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2023’s Best Tablets

CableTV.com experts analyzed more than 30 top tablets to find our top picks.

Editor's choice

Apple iPad

Price: $449.99
Screen size: 10.9 inches
Storage: 64 GB, 256 GB

Best Android tablet

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8

Price: $562.00
Screen size: 11 inches
Storage: 128 GB, 256 GB

Best Windows tablet

Microsoft Surface Pro 9

Price: $999.00
Screen size: 13 inches
Storage: 128 GB–1 TB

Best for kids

Amazon Fire HD Kids

Price: $109.00–$199.99
Screen size: 7–10 inches
Storage: 32 GB, 64 GB

Best budget tablet

Samsung Galaxy Tab A8

Price: $179.99
Screen size: 10.5 inches
Storage: 32–128 GB

Data effective as of publish date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Amazon.com prices as of 11/2/2022 11:00 MST). See full disclaimer.

Looking for a device that’s bigger than your smartphone but more portable than a laptop? With their lightweight designs and powerful specifications, tablets are built for users who want to browse the web, play games, or watch videos on the go.

Our Editor’s Choice pick is the Apple iPad, which offers stellar performance and Apple’s excellent iOS ecosystem for an affordable mid-range price. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 was our top tablet pick for Android users thanks to its high-end specifications and deluxe screen size.

Windows users who need laptop-grade specifications should look at the Microsoft Surface Pro 9, while parents searching for a kid-friendly tablet will find a lot to like from the Amazon Fire HD Kids series. And if budget is your biggest priority, grab the Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 for affordable tablet performance.

Best tablets

Compare tablets head to head

Product Price Screen size Storage Details
Apple iPad $449.99 10.9 inches 64 GB, 256 GB View on Amazon
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 $562.00 11 inches 128 GB, 256 GB View on Amazon
Microsoft Surface Pro 9 $999.00 13 inches 128 GB–1 TB View on Amazon
Amazon Fire HD Kids $109.00–$199.99 7–10 inches 32 GB, 64 GB View on Amazon
Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 $179.99 10.5 inches 32–128 GB View on Amazon

Data effective as of publish date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Amazon.com prices as of 11/2/2022 11:00 MST). See full disclaimer.

The Apple iPad is our top pick thanks to its solid build quality and Apple’s stellar service ecosystem.

Android users who want to stick with Android will find a lot to love with the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8. Windows users should grab the Microsoft Surface Pro 9, while parents should do the same with the Amazon Fire HD Kids. And if budget is your biggest concern, grab the affordable Samsung Galaxy Tab A8.

Best tablets in depth

Our top tablet picks offer excellent portability without compromising performance and battery life. Here’s what you need to know if you’re shopping for a tablet this holiday season.

Apple iPad

Editor's choice
Price:
$449.00
Screen size:
10.9 inches
Storage:
64 GB, 256 GB

Pros

  • Is affordable for a mid-range tablet
  • Has stellar build quality

Cons

  • Has average screen quality compared to other iPads
  • Could use more storage on the base model

The iPad earned our Editor’s Choice award because it strikes the perfect balance between form and function for a tablet. With its 10.9-inch screen and 0.28-inch thickness, the iPad can easily fit into a bag without taking up much space. For most shoppers, the standard iPad will also be the best fit compared to the other Apple iPads.

The iPad Pro is faster than the iPad, but with prices that start at $799, it’s best suited for work. As for the iPad Air, it has a better display and Apple’s latest M1 processor, but it’s also $150 more than the standard iPad. (That said, the iPad Air is a great upgrade option if you’re regularly watching movies or editing content on a tablet.)

Pro tip: At the moment, Apple’s selling last year’s ninth-generation iPad for $329 alongside this year’s model. If you downgrade iPads, you’ll lose features like a USB-C port and a larger display. But with last year’s iPad, you’ll also save $120.

We’d still recommend the current-generation iPad overall, but if price is your biggest concern, the older ninth-generation iPad is worth considering.

We also wish Apple offered more generous storage options. The base iPad’s 64 GB of internal storage won’t last if you’re frequently downloading music or TV shows. Competitors like Samsung have made 128 GB a standard on its entry-level tablet models. Apple’s only iPad upgrade option is a 256 GB model that costs $599.

But overall, the standard Apple iPad offers excellent performance without a wallet-breaking price. Get the iPad if you’re looking for a versatile tablet for watching videos or gaming and want it to work for more than a few years.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8

Best Android tablet
Price:
$562.00
Screen size:
11 inches
Storage:
128 GB, 256 GB

Pros

  • Has an excellent display
  • Offers more base storage compared to the iPad

Cons

  • Is slightly expensive versus the competition
  • Performance is slightly behind iPads

If Android support is at the top of your tablet priority list, look no further than the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8. The S8 is the base model in Samsung’s Tab S8 series, but it’s no slouch thanks to features like its 11-inch screen, up to 256 GB in internal storage, and 120Hz refresh rate support for sharper image quality.

The Tab S8’s entry-level model includes a generous 128 GB, a plus compared to Apple’s meager 64 GB on its iPads. Samsung also guarantees device updates for up to five years, so you won’t have to replace your Galaxy Tab to get the latest version of Android.

Pro tip: Samsung’s Qualcomm Snapdragon processor can run multiple applications without breaking a sweat, although it’s a slight step behind Apple’s iPads.

According to the benchmarking service Geekbench, the Tab S8 is roughly as fast as last year’s Apple iPad. Practically speaking, most users won’t notice this performance gap, but if you’re regularly editing videos or photos on a tablet, you’ll hit the S8’s performance ceiling sooner than expected.

If you’re looking for a burlier Android tablet, the Samsung Tab S8+ and S8 Ultra offer upgrades like bigger screens, larger batteries, and more internal storage options. But with starting prices between $749.99 and $999.99, both tablets are strictly for the high-end market.

As for S8, we wish its price was slightly more competitive. With a starting retail price of $599.99, the S8 costs as much as this year’s iPad Air. If you want a more affordable Samsung Galaxy Tab that still offers mid-range performance, your best option will be last year’s Tab S7 series.

Microsoft Surface Pro 9

Best Windows tablet
Price:
$999.00
Screen size:
13 inches
Storage:
128 GB–1 TB

Pros

  • Has great processor and storage options
  • Is well built

Cons

  • Is expensive compared to standard tablets
  • Doesn’t include a Surface keyboard

Microsoft’s one of the few companies to have cracked the 2-in-1 tablet market and the Surface Pro 9 continues the company’s strong streak.

As with past Surface Pro models, the Pro 9 features storage options of up to 1 TB, up to 32 GB of RAM, and a stellar 13-inch display with a 120Hz refresh rate. Upgrades from last year’s Surface Pro 8 include a Gorilla Glass 5 display and refreshed Intel Core i5 or Core i7 processor options.

With prices that start at $999.99—you’ll need to pay extra for the Surface Pro keyboard—this performance certainly won’t come cheap. But if you’re looking for an effective Windows tablet, don’t settle for other Windows tablets that cut corners on performance and battery life. The Surface Pro 9 offers everything Windows users interested need in tablet portability.

Amazon Fire HD Kids

Best tablet for kids
Price:
$109.00–$199.99
Screen size:
7–10 inches
Storage:
32 GB, 64 GB

Pros

  • Is very affordable
  • Has great parental controls and kid-friendly content from Amazon

Cons

  • Only has a 1080p display
  • Will be underpowered for older kids

Need a tablet that’ll survive your next family road trip? Amazon’s Fire HD Kids tablet will fit the bill.

The Fire HD Kids is a repurposed version of Amazon’s standard Fire HD tablet that comes with multiple kid-friendly features for kids between ages 3 and7. On the outside, the Fire HD has a thick rubber case that’ll protect the tablet from inevitable drops and spills. You’ll also get an extended two-year warranty that includes free replacements in case of severe damage.

As for the software side, Amazon includes excellent parental controls to monitor tablet time along with a free year of Amazon’s Kids+. The content subscription service includes books, games, and movies tailored to kids from ages 3–12 with channels like Nickelodeon and PBS Kids.

With its limited performance for advanced gaming and a 1080p display, most kids will likely age past the Fire HD Kids as they get older. (Amazon has the Fire HD Kids Pro, a higher-end kids tablet targeted for kids ages 6–12.) But if you’re looking for an inexpensive way to keep your kids entertained and safe online, go with Amazon and don’t bother with other kid tablets.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A8

Best budget tablet
Price:
$179.98
Screen size:
10.5 inches
Storage:
32–128 GB

Pros

  • A great price for a budget tablet
  • MicroSD support for expandable storage

Cons

  • Nothing impressive for performance
  • Average battery capacity

The budget tablet market can be a mixed bag at the best of times, but if you need a tablet that’s cheap and good enough, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 gets the job done. Under the hood, the tablet is a sturdy performer with a 10.5-inch display, up to 128 GB of internal storage, and a thickness of only 0.27 inches.

Best of all, the Tab A8 retails for under $200. The Tab A8 won’t be the best fit if you’re interested in video editing or high-end gaming on your tablet—it’s underpowered for advanced tasks, and you’re better off with a higher-end Samsung or Apple tablet if tablet performance is a priority. But if you need an affordable tablet for casual couch browsing or checking emails, get the Tab A8.

Other top tablets

Our runner-up tablets were a step behind our top picks, but they’re still worth a look if you’re looking for cheaper or smaller tablet alternatives.

iPad Mini (6th generation)

Price:
$499.00
Screen size:
8.3 inches
Storage options:
64 GB, 256 GB

Pros

  • Is very portable
  • Comes with the fast Apple A15 processor

Cons

  • Costs more than the standard iPad
  • Doesn’t have a Smart Connector for peripheral support

The latest version of the iPad mini remains the model to beat if you’re looking for a lightweight tablet that doesn’t skimp on processing power.

The iPad mini has an excellent 8.3-inch display and weighs only 0.66 pounds, making it a great pocket-sized alternative to the standard 10.3-inch iPad. The iPad includes Apple’s A15 processor, so it can handle multitasking and games without performance issues.

However, the iPad mini’s pricing sticks out against the rest of the iPad lineup. With a base price of $499, it’s $50 more expensive than the standard iPad, which comes with a larger display. Plus, the iPad mini doesn’t support Apple’s Smart Connector, so you won’t be able to use Apple’s Magic Keyboard with the tablet.

Lenovo Tab P11 Plus

Price:
$209.99
Screen size:
11 inches
Storage options:
128 GB, 256 GB

Pros

  • Is extremely affordable for a mid-range tablet
  • Includes Android 12 support

Cons

  • Has average performance
  • Will get middling update support from Lenovo

The Lenovo Tab P11 Plus is a solid mid-range tablet that’s faster than a budget tablet and more affordable than higher-end options like the Apple iPad. Under the hood, the Tab P11 Plus comes with a high-definition 2000×1200 display and up to 256 GB of internal storage.

The Tab’s major hitch is its performance, as it’s faster than a budget tablet but a considerable step behind higher-end Apple and Samsung tablets. In practice, you’ll be able to play games or multitask on the P11. But you might run into issues if you want to play games on maximum graphics quality or do video editing.

Lenovo’s update schedule also leaves a little bit to be desired. Lenovo has pushed Android 12 to the P11 Plus, so it’ll still have decent out-of-the-box protection against security threats. But Lenovo will stop supporting this version of the P11 Plus in late 2023, and considering the tablet launched in 2021, it’s far from ideal if you’re looking for a long-term tablet.

What to look for

Price

Tablet options fall into three markets: budget, mid-range, and premium tablets.

Among budget tablets (roughly below $200), you’ll typically find two things: low prices and low performance. Although it’s tempting to buy the cheapest possible tablet, you’ll typically get what you pay for, and with an off-brand tablet, you’ll have to deal with inconsistent updates and short life spans. If you’re looking for a budget tablet, stick with a name brand like Amazon, Samsung, or Lenovo.

For mid-range tablets (around $400), you’ll get added features like high-quality displays, better cameras, and faster processors. We’d recommend mid-range tablets for most people because they strike the best balance between cost and performance.

The premium tablet range ($600 and above) covers laptop-caliber models like the iPad Pro, Microsoft Surface Pro, and the Samsung Tab S8 Ultra. Here, you’ll get giant screens and tools for integrating your tablet with a laptop or desktop computer. Premium tablets will work best if you’re looking for a laptop replacement or something that’ll complement your existing desktop setup.

Usage

Before you buy a tablet, consider what you’ll use it for.

If you need a tablet for checking your emails or web browsing, you’ll get the most bang for your buck with a budget tablet. Tablet gamers or movie watchers should grab a mid-range tablet like the iPad or Galaxy Tab S8, which both have fast graphics and excellent displays.

If you need to use your tablet for work and play, look towards models like the Surface Pro and iPad Pro. These tablets have the processing horsepower to support tasks like video and graphics editing.

Operating systems

Between quirks like Google launching or discontinuing its Pixel tablets every few years and inconsistent manufacturer update support, the Android tablet market comes with its share of hurdles. But at the same time, an Android tablet offers conveniences like shared app libraries and similar user interfaces if you already have an Android phone.

As for Apple iPads, you’ll get great build quality, generous update support, and a strong library of apps and services. iPads are generally pricier than Android tablets, but if you shop around or look at older models, you can sometimes find options for around $300.

If you’re a brand-new tablet owner, we’d generally recommend iPads over Android tablets, thanks to their strong support ecosystem and ease of use. But if you’re already an Android user, getting an Android tablet means you won’t have to learn a new operating system or re-buy your apps. And if you’re looking for a tablet that’ll also double as a work laptop, get the Microsoft Surface Pro.

Storage

Most Android and Apple tablets include 32 GB to 64 GB of storage on their base models, and that’ll be fine if you won’t download many games or videos. But if you want to future-proof your tablet or plan on filling it with photos, spring for at least 256 GB of internal storage.

Many Android tablets support microSD cards, so you’ll have future flexibility if you hit your tablet’s internal storage limit. Apple’s iCloud storage service provides similar storage flexibility, although you’ll have to pay an additional monthly subscription fee.

Final take

The Apple iPad takes our Editor’s Choice award because it checks off all the boxes for a consumer tablet: you’ll get an excellent display, stellar build quality, and a price that won’t break the bank.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 covers similar territory for Android users as the best Android tablet, while the Amazon Fire HD Kids tablet combines parent-friendly features with a low price. The Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 offers steady performance for a budget-friendly price, while the Microsoft Surface Pro 9 remains the Windows 2-in-1 tablet to beat.

Best tablets FAQ

Which is the best tablet for reading?

We’d recommend the iPad mini or Amazon Kindle eReader series if you’re looking for a tablet for reading. Both devices have great displays for eBook reading and compact bodies that’ll easily fit into a purse or bag.

Which tablet is the best?

The Apple iPad is our pick for the best tablet for most shoppers because of its low price, great design, and strong app support. For Android users, we also like the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 series because of its excellent specifications.

Which Samsung tablet is best?

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 will be the best Samsung tablet for most users because of its sizable 11-inch display, fast performance, and affordable price for a mid-range tablet.

Is the iPad the best tablet?

We think the Apple iPad is the best iPad tablet for most users because you’ll get benefits like a great display, excellent apps, and strong performance for less than $500.

How long should a tablet last?

A good tablet should last about four years. After that, it’s likely the company that made your tablet will stop supporting operating system (OS) updates for your device.

An outdated OS is a big problem because you’ll be stuck with old versions of apps, and you’ll be at risk for security threats like malware. Samsung, Apple, and Microsoft provide strong tablet update support.

Methodology

To find the best tablets, we started by reviewing more than 20 of the most popular tablets from retailers like Target, Best Buy, and Amazon. We also analyzed data points including customer reviews, Geekbench benchmark scores, and specifications to find the best picks in each category.

For more information on our methodology, check out our How We Rank page.

Disclaimer

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. CableTV.com utilizes paid Amazon links.

CERTAIN CONTENT THAT APPEARS ON THIS SITE COMES FROM AMAZON. THIS CONTENT IS PROVIDED ‘AS IS’ AND IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE OR REMOVAL AT ANY TIME.

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