More comfortable than smartphones and more convenient than laptops, tablets have transformed how we read, surf the internet, play, watch movies and have fun. Whether for fun, school, work, or any other activity, tablets can be convenient. It is not always easy to make an informed decision on the best tablets for college students because markets are flooded to the brim.
In this review, we have picked the most popular and most effective tablets to make sure that you make the right decision for your studying needs.
Best Tablets for College Students at a Glance
- Microsoft Surface Pro 7
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S3
- Apple iPad Pro 10.5
- Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro S Convertible 2 in 1
- Best Budget Tablet: NEW Apple iPad Latest Model
- Microsoft Surface Pro 4
- HTC Google Nexus 9
- Best Tablet for College: 2021 Apple iPad Mini
- Fire HD 10 Tablet with Alexa
- Sony Xperia Z
- Google Pixel Go
In this review, we compared all the technical criteria, including but not limited to:
- The size and quality of the display to find the right balance between comfort and convenience.
- The battery is to use for maximum usage time.
- Software and connectivity to connect your new tablet and old devices.
- Storage to keep photos, music, and movies.
- And finally, the ability of the processor to play and use the apps.
Thanks to our technology experience, we then compared the popularity and ratings of the best tablets for college students available on Amazon. Here are the winners!
Top 11 Tablets for College Students in 2021 Reviewed
1. Microsoft Surface Pro 7 – 12.3.”
The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 – 12.3.” tablet is almost like a thin computer. If you have the Microsoft Surface Pro 7, you will not need to use any other laptop anymore. This tablet is faster than Surface Pro 6 and comes with a 10th gen intel core processor.
The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 tablet comes with Bluetooth 5.0 and a USB-c and USB-a port for connecting, which allows you to connect to displays and docking stations.
As a college student, your backpack is already massive and packed with books. So it is vital to light and slim notebook. This is a great tablet for college students as it is ultra-slim and light and fits into any backpack with a laptop compartment. This tablet starts at just 1.70 pounds.
And one of the best parts of this tablet, the Microsoft Surface Pro, has an all-day battery life of up to 10.5 hours. This allows you to use your tablet at college all day without worrying about running low on battery and about finding a charging station. If you do run down on battery, this tablet gives you the ability to charge your battery from empty to about 80 percent in just over an hour.
2. Samsung Galaxy Tab S3
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 tablet offers a lot to be admired and desired. To be precise, your feet will be swept off the ground by Samsung Galaxy. And most importantly, it is a tab designed and engineered with college students in mind making it an ideal choice for any student who is not ready to compromise convenience and mobility. The tablet comes as a tablet, but you can still enjoy what a laptop can offer.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab is a great tablet for college students comes with a display size of 9.7 inches, a storage capacity of 32 GB, and an Android N operating system, features that earn it a position among the top contenders. If you are looking for extra processing power, you will be glad to learn that there is a Qualcomm APQ8096 quad-core processor, 4GB of RAM, and 32GB of internal memory that you can expand up to 256GB with a microSD card (sold separately).
This will allow you to store all of your precious photos, movies, and documents. Regarding connectivity, there is a USB C-type C USB adapter to a 3.0 USB female adapter. The average battery life of the Samsung Galaxy Tab is about 12 hours. The web camera on the back has a resolution of 13 MP.
The HDR screen of this tablet is brilliant, with Super AMOLED panels at pixel density. The resolution comes at 2048 × 1536 quad HD with high contrast and bright lights. The quad speakers are excellent and offer a significant volume. The tablet supports Bluetooth 4.2 version and comes with a 3.5mm headphone jack at the bottom.
The S Pen ultimately unlocks the potential of this tablet. It is 9.4mm thick and comfortable to hold, with a 0.7mm rubber tip and a button on the side to reveal Air Command tools.
3. Apple iPad Pro 10.5
Are you tempted by an Apple product? Well, for those who swear by the company Apple, you are also well served. Perhaps, you will be intrigued by what the Apple iPad Pro 10.5 has to offer. Unlike its predecessors, the iPad Pro comes with a very advanced Retina display, displaying images and videos in a futuristic way.
And Even though it is a tablet, its A10X Fusion chip offers more power than most laptops! If you are into the music stuff, the iPad Pro comes with four speakers to listen to music of all kinds. The iPad Pro can be used with the Apple Pencil Pen and the Smart Keyboard; both are sold separately.
All in all, with the Apple iPad Pro 10.5, you will have in your hands a highly versatile and student-friendly tablet with multiple functions.
4. Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro S Convertible 2 in 1
If you are a College student who wants a substantial but not very expensive windows tablet, you can easily throw the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro S Convertible 2 in 1 in your handbag. This tablet is also suitable for creative professionals because the tablet comes with one of the best screens on the tablet market today. What’s so special with the Galaxy TabPro S? Well. The design is breathtaking, with the Gorilla Glass at the front and a back with a high-class metal frame.
For connectivity, there is a USB type C port, and that’s about it. The display also features Super AMOLED technology on the 12-inch display with 2160 x 1440 pixel resolution. Power consumption is also optimized with Super AMOLED
However, the stylus is not included with the tablet, although Samsung has integrated its keyboard. If you opt to buy the pen, you can use the Windows Ink feature, which offers native support. It is powered by Windows 10 and comes with a 30th generation Intel processor clocked at a speed of 0.9 GHz, with 4M cache. The speed can be increased to a maximum of 2.20 GHz in turbo mode. The RAM is XRUMX GB SDRAM DDR12 and has a 3GB SSD hard drive memory, combined with Intel HD Graphics 256.
5. NEW 2021 10.2-inch Apple iPad
This Apple iPad budget tablet is the latest model. Apple has managed to improve the Apple iPad Air with the iPaSpace Gray, pushing further its limits. It is thin at only 7.5 mm making and would easily fit into a laptop backpack. The camera is a revolutionary 8 MP iSight with a resolution of 1.2MP FaceTime HD front camera.
Moreover, it has a high-end look with a ceramic back. If you choose to get the Bluetooth keyboard, it entirely replaces a laptop. The fingerprint ID is excellent and ideal for making payments on the move, even if you do not have your credit card. The touch screen is also very responsive, and navigation is as easy as taking a walk in the park.
The all-new A10 Fusion chip powers the Apple iPad; The 64 bit, combined with the M10 motion coprocessor, makes it very fast. Moreover, it comes with a Split View feature, which is very useful because college students can run two applications side by side. The display measures 10.2 inches. The battery life is around 10 hours.
6. Microsoft Surface Pro 4
Microsoft is the company of Windows, Office, and Xbox. And now, Microsoft is also the manufacturer of one of the best student tablets! With the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 tablet, the manufacturer offers a solution ambivalent tablet and laptop proposed with Windows 10.
The operating system of this tablet of this Microsoft Surface Pro is a real plus because the software catalog is abundant. Powered by a 6th generation Intel Core i5 core with 8GB of ram, this tablet can meet all your entertainment and work needs. A good quality screen will allow you to serenely watch films and videos on the slab of 12.3 inches, 2736 x 1824 resolution.
The good idea is the crutch that will allow you to lay the Surface vertically without an additional shell. In this posture, you can apply its keyboard with a touchpad to make text processing comfortable. The voltage is delivered with a pen, very convenient for note-taking and drawing.
A slot is provided for the charging cable, a standard USB port, a headphone jack, and a mini DisplayPort port to connect the touchpad to a second display or video projector. All this power will be right for your battery in 7h intensive use, which is slightly less than its rivals but will satisfy most users. In short, The Windows editor offers an excellent tablet, one of the best student tablets that can replace a computer.
7. HTC Google Nexus 9
One of the more affordable tablets for college students is the HTC Google Nexus 9. It was launched with the Android operating system Lollipop 5.0. Also, It comes with the latest NVidia 64 bit processor. The NVIDIA K1 Tegra chipset combined with the Android stock makes it a future-proof and more powerful tablet.
The processor clocks a speed of 2.3 GHz, while the hard drive memory is 32 GB, and the RAM is 2 GB DDR3. The tablet has a metal frame with a rubber back, which makes it easy to grip. The Google Nexus 9 comes with a display size of 8.9 inches and a display resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels on an IPS LCD. It measures 9 x 6 x 0.3 inches LWH and weighs 15.4 ounces, and has a 10-point multitouch screen.
You also get to enjoy the all-new double-tap feature to wake the display, which is very useful for college students to quickly wake up the tablet because it is quite heavy and tedious to press a small button and engage the tablet at the same time. The keyboard does not need to be plugged in, and you can connect it wirelessly via Bluetooth. The battery is 6700 mAh and can last; on average, the battery life is 15 hours. It also has an 8 MP rear camera and a 3264 x 2448 pixel resolution, and a 1.6 MP front camera making it perfect for pictures and videos.
8. Apple iPad Mini (Wi-Fi + Cellular, 64 GB)
This is one of the best tablets on our list. The 2021 Apple iPad Mini is an excellent 8.3-inch display of Retina. The Apple iPad mini offers excellent build quality in a beautiful aluminum case, which is also robust. The display has an IPS panel and produces excellent pictures. Even better, it is powered by the A15 Bionic chip and delivers powerful performance.
It originally used iOS 9 with Split View mode, allowing college students to run two applications next. Moreover, there is a 12 MP ISight camera on the back for more sharp and clear images to take good pictures. This tablet comes with a Touch ID fingerprint feature, making it quick and easy to connect to your tablet instead of entering a code. It can also be used to authorize Apple payments. The battery life is about 10 hours.
9. Fire HD 10 with Alexa
The Fire HD 10 with Alexa is a widescreen tablet with a 16: 10 aspect ratio and 1080 (1920 x 1200) pixel resolution on the 10-inch Full HD display. This tablet’s display comes with an IPS panel, which gives it good viewing angles and bright colors. This is not a conventional Android tablet; it uses the Fire operating system, a custom Android skin, on Google’s Android base blocks.
With the Fire HD 10 tablet, you also get to enjoy Alexa. Another notable addition is Dolby Audio, which enhances the speakers and provides good audio quality. The tab from MediaTek’s four-core processor clocked at a speed of 1.8 GHz with a RAM of 2 GB.
The internal memory is between 32 GB and 64 GB, but a MicroSD slot can increase storage up to 256 GB. The tablet comes with a 2 MP rear camera without flash but with a VGA unit for the front. Photo qualities are average. This tablet’s battery life is around 10 hours, giving you ample time for note-taking and stream tutorials online.
10. Sony Xperia Z
If you are looking for a light tablet that won’t disappoint when it comes to what is on the screen, the Sony Xperia-Z from Sony Xperia is perfect for you. The tablet looks great with a shiny, scratch-resistant front. Most of the navigation comes with soft buttons on the screen. It is also one of the thinnest tablets for college students available on the market at 6.9 mm or 0.27 inches thick. The other dimensions include 10.5 x 6.8 inches, and its weight is 1.09 pounds. Besides, it is also resistant to water and dust.
The on-screen display is Full HD with a 1200 x 1920 pixel resolution and a 224 dpi density. The tablet comes with Sony’s Mobile Bravia engine, offering vivid photos and videos. You can purchase the 16 GB model and then increase the storage capacity to 64 GB if you have an SD Card. It is from Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 chipset, an inbuilt Krait quad-core processor clocked at 1.5 GHz. This is combined with 2 GB RAM. At 16GB, the hard drive memory doesn’t disappoint, while the battery life is approximately 9 hours.
As for the battery, the power is 6000 mAh with a charge made via a micro USB connection. The operating system is Android, but it comes with Sony’s superposition, although there is not much bloatware. You can use applications like the Polaris Office for notes. It comes with a keyboard and supports touch input for taking notes and switching from one key to another, guessing the words.
11. Google Pixel Go
The Google Pixel Go can be considered the best tablet for students in note-taking and working on several activities, but it is expensive. However, the range of features would make you go the extra mile. The best features include its super light and multi-functionality, making it the best tablet ever for college students.
Besides, it is slim and compact, making it very easy to carry from one class to another to taking notes with great ease. On top of that, the tablet also comes with excellent sound quality, connectivity, 12 hours of battery life, and is perfect for ardent readers and music lovers.
5 Things to Consider Before Choosing a Tablet Computer
1. The Size of the Screen
Make no mistake in choosing the size of your student tablet. Generally, a larger screen is for younger students since it is easier to use. The size will also define its ergonomics. Sizes available on the market currently vary between 7 and 12 inches.
However, although you want to have the most compact tablet possible, we recommend at least 8 inches to have more comfort when typing, reading, and viewing images. Of course, bigger ones will offer you more support. However, they may be heavier and more difficult to transport.
2. Format and Definition
Once again, it will be necessary to choose the right format for your tablet according to how you will use it. To surf the internet or read, a 4: 3 format might be enough. However, we recommend the 16: 10 format if you don’t need multimedia tools for watching videos.
In addition to the format, you should also look at the screen definition of the model you choose. The number of pixels defines the width and height of your tablet. The definition is more important for a larger tablet and vice versa. For better and sharper images, we advise not to go below 1024 x 600 pixels.
3. Touch Screen Technology
There are two types of touch screens: resistive and capacitive. Resistive touchscreens are old versions. Moreover, most tablet manufacturers have not used this technology since 2018. Its response is very low and comes
with a standard pen or a stylus, and the multitouch function does not work on this one.
On the other hand, capacitive technology is now the most widespread screen technology. It is more responsive and also has multitouch
functionality. With it, you don’t have to use a stylus to make it work. All you have to do is touch the screen with your finger and taking notes.
4. Storage Capacity
As a student, you will need to store some data on your tablet. The capacity of choice will vary according to your level of study and your sector. The storage capacity of these devices generally varies between 8 and 128 GB. Since you will need to work with several data formats, it is advisable to go for a device with a considerable storage capacity. Otherwise, manufacturers also offer models that come with memory card slots to insert a memory card.
With this, you can upgrade your tablet to the capacity that will suit your needs. Some tablets may also have a USB port for you to connect to other external data storage devices such as flash disks.
5. Battery Capacity
To get the best tablets for the sake of your convenience and mobility, it is essential to ensure that the one you settle for can pack enough power to last you for as long as you can. Therefore, scrutinize how much the battery on the tablet you are considering buying can last.
Battery life lasts for between 4 and 10 hours. In general, entry-level products offer a range of 4 or 5 hours of battery life. The most upscale can easily reach the 10 hours. Saying that, in our article best tablet for teachers, you will find a tablet with 18 hours battery life. It goes without saying that if you need to work with your device for a whole day, it is better to opt for a tablet that promises your maximum life.
The best tablets for college students are not necessarily the most upscale and sophisticated model on the market. Therefore, you have to take the time to choose well before you buy a tablet. You must define how to use and select the one that best suits your study needs. For instance, a college student’s needs and a student specializing in design will not, for example, be the same.
This first will need only a relatively simple model, while the second will need something more sophisticated, allowing him to excel in drawing and editing. To do this, we advise you to take the time and put the following five features into consideration. We hope this guide could help you to choose a tablet.
With this comprehensive review of the best tablets for college, we hope you are better positioned to make an informed decision. If you are still unsure how to choose the right tablet computer, read our buyer’s guide, which tells you the most important thing to consider before buying a tablet. Carefully scrutinize each tablet’s features to make sure that you spend money on the tablet that is suitable for your needs and preferences.