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The best Samsung tablets in 2022

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 open in book cover on desk, facing left
(Image credit: Future)

The best Samsung tablets are top-tier Android tablets that are well-designed, perform well, and last a long time on a single charge. They also tend to come with Samsung apps and technologies that improve on the stock Android tablet experience, which is a rarity in the world of Android devices.

For all of these reasons and more, Samsung's slates rank among some of the best Android tablets on the market. But there are so many to choose from that it can be hard to know which is right for you — which is why we've put together this buying guide based on what we've learned testing and reviewing all of Samsung's top tablets.

In our quest to help you find the right Samsung tablet for you we test them all in the lab, measuring things like battery life, performance and screen quality. We then use that data, as well as our own experience using these tablets for work and play, to determine which are the cream of the crop. Read on for our list of the best Samsung tablets you can buy.

What are the best Samsung tablets?

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 is our current top pick for the best Samsung tablet you can buy for a variety of reasons, not least of which that it's a speedy, long-lasting Android tablet that looks great and feels comfortable to hold. With a starting price of $649 it's not cheap, but it does set a new standard for what we should expect from a premium Android tablet. If price isn't an issue, its massive older sibling the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is a powerful Android tablet that can double as a laptop.

If you want something a little more affordable, we recommend the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7, which you can get for less than $300. It's a little older than the Tab S8 but still plenty capable — and unlike the hyper-affordable Amazon Fire 7 (more on that later), it's got all the apps you could ask for. Plus, it's got super-thin bezels that make most other tablets at this price look chunky. 

For those who absolutely, positively must have the biggest screen possible, we recommend the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra. 

The best Samsung tablets you can buy today

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 open in keyboard cover on desk, facing left

(Image credit: Future)
The best all-around Samsung tablet

Specifications

CPU: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
Display: 11-inch (2560 x 1600) 120Hz LCD display
Storage: 128GB/256GB
Memory: 8GB RAM
Ports: USB-C, microSD
Dimensions: 9.99 x 6.51 x 0.25 inches
Weight: 1.1 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Bright, beautiful display
+
Excellent battery life
+
Great sound quality
+
Surprisingly good cameras

Reasons to avoid

-
Underwhelming performance vs. iPads
-
Book Cover keyboard feels small, cramped

The Galaxy Tab S8 is good at a lot of things, but it's best at being a general-purpose Android tablet. You can use it to get work done in a pinch, but in my experience it's best enjoyed as a speedy all-purpose device for making work and play a bit more enjoyable. On the couch, it's great for gaming or reading comics, and at work it's nice to have as a note-keeping device or secondary display, especially if you go to the trouble of investing in the Galaxy ecosystem and making your workspace DeX-friendly.

If you absolutely must have the biggest, baddest Android slate possible you probably want the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra, but if you just need a great premium Android tablet the Galaxy Tab S8 delivers — and in the process, sets a new standard for what we should expect from the category.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 review.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 on a desk showing home screenbest value awards badge

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
The best Samsung tablet for those on a budget

Specifications

CPU: Qualcomm SM6115
Display: 10.4-inch, 2000x1200-pixel
Storage: 32GB
Memory: 3GB
Ports: USB-C, microSD
Dimensions: 9.7 x 6.2 x 0.3 inches
Weight: 1.1 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent battery life
+
Facial recognition
+
USB-C charging

Reasons to avoid

-
Screen is a little dim
-
Underwhelming performance

This is the budget Android tablet that fans have long deserved. In the history of iPad alternatives, Samsung's Galaxy Tab A7 stands out with its low sub-$300 price tag. On top of that, it's got thinner bezels than the 10.2-inch iPad and crazy 13+ hour battery life — so you can enjoy more of what you're watching and reading for a lot longer time. And even at this price, you get facial recognition to unlock the device.

It's also got USB-C charging, so you can use the same cable you charge modern phones and laptops with. And while we wish it was a tad brighter and faster, it's got the real, unadulterated Android experience — with the Google Play app store and Google apps — so you're not confined to web-only Gmail and YouTube like you are on cheaper Amazon Fire Android tablets.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 review.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra on a desk w/ keyboard attached

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
The best Samsung tablet for replacing a laptop

Specifications

CPU: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 octa-core CPU
Camera Resolution: 12MP + 12MP UW (front), 13MP AF + 6MP UW (back)
Display: 14.6-inch, 2960 x 1848-pixel
Storage: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB
Ports: 1x USB-C, microSD
Dimensions: 12.85 x 8.21 x 0.22 inches
Weight: 1.4 pounds
Wi-Fi: WiFi 6E (2.4/5/6GHz)

Reasons to buy

+
Big, beautiful OLED display
+
Svelte design
+
Snappy Android interface 

Reasons to avoid

-
May be too unwieldy for some
-
More expensive than better laptops

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra ($1,099) is the first tablet that casts a literal shadow over the iPad Pro. With its ginormous 14.6-inch OLED display, this Android slate makes the 12.9-inch iPad Pro seem cute by comparison. And with the optional keyboard attachment and improved multi-window mode, the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra could potentially replace a laptop.

Samsung is clearly targeting hybrid and at-home workers with the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra, as it packs dual front cameras with support to up to 4K resolution for video calls as well as auto framing for keeping you in the frame as you move around. Plus, there's advanced noise reduction to make sure you come through loud and clear.

Other highlights of the Tab S8 Ultra include a fast Snapdragon 8 Gen-1 chip, a low-latency S Pen experience, 45W fast charging and improved integration with Galaxy S series phones. 

At $1,099, the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra commands a heck of a premium. But it delivers an intoxicating blend of size, speed and versatility that makes it one of the best tablets on the market.

Read our Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra review.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 open on a desk with keyboard attached, showing home screen

(Image credit: Henry T. Casey/Tom's Guide)
The best Samsung tablet when you want a great slate at last year's prices

Specifications

CPU: Snapdragon Qualcomm 865+
Display: 11-inch 2560 x 1600-pixel TFT panel
Storage: 128GB/256GB
Memory: 6GB/8GB
Ports: USB-C, microSD
Dimensions: 10 x 6.5 x 0.2 inches
Weight: 1.1 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Fantastic battery life
+
Beautiful 120Hz display
+
Thin and light design

Reasons to avoid

-
Book Cover Keyboard has cramped layout
-
DeX mode still has room to grow

The Samsung Galaxy S7 is a beautiful slate that's thin, light and packs slim bezels for an all-screen aesthetic that Apple's given its users for years with the iPad Pro. The Tab S7's screen is so bright and colorful that you'll love to use it for your next Netflix binge-watch. Oh, and it put in a time of over 13 hours on our battery life test. On top of that, you get a windowed Android app experience in DeX mode that's pretty decent for getting work done.

We want more from the Tab S7's Book Cover Keyboard (a $199 extra add-on) though. Its number keys will be too small for some and assembling its two-piece design is a little annoying if you transition from laptop to tablet mode often. Also, we wish the Snapdragon 865+ had a bit more pep in its step. Still, when it launched we called the S7 a serious iPad Pro contender. Even more than a year after its debut, the slate remains a great all-around Android tablet, and it's worth picking up if you want something nearly as good as the Tab S8 for a bit less money.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 review.

The best Samsung tablet when you want something small and cheap

Specifications

CPU: MediaTek MT8768T
Display: 8.7-inch, 1,340 x 800 pixel resolution
Storage: 32-64 GB
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Ports: USB-C, microSD card reader, headphone jack
Dimensions: 8.37 x 4.91 x 0.31 inches
Weight: 0.81 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Cheaper than most Samsung tablets
+
Lightest tablet on this list
+
Full access to Android and the Google Play store

Reasons to avoid

-
Low-res display
-
Bad cameras

Sometimes you just want a decent tablet at a cheap price. Maybe you want a lightweight second screen to keep by the couch for idle IMDB-surfing, or perhaps you want a cheap tablet you can give to a child without worrying too much about the cost of replacing it. For all these needs and more, Samsung's Galaxy Tab A7 Lite is a great choice.

It's a cheaper, lighter version of the Galaxy Tab A7 higher up on this list. With its sub-1080p 8.7-inch display it's not going to make movies look their best, and the MediaTek MT8768T might struggle to run the most demanding Android games, but that's not always a bad thing — especially if you're giving this to a child for use at school. It weighs less than a pound and lasted 10 hours on a single charge in our battery test, however, so it's a good tablet for someone on the go — especially if you shell out for a model with cellular connectivity.

After spending a few weeks testing and using the A7 Lite I can confidently tell you it's far from the best Samsung tablet on the market. But it is quite a handy little device that's well worth your consideration if you need a capable Android tablet for not a lot of money. 

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite review.

How to choose the best Samsung tablet for you

When it comes to picking the best Samsung tablet for you, start by thinking about what you plan to use it for.

Are you mainly going to be consuming content? All of these tablets are great at that, with the possible exception of the Tab S8 Ultra (since it's so massive it can be a pain to hold in your hands for long periods), so pick the model with the mix of price and specs you like most. 

Looking for a slate that could possibly replace your laptop? The Galaxy Tab S8 is a great choice, though typing on its (optional) Book Cover detachable keyboard can be a little cramped. If you want something larger and don't mind paying over $1,000, the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is explicitly designed to replace your laptop -- and thanks to Samsung's DeX mode, it's more capable as a laptop replacement than any iPad.

Looking for a cheap tablet that's good enough for most tasks? The Galaxy Tab S7 Lite is a great choice. While it's sub-1080p resolution makes watching videos on it feel a bit underwhelming, and it tends to feel a bit sluggish when you're doing a lot at once, it's a great device if you need an affordable, lightweight tablet.

How we test Samsung tablets

The first thing we do to separate the great tablets from the jokers is to test all their different facets. Our web-surfing based battery test times how long a tablet can browse the internet for, with its display set to 150 nits of brightness. But in order to figure out what percentage of brightness equals 150 nits, we perform a series of display tests to measure how colorful the panel can get (measured with its sRGB output number) as well as how bright it can get. Then, we run benchmark tests on said tablet, including the latest version of the Geekbench general performance benchmark.

Another thing we do to evaluate Android tablets is check out the included apps and app store to see if you're getting a true Android experience or some company's vision thereof. Luckily, Samsung has been pretty good about allowing users to access the full Google Play storefront (though it also has its own separate Android app storefront), and its own apps tend to be pretty good -- especially if you own other Samsung devices. On tablets with parental controls settings, we try and find the loopholes in said limitations, to find red flags before your kids can. 

Then, we just use the tablets like we would if we owned them. Opening tab after tab and app after app to see if we can multitask without hiccups. We also watch YouTube videos because the color output (sRGB) and brightness (nits) measurements don't tell the whole story. Only through all of these tests, can we be sure that we're giving you a complete assessment of a tablet's value.

For more information, check out our how we test page for Tom's Guide.

Alex Wawro is a lifelong tech and games enthusiast with more than a decade of experience covering both for outlets like Game Developer, Black Hat, and PC World magazine. He currently serves as a senior editor at Tom's Guide covering all things computing, from laptops and desktops to keyboards and mice.