You no longer need to carry bulky laptops to finish your school assignments anymore. Tablets have become quite efficient in providing the power and tools to students to learn faster, especially when digital education has become the new norm. Pair them with a keyboard and mouse, and you have yourself a portable productivity device that’s not only easier to carry around but can also help in accomplishing all sorts of tasks.
Today we are checking out some of the best tablets on the market that should meet the needs of most school students.
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Best overall: Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch
The new 2021 iPad Pro is now powered by the same M1 Silicon chipset that powers the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac Mini, and even the new 24-inch iMac. Essentially it’s the most powerful tablet you can get with Apple offering up to 2TB of inbuilt storage and 16GB of memory on the top variants. The new 12.9-inch model comes with the brightest display on an iPad called Liquid Retina XDR that uses mini-LEDs for a brighter and color-rich experience.
Apart from supporting the Magic Keyboard and the 2nd-gen Apple Pencil, the new iPad Pro also feature a USB-C port that now supports Thunderbolt 4, so you can connect a whole range of devices.
Best Android tablet: Samsung Galaxy S7 Plus
Samsung’s answer to the iPad Pro, the Galaxy Tab S7 Plus, is undeniably the best Android tablet you can get. It comes with a sharp and punchy-looking 12.4-inch Super AMOLED panel that supports a 120Hz refresh rate for a smooth experience. The tablet is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 octa-core processor from last year, which is still quite powerful in its domain.
It can be configured with either 6GB or 8GB of memory with up to 512GB of UFS 3.0 internal storage and support for a microSD card as well. All of this is packed into a slim, lightweight aluminum chassis that weighs just 1.27 pounds and has a thickness of just 5.7mm. The tablet can be paired with its own keyboard and stylus, and thanks to Samsung DeX, you can get a more familiar desktop-like user experience.
Best Windows tablet: Microsoft Surface Pro 7
Windows isn’t just limited to PCs, and the Surface Pro 7 is a prime example of how great the OS can adapt to the tablet form factor. In fact, the upcoming Windows 11 update is expected to improve the experience to new heights. It features a 12.3-inch full-HD display, and despite having the option of running on an Intel Core i7 processor, it’s surprisingly slim and easy to carry around. Pair it with the Surface Type Cover keyboard, and you have an excellent productivity Windows machine.
The Surface Pro 7 is currently powered by Intel’s 10th-generation CPUs. It’s expected Microsoft will announce the new Surface Pro 8 later this year, which is expected to feature the new 11th-gen Intel processors and hopefully a design update.
Best budget tablet: Apple iPad 10.2
If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on the iPad Pro, Apple’s entry-level 10.2-inch iPad is now more productive than before. The current-gen model that launched last year brings support for the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard, bringing you more input options.
It’s powered by the A12 Bionic chipset, is available with either 32GB or 128GB of storage, and runs on iPadOS 14 which will be updated later this year. You can get the iPad with Wi-Fi only or LTE 4G mobile connectivity, available in three color options — Space Gray, Silver, and Gold.
Best Chrome OS tablet: Lenovo Chromebook Duet
ChromeOS has become the choice of many schools, especially since students were forced to take classes from home last year. The Lenovo Chromebook Duet is an affordable and recommended tablet for younger students offering a platform that’s easy to understand and, with added support for Google Play Store, access to a wide range of apps.
It comes with a 10.1-inch display with an FHD (1920 x 1200) resolution, a MediaTek Helio P60T processor (2GHz, 8 Cores, 8 Threads), 4GB of LPDDR4x RAM, and 128GB eMMC storage. The tablet comes with its own keyboard case that converts the tablet into a Surface-like hybrid device having its own touchpad and kickstand at the back.
Best Windows tablet on a budget: Microsoft Surface Go 2
Microsoft’s smaller Surface tablet offering is also a recommended option if you’re on a tight budget. Like the Surface Pro 7, it has a solid kickstand at the back and can be paired with its own Surface Type Cover keyboard along with support for the Surface Pen as well. The display measures 10.5 inches with a 1920 x 1280 resolution and 3:2 ratio, and the tablet is powered by an Intel Pentium Gold 4425Y processor; or you can also go for the Intel Core m3-8100Y with up to 8GB of RAM and 128GB storage.
Other notable features include front and rear cameras supporting 1080p video, Windows Hello face recognition, 10-hour battery life, and a MicroSD slot for storage expansion.
Best for creators: Microsoft Surface Book 3
The Surface Book 3 is more on the expensive side, but you get an excellent performance package for the money, thus making it great for students pursuing creative fields. Primarily a detachable laptop, users get the option of using the tablet on its own for taking quick notes, and when they need more grunt, it can be popped back in for some additional battery and dedicated GPU performance.
It’s available in either 13.5-inch or 15-inch screen size with Intel’s 10th-gen CPUs, 32GB of RAM, and up to 2TB of storage with graphics options of either the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 on the 13.5-inch model or the GTX 1660 Ti on the 15-inch model. The only gripe we have about the Surface Book 3 is it desperately needs a design refresh, not to mention new hardware upgrades.
Best tablet for 6-12 ages: Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Pro
Suitable for the age group of 6-12 year olds, Amazon has the Fire HD 10 Kids Pro tablet that comes with a 10.1-inch 1080p display with a rugged casing for extra protection. It also comes with one year of Amazon Kids+, parental controls, and a two year worry-free guarantee. A 2GHz octa-core processor powers the tablet with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage that can be expanded using a microSD card of up to 1TB. Apart from educational content via the Amazon Kids+ subscription, it also includes books, movies, TV shows, songs, apps, games, and additionally kids can request more content from the digital store, like Netflix, Minecraft, Zoom, etc.
Looking for more? Have a look at our roundup of the best iPads you should be buying today. We also have a list of the best Chrome OS tablets and best laptops to buy in 2021.