responsiveness, and higher quality parts throughout.
However, there are no iPads made with budgeters in mind, so these features are expected when you pay a premium. For Android tablets, Samsung is the best. It creates the best touch screens and the highest quality internal components compared to most other brands.
What are tablets best used for?
Tablets are used for light and portable access to the internet, viewing media such as YouTube and Netflix, mobile gaming, and staying productive on the go. Some tablets, such as iPads, can be used creatively to draw, animate, and work on skills like graphic design.
You can use tablets to give presentations, turn anywhere with an internet connection into a workspace, and entertain children on long car rides or family trips.
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