The best tablets in 2024 - top picks for February

The best tablet for your needs can be tricky to find, regardless of whether you're looking to outfit the kids with cheap, durable tablets for school or just want a beautiful iPad to keep near the couch.

That's why we maintain this regularly-updated list of the best tablets around, based on our hands-on testing. We can help you find the right tablet because we review the best from all the major manufacturers every year. We test them in our lab and in the real world, and we've come to a few key conclusions about the best tablets out there. 

Amazon tablets are generally great for kids and anyone on a tight budget, for example, while Apple's iPads are best for students and creative pros. That's especially true now that an M2 chip powers Apple's latest iPad Pro. And though the Apple M3 chip has now arrived, we're not expecting it to show up in Apple iPads until mid-2024, so no need to wait for M3 iPads if you want a premium tablet now.

I know because I've been reviewing tablets for years, and have reviewed many of the devices on this list myself. Together my team and I have decades of experience testing tablets, and based on our years of hands-on testing and reviews we recommend these slates as the best you can buy right now.  

Written by
Alex Wawro
Written by
Alex Wawro

Alex Wawro is a lifelong journalist who's spent over a decade covering tech, games and entertainment. He oversees the computing department at Tom's Guide, which includes managing tablet coverage and reviewing many himself every year.

The quick list

In a hurry? Here's a brief overview of the tablets on this list, along with quick links that let you jump down the page directly to a review of whichever tablet catches your eye.

The best tablets you can buy

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The best tablet overall

iPad Air 5

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
The best tablet for everyone

Specifications

CPU: M1
Camera Resolution: 12MP wide (f/1.8) (front and rear)
Display: 10.9-inch (2360 x 1640 pixels) Liquid Retina
Storage: 64GB, 256GB
Ports: 1 USB-C
Dimensions: 9.7 x 7 x 0.24 inches
Weight: 1 pound

Reasons to buy

+
Thin and elegant design
+
Sharp, colorful display
+
Speedy M1-powered performance
+
Long battery life
+
Solid 12MP cameras

Reasons to avoid

-
Peripherals are expensive

The iPad Air 2022 is ideal for consuming and creating content thanks to its killer combo of power, portability and battery life, and its $599 starting price is within reach for many people. 

This model is the first to get an injection of Apple silicon in the form of an M1 chip, and it delivers a performance increase that brings the iPad Air 2022 up to be almost on par with the iPad Pro.While the iPad Air still can't replace a Pro, the difference in power is now much smaller than it once was. So if you're eyeing a Pro but would much rather pay Air prices, odds are you can get away with just getting this iPad.

With its great screen, long battery life, solid camera and speakers and great App Store the latest iPad Air is an almost perfect tablet. This is arguably the best tablet for most people, and one of the best iPads on top of that.

See our full iPad Air (2022) review.

The best Android tablet

OnePlus Pad

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
The best Android tablet overall

Specifications

CPU: MediaTek Dimensity 9000
Display: 11.6 inches (2800 x 2000) 7:5 aspect ratio, 144Hz
Storage: 128GB
Memory: 8GB
Ports: 1x USB-C
Dimensions: 10.1 x 7.4 x 0.2 inches
Weight: 1.2 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Incredible battery life
+
Comfortable curved edges
+
Sharp front and rear cameras
+
Fast performance

Reasons to avoid

-
Mediocre speaker quality

The OnePlus Pad is a big Android tablet with a huge 13MP rear camera, attractive curved edges and a unique 7:5 aspect ratio on its display. With this unique look, OnePlus' first tablet really stands out from the competition.

Watching videos and reading ebooks is a great experience on the Pad's vivid 11.6-inch 144Hz display, and thanks to its MediaTek Dimensity 9000 CPU and Android 13 OS, apps and games run smooth and fast. This lightweight slate also has exceptional battery life, lasting over 13 hours in our testing (as you'll see in our battery test results chart below).

For all those reasons and more, if you’re looking for an excellent Android tablet for under $500 you'd likely be very happy with the OnePlus Pad.

Read our full OnePlus Pad review.

The best budget tablet

Amazon Fire 7 (Image credit: Tom's Guide)
The best tablet for those on a budget

Specifications

CPU: Quad-Core 1.3 GHz processor
Camera Resolution: 2MP (rear), 2MP (front)
Display: 7 inches, 1024 x 600 pixels
Storage: 16GB, 32GB
Memory: 1GB
Ports: headphone jack. microUSB, microSD,
Dimensions: 7.6 x 4.5 x 0.4 inches
Weight: 0.6 pounds (10.1 ounces)

Reasons to buy

+
Fast for its price
+
Hyper affordable 
+
Finally, hands-free Alexa

Reasons to avoid

-
Lots of Amazon ads
-
Low-res display

The Amazon Fire 7 tablet has one standout feature, and that's its $59 price tag. That absurdly low price gets you a surprisingly decent little slate, with a snappy quad-core 1.3 GHz processor, a headphone jack and a microSD card reader so you can slot in extra storage, and a remarkably light 0.6-pound plastic frame. 

Just don't expect any of the luxuries you get on more expensive, premium tablets from Amazon and elsewhere. For starters, the Fire 7 tablet’s sub-HD screen is not sharp enough for anyone used to an iPad, and its lock screen is filled with ads unless you pay extra. Still, it's a great choice if you need a cheap tablet to give a child without worrying about how much it'll cost to replace if they break it.

Read our full Amazon Fire 7 review.

The best big-screen Android tablet

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
The best Android tablet when you want the biggest screen possible

Specifications

CPU: Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
Camera Resolution: 12MP + 12MP UW (front), 13MP AF + 6MP UW (back)
Display: 14.6-inch, 2,960 x 1,848-pixel
Storage: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB
Ports: 1x USB-C, microSD
Dimensions: 12.85 x 8.21 x 0.22 inches
Weight: 1.4 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Gorgeous 14.6-inch OLED display
+
Slim, lightweight design
+
Fast performance

Reasons to avoid

-
Pricey compared to the competition
-
DeX mode is a poor Windows 11 imitation

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra ($1,199 to start) is the ultimate Samsung tablet for those who prize screen size above all else. If you want the biggest, heaviest tablet possible, this is the best choice on this list.

Like its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra, the Tab S9 Ultra features a gorgeous 14.6-inch OLED display, an ultra-slim svelte design and plenty of power thanks to its speedy Snapdragon 8 processor. 

Of course, Samsung’s massive tablet isn’t flawless. While you can use it as a laptop when it’s paired with the Samsung Book Cover Keyboard, the accessory adds an extra $349 cost to an already expensive $1,200 machine, taking the cost up above the price of some actual laptops which are more versatile and more powerful. 

Read our Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra review.

The best big Apple tablet

iPad Pro 2021 (12.9-inch) on a desk

(Image credit: Tom's Guide/Henry T. Casey)
The best tablet for power users, period

Specifications

CPU: M2
Camera Resolution: 12MP (rear, wide) 10MP (rear, ultra wide), 12MP True Depth (front)
Display: 12.9 inches, 2732 x 2048 pixels
Storage: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB
Ports: USB-C, Smart Connector
Dimensions: 11 x 8.5 x 0.3 inches
Weight: 1.5 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Gorgeous 12.9-inch XDR display
+
M2 chip delivers great speed
+
Excellent battery life
+
Optional 5G works quite well

Reasons to avoid

-
Display requires HDR content to look its best
-
Expensive with accessories

Apple's remarkably speed M2 chip is the driving force behind the iPad Pro 2022. It's the one big upgrade to this tablet over the original 2021 model, and luckily it's worth paying for since it makes this slate feel speedier than ever.

The 12.9-inch Liquid Retina XDR display is both gorgeous and eye-searingly bright (up to 1588 nits!) if you watch the right HDR content. The quad-speaker setup still sounds great for a tablet, and the 10+ hours of (tested) battery life ensures this tablet won't let you down in the middle of a long day. T

In October 2022, Apple released the iPad Pro 2022, which upgrades the processor to the more powerful M2 chip. It's a great tablet with solid performance, but only a nominal upgrade over the 2021 version. 

Read our full iPad Pro 2022 review.

Best Windows tablet

The best Windows 11 tablet

Specifications

Display: 13-inch screen (2880 x 1920)
CPU: Intel Evo 12th Gen Core i7 (tested)
GPU: Intel Iris Xe Graphics
RAM: 8GB - 32GB
Storage: 128GB - 1TB
Weight: 1.94 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Slim and light design
+
Responsive touchscreen
+
Works well as a laptop or tablet

Reasons to avoid

-
Unremarkable display
-
Same old design
-
Slim Pen 2 and Signature keyboard sold separately

The Microsoft Surface Pro 9 is virtually the same as the Microsoft Surface Pro 8. We don’t have a problem with iterative releases, but we hoped Microsoft would do something to make the latest edition of their flagship Windows 11 2-in-1 more appealing. Sadly, that isn’t the case.

The Surface Pro 9 is available with your choice of either a 12th-gen Intel Core CPU or a Microsoft SQ3 ARM processor. 5G connectivity is only available on the ARM model, a first for the Surface line. And based on what Microsoft showed us at its Microsoft Surface event, the 5G model is also optimized for advanced neural processing unit (NPU) features.

We tested and reviewed the Intel version, and it's a good Windows tablet that's speedy enough to handle day-to-day work tasks. The touchscreen looks decent and feels responsive, and the whole package is light enough to comfortably carry to work or the coffee shop. The fact that neither the detachable keyboard nor the stylus does knock some of the shine off this otherwise solid Windows 11 tablet, however, so try to get it as part of a sale or bundle deal if you can.

Read our full review of the Microsoft Surface Pro 9.

iPad 2022 with Magic Keyboard Folio and Apple Pencil

(Image credit: Future)
The best regular iPad in years

Specifications

CPU: A14 Bionic
Camera Resolution: 12MP (rear), 12MP with 122-degree FOV (front)
Display: 10.9-inch (2360 x 1640) Liquid Retina
Storage: 64GB, 256GB
Ports: USB-C
Dimensions: 9.79 x 7.07 x 0.28 inches
Weight: 1.05 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Sleeker design with slimmer bezels
+
Fast A14 Bionic processor
+
Long battery life
+
Comfy Magic Keyboard with touchpad
+
Cellular upgraded to 5G

Reasons to avoid

-
More expensive that previous model
-
Apple Pencil awkward to charge
-
Just 64GB of storage
-
Doesn’t support Stage Manager in iPadOS 16

The iPad 2022 is a bit more expensive than its predecessors, but Apple justified the price hike with a sleek new redesign that slightly expanded the display, removed the Home button, upgraded the power button with Touch ID support and added USB-C charging. 

And while there's no shame in seeking out an older model if you want to save some cash, we think Apple effectively justified the increase in price for this 10th Gen iPad. Still, the jump from $329 to $449 is nothing to sneeze at, and for the extra $120 we wish Apple had upgraded the base storage from 64GB and made this iPad compatible with the 2nd Gen Apple Pencil. Instead, you have to use the 1st Gen model, with its frustrating and outdated charging port.

But while those shortcomings sting, we still feel the basic iPad remains the best iPad to buy if you want an Apple tablet, but can't justify the added expense of the iPad Air's $599 starting price. The interesting thing about the 2022 redesign of the basic iPad is that it brought it a lot closer to the iPad Air in terms of design (thinner, bigger screen, USB-C charging, etc), so for the $450 you're getting an iPad 2022 that's not far behind the iPad Air (our top recommendation for best tablet) in terms of capabilities.

Read our full iPad 2022 review.

Google Pixel Tablet

(Image credit: Future)
The best tablet for the smart home

Specifications

CPU: Tensor G2
Camera Resolution: 8MP, f/2.0 front and rear
Display: 11-inch 2560 x 1600 LCD, 60Hz
Storage: 128GB, 256GB
Ports: USB-C
Dimensions: 10.2 x 6.7 x 0.3 inches (tablet); 6.6 x 3.7 x 2.7 (dock)
Weight: 1.08 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Charging dock a useful accessory
+
Good photo quality
+
Strong photo editing features

Reasons to avoid

-
Average performance
-
Few productivity accessories available

The Google Pixel Tablet stands out from every other on this list by being the only one to come with its own speaker/charging dock. 

For some shoppers this will be a useless gimmick, but this obvious attempt on Google's part to stand out from the pack pays off if you want to get started with a Google smart home. This is the only tablet on the market that doubles as a solid smart home hub out of the box, and it's a great value.

The speakers on the tablet's charging dock are also great, delivering more satisfying bass at the expense of some treble. It's a good Android tablet too, comparable to Apple's iPad 2022 despite costing $50 less. But its support for various smart home technologies varies, and it's not a great choice for all smart home owners as it can't match the capabilities or sound quality of some of the best smart home hubs.

Read our full Google Pixel Tablet review.  

The iPad mini 2021 with Apple Pencil (gen 2) and purple Apple Smart Folio case on a desk

iPad mini 2021 (Image credit: Henry T. Casey)
The best tiny tablet

Specifications

CPU: A15 Bionic
Camera Resolution: 12MP (front and rear)
Display: 8.3-inch (2266 x 1488 pixels) Liquid Retina
Storage: 64GB, 256GB
Ports: USB-C
Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.3 x 0.3 inches
Weight: 0.7 pound

Reasons to buy

+
Super-portable, light design
+
Speedy A15 Bionic processor
+
Sharp and bright display

Reasons to avoid

-
No Magic Keyboard or headphone jack
-
Pricey

Take almost everything we know and love about the iPad Air, but shrink it down to a size and weight that's super-easy to use with just one hand and you have the iPad mini 6 (2021), which may be the iPad you've been waiting for. It has the Apple Pencil 2 support with the flat-edged design, the much-smaller bezels and nearly everything else we love about an iPad. Currently, Amazon has the market cornered on sub-10-inch tablets with the pricing of its Fire slates, but the new iPad mini gives quality-focused folks an alternative worth investing in.

On top of that, you've got the super-fast A15 Bionic system-on-chip, which outpaces the iPad Air and every non-Pro iPad out there. Its display is also super bright (over 500 nits of brightness), plus surprisingly good sound for a device this small. Oh, and speaking of outperforming its size, the iPad mini 6 has terrific battery life. The only thing that isn't small about the iPad mini 6? Its $499 price tag is a bit higher than the normal iPad, but it's another case of "you get what you pay for."

Read our full Apple iPad mini 6 (2021) review.

Best Tablets: iPad Pro 2021 (11-inch)

iPad Pro 2021 (11-inch) (Image credit: Tom's Guide)
The best tablet for power users on the go

Specifications

CPU: M1
Camera Resolution: 12MP (rear, wide) 10MP (rear, ultra wide), 12MP True Depth (front)
Display: 11 inches (2388 x 1668 pixels)
Storage: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB
Ports: USB-C, Smart Connector
Dimensions: 9.7 x 7 x 0.2 inches
Weight: 1 pound

Reasons to buy

+
Fantastic screen
+
Epic battery life
+
M1 processor is blazing-fast

Reasons to avoid

-
12.9-inch iPad Pro's display is better
-
iPadOS feels limited with M1 power

The 12.9-inch iPad Pro may have the better screen, but the 11-inch iPad Pro is arguably better for more people. Not only is its battery life fantastic — over 13 hours on the Tom's Guide Battery Test — but it's lighter and fits better with the Magic Keyboard. Plus, it's $300 less expensive. On top of that, you get the astonishing speed of the Apple M1 chip, which is maybe too powerful for most tablet apps, but they call it the iPad Pro for a reason — this is made for the folks using demanding video and image editing apps. (Note that the latest version of the iPad Pro features an even more powerful M2 chipset from Apple.)

Of course, the 11-inch iPad Pro 2021 still thrives at the little things. Its bright and colorful display is sharp, its four speakers provide much larger sound than you might expect from such a thin device and. And if you're willing to pony up the cash its amazing (optional) Magic Keyboard offers the simplest and smoothest tablet typing experience there is. 

Read our full iPad Pro 2021 (11-inch) review.

reMarkable 2 on a table

(Image credit: Tom's Guide/Henry T. Casey)
The best tablet for writers

Specifications

CPU: 1.2 GHz dual core ARM processor
Display: 10.3-inch, 1,872 x 1,404 digital paper
Storage: 8GB
Memory: 1GB
Ports: USB-C
Dimensions: 9.7 x 7.4 x 0.2 inches
Weight: 14.1 ounces (0.88 pounds)

Reasons to buy

+
Amazingly slim design
+
Faster stylus input
+
Excellent writing feel

Reasons to avoid

-
More expensive than an iPad
-
Just for writing and reading, no apps

If you're a writer who loves pen and paper, you know that the iPad and its Apple Pencil don't really feel right. That's where the reMarkable tablets have jumped into the fray, offering a real-feeling writing experience, with a unique screen technology that uses digital paper and the Marker stylus, which feels more authentic when you press its nib against the screen. The reMarkable 2, however, is a much more seductive device, now measuring a sleek 0.2 inches and ditching its plastic frame for a sleeker metallic chassis.

Oh, and it's not just a notebook. Your documents sync to the cloud so you can read them on iPhones, iPads, PCs, Macs and Android. The reMarkable 2 also translates your handwriting to editable text, so you can share your notes with your whole team, or turn your draft ideas into a manuscript. And its two weeks of battery life means you can just leave it on your coffee table, for when inspiration strikes, rather than keep it plugged in all the time. 

Read our full reMarkable 2 review.

Battery life compared

Battery life is one of the key things to consider when buying a tablet, and you can't always trust manufacturer claims about how long they'll last on a single charge.

That's why we put every tablet we test and review through a series of battery tests, then average the results and compare them against the competition. I've assembled the tested battery life of every tablet on this page here in one handy chart, with the exception of the ReMarkable 2 since that e-ink tablet is designed to last up to 2 week on a single charge (according to ReMarkable) and we couldn't adequately test it using our testing regimen for tablets.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Battery test results
Header Cell - Column 0 Time (min:secs)
Microsoft Surface Pro 910:01
Google Pixel Tablet11:56
Samsung Galaxy Tab S99:06
Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra9:27
Apple iPad (2022)10:57
Apple iPad Air (2022)10:09
Apple iPad Pro (2022)10:37
Apple iPad mini 6 (2021)10:56

As you can see, the Google Pixel Tablet is the clear winner here, lasting an hour longer than the closest competitors from Apple. So while all these tablets should last you through at least a full 8-hour day of use, Google's slate is the one to choose if battery life is paramount.

How to choose the best tablet for you

The best way to pick an ideal tablet for you is to look at what devices you already own and use on a regular basis. If you're an iPhone user and already tied into Apple's ecosystem, the iPads are a great choice that come in a variety of prices and will integrate more seamlessly with your day-to-day workflow than other tablets on this list. 

If you prefer Android you have a fair few Android tablets on this list, but only the Google Pixel Tablet offers the unique dual functionality of doubling as a smart screen for your home when not in use. It's only a killer feature for certain people, but if you're one of them then it's probably a better choice for you than Samsung's (also excellent) Android slates.

If you really love Windows 11 and like the idea of being able to use your tablet as a laptop, right down to being able to access your usual desktop email client and all your favorite Windows programs, the Surface Pro 9 is probably the right choice for you. It's not quite as slick or as polished to use as the iPads and other tablets on this list, but in return you get the versatility of Windows 11.

How we tested these tablets

As part of our review procedure we first open every tablet we receive, install our testing software and put it through as many tests as possible. The variety of tests we can install and perform varies depending on the tablet operating system (we have to run different tests on Amazon Fire tablets than we do on Apple's iPads, for example), and they allow us to see how different slates stack up. These tests also help us verify whether manufacturer claims about things like, say, brightness or battery life hold true.

We use professional-grade colorimeters to measure how bright the screen can get on every tablet we test, as well as how well it displays colors in the sRGB and DCI-P3 color gamuts. And we don't stop there.

Depending on the operating system we will run performance tests meant to gauge how well a tablet runs games or loads webpages, and we also run every slate through a battery test to see how long you can expect them to last on a full charge.

Finally, after lab testing is complete to our standards we have one of our experienced reviewers (all of whom have spent at least 5-10 years professionally reviewing tablets, laptops and other personal computing gear) spend a week or more doing everything the tablet you would do. We're talking surfing the web on the couch, watching movies in bed, playing games in the back seat, reading books on the train and typing out emails on the plane. When possible we also try to hang on to review units for long-term testing, so we can verify these slates receive software updates in a timely manner and hold up to long-term day-to-day use.

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