The Best Tablets Provide Laptop Power in Tablet Form

best tablets 2021
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The best ablets fill that gap between your laptop and your smartphone. The long battery life and large displays are great for binge-watching your favorite movies and shows on cross country flights and road trips. Plus, they are easy to pack around, especially since tablets are generally lightweight and sport a slim profile you can easily slip in and out of a bag.

When you really get into the nitty-gritty of the capabilities, the best tablets now stand toe-to-toe with laptops. Here’s why:

  • Incredibly sharp, vivid and large displays (iPad Pro, iPad Air)
  • Storage options up to 1TB (iPad Pro)
  • Longer battery life than most laptops (Samsung Galaxy Tab 6)
  • Slim and lightweight (Remarkable 2, iPad Air, Amazon Fire HD 10)

When you pair tablets like the iPad Pro or Samsung Galaxy Tab 6 with a wireless keyboard and a stylus, you essentially have a full laptop — only with a better camera system. So stop thinking of your laptop as a device for only watching movies (although they are great for that, too).

  

How We Chose the Best Tablets

The tablet market is now flooded with great options. Apple, Samsung, Amazon and Lenovo are some of the major players that year in and year out create some of the best tablets. To help you wade through all of the available options, here’s the criteria we used to choose the best tablets:

Performance & Storage – Your tablet should have the option to get 64GB of storage. And of course, more is better. Also, the fact that below are the newest models, you’ll get the latest and greatest chipsets inside of each tablet.

Battery – We looked for tablets with at least 10 hours of battery life. That will last you through a whole day of working or binge watching an entire season of Ozark.

Display – Many of the displays below have smooth scrolling 120Hz displays and are of the OLED variety.

When you take a closer look at the best tablets of 2022 below, you might say goodbye to your laptop, especially if you only use it to surf the web.

  

1. 12.9 Inch iPad Pro (2021)

BEST OVERALL

This iPad can basically replace your laptop. It can easily last all day before it needs a powerup — that’s definitely saying something considering the size and power — and since it’s powered with the M1 chip, it’s arguably the most powerful and fast tablet you’ll find. Not only is it powerful, but the Liquid Retina XDR display is absolutely beautiful with a 120Hz refresh rate that scrolls oh so smoothly. The camera setup is equally as incredible with an ultra-wide system and a feature called Center Stage, which will keep you in the middle of the frame even when you are moving about on a video call. There is an 11-inch model if you want to save a little coin, but if you’re already looking for the best tablet in this price range, you might as well go all the way and spring for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

12.9 Inch iPad Pro (2021) Courtesy of Amazon
  

2. 2021 Apple iPad Mini

MOST COMPACT

Apple finally gave the Mini the country club spa treatment and redesigned it to give it a better look, more powerful processor and amazing battery life. It is designed like the iPad Pro, but in Mini form with an aluminum enclosure. The display is 8.3-inches with a 60Hz refresh rate. Sure, it’s not 120Hz, but it’s nothing close to a deal-breaker. Plus when you consider this has an A15 Bionic chip — the same found in the new iPhone 13 — it’s more powerful than the iPad and iPad Air, and has the same amount of storage as the standard iPad. The battery can last for a few days on regular use without a charge or close to seven hours if you are just marathoning HD videos continuously. Finally, the Mini also supports LTE and 5G connectivity (for $150 extra, of course).

2021 Apple iPad Mini Courtesy of Amazon
  

3. Samsung Tab S8 Ultra

BIGGEST TABLET AVAILABLE

Go big or go home with the Samsung Tab S8 Ultra. This beast of a tablet has a massive 14.6-inch screen that looks incredible, especially when you’re binge-watching your favorite shows. Admittedly, the sheer size of the tablet does make it slightly less portable, and harder to navigate with one hand, but it comes with an S-Pen which comes in handy when trying to manage the large screen. When maxed out, this is one of the best tablets available, just be prepared to spend a pretty penny for all the size and performance.

Samsung Tab S8 Ultra Courtesy of Best Buy
  

4. Samsung Galaxy Tab A7

AFFORDABLE ANDROID

If you’re looking for a true and delightful Android experience in tablet form, look no further than the Galaxy Tab A7. You get full reign over the Google Play store and can load up your tablet with the apps that you need to function at your best. Speaking of functioning at your best, you get more than all-day battery life which is great for those who like to consume plenty of content on the 10.4-inch display. There’s facial recognition technology plus it uses USB-C charging ports for fast charging and allows you to use existing cables you have lying around instead of those frustrating micro-USB cables. Considering everything you get, this is an absolute steal from Amazon.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Courtesy of Amazon
  

5. Microsoft Surface Pro 8

GREAT FOR OFFICE PROS

The Surface Pro 8 is like a mini-computer and essentially can replace your office clunker when paired with a detachable keyboard and stylus. Powered by a speedy Intel i5 processor (or i7 if you upgrade) and 8GB of RAM (up to 32GB) and Windows 11, it’s better suited for powering through office work rather than mobile gaming, but it’s still a great tablet for content crushing on a lazy weekend, especially watching your favorite shows on the vibrant 13-inch display. Both the front and back cameras look amazing, especially great for Zoom and Teams calls with more than all-day battery life to get you through a whole workday.

Microsoft Surface Pro 8 Courtesy of Amazon

  

6. 2021 Apple 10.2 Inch iPad

TRUSTED PICK

When you compare the 2021 (or 9th generation) iPad to the prior year’s iPad, or even the year before that, aesthetically you won’t see much, if any difference — and that’s just fine. So why spring for a new $329 iPad? First, it’s one of the more affordable iPads and luxury tablets available. Second, the A13 Bionic chip brings with it incredibly fast processing speeds and performance that still smokes most of the competition. And the base model comes with 64GB of storage which is more than plenty. Add an Apple Pencil or keyboard and you can pretty much leave your laptop at home.

Read More: Best Tablets for College

2021 Apple 10.2 Inch iPad Courtesy of Amazon
  

7. ReMarkable Tablet 2

A DIFFERENT TYPE OF TABLET

We were big fans of the ReMarkable Paper Tablet, and the ReMarkable 2 is even better. It’s a digital solution for people who still prefer a pen and paper to typing notes on a keyboard. This tablet and stylus feel as though you are righting on paper, but with the benefits of a cutting-edge tablet. For instance, it can automatically convert handwritten notes to text when you need to send your meeting notes to others. It also allows you to write on PDF documents instead of having to use document signing programs like Docusign. Plus, all of the notes you take are saved to the cloud. The display looks more like a Kindle Paperwhite than a typical tablet, as ReMarkable worked with E Ink on its paper tablet. In short, it’s a different type of tablet, but one that makes writing much more efficient and distraction-free.

reMarkable 2 paper tablet Courtesy of reMarkable
  

8. Lenovo Yoga Tab 13

GREAT FOR CONTENT

The Lenovo Yoga Tab 13 was designed for you to take in your favorite content. It’s great to place on a kitchen counter and follow along with a YouTube recipe or to sit on the couch and watch your favorite show. The back of the tablet has a flip-out stand that’s great for tables and countertops, but it is missing a rear camera, which is rather rare in this day and age for a tablet. That being said, there’s plenty of onboard storage with 128GB and 8GB of RAM. Plus the Snapdragon 870 is plenty speedy, even enough for lag-free gaming. It’s probably a little too big to be a commuter, but for at-home entertainment, this is a solid choice for a tablet.

Lenovo Yoga Tab 13 Courtesy of Best Buy
  

9. Apple iPad Air (2022)

GREAT PERFORMANCE

Injected with the often touted M1 chip, this tablet produces nothing short of reliable and exceptional performance. The rest — rear camera, display, and, unfortunately, the fingerprint scanner — stayed the same from the 2020 model. But there are some benefits to that. If you’re upgrading, all of your accessories, like your keyboard or case all transfer over. And of course, with a name like “Air” you can continue to expect an ultra-light tablet that’s great for travel.

iPad Air (2022) Courtesy of Amazon
  

10. Samsung Galaxy Tab S8

NEW SAMSUNG TABLET

If you’re in between the Tab S8 and Tab S8 Plus, but don’t need cellphone service on your tablet, your best bet is to go with the Galaxy Tab S8. It’s a little smaller, which is better for handheld use, and it’s about $200 cheaper, but you get every ounce of performance compared to the S8 Plus. It has a quick Snapdragon Gen 1 processor and an included S-Pen which has only been getting better and better through the generations. On the surface, it looks exactly like the S7, but it really is a speedier and more powerful upgrade.

Read More: The Best Samsung Tablets

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Courtesy of Best Buy
  

11. Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Plus

UPGRADED NEW SAMSUNG

There isn’t too much difference between the Tab S8 and the Plus. The upgrades from the S8 are the inclusion of cell service, which can be super useful for those who use their tablet for work and play. Another upgrade which those who love to binge content on their tablet is the 12.4 OLED 120 Hz screen, as well as the Dolby Atmos speakers (which both boast). It’s about $200 more, but the upgrades are well worth the price.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Plus Courtesy of Best Buy
  

13. Amazon Fire HD 10

BEST BUDGET

This isn’t the sexiest tablet on the market today, but it gets the job done. The Amazon Fire HD 10 may not be as flashy or come with as much storage as the iPad Pro or Tab 6, but the 12-hour battery life is better than both the iPad Air and Pro. In addition, hands-free Alexa can make navigating through content and apps as simple as talking. It’s one of the best tablets for entertainment, especially when you consider its small price tag compared to other top-rated tablets. If you mostly want to access apps like Netflix, Spotify, Instagram, Kindle and Amazon Prime, then this affordable tablet is more than up for the job.

Read More: Best Cheap Tablets

best tablets 2020 - amazon fire tablet 10 Courtesy of Amazon
  

14. TCL Tab

BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK

TCL is better known for its affordable flat-screen TVs, which compete with displays that are much more expensive. But now the company is bringing its “bang for the buck” mentality to tablets with the TCL Tab. And for a first effort, the TCL Tab is no slouch. It packs a 2.0 GHz octa-core CPU, and 3 GB of RAM into an 8-inch, 1080p display, making this an excellent choice for reading or streaming. But what we love most is that the battery can provide up to 24 hours of use on a single charge while offering the ability to wirelessly share its power with Qi-compatible phones.

TCL Tab Courtesy of Verizon
  

15. Microsoft Surface Go 2

ALSO CONSIDER

The original Microsoft Surface was one of the first functional hybrid devices to exist when it was released in 2012. And while it was better than any hybrid before it, it still made a few too many concessions to truly catch on. But since then, Microsoft has worked to refine that concept and the Surface Go 2 is one of the most polished results yet. Equipped with an Intel Core m3 CPU and 8GB of RAM this 11-inch tablet is built to handle all your media consumption needs, as well as many of the daily productivity tasks that you’d typically call on your laptop for.

tablets with keyboards surface go Courtesy of Best Buy
  

16. BOOX Max Lumi ePaper

GREAT FOR NOTE TAKING

Much like the ReMarkable II tablet, this e-Paper reimagines the tablet and provides a digital way to work that doesn’t stray away from the analog feel of a paper and pad. Powered by Android, you can access the Google Play Store and download apps you need to help you work and play. The large 13.3-inch screen is great for drawing, typing and reading. Speaking of, it has an upgraded Lumi Moon light that changes the front light colors while you read. This is a game-changer for those who like to pick up an e-reader and get through a few pages before bed. It’s definitely a different take on a tablet, but a great tool for taking notes and getting work done.

BOOX Max Lumi ePaper Courtesy of Amazon
  

17. Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition

BEST TABLET FOR KIDS

When your kid wants the best tablet, but you’re not quite ready to hand over your iPad Pro and let them run wild, the Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition offers both physical and virtual protection. You can limit the amount of screen time and set additional parental controls. But your kiddo still has plenty of access to books, apps, and videos through a one-year free subscription to Amazon Free-Time. It’s actually pricier than the Amazon Fire HD 10, but the extra $50 is worth the childproofing. There’s no shame in hiring a digital babysitter in the form of the best tablet for kids.

Read More: The Best Tablets for Toddlers

Fire 10 Courtesy of Amazon
  

Work Smarter, Not harder with the remarkable 2 paper tablet