When you need more screen real estate for seeking out the infamous chicken dinner of PUBG or simply want extra space to see where you’re dropping in the mobile version of Fortnite, you need one the best gaming tablets. Since the market is absolutely flooded with different gaming tablets, where do you start? What do tablets have that your phone or Nintendo Switch can’t deliver for you?
We’ve got several options to help you make a decision that makes sense for you, whether you want to dedicate a tablet to gaming or want one that can handle your favorite titles as well as media streaming, drawing, chatting with family and friends, or even work. No matter what kind of device you’re looking for, we’ve rounded up a series of major devices to help you discern which is the best gaming tablet out there for you, with respect to all budgets.
The best gaming tablet of 2019
Weight: 468g | Dimensions: 247.6 x 178.5 x 5.9mm (9.75 x 7.03 x 0.23 in) | OS: iOS | Screen size: 11.0 inches | Resolution: 1668 x 2388 pixels (~265 ppi density) | CPU: Octa-core (4×2.5 GHz Vortex + 4×1.6 GHz Tempest) | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 1TB, 6GB RAM or 64/256/512 GB, 4GB RAM | Battery: 7812 mAh | Rear camera: 12 MP | Front camera: 7 MP
Excellent HDR Retina display
Now uses USB-C
If you want to game on iOS, there’s no device that can beat the 3rd generation iPad Pro. We chose the 11-inch model since it’s a bit lighter and easier to hold, but the 12.9-inch model is just as capable if you prefer a larger screen. The A12X Bionic chip finally brings the iPad Pro’s features up to par with the iPhone. Touch ID has been eliminated in favor of Face ID which makes for a smaller bezel and a more attractive design. The screen is big enough that you can use a tablet stand to place it on a table and connect a controller for more precise play, and with such a powerful device there’s no worry about lag.
With the iPad Pro you also get a capable device for artwork, watching movies or TV shows, or whatever you can imagine. This device is the pinnacle of tablet design, and paired with the Apple Pencil and a smart keyboard it rivals products like the Microsoft Surface Pro.
The best Android gaming tablet you can get
Weight: 482g (Wi-Fi), 483g (LTE) | Dimensions: 249.3 x 164.3 x 7.1 mm (9.81 x 6.47 x 0.28in) | OS: Android | Screen size: 10.5 inches | Resolution: 1600 x 2560 pixels, 16:10 ratio (~287 ppi density) | CPU: Octa-core (4×2.35 GHz Kryo & 4×1.9 GHz Kryo) | RAM: 6GB | Storage: 64/256 GB, 4GB RAM or 6GB RAM | Battery: 7300 mAh | Rear camera: 13 MP | Front camera: 8 MP
Amazing AMOLED HDR display
Android OS is very customizable
Expensive (but not like the iPad Pro)
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 improves upon the S3 in a multitude of ways spec-wise but provides much the same experience as its predecessor. That’s a good thing, though, because the Tab S3 was terrific for gaming. The AMOLED screen of the Tab S4 packs even more pixels and includes support for HDR, which is a feature that is absent in most of its competitors. Quad stereo speakers will help get you into the action and can output Dolby Atmos surround sound for an audio experience that belies the tablet’s small size.
The biggest issue with the Galaxy Tab S4 is its retail price. Like the iPad Pro, this is a premium device, and the $649.99 price tag for the base model of the S4 might be a big turn off for those who are just interested in a tablet for gaming. If you’re looking for a great all-around tablet with quality features and design the Tab S4 is current amongst the best choices when it comes to an Android OS powered device.
3. iPad (2018)
A more affordable, but still brilliant, iPad
Weight: 469g | Dimensions: 240 x 169.5 x 7.5mm | OS: iOS 11 | Screen size: 9.7-inch | Resolution: 1536 x 2048 | CPU: A10 Fusion | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 32/128GB | Battery: Up to 10 hours | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 1.2MP
Most affordable full-sized iPad
Screen quality is wonderful
Storage options are more limited than other models
Okay, okay, so not everyone can afford an iPad Pro, or necessary wants the all-singing, all-dancing top end iPad tablet offering. So instead, check out the new 9.7-inch iPad, which is the best gaming tablet for anyone on a bit more of a budget. It’s considerably cheaper than any of the iPad Pro models, but still comes with a crisp display, excellent tech running things behind the scenes and all the access you need to all that iOS gaming goodness. It comes with Apple Pencil support, if that’s your bag, but more importantly it comes packing the Apple A10 Fusion chipset, which means a lightning fast iPad experience, both for gaming and productivity. It’s a brilliant option for those looking for the Apple gaming experience, and definitely worth a look. There’s a reason this is number 3 in our list, and it’s not just because it’s cheaper.
Affordable but with a brilliant screen
Weight: 500g | Dimensions: 262 x 159 x 9.8mm | OS: Fire OS | Screen size: 10.1-inch | Resolution: 1920 x 1200 | CPU: Quad-core | Storage: 32/64GB | Battery: Up to 12 hours | Rear camera: 2MP | Front camera: VGA
Full HD display
Plastic design lets it down
If you want a tablet for your children, or for someone who’s a casual gamer, you actually can’t go wrong with the Amazon Fire HD 10. It still has a huge screen with a lovely full HD resolution, and some lovely design aesthetics (apart from the plastic design), but you’re paying a fraction of the cost of other gaming tablets on this list. If you’re an Amazon Prime customer, you get a load of other perks, but even non-members can take advantage of the Amazon Underground game store, which offers a tonne of excellent Android games for the very low price of absolutely free. Bonus. It does run the slightly awkward Amazon Fire OS, but for those looking for an affordable table with the majority of the bells and whistles of something at least twice the price, you can’t fault the Fire 10 HD.
A premium device without the premium
Weight: 498g | Dimensions: 258.7 x 171.8 x 7.3mm (10.19 x 6.76 x 0.29 in) | OS: Android | Screen size: 10.8 inches | Resolution: 2560 x 1600 pixels, 16:10 ratio (~280 ppi density) | CPU: Octa-core | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64/128GB, 4GB RAM | Battery: 7500 mAh | Rear camera: 13 MP | Front camera: 8 MP
Premium design at an affordable price
Good battery life
M-Pen adds value
EMUI is a bit overbearing
Comes loaded with some unintrusive bloatware
If you want a quality build, but don’t want to pay Samsung money, the Huawei MediaPad M5 10 Pro offers a solid, attractive tablet that won’t break the bank. It doesn’t blow us away in any category, but it’s a dependable device that can offer hours of gaming goodness.
For around $450 you get a tablet that does everything you throw at it, including gaming, well, and it can deliver up to 10 hours of screen-on time between charges, which is essential if you want to play games without being tethered to a wall socket. The M5 10 Pro does have its drawbacks, however. Huawei’s in-house version of Android, EMUI, has some annoying bits about the interface, and it comes loaded with Huawei branded apps, which don’t get in the way but are bloatware all the same. A redeeming quality of the Mediapad M5 10 Pro, though, is the M-Pen which is included in the package. Though it doesn’t have much gaming utility, it does an excellent job with artwork and works with the tablet to convert handwriting to text.
Steam gaming on a tablet-sized device
Weight: 768/770/784g | Dimensions: 292 x 201 x 8.5mm | OS: Windows 10 Pro | Screen size: 12.3-inch | Resolution: 2736 x 1824 | CPU: Intel Core m3, i5 or i7 | RAM: 4/8/16GB | Storage: 128/256/512GB or 1TB | Battery: Up to 13.5 hours media playback | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 5MP
Plays full PC games
Excelllnt design and screen
Not as powerful as some rival tablets
While PC gaming enthusiasts might want to avert their eyes here, the rest of you, hear me out. Whereas most gaming tablets will only offer you iOS or Android gaming on the go, the Microsoft Surface Pro can actually let you play your Steam and other PC games on a tablet. 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 including XCOM: Enemy Unknown and Civilization 5. 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 comparatively little – you won’t regret it.
Android’s answer to the mid-range iPad
Weight: 430g | Dimensions: 240.5 x 163.7 x 7.2mm | OS: Android Marshmallow | Screen size: 9.7-inch | Resolution: 1536 x 2048 | CPU: Mediatek MT8176 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 32/64GB | Battery: Up to 10 hours | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 5MP
Battery life could be better
Speakers are awkwardly placed
Seeing as this is a company best known for making great gaming gear, it’s not a total surprise to spot an Asus tablet on this list of best gaming tablets. Clearly inspired by the design of both the Apple iPad and the successful Samsung Galaxy Tab range of slates, the Asus Zenpad is a well-made beast. It boasts a sharp and bright screen, with enough power to run all the games you’d want to play on Android. If we were to have a little niggle, the awkwardly placed speakers can dampen the audio quality you get when playing games, and the build quality could be better. But, at the end of the day, Asus knows how to make gaming hardware, and this little Android gaming tablet does not disappoint.
Weight: 475g | Dimensions: 247 x 173 x 7mm (9.72 x 6.81 x 0.28 in) | OS: Android | Screen size: 10.1 inches | Resolution: 1200 x 1920 pixels, 16:10 ratio (~224 ppi density) | CPU: Octa-core 2.0GHz Cortex-A53 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64/128GB, 4GB RAM | Battery: 7000 mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 5 MP
Clean near-stock Android interface
Superb battery life
Display leaves a bit to be desired
Hardware might start to show its age soon
The old go-to tablet if you wanted something cheap without sacrificing too much performance used to be the Nexus 7 (2013). These days, though, it’s hard to find a sub-$300 model that has acceptable build quality and performance. However, the Lenovo Tab 4 10 Plus might just be the Nexus 7 of this generation. You’ll find the Lenovo Tab 4 10 Plus is average in almost every regard. However, that’s excellent for the asking price of $279. The 1920×1200 display won’t win any awards, and it has some issues with glare at times, but it has good color reproduction and is bright enough to use outside comfortably as long as the sun isn’t shining directly down on it.
As of today, you shouldn’t find any games that push the Tab 4 10 Plus over its limits. Fortnight and PUBG run well, and the multitude of less hardware intensive games are a cinch for this tablet. However, with the Tab 4 10 Plus being an older, lower-mid range tablet, you won’t get as much life out of it as something like the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 that is running higher-end, newer hardware. That’s not necessarily a problem as long as you keep it in mind when you make your purchase.