College students can get a laptop for school or save some coin and get a tablet for college. Tablets are more affordable (music to college students’ ears), more portable, and in some cases, just as powerful as premier laptops. It’s time to ditch the notion that tablets are only useful for watching movies on road trips or flights because students can get a lot of work done on a tablet.
Your tablet can be your laptop, books for class, and your notepad and pencil (especially if your tablet comes with a stylus). Essentially everything you need to ace this semester you can carry around in a single bag and it won’t break your back like a backpack full of books.
Need more reasons to pick a tablet for college?
- Most tablets have cameras to quickly snap high quality photos of notes in class
- Some tablets include a stylus which helps students take notes and edit work
- Tablets often have longer battery life than laptops and can last all school day without a charge
A tablet for college is starting to seem like an astute decision, isn’t it? And it doesn’t matter if you are on team Apple, or you want the best Android tablet available, below you’ll find the best tablets for college students:
1. Apple iPad Air With A14 Chip
Even if you’re a “broke college student,” the new iPad Air from Apple is worth the extra coin. Packed with the same lightning-fast A14 Bionic Chip that’s in the iPhone 12s, the Air is ridiculously fast. The new chips from Apple are an order of magnitude faster than previous chips, and the iPad Air will outperform many small laptops and desktops. Plus, the Air has a larger and better Liquid Retina display than iPads as well as better cameras. Pair it with a magic keyboard and Apple Pencil and you’ll have all the tools to ace your finals this semester.
Apple iPad Air
2. ReMarkable 2 Tablet
Can you combine the best properties of a modern tablet and paper ink e-reader in one device? We didn’t think so, but the ReMarkable 2 tablet isn’t your ordinary tablet. With the tablet and stylus, you can write on PDFs instead of having to use Docusign or Adobe Acrobat, and it converts handwritten notes into text which we mentioned. And all of your notes are accessible from anywhere since they are saved in the cloud. If that doesn’t sound like a tablet made for a college student, we don’t know what is.
ReMarkable 2 Tablet
3. Apple iPad With A12 Chip
While both iPad Pro and iPad Air have more horsepower, the price of the Apple iPad is a little easier on a college student’s budget. Even though it costs hundreds of dollars less than its Apple cohorts, it is still a ridiculously powerful tablet for college. It has a bright and beautiful Retina display and the A12 Bionic chip is crazy fast and powerful enough to edit photos and 4K video. Pair it with an Apple Pen or alternative and you’ll be all set for the classroom. If you’re looking for the best laptops for college students and don’t want to spend over $400, then this is our top pick.
New Apple iPad 10.2-inches
New Apple iPad 10.2-inches
4. Samsung Galaxy Tab S7
BEST SAMSUNG TABLET
Unlike either iPad in our recommendations, the Galaxy Tab S7 comes with a stylus. The combination makes drawing, taking notes and editing work more streamlined and convenient. And if you decide to take a break from schoolwork, you can fully appreciate the 120Hz refresh rate and awesome 11-inch LCD display as you watch your favorite Netflix show. Even if you marathon a few too many shows, or pull an all-nighter studying, the 45W wired charging speed ensures that the S7 will be ready when you need it.
LOW IN STOCK
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7
5. Microsoft Surface Go 2
BEST LAPTOP ALTERNATIVE
With a wireless mouse and keyboard combo, you can essentially turn the Microsoft Surface Go 2 into a full steam laptop that’s incredibly portable. Its 4GB of memory is what you’d find on many laptops and the 64GB of storage is plenty for your schoolwork. Plus, you can always upgrade to more memory and storage if you have a little extra coin. The 10-inch touch screen is super responsive and the 10-hour battery life ensures it will last during your entire school day. For students who don’t want a full laptop but can’t make do with a cheap Chromebook, this is one of the best tablets with a keyboard for sale in 2021.
Microsoft Surface Go 2
6. Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite
The Tab S6 is awesome, but for some college students, the specs may not be enough. The Tab S6 upgrades the display to a 10.5 AMOLED panel which looks incredible. And students will certainly appreciate the inclusion of an S Pen for note-taking, drawing and editing. Need to snag a picture of the whiteboard before you leave class? The Tab S6 has a great camera system, too, which is also an upgrade compared to the Lite.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite
7. Samsung Galaxy Tab S6
The Tab S6 is awesome, but for some college students, the specs may not be enough. The Tab S6 ups the ante with a 10.5-inch AMOLED display which looks incredible. And students will certainly appreciate the inclusion of an S Pen for note-taking, drawing and editing. Need to snag a picture of the whiteboard before you leave class? The Tab S6 has a great camera system, too, which is also an upgrade compared to the Lite. Add to that a keyboard and trackpad and you have everything you need to get your assignments completed on time.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6
8. Amazon Fire HD 10
BEST BUDGET OPTION
There are plenty of reasons to consider the Fire HD 10 as a tablet for college students. Getting school books via e-books can save students a crazy amount of money, and the Fire HD 10 doubles as a Kindle. It’s also great for searching the web when you are doing research for a paper or project. And when you feel like winding down from school, all of your favorite entertainment and social media apps are available. It’s not the flashiest or most powerful choice for college students, but it can certainly save you some coin.
Amazon Fire HD 10
9. Microsoft Surface Pro 7
At the most budget-friendly configuration of 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, you’re still getting laptop power at a decent price for a tablet. All that power is packed into a slim and 1.7-pound lightweight body. The kickstand props up the tablet to help you to draw, take notes and work more efficiently, and when it’s docked with a keyboard and mouse, you essentially have a full-blown laptop at your disposal. As a standalone tablet, it’s already awesome, but the add-ons make it ultra-enticing for a college student.