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

Our tested picks for top tablets will help you choose the best one for your needs.
Written by Allison Murray, Staff Writer and  Jason Cipriani, Contributing Writer
Reviewed by Christina Darby

Tablets have come a long way since the first iPad was released in 2010. Once a device that was designed simply for consuming content and playing games (anyone remember the days of Fruit Ninja?), has, for many, become a full-fledged computer replacement, allowing them to get real work done. That said, a good tablet should have a long battery life, a respectable selection of apps and services, and more functionality than just a screen to watch YouTube videos. 

More: The best iPad models: The Pro, Air, and Mini compared

ZDNET has tested tons of top tablets on the market, and asked experts for their favorite options. Our pick for the best tablet overall is the Apple iPad (10th generation), thanks to its versatility and lightweight form. Read on to find the best tablet for your needs. (You can also check out our picks for the best cheap tablets and the best kids' tablets.) 

The best tablets of 2023

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 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 -- especially thanks to its versatility and compatibility. 

"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.," said Avi Greengart, a consumer tech analyst at Techsponential. "For productivity, you can add a 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." 

When it comes to features, you essentially get the same suite as the more expensive iPad Pro and iPad Air models, but in a more lightweight form factor and a 10.9-inch Liquid Retina, True Tone display. Additionally, this model breaks out of iPad's traditional space gray and silver color palette, adding pink, blue, and yellow in addition to sleek silver. 

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

A callout to note, however, is that this iPad doesn't support the 2nd-gen Apple Pencil, which means you'll have to use a dongle in order to use it. 

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

Pros & Cons
  • Affordably priced, especially when bundled
  • Solid battery life
  • New, modernized design
  • Performance is just alright
  • Important productivity apps are missing
More Details

Amazon Fire Max 11 specs: Display: 11-inch, 2000 x 1200, 410 nits brightness, 213 ppi | Processor: MediaTek MT8188J, 2.2Ghz Octacore processor | Storage: 64GB or 128GB | Memory: 4GB | Colors: Gray | Cameras: 8MP rear and 8MP front-facing camera | Weight: 490 grams | Dimensions: 259.1 x 163.7 x 7.50 millimeters | Connections: 3.5mm headphone jack, USB-C port | Battery life: 14 hours

The Fire Max 11 is Amazon's newest and best tablet yet. It still runs Fire OS, which means you'll lose access to any of Google's apps and services. However, Amazon's own App Store has many of the same apps that regular Android devices have access to -- including Netflix, Facebook, and Spotify.

With a starting price of $229, the Fire Max 11 brings an 11-inch display, 4GB of memory and 64GB of storage with support for 1TB of microSD card storage. If you're looking for a tablet for work and play, the FIre Max 11 Productivity Bundle costs $329, but comes with a keyboard with touchpad, case and a stylus.

It's possible to get work done on the Fire Max 11, within limits. You can't get apps like Slack via Amazon's Appstore, and the Silk browser is hit or miss. That said, if you're someone who just wants a high-quality tablet that's affordably priced and can moonlight as a mediocre productivity tool, then the Fire Max 11 is for you. 

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 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. 

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.

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

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, along with impressive daily battery life. I also found it 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.

Review: OnePlus Pad: A tablet for Android fans who secretly want an iPad

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. 

ZDNET's Mary Branscombe tested the Surface Go 3 back in 2021 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.

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

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.

In our testing, we found it to be faster and more capable than any other iPad model we've 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.

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. 

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

Pros & Cons
  • Good performance and battery life
  • Finally, Android tablet apps done right
  • The Charging Speaker Dock makes it a Nest Hub
  • No official keyboard case
  • Hub Mode could use some quality-of-life improvements
More Details

Google Pixel Tablet tech specs: Display: 10.95-inch LCD, 2560x1600, 500 nits | Processor: Google  Tensor G2| Storage: 128GB or 256GB | Biometrics: Fingerprint sensor | Colors: Hazel, rose, porcelain  | Cameras: 8MP front, 8MP rear | Weight: 17.39 ounces | Dimensions: 10.2 x 6.7 x 0.3 inches | Connections: USB-C, pogo pins | Battery life: Up to 12 hours of video playback 

Google's first Android tablet in years is exactly what Android tablets should have been all along. It's true, not all apps are optimized for the larger screen, but Google's gotten clever in the way it handles those apps, while also getting a bunch of developers on board with updating their apps for the bigger display. 

Not only is the app experience better with the Pixel Tablet, but it pulls double duty acting as a smart home hub when it's not in use thanks to the included Charging Speaker Dock. The $129 accessory (if you want to buy extras) has a built-in speaker that ups the bass by 4x, while enabling a hub mode feature that effectively makes the Pixel Tablet more like a Nest Hub, instead of a tablet. Oh, and you can even cast music or video from another device to the Tablet when it's docked. 

Unfortunately, right now there isn't any sort of official keyboard or stylus for those who want to get some work done on the Pixel Tablet. But for those who are looking for a reliable Android tablet for watching shows, online shopping, playing games or just using their favorite Android apps -- Google's Pixel Tablet has you covered. 

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

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. In our review, we said the iPad Air is "where your search should begin and, likely, end" if you're in the market for an iPad.

Ultimately, we think 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.

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

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. 

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. 

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

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. 

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.

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

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+. 

The tablet also grants users an Amazon FreeTime Unlimited subscription, which grants you access to thousands of kid-friendly ad-free books, as well as movies, games and other kid-friendly and educational content

"The Fire HD 8 Kids tablet is a well-built, entry-level tablet that comes with a sturdy kid-proof cover and features useful parental controls," says ZDNET's Maria Diaz, who bought the tablet for her kids. "Its 13-hour battery life means that you'll need to charge it less often than other competitors, and the combination of a durable case and screen ensures the integrity of the Fire tablet for years to come," she says. 

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.

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

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

Google Pixel Tablet


10.95 inches

Up to 256GB

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.

Google Pixel Tablet

Google's Pixel Tablet is one of the best Android tablets on the market. It's fast, reliable and comes with a Charging Speaker Dock that completely changes how you use it. 

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 and tablet users. 

I also researched the top tablets from renowned brands and paid attention to the tablets' feature sets, price points, and integrations with other products. 

  • Feature sets: Not all tablets are created equal. Some are better for kids, others are simply for artists, and then there's the mini laptop for working professionals and students. We considered a variety of use-cases to match virtually every need. 
  • Price points: Tablets are an expensive piece of tech, especially if you're planning on investing in compatible accessories or buying for your kids to inevitably drop at a moment's notice, 
  • Integrations with other products: We considered options that can work with a smart case, attachable keyboard, Apple Pencil, or Stylus, and other work and entertainment add-ons. 
  • Battery life: Whether you're using your tablet for work or play (or both), you'll want it to last the duration of your task. 

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. OnePlus and Google are newcomers who have great first generation products, but don't have the same proven track record. 

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

A small and affordable kids tablet alternative

Amazon Fire 7 Kids Tablet

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

A good large screen alternative

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

A highly portable Samsung alternative

Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite

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

A compact iPad alternative

Apple Mini (6th generation)

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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