Apple holds an upper hand when it comes to tablets. The iPads are known to be the most suitable tablets featuring the best design and hardware. Apple’s dominance in the tablet market becomes more clear when we look at the market share. According to research by Statistica in October 2023, Apple was the leading tablet vendor in the United States, accounting for approximately 55.9 percent share of the market.
Although it feels like Apple has dominated this game, there are still players out there that can challenge it. Of course, iPads are popular, but that does not mean that we, as consumers, have no other choice! Thanks to OEMs like Samsung, Microsoft, and Lenovo, we have got some significant tablets on the market that are good enough to rival iPads. In fact, some of them can also outperform iPads with their cheaper pricing and better hardware under the hood.
If you want to buy a tablet that can serve as an iPad alternative and offers seamless functionality within budget, we have just the right mix of suggestions. Also, these tablets can perform all your daily tasks like browsing, watching videos, video-calls, gaming, document editing, and more. We have listed every type of tablet that we think comes closest to the iPad. Start scrolling to find the best iPad alternatives.
Best iPad Alternatives: An Overview
- Best iPad Pro & Air Alternatives (Android): Samsung Galaxy Tab S9+ & S9 Ultra (on Amazon*). Big, beautiful Super AMOLED screens and powerful processors make these Samsung tablets the best alternative for iPad Pro and iPad Air. The S Pen stylus support adds an extra touch, making them strong contenders against the iPad Pro. If you need a massive screen and lots of storage, the Ultra is the way to go.
- Best iPad Pro Alternative (Windows): Microsoft Surface Pro 9 (on Amazon*). This tablet brings you the best of both worlds—it can be a tablet or a laptop, running the full Windows 11 system. It’s super productive with its kickstand and detachable keyboard, and you can even use a Surface Pen for drawing and writing.
- Best iPad 10 Alternative: Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE (on Amazon*). Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE If you’re on a budget, this Samsung tablet is a great choice for everyday tasks like browsing or watching videos. It even comes with an S Pen, adding a useful feature without costing too much.
- Cheaper iPad 10 Alternative: Lenovo Tab P11 Pro Gen 2 (on Amazon*). This Lenovo tablet is a good deal, offering a sharp display, a strong processor, and impressive sound quality. It’s sleek, has a long battery life, and won’t hurt your wallet too much.
- Best Alternative For iPad Mini: Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3 (on Amazon*). The Active 3 is the best and only alternative for the iPad Mini with an 8-inch display. This Android tablet features a super portable form-factor with powerful hardware and a sturdy design. It’s a rough and tough tablet that can perform under harsh conditions and even has a removable battery. Making the deal even sweeter is the seamless support for S-Pen.
Best iPad Alternatives: More Detailed Look
Let’s take a more inward look at our top 5 picks for iPad alternatives. We have carefully picked each recommendation.
Best iPad Pro & Air Alternatives (Android): Samsung Galaxy Tab S9+ & S9 Ultra
Samsung’s latest Tab S9 series, including the Tab S9+, and Tab S9 Ultra stands out as premium alternatives to the iPad Air and iPad Pro. The two tablets come with impressive flagship level features that make them ideal choices for users seeking a powerful tablet experience outside the Apple ecosystem.
The Galaxy Tab S9 series showcases vibrant displays with a 120Hz refresh rate, ranging from a 12.4-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X on the Tab S9+ to a 14.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X on the Tab S9 Ultra. The HDR10+ support and 16:10 aspect ratio delivers stunning clarity and color reproduction.
Storage options range from 12GB+256GB/512GB on the Tab S9+, and an impressive 12GB+256GB/512GB or 16GB/1TB on the Tab S9 Ultra.
The camera setups, featuring dual rear cameras (13MP AF + 8MP Ultra-Wide) on the Tab S9+, and a dual front and rear camera setup (13MP AF + 8MP Ultra-Wide) on the Tab S9 Ultra.
Under the hood, the tablets are powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, providing power packed performance. Connectivity options include 5G, LTE, Wi-Fi 6E, Wi-Fi Direct, and Bluetooth v5.3. Offering high-quality audio experience that can rival iPad Pro and iPad Air, the Tab S9+ and Tab S9 Ultra boast Quad Stereo Speakers with Sound by AKG and Dolby Atmos. You also don’t miss out on security features as the tablets are backed by Samsung Knox and a Fingerprint on Display for protection.
Both the tablets support a variety of accessories, such as the S Pen that comes pre-bundled with them. Other accessories that you can purchase externally include S Pen Creator Edition, Book Cover Keyboard, Book Cover Keyboard Slim, Smart Book Cover, Outdoor Cover, Note Paper Screen, and Privacy Screen. The IP68 water-resistant rating and IP68-rated S Pen add durability and functionality to the devices.
Running on Android 13 with One UI 5.1.1, the Galaxy Tab S9 tablets provide a user-friendly interface with efficient software optimizations.In terms of measurements, the Tab S9 measures 185.4 x 285.4 x 5.7mm and the Tab S9 Ultra is 208.6 x 326.4 x 5.5mm. The batteries range from 1200mAh on the Tab S9 Ultra with 45W Fast Charging 2.0.
Available in Beige and Graphite colors, the Galaxy Tab S9 series offers a touch of premium for users shifting from iPads to these flagship Android tablets.
Prices start at $750 for the Tab S9+. Upgrade your tablet experience with the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 series.
Want to know more about these tablets? Check out our review of the Galaxy Tab S9+ and Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra.
Best iPad Pro Alternative (Windows): Microsoft Surface Pro 9
For those who want a worthy alternative in the form of a Windows device, the Surface Pro 9 is the best pick. This flagship tablet by Microsoft comes in premium packaging with a sleek body featuring a kickstand. It has a 13-inch (2880 X 1920 pixels resolution) PixelSense Display with 120Hz refresh rate and 3:2 aspect ratio.
The Microsoft Surface Pro 9 is the best Windows tablet you can buy at the moment. It offers a premium built, newest Intel processors, a pretty 120Hz display, as well as fantastic accessoires with the Slim Pen 2 and Signature Keyboard. Sadly, the battery life is short and not much has changed compared to the Surface Pro 8.
This tablet supports the Surface Slim Pen 2 stylus, which works evenly on the screen, similar to the Apple Pencil on iPad Pro. Although Apple Pencil takes the upper hand in overall performance as a stylus, the Surface Slim Pen 2 does not lag too far behind. It delivers decent performance that’s good enough for regular functions like designing and editing.
The Surface Pro 9 can also be easily paired with a Surface Pro Signature keyboard for enhanced work functionality. Under the hood, this one comes powered by a 12th Gen Intel Core i5-1235U / Core i7-1255U processor with Intel Iris Xe GPU. You get up to 32GB RAM for the high-end variant and up to 1TB of SSD. A 47.7 Wh battery with up to 15.5 hours of battery life backs the Surface Pro 9. Although Microsoft claims 15.5 hours for this tablet, in our review we only got 4.5 hours of runtime. To test the battery, we looped in a YouTube HD video at maximum brightness. We think on moderate usage, the tablet can give up to 6 hours battery backup for office work, but you will have to change its refresh rate to 60Hz and reduce the screen brightness.
With its top-of-the-crop hardware and software support, it makes for a worthy alternative for the latest iPad Pro. Being a Windows tablet, the Surface Pro 9 can work effortlessly as your primary device for handling personal and professional tasks without any lag.
The price of this tablet starts at $999 for the standard variant.
Want to know more about the Surface Pro 9? Check out our dedicated review for it.
Best iPad 10 Alternative: Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE
The Galaxy Tab S9 FE is an iPad 10 alternative that blends affordability with flagship features. This mid-range Android tablet by Samsung features a sleek design, capable performance, and a price tag that won’t break your bank. The tablet comes with a 12.4-inch 2K (2560 x 1600) TFT LCD panel. You get the same brightness as the Apple iPad 10 and it is also similarly priced, but it has an advantage that the display is fully laminated and supports 90Hz refresh rate.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE is currently the best mid-range tablet with a pen. We get a pretty good overall package here with a high-resolution 10.9-inch 90Hz IPS display, a great design, latest software with long updates, and the S Pen, which is included. The S9 FE has many premium features such as a fingerprint reader, good speakers, and a water and dust-resistant body. It would be even better if the processor was more powerful. So, it's not a perfect gaming tablet.
- Premium design
- IP 68 certification
- Pretty 90Hz display
- Fingerprint reader
- Up-to-date software
- Good speakers
- S Pen is included
- Good keyboard cover
- Performance just average
Powering the show is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 680, a capable chipset that handles everyday tasks like browsing, streaming, and even light gaming with ease. RAM & Storage options include 6GB or 8GB of RAM and 128GB or 256GB of storage. It can be expanded up to 1TB with a microSD card.
The Tab S9 FE boasts a massive 10,090mAh battery that promises over 15 hours of video playback on a single charge. However, in our review, we got a runtime of 7.5 hours from extreme testing. On moderate usage, we can expect it to easily deliver around 10 hours of backup on a single charge.
One amazing addition to the Tab S9 FE is the S-Pen. The S-Pen in the box has the same outlook as the S-Pen on Tab S9 series. It also works as smoothly. The tablet also supports Samsung’s DeX mode that can turn your tablet into a desktop by connecting mouse and keyboard. The Tab S9 FE runs Android 13 with Samsung’s One UI 5.1 on top. You get a clean and intuitive Android interface on this one.
Want to read in detail about our Tab S9 FE? Check out our detailed 1-month long review of the Tab S9 FE.
Cheaper iPad 10 Alternative: Lenovo Tab P11 Pro Gen 2
If you are looking for a cheaper alternative for iPad 10, then the Lenovo Tab P11 Pro Gen 2 is a great Android tablet that can offer a similar experience at a much sweeter price point. Let’s see how this Android alternative stacks up against the iPad 10 and why it might be the perfect pick for budget-conscious tech enthusiasts.
The Lenovo Tab P11 Pro Gen 2 gets fantastic results in my review. It offers a great 10.2-inch OLED screen, powerful hardware, lots of storage, as well as a solid pen and good keyboard cover. I also like its long battery life, its loud speakers, and the productivity mode with external screen support. However, while it's supposed to get two major updates, it probably won't be updated as long as the flagships from Samsung and Apple.
The Tab P11 Pro Gen 2 takes the edge over the iPad 10 with its stunning OLED panel. With an OLED display, you get richer blacks, brighter whites, and more vibrant colors. The iPad 10’s Liquid Retina LCD, while good, can’t quite match the brightness and contrast of OLED.
While the MediaTek Kompanio 1380T processor on the Tab P11 Pro can’t quite match the power of the iPad 10’s A14 Bionic chip, it will still get you through most of the regular tasks. The Tab P11 Pro Gen 2 offers more RAM options (6GB or 8GB) compared to the iPad 10’s 4GB. Storage-wise, both tablets offer 64GB and 256GB options, but the Tab P11 Pro Gen 2 starts at 128GB.
The Tab P11 Pro Gen 2 packs a larger 8200mAh battery compared to the iPad 10’s 7500mAh. In our battery test, it achieved a runtime of 10.5 hours which is so impressive.
Pricing is where the Tab P11 Pro Gen 2 truly shines. Starting at $399.99 for the 128GB model, it’s $50 cheaper than the base iPad 10.
Check out our review of the Lenovo Tab P11 Pro Gen 2
Best Alternative For iPad Mini: Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 3
There are not many Android tablets on the market that feature a small screen or form-factor like the iPad Mini. But we got lucky with the Galaxy Tab Active 3! This tablet by Samsung is a rough and tough offering that’s high on features and design.
The rugged tablet is ideal for those who are always on the move and need a small-bodied tablet like the iPad Mini but running Android. The Galaxy Tab Active 3 is just what you need. It comes bundled in sturdy packaging featuring an 8-inch screen. Interestingly, this tablet comes with a removable battery, which means you can carry a replacement battery when going outdoors for a long time.
With its top-of-the-charts ruggedness and atmosphere resistance, the Galaxy Tab Active 3 is the best Android tablet for those who are always on the move. It also has built-in S-Pen support that allows enough space for editing and writing. The support comes especially handy when wearing gloves in harsh weather conditions.
The Galaxy Tab Active 3 is the worthiest of alternatives for the iPad Mini. It wraps all the goodness in the same form-factor but has a sturdier body.
The pricing of the Galaxy Tab Active 3 starts at $489.
Find out more about the Galaxy Tab Active 3 and its performance in our in-depth review.
Why choose an iPad alternative?
You get three primary alternatives for iPads – Android, Windows, and Chrome OS. All these three have one or two devices that make for a good alternative, but they differ in pricing, quality, and support.
Android: Boasts the widest variety of tablets after iPads and has got several OEM options to choose from.
Windows: The closest you can ever come to a laptop-like functionality on a tablet. Largely dominated by Microsoft.
ChromeOS: Comparatively lower adaption rate than the other two but better security than Windows and Android.
Should I buy an Android, Windows, or iOS Tablet?
The initial part of making a choice depends on your budget; if you are high on budget, you can choose among the most premium tablets offered by each ecosystem. Of course, Apple’s iPad lineup offers some of the best tablets with great software support, but the premium offerings in Android and Windows are also worth noticing.
Apple iPads feature iPadOS that offers seamless software support without any performance issues. If you are already familiar with Apple’s tight-knit ecosystem of iPhones, the iPads won’t be new terrain for you. You’ll feel like using iOS but on a much larger screen.
The android ecosystem, on the other hand, works and feels a bit different on a tablet. And we won’t be lying if we say that it still has a long way to go before reaching a similar optimization level as iPadOS on a tablet. But OEMs like Samsung have covered a long distance and managed to make their latest offerings almost as good as iPads when it comes to software optimizations.
Windows OS is not as popular on tablets like Android and iPad OS. But with the Surface series of tablets, Microsoft has certainly made some strides, and now there’s a dedicated userbase that’s hooked to it. Although it holds a way smaller userbase when compared to the other two ecosystems, it can be very interesting for many.
And then comes Chrome OS, which can be seen on Chromebook tablets by OEMs like Lenovo. It is an OS by Google that’s meant for laptops and tablets. It is in the starting-up phase but seems to be pretty promising with its Linux-based system. We have reviewed some tablets running Chrome OS, and we think that we will see more brands adapting it for their tablets.
Once you have your budget and choice of ecosystem sorted, you will make a better buying decision. Also, Android tablets can cost much less than iPads, but then there are few tablets like Samsung’s premium range that can cost almost the same, maybe a bit higher. Make your choice with a sound mind.
How We Test Tablets For Reviews & Guides?
Right from the costliest of tablets to the cheapest, we keep our testing standard the same. We put our heart and soul into churning out the best reviews and buying guides. In our process, we put each device through a slew of tests, and from the results, we can gauge which device stands the best in the segment.
We evaluate the overall package, including the accessories like the keyboard and stylus. This helps us in dishing out the most reliable information around a device and its compatibilities. We always link our reviews with every buying guide to give our readers the complete picture of how a device performs independently.
Additionally, we run a series of benchmark tests to find the metrics about the software and hardware performance of the device. This step is the most crucial to find if the device delivers what it promises. We also run several battery tests to evaluate the device from every aspect.
With this, we conclude our buying guide on the best iPad alternatives in 2024. We hope this guide helps you in making the best buying decision. Let us know in the comments if this guide helped you in choosing the best!
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