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The 6 Best Gaming Tablets for Any Budget (Android & iOS)

Best Gaming TabletsIn this guide, we’ve rated & reviewed six of the best tablets for gaming currently available across a range of price points.

While Nintendo’s Switch has become a popular handheld gaming console, gaming-specific tablets haven’t fared quite as well. Yet, there are users out there that are looking for tablet options that they can also use for casual mobile gaming. So, while a gaming-specific tablet might not be something most people want (or need), a tablet that can double as a light-gaming device does seem to have some demand.

So, in this guide, we’re going to take a look at six tablet options across a few different price points (and operating systems) that will work great for traditional purposes and also serve well as mobile gaming tablets, too.

A Quick Look at the Best Gaming Tablets

For a quick break-down of our top picks for the best tablets for gaming, the table below shows our top overall pick, our picks for the best iOS and Android gaming tablets, as well as our pick for the best cheap gaming tablet.

NAME SPECS RATING
TOP PICK
Microsoft Surface Pro

Surface Pro

  • 12.3″ Screen
  • 2736 x 1824
  • 128GB SSD
  • 4GB RAM
9.2/10

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Read Review »

iOS PICK
Apple iPad Pro

Apple iPad Pro

  • 12.9″ Screen
  • 2732 x 2048
  • 64GB Storage
  • 4GB RAM
9.1/10

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Read Review »

ANDROID
Samsung Galaxy S3

Samsung Galaxy S3

  • 9.7″ Screen
  • 2048 x 1536
  • 32GB Storage
  • 4GB RAM
8.9/10

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Read Review »

ANDROID
Amazon Fire HD 10

Fire HD 10

  • 10.1″ Screen
  • 1920 x 1080
  • 32GB Storage
  • 2GB RAM
8.4/10

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Read Review »

*To read our overviews on the gaming tablets featured above, click “Read Review »” to jump to our overview on that specific tablet. You can also scroll down this page to read our two Honorable Mention picks.

Best Overall Gaming Tablet:
Microsoft Surface Pro 12.3″

Microsoft Surface Pro
  • 2736 x 1824 Resolution
  • Intel Core i7 Processor
  • 4GB RAM
  • 128G Storage

Our Rating: 9.2/10

Check Price on Amazon

The Microsoft Surface Pro was kind of a tough pick as being our selection for the Best Overall Gaming Tablet. However, it’s hard to deny the fact that, of the tablets that are out there, the Surface Pro offers the most versatility for gamers.

For starters, since it is a Windows-based tablet, you can install Steam on it. And, while it doesn’t have the hardware to run more demanding games, the sheer number of games that are available on Steam gives the Surface Pro access to more games than any other option on this list. Not to mention, there are plenty of apps and solutions out there that will allow you to run Android on a Windows system, which gives you access to even more games as well.

Obviously, not everyone is going to want to have to switch back and forth between Android and Windows to use their tablet, but for more tech-savvy individuals, it is definitely an option.

For specs, the Surface Pro comes in an array of options, but the option we’ve chosen comes with an Intel Core i7 processor, 4GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and a large 12.3″ screen that sports a 2736 x 1824 resolution.

Ultimately, if you are looking for a table to run mobile-only games and you won’t utilize the other features that a Windows-based system offers, you’d probably be better off going with one of the options below. However, if you want the ability to play less-demanding Steam games and get the versatility that the Surface Pro offers, it would serve you well as a gaming tablet. Of course, though, if gaming is your main concern, you could always build a $600 gaming PC and get significantly more performance.

Best iOS Tablet for Gaming:
Apple iPad Pro 12.9″

Apple iPad Pro
  • 2732 x 2048 Resolution
  • Apple A10X Fusion CPU
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB+ Storage

Our Rating: 9.1/10

Check Price on Amazon

While I’m more of a PC and Android fanboi myself, the reality is that, for mobile gaming, mobile game developers tend to release games for iOS first and then Android second (if ever). So, just the number of games that are available on an iOS helps it stand out above the other options on this list.

Of course, Apple’s iPad Pro is no slouch in other areas as well. This  Apple iPad Pro comes with a 12.9″ screen that sports a 2732 x 2048 resolution display. You can also get the iPad Pro with a smaller 10.5″ display to save some money, too.

This iPad also comes with an Apple A10X Fusion CPU, 4GB of RAM, and a minimum of 64GB of storage (with the potential to get up to 512GB of storage.)

Ultimately, if you’re an Apple fan who is used to (and prefers) iOS and you’re looking for a nice tablet that you can use for gaming (among other things) the Apple iPad Pro is definitely a tablet you’ll want to consider. You could also look into the iPad Mini 4 listed below for a more affordable option.

Best Android Tablet for Gaming:
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 9.7″

Samsung Galaxy S3
  • 2048 x 1536 Resolution
  • Qualcomm Processor
  • 4GB RAM
  • 32GB+ Storage

Our Rating: 8.9/10

Check Price on Amazon

For Android fans, in our opinion, your best choice is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3. It’s a 9.7″ tablet that comes with a 2048 x 1536 Super AMOLED display. It has 4GB of RAM, comes with 32GB of storage space (that is exampled to up to 400GB with an SD card), has quad speakers, and comes with a Samsung S Pen, too.

The tablet is rated for use of up to 12 hours on a single charge and it also comes with quad speakers, as well. The quad speakers are nice for gaming because typically the sound quality on tablets is too low for playing games (unless you use headphones.)

While its display is smaller and has a lower resolution than the iPad Pro’s display, the Tab S3 comes in at quite a bit lower of a price. So, if you’re working with more of a budget and you can sacrifice having access to a bigger library of games (on iOS), then the Tab S3 would work well for you.

Cheap Gaming Tablet:
Amazon Fire HD 10.1″

Amazon Fire HD 10
  • 1920 x 1080 Resolution
  • MediaTek Processor
  • 2GB RAM
  • 32GB+ Storage

Our Rating: 8.4/10

Check Price on Amazon

If you’re looking for a really cheap tablet option that will still allow you to game a little bit, then Amazon’s Fire HD 10 tablet might be the choice for you. It’s biggest positive is its price. It costs just under $150—and typically you can find it on sale for quite a bit less than that during the major sales days.

The Fire HD 10 comes with a 1080P 10.1″ screen, a MediaTek quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, and the option for either 32GB or 64GB of storage. It also offers up to 10 hours of battery life on a single charge.

Ultimately, Amazon’s FireOS isn’t the greatest mobile operating system in the world and you won’t have as big of a game library to choose from with the Fire HD 10, but for the price this tablet comes in at, it may be the only viable option for some users.

Honorable Mention #1:
Apple iPad Mini 4 7.9″

Apple iPad Mini 4
  • 2048 x 1536 Resolution
  • A8 Processor
  • 2GB RAM
  • 32GB+ Storage

Our Rating: 8.6/10

Check Price on Amazon

Again, if you’re an Apple fan who prefers iOS over Android, either the iPad Pro or this iPad Mini 4 is probably going to be your bet if you’re looking for a gaming tablet. And, as I mentioned above, the other thing that iOS has going for it, is that, in the sheer number of games available on mobile devices, iOS has a bigger library of mobile games to choose between.

So, while Apple’s desktop solutions aren’t great for gaming because game producers don’t develop their games for Macs, the opposite is true in the mobile arena… more developers focus on iOS than any other mobile operating system.

As for specs, the iPad Mini 4 comes with a 7.9″ screen that boasts a 2048 x 1536 resolution display. It comes with an A8 processor, 2GB of RAM, and up to 128GB of storage (the one listed above comes with 32GB.)

So, ultimately, if Apple products and iOS is your thing, but you don’t want to pay quite as much for the iPad Pro, then the Mini 4 is your best bet.

Honorable Mention #2:
ASUS ZenPad 3S 9.7″

ASUS ZenPad 3S
  • 2048 x 1536 Resolution
  • ARM Cortex Processor
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB+ Storage

Our Rating: 8.5/10

Check Price on Amazon

One Android alternative to the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 is ASUS’ ZenPad 3S. The ZenPad 3S is probably the nicest-looking Android tablet ever built. In terms of specs, it comes with a 9.7″ screen that offers a 2048 x 1536 resolution display.

The tablet comes with an ARM Cortex Processor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage capacity. While it isn’t quite as powerful of an option as the Galaxy Tab S3, it does also come in at quite a bit less expensive. (The S3 comes in at just under $450 for the 32GB version, whereas this 64GB ZenPad 3S comes in at under $300.)

In the end, the ZenPad 3S makes sense for those of you Android fans who don’t want to pay top dollar for the Galaxy Tab S3, but who have a little more to spend and who are looking for a little more power than Amazon’s Fire HD 10 has to offer.

Is A Gaming Tablet Right for You?

Other than NVIDIA ad EVGA’s attempt at a true gaming tablet (neither are still available), the reality is that no tablet currently on the market is designed specifically for gaming purposes. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any options available that will work well for gaming.

The six options we listed above are our choices for the best tablets for gaming. So, if you’re looking for a tablet to use for gaming (as well as other purposes), one of the options above should fit your needs.

If you’re looking for a more powerful gaming-specific solution, for the price of some of the tablets listed above, you can build your own gaming computer. Check our Cheap Gaming PC Builds guide for more information.

Hey, I’m Brent. I’ve been building computers and writing about building computers for a long time. I’m an avid gamer and tech enthusiast, too. On YouTube, I build PCs, review laptops, components, and peripherals, and hold giveaways.

1 thought on “The 6 Best Gaming Tablets for Any Budget (Android & iOS)”

  1. Great article! Would’ve never thought of Surface Pro as a gaming device, but I see the point you’re making… it’s definitely a powerful tab.

    Reply

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