The best tablets to buy in 2024

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The best tablets to buy in 2024
The Android tablet landscape has shifted a bit over the past couple of years. We already have another Galaxy Tab S9 trio, launched during Samsung's 2023 Summer Unpacked. And Google finally launched its Pixel Tablet, which took a slightly different stab at the tablet formula. Then, OnePlus released the OnePlus Pad, which is a value offering that wears the iPad Pro inspirations on its sleeve.

Of course, Apple's iPads still reign supreme, with models ranging from $330 to $1,100 for every need, taste, budget, and requirement. It's a great time to be shopping for a tablet — we are literally spoiled for choice. But for some that can only lead to "choice paralysis". Which is why we are here to recommend the best tablets you should be looking at — and help you make a choice.

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No matter which side you're on, the list below surely contains a tablet that would serve you well.

Contents:

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Apple iPad Pro 11- and 12.9-inch (2022)


Apple iPad Pro 11-inch (2022)
9.0

Apple iPad Pro 11-inch (2022)


The Good

  • Thin, light, easy to handle
  • 120 Hz screen is still a fantastic way to experience iPadOS
  • Tons of power on tap
  • USB Type-C Thunderbolt port is super-fast and useful
  • The quad speakers sound great
  • Dependable battery endurance

The Bad

  • Accessories for the full experience are expensive
  • 3rd party mice will be a bit awkward
  • iPadOS has made strides in multi-tasking, but UI feel is still sticky and confined
  • Display 11.0 inches 2388 x 1688 pixels 120Hz Refresh rate
  • Camera 12 MP (Dual camera) 12 MP front
  • Hardware Apple M2 8GB RAM
  • Storage 128GB, not expandable
  • Battery 7538 mAh
  • OS iPadOS 16.x

Apple's iPads have long been considered "the best tablet". Even in a declining tablet market, iPads were going up in sales, and for good reason.

iPadOS has been developed specifically for the large tablet screen, and apps on the App Store that wanted to be listed as "for iPad", need to cover a set of guidelines.

Not to mention the power of Apple chips. The latest iPad Pros are powered by the M2 processor, same as in the latest MacBook Pros and Mac minis. We are talking lightning-fast photo and video editing and a plethora of touch-controlled apps that make it easy.

Their USB C ports make them compatible with most generic accessories out there (finally) and actually support Thunderbolt data transfer speeds.

Admittedly, an iPad Pro may be a bit overkill — in terms of price and untapped power — for many. That's why we have more affordable models listed below. However, here's a hot take — if you can find a deal on an iPad Pro 2021 (the M1 models), jump on that one — the newer ones didn't add that much, but a discount on an old iPad Pro can get you awesome value.

With the new Stage Manager feature, you can also (finally) get a desktop-style work environment, if you connect the iPad to an external monitor. This feature is supported by iPad Pros, and the newest iPad Air.

Their screens work for leisure, too — such as playing games or watching movies. And the ultra-wide selfie cameras have the Center Stage feature, which follows your face around during video calls. Unfortunately, no headphone jack, which would've been great on a "Pro"-grade device, but alas.

Apple's Magic Keyboard is a fantastic accessory and we really love how it feels. It is a bit costly and we can't fully recommend the spend, but if you decide to go that route — rest assured that it's a high quality keyboard with a touchpad that feels much better than it has the right to.

The second generation Apple Pencil is a divisive topic. On one hand, it's an incredibly responsive stylus. On the other, its plastic tip feels slippery and unnatural when applied to the screen's glass. One solution is to apply a matte Paperlike screen protector to your iPad, but then you lose some of the sharpness and pristine imagery of the expensive screen.


Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra


Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra
8.5

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra


The Good

  • Large, beautiful screen
  • Thin but durable body
  • Comes with S Pen, which is excellent
  • Great audio
  • Can run DeX autonomously
  • IP68 water- and dust-resistance

The Bad

  • Size and thin bezel makes it harder to carry and work in-hand
  • Expensive accessories, keyboard could be better
  • Software ecosystem still missing some serious offerings for pro work
  • Display 14.6 inches 2960 x 1848 pixels 120Hz Refresh rate
  • Camera 13 MP (Dual camera) 12 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 12GB RAM
  • Storage 256GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 11200 mAh
  • OS Android 13

With the most powerful hardware on Android tablets, Samsung's own OneUI interface, an included S Pen, and the ability to sync with Windows and your other Samsung devices, the Galaxy Tab S are built for work and multi-tasking — split screen, multiple windows, quick app switching. DeX mode specifically makes it feel like an Android-powered laptop, as it switches to a desktop UI. Slap a Bluetooth keyboard on and you are ready to write articles on the go — I rarely go out of DeX mode when using a Samsung tablet. It's just so convenient.

You don't need an external monitor or anything, too, which is already an advantage over the iPad Pro. Thanks to the huge screen size, this can work as a laptop replacement for some.

Also, Samsung continues its partnership with Lumafusion's devs. The excellent video editor is already available for multiple Android devices, but since Lumafusion is tested on Galaxy Tab models — Samsung users will be getting the newest features first.

If raw power and productivity is what you are after, the Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra is easily the best Android tablet right now. The notched-in camera may look a bit off, but at least it's placed for landscape orientation, making for less awkward video calls. The one complaint we have with it is that at 14.6 inches, the 2960 x 1848 screen resolution feels a bit weak (239 pixels per inch, while the other Tab S8 models hit 267 PPI).


If the Tab S9 Ultra is a bit expensive, do check out the more affordable Tab S9 Plus and Tab S9. They don't cut out on a lot of features and are great for both work and play!

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9
8.6

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9


The Good

  • Bright and vivid AMOLED display
  • Excellent performance
  • Very decent battery life
  • Functional interface, S Pen stylus
  • Compact size makes it super-manageable

The Bad

  • Absolutely terrible haptic feedback
  • Not enough bass
  • Camera is so-so
  • No version with cellular connectivity
  • Display 11.0 inches 120Hz Refresh rate
  • Camera 13 MP (Single camera) 12 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 8GB RAM
  • Storage 128GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 8400 mAh
  • OS Android 13


The Galaxy Tab S9+ is slightly smaller than the S9 Ultra, which means slightly more manageable. Plus, it's not crazy expensive, though it's still up there at $700. Still, you get the S Pen stylus, DeX, beautiful 120 Hz AMOLED screen, stereo speakers, and powerful internals. It's probably the best balance between price, size, and features in the Tab S9 trio, and a good choice if you are after a premium Android tablet that doesn't go too much over the top.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9+
8.5

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9+


The Good

  • Large and vivid AMOLED screen
  • Superb performance
  • Great battery life
  • Functional interface and S Pen
  • Cellular version available

The Bad

  • Bad haptic feedback
  • Loudspeakers could have been better
  • Camera is mostly average

  • Display 12.4 inches 120Hz Refresh rate
  • Camera 13 MP (Dual camera) 12 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 12GB RAM
  • Storage 256GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 10090 mAh
  • OS Android 13


The smallest Galaxy Tab S9 is still a pretty good canvas with its 11-inch screen. Plus, at $500, we'd say it's an affordable price for a powerful tablet. The corners cut here involve the screen — it's still 120 Hz, but it's now an LCD panel. Fine, it's still great to look at, plus the S8 still comes with the S Pen, stereo speakers, and same processor as the big boys. The screen size and speakers still lend themselves well for watching movies and playing games.

Unfortunately, none of the Galaxy Tab S9 models have a headphone jack.

Google Pixel Tablet


Google Pixel Tablet
3.4

Google Pixel Tablet


The Good

  • The Google Android tablet is back
  • Speaker dock is practical
  • Good screen quality

The Bad

  • No keyboard or planned "productive" tools
  • Overall audio quality is not impressive
  • Performance is solid but a tad sluggish
  • Display 10.9 inches 2560 x 1600 pixels 60Hz Refresh rate
  • Camera 8 MP (Single camera) 8 MP front
  • Hardware Google Tensor G2 8GB RAM
  • Storage 128GB, not expandable
  • OS Android 13

The Pixel Tablet was teased for a long, long while before Google finally released it later in 2023. It's... a peculiar middle-road solution that tries a slightly different spin on the familiar tablet formula.

What's special about it? Well, it comes with its own speaker / charging dock. When the Pixel Tablet is docked, its screen becomes a smart home hub, a-la Nest Home. And the speaker is — supposedly — of high quality, so it should be able to fill your room with your favorite music if you wish it to. From our experience with the Nest speakers, we are quite confident that this one will, indeed, sound pretty good.

As for raw power — the tablet is not top-tier in specs, but it's built with the casual user in mind. You know, Netflix binging, book or article reading, and some gaming should be on the agenda. Video editing or audio production — not so much.

Oh, also, the Pixel Tablet does not come with a stylus but does support the new USI 2.0 standard, which means it will work with styli built for USI (it's a unifying standard agreed upon by multiple manufacturers).

OnePlus Pad

OnePlus Pad

OnePlus Pad


View full specs

  • Display 11.6 inches 2800 x 2000 pixels 144Hz Refresh rate
  • Camera 13 MP (Single camera) 8 MP front
  • Hardware MediaTek Dimensity 9000 8GB RAM
  • Storage 128GB, not expandable
  • Battery 9510 mAh
  • OS Android 13

The OnePlus Pad is the first tablet from OnePlus and it comes out of the gates swinging at the iPad market. It has a proprietary stylus, which attaches magnetically to the tablet, and a magnetical keyboard of its own. Though, beware — the marketing materials make it look like an Apple Magic Keyboard, but it's very much a keyboard folio, meaning it needs the tablet to "step" on the keyboard to keep the whole construction stable.

In any case, it's powered by a MediaTek Dimensity 9000 — which is a very good chip by the Qualcomm competitor — and comes at a fair price of $480. Right now, you can pick it up from the OnePlus store with a free gift — the OnePlus Stylo or the Magnetic Keyboard, among others — so it's already a pretty good value proposition compared to others on the market.

You get a 120 Hz screen and OnePlus' signature snappy interface, plus quad speakers and fast charging. As long as Android, as an operating system, covers your needs from a tablet — the OnePlus Pad will do the rest when it comes to hardware.

iPad Air (2022)


Apple iPad Air (2022)
9.0

Apple iPad Air (2022)


The Good

  • Unrivaled performance at this price
  • Premium build quality
  • Solid speakers
  • Supports iPad Pro (11-inch) accessories

The Bad

  • 64 GB of base storage is a bit stingy, the only other option is a costly jump to 256 GB
  • Expensive accessories
  • Display 10.9 inches 2360 x 1640 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP (Single camera) 12 MP front
  • Hardware Apple M1 8GB RAM
  • Storage 64GB, not expandable
  • Battery 7606 mAh
  • OS iPadOS 15.x

Real talk — the iPad Pro is overkill. Both in terms of features and price. If you want that high-productivity Apple tablet, but aren't willing to pay as much for an iPad Pro 11 or iPad Pro 12.9, check out the new iPad Air 5th gen (a.k.a. 2022 model).

It has the same form factor as the iPad Pro 11, so it fits the Apple Magic Keyboard. It also supports the second generation Apple Pencil. And, now, it's powered by the same M1 chip that hums inside the chassis of the iPad Pro 2021 models!

And that M1 ensures that the USB C port of the iPad Air also has Thunderbolt speeds.

Where does it cut corners? For one, the iPad Air 5 does not have quad speakers — it has two drivers, which are positioned on its top and bottom (Apple calls this "landscape stereo"). Basically, this is fine, because you will get true stereo whenever your tablet is in landscape mode (95% of the time you are watching media on it). The bigger setback is the screen refresh rate — the iPad Air 5's screen caps off at 60 Hz. You can definitely feel this if you are downgrading from a Pro, but you should otherwise be fine with the Air.

But hey, the Apple iPad Air is available in a bunch of fun colors, unlike the "boring" Pro models, and it starts at $600, leaving some budget for an Apple Pencil or Magic Keyboard, if you are eyeing those. It's not the cheapest tablet, but it's the best iPad to get if you are after the most features for the least cash.


Apple iPad mini (2021)


Apple iPad mini 6
9.0

Apple iPad mini 6


The Good

  • Perfect size and weight for reading and jotting down notes
  • Unrivaled performance on a small tablet
  • Punchy stereo speakers
  • USB Type-C
  • 2nd-gen Apple Pencil support

The Bad

  • Unimpressive display, wavy scrolling in portrait mode
  • Display 8.3 inches 2266 x 1488 pixels 60Hz Refresh rate
  • Camera 12 MP (Single camera) 12 MP front
  • Hardware Apple A15 Bionic
  • Storage 64GB,
  • Battery 5078 mAh
  • OS iPadOS 15.x

The Apple iPad mini 6 is a cute little monster. For all intents and purposes, it’s an iPad Air 4th gen, but smaller. Touch ID in the power button, landscape stereo speakers, an all-screen redesign, and support for second gen Apple Pencil. No Magic Keyboard or Smart Keyboard support here — this tablet is too small for that.

Starting at $500 it’s a bit steep and definitely a device geared only towards those that are looking for a compact tablet experience. It's not ideal for watching videos or playing games, and it doesn't support enhanced features like Stage Manager.

But it still has its charm — it's smaller than most other tablets on the market, yet it packs a punch. It has a long battery life, and still supports the high quality apps that inhabit the Apple ecosystem.

If you are not after the compact size of the iPad mini, but on the hunt for a bargain tablet — look at other iPad models.


Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 series


Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE 5G

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE 5G


View full specs
  • Display 12.4 inches 2560 x 1600 pixels 60Hz Refresh rate
  • Camera 8 MP (Single camera) 5 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G 4GB RAM
  • Storage 64GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 10090 mAh
  • OS Android 11

If you want a 5G-connected tablet with an S Pen, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE is a good budget solution. It's got a massive screen, though — admittedly — it's a 60 Hz LCD, instead of a vibrant OLED. But it's not a bad screen in its own right, just not the best.

Otherwise, you get a Snapdragon 750G and starts at 64 GB of storage and 4 GB RAM, though we would suggest at least upgrading to the 128 GB + 6 GB tier for the modern world.

It's a great Android tablet that comes packaged with the awesome S Pen, so it provides a functional canvas for anyone who wishes to dabble with drawing on an Android device.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+
9.0

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+


The Good

  • Gorgeous AMOLED display
  • Super-smooth 120Hz refresh rate
  • Excellent performance
  • Good battery life
  • Improved S Pen
  • Lots of productivity enhancements

The Bad

  • It's pretty large
  • Only 6GB RAM in the base version

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+

  • Display 12.4 inches 2800 x 1752 pixels 120Hz Refresh rate
  • Camera 13 MP (Dual camera) 8 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ 6GB RAM
  • Storage 128GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 10090 mAh
  • OS Android 11 Samsung One UI


The Galaxy Tab S7+ is getting long in the tooth now and its hardware is certainly not top-tier. However, it has a huge 12.6" OLED screen that is sharp and vibrant. It used to be the best Android tablet around, in its hayday. Nowadays, it can be found discounted down to about $500-$600, and it still hasn't lost its panache as a multimedia device — quad speakers, comes with an S Pen, and it features Samsung's split-screen and multi-app multitasking, plus the DeX desktop mode.

Amazon Fire HD 10


Amazon Fire HD 10 (2021)

Amazon Fire HD 10 (2021)


View full specs
  • Display 10.1 inches 1920 x 1200 pixels 60Hz Refresh rate
  • Camera 5 MP (Single camera) 2 MP front
  • Hardware MediaTek Helio P60T 3GB RAM
  • Storage 32GB, microSDXC
  • OS Android 9.0 Pie Fire OS 7 UI

"Best tablet" can mean a lot of things and while Amazon's Fire HD 10 can't keep up with the rest of the tablets on this list when it comes to specs, it has them all beat in one department: the price.

It is affordable enough as it is, though you can shave some money off its final price if you opt into the Amazon lockscreen ad program — something you choose when buying an Amazon Fire Tablet from the website.

Whichever option you choose, consider spending a few extra bucks on the Bluetooth keyboard bundle, so you can use the Fire HD 10 as a super light laptop replacement. You will also notice there's a Luna controller bundle, if you want to game on the tablet.

While the Fire HD 10 is technically an Android tablet, it's running on a heavily modified Amazon-centered software and doesn't come with Google's Play Store (there are ways to install it, if you insist). Still, Amazon's own app store offers enough variety to fit the relatively narrow focus of this tablet, so for most people this won't be an issue.

Keep in mind that the Amazon Fire tablets have historically not had the best performance. They are great as simple slates to enjoy some media on, and they should work just fine for the Amazon Luna game streaming service, but if you intend to run heavy apps off the device itself, maybe look at another Android tablet instead.

Microsoft Surface Pro 9


Microsoft Surface Pro 9 UPGRADE TO 256 GB for FREE

Base version with Intel Evo Core i5. Bundle with Microsoft Arc mouse to get 20% off on the latter.

Microsoft Surface Pro 9 UPGRADE TO 256 GB for FREE

Base version with Intel Evo Core i5. Bundle with Microsoft Arc mouse to get 20% off on the latter.
$999 99
$1099 99
Buy at BestBuy

Microsoft continutes to build the Surface Pro line and is now up to Surface Pro 9. Instead of having a mobile system, like an Android tablet, Surface Pro 9 comes pre-loaded with Windows 11.

At the starting price of $999.99, you get an 12th gen Intel Core i5, which is pretty good for mid-tier performance requirements. You will still need to buy a keyboard cover separately if you wish to use it as a full-on laptop replacement.

These are marketed strictly for professionals and gaming is probably not the best idea for them. But we can't imagine why they wouldn't be able to play some classic / light game titles, if you like to keep on installed for occasional R&R.

The bad news? The Surface Pro 9 quietly removed the headphone jack, making it the first in the line to show... "courage".

Microsoft Surface Pro 7


Microsoft Surface Pro 7+ with Type Cover

A base Core i3 model, bundled with a keyboard cover. Perfect for staying on top on some light projects and spreadsheets while being on the go. Best Buy currently offers 20% off on bundled items (a mouse).

Microsoft Surface Pro 7+ with Type Cover

A base Core i3 model, bundled with a keyboard cover. Perfect for staying on top on some light projects and spreadsheets while being on the go. Best Buy currently offers 20% off on bundled items (a mouse).
$699 99
$929 99
Buy at BestBuy

The Surface Pro 7 served proudly as Microsoft's top-tier tablet for two years. Now, it has been retired to the back row as a midrange pick, a more affordable option for mobile Windows enjoyers. Considering these tablets are treated more like PCs than actual tablets, you will probably do fine if you pick up a 2019 Surface Pro 7 — its hardware is not top-of-the-line, but still fresh.

It also comes loaded with Windows 11, and is now bundled with a Microsoft Surface Pro Type Cover, so you get the keyboard and the tablet for one price!

Conclusion


So, what are the best tablets around? Apple's iPads are pretty hard to beat as they offer tons of value on every price tier. Well, maybe the large Pros are past a certain price-value threshold.

Samsung's Galaxy Tab S8 line was a pleasant surprise since it launched with an ambitious setup — it has been a while since any Android manufacturer took a hard swing at making an actual premium tablet experience, and we do believe that it can draw customers away from the iPad.

And Microsoft's Surface Pro line has a devout following of fans who simply enjoy having a full-fledged Windows on a portable slab. Admittedly, it's a device for the ones that are feeling a bit more adventurous, but it has definitely proven its worth as a professional's work tool.

What to consider when buying a tablet:


  • Performance - there's a very wide variety when it comes to performance in the world of tablets. Apple's iPad Pros literally have desktop-grade processors in their thin bodies, and even Microsoft packs Intel Core CPUs in the Surface Pros.

The question is — what are you going to do with this tablet? A multimedia machine for Netflix binging? Then you really don't need the cutting-edge hardware. Light mobile gaming? You will do fine with a midranger, as mobile games are usually optimized to work on any type of hardware.

Want to do some creative work on it and have it be a viable device for the forseeable future? Definitely invest in a more powerful tablet, as that headroom will come in handy a few years from now.

  • Screen size - for most people's use cases, tablets are supposed to feel portable. We find that an 11-inch screen, a-la iPad Pro / Air or Galaxy Tab S8 kind of hits the sweet spot. The screen feels large enough to be comfortable for most uses, yet the entire device is easy to slip into almost any kind of bag.
Artists, multi-taskers, and those looking to legitimately replace their laptop with a tablet may find better use from the bigger tablets — the likes of Galaxy Tab S7 FE, iPad Pro 12.9, or Tab S8 Ultra.

  • Storage - in 2024, mid-tier tablets and above typically start at 128 GB. That's usually good enough for most users. Typically, smartphone people might consider this to be on the low side, but keep in mind that you won't be shooting pictures or 4K video with that tablet on the regular, right?

Though, if you do intend to do video editing or other type of creative work that involves storing and shuffling many media files on the device, definitely consider at least 256 GB.

Gamers should be fine, as mobile games don't take a whole lot of space (well, unless you plan on installing 20 or so). And casual media enjoyers will probably be streaming their entertainment from the cloud, so storage isn't a huge concern.

  • Battery life - most tablets, even the iPad mini, usually meet somewhere between 6 and 10 hours of screen-on time. It depends on what type of apps they are running, but if you are browsing battery life tests online, see that it can hit about 7 hours of YouTube streaming or more. You should be good then.

Should I go for iOS or Android?


The Apple iPad has had a long and very successful reign. So much so that Apple felt confident to expand the range all the way to the insanely-priced iPad Pro 12.9.

As such, there are plenty of hardware accessories, and a ton of apps for many, many use cases. From musicians, to artists, to photographers — everyone can find something to do on an iPad. Then, there's gaming and Apple Arcade, Apple TV+ for your entertainment needs. For a long time, even Android fans would have an Android phone and an iPad for a tablet.

Nowadays, however, Android has also gotten better. Makers of Android tablets usually lean in heavily into the split screen and multitasking functionalities that the platform allows. There is definitely value to be had if you go Android — either you get an affordable price offer, or you get to enhance your Samsung ecosystem if you already have a Galaxy phone.

We still lean towards iPadOS due to the robustness of the ecosystem and it readily being able to handle more specific tasks for artists and professionals, but there are definitely Android tablets out there that can get the job done for general use cases.

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