Tablets are not only great for watching your favorite shows or for productive work – gamers also get their money’s worth thanks to powerful hardware and a wide selection of games.
Thanks to their own chipsets, Apple’s iPads in particular now offer very powerful computing performance that no longer has to hide behind full-fledged gaming notebooks.
However, some tablets with Android and Windows are also very well suited for gaming.
Besides powerful hardware, the display quality also plays a role. The gaming experience simply feels smoother on a screen with 120 Hz, and the picture quality of an OLED or mini LED display feels higher quality and more immersive than a conventional LCD screen.
We provide you with an overview of the best tablets for gaming. No matter if you prefer iPadOS, Android, or Windows, you will find what you are looking for in our list of recommendations.
The best gaming tablets for gamers: An overview
- The best tablet for gamers overall: Apple iPad Pro M2 (on Amazon*). The Apple iPad Pro 12.9″ impresses with its high-quality hardware performance, excellent build quality, and superb mini-LED screen with impeccable contrasts, vivid colors, and a refresh rate of 120 Hz, as well as very high brightness. It’s the most powerful tablet on the market. This allows the iPad Pro to smoothly display even the most demanding games and apps with ease. The optional Apple Pencil 2 and keyboard covers are also great, but very expensive. Another plus is the fact that Apple is known for providing its devices with software updates over a long period, which contributes to a longer.
- Almost as good: Apple iPad Pro M1 (on Amazon*). If you don’t always need the newest device, we advise you to go for the iPad Pro with M1 chip as a cheaper option. Although it has slightly less performance on paper than the iPad Pro with M2 chip, this is hardly noticeable in practice. Just like its successor, the iPad Pro with M1 chip allows you to play all current games with the highest graphics settings. Apart from marginal differences, it’s practically identical to the iPad Pro with M2 chip.
- Best iPad Pro alternative: Apple iPad Air (on Amazon*). The Apple iPad Air is almost equivalent to the 11-inch Apple iPad Pro. It has slightly less performance on paper, but the differences are hardly noticeable in practice. The iPad Air also makes it possible to display all current games in the highest graphics settings. The display is marginally darker compared to the Pro and only offers a refresh rate of 60 Hz. It’s also available in a version with a screen diagonal of 10.9 inches only, so it doesn’t compete with the 12.9-inch Pro.
- Best Windows tablet for gamers: Microsoft Surface Pro 9 (on Amazon*). The Microsoft Surface Pro 9 looks like a tablet, but it is actually a normal Windows PC. The advantage is that normal Windows games and other conventional Windows programs also run on the device. However, the Microsoft Surface Pro 9 is much more expensive compared to a laptop with the same configuration. However, it’s inferior to the Apple iPad Pro and iPad Air in terms of performance.
- Best Surface Pro 9 alternative: Microsoft Surface Pro 8 (on Amazon*). The Microsoft Surface Pro 8 offers almost the same features and only a slightly worse performance compared to the current Microsoft Surface Pro 9, but it is now available at a much lower price – especially used.
- The best Android tablets for gamers: The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8+ and S8 Ultra (on Amazon*). The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8+ and Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra impress with their excellent Super AMOLED displays. The Galaxy Tab S8+ has a 12.4-inch display with a resolution of 2800 x 1752 pixels and a refresh rate of 120 Hz, which is perfect for gaming. The Galaxy Tab 8 Ultra even goes a step further and has a 14.6-inch display with a resolution of 2960 x 1848 pixels and a refresh rate of 120 Hz as well. Both tablets are leaders in the Android tablet market and offer a great gaming experience thanks to their excellent displays and very good hardware. Another plus is that the high-quality stylus is already included, unlike Apple’s iPads. The optional keyboard cover is also very good. Samsung’s software philosophy is also commendable. The company promises four major Android updates and five years of security updates.
- Best mid-range tablet for gamers: Apple iPad 10 (on Amazon*). The “regular” Apple iPad 10 offers surprisingly good performance for its price, which allows playing demanding games on high settings. Unfortunately, however, the tablet has a non-laminated display, which can sometimes make it feel like you are not directly touching the display when using the Apple Pencil. However, this is not a disadvantage when gaming.
- Best 8-inch tablet for gamers: Apple iPad Mini (on Amazon*). Gamers who value portability should consider the Apple iPad Mini. The tablet has a compact 8-inch display and offers enough power for extended gaming sessions. It’s easy to stow in a larger jacket pocket and still offers a pretty screen that makes for a comfortable gaming experience. The only drawback is the so-called “jelly effect” of the display. This ensures that the entire screen content is not moved evenly when scrolling, which leads to an offset display. However, this is not a problem when gaming.
- Cheaper Galaxy Tab S8 alternative: Xiaomi Pad 5 (on Amazon*). Gamers who prefer Android and do not want to spend as much money as for the Samsung S8 series, we recommend the Xiaomi Pad 5. It offers an excellent display, a solid processor, a good stylus, and a high-quality metal casing. Compared with the Galaxy Tab S7 and S8, however, you have to do without a fingerprint sensor and a microSD card slot. You can also expect fewer software updates than Samsung.
The best gaming tablets for gamers: All details
Let’s check them out in more detail.
Apple iPad Pro M2 12.9 inch: The best tablet for gamers overall
The Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch features a large, high-quality mini-LED display with a resolution of 2732 x 2048 pixels, 264 ppi, and 120 Hz. Thanks to the mini-LED technology, it offers excellent contrast, vivid colors, and deep black levels that are comparable to OLED displays. It has a maximum SDR brightness of 600 nits and even reaches up to 1,600 nits peak brightness for HDR content. The display is fully laminated. The iPad Pro’s four speakers offer great sound. In our battery test, it achieved a runtime of 6 hours while playing a YouTube video in HD at full brightness.
On board is Wifi 6E and a version with 5G is also available. It’s the most powerful tablet on the market. It’s equipped with the M2 chip, which is also found in the latest Apple MacBook Pros. This ensures that the computing power of the iPad Pro will still be sufficient to enjoy even the most demanding games and apps for several years.
We also appreciate the excellent Apple Pencil 2, but it has to be purchased separately. The available keyboard covers are also top-notch and great for writing. Also worthy of praise is the great build quality, Face ID facial recognition, good cameras, and LIDAR sensor.
If you’re looking for a tablet with a large, fantastic display and the best computing power on the market, and the high price isn’t a problem, then the Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch is the perfect gaming tablet for you.
Apple iPad Pro M1 12.9 inch: The second-best choice for gamers
If you don’t necessarily need the latest of the new, you can also consider the iPad Pro with M1 chip.
It’s cheaper but almost as good as its successor. That’s because although it offers slightly less performance on paper than the iPad Pro with M2 chip, that doesn’t have a noticeable impact on the device’s performance in practice.
The iPad Pro with M1 chip also allows you to play all current games with the highest graphics settings, just like the Pro with M2 chip.
Apart from minimal differences, both models are practically identical. Both the design, the speakers, the display, and the build quality are identical to the successor.
Thus, the iPad M1 is also a great choice for ambitious gamers.
Read: Our iPad Pro M1 review
Apple iPad Air: Best iPad Pro alternative
If you’re looking for a powerful tablet that’s a good alternative to the more expensive Apple iPad Pro, then the Apple iPad Air might be the right tablet for you.
It’s a bit more affordable but still features the powerful M1 chip, making it faster than any Android tablet. The iPad Air supports the Apple Pencil 2 and offers two keyboard variants. The design is great, the cameras are good, and the tablet has a high-quality LCD and up-to-date software.
If you are an ambitious gamer, however, there are a few things you should be aware of. The 10.9-inch screen has a refresh rate of 60 Hz only, and the base version of the iPad Air only offers 64 GB of storage. This might not be enough for gamers who have a lot of games on their tablet.
Overall, the iPad Air is a great choice for gamers due to its great performance and nice display.
Microsoft Surface Pro 9 & 8: Best Windows tablets for gamers
The Microsoft Surface Pro 8 and 9 are both excellent Windows tablets that feature an attractive design, a convenient kickstand, a high-quality keyboard, and a sleek 120 Hz display.
They also offer enough power for demanding games thanks to newest Intel processors.
Apart from newer processors, the Surface Pro 9 and 8 are almost identical.
On both tablets, the aspect ratio of the display is 3:2, and with a resolution of 2880 x 1920 pixels and 120 Hz, Microsoft offers a screen ideal for gaming on each of its two latest Surface models.
The biggest advantage of the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 and 9 is Windows 11, they are full Windows computers and so we can play all Windows games. However, performance-wise, they are inferior to the current iPad Pro and iPad Air.
In addition, they are quite expensive compared to a laptop with similar specifications. The Surface Pro 9 in the basic version with 128 GB SSD costs 1299 Euros. The predecessor model is meanwhile already available for around 1000 Euros in the basic configuration.
On the plus side, the tablets’ SSD is replaceable, which is an advantage, especially for gamers with a large library.
If you are looking for a Windows tablet for gaming, you will get good devices with the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 and 9.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S8+ & S8 Ultra: The best Android tablets for gamers
If you’re looking for a tablet with an impressive display and strong processing power for gaming, you’ll make a great choice with the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 series.
The Galaxy Tab S8+ and Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra both offer a Super AMOLED display with 120 Hz, excellent contrast and color, and deep black levels. The Galaxy Tab S8+ features a 12.4-inch display, while the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra comes with a huge 14.6-inch screen.
Both tablets come with four integrated, high-quality stereo speakers for a great gaming experience.
Both tablets support Widevine Level L1 and HDR 10, which means you can watch Netflix and other streaming services in 1080p. Both models support Wi-Fi 6E and there is an optional 5G version of each.
The tablets have a fingerprint scanner, good cameras, a high-quality build, and strong hardware that leaves all other Android tablets behind. Thus, you can play all current Android games with the highest graphics settings.
Also cool: The S Pen is already included and there are optionally available keyboard covers.
The Galaxy Tab S8+ and Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra ship with Android 12 and receive four major Android upgrades as well as five years of security updates.
Overall, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8+ and Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra are the best Android tablets on the market. They are great for playing demanding games.
iPad 10: Best mid-range tablet for gamers
The Apple iPad 10 is not only a good mid-range tablet in Apple’s lineup but also surprisingly powerful. According to the Geekbench 5 benchmark test, the iPad 10 even performs better than the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 series. So it’s a good choice for those looking for an affordable and powerful gaming tablet.
The tablet runs demanding games smoothly with the highest graphics settings. However, one drawback of the tablet is that the display is not laminated. This can sometimes make it feel like you’re not touching the display directly when working with the Apple Pencil. However, this does not bother me when gaming. Otherwise, the iPad 10 convinces with its excellent build quality and good cameras.
The iPad 10 supports the first-generation Apple Pencil. A bit annoying: You need an adapter for the iPad 10 since it has a USB-C port, while the Apple Pencil 1 has a Lightning port. It would have been more elegant if the iPad 10 was directly compatible with the Apple Pencil 2, which, however, is only available for the current iPad mini, iPad Air, and iPad Pro models. However, this is not a big problem apart from the adapter, since the detection of pressure levels and tilt is equally good in both models. In return, you have to live without inductive charging.
It comes in versions with 64 GB and 256 GB storage capacity. If you want to install a lot of games, we recommend buying the 256 GB variant.
Read: Our Apple iPad 10 review
Apple iPad mini: Best 8-inch tablet for gamers
The Apple iPad mini is a powerful tablet that is perfect for gaming on the go. It’s equipped with the Apple A15 processor, which isn’t as powerful as the M1 chip but still packs enough power to put most Android tablets to shame. A majority of the games available in the Apple App Store run on high graphics settings.
The high-quality metal casing and the pleasant weight of 297g are further plus points. The fingerprint reader, good stereo speakers, cameras, and USB-C port are also positive points.
Apple’s smallest tablet has a visually high-quality screen, but it “only” offers 500 nits and 60Hz. One drawback of the display is the so-called “jelly effect”, where the entire screen content is not moved evenly when scrolling, which leads to an offset display and can be annoying. However, this is not a big problem when gaming.
The iPad mini is available in versions with 64 GB and 256 GB of storage. For gaming fans who value mobility, the iPad mini is a great choice.
Xiaomi Pad 5: Cheaper Galaxy Tab S8 alternative
The Xiaomi Pad 5 is a recommendable Android tablet for gaming fans with a limited budget. It offers a high-resolution 120Hz display, good speakers, solid cameras, and decent performance.
Additional accessories like the active stylus and keyboard cover are also available. The tablet originally shipped with Android 11 and has since received the update to Android 12 as well. However, it’s not known whether the Xiaomi Pad 5 will receive further Android updates.
The tablet has a fancy 11-inch IPS display with 120Hz, on which gaming is really fun. The screen looks very similar to that of the Galaxy Tab S8. Xiaomi may use the same Samsung display. The tablet is available in storage capacities of 128 GB and 256 GB.
The additionally available stylus of the Xiaomi Pad 5 offers 4096 pressure levels, but it’s not quite on the level of Apple and Samsung and there is a slight delay when writing.
In terms of performance, the Xiaomi Pad 5 is slightly slower than the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 but more powerful than other mid-range Android tablets. However, the similarly priced iPad 10 is even faster.
Price-conscious gamers who prefer Android will make a good choice with the Xiaomi Pad 5.
Read: Our Xiaomi Pad 5 review
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