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Previously targeted for mobile gaming and content consumption, tablets are now increasingly being advertised to college students. From preparing and giving presentations to note-taking and digital studying, tablets are becoming a core part of student life.
These days, universities encourage their students to use tablets in solving problems. For this reason, major manufacturers including Microsoft, Apple, Samsung, and Google are launching new tablets each year to capture more market share and cater to the needs of college students.
While it is important for college students to have their own tablets, the process of getting the best tablet as a college student may be a daunting one as there are various options available everywhere you look. If you don’t do enough research, you might end up spending thousands of dollars on a piece of hardware that you may want to sell off in a week.
Hence, this article will focus on the best tablets for college students looking at the pros and cons of each product. Sit back and read as we have done the research for you.
1. Samsung Galaxy Tab S7
Announced in 2020, the Galaxy S7 has many improvements over its predecessor S6. It has a sleek design that makes holding it a thing of joy. This 11-inch tablet is only 6.3mm thick making it light to carry and hold. The tablet is available in three different colors including silver, black, and bronze.
The product is integrated with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865+ chipset which is a leading processor in the tablet market. It also has an Adreno 650 CPU and an octa-core processor making the device super fast when in use.
With 128GB of storage and 6GB of RAM, college students have enough power and space to accommodate their educational needs as well as occasional gaming and entertainment needs. It also has front and back cameras of 5MP and 12MP respectively which offer quality pictures. You can extend the RAM and storage of your device to 8GB and 512GB respectively if you decide to pay more and get the 12.4-inch version. What’s more, the battery will last up to 9.5 hours on a full charge.
- Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865+
- Excellent d GPU and CPU efficiency
- Fast charging technology
- No 3.5mm jack
- Keyboard not included in the package
2. Apple iPad Pro 2021
Released in 2021, the new Apple iPad Pro is without a doubt one of the very best tablets for college students as it is powerful enough to carry out some desktop operations and thanks in part to the new iPad OS. If your aim is taking notes, drawing graphics, surfing the Internet, or creating some art, the iPad Pro is one product you should look at.
The liquid Retina XDR display is an amazing feature of this excellent device, coupled with the 120hz refresh rate that makes running tasks on the device a seamless process. The iPad comes in two sizes including 12.9 inches (1.51 lbs) and 11 inches (1.03 lbs) which are both lightweight and can be carried around the campus.
Additionally, you have a double camera system of the front and back cameras with both boasting of 12MP and 10 MP respectively. The iPad Pro has a RAM capacity starting from 8GB and up to 16GB as well as storage capacity between 128GB and 2TB giving it an edge over the Galaxy S7 mentioned earlier. As a student, you also have the luxury of a tablet that can offer you 10 hours of battery life. That’s almost half of the whole day which is more than the hours you spend in the classroom.
- Excellent display
- Wide storage options
- Great camera and speakers
- USB Thunderbolt
- Powerful processors
- The 12.9-inch model might be too big for some hands, especially with the case
3. Microsoft Surface Pro 7
While the Pro 8 was launched a few weeks back, there haven’t been enough buyers of the product to know their pain points. The Pro 7, nonetheless, remains the best Windows tablet as we write. The device has a keyboard, an S Pen, a kickstand, and a large intuitive display to make your research and reading tasks easier.
This 12.3 inch Microsoft tablet is so portable that it weighs just 775g (1.7lbs). The additional keyboard means you can turn the tablet into a laptop in seconds and do even more powerful tasks including video editing and playing some of the best titles in the gaming world.
You will find the device in different variants including RAM capacity of 4GB up to 16GB as well as storage capacity of 128GB up to 1TB. It also comes in dual and quad-core forms with Intel 10th Gen processors. It has a 5-megapixel front-facing camera capable of 1080p full HD video as well as an 8MP back camera with 1080p quality and autofocus. The battery is comparable to that of the iPad Pro as it can also last up to 10 hours.
- Portable 2 in 1
- Excellent display
- Great processor performance
- USB-C Port
- The keyboard is sold separately
- Decent speakers
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4. Apple iPad Air 2020
The 10.9 inch iPad Air is a great tablet if all or most of the tasks that you will operate on the device are purely academic such as note-taking, research, and problem-solving. It isn’t the best that we would recommend if your work circles around video editing and heavy data processing. While it can do these tasks, it isn’t as efficient as the iPad Pro mentioned earlier.
The iPad Air has great performance that can rival the Pro in many aspects including the display quality and battery life. It adds the Apple Pen and the Magic Keyboard which make for fast typing and note-taking while in class. When you sit back in your chair at home or in class to do some web research or catch up on your favorite shows, you will be enticed by the sharp and vivid colors produced by the 1640 x 2360 pixel screen.
With 7MP and 12MP front and back cameras respectively, you can enjoy hours of video calls in bright colors and capture some of your memorable college moments. It is available in two storage variants of 64GB and 256GB and has a RAM capacity of 4GB. As with the Pro, you also have up to 10 hours of battery life on the iPad Air.
- Apple Pencil 2 support
- Apple Magic Keyboard support
- Fastest ever A14 processor
- Excellent display quality
- Touch ID
- 64GB base storage too small for most users
5. Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE is a member of the S7 series that includes the S7 and the S7+. It has a stunning 12.4 inch LCD screen that offers users an excellent experience each time they look at it. The vivid and crisp images will help in your academic and gaming pursuits as you can interact quite well with the images. The S7 FE is available in two RAM variants, 4GB and 8GB.
Thanks to a portable and sleek design, the ports on this device are well placed and you will have zero difficulties using it with or without cords. The package with the S Pen which is great for taking notes is an additional incentive to buy the tablet as you won’t have to spend on a pen. With the 10,900 mAh battery, you have a tablet that can last you up to 12 hours on a full charge.
- S Pen availability
- Impressive display
- 12 hours of battery time
- Sleek design
- Takes a long time to fully charge
- Relatively old chipset
6. Google Pixel Slate
The 12.3inch Google Pixel Slate has a 3000×2000 (6 million pixels) display producing 229 pixels. It has front-facing speakers placed on both sides of the tablet making it a great choice when you are watching a documentary or tutorials. The limitations to this tablet only exist because it runs on Chrome OS and not Android. It is specifically built for college students and packed with various Google products and services. As such, you have to get all your software on Play Store.
It uses the 8th generation Intel Core M3 processor as its CPU which is a leading processor offering users a seamless experience with various software applications. A 15-minute charge will give you two hours of battery time on your Pixel Slate, while a full charge can guarantee up to 12 hours of use. You have 8GB and 64GB of RAM and storage capacity respectively as well as an 8MP front camera and another 8MP back camera.
- Long-lasting battery
- Only 7mm thick
- Lightweight (1.6 lbs)
- Impressive cameras
- A bit expensive
- No accessories included
7. Microsoft Surface Pro X
In less than a decade, the Microsoft Surface series have become some of the best tablet series for college students. The Surface Pro X hasn’t disappointed in that regard. Powered by the ARM architecture, the Pro X is a 2 in 1 device that has a new pen and keyboard design that stands out from the previous Surface tablets.
The stunning display coupled with the weight (774g) makes this product an excellent choice for college students. It is available in two RAM variants including 8GB and 16GB, while you can enjoy storage options of 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB. You also get two USB type C ports with the Pro X offering you plenty of connectivity options.
- Fast LTE available
- 13 hours of battery on a single charge
- Lightweight and portable
- New keyboard and pen design
- No 3.5mm jack
- Type cover sold separately
Having gone through our guide on the best tablets for college students, you should have gotten some good tablets and options to give to college students, loved ones and friends. This guide will help you make informed decisions when looking good tablets for students.