We scoured reviews to find the best tablet for every type of person.

All products featured here are independently selected by our editors and writers.If you buy something through links on our site, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission.

Tablets are one of our favorite tech advancements of the last decade. They’re compact, sleek, and magical devices that you can bring with you anywhere to get some work done on the road or use at home to watch a movie or read an e-book while sitting on the couch. Tablets are wonderful if you need something better than a smartphone, but smaller and more compact than a laptop. 

SEE ALSO: Best tablets to get for your kids

However, with so many different types of people and tablets out there, it’s difficult to find the perfect one for you. 

Do you want an Android tablet? Maybe an iPad? Windows 10? Maybe an Amazon Fire tablet would be a good fit? We took the time and pored through countless reviews and articles from various sources — including our own Mashable tech team and our colleagues at PCMag — to find the best tablet for just about anyone.

What is the best cheap tablet?

If you’re on a budget, the Fire HD 10 is going to be your best option. It’s durable, has excellent battery life, is kid-friendly, and is significantly less expensive than many of the other tablets on this list.

What is the best tablet to buy used?

Shopping renewed or refurbished tech is a great way to save money, especially if you’re making a purchase for your kids or are prone to destroying gadgets yourself. We really love Apple’s iPad (we know, you’re not surprised), which is pretty easy to source great used options. Other tablets on this list tend to be a bit more challenging when it comes to finding used devices.

Most tablets made specifically for kids will already be equipped with built-in parental accounts, timers, and pre-selected websites or apps that are strictly for kids. Easy enough.

General purpose tablets aren’t a bad choice at all — many sites name the iPad as one of the best tablets for kids even though it’s technically for everyone. These won’t have the same built-in parental controls as tablets specifically for kids, though, so you’ll need to get creative if you’d rather your kid not have unlimited access to the internet. Apple and Android have features that can filter or block content and prevent purchases, but the closest thing you’ll be able to get to close monitoring is by installing parental control software.

If you’d prefer to just make the family tablet more kid-friendly instead of purchasing a whole new one, Osmo is a super neat iPad and Fire Tablet add-on. The Osmo Genius Kit connects to your tablet for hands-on exercises that coincide with physical pieces that move on-screen when your kid moves them in real life. Subjects include numbers, words, tangram, Newton, and art, plus extra packs for more advanced stuff like STEM and coding.

Things to keep in mind when shopping for a tablet for kids: Screen resolution (depending on the amount of movie watching and gaming they’ll be doing), storage (they’ll probably have more apps than you do), intensity of parental controls (for obvious reasons), and rugged-ness (because kids are basically adorable destruction machines).

Best tablets to buy according to online reviewers:


Easy to use for anyone • Impressive speed
Not as powerful as other tablets
Even if you’re a Windows 10 or Android user, the Apple iPad is the best tablet for just about anyone.

Apple iPad

It’s the classic for a reason! The iPad is a top-notch tablet for pretty much anyone.

  • Screen size:
    10.2 inches
  • Memory:
    2GB
  • Storage:
    32GB
  • Battery life:
    Up to 10 hours
Let’s face it. The Apple iPad is the gold standard of tablets. Even if you’re typically a Windows 10 or Android user, no other tablet really comes close — the iPad wins when it comes to interface, build quality, and the number of apps created just for iOS.
Armed with Apple’s A10 Fusion chip and a 10.2-inch Retina display, the iPad is optimized for iOS 12. While there are more powerful tablets out there (including the iPad Pro), the standard iPad’s 2GB of memory and 32GB of storage will suit most casual users. And if you already have a MacBook, it’ll sync with that device with ease.
It’s also compatible with Apple’s Smart Keyboard as well as the Apple Pencil, both of which are, somewhat annoyingly, sold separately.


Inexpensive • Full HD • Crisp and clear display
Made of plastic • No access to the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store • Features-wise, it’s best for Prime members
For less than $150, the Amazon Fire HD 10 delivers the the most bang for your buck, with its brilliant display and access to thousands of movies, games, and more.

Fire HD 10 Tablet

This tablet gives you some solid bang for your buck — at only $150, we’d say it’s the best deal on this list.

  • Screen size:
    10.1 inches
  • Memory:
    2GB
  • Storage:
    32GB (expandable up to 256GB)
  • Battery life:
    Up to 10 hours
At only $149.99, Amazon’s Fire HD 10 Tablet can do quite a bit for its ultra-low price point.
Armed with a full HD 10-inch touchscreen display, the Fire HD 10 packs in over two million pixels for crisp, clear images and videos. Not only can it play full HD movies at 1080p, play music from Amazon Music, and run mobile games from the Amazon App Store, it also doubles as a hands-free smart home hub with the Alexa assistant built-in. Not even the Apple iPad can be used as a smart home hub like the Fire HD 10.
The tablet comes in 32GB and 64GB varieties, but it’s also expandable up to a whopping 256GB with a microSD card. If you’re a Prime member, then you’ll also get access to thousands of books, magazines, songs, movies, and TV shows for free. The Fire HD 10 can do so much for less than $150 that it’s a steal! 


Kid-proof case • Excellent battery life • Two-year replacement guarantee
FreeTime subscription is only free for a year
Amazon’s Fire HD 10 Kids Edition is a durable and kid-friendly tablet at a low price.

Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition Tablet

Equipped with solid parental controls and protected by a colorful case, this tablet is a must for parents and kids alike.

  • Screen size:
    10.1 inches
  • Memory:
    2GB
  • Storage:
    32GB (expandable up to 512GB)
  • Battery life:
    Up to 12 hours
If you’re about to take a long car trip with your family and you’re not looking forward to all the screaming and yelling from the kids over the six hours until you get to grandma’s house, the Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition Tablet is perfect for children between the ages of 3 and 12.
Like its predecessor, the Fire HD 8, this tablet is fairly basic, but it gets the job done. It ships with a colorful and durable “kid-proof” case that will stand up to drops, throws, and spills. It also has a two-year “worry-free” guarantee — if something happens to the tablet during that time frame, Amazon will replace it with no questions asked.
To keep kids from accessing mature content, the tablet comes with a free year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, which offers more than 15,000 books, movies, TV shows, and games made for kids. On FreeTime, users can’t use Alexa or any social media, and in-app purchases can’t be made without a parent accessing the account and giving the OK. (Worth noting: A few parents on the reviews page mentioned that they didn’t love the interface.)
Aside from the restrictions inherent to FreeTime, parents are also able to set restrictions on screen time, permissible websites, and curfews for each user. (Speaking of users, there can be up to four.)
And, of course, it comes in a cute, bright case. Your options are blue, pink, and purple.
Note: You can also get the Fire HD 10 Kids Edition Tablet in a pack of two, though it won’t really save you any cash.


Amazing high resolution display • Surprisingly powerful chipset • Expandable storage
No headphone jack • Camera performance is so-so
The Huawei MediaPad M5 is one of the best mid-range tablets for consuming media like movies, TV shows, and video games.

Huawei MediaPad M5 Pro

It might look ho-hum, but this one packs a punch.

  • Screen size:
    10.8 inches
  • Memory:
    4GB
  • Storage:
    64GB
  • Battery life:
    10 hours
Looking for a gaming tablet that isn’t the Nintendo Switch? 
The Huawei MediaPad M5 Pro is one of the best mid-range tablets for consuming media, especially mobile games. Packed with a Kirin 960 octa-core processor and Mali G71 graphics processor, this 10.8-inch tablet packs a punch and gamers won’t be disappointed with any mobile games they might want to throw at it — even Steam games.
The Huawei MediaPad M5 Pro features 64GB storage and 4GB of memory, while it runs Android 8.1 Oreo out-of-the-box with up to 10 hours of battery life on a single charge. 
The tablet also features the latest Bluetooth 4.0 for syncing gaming peripherals like traditional controllers, if you don’t want to keep tapping its 2K high-resolution (2560×1600) touchscreen display. The tablet’s IPS LCD display almost looks like an OLED too with balanced colors, sharp images, and smooth motion — even on high settings and HD graphics.


Small and compact • Optimized for the Apple ecosystem • Long battery life
Expensive • Only one option for storage
Although it’s an older model, the compact and lightweight Apple iPad mini 4 is still worth the investment, especially if you take long trips.

Apple iPad Mini 4

This tablet’s power and small size make it a great choice for international travelers.

  • Screen size:
    7.9 inches
  • Memory:
    2GB
  • Storage:
    128GB
  • Battery life:
    Up to 10 hours
Although it’s a few years older, the Apple iPad Mini 4 is still one of the best tablets for traveling around the world because of its power and small size. 
Coming in at 7.9 inches and weighing less than a pound, the Apple iPad Mini 4 is the most compact tablet you can buy right now, which makes it perfect for travel. The iPad mini 4 is ideal for flights or long bus or train rides with up to 10 hours of battery life. 
Apple only offers the tablet with 128GB of storage, so you can load it up with movies and music on a long trip. If you’re looking for a model with less storage, though, you’re out of luck here. (You might want to consider the bigger standard iPad.)
Though Apple’s older A8 chip powers this tablet, the iPad Mini 4’s operating system, iOS 12, optimizes the limitations of its hardware, so it’s still speedy and user-friendly. Apple still has the widest selection of apps, so you can always get the most out of the iPad Mini 4.


“Always on” internet access • Great way to view family photos • Large buttons
Not speedy • Not cutting-edge
If you have senior citizens in your life who aren’t tech-savvy, the GrandPad is a good way to keep them in the family loop.

GrandPad

A great solution for some seniors who happen to not be tech-savvy.

  • Screen size:
    8 inches
  • Memory:
    2GB
  • Storage:
    32GB
  • Battery life:
    Up to 72 hours
If you have a senior family member, then the GrandPad tablet just might be the best solution for them. It’s a bare-bones Android tablet from Acer that’s been skinned with an easy-to-use interface with large buttons for simple tasks like phone calls, email, photos, camera, news articles, weather, music, an encyclopedia, games, a flashlight, and a magnifying glass. And that’s it. You can’t add any more apps from the Google Play Store.
While that might not sound appealing to tech-savvy folks of any age, the limited options are actually preferable for some seniors, who are just looking for the basics. It’s also a way for grandma and grandpa to stay in touch with their children and grandchildren.
A caretaker or family member manages the GrandPad as well, so all grandma and grandpa have to do is tap a large button to make a video calls with its front-facing speakers, read a news article, or scroll through family photos on its 8-inch touchscreen display. The caretaker connects the tablet to Facebook and Instagram for a photo feed, while everything is also managed remotely via the GrandPad companion app.
Instead of connecting to Wi-Fi, it uses Consumer Cellular’s network (T-Mobile LTE) for data. The GrandPad, which comes with a red case to make it easier to find, is always connected to the internet and ready to use.


Inexpensive • Side load more comic books with a microSD card • Brilliant display
Made of plastic • Not running the latest version of Android out-of-the-box
The Samsung Galaxy Tab A is perfect for comic book readers because of its brilliant display and ability to side load more comic books and graphic novels. It’s also inexpensive, so you can spend more money on comic books.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A

This is the low-cost, high-tech way to read comic books.

  • Screen size:
    10.1 inches
  • Memory:
    2GB
  • Storage:
    16GB
  • Battery life:
    13 hours
If you’re looking for a low-cost way to read your favorite comic books and graphic novels on a tablet, then the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1-inch will do the trick. The tablet’s impressive display can really show off all the detail and richness in comic art, while making it pop with vibrant colors and crisp details thanks to its large WUXGA touchscreen display with a 1920×1200 HD resolution.
The Galaxy Tab A features 2GB of memory and 16GB of built-in storage, which is expandable up to 200GB with a microSD card. This means you can side-load more comic books than you can on an Apple iPad. The tablet also has a  battery life of up to 13 hours for longer reading sessions.
Samsung also built in a multi-window feature in the Galaxy Tab A, so you can read one book on one side of the screen, while browsing the internet for more information like backstory and character details on the other. It’s also lightweight, coming in just over one pound, so you can take the tablet with you to share and swap comic books at a convention.


Brilliant display • Comes with built-in LTE • Workhorse
Signature Type Cover and Surface Pen sold separately • Much pricier than other options
Microsoft Surface Pro LTE is a powerful beast to get work done while traveling. If you’re on the road and away from the office, this tablet will help you get down to business.

Microsoft Surface Pro LTE

This is a strong and robust workhorse for attending to business on the road.

  • Screen size:
    12.3 inches
  • Memory:
    8GB
  • Storage:
    256GB
  • Battery life:
    14 hours
If you need a tablet that’s a strong and robust workhorse for business, as well as one that uses data services while traveling from city-to-city, the the Microsoft Surface Pro with built-in LTE is the perfect option for you and your work.
Paired with the Signature Type Cover and the Surface Pen, the Microsoft Surface Pro LTE features the power of a laptop with the portability and ease of use of a tablet. The hybrid packs a punch with Intel’s 7th generation Dual Core i5 Processor and a built-in LTE modem that’s unlocked for just about any cellular service provider. This means you’ll always have a connection to the internet, even if you don’t have a Wi-Fi hotspot accessible.
The Surface Pro LTE also features a brilliant 12.3-inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 2736×1824, which is powered with Intel HD Graphics 620, one USB 3.0 port, 8GB of memory, and 256GB SSD storage. This tablet/laptop hybrid also packs in amazing 13-hour battery life, so you’re not always tethered to a wall charger. It also runs Windows 10 Pro, so you can get some real work done.
But don’t just take our word for it. Amazon customer Wallstreet writes:

“With every Surface Pro I have owned, which is all of them, I have experienced initial problems. But as each problem is either resolved or “worked around”, I have found the Surface Pro to be the best portable tablet computer on the market. I use it all day and keep it on me at all times because it’s portable and powerful. The newest Surface Pro LTE is no exception. Better than each of its predecessors, the LTE capable Surface Pro surpasses another technology milestone which I find interestingly under marketed.”

The Microsoft Surface Pro with built-in LTE has a 4.4 out of 5 star customer rating and goes for $1,949 on Amazon (though it’s frequently discounted by quite a bit). 


Beautiful display • Intuitive interface • It’s easy to learn how to use it well
Apple Pencil sold separately • Expensive
The Apple iPad Pro marries the laptop and the drawing tablet in one ultra-portable device that’s great for artists. If it (and its accessories) are in your budget, then it’s worth the investment.

Apple iPad Pro

This feature-laden iPad can serve as both laptop and drawing tablet.

  • Screen size:
    11 inches
  • Memory:
    4GB
  • Storage:
    64GB
  • Battery life:
    Up to 10 hours
There’s a lot of hype surrounding the Apple iPad Pro, and it’s well-deserved. In fact, it’s the best iPad Pro that Apple has ever made.
Apple’s 11-inch Liquid Retina display is nearly edge-to-edge. Its “ProMotion” technology helps make it seamless to draw on and its True Tone color helps make it pop. Powered with Apple A12X Bionic chip, 4GB of memory, and 64GB of storage, the iPad Pro is particularly suited to Adobe creativity apps. Its 10-hour battery life isn’t the longest on this list, but it’s still pretty solid.
One downside of the iPad Pro is that you have to purchase an Apple Pencil to draw and sketch with it. This is an additional $129, but it’s an investment worth taking on to get the most out of the iPad Pro, which starts at $799.


Clear, vibrant display • Built-in surround sound • S pen attaches to the device
No headphone jack • Pricey for just watching movies
The Galaxy Tab S6 is a solid all-around tablet with a beautiful display, especially if you plan to watch a lot of movies. It is pricey, though, so it’s probably best for folks who want a tablet for more than just one use.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is a serious tablet for a serious movie fan.

  • Screen size:
    10.5 inches
  • Memory:
    6GB
  • Storage:
    128 or 256GB (expandable up to 512GB)
  • Battery life:
    Up to 15 hours
If you want a tablet just for watching movies, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is admittedly a little expensive. But if you know you want a tablet anyway — for work, for browsing, for editing, or even for a laptop replacement in a pinch — and you’re a movie buff, this is the choice for you. 
Like its predecessor, the Galaxy Tab S4 (there is no S5), the Galaxy Tab S6 has a beautiful 10.5-inch Super AMOLED display, an easy-to-use touchscreen, and built-in Dolby Atmos surround sound. 
As Mashable tech correspondent Raymond Wong pointed out in his hands-on evaluation, the tablet also fixes some of the Tab S4’s quirks. Users are able to attach the (included) S pen directly to the tablet, for one thing, and the device a bit slimmer. Compared to its direct competitor the iPad Pro, it’s also cheaper by about $150 — not bad.

Leave a Reply