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The best tablets you can buy: Apple, Samsung, and Amazon compared

Our top picks include the iPad and iPad Pro, but we also love the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra, Surface Go 3, and others.

With more offices and schools opting for virtual attendance or hybrid schedules, a tablet can be a great alternative to a laptop with its portability, ease of use, and connectivity options. A good tablet is something that should have a long battery life, a respectable selection of apps and services, and more functionality than just a screen to watch YouTube videos. 

Below is a list of tablets designed to fit specific needs and budgets. Whether you're looking for a low-cost device for your kids or something that can effectively replace a computer to take to school, there's a tablet for everyone. 

I limited what I included in this list to tablets that offer a reliable experience, along with a mix of affordability and features. Not all tablets are created equal, so we used our years of research, personal experience, and knowledge about the products included here to make suggestions.


Pros & Cons
  • Modernized design with a USB-C port
  • Landscape front-facing camera is superior to other iPad models
  • Four new colors to choose from
  • $120 price bump from predecessor
  • Dongle required to charge Apple Pencil (1st gen)
More Details

Apple iPad tech specs: Display: 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display with True Tone | Processor: A14 Bionic chip with 16-core Neural Engine | Storage: 64GB or 256GB | Biometrics: Touch ID | Colors: Silver, Pink, Blue, Yellow  | Cameras: 12MP f/1.8 wide, 12MP Landscape f/2.4 front | Weight: 1.05 pounds | Dimensions: 9.79 x 7.07 x .28 inches | Connections: USB-C, Smart Connector | Battery life: Up to 10 hours of video playback with USB-C charging

Apple's tried-and-true tablet, the base model iPad, is arguably the best value out of Apple's tablet lineup, and experts agree. Avi Greengart, a consumer tech analyst at Techsponential, said the iPad is the most versatile tablet on the market today. 

"There's an endless array of accessories, there's a lot of iPad-specific software, and you can use it for watching content, for browsing the internet, for games, for education, etc.," he said. "For productivity, you can add keyboard or pencil to it. It's also powerful enough for light computing tasks that consumers think of when they're looking for a tablet."

You get all of the same features as the more expensive iPad Pro and iPad Air models but in a lightweight form factor and a 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display that has True Tone and thinner bezels than the older generation.

ZDNET's June Wan reviewed the 10th-generation iPad and determined that, if you're shopping on a budget, last year's iPad should "make the most sense." It has the A14 Bionic processor, USB-C support, 5G support for on-the-go tasks, and a new 12MP ultra-wide camera. It also has support for the Magic Keyboard Folio made specifically for this iPad. It includes an adjustable kickstand with a 14-key function row for shortcuts. 

Review: iPad 2022 (10th Gen) review: Better than the Pro in two ways

Finally, the 10th-generation iPad comes in new and fun colors that break out of the standard space gray and silver we have seen for so long. The new colors include pink, blue, yellow, and of course the expected silver. 

One major downside of the new iPad is that it doesn't support the 2nd-gen Apple Pencil. Instead, you'll have to connect your 2nd-gen Apple Pencil to a dongle in order to use it, making it an unnecessary hassle.

Pros & Cons
  • Excellent battery
  • 4 colors to choose from
  • Very lightweight
  • No biometric hardware
  • Limited connections
  • Limited storage
More Details

Amazon Fire HD 10 tech specs: Display: 10.1-inch HD display | Processor: Octa-core 2.0GHz | Storage: 32GB or 64GB | Memory: 3GB | Biometrics: N/A | Colors: Black, denim, lavendar, olive | Cameras: 5MP rear. 2MP Front-facing camera | Weight: 16.4 ounces | Dimensions: 9.73 x 6.53 x 0.36 inches | Connections: 3.5mm headphone jack, Lightning port | Battery life: 12 hours

Amazon's Fire tablets run the company's forked version of Android, complete with Amazon's services baked right in. You won't find any of Google's own apps, or even the Play Store, on a Fire tablet. However, Amazon's own App Store has many of the same apps that regular Android devices have access to -- including Netflix, Facebook, and Spotify.

The Fire HD 10 is affordable, faster than ever, and doubles as an Echo smart speaker, with Alexa awaiting your commands. ZDNET's Jason Cipriani tested this cheap tablet for a few weeks and was impressed with its versatility and performance, noting it can "work, in a pinch, if your main laptop or computer is being repaired, or you're looking to do light work while traveling." You can get it with 32GB or 64GB of storage, but don't fret if that's not enough. It has microSD card support for up to another 512GB of storage. 

Review: Amazon's Fire HD 10 Productivity Bundle review: This isn't the work tablet you're looking for

The touchscreen is 10.1 inches and is in full 1080p high definition. Battery life should be good enough to get you around 12 hours of use, or enough to get through a full day of use.  It's not the fastest tablet available, but the Fire HD 10 is a perfect budget tablet for someone who wants to browse the internet, watch videos, or check email without spending a ton of money. 

Pros & Cons
  • Giant display
  • It comes with an S Pen
  • Battery life
  • 5G option
  • A keyboard accessory to take full advantage of isn't included
  • Pricey
More Details

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra tech specs: Display: 14.6-inch, 120Hz refresh rate, Super AMOLED 2,960x1,848 display | Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 | Storage: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, microSD up to 1TB | Memory: 8GB, 12GB, 16GB | Colors: Graphite | Cameras: 13MP and 6MP rear. 12MP and 12MP ultra-wide front camera | Weight: 1.6lb | Dimensions: 12.85 x 8.21 x 0.22 inches | Connections: USB-C | Battery: 11,200mAh

If you're looking for an Android tablet, the Samsung Galaxy Tab s8 Ultra is one of the best Android tablets. The Tab S8 Ultra features a 14.6-inch Super AMOLED display, runs on the Android 12 operating system, and Samsung's S Pen stylus is included in the box. When ordering your Tab S8 Ultra, you can equip it with 512GB of storage and 16GB of memory for $1,399, however, it's likely overkill.

The base model comes with 8GB of memory and 128GB of storage, and a microSD card for adding up to an extra 1TB of storage to the tablet, the combination of which should be enough for most. 

Review: Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra review: Stunning hardware, but Android holds it back

ZDNET's Matthew Miller reviewed the Galaxy Tab S8 and said, if you can get over the size of the tablet, people who sketch or draw will enjoy the S Pen and the large display. He also described the tablet as a "nice demonstration of Samsung's technical innovation."

Dan Gookin, an author of technology books, said that Samsung's lineup of tablets is the best option for Android users who want good hardware in a tablet: "I believe Samsung is the only major player left for the Android tablet market, which makes them a good choice if you want to stay on Planet Android," he said. 

One thing to note: With an Android tablet of this size, you're most likely looking at it as a laptop replacement. That means you'll want to pick up the $349 Book Cover Keyboard. Once connected, you'll be able to use Samsung DeX on the S8 Ultra, effectively turning the tablet into an Android-powered 2-in-1 device with plenty of space for multitasking and using more than one app at a time.

Pros & Cons
  • Display looks good
  • Solid performance
  • Battery life
  • Android apps still need tablet improvements
  • Not a tablet for productivity
  • It looks and acts a lot like an iPad
More Details

OnePlus Pad specs: Display: 11.61-inch, 144Hz refresh rate, LCD 2,800x2,000 display | Processor: MediaTek Dimensity 9000 Mobile Platform | Storage: 128GB | Memory: 8GB | Colors: Halo green | Cameras: 13MP rear. 8MP front camera | Weight: 555 grams | Dimensions: 189.41 x 258.03 x 6.54mm | Connections: USB-C | Battery: 9,510mAh

OnePlus is better known for its smartphone lineup where the company has led the way with producing phones that include a ton of features and performance while undercutting the competition when it comes to cost. And for the most part, that's exactly what's happened with the OnePlus Pad. 

This Android-powered tablet has month-long battery standby (I tested it), along with impressive daily battery life. It is quick and snappy for daily tasks like checking your email, playing games or browsing the web, all on a display that looks fantastic. 

And you get that experience for $479. Not too shabby. 

OnePlus also sells a keyboard case and a stylus for the OnePlus Pad, which more or less turns the OnePlus Pad into an iPad Pro dupe. And that's where the stellar Pad experience starts to struggle. 

Trackpad gestures and navigation are finicky, and a lot of the same interface features -- such as the mouse pointer -- on the OnePlus Pad come straight from Apple's iPadOS interface for the same feature. 

That said, if you're looking for a tablet that's great for keeping you entertained with very light work, then the OnePlus Pad and its 11.61-inch 2.8K display are worth a long look.

Pros & Cons
  • Windows Hellow
  • Lots of ports
  • Up to 256GB storage
  • Can only install apps from Microsoft Store in Windows 10 S Mode
More Details

Microsoft Surface Go 3 tech specs: Display: 10.5-inch PixelSense Display | Processor: Intel Pentium Gold or Intel Core i3 | Storage: 64GB or 256GB | Memory: 4GB or 8GB | Biometrics: Windows Hello face sign-in | Colors: Platinum | Cameras: 8MP rear, 1080p video. 5MP front facing camera | Weight: 1.07 pounds | Dimensions: 9.65 x 6.9 x 0.33 inches | Connections: 1 x USB-C, 3.5mm headphone jack, 1 x Surface Connect Port, microSD card reader | Battery life: 11 hours

The design hasn't changed for the Go 3, meaning it should work with all of the original accessories, including the Type Cover keyboard. The Go 3 has faster internals that provides a better overall experience and performance, and this time around, all three configurations of the Go 3 use an SSD instead. Previously, the combination of slower storage via an eMMC drive and the Intel Pentium processor wasn't an enjoyable experience. 

Review: Microsoft Surface Go 3 review: A portable and versatile 2-in-1, but battery life disappoints

ZDNET's Mary Branscombe tested the Surface Go 3 and said it "shines as a portable device." It's perfect for working on an airplane tray table or a crowded train, and for throwing in a backpack. It's a small tablet, with a display of just 10.5 inches, but it runs the full Windows operating system that you can customize.

It can also run Windows 10 in S Mode, which limits you to installing apps from only the Microsoft Store, along with a few other security features. But you can opt for the full Windows 10 experience by leaving S Mode.

Pros & Cons
  • iPadOS 16.1's new multitasking feature
  • Strong performance thanks to M2 chip
  • The most expensive, by a long shot
  • Not many changes compared to previous model
More Details

Apple iPad Pro tech specs: Display: 11-inch Liquid Retina display or 12.9-inch Liquid Retina XDR display with ProMotion and True Tone | Processor: Apple Silicon M2 | Storage: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB or 2TB | Biometrics: Face ID | Colors: Silver, space gray | Cameras: 12MP wide, 10MP ultrawide rear and 12MP TrueDepth FaceTime front | Weight: 11-inch: 1.03 pounds 12.9-inch: 1.5 pounds | Dimensions: 11-inch: 9.74 x 7.02 x 0.23 inches, 12.9-inches: 11.04 x 8.46 x 0.25-inches| Connections: USB-C Thunderbolt/USB-4 | Battery life: 10 hours

Apple's 2022 iPad Pro lineup is by far the most capable and impressive iPad lineup we've seen, making it our best overall pick as a laptop replacement. It's also the most expensive, by a long shot. The design hasn't changed all that much on the outside, but on the inside, you'll find Apple's M2 processor which consists of 20 billion transistors -- 25% more than the M1. It's the same exact processor that Apple is using in the new 13-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air.

ZDNET's Jason Cipriani spent some time with the 12.9-inch iPad Pro and found it to be faster and more capable than any other iPad model he has tested to date, noting the hardware "continues to overpower the software." You can expect downloads up to 2.4Gbps, twice as fast as the previous model, 15% faster performance, and up to 35% faster graphics performance.

Review: iPad Pro (2022) review: I'm cautiously optimistic. Or foolish

The Pro also supports the 2nd-generation Apple Pencil, and there's a new hover feature thanks to the M2 chip. The feature works like this: once the tip of the Apple Pencil gets near the iPad Pro's display, and when it's within 12 millimeters, parts of the interface come to life in apps that support the new feature. The Smart Connector is on the back of the iPad Pro, giving you the option to use it with the Magic Keyboard, which includes backlit keys and trackpad, or Apple's Smart Keyboard.

And, although the differences between the 5th-generation and this 6th-generation model are more subtle, the M2 chip is really what shines here, making it a powerhouse tablet. The iPad Pro, combined with iPadOS and the M2 chip, is as close as you can get to a laptop without actually buying a laptop. 

The 11-inch iPad Pro starts at $799 for the Wi-Fi model and $999 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model, and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro starts at $1,099 for the Wi-Fi model and $1,299 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model.

Pros & Cons
  • Excellent battery life
  • Up to 512GB storage
  • Plenty of ports
  • Windows Hello
  • Can only run 32-bit apps
  • No SD card slot
More Details

Microsoft Surface Pro X tech specs: Display: 13-inch PixelSense display | Processor: Microsoft SQ 1 or Microsoft SQ 2 | Storage: 128GB, 256GB or 512GB | Memory: 8GB or 16GB | Biometrics: Windows Hello face unlock | Colors: Matte black or platinum | Cameras: 10MP rear, 1080p video. 5MP front facing camera | Weight: 1.7 pounds | Dimensions: 11.3 x 8.2 x 0.28 inches | Connections: 2 x USB-C, 1 x Surface Connect, 1 x nano SIM | Battery life: 15 hours

The Surface Pro X is like the aforementioned Surface Go 3, only bigger and more powerful. It runs full Windows 10 out of the box (and can be upgraded to Windows 11 once it's released), but because it uses an ARM-based processor, it's mostly limited to 32-bit apps. That means you may see app compatibility issues. 

Review: Microsoft Surface Pro X review: Desirable but expensive hardware, work-in-progress software

The Pro X comes in either Wi-Fi only or with integrated LTE connectivity, a 13-inch display, and is just 7.3mm thin. There's even a special compartment in the optional keyboard to hide the Surface Pen -- it's pretty cool.

ZDNET's Jason Cipriani has been using the Pro X as his main windows device for over a year, and even with some random issues with apps, it's his go-to Windows device. Meanwhile, ZDNET's Simon Bisson also reviewed the Surface Pro X and called it an "excellent device for mobile workers" who prefer Office.

Pros & Cons
  • Great battery life
  • M1 processor
  • 4K video capable
  • Up to 256GB storage
  • Only one USB-C port
More Details

Apple iPad Air tech specs: Display: 10.9-inch Retina display | Processor: Apple Silicon M1 | Storage: 64GB or 256GB | Biometrics: Touch ID | Colors: Space gray, starlight, pink, purple, blue | Cameras: 12MP rear, 4K video. 12MP Ultra Wide camera | Weight: 1.02 pounds | Dimensions: 9.74 x 7.02 x 0.24 inches | Connections: USB-C port | Battery life: 10 hours

Apple's latest update to the iPad Air is more of a catch-up announcement than anything. The 5th-generation iPad Air keeps the same design we saw Apple bring to the Air in late 2020, but it now boasts an M1 processor and 5G connectivity. 

The Apple iPad Air still sits confidently between the base iPad and the iPad Pro when you look at price, but it's effectively caught up to the iPad Pro in terms of performance. With a 10.9-inch display, a Touch ID sensor that doubles as a power button on the side of its housing, it's more affordable and slightly different than the iPad Pro. The new iPad Air still works with the Magic Keyboard and second-generation Apple Pencil. 

Review: iPad Air (2022) review: So good I almost regret buying my iPad Pro

Where the iPad Pro is the model for those who want nothing but the best, the iPad Air is the model for those who want to use the tablet for work and play, without big sacrifices in performance or features. ZDNET's Jason Cipriani reviewed the iPad Air (2022) and said if you're in the market for an iPad (and the base model and iPad Mini isn't enough for you), then the iPad Air is "where your search should begin and, likely, end."

The more Apple pays attention to the iPad Air, the less the 11-inch iPad Pro makes sense. Starting at $599, the iPad Air comes with 64GB or $749 for 256GB of storage. You can add cellular to it for an extra $130. For (almost) everyone, this is the best iPad to get if you have the cash to spend but don't want to go all out. 

Pros & Cons
  • Three sizes to choose from
  • Industry-leading amount of pressure sensitivity levels
  • Included stylus
  • Need an external screen to use
  • Need to replace the nibs of the stylus often
More Details

Wacom Intuos Pro tech specs: Display: Small, medium, or large | Weight: 0.99-2.86 pounds | Dimensions: ‎16.79 x 11.19 x 0.31 inches | Connections: USB and Bluetooth

When it comes to drawing tablets, Wacom is one of the industry leaders. With virtually no lag and 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity in the battery-free pen included, this no-screen tablet is the best one on the market for professional artists looking to create while providing a natural drawing experience.

While this writer's experience using it as a non-artist was simply for fun, professional artists and graphic designers will appreciate the Pro Pen 2's sensitive pressure points that allow you to go light and thin or dark and thick with your strokes. You can use the tablet to zoom in and out of your artwork, making fine-tuning details a breeze. 

Review: This Wacom drawing tablet feels like putting pen to paper

The possibilities are endless when it comes to creativity with the Wacom Intuos Pro tablet, and that is reinforced with a fully-customizable ExpressKeys located on the side of the active area. These buttons allow for artists to add their most-used tools for them to easily access.

Its lightweight design is perfect for using it on a desk or on your lap, and with multiple sizes available, you can use this practically anywhere. This tablet connects to both Windows and Mac devices.

You'll also get free access to drawing-specific apps and services, like Clip Studio Paint Pro for two years, Boris Optics for one, and have the option to test Corel Painter Essentials 8 and Corel AfterShot Pro 3 for 90 days. 

Pros & Cons
  • IPX8 water resistant
  • Adjustable warm light for nighttime reading
  • Page-turning buttons
  • No USB-C connector
  • No headphone jack for audiobook reading
More Details

Amazon Kindle Oasis tech specs: Display: 7-inch 300 ppi e-ink screen | Storage: 8 GB or 32 GB | Colors: Champagne gold or graphite | Weight: 6.6 ounces | Dimensions: 6.3 x 5.6 x 0.13-.33 inches | Connections: USB port | Battery life: Up to 6 weeks (at 30 minutes per day)

The Kindle Oasis is the ultimate tablet for reading since it's a high-tech device with features geared toward helping you read. Even though this Kindle hasn't been updated by Amazon since 2019, it has adjustable warm light to make reading more comfortable at night. It also auto-adjusts light settings when you're reading in direct sunlight, automatically rotates for page orientation, and has a physical page turn button so flipping pages is easier than ever. 

The screen is Amazon's signature e-ink technology, which is very different than the display you'll find on an iPad. Instead, e-ink provides a paper-like display for readers with 300 pixels per inch (ppi) and 25 front-light LEDs. 

ZDNET's Sandra Vogel tested the Kindle Oasis (2019) and called it a "lovely product both to hold and to read with." It delivers a premium experience in this respect, and has the edge for me over Kobo's Forma, primarily because of the aluminium back and excellent page-turn buttons. 

Review: Amazon Kindle Oasis 2019, long-term test: A few features short of perfection

It's also waterproof (how many tablets can you say that about?), so you can read by the pool without worrying about cannonball splashes. And while it doesn't have a regular headphone jack, the Kindle Oasis supports Bluetooth connectivity, so you can use wireless headphones and speakers to listen to audiobooks or the screen reader function.

Pros & Cons
  • Affordable
  • Kids edition has many perks
  • Easy to use
  • Performance will be an issue
  • Amazon's Appstore is hit or miss
More Details

Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids tech specs: Display: 8-inch display | Processor: Hexa-core 2.0 Ghz | Storage: 32GB or 64GB (expandable by up to 1 TB) | Memory: 2GB | Colors: Blue, purple, Disney Mickey Mouse, or Disney princess | Cameras: 2 MP front and rear-facing cameras with 720p HD video recording | Weight: 18.3 ounces | Dimensions: 8.7 x 7.1 x 1.1 inches| Connections: 3.5mm headphone jack, USB-C port | Battery life: 13 hours

Amazon just updated this tablet model last year, making it faster and with a longer battery life. Not only does it have a kid-proof case built to withstand 3 to 7-year-olds, but it also comes with a free one-year subscription to Amazon Kids+. 

Anne Leavitt, a former teacher and founder and CEO of Homeschool Newbie, told ZDNET that the Fire HD 8 Kids Tablet is the best tablet for children on the market: "Parents will appreciate the complete parental control features that allow them to set up profiles and customize content for each child," she said. "Plus, Amazon FreeTime Unlimited comes included with the tablet for one year."

An Amazon FreeTime Unlimited subscription gets you access to thousands of kid-friendly ad-free books, as well as movies and games and other educational content your child will love. 

Leavitt also likes that the Fire HD 8 Kids Tablet provides sharp visuals for optimal learning experiences.

Review: I bought this Amazon kids tablet instead of an iPad and wasn't sorry

The tablet's kid-friendly case is also worth mentioning, because it protects against drops and bumps, and it comes complete with an adjustable stand so your kids can go hands-free. But Amazon does offer you a two-year worry-free guarantee in case the tablet does succumb to playtime.

What is the best tablet?

The 10th-generation iPad is my pick for the best tablet. Experts like tech author Dan Gookin, analyst Avi Greengart, and ZDNET's own June Wan also agree. They all named the iPad their favorite tablet today. 

It has a battery life of up to 10 hours, up to 256GB of storage, and a lightweight design that's perfect for working or streaming movies on the go. Its fairly affordable price tag also makes it a great choice for students who need a mobile work computer. 

If you want to see quickly how the 10th-generation iPad specifically compares to the other tablets that made our list, see the handy chart below that compares factors like price, storage, and display size.



Display size


Apple iPad (10th gen)


10.9 inches

Up to 256GB

Amazon Fire HD 10


10.1 inches

Up to 512GB with microSD card

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra


14.6 inches

Up to 1TB with microSD card

OnePlus Pad


11.6 inches

128 GB

Microsoft Surface Go 3


10.5 inches

Up to 256GB

Apple iPad Pro (6th gen)


11 or 12.9 inches

Up to 2TB

Microsoft Surface Pro X


13 inches

Up to 512GB

Apple Gen iPad Air (5th gen)


10.9 inches

Up to 256GB

Wacom Intuos Pro 


Small, medium, or large


Amazon Kindle Oasis (3rd gen)


7 inches

8GB or 32GB

Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids


8 inches

32GB or 64GB

Which is the right tablet for you?

The biggest question you'll need to answer about any tablet purchase is what you plan on using it for: Do you just want something to read a comic book and binge on some Netflix shows while you walk on the treadmill? If so, then a Fire tablet or the base model iPad is going to be more than enough for you. 

However, if you want to use a tablet more like a laptop, then you'll want to consider the iPad Pro, or one of the Surface devices. Here is a decision matrix that can help you choose which tablet is right for you:

Choose this tablet...

If you want or are...

Apple iPad (10th gen)

The best overall option when it comes to power, storage, and user-friendliness. The Apple iPad is the best tablet for anything.

Amazon Fire HD 10

An affordable tablet with basic features great for streaming. If you're looking to spend less on a tablet, this is a great pick. 

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra

An Android tablet with expandable storage up to 1TB. This is Samsung's best tablet, by far. 

OnePlus Pad

The best Android tablet for entertainment and daily tasks like checking your email and browsing the web.

Microsoft Surface Go 3

A compact tablet for travel and mobile work. One of the best parts about this tablet is that it has A LOT of ports.

Apple iPad Pro (6th gen)

A tablet to replace your laptop thanks to its powerful Apple M2 chip. All you need to add is an attachable keyboard, and you have a device as powerful as the MacBook Pro.

Microsoft Surface Pro X

A powerful tablet that can be equipped with LTE connectivity. It also has an excellent battery life of up to 15 hours. 

Apple iPad Air (5th gen)

A lightweight tablet that won't break the bank. At just over 1 pound, this iPad works with the Magic Keyboard and second-generation Apple Pencil. 

Wacom Intuos Pro

A digital artist or graphic designer looking to create on a tablet. This tablet was made specifically for drawing, and it feels like putting a pen to paper. 

Amazon Kindle Oasis (3rd gen)

A tablet built for reading your library of books on the go. With features like amber lighting and page-turning buttons, you won't want to put it down.

How did I choose these tablets?

I considered my own experiences in using some of these tablets, as well as the reviews of other ZDNET writers. I also researched the top tablets from renowned brands and paid attention to the tablets' feature sets, price points, and integrations with other products. 

Finally, I reached out to experts in various fields who have used tablets for their takes on which tablets are best and what features are most important to them. 

What brand tablet is best?

By and large, Samsung and Apple tablets consistently have the best tablets in the market in terms of features, speed, camera, and quality. 

What does it mean if a tablet is Wi-Fi only?

When a tablet says that it is "Wi-Fi Only," that means that it requires a wireless internet connection to access things like email, websites, and apps. There are models available that give you the option to use LTE cellular data to connect to the internet, but if you aren't planning on traveling with your tablet, you can stick to a Wi-Fi only model.

What features to look for in a tablet?

It depends on what you're specifically looking for and your preferences. Gookin says he prioritizes the operating system: "I look for software, which is why I recommend iPad over Android," he said. "Many Android apps are customized for a smartphone screen and can look awkward on a tablet." 

Similarly, high-performing processors are also important, but Greengart said it all depends what you're using the tablet for. "If a tablet is on the slow side to launch apps, but if you're using it to write term papers, or even to browse the internet on a regular basis, it may make a lot of sense to go with a tablet that's got a higher performing processor," he said. 

Greengart also added that, unlike smartphones, people aren't as likely to update their tablet model every year, so he suggested thinking about how willing you are to deal with those small inconveniences like speed or battery life that can add up over time. 

Is a tablet better than a laptop?

That depends on what you want to use your tablet or laptop for. Digital artists tend to prefer tablets since they're easier to draw on with a stylus. Tablets are also great for photo editing and streaming movies if you get one with a large enough screen size. But if you want to do things like create spreadsheets, type in a word processing program, or do intensive 3D animation or modeling, you're better off with a laptop.

What tablet is best for students?

For students, there are specific things to look for when it comes to a tablet for learning and studying. Leavitt said that, in most classes, students use a tablet for its basic functions such as internet searches, school projects, or running basic programs which don't require fancy specs. 

She recommends prioritizing features like storage space (at least 32 GB), and a large display between 10-14 inches. "For most students, you want at least 4GB of RAM to run your programs without lag. We only have a limited amount of time in the classroom and spending it wisely is essential," Leavitt said.

Are there alternative tablets worth considering?

Of course, the tablet market is more than just these 10 picks above. There are plenty of other options from different brands at various price points if you're looking for additional tablets. 

Light blue Amazon Kids Fire 7 tablet with baby sharks on the screen


Amazon Fire 7 Kids Tablet - A small and affordable kids tablet alternative

This tablet has a smaller, 7-inch display, but still has all the perks like parental controls, Amazon Kids+ subscription, and a kid-friendly case. 

View at Amazon
The front and back of a Lenovo Tab 11 Plus tablet


Lenovo Tab P11 Plus - A tablet with a large screen

The 11-inch, 2K display is impressive, and the performance is reliable. Plus, it's under $300.

View at Amazon
A Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite with purple streaks of art on its screen


Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite - A small and portable Samsung tablet

The Galaxy Tab A7 Lite is a small tablet that combines affordability and usefulness. The 8.7-inch screen makes it a tablet worthy of streaming, working, and more.

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All five iPad mini models in color order


Apple Mini (6th generation) - The smallest iPad without compromising on performance

Apple's recent update to the Mini brought it current with the company's new flat-edge design, a USB-C port for charging and data transfer, and support for the 2nd-generation Apple Pencil. 

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