Game on the go with the top gaming tablets. We’re ready to help you find the best and most affordable options available in 2020. The rate at which technology develops can be pretty incredible. As recently as a few years, the notion of reasonably using a laptop for gaming was out of reach for most people. Gaming laptops today are affordable and prevalent, and the increased amount of power you can pack into increasingly small circuit boards has taken things a step further.
While powerful gaming tablets are fairly few and far between, they’re becoming increasingly common. A budget gaming tablet can be a nice alternative for mobile gaming, but a high class model can essentially be used as a gaming tablet for PC games. But we’re currently in the wild west phase of this technology, and that means that there are still a lot of duds. Our guide can help you identify 11 of the best gaming tablets available in 2020.
- The Best Gaming Tablets
- 1. Samsung Galaxy Tab S4
- 2. Apple iPad Pro 11-inch Tablet
- 3. Fire HD 10 Tablet
- 4. Huawei MediaPad M5 Pro
- 5. ASUS ZenPad 3S 10 Tablet
- 6. Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Android Tablet
- 7. Google Pixel Slate 2 in 1 Tablet
- 8. Microsoft Surface Pro 6
- 9. Lenovo Tab 4 Tablet
- 10. Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1
- 11. Razer Phone 2 Gaming Smartphone
- Best Gaming Tablets Buyer’s Guide
The Best Gaming Tablets
1. Samsung Galaxy Tab S4
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 was one of the best rated Android gaming tablets of the 2018 holiday season, but it was also one of the most expensive. The price really hasn't dropped in the intervening months, but this model also hasn't lost much of its luster. In comparison to other tablets, this one is built like a tank. The metal frame is sturdy and gives it a nice heft, and while the four built-in speakers won't give a serious PC stereo system a run for their money, they're surprisingly loud and high fidelity.
The 10.5 inch screen uses an AMOLED panel to provide crisp and clear video quality. It looks great from any angle, offers a vivid range of color, and has a depth to its black values. You won't be running Steam games on this tablet, but it does run the latest mobile games exceedingly well.
2. Apple iPad Pro 11-inch Tablet
The latest versions of the iPad Pro - with its 11 inch wing span - are undoubtedly large tablets. And if that's not enough for you, you can always upgrade to the truly monstrous 12.9 inch model. They're also some of the top tablets around. If you've already bought into the Apple ecosystem, you probably won't blanche at the modest premium you're expected to pay for this tablet. And even if you haven't, the sheer quality of this model should at least put it in your periphery.
And while iPads have been a market leader for quite some time, the latest model precipitates a bold new change. Built on the back of a new operating system built specifically for tablets, you can expect it to perform at peak capacity. And this is an Apple product so, as always, it sports a truly exceptional and intuitive navigational interface.
3. Fire HD 10 Tablet
Amazon's aggressive moves into the hardware market may have upended the normal balance of manufacturers, but in the case of the Fire tablet, that's a good thing. These are good tablets that have only gotten better over time, and Amazon hasn't been shy about cross-contaminating their various platforms to create a better device. The Fire HD 10 comes with comprehensive Alexa support and can coordinate easily with a range of other Amazon devices.
But there are plenty of reasons to recommend the Fire HD 10 even if you haven't fully bought into the Amazon ecosystem. While earlier versions of the Fire have floundered a bit in keeping up with competing specs, there's no such issue here. With a price tag of $150, this is maybe the best tablet for the money it demands. It's not the most powerful tablet, but it offers better performance than it has any right to.
4. Huawei MediaPad M5 Pro
Huawei's top shelf large screen tablet doesn't come cheap, but if you want a premium octa core tablet that doesn't contain the sort of proprietary nonsense that many tablet providers are known for, it's likely to be right up your alley. Quad speakers sound great on their own, but they really excel when you plug in a pair of HiFi headphones. The 3D soundscape is truly immersive in a way few tablets can promise.
This is a powerful tablet, powerful enough that it can essentially serve as a laptop when you pop in the attachable keyboard. That means that it will work functionally not just with mobile games but for lower end PC gaming as well. The Wi-Fi connectivity is strong and perfectly suitable for reliable online gaming, and it even comes with its own pen for more precise movements in the heat of battle.
5. ASUS ZenPad 3S 10 Tablet
As tablets have become more powerful, one thing that manufacturers have begun to lose sight of is also one of the core strengths of investing in a tablet: portability. This is something that Asus gets pitch perfect with their ZenPad. This 10 inch tablet is also incredibly slim and exceedingly lightweight. If you're looking for a device that's bigger than your phone but that you can also use as a gaming device on your daily commute, you'll find it here.
That's not to say that the ZenPad 3S isn't a powerful tablet. It's one of the top Android Google tablets around, coming packed with a relatively heft amount of storage and an outstanding (though not class leading) hexa-core processor. The display panel is the highlight here. It offers a bright display of up to 400 nits, a definite advantage when playing in dark rooms or on dimly lit public transit.
6. Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Android Tablet
Gaming tablets often veer towards the expensive end of the spectrum, but that doesn't mean that more affordable options aren't available. The Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 may be a less expensive tablet and one that's smaller in size, it offers a great sense of balance between all the important components gamers should be looking for. It isn't the best in terms of sound quality, speed, or graphical performance, but it combines them all together into a meaningful package.
And all of those balanced features are above average for this price range. The screen may be small, but it's also bright and crystal clear, and the pair of speakers packed into the front of the frame have a lot of power behind them. The kickstand allows you to adjust this gaming tablet into four different positions to accommodate your resting position and the various game on the market.
7. Google Pixel Slate 2 in 1 Tablet
The Slate is the largest of the Google tablets available. That easily puts the screen size in contention with many dedicated gaming laptops. So it makes sense that this would be a two in one model. If you're serious about your gaming experience, you'll find your needs met here. The strong processor and high resolution screen are capable enough to handle a variety of traditional PC games, and the attachable keyboard allows you to play them the way they were intended to be played.
And while you probably intend to use this tablet for gaming, the usability here can't be understated. By making use of the Android OS, Google has had the unique opportunity to integrate Google Assistant tightly into the interface. This is a laptop where the VA isn't just a feature. It's a component that ties the whole device together in a meaningful way.
8. Microsoft Surface Pro 6
Windows makes PCs, hardware for PCs, and software for PCs. And despite some flirtations in other categories like the Windows phone (which never took off) and the XBox consoles (which are essentially PCs), that's continued to be their stock and trade for decades. So it makes a lot of sense that the flagship Windows gaming tablet is essentially a PC. Nor is it surprising that it's a pretty phenomenal one.
And even if we were going to evaluate this tablet in terms of a mid-range laptop, its specs would be pretty beefy. The i5 is a standard in budget to mid-range gaming rigs, and this PC gaming tablet does perhaps the best job of any model on our list in terms of running budget or indie games from your Steam library. And that makes sense. While many tablets use specialized operating systems, this tablet runs on Windows 10 home.
9. Lenovo Tab 4 Tablet
We've already talked about the exceptional Lenovo Tab 3 earlier in the list, and surprisingly the next generation Tab 4 is actually just around the same price. So is it worth your time? Almost certainly. While it does a few things not quite as well, it generally constitutes a small but undoubtable evolution in terms of development.
The Tab 4 sports not just a slightly smaller body but also a smaller frame, though it suffers a little in the overall resolution as a result. But in most of the other specs, it constitutes an iterative improvement. It's transitioned to the latest version of Android and comes with a slightly bulkier CPU and significantly more powerful Wi-Fi connectivity. That said, the two cameras do take a modest hit in terms of resolution. If you can find the Tab 3 on deep discount, go for it. But otherwise, the Tab 4 excels.
10. Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1
The Galaxy Tab S4 is easily one of the best tablets you'll find today, but its price tag will be intimidating for a lot of gamers. That's where the Tab A comes in. It may strip down some of the fundamental specs, but it sports the same basic design and functionality, and it will suit you just fine if you're a more casual gamer who doesn't need a seriously powerful gadget.
But stripped down doesn't mean underwhelming in this case. This tablet still offers some truly powerful performance with its hefty speakers and support for Dolby Atmos sound, and it can run casual and mobile games incredibly well. Combine that price tag with the relatively small size and the ease of use, and this is one of the better choices if you're in search of a kids gaming tablet.
11. Razer Phone 2 Gaming Smartphone
The difference between a gaming phone and a gaming tablet is a blurred one, and that's why the Razer Phone 2 has earned a spot on our list. Despite its comparatively small screen size, it offers specs that can compete with many of the more traditional tablets on our list, and it sports a frame that's much lighter and more portable than any gaming tablets you'll find.
Don't get confused. This isn't going to be running your favorite PC games reasonably, but it can provide lightning fast performance in casual and serious mobile games, and it offers a crisp crystal display that belies its small panel screen. It even supports Dolby Atmos sound.
Best Gaming Tablets Buyer’s Guide
Buying a gaming tablet is fundamentally pretty similar to buying a gaming laptop. After all, once you take out the mouse and keyboard and add in a touchscreen, they’re basically the same devices. But due to the limited space for high-end components and the comparatively lower prices, a gaming tablet is never going to be able to stack up to a laptop for gaming performance.
While specs are important, you don’t need to apply the same level of scrutiny you would when buying a laptop. If you want a more in-depth analysis to gaming machine specs, be sure to check out our guides to the best gaming laptops and the best gaming desktops.
Screen and Resolution
A larger screen obviously means a wider area for your gaming experience. That can make a big deal if you’re looking to play traditional indie games on your tablet but will mean a lot less if you’re more interested in casual mobile titles. You’ll want to bear in mind that the screen size will also have an effect on how bulky the tablet is to hold and how heavy it is to carry.
The quality of the picture is determined by the resolution. Resolution tells you how many megapixels are packed into the screen. But a high resolution in and of itself doesn’t tell the whole story. The larger the screen, the more megapixels you’re going to need.
Battery is simple. The longer a battery life, the longer you can game without having to have a charger plugged in. If you intend to be tethered to your desk to play games, you can have a much better experience by just investing in a PC or laptop. Consider how much time you spend gaming in spurts and how often you’re away from charging areas, and let that be your main point of consideration when evaluating the battery life you need.
Tablets come with a front camera, a rear camera, or both. A rare few offer a rotating camera that can serve as a front and back camera. The rear camera is generally the primary camera and tends to sport a higher resolution, while the front camera is treated as a “selfie” camera. A few offer video footage, but they aren’t generally high-quality enough to serve as dedicated streaming cameras.
Storage is simple. It’s how much space you have to hold your games, photos, and other apps. While the latest iPad offers models with capacities as high as a terabyte, that’s well above the normal. You can expect to pay a quarter or even an eighth of that for most models, and many budget options are much more modest. If you’re mostly playing casual games, you’ll rarely even need to worry about storage. If you’re looking for something more, you may want to apply a little more scrutiny to your purchase.
Random access memory refers to the short term memory of your tablet. The most relevant information is stored here, and its easy accessibility allows your central processor to perform more effectively. That means less loading times and faster gameplay. The minimum standard that we suggest for gaming PCs is 4 GB, although we suggest 8 GB for most gamers. Half both of those amounts and you’re left with a good starting point for what constitutes quality RAM for a gaming tablet.
The central processor is the living brain of your tablet, and it does most of the heavy lifting in gameplay performance. While there are countless variants available, the main thing you should worry about with a tablet is the number of cores. More cores allow your tablet to split up tasks and perform them concurrently. A quad core processor is a good starting point for a midrange gaming tablet, although an octo core model is the gold standard you should look for if you want a truly serious model.
Tablets are becoming increasingly common, and as they grow in potential, they’re increasingly becoming effective alternatives to traditional gaming devices. We’ve covered all the main bases with our Apple, Windows, and Android tablet reviews. We hoped you’ve liked reading our guide, and we hope you find what you’ve been looking for.