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Best Student Tablets (2022): Which Tablets Are Best For Students?

For parents, as well as college students, choosing the right tablet for studying can be a daunting task since the market is flooded with choices—from budget to high-end ones. It’s made even harder if you don’t know which factors are important when picking one. Today, we’ll try to ease that burden by listing our top picks for the best tablets for students. We’ve done the research for you, so all you have to do is pick one from this list that includes top offerings from best sellers such as Apple and Samsung.

Best Student Tablets Comparison Chart

ModelPriceReasons To Buy
Apple iPad Pro 12.9 (2021)Check PriceMost powerful tablet
Beautiful display
Apple iPad Mini 6th GenCheck PriceSmall form factor
Fast
Lightweight
Microsoft Surface Go 2Check PriceAccess to full version Windows applications
Excellent design
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 LiteCheck PriceAlready includes S Pen
Micro SD slot
Excellent battery life
Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 LiteCheck PriceCompact design
Affordable

Apple iPad Pro 12.9 (2021)

Best high-end tablet

The Apple iPad Pro 12.9 (2021) is the most powerful tablet to-date, but also the most expensive.

For students that want the best performance, nothing can match up to Apple’s flagship iPad Pro 12.9 (2021) tablet. Equipped with the M1 chip, it’s close to the performance of a MacBook that sports the same chipset. It features a 12.9-inch screen, so it’s quite big and it’s not the best option for portability. The display is very good though, featuring a 120Hz refresh rate, HDR10 & Dolby Vision support, and it has a peak brightness of 1600 nits, which makes it useable even when under direct sunlight.

With the M1 chip, it offers the best performance out of all the tablets listed here. Paired with the Apple Pencil 2 stylus, the tablet is great for productivity. The design of the tablet has a premium feel with its aluminum frame. One disadvantage, though, is that it’s quite heavy at 682 grams.

If you have the money, this is definitely the best tablet that you can get, especially for students that need to run hardware intensive applications. However, for a lot of people, the asking price may just be too much.

Apple iPad Mini 6th Gen (2021)

Best small form factor tablet for students

Equipped with the Apple A15 Bionic chip, the iPad Mini 6th gen is a powerful tablet in a small form factor.

Combining excellent portability with more than enough juice under the hood, the Apple iPad Mini 6 is our pick for the best tablet with a small form factor. It sports an 8.3-inch IPS display which is a lot smaller than most tablets that usually have a 10+ inch screen. Due to its smaller form factor, it’s also lightweight, weighing only 293 grams or around 10 ounces. This small form factor and lightweight build lends to excellent portability.

The iPad Mini 6 comes with the powerful A15 Bionic chip from Apple. It can run most hardware intensive apps without any issues. It’s also compatible with the Apple Pencil 2, just like the iPad Pro above, for productivity, note taking, doodling and other activities. At its current price, the Apple iPad Mini 6 offers excellent value, especially if portability is a major concern.

Microsoft Surface Go 2

Best Windows tablet for students

Although a bit underpowered, the Microsoft Surface Go 2 allows you to run full versions of Windows desktop applications.

Microsoft’s Surface Go 2 is a bit underpowered, but it offers something that other tablets here don’t—the ability to run full versions of Windows desktop applications just as you would on a desktop PC or a laptop. Needless to say, this is a huge advantage since you’re not limited to the cut-down versions of these apps available on the Google Play Store and App Store.

It has a premium and stylish design and it’s also lightweight for portability. The 10.5-inch screen is just right for a lot of applications. You can get the Surface Go 2 Type Cover and you’ll have a highly portable laptop in a tablet form factor. The Type Cover is great for writing essays and reports without having to lug around a heavier laptop.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite

Best mid-range tablet for students

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite comes with the S Pen, which makes it an excellent value mid-range tablet.

In the mid-range tablet category, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite, even though an older model, is still a worthwhile option. The inclusion of the S Pen makes this our best tablet for student note taking if you don’t want to shell out more money for a separate stylus.

As for performance, it’s not the best, but it’s also not the worst. It has decent performance that can run most apps without any issues, save for the hardware intensive ones. For most students, the Galaxy Tab S6 Lite will be more than enough, especially for note taking, reading books and other light activities.

Other notable features of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite are its excellent battery life of up to 12 hours, and the inclusion of a microSD card slot, which allows you to store reading materials, media and other files required for your studies.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite

Best tablet for elementary students

A smaller 8.7-inch screen makes the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite highly portable.

For those on a budget, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite is our recommendation. It’s a cheap tablet that’s highly portable since it only has an 8.7-inch screen. The screen won’t wow anybody, but for the price, it’s more than acceptable. Performance is also not the best, but that’s to be expected with a tablet in this price range. That said, it’s no slouch either. The MT8768T Helio P22T chipset is a capable chipset for daily student tasks such as reading, taking notes, watching media and the like.

The battery life is good enough to last a whole day, it comes with a 3.5mm jack and it also has a microSD slot for storing your PDF files, media files and more. If you are on a tight budget, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite is an excellent option.

Verdict

Students have a lot of options when it comes to tablets.

Apple iPad Pro 12.9 (2021)

Apple iPad Mini 6th Gen

If you have the money and you want the best tablet, the Apple iPad Pro 12.9 2021 is the best option. Featuring Apple’s M1 chip, it outclasses every tablet when it comes to performance. That said, it is quite expensive, so it might not be the best option for a lot of people. If you want excellent performance but at a fraction of the price of the iPad Pro 12.9, the Apple iPad Mini 6th gen is an excellent alternative. It’s not as powerful, but it still offers excellent performance due to its a15 Bionic chip. A lot of students will also appreciate its more compact and lighter build, which makes it highly portable.

For students that want a Windows-based tablet, the Surface Go 2 offers a nice price-to-performance value. You’ll be able to run Windows 10 (with a free upgrade to Windows 11) on this tablet and this offers a few of advantages such as running full versions of Windows applications and familiarity if you also own a Windows PC at home.

For those on a budget, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite and Tab A7 Lite are worthy considerations. They aren’t the most powerful, but they offer excellent value, particularly, the Tab S6 Lite. It already includes the S Pen so you don’t have to worry about additional expenses.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ For students, which is better, a laptop or a tablet?

It depends on your needs. For lighter activities, a tablet is much better since it is lighter and more portable. However, for more demanding activities, a laptop with better specs is ideal.

๐Ÿ“Œ What is the best tablet for engineering students?

You’ll need every ounce of power that you can get for running hardware intensive apps, so the choices come down to Apple’s flagship iPad Pro or Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra.

๐Ÿ“Œ What is the best tablet for student note taking?

Any tablet will do for note taking, but you’ll want to buy something that already includes a stylus in the package, such as most of Samsung’s Galaxy tablets.

๐Ÿ“Œ What is the best tablet for nursing students?

For nursing students, a tablet with a nice screen and plenty of storage is ideal. Also, a good camera for recording videos of various procedures is important. That said, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S8 line come with a nice camera, a microSD slot for storage and they also have excellent displays for extended reading.

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Carlo Salvador

Senior Editor at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about fitness, gaming and music.