My years in the trenches of education, coupled with my own academic journey, have given me a comprehensive understanding of the role technology plays in a student’s life. Completing my PhD didn’t just grant me a degree; it provided me with invaluable insights into the demanding academic life students navigate every day.
With this knowledge and experience, I believe I am well-equipped to guide you in choosing the right tech tools, especially when it comes to finding the best tablet for students. In this digital age, having a reliable tablet is not a luxury but a necessity. It can make all the difference in managing assignments, attending online classes, researching, or even taking much-needed breaks.
The following tablets I’ve handpicked for you not only reflect the best of current tech but are also the products that I believe would have greatly enriched my own student experience. These options have been selected with a keen understanding of what a student needs: durability, performance, and of course, affordability.
Best Tablets for College Students
Here are our top picks for best tablets for college students:
Starting with the Samsung Galaxy Tab A8, a versatile device well-suited to handle a student’s demanding needs. The features it brings forth are robust, aiming to provide an all-around tablet experience, whether it’s for academics, leisure, or connectivity. In my selection process, the Tab A8 stood out for its seamless Galaxy ecosystem integration, upgraded chipset, ample storage, and most importantly, its enhanced note-keeping capabilities – a critical aspect for any student.
A 10.5″ LCD screen perfect for streaming, studying, and video chatting.
An upgraded chipset, providing the necessary power and speed required for academic tasks and beyond.
Up to 128GB of storage, allowing room for a plethora of files and applications.
Fast charging USB-C port for quick power replenishment, providing hours of uninterrupted use.
Galaxy ecosystem experience, ensuring all devices (phone, laptop, tablet) can seamlessly interact with each other.
Integrated Samsung Kids, providing a safe digital environment with an assortment of games, books, and videos that are both kid-friendly and parent-approved.
The Smart Switch feature making data transfer between devices effortless, irrespective of the operating system.
Large 10.5″ LCD Screen
Integrated Galaxy ecosystem
Fast charging USB-C port
Note-keeping and data transfer features
Only 32GB base storage
May be overpriced for some budgets
Android OS might not suit all
Next in line, we have the SAMSUNG Galaxy Tab S7+ Plus, a premium tablet that offers an excellent blend of power, versatility, and portability. As an advocate for high-quality tech devices, I handpicked this tablet because it provides PC-grade performance, boasting superior features such as the DeX mode, an advanced S Pen, and top-tier entertainment configurations.
Transformation into a PC experience with DeX mode and optional keyboard with an expanded trackpad.
Redesigned S Pen with an improved 9ms pen latency, making presentations and note-taking seamless.
Enhanced entertainment features, including larger edge-to-edge displays, TFT LCD screen, and AKG quad speakers with Dolby Atmos surround sound.
Swift charging via a USB-C port, offering hours of usage on a single charge.
Seamless syncing between phone and tablet with One UI 3.1.
Console-grade gaming with an immersive screen and Bluetooth-enabled controller.
Secure access with a touch-sensitive fingerprint scanner.
PC-grade performance with DeX mode
Improved S Pen included
High-quality entertainment features
Long battery life
Keyboard sold separately
Higher-end price point
Might be too large for some users
The third tablet on our list is the Microsoft Surface Go 2, a versatile device that seamlessly merges the portability of a tablet with the performance of a laptop. As an established technology advisor, I believe the Surface Go 2 could be an exceptional pick for students due to its lightweight design, extended battery life, and adjustable Kickstand that offers laptop-like functionality.
Lightweight, starting at just 1.2 pounds, paired with a new 10.5” touchscreen.
Offers up to 10 hours of battery life, making it ideal for prolonged use.
Versatile performance with an adjustable Kickstand and Signature Type Cover.
Stay connected with a USB-C port and headphone jack. Full HD front and rear-facing cameras for crisp calls and photo-taking.
High-resolution touchscreen for optimal browsing, playing, and binge-watching.
Free upgrade to Windows 11 when available.
Lightweight and portable
Long-lasting battery life
Versatile with adjustable Kickstand
Free upgrade to Windows 11
Slightly less powerful than higher-end models
May not be suitable for heavy-duty tasks
The Microsoft Surface Go 2 holds a strong standing among users with a rating of 4.5 stars from over 1,103 reviews. It offers the reliability of a renowned brand, the portability of a tablet, and the versatility of a laptop. For students looking for a balance between work and play, this tablet can indeed be a suitable choice. Its considerable functionality comes with a promise of future-proofing, thanks to the upcoming free upgrade to Windows 11.
Our fourth recommendation is the 9th Generation Apple iPad, a well-balanced, affordable, yet powerful device. As a seasoned technology consultant, I highly regard Apple’s iPad for its potent A13 Bionic chip, vibrant 10.2-inch Retina display, and versatile iPadOS which greatly enriches the overall user experience.
10.2-inch Retina display offering a splendid visual experience.
A13 Bionic chip for efficient and smooth performance.
iPadOS for a more intuitive and productive experience.
Fast Wi-Fi connectivity to stay connected anywhere.
Available in two storage options – 64GB and 256GB.
Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard compatibility for enhanced functionality.
Touch ID for secure access and payments.
Front and back cameras – a 12MP Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage and an 8MP Wide back camera.
Powerful A13 Bionic chip
Vivid 10.2-inch Retina display
Versatile with iPadOS
Excellent cameras with Center Stage
The Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard sold separately
Lightning port instead of USB-C
Limited customization compared to other tablets
The Apple iPad (9th Generation) is appreciated by consumers worldwide, boasting an impressive 4.7 out of 5 stars. If you’re a student who needs a tablet for a variety of tasks such as studying, drawing, video conferencing, or even gaming, the iPad is a proven choice. It brings the best of Apple’s ecosystem, backed by an array of useful features. However, bear in mind that the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard are sold separately, and you might need to purchase these to get the most out of your iPad.
The fifth recommendation is the JUSYEA Android 11 Tablet, an excellent value-for-money option. It combines performance with a host of popular pre-installed apps and the versatility of Android 11, offering a comprehensive tablet experience for a broad range of users.
10.1-inch 1280×800 IPS HD display for good visual experience.
Android 11 system for the latest features and security.
4GB RAM and 64GB ROM, extendable up to 128GB via Micro SD card for ample storage.
Pre-installed popular apps such as Netflix, YouTube, Skype, and Hulu.
8000mAh battery for extended usage and standby times.
2.4G & 5G Wi-Fi connectivity and Bluetooth 5.0 for fast and stable connections.
Split-screen functionality for multitasking.
Generous battery life
Good connectivity options
Inclusion of useful accessories
Lower screen resolution compared to other options
The processor may not be as powerful as others
Camera quality could be better
The JUSYEA Android 11 Tablet holds a solid rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars from customers, signifying satisfactory performance. It’s a robust choice for those seeking a value-for-money option with a balance of features and performance. However, keep in mind that the screen resolution and processor performance might not be at par with high-end tablets. But considering its price point, it offers a commendable package.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are the main features a student should consider when purchasing a tablet?
Students should consider the tablet’s performance (processor, RAM), storage capacity, battery life, screen size, resolution, and software. Features like a front-facing camera for video calls, compatibility with keyboard attachments or styluses, and good Wi-Fi connectivity can be beneficial for note-taking and online classes.
Are these tablets suitable for online classes?
Yes, all these tablets are equipped with cameras and microphones that make them suitable for online classes and video conferencing.
Do these tablets support digital pen input for note-taking?
Some tablets like the Apple iPad (9th generation) and Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ Plus support digital pen input, which can be highly useful for students to take notes or illustrate ideas. Always check the tablet specifications to confirm.
Can I run standard office software on these tablets?
Yes, you can run standard office software on these tablets. However, the specific applications available may depend on the tablet’s operating system. For example, iPads can run Pages, Numbers, and Keynote, while Android tablets and Windows devices can run Microsoft Office apps.
Can these tablets handle gaming?
While not primarily designed for gaming, most of these tablets can handle casual games without any issues. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ Plus and iPad (9th generation), with their powerful processors, may offer a better gaming experience compared to other models.
Can I expand the storage on these tablets?
Some tablets allow storage expansion using microSD cards, like the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ Plus and JUSYEA Android 11 Tablet. On the other hand, iPads and Microsoft Surface Go 2 do not support expandable storage.
Are these tablets durable and suitable for school use?
While these tablets are designed to be relatively robust, their longevity will largely depend on how they are used and cared for. It’s advisable to invest in a protective case to safeguard against accidental drops and scratches.
Do these tablets come with a keyboard and stylus?
Some tablets may come bundled with accessories like a stylus or keyboard, but often, these need to be purchased separately. Check the product description for each tablet to confirm what’s included.
What is the average battery life of these tablets?
The average battery life of these tablets varies, but generally, they should last between 8 to 14 hours on a single charge, depending on usage.
Are these tablets suitable for multimedia consumption?
Yes, these tablets, with their high-resolution screens and quality speakers, provide a great platform for multimedia consumption, including watching videos, browsing the web, and listening to music.