No matter what grade you're in or what program you're taking up, as a student, having a dedicated device for studying is essential these days. Possibly the most popular device is a tablet. It is a portable device that's great for sketching and note-taking. Aside from those two, there are a lot of possibilities that you can do with a tablet, depending on your needs.
Finding the best tablet for students can be tricky, especially with the sheer number of models available in the market. If you're in this predicament, fret not, as we've provided a buying guide, reviewed by IT consultant, developer, and instructor Kevin Lee Cardoza, and compiled a list of our 10 best tablets for students to help you know what to consider when purchasing one.
Kevin Lee is an educator who specializes in Information Technology (IT). He also has years of experience as a technical support specialist and is well-versed in programming, application development, software testing, and user experience design. Furthermore, his passion for building custom computers and creating electronic devices and systems keeps him up-to-date with the latest trends and information.
Our recommendation articles are carefully researched and crafted by the mybest Philippines team of writers and editors. To stay true to our company’s mission and vision to help users’ selection process easier, we also collaborate with experts from various fields to ensure that our content stays factual and useful.
The expert oversees the Buying Guide only, and does not determine the products and services featured.
Table of Contents
Here are some key points to consider:
For more detailed information, read through our buying guide below.
It's an absolute must for everyone to consider the tablet's display before making their purchase. There are two important factors that you should know: screen size and screen resolution. Here are some reasons why these may be a priority.
One of the first specifications you should consider is the tablet's screen size. You might want one that's big enough for multitasking so you can take down notes while going through your reading materials. A bigger one is also better for video conferencing and editing all kinds of media.
Tablets also have screen sizes ranging from 8 to 13 inches. If you're planning to purchase a tablet as a substitute for a laptop and portability isn’t that big of a concern, then a large-screen tablet is the way to go.
A larger screen size would be better in an educational context. It allows you to digest visual multimedia better, which is great, considering since lockdowns and the easing of restrictions, our country's education systems have gradually pivoted to remote and hybrid systems of learning.
Depending on what set-up your school has, chances are it will be heavily dependent on video calls and screen sharing. Given this, students would benefit from a tablet with a high resolution and overall better display quality.
Sharp onscreen images are a must for your tablet - so the number of pixels per inch should be at an acceptable range for a good screen resolution. You can choose one with 1200 x 800px, but having 1080p or even higher would be better.
Higher resolution would be another factor to consider in education. Being able to see pictures and videos in the intended quality or being able to create one is something a student, especially those in ICT, would find great value in.
Students might be expected to open multiple windows or apps at a time, especially when doing research. With this in mind, having a good processor is needed to speed up the process of switching from one app or window to the other.
A fluid learning experience will also require a good amount of RAM to back it up. A minimum of 3 GB of RAM is acceptable for multi-tasking. If you're not on a budget, then you can't go wrong with opting for RAM that can go as high as 8 GB.
Though most apps would not be enough to put a strain on a tablet's performance, some educational tools make use of a high amount of RAM to provide a great experience to the learners. Apps with AR (Augmented Reality) delivered content will struggle if a tablet's RAM capacity is inadequate
If you long for a smooth learning experience, a powerful processor is most definitely what you need. This will allow you to run multiple apps simultaneously without any lag. When it comes to the processor, look for one with 8 cores so your tablet can keep up with heavy and demanding tasks.
Also, don't forget to check the clock speed of your tablet's processor. Use this information together with the number of cores your processor has, so you know which tablet can bring you the most power. Clock speeds range from 1.8 to 28. GHz for most tablets – go for the higher if power matters to you.
Multitasking is something students often do, and it should be reflected in the tablet they use. Tablets with multiple cores make use of a computer technique called multithreading, in which each core of the processor will be able to take on different tasks. Therefore, tablets with more cores would be able to handle more apps concurrently.
You might be expected to do a lot of projects with your tablets - this can range from voice recordings to taking photos to editing videos. These will all require a big memory for your tablet. For studying, a tablet with anything between 64GB and 256GB will be more than enough to get by.
Android and Windows tablets usually come with expandable storage - where adding a microSD card can help give more storage space to your device. Apple products generally don't have this option so this is worth considering before making a purchase.
Online and hybrid classes require you to be able to download and store school materials on demand, regardless of their file size. I would say 128GB would be a sweet spot for educational use. If your tablet storage capacity is lower than this, buy a Class 1 SD card to use as your memory expansion or have a cloud storage subscription.
A long battery life should still play a factor in your decision as you want your tablet to last you the entire day at school. This would also translate to energy bill savings since you wouldn’t have to charge it as often. Also, you wouldn't want a tablet that isn't long-lasting in case there's a sudden power interruption.
A tablet's battery life ranges from 3 to 10 hours depending on the model and the user's screen time. A 4000mAh battery will be more than enough for staying but, if you also plan to use your tablet for other purposes such as entertainment and gaming, then a larger one is warranted.
What's the use of all the performance your student's tablet has if its battery life only lasts for 2 hours in heavy load? The tablet you would have for your student should have enough juice for it to last at least half a day before recharging. Another aspect you should look into is the tablet's fast/rapid charge capability. It would be useful in emergency charging situations.
Some tablets only come equipped with a rear camera though there are models that come with a front-facing one, which is handy for online classes. Aside those, you’ll also want to check if you have the option to add a wireless keyboard as these are practical accessories especially for tasks that require typing.
If you take down a lot of notes on your readings or if you edit photos or draw, then having a stylus or pen might be a necessary accessory. Tablets like iPads offer Apple Pens – but at a high cost. There are Samsung tablets, meanwhile, that come equipped with an S-pen.
There are accessories that give a student's tablet more utility if needed. Bluetooth keyboards and mice provide you an alternative to carrying laptops, and a stylus for digipen-capable tablets gives your student the capability to create digital content.
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iPad 9th Gen
The Perfect Compainion for E-Learners
Comes With a Snappy Processor for Faster Browsing
iPad Air 5th Gen
A Reliable Tablet for Advanced Note-Taking
Device Built for Multi-Tasking
Galaxy A7 Lite
Long-Lasting Battery to Keep You Connected All Day
A 2-in-1 Tablet for Aspiring Creatives
Surface Pro 8
A Powerful Tablet for Org-Active and Working Students
iPad Mini 6th Gen
For the Student With Demanding Multi-Media Needs
Surface Go 3
A Flexible Tablet Ideal for Onsite Classes
Fire Tablet 10
The Budget-Friendly Choice for Light Tasks
The iPad is a fan favorite among students and it's not a surprise. It houses a lot of features including an intuitive UI, a fast processor, and a diverse app store that make it a versatile device especially for studying. Plus, it has a bunch of accessories such as the Apple Pencil, Keyboard Cover, and kickstands that help users maximize the device's functionality.
The 9th Gen features Apple's trademark Liquid Retina display, which produces smooth and crystal-clear images even in broad daylight. Compared to the 8th gen, this newer model has twice the storage capacity and an improved battery life. It also has built-in apps such as Keynote and iMovie that allow students to create presentations or edit videos on the go.
Having a laggy device is a hassle, especially if you're attending an online class or you're beating a deadline for a requirement. The S8 promises that you won't have to deal with it as it features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 processor, the third best-performing processor in the market as of 2022. This, plus a high RAM and storage, is ideal for browsing and running all kinds of software.
What makes this the best Samsung tablet for students and a strong rival against the iPad is that it has four times its storage capacity, a longer battery life, and better RAM. It also has its own stylus, called the S Pen, which has an unbelievably fast response time - so impressive that it almost feels like you're writing on paper.
For most students, taking notes is an essential task when studying. Apple's iPad Air is the perfect device for this as it is highly compact and light yet still has the functions of a regular iPad. With the iPad Air, you can write your notes and organize them however you want, so you'll have an efficient and personal system at your fingertips.
Aside from note-taking, this device is also handy for annotating your readings or even doing computations for your math and science subjects. This is what makes the iPad the best tablet for medical students. If you're thinking about going paperless to save space, money, and the environment, then purchasing a powerful tablet such as the iPad Air is the way to go.
Do you find yourself switching between apps and windows all the time? If that's the case, then Huawei has a tablet that is designed for you. The MatePad 11 has a feature called App Multiplier, which allows you to open multiple apps at the same time on one screen. This can come in handy when viewing your course materials or modules while writing your notes.
Aside from that, this device boasts a 120 Hz refresh rate and there's also the option for Wi-Fi 6 connectivity. Finally, the MatePad reintroduces Huawei share, a feature that allows you to instantly connect and transfer data to and from your other Huawei devices. Overall, this is the best Huawei tablet for students out there.
If you're looking for a decent Android tablet that won't hurt your pocket, then Samsung's tablet is what you're looking for. It has an 8.7-inch screen, sufficient for note-taking and watching video lectures. Though it has a limited 32 GB storage capacity, you have the option to expand it up to 1TB, so you can download as many apps as you want from Google's Play Store.
Considering its price, this tablet has standard-level features including an 800 x 1340 display, and 2GB RAM capacity. On the bright side, it does have a surprisingly great battery life of up to 10 hours. If you're at school from morning to late afternoon and have limited access to a power source, then a fully charged Galaxy A7 is more than enough to last you throughout the day.
Whether you are a digital artist or not, a lot of requirements nowadays include creative outputs such as infographics, posters, and presentations. Lenovo's Yoga 6 is an all-around device that can help unleash your creativity. It's basically a laptop that has a foldable feature allowing it to double as a tablet. With this function, you're getting two devices packaged in one!
The price is steep compared to the others on this list, but there is an explanation. First, it offers a whopping 512 GB of storage and a superior 16 GB RAM that can run even the most demanding software such as Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. On top of that, it has a wide 13-inch screen yet still weighs extremely light at only 140 grams.
Juggling academics, extracurriculars, and, for some, a job can be challenging. For this, you'll need a reliable device that can help you organize your tasks, so you're always in the loop. Microsoft's Surface Pro 8 is a great choice because of its flexibility. It's a tablet that can transform into a laptop, so no matter your agenda, you'll have the right device for it.
Since it's made by Microsoft, it supports Windows 11 and Microsoft Office, so you can write documents, make presentations, and edit spreadsheets on the go. Another highlight is its 8 GB RAM, which is more than enough for your academic and non-academic tasks. Its only disadvantage is that it's relatively heavy, something that you should consider if you value portability.
If you are looking for a small tablet that would still keep up with your demanding e-learning needs - this is the one for you. Don't be fooled by its size, though - the iPad mini's hardware is a definite upgrade from the entry-level iPad - which explains its higher price.
What makes it such a huge improvement from the previous generation is that it is now equipped with Apple's A15 Bionic chip, which is the fast-performing chipset found in iPhones. It still retains the same pixel resolution but now has a 12 MP front camera. If you like hosting, video editing, or even just streaming, this tablet should be at the top of your list.
Laptops and PCs might be more convenient than tablets pre-pandemic since you didn't have to lug them around campus. Now that we're back on-site, tablets are the wiser choice because they're easy to carry and can still do most of the things we expect from a computer. The Surface Go 3 is a portable yet functional computer with a durable aluminum body.
One of its advantages is that it has many ports. This includes a USB-C charging port, a headphone jack, and a microSD card slot built-in. The only disadvantage of it is that it has a dismal battery life of only up to 5 hours. For its price point, you can get a better deal elsewhere or might as well spring for its relative, the Surface Pro 8.
Tablets are extremely convenient for studying, but they can also come at hefty prices. Luckily, there are models such as the Fire 10 that can help you with your academics while still being budget-friendly for students. Its compactness makes it ideal for traveling and also for small kids, as it provides a more comfortable and secure grip.
What's also great about Fire tablets is that they are inexpensive and, according to buyers' reviews, can still deliver the same performance even after years of continuous use. The only gripe with them is that they only support Amazon's OS, so there are limited options when it comes to apps and other functionalities otherwise available in Android and iOS.
Below are some of the most asked questions on the web answered by IT Consultant, Developer, and Instructor Kevin Lee Cardoza.
There are many other items that you might need to complete your classroom at home. Here are some articles you might want to check.
Author: Laura Mercado
Re-editors: Andrei Merino, Katrina Balingit
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