The best gaming tablets

Take your games with you everywhere you go with one of the best gaming tablets.

A tablet with a competitive game displayed on it.

by Isabel Martins |

When it comes to gaming, you don't have to be restricted to a gaming PC or home console. If you're on the move a lot, or simply want to bring your gaming world with you (like many of us do), you can do so with a gaming tablet.

Of course, you also have the option of a gaming laptop, however gaming tablets are preferable for people who travel a lot. This is due to the fact that they are usually lighter, making them easier to pack and ultimately bring around.

If you're truly concerned with transportability, then you may want to consider the Nintendo Switch or other handheld consoles that are ideal for travelling. However, if you also want to be able to carry out any office tasks or browse social media, you're better off purchasing a tablet.

Related: The best Nintendo Switch games

Another pretty handy perk of gaming tablets is that they are significantly cheaper than gaming laptops, so you won't have to break the bank to find an excellent tablet.

Before you decide which tablet to give your money to, there are a few things to consider when browsing for these devices. You'll want a decent screen size and a great resolution, so that you can get the most immersive experience and catch nuanced details, you'll also want a powerful processor as you'll be able to have a smooth video that won't jolt or run slow - this is especially key for competitive, racing and first-person shooter games.

And if you prefer a Samsung Galaxy over an iPad, don't worry, our best gaming tablets guide has included a wide range of brands, from Amazon to Microsoft, we've got them all.

If you do prefer an iPad, consider purchasing a subscription to Apple Arcade, this is a subscription service which gives you access to some free mobile games.

The best gaming tablets:

2020 Apple iPad Pro (11-inch, Wi-Fi, 256GB)

Best gaming tablet overall
2020 Apple iPad Pro (11-inch, Wi-Fi, 256GB)
Amazon

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As one of the best iPads, it's easy to see why this has made the top of our list. It boasts an impressive resolution, a gorgeous display, an excellent camera system and a long-lasting battery life. We also love how powerful it is, all due to its A12 bionic processor and that it now features an eight-core CPU, meaning it's pretty fast and can handle running more graphically demanding games. The 11-inch display is a great size for most games, but if you're looking to lose yourself into Call of Duty: Mobile, or need a more immersive experience, consider going for the 12.9-inch Apple iPad Pro. If you do select this tablet, make sure to check out our best iPad cases too, as you'll want to keep your hardware safe.

Pros Cons
• Superb display •Expensive
• Powerful processor
Specifications
Screen size 11 inches
Resolution 2388 x 1668 pixels
CPU A12Z Bionic
Weight 639g

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+

Best Android gaming tablet
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+
Amazon

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The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ provides all the features you'd need in a gaming tablet, with a powerful battery of 10,090 mAh, fast performance, and a gorgeous Super AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate, you're in for a pretty sweet gaming experience. The quick refresh rate, excellent resolution and AMOLED display mean you'll be able to spot any nuanced details in the game (ideal for competitive games such as Fortnite and PUBG), the video will be pretty smooth and the images displayed on the screen will be sharp and crisp. Its 12.4-inch display is also a nice perk as it's slightly larger than the average tablet size, and it only weighs 571g, making it easily transportable.

Pros Cons
• Gorgeous AMOLED display •Costly
• Fast refresh rate
Specifications
Screen size 12.4 inches
Resolution 2800 x 1752 pixels
CPU Octa-core
Weight 571g

Fire HD 8 Tablet

Best budget gaming tablet
Fire HD 8 Tablet
Amazon

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Of course, bagging one of the best gaming tablets doesn't mean spending an exorbitant amount. Aside from being great value for price, the Amazon Fire HD 8 Tablet also features a camera, decent resolution and a nice battery life. If you commute or travel a lot, then this is a great option for you as it is extremely lightweight. The internal memory is low (32GB or 64GB), but can be expanded via a microSD. However, it's important to note that it only has a 7-inch screen and lacks processing power, so if you're looking for a more state-of-the-art tablet, this won't be the one for you.

Pros Cons
• Great price •Poor resolution
• Lightweight
Specifications
Screen size 7 inches
Resolution 800 x 1280 pixels
CPU Quad-core
Weight 285g

Apple iPad mini (7.9-inch, Wi-Fi, 64GB)

Best small gaming tablet
Apple iPad mini (7.9-inch, Wi-Fi, 64GB)
Amazon

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Now if you are in the market for something super lightweight, sleek, and easy to carry around, then the Apple iPad mini may just be for you. You won't have to compromise too much on the screen size as it is 7.9 inches, and the device itself is pretty feature packed. The battery lasts up to 10 hours and it boasts a A12 processor which will ensure your games run smoothly and quickly, it can also handle running some of the more intensive creative programs too.

Pros Cons
• Compact and lightweight •No USB-C
• Powerful processor
Specifications
Screen size 7.9 inches
Resolution 2048 x 1536 pixels
CPU Hexa-core
Weight 299g

Microsoft Surface GO 2

Recommended
Microsoft Surface GO 2
Amazon

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If you're not interested in any Samsung, Amazon or Apple products, then consider this Microsoft tablet. It's excellent for any light gaming you may want to do, whether it's on your commute or waiting for an appointment. Thanks to its Windows 10 operating system, it doubles up as a working tablet too, so feel free to do any administrative or more heavy-duty work tasks you need on it too. It's important to note that it can only handle light games and will not be able to run more demanding games, so if you're a more serious gamer this won't be the product for you.

Pros Cons
• Has Windows 10 •Can’t run intensive games
• Excellent for work tasks too
Specifications
Screen size 10.5 inches
Resolution 1920 x 1280 pixels
CPU Intel Pentium Gold
Weight 544g

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6

Recommended
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6
Amazon

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What makes the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 such an excellent choice is that you can use it for gaming and work tasks alike, making it quite versatile. However, unlike the Microsoft Surface Go 2, it can handle and run more intensive games. This is due to its powerful Snapdragon 855 processor. The AMOLED display is also a nice perk, as it displays crisp colours with sharp contrasts and vivid imagery.

Pros Cons
• Excellent display •No headphone jack
• Versatile
Specifications
Screen size 10.5 inches
Resolution 2560 x 1600 pixels
CPU Octa-core
Weight 408g

FAQs:

What is a CPU?

A CPU stands for central processing unit and even though it can be slightly confusing, it is the same thing as a processor. They often consist of multiple cores, and the higher the number of cores the more processes it can carry out, improving the performance of your game.

What should I look for in a tablet for gaming?

There are several things to consider when purchasing a gaming tablet, these factors will depend on whether you want to use it for intensive games or whether you're only looking to run light games. Overall you should look for a tablet with a great resolution and a decent screen size, as well as a long battery life (nothing worse than your tablet dying out mid-game) and how heavy it is.

If you're a serious gamer, you'll need one with a powerful processor and a fast refresh rate too, as these factors ensure it'll be pretty quick and will be able to handle running more graphically demanding games. In this case, we'd recommend the iPad Pro 11 (2020).

Is a higher refresh rate better for gaming?

Yes it is. The refresh rate is essentially the number of times, per second, that the monitor updates with new images. So it's ideal to have a high refresh rate for competitive and fast-paced games, as this means you'll be able to potentially see or anticipate other player's moves and catch on to what they haven't. Refresh rates are measured in Hertz (Hz).

However, this is only important for individuals who take gaming quite seriously, and if you're only looking for a tablet that can run lighter, less graphically demanding games, then we suggest the Microsoft Surface Go 2.

What to read next?

The best Samsung tablets

The best gaming console 2021

The best gaming monitors to truly unlock your game

Isabel Martins is a Commercial Content Writer for What's The Best, specialising in technology.

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