Whether you’re a huge “techie” or new to gaming there is a perfect tablet for you out there somewhere. Gaming on a tablet will never reach the experience of gaming on a PC or console, but for those on the go often, it can mean the difference between no gaming at all. We’ve taken the liberty of listing the best tablets for gaming on the market to help those who live life on the move (or just love to game).
- Best Budget Buy: Amazon Fire HD 10.1″
- Best iOS: Apple Ipad Pro (6th Gen.)
- Best Android: Samsung Galaxy Tab S3
- Best Looking: ASUS ZenPad 3S 9.7″
- Best Tablet for Steam: Microsoft Surface Pro 12.3″
The Amazon Fire HD 10.1 is perfect for those on a budget. Its listed at around $150.00 on Amazon for a 32GB, 1040p HD display. It also has 10 hours of battery power with a 1.8 GHZ core processor. You can also go higher in size and upgrade to the 64GB for a little more in cost. You pay somewhat for the inexpensiveness of the model in the sense that Amazon’ FireOs does not have a game library comparable to a lot of its competitors but for this price, you can’t really complain.
That being said about the price, you cannot expect to get high quality gaming on this tablet. It only has a 1.8GHZ core meaning it’s not going to be able to play any modern PC games. It will suffice however for the majority of iOS based games on the app store.
The library of games available on the Microsoft Surface Pro outnumber any of the rest of the tablets that made this list. In addition to running Android on Windows – unlocking all games on the Android operating system – you can also play your Steam games on our Surface Pro. While you’re not going to be able to play Wolfenstein 2 on it, you will be able to play games like Minecraft, Civ 5, Portal and other less intensive games.
The Surface Pro 12.3” comes with an Intel Core i7 processor which is one of the best processors you can buy for gaming. You can find one in the area of $700 and get 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. If you’re looking for a tablet to do other things beside gaming the Surface Pro will be your best bet. The price tag is high but because it can do so many things, it is worth the purchase.
iOS platforms tend to be better and faster at playing games than Android platforms, making the Apple iPad Pro you’re best bet if you’re gaming on apps. The iPad is not going to be able to run Steam games like the Surface Pro but if gaming off the app store is your goal then the iPad is the way to go. While there are a few sizes to choose from, we would recommend the 10.5 inch unit. This unit can be found for the do-able price of $329.00 for a 32GB model and comes with a much faster A10 processor making it much quicker than its predecessors making it a formidable foe for comparable products currently on the market.
The iPad pro also boasts a 2.3GHz A10 processor. You’ll also be privy to offered support for the Apple pencil which is the new stylus used with this unit. The 6th generation model mirrors the 5th generation as far as shape and size so no need to spend any extra money on a new case and screen shield. And of course the seemingly never ending plethora of iOS apps are always there to sweeten the deal.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 is arguably the most well-known tablet on the market outside of the Ipad and unarguably the most popular tablet amongst androids. It comes equipped with an HDR ready display screen and an S-pen stylus to match. You’ll also get 4 speakers that score pretty high on the power meter. The main detracting piece of information regarding this tablet at the moment is that the detachable keyboard will cost you a somewhat costly extra price if you choose to go that route. You will also have to be patient with the availability of the HDR video content for a while. If this is not a huge deal for you then this would be a more than sensible choice for you. The Samsung Galaxy even sports an all glass design upgrade as well.
You can find a Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 in the range of $450.00 for the 32Gb, 9.7 inch display model.
The ASUS ZenPad 3S 9.7″ is far and away the best looking tablet available to consumers. It is the Android answer to the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 and comes with a 9.7″ screen and a display resolution of 2048 x 1536. The ASUS ZenPad is powered by an ARM Cortex Processor with storage capacity of 64GB. Unfortunately, it won’t be as powerful as the comparable Galaxy Tab but for the price tag of right under $300.00 for the 64GB version while the Galaxy Tab S3 is priced at $450 for the 32GB, there isn’t much room to complain. At the end of the day, the ASUS ZenPad 3S is a solid buy and its sexy look will definitely make you the envy of fellow tablet owners.
How to Buy a Tablet
Like any piece of hardware, there are several specifications and other factors to take into account before purchasing. Not only will certain tablets be better than others in terms of speed and performance, but also for your personal situation. Here are the following things to keep in mind when buying a tablet.
Size of the Tablet
In 2018-2019 tablets come in many sizes. There are mini tablets, and there are jumbo sized tablets. When it comes to gaming, we would recommend you go for the larger sizes. Bigger screens are just more conducive to a better gaming experience, especially when size is already in short supply on a tablet. If you are on the go often however a smaller tablet could prove to be better for you. Small tablets can be used with one hand as opposed to large tablets which generally need two hands to be used. If you are going to be using your tablet for things like editing photos or writing documents a larger tablet may be best fro you.
Storage and Memory
Remember that you aren’t shopping for a phone and that memory will be a much bigger consideration than in that case. If you are planning to play many games on a tablet, you’re going to want at least 32GB of memory. We would recommend 64GB to be safe however. If you are planning on playing games and downloading videos to your tablet, you may want to go with 128GB.
Connectivity: Wifi or LTE?
When shopping for a tablet you’re going to want to also consider whether the tablet can hook up to LTE or just wifi. Hooking up your tablet to LTE will add to your monthly bill which ends up making the tablet more expensive. Again, this ultimately comes down to whether you are a roadwarrior or going to be using the tablet mostly at home or in an office with available wifi. If you intend to be on the move, getting a tablet with LTE capability is the way to go.
The operating system on the tablet is crucial to understand because it will dictate what games you are able to play. A Microsoft tablet is able to play Android games as well as Steam games. So if you have a extensive Steam library with some non-intensive games, you can play them on a Surface Pro. If a Steam library isn’t a concern to you, then it will likely be a decision between iOS and Android. If the majority of your gaming is done off the app store, then we would suggest going with an iPad.
Again, another consideration for those who are on the move or at home. If you’re constantly on the go, a tablet with a high battery life is going to serve you better. Generally, iPads will have stronger battery than Samsung devices.