Last updated: Thursday, January 24, 2019
Tablets are supposed to be able to do everything from surfing, emails, games to video to work. They have become a real alternative to the laptop, especially when it comes to common tasks like internet browsing and e-mail. In this article, we check out some of the best gaming tablets currently available.
The versatility, mobility, style, and cost have made tablets one of the most popular new category of electronics. Tablets are by no means all the same and there are many specifications (particularly when it comes to gaming) and things to consider before buying one.
Zoom Out: Top 10 Best Tablets for Gaming Comparison Table
These tablets are sorted by price ascending. For a closer look at each model, head to our ‘Zoom In’ section.
|Amazon Fire 7 Tablet||Tablet||1024 x 600 (171 ppi)||10.1 inches||1.3GHz CPU ; 1GB RAM ; 16GB Storage ; ARM Mali-450 MP4 GPU|
|ASUS ZenPad S8||Tablet||2048 x 1536 (320 ppi)||8.0 inches||1.3GHz ; 2GB RAM ; 32GB Storage ; Imagination PowerVR G6430 GPU|
|Acer Chromebook R 11 Convertible||2-in-1||1366 x 768 (135 ppi)||11.6 inches||1.6GHz ; 2GB RAM ; 32GB Storage ; Intel HD Graphics GPU|
|Nintendo Switch||Console||1260 x 720 (237 ppi)||6.2 inches||1.0GHz ; 4GB RAM ; 32GB Storage ; Maxwell GPU|
|Nvidia Shield K1 Tablet||Tablet||1920 x 1200 (283 ppi)||8.0 inches||2.3GHz CPU ; 2GB RAM ; 16GB Storage ; Kepler GPU|
|Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro||Tablet & Projector||2560 x 1600 (299 ppi)||10.1 inches||1.6GHz ; 2GB RAM ; 32GB Storage ; Intel HD Graphics GPU|
|Samsung Galaxy Tab S3||Tablet||2048 x 1536 (264 ppi)||9.7 inches||2.2GHz CPU ; 4GB RAM ; 32GB Storage ; Arenal 530 GPU|
|Apple iPad Pro||Tablet||2732 x 2048 (264 ppi)||12.9 inches||2.3GHz CPU ; 2GB RAM ; 256GB Storage ; 12-core GPU|
|Google Pixelbook||2-in-1||2400 x 1600 (235 ppi)||12.3 inches||3.3GHz CPU ; 8GB RAM ; 128GB Storage ; Intel HD Graphics 615|
|Surface Pro||2-in-1||2736 x 1824 (267 ppi)||12.3 inches||3.5GHz CPU ; 8GB RAM ; 128GB SSD Storage ; Intel HD Graphics|
Zoom In: Our Top 10 List of the Best Gaming Tablets
So without further ado let’s dive into the 10 of the best gaming tablets of 2019.
1. Amazon Fire 7 – Best Budget Tablet for Gaming
Amazon Fire HD is indeed an excellent choice for gaming, at a price point defying all competition! The Fire is designed for entertainment, such as reading, playing games and watching videos. The Fire is perfect for youngsters too. Amazon offers entry-level performance, with good ergonomics and a compact 7-inch format that is easily transportable.
If you’re on a tight budget and enjoy Amazon’s services and apps, this is a great buy. Good screen, easily transportable and accessible, with easy access to Amazon’s ecosystem. It will delight all those who do not want to put too much hurt on the ole wallet. For video playback, Amazon’s Fire tablet holds up. It supports many formats, SD, 720p HD, full HD, but it has a little more trouble with MKV format (you can download an application that supports this format to read them). At the under $100 price point, this is our pick for the best cheap gaming tablet.
- Its price very attractive, we cannot find better value for an entry level
- Its microSD card slot makes it possible to add up to 128 GB of memory
- The grip of the tablet is easy, perfect for the whole family
- The Amazon operating system offers easy access to its own features (Kindle, Amazon underground …) and allows you to watch videos, read books and browse the web without worries
- Camera and video is poor quality
- The sound at the back and the headphone output are subpar
- Not a beautiful design
2. ASUS ZenPad S8 – Best Budget Android Tablet for Gaming
The ASUS ZenPad S8 is a must have gaming tablet. It’s not just an incredibly thin, but also a super-fast tablet that can keep up with the iPad in most regards.
To give the ASUS ZenPad S8 power for many hours (up to 8), it comes with a lush 4,000 mAh battery equipped with energy-saving mode and smart Ultra energy-saving mode for extra long with a charge. Even powerful 5m/2m dual cameras may are not missing from the new ASUS ZenPad S8.
With a 32GB SSD, 2GB RAM, and quad-core 64 bit 1.3GHz processor, the ZenPad will help you zen out on your favorite Android games. It comes stocked with Android 5.0 Lollipop which is just as tasty as it sounds. The ASUS VisualMaster Suite is a combination of visual enhancement technologies that optimize the brightness, sharpness, contract, and other display specs of this tablet. Yes that means those games will look that much prettier.
Its construction is high quality, has more computing power, and a stronger battery with a longer runtime. It is very light due to the narrow housing, but this is at the expense of the battery.
- 32GB SSD is fast and loads apps & games quickly
- Excellent display technology; ASUS VisualMaster Suite is a winner
- Great performance for the price
- Battery life could be better, 4,000 mAh is somewhat low
3. Acer Chromebook R 11 Convertible – Best Budget 2-in-1 for Gaming
This gaming tablet runs on Chrome OS, an efficient and fast operating system ideal for a 2-in-1. As such, apps can easily be downloaded from the Google Play Store. The versatility of being able to switch between laptop and tablet mode is extremely nice if you ever want to use Microsoft Office or Google’s Suite and/or write emails on it with the fully functional keyboard. Furthermore, Google Chromebooks come with 100GB of Google Drive cloud space so you’ll be able to have all your files backed up and being able to access them from any computer or phone. Of course, in tablet mode it functions wonderfully, where you can play games and watch movies in high definition.
As far as hardware specs for the money go, this Acer Chromebook stretches your dollar farther. A stellar IPS display 32GB SSD storage, 4GB RAM, integrated Intel HD graphics, and an Intel Celeron 1.6GHz processor keep this puppy running real quick. The premium alumnium top cover is a real beauty and the minimal branding doesn’t interfere with aesthetics.
- Great 2-in-1 for the price
- Chrome OS is fast and efficient; access to Google Play Store
- Fully functioning keyboard and 100GB of Google Drive space makes this double as a productivity tool
- Weight is higher than standalone tablets
- 1366 x 768 resolution
4. Nintendo Switch – Best ‘Tablet’ with Controllers
Okay, okay you got us. This isn’t technically a tablet but as gamers ourselves we couldn’t help ourselves from sneaking it onto this list. The Nintendo Switch is a really cool piece of hardware. It is a console that is able to switch to a portable touchscreen and then you have the option to lock in the remotes on either side for extra fun gaming experiences. If you’re looking to buy a gift for a video game enthusiast, we highly encourage this one if you’re in the $300 price range — the gift receiver will love you forever. The fact that the Switch is in the same ballpark price as some of the more quality tablets, it’s hard not to include this in your list of top options.
Keep in mind you’ll only be able to play games from Nintendo’s Game Store, not those from Apple’s App Store or the Google Play Store. That being said, Nintendo does have a great game selection, so you’ll be able to play games like Fornite, Super Smash Bros Ultimate, Mario Kart 8, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Skyrim, and Minecraft on-the-go and on the TV. Most of those are 10x better than what is available in the app stores, just sayin’.
This versatile device ensures you always have something fun to do on hand — for the office, the lecture hall, the couch at home, or that annoyingly rigid seat on the train.
- Great game selection; best portable gaming experience
- Works on TV’s and on-the-go
- Competitive price to other medium and high end tablets
- Hulu, Fortnite, Breath of the Wild
- Touchscreen will be nice when more apps become available
- Most media apps (Netflix included) do not have support
- No movie player yet
5. Nvidia K1 – The Ultimate Tablet for Gamers
This tablet easily made our list of the best gaming tablets. Nvidia knows gaming. This K1 gaming tablet is probably the most restrained device in terms of looks. It could be compared to the design of the iPad Mini 4, although this is a bit slimmer and more elegant. The Nvidia Shield K1 relies more on a classic plastic look. A rubber shell helps protect the tablet from light falls. However, going beyond the look, the feel and handling of the tablet is where it really shines. Here you feel that the device is very high quality. The texture of the rubberized surface helps you keep a good grip. Unfortunately, the downside is that the back is very sensitive to fingerprints and other types of dirt.
Games such as Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing or Need for Speed: No Limits run flawlessly. Some games have even made the effort to customize them for the gaming tablet, so there are no problems. Thus titles like Galaxy on Fire 2 play seamlessly unlike the Acer Predator 8. Although the device is cheaper than someother gaming tablets, it has a lot to offer. With the in-house Tegra K1 processor , the gaming tablet even surpasses the iPad Mini 4 and is by far the best device specs wise in our comparison.
In addition to the games from the traditional Google Play Store, the Nvidia Shield K1 is an absolute highlight. Nvidia also has its own shop for the gaming tablet. Here are games that have been specially adapted for the device. You also have the opportunity to download and play top games like Half Life 2 , The Witcher and Doom 3. Indeed, the Shield K1 is one of the only gaming tablet with games that you could otherwise only play on your PC or laptop.
- Great game selection
- Super Amoled screen, very bright and contrasted
- Rubberized shell protection
- Top tier performance
- The battery that does not overheat at all
- The disappearance of the LED flash and the infrared remote control
- The position of the speakers (unsuited to playing movies in landscape mode)
- The price
6. Lenovo YOGA Tab 3 Pro – Best Android Tablet for Gaming
The design of the Yoga Tablet 3 Pro by Lenovo is as powerful as it is eye-catching. The reason for this is the characteristic battery cylinder, which often makes the device look like a rolled-up magazine. But this – in addition to the unmistakable appearance – also provides for two of the biggest advantages of the flexible tablet: a huge battery and excellent ergonomics. Not only does this cylinder house a rotating stand and mini projector, it also keeps the tablet comfortably in hand for extended periods of time, thanks to its balanced center of gravity. This may also be necessary, because with a battery life of up to 18 hours, the Yoga Tablet 3 Pro is a true endurance runner. So much so even that the device comes with a cable that allows you to charge other devices via the tablet.
The brilliant image quality of the screen and the long battery life are a real pleasure for movie and TV series fans – especially on the go. However, what puts the entertainment crown in the hands of the Yoga Tablet 3 Pro is the integrated mini-projector, which turns every room into a cinema. It is flexibly rotatable and with 50 lumens of brightness provides enough power for a screen diagonal of 70 inches. The four integrated JBL speakers with Dolby Atmos technology make the small projector perfect. Its dynamics and sound quality leaves even some headphones far behind.
In addition to the rotatable projector, the battery cylinder also has a rotatable base, to which the Yoga Tablet 3 Pro owes its name. With it, the tablet provides unparalleled flexibility: The device can be set up stable at any angle – for typing, watching movies or surfing. In addition, the tablet can be hung by the recess integrated in the stand. Whether traveling by car – for the little ones in the back seat – or in the kitchen – as a digital cookbook. The housing is water-resistance for the first time with this model. More flexibility in one device is not possible!
- Good battery life (up to 18 hours)
- Audio quality is excellent; four JBL speakers with Dolby Atmos do work
- Great resolution; bright and sharp display
- You pay extra for the projector if you don’t end up using it often
7. Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 – Best Samsung Galaxy Tablet
Even better than the first version, you will be hard pressed to find better than the Samsung Tab S3. It is the thinnest and lightest, its weight makes it easily transportable for unparalleled mobility. It can meet your expectations if you are looking for a tablet for mixed use, for work and for leisure, with your family at home or in the office.
If you want to invest in a high-end 10-inch tablet and want the best, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 should be among your options. Visually, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 tablet is superb, and we must even admit that it is one of the most beautiful products of its generation. As always with Samsung, only materials of the highest quality have been chosen. Subject to good treatment and good digital hygiene your device should be able to withstand years of intensive use without ever losing much performance. Keeping the operating system and apps up to date, you’ll get to experience the best Android has to offer.
In reality, this device is at the pinnacle of tablet technology and will offer you a multitude of possibilities. Its dimensions are ideal and that they allow for a particularly ergonomic grip. With a width of 16.9 centimeters, a height of 23.7 centimeters and an impressive thickness of only 6 millimeters, you will not get tired of holding this tablet in your hands, especially as its weight is only 430 grams.
- Superb design
- Samsung S Pen Stylus works well
- Responsive and intuitive screen; Super AMOLED display is lovely
- A whopping 4GB of exceptional RAM
- High price
- Screen relatively fragile
8. Google Pixelbook – Best Google Tablet
The Google Pixelbook comes with a sizable 12.3 inch display and is about the same size as other premium tablet options on the market compared to the iPad Pro (12.5 inch) or the Surface Pro 4 (12.3 inch). In our top 10 list comparison, however, it is one of the most powerful gaming tablets right next to the Surface Pro.
Regarding the screen, Google offers a 2400 x 1600 (235 ppi) resolution format with a IPS screen bolstered by Corning Gorilla Glass. The advantage of IPS technology over other displays is that it can be viewed from any angle without losing picture quality. This remains true even when the tablet screen is set to high brightness or playing a high definition video for example.
The design is not overdone or gaudy. Google stuck with a classic and minimalist theme with sleek aluminum In addition, no big logos or branding can be seen on Pixelbook. The only clue that lets us know it’s a Google product is the little “G” on the back.
Google markets this is a 4-in-1 laptop and tablet solution. That’s because it comes with a smooth 360 degree hinge that let’s you switch between standard laptop mode, standard tablet mode, tent mode, and entertainment mode.
Back in 2017, the Pixel C was considered one of a handful of gaming tablets for Android that was actually worth buying. The Pixelbook is its replacement. This fact has not changed with this new model and anyone who enjoys quality hardware above everything else will be pleased with the Pixelbook build quality. The new features of the Chrome OS operating system have taken the user experience of the tablet to a new level. The improved notifications and split-window mode are definitely among the highlights.
- Google Assistant is best in class
- Google didn’t skimp on specs
- Pixelbook Pen works well
- Getting harder to find; high prices
- Screen relatively fragile
9. Apple iPad Pro (2017) – Best All-Around Tablet
This iPad Pro (2017) exemplifies the idea that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel to have a successful product. Especially if you are Apple. Although it reminds us of the design of the first iPad Air, there is more to it than you would expect at first glance. Technically, the iPad Pro (2017) is eclipsed by the latest iPad Pro, but does one really need that extra performance? If not, you can save yourself some money by going with the 2017 iPad Pro. Furthermore, the Apple App Store still has the best selection of casual games and getting access to that may very well be worth buying into.
The biggest difference to the predecessor is the display. It is slightly lighter and it is not completely laminated. The advantage of this is that it can be repaired more easily. It performs decently in the outdoors under direct sunlight conditions but sometimes you need to crank that brightness all the way up to really see what’s going on. One the whole the display is crisp, shows great color, and is very bright.
Even if you have to make a few compromises on the iPad (2017) when say compared to the iPad Pro it is currently the best tablet for money. Those who wants to work with a tablet and use it as a laptop replacement, would be best served with the iPad Pro . Editing 4K video, rendering 3D models, and more are possible with the Pro’s A10X Fusion chip with 64-bit architecture and six cores. For people who just want a tablet for everyday life or casual gaming, it is clearly too expensive.
In terms of battery life, Apple’s iPad is still 10 hours. In fact, we were even able to use the iPad for much longer. Of course, that depends heavily on the usage and for example with full screen brightness that number will drop. Under normal everyday conditions, the battery life of the iPad (2017) is definitely top notch.
- Very powerful processor and long battery life
- iOS App Store still has the best app selection
- Apple’s polish; looks very pretty
- Still very expensive
- Can get better hardware specs for the money elsewhere
10. Microsoft Surface Pro – Best Windows Tablet for Gaming
The choice of a Surface Pro 4 is dictated by that of the Windows operating system. The Microsoft tablet stands out due to its power, compactness (292 x 201 x 8.4 mm), its light weight (766 g without the keyboard) and its 12.3 inch LCD IPS technology screen offering a huge resolution of 2880 x 1800 pixels (ratio 3/2). In fact, several versions are available, with a storage space of 128 GB to 1 TB, and a chip Core M3, i5-6300U or i7-6650U accessing a RAM of 8 to 16 GB. Both video sensors offer a resolution of 5 and 8 Mpixels. As for the battery life, it reaches 9 h.
There are several versions of the Surface Pro 4 because the configuration may vary at the processor, RAM and storage (see technical specifications at the end of this article). Their midrange configuration, with an Intel Core i5-6300U processor, 8 GB RAM and 256 GB of storage is a great balance of components and cost. The performance measured by the Antutu test proved to be a good level, is a general score of 227159 points that can be compared with other tablets on this comparative table . In use, the tablet is very responsive, in the Windows interface and in most applications. Only the most resource-hungry, like 3D games, will be penalized.
What about the entry-level version, with an Intel Core M3 with only 4 GB? An answer element is provided by our test of the Samsung Galaxy TabPro S which in this same configuration was quite reactive. The Surface Pro 4 should be at the same level.
- One of Microsoft’s best pieces of hardware; can replace a laptop
- Unlocking by facial recognition
- Full size USB 3 port
- Lots of ways to configure it
- The smart Surface Pen works like a charm; Surface Dial is cool
- 13.5 hours of battery life
- No discrete GPU
- Overheating and screen quality issues in some models
Gaming Tablet Guide Part I: Top 3 Most Common Mistakes When Picking Out a Tablet
The most common reasons people buy gaming ready tablets is that they are annoyed with their phone’s small screen size and want that extra display real estate a tablet offers, they are performance junkies and want the very best, or they’ve found a game like Hearthstone or Fortnite and want to play it on the go.
- Focusing on looks over specs. There are some tablets that look really pretty but actually cost more than models that feature better hardware on the inside.
- Assuming a tablet can play any game. iOS store and Android store have different app and game selections. However, most really popular games will be available on both. Keep in mind: Apple and Android tablets will not be able to play Windows, PlayStation, or Xbox games. The exceptions being a 2-in-1 device that runs Windows or a specialized device like the Nvidia Shield Tablet.
- Not getting enough storage. We highly recommend at least 16GB of storage and if your budget permits, 64-128GB or more. Game and app file sizes keep getting larger so by spending that little extra for more storage you are essentially future proofing your device.
Gaming Tablet Guide Part II: Pro Tips for Buying a Gaming Tablet
Whether you’re looking for the best Android tablet of 2019 or simply want a budget model to run games on instead of your phone, here’s a few things to keep in mind before spending that dough.
Before you buy a 10-inch tablet, you should be aware of how big a device it is and whether it meets your needs. Larger tablets will need the use of both hands to be operated efficiently, whereas with smaller tablets most folks can get by with one hand. For use on the road, for example, in the bus and train, a smaller tablet of 7-8 inches is ideal.
Anyone who often uses Microsoft Office, wants to open and edit PDF documents, or wants to work with a pen on the tablet, however, will be better off with a 10 inch tablet. Whether it is one of Samsung tablets, an iPad, or a cheaper tablet there are many sizes available. Of course, care must be taken that the matching tablets to cases, you’ll want to double check the fit before buying.
The central element of a tablet is the display. It serves as a visual output and control alike, so on the one hand it has to provide good image quality and on the other hand, precise and responsive to touch and gesture commands. Cheap displays can usually be recognized quickly: they have a coarse-grained resolution, where individual pixels can be recognized, often too little or uneven brightness, and poor viewing angles.
As nice as a 10 inch tablet screen is, if the resolution is not good, it’s better to grab a smaller device. Since multimedia use, such as watching movies, series or videos, is often the focus of 10-inch tablets, the maximum resolution needs to be high for an optimal viewing experience.
HD playback requires a minimum resolution of 1,280 × 720 pixels. For a tablet to be true 1080p HD capable, the resolution should be at least 1,920 × 1,080 pixels.
With good tablet displays one often has the impression that the image is displayed directly on the glass surface and not deep inside the case. Individual pixels are no longer recognizable in Full HD or Retina displays. As a rule, LCD displays are used at the tablet size, and the popular IPS technology manufacturers generally use usually ensures very good viewing angle stability.
Internal Memory and Extension
If you want to keep a bunch of eBooks, movies, music, apps, and other files on your Tablet PC at your fingertips, you should look out for a tablet with large internal memory. Since most tablets have already pre-installed apps and their respective operating system also occupies some space, it is important to keep your eye on that storage specification.
In case of emergency, so if there is a lack of space, the storage can be extended via SD card — in many cases up to 128GB or even more.
These factors aren’t as important as the above, but worth thinking about.
Think about a 2-in-1
Does a 2-in-1 laptop and tablet hybrid make more sense for your situation? If you’re going to University save yourself some bucks and buy one device instead of two. With a Surface Pro or Pixelbook, you’ll be able to write papers and do a little casual gaming on the side. A fully functional keyboard can really be a nice option to have when you need to crank out an email or get any kind of work done. If you’re simply looking for a gaming, web browsing, and movie/tv show watching device, then a standalone tablet should work fine.
Internet Connection and Connectivity
Some models can only be connected via Wi-Fi , which is known to not be freely available everywhere.
If the tablet is capable of 3G or LTE, a SIM card can also be used for mobile surfing and the dependency on an available Wi-Fi network within reach is eliminated. Be careful though, those data plans can get spendy! Necessary for this is a SIM card slot, so that the mobile Internet can be savored to the fullest. Meanwhile, LTE is the mobile standard and is also known as 4G. The basic function of LTE is exactly like 3G, but the download rates are faster and the data exchange is even smoother. LTE is backwards compatible with 3G, so if you can not receive LTE in your environment at the moment, continue surfing in brisk 3G .
If you’re going to use the tablet mainly at home or in places with an available Wi-Fi network, a tablet with an internet connection via Wifi might be enough. The wifi versions of the tablets are usually much cheaper than the devices with LTE capability.
If you want to use extra peripheral like a gaming keyboard or gaming mouse of your choice then you have to look for a gaming tablet that has this connectivity option enabled. Not every tablet comes with this option so in that case you want to check carefully before you make a final decision.
Keep in mind tablets and 2-in-1’s run a variety of operating systems including Windows, Android, Apple iOS, and Chrome OS. That means not all games will be accessible because each OS has access to different app stores. Also, lookout for which version of the OS the tablet is running. Newer tablets will run the latest OS, while older tablets may need to be upgraded to the latest OS (in the case of Android that’s 6.0 Marshmallow). Here you will find the right installation instructions (in English).
Especially if you want to use your tablet while traveling, you should pay attention to a decent battery life. Good battery life, for example, can be found with most Huawei Tablets or iPads, some Samsung Tablet models look a little worse in terms of the battery. If you plan to use your tablet on the move or to stream many videos, use it as a replacement for a laptop, series and movies, you should choose a model with a high maximum battery life (eg an Acer tablet).
If regularly running apps are closed in the background and communication via Bluetooth and GPS are turned on only when needed, the models from our tablet comparison 2019 hold out sufficiently long.
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