Best Gaming Tablet – Ultimate Buying Guide

Tablets are the most commonly used entertainment device

Before going into detail about all the things we are going to cover, far and wide, from the best gaming tablet up to our quick guide on how to choose the perfect gaming tablet, first, you ought to know what a tablet device actually is.

It’s not exactly rocket science but has come really far in the aspect of technological development given the fact that practically it is a lightweight and very compact wireless computer with a touch screen interface. It is the most commonly used domestic electronic device, be it for entertainment or light work.

Right now, there is no specific size that is applicable to all tablet devices. They are ranging in size and display, especially Android operated devices, since there are hundreds of manufacturers offering dozens of models on the market.

So the android market is pretty saturated with tablets at various sizes, from 7 inches up to 12 inches.

The most commonly used device for media consumption and entertainment is the tablet.

Every household has at least one, be it for just checking up on Facebook and Instagram or use one for Netflix, youtube, or just casual gaming.

If we want to find out how actually the whole idea behind the tablet pc was born, we’ll have to go back to 1971 when the idea was conceived. But theory doesn’t always translate well in practice, especially not in 1971, so…

steve jobs presenting ipad
Steve Jobs presenting the first-gen iPad

It all started in 2010, with the iPad, which became very popular and a huge success for Apple so android tablets followed up and thus the tablet pc device rose to prominence. Apple sold around 15 million pieces and capitalized on the concept.

So, in hindsight, Apple is the one responsible for making the tablet pc such a popular device.

After the huge success of the iPad, they didn’t stop there and instead made a whole lineup of tablet devices, all priced at a different price ranged, in respect to their performance and size.

So, as of now, they have the iPad Pro which is the undisputed champion in both size and performance, the 2019 iPad 10.2″, iPad Air and the iPad Mini. Regarding storage capacity, there are a lot of options, from 32GB up to 1TB for the iPad Pro 2020.

Regarding the tablet style, besides the regular slate-type tablet, you can expect to meet hybrids or 2-in-1 tablets which are becoming more and more popular, with the Windows Surface and Surface Pro models being the most popular currently along with the Lenovo Yoga Book and Huawei’s Matepad Pro which is a direct competitor to Apple’s iPad Pro.

Every household has at least one, be it for just checking up on Facebook and Instagram or use one for Netflix, youtube, or just casual gaming.

Are tablets still popular?

Yes, they most definitely are. Indeed, they are more popular than mobile phones, that’s for sure. In shock? Don’t be.

As mentioned already, the tablet device became the most commonly used device for media consumption be it hardcore gaming on a tablet or just watching Netflix and Youtube.

One of the selling points of the tablet device and why are they so popular is because they resemble a laptop very much in their functionality and even looks if you combine it with an external keyboard or buy a 2-in-1 tablet.

So, you have this device that takes the best of both worlds, a smartphone and a laptop and puts them together, and lightweight and portability alongside reasonable performance is something that’s well worth the investment.

group of the best gaming tablets
follow along with our list if you are looking to buy the best gaming tablet on the market

While there are only wifi tablet models, you can most definitely buy a tablet pc with a 4G network support, where you can insert a sim card and use it as a phone.

Having a tablet device doesn’t not mean you are limited only to entertainment. You can also do some light work too like writing. If you own a powerful tablet like the iPad Pro which has an incredibly fast CPU, you can definitely do more than just light work.

The iPad Pro is capable for hardcore work like presentations, design, photo-editing and more. Coupled with an Apple Pencil, it’s especially geared towards creative professionals.

A powerful tablet like the iPad Pro is also suited for hardcore gaming and according to our list below, we can say that it’s definitely the best gaming tablet you can buy, amongst other featured, if the price is not a barrier for you.

Although, feel free to follow along if you want to find more budget gaming tablet options if you are not quite ready to depart from your hard-earned $799, and that’s just for the base 11-inch iPad Pro model.

So, it’s actually not so hard to guess why the tablet is so popular, right? When you take into the equation the needs and wants of the average user, average person, there is no going around the fact that some people just want a capable tablet for gaming, movies, shows, internet browsing and light work. So there’s that.

And to go further, far beyond the need for entertainment and socialization (through internet communication), a person just wants access to the internet. And the tablet offers you far better user experience regardless of what you decide to do on the internet, if you were to use your phone instead, in comparison.

What people actually look for in a tablet device:

  • portability
  • light weight
  • wifi or/and mobile data connection (3G, 4G, 5G)
  • large HD display (at least 7″ but preferably 10″)
  •  long battery life (a full day of on-screen time for casual browsing or 4-5 hours of gaming, watching shows and movies)
  • reasonable storage capacity
  • decent CPU and GPU
  • at least 2GB of RAM
  • available accessories (keyboard, pen/stylus, protectors, cases, stands)

Tablets & the rise of mobile gaming

mobile esports team competing
Tablet pc devices are being introduced into e-sports more and more

It’s 2020 and gaming has established itself in today’s culture as not just a hobby but even as a profession, amassing an enormous audience and actually being bigger than both the music and movie industry and one thing that is starting to catch steam is definitely mobile gaming. There’s esports leagues in multiple mobile games, big-prized tournaments and competitions already.  The gaming landscape has changed dramatically.

If you are good enough you can play for professional teams competing in sports or you can make a career for yourself in streaming be it on Twitch (which is more streamlined towards gamers and gaming in general) or YouTube.

And somehow, gaming is still viewed as an unproductive activity, and you can see people putting gaming and gamers down and making fun of them.

There’s a big chance that you’ve played some games when you were little. You probably even remember your favorite game and video game character. The good news is, if you happen to have a tablet or a smartphone, you can easily get back into that habit.

You can start gaming on your handheld device, preferably a tablet, by either downloading free titles on Android or iOS stores, or buying some games. Mobile gaming has experienced huge growth and it’s only going to become bigger from now on.

Tabletish made a mixed list consisting of budget tablets, top-notch performance devices that exceed the $600 mark, and something in between so you choose the best gaming tablet, something that will go along with your budget, expectations, and needs.

esports team playing on tablet pc
winner winner, chicken dinner!

There’s something for everyone that loves gaming on both casual and a hardcore level, so we at tabletish believe that whatever you choose, it will enable you to play any of your favorite titles without any problems, right away after install. But why tablets for gaming?

Well, a bigger screen and bigger battery are just one of the main perks why we believe a tablet device can offer you a better overall gaming experience.

Of course, you can always play on your smartphone as they are more than capable of handling graphic-demanding titles but then again why would want to squeeze the juice out of your main device. Don’t you have somewhere to be or leave in a hurry?

It ain’t easy picking up a gaming tablet, especially the best gaming tablet for your budget and needs, so you have a lot of wiggle room regarding our list. A lot of both Android and iOS operating tablet devices for you to choose from. Both platforms offer a lot of free and paid games on their respective app stores.

We at tabletish.com would recommend nothing less than the iPad Pro but then again, it all depends on how much you personally want to invest in a gaming tablet.

The best gaming tablet to buy

Any of the tablets we are going to mention are a great buy, whether you want to get the best gaming tablet for hardcore gaming or just pick a budget-friendly tablet to use while chilling on the sofa.

You can find the best value for your money regardless of how much you decide to spend on a gaming tablet.

Follow along as we are about to go through all of our gaming tablets on our list, one by one, covering their main features and most notable characteristics in terms of performance in order to help you buy the best gaming tablet.

A quick look at our list of the best gaming tablets:

  • Amazon Fire HD 10 – the best gaming tablet for casual gaming and kids
  • Amazon Fire HD 8 – best cheap gaming tablet
  • Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus (2020) – best gaming tablet under $200
  • Apple iPad Pro 11″ 2020 – the best gaming tablet overall
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite – the best Galaxy tablet for gaming in 2020
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e – the best android tablet for gaming
  • iPad Mini 5 – the best 8-inch gaming tablet
  • Apple iPad 2018 (6th generation) – the best iPad for casual gaming
  • Apple iPad 10.2″ (2019) – the best gaming tablet under $400
  • Galaxy Tab A 10.1 (2019) – the best gaming tablet under $300
  • Mircosoft Surface Pro 7 – the best Windows tablet for gaming

1. Amazon Fire HD 10 – most affordable 10-inch gaming tablet

fire hd 10 gaming tablet
It might not pack the latest CPU but it has an HD display and it’s great for casual gaming

Amazon’s superstar, the Fire HD 10 is currently on a sale at just $140, along with other Fire HD tablets like the HD 8, HD 8 Plus (2020) and HD 7. This tablet is one of the most in-demand products on Amazon and racking up the sales on a regular day just as much as on a big sale event

Why do a lot of people gravitate towards this tablet?

First and foremost, because of its price and what it offers for that particular price. The HD 10-inch display is not something you see on cheap tablet devices, with great color reproduction which makes it a perfect fit for anyone watching shows and movies on Amazon Prime or Netflix or just regular cat videos on YouTube.

“With its big vivid color display at 1920 x 1200, 2GB of RAM and a quad-core processor running at 1.8GHz, it’s also a great gaming tablet too, for casual games like Angry Birds 2, Alto’s Odyssey, Beach Buggy Racing, Clash Royale, Traffic Racer and more.”

For the price, it’s really something more than what you’d expect. You can opt for either a 32GB or 64GB version in regards to internal storage capacity.

One thing that might come as a con, opposite to all the pros we mentioned so far, is its operating system. The tablet runs on a Fire OS which is based on Android but has somewhat of a limited app store. However, we at tabletish believe that the pros of this tablet far outweigh the cons, taking the generous price of $140 right now on Amazon in consideration.

If you are someone who loves playing games on a tablet as a form of entertainment but doesn’t want to invest a lot of money, then this might be the best gaming tablet for you.

GPUCPURAMBATTERYSIZESTORAGE
PowerVR G6250Mediatek MT8173 2GB3830 mAh10″32 GB / 64GB

2. Amazon Fire HD 8 (2020) – best cheap tablet for gaming

amazon fire hd 8
The cheapest tablet decent enough for gaming and an HD display

Another one of Amazon’s most bought, reviewed, and searched products, the Fire HD 8, which as the name suggests, boasts an 8-inch screen, making it a perfect choice for anyone looking for a decent all-around tablet pc for gaming, browsing.

“It has an HD display of 1280 x 800 which is the primary highlight of tablet costing just $60 right now on Amazon, on their big Fire HD sale.”

As all of the other tablets in Amazon’s Fire lineup, it has an HD display of 1280 x 800 which is the primary highlight of tablet costing just $60 right now on Amazon, on their big Fire HD sale.

Besides the HD display, the Fire HD 8 has a quad-core processor running at 1.3GHz, 1.5GB of RAM,  and 2-megapixel front and rear camera to offer. You can either choose the 16GB or 32GB version when it comes to storage capacity.

It’s running on FIre OS as any other Fire HD tablet.

GPUCPURAMBATTERYSIZESTORAGE
PowerVR G6200Mediatek MT8135 2GB4850mAh8″32GB / 64GB

3. Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus (2020) – best gaming tablet under $200

Fire HD 8 Plus best gaming tablet under $200
Our choice for the best gaming tablet under $200 if you’re on a tight budget

The newest addition to the Fire HD tablet series by Amazon, the Fire HD 8 Plus just released last month, in June, with some pretty good specs for an affordable price, which, as we know, is the main selling point for Fire HD tablets. So everyone looking for the best gaming tablet in the 8-inch segment, keep an eye on this bad boy.

With a RAM boost, wireless charging and a few other improvements that impact the performance and user experience, the Fire HD 8 is a clear winner in the 8-inch tablet category.

“When it comes to RAM, the 3GB is much of an improvement over the 2GB on the regular Fire HD 8.”

In terms of internal storage capacity, you can choose from a 32GB or 64GB version, and when it comes to RAM, the 3GB is much of an improvement over the 2GB on the regular Fire HD 8. It runs FireOS as expected, but the additional RAM makes the whole experience so much smoother.

The 4850mAh battery will provide up to 10 hours of uninterrupted use, as stated from Amazon. The CPU chipset is pretty much the same as on the regular Fire HD8, the Mediatek MT8168 but coupled with the 3 GB of RAM, as previously mentioned, provides enough power for the HD Plus.

IT has a standard USB-type C charging port and a 3.5mm jack for headphones

If you are looking for the best gaming tablet under $200 well this is it, guys and gals. It wil deal with most casual titles with no difficulties at all. It’s brand new, extra affordable and pretty decent when it comes to performance. Check Amazon for the best prices.

One useful tip: If you intend to use the wireless charging on the HD 8 Plus, you will have to buy the official Qi charging dock.

GPUCPURAMBATTERYSIZESTORAGE
Mali-G52 MC1MediaTek MT81683GB4850mAh8″32GB / 64GB

4. Apple iPad Pro 11″ 2020 – best gaming tablet overall

ipad pro 2020 best gaming tablet
The iPad Pro 2020 is our editor’s choice for the best gaming tablet

What is the best tablet for playing games? We have to give it to the newest iPad Pro 2020 edition.

Yes. If there’s one device that we would call the best gaming tablet, that would be the newest 2020 Apple iPad Pro.

Not just because of its ultra-fast CPU chipset and the extra smooth experience you get as a user when doing just about everything on the iPad, from gaming to working, watching movies or browsing, but because…Actually, because of all that. It’s a lean mean Apple machine.

And don’t think we are biased, because…well maybe we are, a little. How could you not be with specs like that?

Besides the gorgeous 120Hz Retina display at 2388 x 1668 resolution and the humongous 9720mAh battery, it has the latest bionic chip, the octa-core Apple A12Z alongside an 8-core Apple GPU and 6GB of RAM which make it the best gaming tablet.”

Storage-wise, you have the option to choose from 128GB all the way to 1TB. The 12 megapixel camera is also phenomenal, featuring a LiDAR sensor for utilizing AR.

With Apple confidently claiming that the iPad Pro is more powerful than average computers and laptops, gaming should be a breeze. Any demanding title like PUBG mobile, Fortnite or Call of Duty Mobile will be able to hit high framerates with no problems. Feel free to check on Amazon for the best prices.

There’s no headphone jack but you have a USB Type-C 3.1 port for charging. However, you can get a 3.5mm to type-c adapter and use headphones by utilizing the type-c port.

So, with a refresh-rate fo 120Hz, ultra-fast and powerful CPU and GPU, along with the huge battery, any gamer would make the right choice of investing in an iPad Pro. You even have a full-fledged notebook if you invest in some extra accessories like the famous magic keyboard.

Last but not least, the audio output is also incredible, taking in consideration that there are 4 stereo speakers built-in.

GPUCPURAMBATTERYSIZESTORAGE
Apple GPUApple A12Z Bionic
6GB9720mAh11″/12.9″128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB

5. Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite – best Galaxy tablet for gaming in 2020

best gaming tablet Galaxy S6 Lite
The best Galaxy tablet for gaming in 2020 for sure along with the S6

Being an affordable version of the Galaxy Tab S6 (which we believe is the best Samsung tablet for gaming but comes with a steep price), the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite does not sacrifice performance for price.

The S-Pen that comes along with the tablet is also a great addition and a feature for this prince range, besides the pretty decent octa-core Exynos 9611 processor and the 4GB of RAM which help you carry out every tasks from gaming to work without any performance issues.

If you ever asked yourself how much ram I need for gaming then rest assured that 4GB is good enough.

A mid-range processor and enough random-access memory, where do we go from here? Well, we can see right away that the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite is not a one-trick pony regardless of its mid-range cost.

The 1200 x 200 TFT display is still gorgeous to look at even though it’s not Super AMOLED, with fantastic color reproduction, a decent 7040mAh battery that will last you through a full day of usage, pretty good 8 megapixel rear and 5-megapixel front camera, running One UI 2 based on the latest Android 10.

“It will run any of the current most popular titles like Fortnite, PUBG, Call of Duty Mobile or Legends of Runeterra, and others at medium-high graphics without any hiccups.”

When it comes to gaming, it might not be the best gaming tablet by strict performance standards, but it will run any of the current most popular titles like PUBG or Call of Duty Mobile, Legends of Runeterra, and others at medium-high graphics without any hiccups.

Be sure to check Amazon for the best prices.

You’ll find the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite just under $450. If however, you are a real gaming enthusiast and wish for something a tad more powerful that will give you the much-needed edge in gaming, especially online gaming, then go for the Galaxy Tab S6 but that will cost you $700.

GPUCPURAMBATTERYSIZESTORAGE
Mali-G72 MP3
Exynos 9611
4GB7040 mAh10.4″64GB / 128GB

6. Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e – best android tablet for gaming

Samsung Galaxy S5e
The Galaxy S5e is our pick for the best android tablet for gaming

The S tablet series coming from one of the leading names in tech, Samsung, has always been crafted in such a way to compete with Apple’s iPad lineup. So, naturally, you should expect a pretty powerful device if you plan on buying an S series tablet from Samsung, like the Galaxy Tab S5e.

It first released last year back in April so while it’s not one of the freshest products on the market, it’s still considered new, in the realm of high-quality, high-performing, and high-priced tablets.

“This is a tablet that can last you for years if you invest in it, whether you just want the best android tablet for gaming or an all-round primary device for media-consumption like reading, watching movies, Instagram, and Facebook browsing, etc.”

The highlight of this beast is the huge 10.5 inch Super AMOLED display which is bright, vivid, and perfect for gaming or watching movies and shows. When it comes to processing and graphics power, the octa-core Snapdragon 670 and Adreno 615 combo will provide you with countless gaming hours with not even the slightest stutter.

You have the option to choose between 64 or 128GB of internal memory storage, and honestly, whichever version you decide to choose, there’s plenty of space for apps, photos, or videos.

The camera provides above-average image quality when it comes to tablet camera standards.  It’s not the best tablet camera but most definitely it’s far from the worst one either.

Also, it won’t come as a surprise to any of us that the tablet is missing the headphone jack but the stereo speakers are really packing a punch when it comes to audio output.

GPUCPURAMBATTERYSIZESTORAGE

Adreno 615
Snapdragon 6704GB/6GB7040 mAh10.5″64GB / 128GB

7. iPad Mini 5 – best 8-inch gaming tablet

ipad mini 5 8-inch gaming tablet
The best gaming tablet for Apple fans looking for a tablet around 8 inches

The next device on our list in our search for the best gaming tablet is Apple’s iPad Mini 5, the 2019 edition. It may not claim the best gaming tablet title but nonetheless, it’s a medium-sized tablet (at just 7.9″)  with a lot to say.

The powerful A12 processor and 3GB of RAM will let you have a pleasant gaming experience playing just about any title on the Apple store like Sky: Children of the Light and others.

As with all Apple iPad products, you have the option to choose between 64GB internal storage or 256GB, and wifi only or wifi and data model where you get to use a SIM card and use it for calls.

One of the highlights of the iPad Mini 5 is the support for Apple Pencil which can be a really handy accessory for creatives.

“When it comes to gaming on the iPad Mini 5, the 7.9-inch at 1536 x 2048 pixels screen resolution at 324 PPI density, A12 bionic chip and 3GB or RAM will help you play any title at medium graphics.”

The battery life, according to Apple, can last up to 10 hours of uninterrupted work.

The iPad Mini 5 is a powerful tablet at a non-conventional size of 7.9″. If you are a casual gamer then this device might actually be the best gaming tablet for you while offering a screen size and performance to help you enjoy other leisure activities too.

GPUCPURAMBATTERYSIZESTORAGE

Apple GPU
Apple A12 Bionic3GB5124 mAh7.9″ 64GB / 256GB

8. Apple iPad 2018 (6th generation) – best gaming iPad for the money

apple ipad 6th gen 2018
Perfect for casual gaming nights on the couch

9. Apple iPad 10.2″ (2019) – the best gaming tablet under $400

Apple iPad 10.2 inch 2019
If you have $400 to spare, this is the best gaming tablet

If looking for the best gaming tablet then the improvement over the 6th gen iPad 2018 comes in the form factor of the Apple iPad 10.2″ can definitely give you the edge in mobile gaming whether you are a casual player or a hardcore gamer.

In terms of design aesthetics, display, and processor, it’s pretty much the same as the 2018 version. They bumped up the screen size a bit from 9.7 to 10.2 inches which is a really noticeable difference and something that we can really get behind, especially when playing games or watching movies.

There’s still the retina display technology at 2160 x 1600 pixels, with 2 or 3GB of RAM and 32 or 128GB of internal storage available versions. Still powered by the same A10 fusion core chip like its 2018 predecessor and the six-core GPU which proved significantly fast for handling apps.

“If you are looking for the best tablet for gaming then the 2019 iPad edition will definitely tick all the right boxes in terms of performance and quality for just under $400.”

Be sure to check Amazon for the best prices.

GPUCPURAMBATTERYSIZESTORAGE

PowerVR Series7XT Plus

Apple A10 Fusion
3GB8827 mAh10.2″32GB / 128GB

 10. Galaxy Tab A 10.1 (2019) – the best gaming tablet under $300

Galaxy tab a 2019 best gaming tablet under $300
For around $300 you can get the Galaxy Tab A 2019

Released back in April last year, the Galaxy Tab A 10.1 has a lot to offer for a little under $300. Running on Android 9 (Pie) with the option to choose from a model with 2GB or 3GB of RAM and internal storage options of 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB.

The 32GB variant comes with 2GB of RAM and it’s the cheapest one at $220, while the 64 and 128GB internal storage models come with 3GB of RAM. You can always extend your storage with a microSD card if you wish so, via the dedicated microSDXC card slot.

“The main focus is on the screen size, the 10.1-inch TFT capacitive touchscreen display at 1200 x 1920 resolution (224 ppi density).”

In terms of build quality, it’s a nice touch what Samsung did with this tablet, swapping the plastic body with an aluminum back and frame.

A really lightweight, affordable, and not skimming on performance, (taking into consideration it’s price) the Galaxy Tab A 10.1 (2019) holds up to Samsung’s standards in terms of quality and reliability and this automatically makes it the best gaming tablet under $300 for Samsung fans.

The octa-core Exynos 7904 is a mid-range processor which is the expected choice here as far as the pricing for this model goes. The CPU along with the 2 or 3GB of RAM, depending on your choice, the big 6150 mAh battery (which can get you through a full day of casual use) and Mali G71 graphics will we able to handle any games, media and entertainment.

Don’t rely too much on the cameras though, as they are just not quite good for photos but can get the job done in you need to go on a video call.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2019 edition runs on One UI which is based on Android 9.

If you’re thinking of buying the Galaxy Tab A 10.1 your best bet would be to check Amazon for best prices.

GPUCPURAMBATTERYSIZESTORAGE
Mali-G71 MP2Exynos 79042GB/3GB6150 mAh10.1″32GB / 64GB / 128GB

 11. Mircosoft Surface Pro 7 – the best Windows tablet for gaming

Surface Pro 7 best windows gaming tablet
The 2-in-1 Windows Surface Pro 7 is the best gaming tablet for Windows fans

The one and only 2-in-1 hybrid tablet on our list. Being the newest addition to Microsoft’s Surface lineup, the elegant Surface Pro 7 is something worth buying.

When it comes to productivity on the go and work overall, this lightweight and compact machine can handle everything you throw at it.

“But when it comes to gaming it has the processing power to deliver high frame rates on pretty much any title. Of course, it’s not a typical gaming tablet but the Intel Iris GPU is good enough to even play PC games like Batman: Arkham Asylum or The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim.”

If you’d like to buy a Surface Pro 7 then you’ll have to choose between an i3, i5, or an i7 processor, RAM memory, and internal storage capacity up to 1TB, depending on whether you go for the platinum or black model. The starting i3 model is $749 offering 4GB of RAM and 128GB internal storage.

According to Microsoft, the Surface Pro 7 can last up to 10.5 hours of uninterrupted use.

If you plan on gaming on this 2-in-1 tablet then you have a lot of options, depending on how much you’d like to spend. The i5 and i7 versions are your best bet, with at least 8GB of RAM.

You can buy the Surface Pro directly from the Microsoft Store or check Amazon for the best prices.

GPUCPURAMBATTERYSIZESTORAGE
Intel UHD Graphics / Intel Iris Plus Graphicsi3-1005G1 / i5-1035G4 /  i7-1065G7 4GB / 8GB / 16GB5702mAh12.3″128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB

Quick guide to buying the best gaming tablet

What should I look for when buying a gaming tablet?

Finding and buying the best gaming tablet can prove to be an arduous task for many reasons regardless of the fact there are dozens of tablets to choose from.

Besides having a set budget that will have to suffice, you also need to keep in mind these things when buying a gaming tablet:

  • display size and resolution
  • processor
  • RAM (random access memory)
  • internal storage
  • operating system

It can get really overwhelming, yes.

So in order to get the most out of your budget and buy a tablet that suits your needs, you will have to stick to the script, meaning read through to find out what to look for when buying a gaming tablet.

When looking for the best gaming tablet to buy, we can make a very simple distinction based od price and performance:

  • High-performance tablets: recommended for hardcore gaming and more demanding titles like PUBG mobile, Fortnite, Call of Duty Mobile etc.
  • Medium & low range tablets: casual gaming like Clash Royal, Angry Birds 2, Brawl Stars and more.

So let’s take an in-depth look at the most important features a gaming tablet should have which we mentioned a little while ago in the text above:

Display

The display is one of the factors that give off the first impressions. You see that perfect, gorgeous display and it draws you in. It’s a touchpoint between the user and the device. The whole interaction in its entirety depends on the display. Everyone wants a nice colorful, vivid display whether they are playing games, casually browsing on Facebook, or watching a movie.

But in order to provide a great user experience, the display as a factor encompasses several other key aspects:

Size

Size matters, when it comes to tablet devices. A bigger screen will provide you a much more of an enjoyable experience than an 8-inch tablet because everything’s much bigger and your eyes strain less.

Again, it all depends on how you are going to use the tablet, so, in our specific case, the best gaming tablet would be any size you’re comfortable with. From a 7 or an 8-inch, 9.7-inch, or a 10.1-inch, all the way up to a 12.9″ inch tablet like the iPad Pro.

Resolution

The most important factor for achieving great display quality is the display resolution which is closely tied to pixel density and display technology.

Right now even cheap tablets like the Amazon Fire line up is getting HD screen on a regular basis so when buying a tablet specifically for gaming, you want to make sure you are choosing an HD screen at least. Now, keep in mind that HD and Full HD are not one and the same.

Regarding display technologies, Samsung offers Super AMOLED display on their mid-range and high-cost models, Apple has their proprietary Retina technology.

Processor

The processor is the so-called “brain” of the tablet and on which it depends to a large extent the performance of the device.

The quad-core and eight-core processors are the more prominently used ones in hand-held devices like smartphones and tablets.

Increased throughput allows the device to perform multiple operations simultaneously. A good processor will make you gain speed in all processes without the device crashing.

Processor quality influences battery life. Cheaper processors have higher consumption and are therefore less efficient. A bad processor can significantly decrease the computer’s autonomy. They also tend to warm up more than higher-end ones.

If the use you are going to give your tablet is mostly playful (watch series, browse, etc.), a mid-range processor would suffice.

It is quite possible that when you read the technical characteristics of a tablet you will find yourself directly with the brand name. These are the most common:

  • Qualcomm has Snapdragon, which has been on the market for several generations of processors. They are considered high-end (800 series and above), although in mid-range it is possible to find the Snapdragon 600, which offers acceptable performance in cheap tablets.
  • Nvidia will sound more hardware for PC, but it also has the Tegra processor for tablets.
  • Intel uses their Intel Core and Intel Atom on both Android and Windows tablets.
  • Samsung has the Exynos processor, with different ranges. From a series 5, the performance can be deemed somewhat reasonable; from there you can get to an Exynos 9 processor, so there’s definitely room for improvement. But Samsung usually uses Exynos in mid-range tablets.
  • MediaTek is among the most used in mid-range/low, as they have focused on achieving a reasonable balance between performance and price. Think that to maintain the same speed as better (and more expensive), they consume more energy and run at higher temperatures…. but thanks to that there are Android tablets at a very affordable price.
  • Huawei has Kirin, which is usually found in the mid-low range. Still, the Chinese company is offering increasingly complex products, such as the Kirin 980, which aims to stand up to Apple itself.
  • Apple, as always, using its own proprietary technology. Its processors are exclusive to the brand (although manufactured by Samsung and TMC, depending on the model) and offer as always a great performance.

RAM

The more, the better, right? In principle yes, of course, but you also don’t need all the gigs that are on the market if you’re not going to use them.

The RAM on your device enables you to do multitasking by running multiple apps in the background. For example, you may be browsing while listening to music, and simultaneously check for any new email. The more RAM your tablet has, the more applications you can keep open and running without losing performance.

The simplest tablets fluctuate between 1 and 2 GB of RAM, but if we are going to bet on the quality-price you can try to find a 4 GB (and up to 6 or 8) to have optimal performance.

Considering that the trend of adding RAM just for the sake of RAM to both smartphones and tablets (which makes them more expensive) continues, somewhere down the road more gigabytes of RAM will mean a few more added years to your device’s life span.

Storage

Tablets that allow you to increase internal storage when you need it are more interesting. If the model you want to buy has that possibility, you can save maybe a few euros. So you can choose the memory that’s enough for you at the time of purchase and increase it in the future if you need more.

We recommend that you don’t buy a device less than 16 GB, but if you don’t have the chance to increase storage, you’re right. Ideally, start from 32GB and make sure you’re going to have a margin, usually buying a separate micro SD card.

If your option is Apple, keep in mind that the brand doesn’t allow you to increase your internal storage. So consider this option carefully: you can take the simplest iPad model with 32 Gb, although my recommendation is to secure and stay at least with a 64 Gb version.

Operating system

Android, iOS and Windows OS for tablets

It’s a whole world inside tablets. Each model (and manufacturer) chooses yours. Here’s a quick look back at getting an idea of the main types you’ll find:

Android

It is the operating system developed by Google and the most widespread by far. That’s because it has a lot of points in favor:

  • Most applications are adapted for this operating system
  • It’s cheaper (the inevitable comparison is with Apple’s iPads)
  • It is more flexible and versatile, has many applications, good support and has a wide community supporting it

In the other sense, the most tedious thing is the constant updates. It also tends to slow down with usage time and you have to do cache cleanups, etc. And sometimes the security of the apps is not very clear, even if you download them from the Google Play Store.

iOS

It is the other great operating system, compatible with all Apple devices. It’s more expensive, but it’s efficient and stable. Win Android in security and its updates remain in effect for longer. But it’s also less versatile than Android, and can give compatibility issues with other devices.

Windows

Microsoft’s bet. You may be interested if you’re going to give your tablet a professional use, especially since it’s perfectly compatible with all Office tools. Their models usually have larger screens and can be used with a built-in keyboard.

In practice, they are like portable minicomputers. If you are going to look for good value for money it may not be what interests you most, except if you are going to use it to work. They are more expensive tablets and the operating system consumes a lot of battery.

Fire OS

Amazon has its own tablet with a unique operating system. Its use is a minority because it is also not compatible with Google Play apps and does not have the strength and pull of Apple. With that in mind, it works pretty well.