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Best tablets for students in 2024

A good tablet can replace weighty books and laptops to lighten your backpack. The best tablet for students balances performance with affordability, but it really boils down to students' needs. You should prioritize display quality and price for a reading and note-taking tablet. Meanwhile, those looking to play a game during free breaks require a more powerful device.

Picking the right tablet can be challenging with so many options from Apple, Samsung, Amazon, and other tech leaders. Their tablets significantly differ in size, screen resolution, app availability, and power capacity. To help you choose the best tablets for studying, we examined their multitasking capabilities, battery life, software variety, hardware, and price.

So what are the best tablets for students in 2024? Let's start with our top 5 picks.

Top 5 student tablets – shortlist

How to choose the best tablet for studying?

It's best to overview the exact requirements before buying a tablet for study because they can be pricey. Here are several considerations to help make up your mind:

  • Performance. Hardware details are essential because they define your tablet's capabilities. On our list, the Microsoft Surface Pro 9 is a pricey powerhouse. Meanwhile, the Amazon Fire HD 8 is an affordable tablet for books and notes, so choose accordingly.
  • Battery life. Your tablet for studying should last 8 hours of active use to last throughout all lectures. Remember that some activities, like gaming or video editing, drain the power faster.
  • Portability. The tablet's compact size is one of its advantages. Check the screen size and dimensions before purchasing. The Apple iPad Mini (6th Gen) is a powerful but tiny device that is easy to carry around, but it might require a bigger movie screen. A built-in stand is advantageous for watching videos or taking notes using a keyboard.
  • Keyboard compatibility. We recommend a model that is compatible with third-party keyboards or has a dedicated keyboard case, like the Samsung Galaxy S6 Lite. Verify whether your chosen tablet supports the Bluetooth connection found on most third-party keyboards.
  • Access to educational apps. The best tablets for students offer many educational apps, which you can find on Google Play Store, Apple App Store, Microsoft Store, or whatever software distribution platform the manufacturer uses.

7 best student tablets – our detailed list

We tested as many tablets as we could. Hardware performance, keyboard compatibility, and access to education apps were primary factors in choosing the best tablets for studying, and here are our results.

1. Apple iPad Air (5th generation) – lightweight and powerful tablet for students

Display size:10.9 inches
Storage capacity:64GB, 256GB
Battery life:10 hours
Weight:1.02 pounds

The Apple iPad Air (5th generation) is the best tablet for students, offering outstanding performance without leaving you barefoot.

Performance. The 5th generation upgraded iPad Air with the powerful M1 processing unit also powers Apple's notebooks and Pro devices. The powerful processor makes this the best student tablet for multitasking.

Dimensions and portability. This model strikes the perfect balance with its 9.74 x 7.02 x 0.24 inch dimensions and a weight of just 1.02 pounds. While there are more compact options, this tablet's weight is impressively low, considering its larger screen size.

Keyboard compatibility. The 5th generation Apple iPad Air is compatible with Apple Magic Keyboards and third-party keyboards that connect via Smart Connector or Bluetooth.

Access to educational apps. Apple offers the best tablets for education because they have dozens of helpful educational apps on the Apple App Store. Some of the more popular are GeoGebra for math classes, Quizlet to prepare for exams, and Duolingo for language learning.

2. Apple iPad Mini (6th Generation) – compact tablet with robust hardware

Display size:8.3 inches
Storage capacity:64GB, 256GB
Battery life:10 hours
Weight:0.65 pounds

The Apple iPad Mini (6th generation) is the best compact tablet for students, which packs powerful hardware into a tiny device.

Performance. This device runs on Apple's A15 bionic chip, powerful enough for gaming and multitasking. Its Liquid Retina display supports 2266 x 1488 pixels resolution for outstanding video quality.

Dimensions and portability. The Apple iPad Mini measures 7.69 x 5.3 x 0.25 inches and weighs barely 0.65 pounds. You will barely notice it in your backpack, and its computational power is surprising compared to its size.

Keyboard compatibility. Although this model is incompatible with Apple's Smart and Magic keyboards, you can use third-party keyboards that connect via Bluetooth.

Access to educational apps. The iPad Mini 6, like all Apple tablets, provides access to the Apple App Store, which offers a plethora of educational apps.

3. Samsung Galaxy S6 Lite – mid-range tablet for an affordable price

Display size:10.4 inch
Storage capacity:64GB, 128GB (accepts microSD cards)
Battery life:12 hours
Weight:1.03 pounds

Samsung Galaxy S6 Lite is the best budget tablet for study, with an economical price, and is well worth its features and overall quality.

Performance. This model upgrades the previous Galaxy S6 Lite device with a more powerful mid-range Qualcomm Snapdragon 732G processor, which allows limited multi-tasking and resource-friendly gaming.

Dimensions and portability. The device weighs 1.03 pounds, which is still below the average tablet weight. Its measurements are 9.63 x 6.07 x 0.28 inches, which is on the smaller side, and the extra weight is due to the heavier and long-lasting battery.

Keyboard compatibility. You can use the Samsung Galaxy S6 Lite with a detachable Bluetooth S6 Lite Case keyboard and S Pen stylus. Although the keyboard design and quality are great, this Samsung tablet slightly struggles with its stylus.

Access to educational apps. Because this device runs on the Android operating system, it provides access to various useful educational apps on Google Play, like Canvas Student, Evernote, Memrise, and others.

4. Lenovo Yoga Smart Tab – great tablet for studying remotely

Display size:10.1 inches
Storage capacity:64GB (accepts microSD cards)
Battery life:7 to 10 hours
Weight:1.28 pounds

Lenovo Yoga Smart Lab is among the best student tablets that exchange performance and gaming compatibility for outstanding audio and video quality.

Performance. The Snapdragon 439 processor and 4GB of RAM make the Lenovo Yoga Smart Lab suitable for easy multitasking, but you will notice significant lag trying to use several demanding apps simultaneously. However, its JBL speakers and Full HD support screen make it one of the best student tablets for streaming.

Dimensions and portability. The tablet measures 10 x 6.66 x 0.29 inches and weighs 1.1 pounds. It is designed to fit comfortably in your hands or stand on a horizontal surface for video streaming.

Keyboard compatibility. Although this model does not have a specific keyboard, it is compatible with most Bluetooth and universal keyboard cases for 10-inch tablets.

Access to educational apps. Lenovo Yoga Smart Lab stands out, offering access to educational apps on Google Play and Google Assistant with built-in voice controls.

5. Microsoft Surface Pro 9 – best student tablet to replace a traditional laptop

Display size:13 inches
Storage capacity:256GB (upgradable up to 1TB)
Battery life:15.5 hours
Weight:1.9 pounds

Microsoft Surface Pro 9 is the best 2 in 1 tablet for students that is also a laptop, but be prepared to pay a price for both.

Performance. This device packs a powerful 12th-generation i7 processor with 16GB RAM and up to 1TB of upgradable storage space. Its hardware will withstand any demands and last for years.

Dimensions and portability. The laptop-tablet measures 11.3 x 8.2 x 0.37 inches and weighs 1.9 pounds. Although heavier than others on the list, it will not cause discomfort carrying it around.

Keyboard compatibility. This model is compatible with the Surface Pro line keyboards, including one specifically designed for it. It is also fully compatible with third-party keyboards designed for Surface Pro devices.

Access to educational apps. Because this device runs on Windows 11, you can use all educational apps available on this operating system. Simultaneously, the built-in Microsoft Store hosts Duolingo, Moodle, Crash Course, and other helpful educational apps.

6. Amazon Fire HD 8 (8th generation) – the most affordable tablet for students

Display size:8 inches
Storage capacity:32GB, 64GB (accepts microSD cards)
Battery life:10 to 13 hours
Weight:0.68 pounds

Sometimes, you need a cheap tablet to study, read a PDF file, or take some quick notes, which brings us to Amazon Fire HD 8 (8th generation).

Performance. The Amazon Fire HD 8, 8th Gen, uses a 2 GHz hexa-core that's significantly faster than previous models. The 2GB of RAM is sufficient to watch a video, read a book, and take some notes, but it starts lagging for anything more than that.

Dimensions and portability. This is an extremely compact tablet that weighs 0.68 pounds and measures 8 x 5 x 0.38 inches. The lightweight device is made of durable material and can withstand a short fall, but we don't recommend testing it.

Keyboard compatibility. The Amazon Fire HD 8 does not support physical keyboard connections, but you can use a third-party keyboard with a Bluetooth connection.

Access to educational apps. This device lets you benefit from educational apps on Amazon Appstore, such as Babbel, Anatomy & Physiology, and others.

7. Amazon Fire Max 11 – mix of power and affordability

Display size:11 inches
Storage capacity:64GB, 128GB (accepts microSD cards)
Battery life:8 hours
Weight:1.1 pounds

Amazon Fire Max 11 deserves a spot among the tablets for students that provide an overall decent experience for an affordable price, be it video streaming, casual gaming, or taking notes.

Performance. The Amazon Fire Max 11 is a significant upgrade to older Amazon tablets and nearly twice as powerful as Fire HD 8. The 4GB of RAM is sufficient for some multitasking, and a faster processor can handle unpretentious games.

Dimensions and portability. The tablet is easy to carry and weighs 1.08 pounds with 10.2 x 6.44 x 0.3 x inch measurements. Unfortunately, it has no built-in stand to make this decent-sized tablet into a movie station.

Keyboard compatibility. Although this tablet does not include a keyboard in the box, it is compatible with a keyboard case specifically designed for this model. The case enhances its excellent widescreen for gaming or taking notes but adds to the cost.

Access to educational apps. You get access to all education apps on the Amazon Appstore, but the variety is lighter than that of Apple or Google's alternatives.

Comparison of top 5 tablets for students

ModelApple iPad Air (5th Gen)Apple iPad Mini (6th Gen)Samsung Galaxy S6 LiteLenovo Yoga Smart TabMicrosoft Surface Pro 9
Main features
  • Powerful Apple M1 processor
  • 10.9 inch screen
  • 10 hours battery life
  • 64 or 256GB storage
  • 8GB RAM
  • Lightweight
  • 8.3 inch screen
  • 10 hours battery life
  • Liquid Retina display
  • Weighs 0.65 pounds
  • Mid range hardware
  • Moderately priced
  • 10.4 inch screen
  • 12 hours battery life
  • Expandable storage
  • Excellent audio/video quality
  • 10.1 inch screen
  • JBL speakers
  • Built-in stand
  • Expandable storage
  • Laptop and a tablet
  • 13 inch screen
  • Powerful hardware
  • Expandable storage
  • Runs on Windows 11

How we selected these tablets for study?

Because students have different needs, we aimed to make this list as versatile as possible. Here are a few things we prioritized:

  • Overall performance. Whether you're multitasking, taking light notes, watching a video, or gaming, robust performance within the price range is the most important thing.
  • Storage capacity. Sometimes, you only require enough storage space for books and notes. Meanwhile, graphic designers need a lot of space for videos. We picked models that either provide sufficient 256GB or have an expandable storage option.
  • Operating system and app compatibility. Access to educational apps depends on the tablet's operating system. We selected models with regular operating system updates and many educational apps to choose from.
  • Best within price range. Studies can get extraordinarily expensive, so we reviewed numerous tablet models from the same manufacturer to see what's best at the most affordable price.
  • Keyboard compatibility. A keyboard (even better, a keyboard case with a stand) can turn your compact tablet into a gaming station and lets you take notes faster than using a touchscreen. Look for a model with a specifically designed keyboard or a third-party keyboard compatibility.

Tablets vs. Laptops for Students

Both laptops and tablets are beneficial for students in their own ways. The best tablets for studying are lightweight and portable, have a longer battery life, have a touchscreen, and are cheaper. Furthermore, most are compatible with third-party keyboards, perfect for note-taking or a quick video game match.

On the other hand, laptops are more powerful, with outstanding multitasking capabilities, larger storage space, and more educational apps to choose from. But they are also bigger and heavier, more expensive, and often require a wire to last throughout the day. Just compare the Microsoft Surface Pro 9 model with an Apple iPad Mini on our list to see the difference between laptops and tablets.

Tablet Features Beneficial for Students

A tablet is a compact and powerful device, and that's what makes it so popular among students. You can fit your average tablet in your backpack or a purse without even noticing it's there while carrying around a heavy laptop, which can get tiresome.

Furthermore, sometimes, you only need to take a quick note, bookmark a book, and add a meeting schedule. You don't need powerful hardware for that. You can get an affordable tablet optimized for light performance and have some leftover funds for whatever else you need. In our experience, the best student tablets mix quality and affordability, taking the best of both.


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