Tablets are the swiss army knife of modern life. They let you do everything from surf the web, to watch HD videos, to play the newest games. But only the best gaming tablets combine exceptional components and craftsmanship for unrivaled performance.

Their versatility, style, and cost have made tablets one of the most popular new categories 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. So join us as we take a look at the top 10 best tablets for gaming.

Zoom Out: 10 Best Tablets for Gaming Quick Compare

Here’s an overview of the top picks of the year. For a closer look at each model, head to our Zoom In section below.

ImageTabletTypeSizeResolutionCost
Nintendo Switch LiteConsole/Tablet6.2"1280 x 720
Microsoft Surface Pro 72-in-1 Tablet12.3"2736 x 1824
Fire Tablet 7Tablet7"1280 x 800
PlayStation VitaConsole/Tablet5"960 x 544
iPad ProTablet12.9"2732 x 2048
Samsung Galaxy S7 TabTablet11"1600 x 2560
Lenovo Chromebook Duet2-in-1 Tablet10.1"1920 x 1200
Lenovo Flex 52-in-1 Tablet14"1920 x 1080
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+Tablet12.4"2800 x 1752
Fire HD 10 Kids EditionTablet10.1"1920 x 1200

Zoom In: A Closer Look at the 10 Best Gaming Tablets

Without further ado, let’s dive into the 10 best gaming tablets in 2021.

1. Nintendo Switch Lite

Nintendo Switch Lite

The best tablet for gaming overall

Manufacturer: Nintendo | OS: Nintendo Switch Software | Display: 6.2” 1280 x 720 LCD | CPU/GPU: NVIDIA Custom Tegra Processor | RAM: 4GB LPDDR4 | Storage: 32GB (expandable with microSDHC or microSDXC slot) | Price: 💰💰

Ok ok, you got us, this isn’t exactly a tablet in the traditional sense of the word. But hear us out! The Nintendo Switch Lite came out in September 2019 as a cheaper, purely portable alternative to their massively popular hybrid console. It has a built-in 6.2″ touch screen and fully integrated controls, making it much more comfortable to game with than your average tablet. It doesn’t have removable Joy-Cons, limiting the capabilities of some games, but it makes the Lite feel much sturdier. It also weighs less and has longer battery life.

The main reason to buy a Switch Lite is access to the Nintendo Store’s library of games. You can play great Nintendo exclusives like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild that you wouldn’t have access to on any other tablet, as well as hundreds of third-party and indie titles.

We think the Nintendo Switch Lite is the best tablet for gaming overall due to its design, library of quality games, and low price point. Plus, it comes in four colors!

  • USERS LIKE
  • Under $200
  • Four color options
  • Sturdy build quality
  • USERS DISLIKE
  • Analog drift issues
  • Issues syncing games from non-owner Switch accounts
  • Doesn’t work with Switch titles that require removable JoyCons

2. Microsoft Surface Pro 7

Microsoft Surface Pro 7

The best premium tablet for gaming

Manufacturer: Microsoft | OS: Windows 10 Home | Display: 12.3” 2736 x 1824 PixelSense Display | CPU/GPU: 10th gen Intel i5 / Intel Iris Plus G4 Graphics | RAM: 16GB LPDDR4x | Storage: 256GB SSD | Price: 💰💰💰💰💰

The line between laptops and tablets can be a little blurry these days. The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is a prime example, as it combines the portability of a tablet with the power and versatility of a laptop. You can pair it with peripherals like a keyboard cover and a mouse for classic PC gaming or with a wireless controller for a portable experience. It has Bluetooth 5.0 and USB Type-C connectivity, so you won’t have to worry about latency, and you have the option to connect it to a laptop docking station when using it at home. You can also pair it with the Surface Pen for drawing and note-taking.

The Surface Pro 7 has a lot of options for different specifications. You can get it with the brand new Intel 10th Gen i3, i5, or i7, and customize the amount of memory and storage it comes with. We recommend the i5 model with 16GB RAM and 256GB storage, an ideal combination to match the capabilities of the tablet’s Intel Iris Plus G4 Graphics.

We also like that the Surface Pro 7 uses Windows 10 Home for its operating system. Programs like Steam and Epic were built to work with Windows. Buy this if you’re looking for a laptop-like gaming experience on a tablet.

  • USERS LIKE
  • Good build quality
  • USB Type-C connectivity
  • Intel Iris Plus G4 Graphics
  • USERS DISLIKE
  • Thick bezel
  • Over $1,000
  • Keyboard cover not included

3. Fire Tablet 7

The Fire 7

The best budget tablet for gaming

Manufacturer: Amazon | OS: Fire OS 6 | Display: 7” 1280 x 800 IPS LCD | CPU/GPU: Quad-core 1.3 GHz Cortex-A7 / Mali-450MP4 | RAM: 1GB | Storage: 16GB SSD (option to expand with microSD slot) | Price: 💰

Want to play some mobile games without spending a ton of money? You certainly won’t be playing Call of Duty on the Amazon Fire 7 anytime soon, but it might just be what you’re looking for if you want an affordable tablet that you can play some Candy Crush, Minecraft, or Clash of Clans on.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that it’s also one of the best gaming tablets for reading, since the Fire series of tablets shares its DNA with the Kindle. The OS is designed to work seamlessly with Amazon’s library of books, videos, games, and music.

It isn’t anything fancy, but it’s an impressive piece of tech when you consider the price. The Fire Tablet 7 comes in black, plum, sage, or twilight blue!

  • USERS LIKE
  • Under $50
  • Great for reading
  • microSD storage expansion
  • USERS DISLIKE
  • Short battery life
  • Ad-free version costs extra
  • Amazon restricts Android apps

4. PlayStation Vita

PlayStation Vita

The best pocket-sized tablet for gaming

Manufacturer: Sony | OS: PS Vita | Display: 5” 960 x 544 | CPU/GPU: Cortex-A9 MPCore / SGX543MP4+ | Storage: Separate memory cards | Price: 💰💰💰

The PlayStation Vita might seem a little outdated at this point. Sony officially ended their production in March of 2019, but there’s one reason this nine-year-old handheld is still one of the top tablets for gaming for PS4 owners.

The Vita has an ability called PS4 Link. This allows the Vita to remotely stream games from your PS4. So, while the big console is doing all the processing work, your Vita just has to stream the images. All your favorite PS4 games that you already own can be carried around in your pocket, from Fortnite to Ghost of Tsushima.

There’s also a rich backlog of games for the Vita that are more affordable now than ever. It’s even backward compatible with digital versions, so you can play anything from the PSP era as well!

The tricky part is tracking one down at a reasonable price. New ones are often massively overpriced. Used and refurbished Vitas can be found much more cheaply and easily.

  • USERS LIKE
  • PS4 Link
  • Pocket-sized
  • Cheap games
  • USERS DISLIKE
  • Hard to find new
  • Often overpriced
  • Requires PlayStation brand memory card

5. iPad Pro 12.9-inch (4th Gen)

iPad Pro 12

The best iOS tablet for gaming

Manufacturer: Apple | OS: iOS | Display: 12.9” 2732 x 2048 Liquid Retina display | CPU/GPU: A12Z Bionic chip | RAM: 4GB LPDDR4 | Storage: 256GB | Price: 💰💰💰💰💰

You can’t have a list of the best gaming tablets without an iPad on there somewhere. I’m pretty sure it’s against the law. That’s because Apple has been at the cutting edge of tablet technology ever since the very beginning. The 4th Gen iPad Pro is their newest addition, and it’s an exceptional piece of hardware. They’ve moved away from Intel and are now using their A12Z Bionic chip with Neural Engine.

This tablet is great for just about everything. Want to use it for note-taking? No problem. Drawing? The Apple Pencil is fantastic. Gaming? You bet!

The only downside is that iOS severely limits the apps you can use on Apple devices (unless you jailbreak them, of course.) You’re going to have a hard time if a game you want to play isn’t on the App Store. That said, you won’t find better if you’re looking for the best tablet for Hearthstone or any of the other games available on the App Store.

  • USERS LIKE
  • Great for drawing
  • Fast and responsive
  • Beautiful Liquid Retina display
  • USERS DISLIKE
  • Almost $1,000
  • Finicky facial recognition
  • Apple Pencil not included

6. Samsung Galaxy S7 Tab

Samsung Galaxy S7 Tab

The best Android tablet for gaming

Manufacturer: Samsung | OS: Android 10 | Display: 11” 1600 x 2560 LTPS LCD | CPU/GPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus Mobile Platform | RAM: 6GB | Storage: 128GB (option to expand with microSD slot) | Price: 💰💰💰💰

There’s a lot of competition when it comes to the best Android tablet for gaming, but one stands out above the rest. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 is a powerful tablet that’s ideal for almost any use-case. It features the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus Mobile Platform, which has 20% faster processing and 36% faster graphic performance than the previous generation.

All that power makes it an ideal choice for the Android operating system, which has access to one of the biggest libraries of mobile games and can now use cloud gaming to access Xbox Game Pass or Steam Link to stream games from your home PC. 

It comes in 128GB, 256GB and 512GB designations. We recommend you save your money and get the cheaper 128GB option since the Tab S7 has a microSD port and can support up to 1TB of additional storage. The S7 also comes with Samsung’s newly redesigned S Pen, making it a good choice for note-takers and graphic artists.

On top of all this, the screen is gorgeous, with a 120Hz refresh rate to make your games feel buttery smooth.

  • USERS LIKE
  • S Pen included
  • Great sound quality
  • Beautiful LTPS LCD screen
  • USERS DISLIKE
  • Over $500
  • No headphone-jack
  • Keyboard cover not included

7. Lenovo Chromebook Duet

Lenovo Chromebook Duet

The best Chrome tablet for gaming

Manufacturer: Lenovo | OS: Chrome | Display: 10.1” 1920 x 1200 FHD IPS | CPU/GPU: Mediatek Helio P60T / Integrated ARM G72 MP3 800GHz | RAM: 4GB LPDDR4X | Storage: 128GB SSD | Price: 💰💰💰

Here’s one of the best gaming tablets for all you Google fans out there. Chrome OS is an excellent alternative for people who aren’t fans of Android or Apple’s iOS, and no tablet runs it better than the Lenovo Chromebook Duet.

The Duet was designed to easily transition between laptop and tablet with a detachable keyboard and a built-in stand. It has an 8-core, 8-thread Mediatek Helio P60T CPU with integrated ARM G72 MP3 800GHz graphics that should handle just about any mobile game you throw at it. More advanced games will struggle as the Duet only has 4GB of RAM, but it’s still a fantastic option given its incredibly low price.

  • USERS LIKE
  • Less than $300
  • Sturdy and attractive build quality
  • Comes with a detachable keyboard
  • USERS DISLIKE
  • Some Bluetooth connectivity issues
  • Can be difficult to remove the stand
  • Loose, wobbly attachment to keyboard

8. Lenovo Flex 5 14″

Lenovo Flex 5 14

The best Windows gaming tablet

Manufacturer: Lenovo | OS: Windows 10 | Display: 14” 1920 x 1080 FHD IPS | CPU/GPU: AMD Ryzen 5 4500U / AMD Radeon RX Vega 6 | RAM: 16GB DDR4 | Storage: 256GB SSD | Price: 💰💰💰💰

Windows is far and away the most popular operating system in the world, but it wasn’t always that common on tablets. In recent years, that’s been turning around as it’s grown more and more optimized for touch-screen functionality. This is great because many gaming platforms like Steam, Epic, and Xbox are optimized for Windows.

The Lenovo Flex 5 is one of the best tablets to run the King Kong of operating systems because it’s actually a two-in-one laptop/tablet. It has a beautiful 14″ IPS screen, and its Ryzen 5 4500U CPU with integrated Radeon Vega 6 graphics has enough power to take advantage of the plethora of games the platform provides. Its built-in keyboard can be used for laptop-style gaming or turned around to the back for a more touch-screen focused gaming experience.

  • USERS LIKE
  • 16GB DDR4 RAM
  • Ultra-thin, 2-in-1 form factor
  • 10 hours of battery life, plus quick charge to 80% in just 1 hour
  • USERS DISLIKE
  • Runs warm
  • Plastic construction
  • Screen is dim compared to higher-end laptops

9. Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+

The best tablet for gaming and drawing

Manufacturer: Android | OS: Android 10 | Display: 12.4” 2800 x 1752 Super AMOLED | CPU/GPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus Mobile Platform | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256GB (option to expand with microSD slot) | Price: 💰💰💰💰

Are you an artist or graphic designer looking for a great tablet? Maybe you’re designing the next great indie game on Unity? If so, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ is the tablet for you! We already went over the details of the S7 as our pick for the best Android tablet for gaming, but the S7+ has a few bonuses that artists and gamers might be willing to pay a little extra for.

The Tab S7+ has a 12.4″ 2800×1752 IPS screen. That’s bigger and at a slightly higher resolution than the base model. The fact that it’s an OLED screen means that it will achieve much truer blacks than LCD. It also had HDR, NTSC color range, and Eye Care certification.

Samsung is known for their beautiful screens and perfect color accuracy; like the S7, the S7+ also comes with the S Pen. It’s the perfect tablet for gaming, sketching, and graphic design — so long as you can pay for it.

  • USERS LIKE
  • S Pen Included
  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • Stunning Super AMOLED display
  • USERS DISLIKE
  • Over $800
  • No audio-jack
  • 1090mAh battery is insufficient for continued use

10. Fire HD 10 Kids Edition

Fire HD 10 Kids Edition

The best gaming tablet for kids

Manufacturer: Amazon | OS: Fire OS 6 | Display: 10.1” 1920 x 1200 IPS | CPU/GPU: Mediatek MT8183 / ARM Mali-G72 MP3 | RAM: 2048MB | Storage: 32GB | Price: 💰💰

It isn’t just the grown-ups who want to game on tablets, but it’s hard to hand over an expensive piece of tech to kids who may accidentally drop it or have the occasional urge to commit acts of wanton destruction. 

The Fire HD Kids Edition is a great option. It comes equipped with a protective rubber case that keeps it safe from harm. Not enough? Well, it also comes with a 2-year worry-free guarantee. In Amazon’s own words, “If it breaks, return it and we’ll replace it for free.”

It also comes with one year of Amazon Kids+. This give’s them access to “over 20,000 apps, games, books, videos, Audible books, and educational content from PBS Kids, Nickelodeon, Disney, and more.”

You can even bundle two Fire HD Kids editions for just $299.99! They come in blue, pink, or purple.

  • USERS LIKE
  • Under $200
  • Protective case with built-in stand
  • Comes with Amazon Kids+ (FreeTime Unlimited) kid-friendly games
  • USERS DISLIKE
  • Not waterproof
  • FreeTime Unlimited can be sluggish
  • Amazon App store has a limited selection

Gaming Tablet Guide Part I: Top 3 Most Common Mistakes When Picking Out a Tablet

The most common reason people buy gaming-ready tablets is that they are annoyed with their phone’s small screen size and want the extra display real estate a tablet offers. Other common reasons? They are performance junkies who want the very best, or they’ve found a game like Hearthstone or Fortnite and want to play it on the go.

No matter which category you fall into, there are a few pitfalls you’ll want to avoid when choosing a gaming tablet.

  1. Focusing on looks over specs. Some tablets look pretty but cost more than models that feature better hardware on the inside.
  2. Assuming a tablet can play any game. The iOS store and Android store have different app and game selections. However, most 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 exception is a 2-in-1 device that runs Windows.
  3. 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 very best gaming tablet or simply want a budget model to run games on, here’s a few things to keep in mind before spending that dough.

Game on Tablet

Size

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 smaller tablets can be operated with one hand. For use on the road, 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 or larger tablet. Fortunately, whether it’s a Samsung tablet, an iPad, or a cheaper tablet, there are many options available.

Resolution

The central element of a tablet is the display, as it serves as the visual output and control alike. On the one hand, it has to provide good image quality, and on the other hand, it must be precise and responsive to touch and gesture commands. Fortunately, cheap displays can usually be recognized quickly, as they have a coarse-grained resolution, uneven brightness, and poor viewing angles.

As lovely 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 or videos) is often the focus of 10-inch tablets, the maximum resolution needs to be high for an optimal viewing experience. That’s why we recommend a high-quality LCD or IPS display that boasts at least 1,920 × 1,080 pixels for true HD playback.

Internal Memory and Extension

Since many of the best gaming tablets ship with pre-installed apps (and their respective operating system, of course), it is essential to keep your eye on storage specifications. If you want to keep a bunch of eBooks, movies, music, apps, and games on your device, you should choose a tablet with a large internal memory of 64GB+.

Keep in mind that storage capacity can be often be extended via an SD card — in many cases up to 128GB or even more.

Gaming Tablet Guide Part III: Other Considerations

These factors aren’t as critical as the above, but they’re still worth thinking about.

Using Tablet

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 be a nice option to have when you need to crank out an email or get any 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 only connect via Wi-Fi, while others are 4G or LTE compatible.

If the tablet is capable of 4G or LTE, a SIM card can be used for mobile surfing, and dependency on an available Wi-Fi network within reach is eliminated. Be careful though; those data plans can get spendy!

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 Wi-Fi might be enough. The Wi-Fi versions of tablets are usually much cheaper than the devices with LTE capability.

If you want to use extra peripherals like a gaming keyboard or gaming mouse, then you have to look for a gaming tablet that has this connectivity option enabled. Not every tablet comes with this option, so you’ll want to check carefully before you make a final decision.

Operating System

Keep in mind that the best gaming 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, look out 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 9.0 Pie).

Battery Life

If you plan to use your tablet on the move or use it as a replacement for a laptop, you should choose a model with a high maximum battery life (eg an Acer tablet).

If background apps are closed regularly and Bluetooth and GPS are turned on only when needed, the models from our tablet comparison 2021 hold out sufficiently long no matter how you choose to game.

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