From taking notes to giving a presentation to researching for my paper, the tablet has definitely made my life easier. Nowadays, even the education system is encouraging the use of tablets in various educational institutions. Thus, all the leading names in this business are launching tablets especially made to cater to the specific needs of a college student. Now, the process of finding the right tablet for you is crucial and also time-consuming. So, if you haven’t done your research right you may end up spending a huge sum of your saved money on a tablet you are going to hate. Hence, in this article, I will share with you the 11 best tablets for college students with a detailed review of each tablet and also a buying guide that will help you to choose the best tablet as per your budget and preference.
So, without further ado, here they are.
Here are the things we took into consideration while ranking our tablets – price, performance, durability, keyboard, stylus pen, screen-size, quality.
1. Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 #Most recommended for Students
On the 5th of August 2020, Samsung announced the release of its newest tablet, which is the Galaxy Tab S7 that will be available later this year. It is a much-improved and more powerful version of the previous Galaxy S6 tablet. Therefore, this will be the perfect tablet for fast-paced student life.
Galaxy S7 looks very sleek. This an 11- inch tablet. It is big enough to do writing and reading, as well as watching movies after a long day at college/ school. Galaxy S7 is compact enough to carry with you everywhere and will fit in most bags and backpacks. In fact, it is only 6.3 mm thick, making it lightweight as well.
It has a full aluminum build with beautiful metal sides that provides a high-end feel. The corners are rounded, providing a sleek and modern feel to this tablet. Additionally, it comes in 3 different colors. That is mystic bronze, mystic black, and mystic silver. Therefore, you have the option to choose which tone will suit your style the most.
This tablet uses Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865+ chipset. Currently, it is one of the best mobile and tablet chipsets available on the market. It has an Octa-core (Kryo 585) CPU and Adreno 650 GPU. This is a brilliant and fast-acting combination.
The 11-inch model comes with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. This is more than enough to enable you to play the newest games and apps without issues.
It can be concluded that you can expect a high-end performance for gaming and AI applications. Therefore, you will not have to worry about this tablet’s performance irrespective of what task you have to do.
- OS: Android 10, One UI 2.5
- Processor: Octa-core (1×3.09 GHz Kryo 585 & 3×2.42 GHz Kryo 585 & 4×1.8 GHz Kryo 585
- Storage: 128GB up to 512 GB
- RAM: 6GB – 8 GB
- Camera: Back – 13 MP, f/2.0, Front – 5 MP, f/2.2
- Graphics: Qualcomm SM8250 Snapdragon 865+
- Display: 11-inch, 12.4-inch
- Resolution: 1600 x 2560, 1752 x 2800
- Size: 9.99 x 6.51 x 0.25 in, 11.22 x 7.28 x 0.22 in
- Weight: 1.1lbs, 1.27lbs
- Port: USB-C port
- Battery: up to 9.5 hours
- Lightweight and travel-friendly.
- It gas Qualcomm SM8250 Snapdragon 865+, which improves GPU and CPU efficiency.
- It comes with 45W fast-charging technology.
- The latency of the stylus has been cut down to just 9ms, providing a more life-like experience while using the stylus.
- Comes in 3 different colors.
- Full aluminum build.
- Available with 128GB and 256GB memory.
- Galaxy S7 does not have a 3.5 mm jack.
- Keyboard not included in the price
2. Apple iPad Pro (2021)
The 2021 released iPad Pro is one of the most amazing tablets out there(it many categories it has absolutely no competition). For years there has been a gap between a tablet and a laptop; however, the same is reduced to a considerable margin, all thanks to the features that the 2021 iPad Pro brings.
Bringing home the best built and hardware, the 2021 iPad Pro is an excellent solution for college students. No matter if you wish to take notes, draw graphs, do some art, surf the web and social media or deal with similar practices, this device will ensure everything is done in the most promising manner. Additionally, if you pair it up with the official Magic Keyboard and Apple Stylus, operations will shift to a new level of productiveness in a matter of time. Besides studies and professional activities, the 2021 iPad Pro is a great device for rendering other kinds of stuff like high-end games, HD videos, and more.
Students mostly choose it because it can handle any task a laptop can and almost every task that a smartphone can. Also, taking notes with the Apple Pencil truly feels like you’re writing on a piece of paper. After getting an iPad you can throw out your notebooks, You will also be able to scan your notes among all your devices – laptop, smartphone and access them anywhere.
The iPad Pro 2021 comes with a liquid Retina XDR display, which is undoubtedly one of the best screens that featured any portable device. The Pro Motion capturing display comes with a contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1 and bags elements like refresh rate of 120Hz, support for Dolby Vision, True Tone, and P3 Wide Color. In simple words, you can expect every visual to come to life.
From watching movies to taking your notes, everything will look great on this device. Also, if you want to put your artistic creativity to the test, the device pairs up with Apple Pencil to provide you with the most fantastic experience. Moreover, other activities ranging from playing games to editing videos, everything is flawless with the 2021 iPad Pro.
True Portable Solution
Besides functionality, the iPad Pro 2021 is perfect for mobility. It is considerably lightweight, making it easy to carry as well. In case you plan to buy the Apple Pencil and a Keyboard, transforming it into a tablet won’t be much of a deal. Overall, the iPad Pro 2021 is an all-around on-the-go solution. No matter if you’re at home, school or anywhere else, drive power with convenience.
- It features the Apple iPad OS 14 (Upgradable)
- Home to next-generation Octa-core Apple M1 Silicon
- Storage: The base version is 128GB and can be extended up to 2TB
- RAM: 8GB (base), expandable up to 16GB
- Camera: A 12MP wide-angle camera (ƒ/1.8 aperture). Another 10MP, ultra-wide camera (ƒ/2.4 aperture also 125° field of view)
- Display Size: Two models available one 11-inch, and other 12.9-inch
- Resolution: The 12.9-inch display comes with 2732×2048-pixel resolution at 264 pixels per inch, while the same is a 2388×1668-pixel resolution at 264 pixels per inch for the 11-inch model
- Weight: For 12.9-inch: 1.51 lbs., For 11-inch: 1.03 lbs.
- Battery: Excellent backup of up to 10 hours
- Brilliant display, best ever for tablets.
- Top-notch camera with excellent features like “Center Stage.”
- Features a LiDAR Scanner
- Accurate and secured Touch ID or Face ID authentication
- USB Thunderbolt port makes pairing seamless
- Excellent speakers – if you need to take an online class or watch a movie.
- Power-packed processor for high-end tasks
- The 12.9-inch model, along with the case, might feel a bit uncomfortable.
It has a keyboard, it has an S Pen, a large screen and a kickstand, which will make your reading and researching tasks a bit easier. What makes it a good tablet for students is the fact that it’s portable, with the additional accessories i.e. keyboard you can turn it into a laptop. Very important is the battery life – 10-hours, since students are always on the go, continuous usage makes it convenient.
- OS: Windows 10 Home
- Processor: Dual-core 10th Gen Intel® Core™ i3-1005G1 Processor, Quad-core 10th Gen Intel® Core™ i5-1035G4 Processor, Quad-core 10th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-1065G7 Processor
- Storage: SSD 128GB – 1TB
- RAM: 4GB – 16 GB
- Camera: 5.0MP front-facing camera with 1080p full HD video, 8.0MP rear-facing autofocus camera with 1080p full HD video
- Graphics: Intel® UHD Graphics (i3), Intel® Iris™ Plus Graphics (i5, i7)
- Display: 12.3-inch
- Resolution: 2736 x 1824
- Size: 11.5” x 7.9” x 0.33” (292 mm x 201 mm x 8.5 mm)
- Weight: 1.70 lb (775 g)
- Port: USB-C port
- Battery: up to 10 hours
- Improved performance (compared to previous model)
- USB-C Port
- Sharp display
- Keyboard sold separately
- Soft speakers
4. Apple iPad Air (2020)
If your studies don’t require you to use high-demanding apps such as Photoshop or video editing or other data processing tasks, iPad Air is a great selection. (It can deal with these tasks, but we would recommend getting the Pro instead if that’s the case) The new Apple iPad Air, has incredible performance, it’s close to outperforming even iPad Pro. A modern tablet with the option to add Magic Keyboard and use the Apple Pen on it. Makes typing and note-taking convenient in class.
When school is over and time to relax – it’s great for entertainment purposes due to the excellent screen and vivid colors. It’s also packed with a great camera, to call your family and friends.
- OS: iOS
- Processor: A14 Bionic processor
- Storage: 64GB, 256GB
- RAM: 4 GB
- Camera: back – 12 MP, f/1.8, (wide), 1/3″, 1.22µm, dual pixel PDAF, front – 7 MP, f/2.0, 31mm
- Display: 10.9-inches
- Resolution:1640 x 2360 pixels
- Size: 9.75 x 7.03 x 0.23 in (247.6 x 178.5 x 5.9 mm)
- Weight: 1.04lbs (471g)
- Ports: USB Type-C + magnetic connector
- Battery: Up to 10-hours
- Supports Apple Pencil 2
- Supports Apple Magic Keyboard
- Touch ID
- Fastest ever A14 processor
- Excellent Screen
- No 120Hz ProMotion display
- High-end price
- 64GB base storage
- True depth camera
5. Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE
Moving forward with our list of best tablets for college students, we’ve got the recently launched Samsung Tab S7 FE. The new member of the S7 series comes with a whopping 12.4-inch LCD. The setup itself is brilliant enough to provide users with a great viewing experience. Alongside noticeable display size, the company does pretty well to fit in the portability factor, all thanks to the sleek design.
One thing that might leave users a bit disappointed is the use of a downgraded chipset. The device features the Snapdragon 750G processor, which seems a bit unfair for the price. Although it is not a situation to take no notice of, one thing that Samsung does well, particularly for college students, is the availability of the S pen.
Quick summary of the differences between S7 FE & S7:
We like to think of it like Apple iPad Pro and Apple iPad Air, it’s sort of a budget Samsung tablet from the most powerful tablet they have created S7 Plus (so far) and the key differences is:
Although we were a bit disappointed about the price.
Big Screen with Bigger Battery Life
Home to a 12.4-inch LCD that operates at a 60Hz refresh rate, dealing with everyday tasks will at least feel visually impressive. To add to the efficiency, the device offers a 10,900 mAh battery. With that being said, you can sit back for long usage sessions with no issues whatsoever.
The S Pen
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE comes with a standard S Pen out of the box. All thanks to that, navigating across the 12.4-inch screen will be as seamless as you can wish for. Also, operating various apps that are essential for students in everyday life is made easy with the stylus in hand.
- It comes with a 12.4-inch LCD.
- You can either choose from the 4GB or 8GB variant.
- The dimension of the device is 11.21 x 7.28 x 0.26 inches.
- The device comes with a stylus.
- It features both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Connectivity.
- It is home to a 10,900 mAh Li-Po battery.
- It promises 10- 12 hours of battery backup after a single charge.
- It comes with a sleek design with exceptional portability.
- It features an impressive display.
- The available S Pen functions really well.
- The chipset is a bit outdated.
- The device usually takes a long time to charge.
6. Google Pixel Slate
The device is very well capable of providing a visual treat all the 12.3 inches of Molecular Display with an amazing 6 million pixels. Basically, you are getting a 3000×2000 display with 229 pixels each inch. Besides, you are also getting dual coil front-firing right/left speakers. These two features make the tablet great for both studies and entertainment. It’s on Chrome OS so there are certain limitations, it’s more adjusted to google products as for students who don’t have specific needs, like photoshop or some video editing software, it’s a good choice. If you can find in play store, you can get it on your pixel slate.
Other features that make it a favorite among college students are:
Good Performance and High Battery Life
The CPU is 8th Generation Intel Core m3 processor which is one of the best around and offers lag-free multi-taking. Besides, you can get around 2 hours of battery life just by charging your tablet for 15minutes as it features a 45-watt powerful charger. It comes with USB-C type ports and it can be charged up with the help of a phone charger as well.
You are getting both front and rear cameras with this device and they are quite great. The 8MP front camera is Duo Cam-optimized’ and comes with a f/1.9 aperture. It will record video at 30fps. The rear camera is also 8MP but with 1.12um pixel size sensor. It comes with a f/1.8 aperture and record moments at 30fps.
- It comes with 8GB RAM and the installed flash memory size is 64GB.
- The dimension of the device is 11.45×7.95×0.28 inches.
- The OS is Chrome and has built-in Google Assistant.
- It features both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Connectivity.
- It promises 10- 12 hours of battery backup after a single charge.
- It comes with a sleek design with only 7mm thickness.
- It is lightweight as well weighing only 1.6 pounds.
- It has a touch-friendly interface.
- It is a bit expensive.
- The Pixel Slate Keyboard and Pixelbook Pen and other accessories are not included.
7. Microsoft Surface Pro X
This is truly a powerful device that helped it to become one of the best tablets for college. This 2-in-1 device comes with a great advantage which is that it is being powered by a processor designed by the ARM architecture. In all fairness, there have been some complaints from reviewers and customers that 32-bit apps sometimes don’t run properly and some performance issues. A lot of people have chosen Microsoft Surface Pro 7 over Microsoft Surface Pro X, we have to agree with them. We believe you get far more for your money with the Pro 7. If you’re a dynamic person jumping from one task to another, Surface Pro X will just slow you down. Especially with apps like Photoshop.
Surface Pro X is great to look at, amazing design, but it just doesn’t beat Surface Pro 7. If your studies don’t require you demanding apps, like Photoshop, Lightroom, video editing apps, it’s a good pick.
Some of the other features are:
High performance and Good Graphics Quality
The major difference which is seen in this device is that it does not have Intel CPU like its predecessor. So with this, you will get a custom-made CPU developed by the brand with Qualcomm, Microsoft SQ1. This chip, as mentioned above, is designed on the basis of ARM and you are getting the advantages that come with being clocked at 3 GHz. This device is the first of its kind to do so. All the graphic processing of the device is handled by the Adreno 685. Besides, it comes with dual Teraflops allowing great graphics processing power and SSDs as well.
This one features a 3:2 ratio, and this was added to this tablet to provide its users with the most workspace available. The thickness is around 7.3mm and the starting weight is around 1.7 pounds (774 grams). Thus, it is lightweight and portable as well. The PixelSense edge-to-edge display happens to be 13 inches. The versatile and ultrathin design is made possible because the processor while the kickstand helps the device to be in any orientation with ease.
The new Ports
Finally, the USB type C ports have been made available in the Surface Pro devices with this tablet. So, you are getting 2 USB Type C which can be used for high-speed data transfers and charging.
- It comes in two variants of 16GB and 8GB.
- It comes with an inbuilt SSD storage of either 512GB, 256GB, and 128GB.
- The dimension is 8.2×11.3×0.28 inches.
- The OS is Windows 10 Home.
- The rear webcam resolution is 5MP.
- It can be transformed into Laptop, Tablet and Studio mode with the kickstand.
- It can provide fast LTE, Wi-Fi connectivity and start-up.
- The LTE Advanced Pro connectivity is helpful when Wi-Fi is not available.
- The tablet promises to provide 13 hours of battery back up after a single full charge.
- The device does not come with the basic 3.5 headphones/audio jack which can be a problem. However, headphones with USB Type C can be used.
- The New Type Cover and Surface Pen comes with a lot of features and will definitely help. However, you have to buy them separately.
8. Microsoft Surface Go 2
The new Microsoft Surface Go 2 would be a great budget class tablet for students, but the fact that they didn’t include the keyboard and you have to buy it separately, makes it a bit expensive, If you update it with the necessary accessories and ideal components it’s quite pricy.
- OS: Windows 10 Home in S mode
- Processor: 8th Gen Intel Core m3 – Intel Pentium Gold Processor 4425Y
- Storage: 64GB – 128GB SSD
- RAM: 4GB – 8GB
- Camera: 5MP front-facing with 1080p Skype HD video, 8MP rear-facing with 1080p HD video
- Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 615
- Display: 10.5-inch
- Resolution: 1920 x 1280
- Size: 9.65 x 6.9 x 0.33 inches (245 x 175 x 8.3 mm; W x D x H)
- Weight: 1.22 lb (553 grams)
- Port: 1 x USB-C®, 3.5 mm headphone jack, 1 x Surface Connect port, Surface Type Cover Port⁶,MicroSDXC Card Reader
- Battery: up to 10-hours
- Solid design
- Kickstand (makes it convenient to browser content and read)
- Good mic and audio (good for group calls)
- USB-C type port
- Keyboard not included in the price
9. Huawei MatePad 11
The Matepad 11 from Huawei is another promising tablet choice for college students. Right from the 120Hz refresh rate screen to the support for 2nd generation M pencil, from seamless mouse keyboard integration to limitless customization option, the Huawei Matepad qualifies itself as one of the most efficient tablets out there in 2021.
Turning your regular note-taking sessions into something efficient is super easy with the 2nd generation HUAWEI M-Pencil. The stylus features around 4096 levels of pressure and tilt sensitivity. Apart from that, with a latency of around 2 ms, get ready to deal with every movement within the screen in a flash. In simple words, take notes, draw sketches, and do a whole lot of things with precision and speed.
Attention! The US audience
In case you’re someone from the US, there is something you need to keep in mind. With all the US sanctions going around Huawei, the manufacturer is restricted from operating the Google Play Services Framework. To put that in simple words, using a Huawei device in the US will prevent you from accessing the Google apps suite. There are workarounds, just to be aware, but it’s still inconvenient.
- It comes with an IPS LCD, operating at 120Hz.
- It offers a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset.
- You’ll get varied ROM options(64/128/256GB).
- The device comes with the second-generation M-Pencil.
- It features Type-C, USB 3.0 Connectivity.
- It is home to an 8 MP (f/2.0 aperture, FF) front camera alongside a 13 MP (f/1.8 aperture, AF) rear camera.
- Incredible build.
- Amazing display.
- Good battery life.
- Brilliant experience with HarmonyOS 2.
- Features additional microSD slot.
- The device lacks a fingerprint, 3.5mm jack support.
- The device usually takes a long time to charge.
10. Lenovo Chromebook Duet #Best Budget Tablet for Students
Why this tablet is labeled so cheap is beyond us. For this price, it’s a steal.
Sure, the device isn’t top of the line when it comes to performance. It won’t blow you away with it’s processing powers, but we are talking about the best tablets for school. When it comes to that, it’s the best budget tablet out there. It’s lightweight, which makes it easy to carry it from one place to another.
It’s a great device for students that value mobility and ease of use. When it comes to simple tasks, it’s incredibly fast.
- OS: Chrome OS
- Processor: MediaTek Helio P60T
- Storage: 64 GB / 128 GB
- RAM: 4 GB
- Camera: 2 MP front and 8 MP rear camera
- Graphics: ARM G72 MP3
- Display: 10.1-inch
- Resolution: 1920×1200
- Size: 9.6 x 6.7 x 0.7 inches
- Weight: 430g / 0.94 lb (tablet only) 920g / 2.03 lbs (with full cover & keyboard)
- Port: USB-C Type
- Battery: up to 13 hours
- 13-hour battery life
- Keyboard and kickstand included
- Budget pricing
- Lack of power for high-demanding tasks
- No memory card slot
11. Lenovo Yoga Tab 13
The new Tab by Lenovo was released in 2021 July. With the Yoga Tab 13 from Lenovo, you’re looking at an all-around performer. The convertible ultrabook comes with a 13.3-inch display offering 2160 x3150 resolution. Featuring the powerful Snapdragon 870 processor clocked at 3.2 GHz, powered by 8GB of LPDDR5 RAM, hands down, the device is meant to bring in the “performance” factor into the scene.
It got quite the attention from tablet users and many like it due to the fact that you can use it as a portable 13-inch monitor too.
Home to 400 nits of brightness, with 100-percent support for the sRGB Dolby Vision, the 13-inch screen is an excellent device for having a great viewing experience. Talking from the perspective of college students, visualizing digital things will be a more seamless task. Sadly though, the device lags in being a promising option when it comes to rendering handwritten notes. The 60Hz refresh rate has a major role to play here. Undoubtedly it resides a bit on the lower side for a tablet as capable as the Yoga 13.
You can Trust the Performance.
Performance is one section where the Lenovo Yoga 13 stands tall. Yes, the device doesn’t feature the latest Snapdragon 888; still, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 chipset powered by 8GB of LDDR5 RAM is efficient enough to provide you with a seamless experience. From Multi-tasking to dealing with even the most intensive apps, the device is capable of rendering almost anything with ease.
- It comes with an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 chipset.
- The tablet features 8GB of LDDR5 RAM.
- The device brings the USB C 3.1 port, alongside a 10,000 mAh battery
- The tablet offers 128GB of UFS 3.0 storage.
- Brilliant display.
- Pretty powerful chipset.
- Good battery life.
- Supports Wi-Fi 6.
- Secondary monitor.
- The build is a bit bulky.
- Lacks a rear camera.
- 60Hz display is genuinely low for this device.
With this detailed review of specifications, pros, and cons of some of the best tablets available currently for students, finding the right one for you will not be a problem. However, to help you out further and to make sure that you have a great tablet shopping experience, here is a buying guide for choosing the best tablet for you.
How comes Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 is better than Apple iPad Pro 2020 for Students?
We can’t make a direct on-the-paper comparison between these devices, it wouldn’t be fair. If you take an iPhone 12 as an example and any newest Andriod smartphone – iPhone would lose on paper, it would look weak standing next to Android’s stats. Lower RAM, lower mAh, etc.
But because of the tight integration on the Apple devices, all the parts talking directly to each other instead of passing the information around, less efficiently. By doing that they are creating the most powerful devices out there. This is why Apple never really advertises GHz, RAM, Battery, etc.
The difference between these devices isn’t that big, the biggest difference is the price. Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 is almost two times less expensive than Apple iPad Pro 2020. Also, as a student you will need accessories – S pen, keyboard, believe it or not, Magic Keyboard for iPad isn’t cheap. Due to all these facts, Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 is a better choice for overall students that are looking for a tablet.
Things to consider when buying a tablet for college
You can’t just get the one that’s the prettiest, you can’t get the biggest one, you can’t get the cheapest one, so what should you look for? Here are three things to consider before making your final decision.
Compare to suit your budget
Do you have a budget? Then it best to compare the tablets in your preferred price range. This will help you to figure out which one is providing the best or most features in that price range. As you can check in our article, not the priciest tablet is the best one.
As per your needs
It all depends on your needs, most typical students’ needs – S pen, keyboards, camera, performance.
You will need the S pen to do notes, eventually, or perhaps do some art, you will need the keyboard to do your mandatory papers, camera – well we all know why you will need that and of course, overall performance, so the tablets doesn’t slow you down.
Quick and Hassel Free work
If you want to use the tablet to take down notes or get work done on the go, then you will need a high-performance processor with good battery life. The better the processor, the better will be the speed of the tablet. The best way to determine if the tablet won’t give up on you is by checking the battery backup life ability of the tab. A high-performance device should last at least 8 to 9 hours after a single charge.
If you’re a student or about to come one, we know you will have to take a lot of notes, a lot! You’re also going to have to write a lot, most likely. So we suggest you focus on a tablet that has the option to attach a keyboard and has an S Pen. It’s incredible how easy it is to write on tablets. It will take your note-taking game to the next level and the best part – it’s enjoyable.
Keeping this in mind the number one choice is the new Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 which is also number one on the list for a reason. It’s powerful, it’s stylish, it has an attachable keyboard, stylus pen, incredible display, and amazing speakers if you need to make video calls and take online courses. Also, when you’re done with studying – it’s a great device for catching a movie on Netflix, with a display like that and speakers like that, it’s quite entertaining. You can also learn new hobbies with it – e.g. some artwork.
If Andriod or Samsung isn’t really for you – of course, Apple iPad Pro 2020, is our second pick, it’s a tough comparison, we love the iPad Pro, but the price is a bit over the top for that device, but if that’s not a factor, definitely a good choice.
If you’re going after a budget tablet – Lenovo Chromebook Duet is made for students on the go, to take quick notes, do the research, emails, group calls.
Well, we hope this article was helpful and let us know in the comments below if you need any help, if not, let us know which tablet did you choose for your studies.
Have a good one.