When it comes to playing mobile games on the go, the best gaming tablets have the last word. Sure, the best gaming phones are more portable. But the bigger screen, increased battery life, and superior processing power of tablets makes all the difference.
However, it is not an easy task to get the right tablet that suits your budget and requirements as there are many options to choose from Android, Windows, and iOS.
Out of all, we strongly recommend our readers to get an iPad for gaming. Mainly because of the availability of games and apps on the App Store. The android tablets are also recommended, but the Android operating system is not as refined and optimized as iOS when it comes to tablets. Tablets from Samsung are great, but not all apps that you see on the Play Store are optimized for tablets.
Are gaming tablets still popular?
Yes, they most definitely are. Indeed, they are more popular than mobile phones, that’s for sure. In shock? Don’t be.
As mentioned already, the tablet device became the most commonly used device for media consumption be it hardcore gaming on a tablet or just watching Netflix and Youtube.
One of the selling points of the tablet device and why are they so popular is because they resemble a laptop very much in their functionality and even looks if you combine it with an external keyboard or buy a 2-in-1 tablet.
So, you have this device that takes the best of both worlds, a smartphone and a laptop and puts them together, and lightweight and portability alongside reasonable performance is something that’s well worth the investment.
- Related article: Check out the Best gaming mouse here.
How to Choose a Gaming Tablet
- Operating System: To begin with, you’ll have to determine what your needs are. This is important when it comes to choosing the operating system. Which means you’ll have to choose between iOS (read iPad), Android tablets and Windows tablets. There’s not much else between these 3 companies (Google, Microsoft and Apple that is). And, truth be told, Android and iOS are dominating this racket, which in layman’s terms translates into mobile-gaming apps, and there’s no end in sight for their virtual monopoly, hence you’re kind of stuck, at least for now.
- Screen Size And Resolution: When it comes to gaming, screen real estate is of utmost importance. Gaming tablets come in a variety of sizes, ranging from 10-inch tablets to up to 18’’ (Samsung has a monster-tablet like that if memory serves). Most gaming tablets, including the iPad, have displays around 10 inches wide, which is basically the standard in the industry, give or take. And yes, ~10’’ are enough for most of us. However, just to play it safe, try a few different models in a “mortar and brick” store, see how they fit in your hands and all that.
- Build Quality: If you intend to play a lot on your gaming tablet (else why would you buy one?), you should choose a tablet that fits well in your hand, and it’s sturdy enough to withstand short bursts of nerd-rage following head-shots and what not. Joke aside, yes, build quality should rank high on your list when it comes to everyday gaming gear.
- Storage and Connectivity: Storage also comes into play, along with connectivity. Most modern tablets support Bluetooth along with Wi-Fi and 4G LTE connections. A Wi-Fi only model will probably save you some money, so keep that in mind if you’re on a tight budget.
What’s a Gaming Tablet?
So, you know you want a tablet for gaming, but what makes a gaming tablet different from a regular tablet. There are two different kinds of gaming tablets. Some tablets operate on OS systems, which have the specific function to run as tablets.
You’ll also find tablets that run a desktop OS but in a smaller design. These can function as a minicomputer. The best tablets for gaming will have a touchscreen panel that allows the tablet to also work as a notebook.
The type you should choose is dependant on the types of games you want to play. If you like simple mobile games, then a mobile OS system will do the trick. Likely, if you’re reading this, you’re looking for something more powerful that can support a high level of gameplay. Consumers are after games that provide a fun and challenging experience with amazing graphics quality to match.
Powerful GPU options were first introduced for laptops back in 2016. The demand for better graphics on a portable device was increasing, and companies began creating products that would rival those of a computer. But it’s not stopped there. Tablets are much easier to transport, and thus the request for powerful GPUs in them has gone up. Tablets are now super high-functioning and can support a vast range of gaming options.
10 Best Gaming Tablets of 2021:
|iPad Pro 10.5||10.35 x 7.28 x 1.89 in||1.1 lbs|
|Samsung Galaxy Tab S4||9.81 x 6.47 x 0.28 in||1.06 lbs|
|Huawei MediaPad M5||8.37 x 4.91 x 0.29 in||0.68 lb|
|Samsung Galaxy Tab A||8.35 x 0.35 x 4.88 in||0.79 lb|
|Google Pixelbook||11.43 x 8.69 x 0.44 in||2.45 lbs|
1. iPad Pro 10.5 – Best gaming tablet overall
The iPad Pro 10.5 can be expensive and a bit too big to carry on the go, but it is definitely one of the best gaming tablets that can run a variety of the latest games smoothly.
If you are an Apple fan and like a light game, then this best gaming tablet is definitely something you should consider.
It combines the power of the original 12.9-inch iPad Pro with the ultra-thin body of the iPad Air 2, and its strength and value coexist.
In addition, it has a very good camera that can take amazing photos.
The only downside is that it can only run games on the App Store. If you can’t find the game you like, you only have to select the Android tablet.
2. Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 – Best Android gaming tablet
The Galaxy Tab S4 is arguably the best Android gaming tablet, but the price is still very expensive.
As always, quality comes at a price, but the Galaxy Tab S4 really has its importance, it can replace your PC or laptop.
You can equip him with a specially designed keyboard that is perfect for both game and office.
It has 6GB of RAM and a 10.5″ display with a resolution of 1600 x 2560px. In addition, it comes with an eight-core processor – 4 x 2.35 GHz and 4 x 1.9 GHz.
All in all, this is one of the most impressive tablets on the market. It is also relatively light, about 17 ounces. And, you can find a lot of games on Google Play.
Equally awesome is the Huawei MediaPad M5, a slightly smaller 8-inch tablet that is very cost effective.
However, please remember that Google recently suspended its business with Huawei. Therefore, Huawei devices will not be able to access the Play Store, Gmail and Youtube.
If this is not your problem, this device may be a perfect choice. However, remember that you must download the game from a third-party source.
In fact, the MediaPad M5 has an excellent gaming experience. You can even watch some movies.
It features a 359 PPI (2560 x 1600) 2K high resolution display. It comes with 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and a game-friendly Kirin 960 eight-core processor and Mali G71 graphics processor.
In addition, it is equipped with a 13 megapixel rear camera and an 8 megapixel front camera that can run for 10 hours on a single charge.
4. Samsung Galaxy Tab A – Best gaming tablet Under $200
If your budget is limited, then the Samsung Galaxy Tab A will be a good choice.
Samsung dominates the Android hardware market, and the Galaxy Tab A may be lower than the Galaxy Tab S4, but it’s lighter, more affordable, and can play a lot of games.
The tablet has 32GB of storage (which can be expanded to 256GB via a microSD card) and 2GB of memory, and comes with a 1.4GHz quad-core Qualcomm 8032 processor.
In addition, the device uses Super AMOLED screen with a resolution of up to 1536×2048 pixels. At the same time, it can give you about 4 to 6 hours of play time.
If you are buying a tablet for your child, you will be happy that Samsung’s child-friendly app is pre-installed.
The Google Pixelbook comes with a fairly large 12.3-inch display, the same as other advanced tablet options on the market.
Regarding the screen, Google offers a 2400 x 1600 (235 ppi) resolution format with an IPS screen supported by Corning Gorilla Glass.
Even if the tablet screen is set to high brightness or high definition video playback, image quality will not be lost.
In addition, the new features of the Chrome OS operating system take the tablet user experience to a new level, and improved notification and windowing mode is definitely one of the highlights.
Best of all, you can easily download games from Google Play or watch videos on YouTube.
6. IPad Mini
We can’t leave out the small but mighty iPad Mini. For those who want a step up from mobile phone gaming but don’t want to lug around a full-size tablet, the iPad Mini is the perfect middle ground. Apple is a brand we all know, and trust and the iOS operating system works seamlessly. You can snag one of these for less than half the cost you would spend on the Pro version. You’ll get access to the Apple Stores huge bank of mobile games which you can play on this tablet.
It offers an impressive resolution, though it’s not so necessary since the screen size means even lower resolution visuals would look crisp. Still, we can appreciate receiving the highest quality of visual output. The battery life is less in a Mini than you’d get in a standard iPad or iPad Pro, but that’s not a massive surprise as its battery is smaller. Still, it can run up to 10 hours on one charge, which should be enough for most people.
It’s small enough for most to fit in one hand and can easily slip into a purse or small bag. That said, it may be a bit awkward to hold if you have smaller hands since it will be too big to hold in only one. The iPad mini is closer in size to an iPhone than the rest in the series. For this reason, some of the games may look better. It’s because many of the games are optimized for phone gameplay and therefore gain no benefit to playing on an iPad. Apps are continually being updated to offer optimized versions specific to iPads.
Amazon’s superstar, the Fire HD 10 is currently on a sale at just $140, along with other Fire HD tablets like the HD 8, HD 8 Plus (2020) and HD 7. This tablet is one of the most in-demand products on Amazon and racking up the sales on a regular day just as much as on a big sale event.
Why do a lot of people gravitate towards this tablet?
First and foremost, because of its price and what it offers for that particular price. The HD 10-inch display is not something you see on cheap tablet devices, with great color reproduction which makes it a perfect fit for anyone watching shows and movies on Amazon Prime or Netflix or just regular cat videos on YouTube.
For the price, it’s really something more than what you’d expect. You can opt for either a 32GB or 64GB version in regards to internal storage capacity.
If you are someone who loves playing games on a tablet as a form of entertainment but doesn’t want to invest a lot of money, then this might be the best gaming tablet for you.
While PC gaming enthusiasts might want to avert their eyes here, we’ve got good news for the rest of you. Whereas most gaming tablets will only offer iOS or Android gaming on the go, the Microsoft Surface Pro can actually let you play your Steam games.
Yes, it’s true. While you won’t be playing anything on max settings, middling graphical options can see you running games at a slick 50fps, including the likes of Minecraft and Portal 2, and a perfectly decent 30fps for games such as XCOM: Enemy Unknown and Civilization 5.
Because the Surface Pro is also compatible with the Signature Type attachment, giving you a keyboard and touchpad that essentially turns this tablet into a laptop.
If you want a Windows device with a big, beautiful screen, a full keyboard and all the flexibility of a tablet, then the Windows Surface Pro is an excellent choice. It won’t compete with a gaming rig, but when it looks this good – and weighs so little, comparatively speaking – you won’t regret it.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e still marks its presence on this list because it’s a magnificent device, and no, we aren’t exaggerating.
Drastically improved from its predecessors, the device is still a great tablet to consider. It can effortlessly meet our trust with its reliable performance. Whether you use it for gaming, work, or surfing the internet, this gaming tablet won’t let you down. The product can undergo years of rigorous use without any effect on its performance. It also has one of the slimmest bodies in the tablet market and weighs less than a pound.
Samsung was careful when designing the tablet. They created an ergonomic grip to ensure a stable and comfortable hold over the device. Moreover, a 10.5-inch Super AMOLED screen (2560 x 1600 resolution) delivers out some of the finest picture quality offered on the market. It also supports a keyboard, but you’ll have to purchase it separately.
The tablet is powered by a mid-range Qualcomm CPU, Snapdragon 670, and comes with 4GB of RAM, which gives it enough power to provide a super smooth multitasking and gaming experience. Although it has 64GB internal memory, you have the option to expand it to 512GB via microSD cards, if needed.
What further cements the efficiency of the device is its affordable price point. When you consider the offered features, the price looks very impressive. So if you want to invest in an efficient 10-inch gaming tablet that can last the whole day, make sure you don’t miss taking a look at Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S5e.
Okay, okay, you got us. This isn’t technically a tablet. But as gamers ourselves, we couldn’t help ourselves from sneaking it onto this list. The Nintendo Switch Lite is a neat piece of hardware. I mean- it’s a portable console with a touchscreen and built-in controllers! You can’t beat that.
If you’re looking to buy a gift for a video game enthusiast, we highly encourage this one. The fact that the Switch is in the same price ballpark as some of the more affordable tablets, it’s hard not to include this in your list of top options.
Keep in mind you’ll only be able to play games from Nintendo’s Game Store, not those from Apple’s App Store or the Google Play Store. That said, Nintendo does have a great game selection, including titles like Fornite, Super Smash Bros, Mario Kart, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Skyrim, and Minecraft. Most of those are 10x better than what is available in the app stores, just sayin’.
This versatile device ensures you always have something fun to do on hand — for the office, the lecture hall, the couch at home, or that annoyingly rigid seat on the train.