Best tablets for college – updated March 2022
It is once again that time of the year when students go to college or university. This is a time where they might be looking for the best tablet they can buy. They often look for an affordable, yet functional tablet, and with a good enough battery that can last them through all of their classes. If that’s the case for you too, then you’re in luck. Here is our pick of the best tablets for college and university students in 2022.
These are the best tablets for college and university
iPad Air 5th Gen
This device just got a much needed refresh, which makes it a better deal than ever. We believe that the 5th Gen iPad Air is probably the best tablet a student can wish for. It has the same modern design as its much more expensive iPad Pro relatives, the same amazingly quick Apple M1 processor, and 8GB of RAM that are more than enough for seamless multitasking on iPadOS. It is important to say that this iPad supports the 2nd Gen Apple Pencil and Magic Keyboard.The iPad Air (2022) is also easy to carry around, weighing only 461g. It also has an excellent and sturdy build, with its aluminum frame and back. You won’t be disappointed by its cameras either, as they are also excellent for a tablet. iPadOS packs plenty of educational apps and tools that make studying easier. The iPad Air’s 10.9-inch display gets plenty bright and has a high resolution, which further improves the reading experience. You don’t have to worry about it running out of juice either, as it packs a big battery that will give you about 10 hours of screen time.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra
Samsung’s answer to the Apple iPad Pro is its Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra. This tablet is powerful, sleek, and has a big 14.6-inch high-resolution AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate. Yes, it is expensive, but it is also probably the best Android tablet experience there is.
This tablet feels good in the hand, with its aluminum-made body and 726g weight. A big advantage it has over the competition is its expandable storage. The Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra also supports the S Pen. For easier typing, you can purchase the tablet with Samsung’s keyboard cover. Its 8, 12, or 16GB of RAM, depending on the storage version, make it a very good multitasking device. As for its battery life, this tablet has a giant 11,200mAh one, which will easily last you through these class-packed days. Just like the iPad, the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra has plenty of educational apps available, so no worries there. If you want something smaller you can always go for the less-expensive Galaxy Tab S8 or Tab S8 Plus.
Apple iPad Pro (2021)
We know that the 2021 iPad Pro tablets are more expensive than the rest on this list, but if you have the money you should definitely consider them, as they are excellent tablets for college. These iPads come in 11-inch and 12.9-inch versions, with the latter one having a mini-LED display. This display technology makes the darks on the screen pinch black and the brights even brighter, allowing for better contrast and a similar experience to the one on OLED panels.
The 2021 iPad Pro tablets are by far the most powerful on this list, with their Apple M1 chip, which the company also uses for its desktop computers. There are storage variants with 8 or 16GB of storage, and if you wonder which one to choose you should check out our article on the topic. As you can probably see, the current iPad Pro lineup also has a premium design, made out of aluminum. These tablets are also pretty lightweight, making them easy to carry around the campus. They are also battery champs, with their large batteries and efficient hardware. Just like the 4th Gen iPad Air, these also support the Apple Pencil and can be combined with Apple’s Magic Keyboard. As far as tablet cameras go these have the best ones in the business.Overall, we recommend these if you have the extra money and want a tablet that will last you a long time.
Apple iPad 10.2 (2021)
And from the most expensive iPads, we go to the least expensive one. The 10.2-inch 2022 iPad has now become a statement of an affordable device that doesn’t compromise in terms of software. Yes, the design might be outdated, but keep in mind that it retails for $329. Just like its bigger iPad brothers, this tablet also supports the Apple Pencil (1st Gen) and the company’s Magic Keyboard. How cool is that?
So, for this low price, you get a good 10.2-inch display with a pretty high resolution. You also get the Apple A13 chip, which still holds its ground against the competition even three years after its release. The 10.2-inch iPad has 3GB of RAM, which is more than enough for a good multitasking experience on iPadOS. Its battery will get you through the day easily, so no worries there. You can’t make a mistake with this one if you are short on budget but still need a device to get you through your classes.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 10.4 (2020)
This is the cheapest tablet on this list, but that’s not to say it is bad. The 2020 10.4-inch Galaxy Tab A7 is a good choice for anyone on a tight budget. It has a good design, with an average display and processor. This device is not a performance champ, but it gets the job done.
The Tab A7’s screen is a TFT panel, meaning you can’t expect much from it, but at least its resolution is high, so you shouldn’t have problems reading on it. Its cameras are also average, but acceptable considering its price, which is only $229. The battery will be able to last all of your classes, but when you get home you’ll probably need to top it off. Overall, if you want the best cheap college tablet and don’t care if it won’t last you more than two years, then this one is a good choice too.
Microsoft Surface Pro 7
Last but not least is Microsoft’s Surface Pro 7. This is the only tablet on this list that runs Windows 10, and this has its advantages and disadvantages. For one, this device acts as a really good laptop, with all the Windows apps and tools we’ve come to know. But its operating system makes the Surface Pro 7 pretty limited as a tablet. Don’t get me wrong, there are Windows apps made just for tablets, but they aren’t many, and you will probably go on and use the desktop ones anyway, as they often offer much greater functionality. The software aside, the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is pretty good hardware-wise. It has a big 12.3-inch high-resolution display, a premium metal body with a stand, and a choice of fast desktop-class Intel processors. Its price starts at $749.99, but these days you can often find the Surface Pro 7 at a discounted price. The deals on this tablet often include a type cover, which we think is an accessory without each laptop-like tablet doesn’t make sense. If you’re really keen on having a laptop but you also want it to be practical as a tablet, then the Surface Pro 7 should do the trick.
Plenty of choice of tablet study buddies
It turns out that there is a variety of good choices for tablets for college. Some are cheap, but will still do the job, and some offer a premium build and great performance, at a more expensive price. These high-end tablets also come with more features, which should definitely make you consider them, especially if you are looking for a tablet to use in the long run. The 5th Gen iPad Air seems like it has the perfect balance between premium and affordable.
If you are looking for the best tablet for writing papers and making presentations, the desktop-class Surface Pro 7 will easily make you forget about buying a laptop. But of course, it will also make you miss the tablet feel that comes with iPadOS and Android running devices. In the end, you’re the only one that can choose which is the best college tablet for you.