For many among us, tablets are the primary, and in many cases the only, entertainment screen, which comes handy particularly when traveling. Because of that, it becomes crucial for a popular streaming service like Netflix to work perfectly well on these handheld slates with support for HD playback and, if enabled by hardware, HDR videos. But, as it turns out, not all tablets out there were made equal as only a handful of them can stream Netflix content in high definition with even fewer capable of handling the HDR standard.
Tablets are, in particular, expected to support HD Netflix streaming over a phone mainly because the grainy quality of SD content is more apparent on a bigger screen. Plus, even the cheapest of the slates launched in the last year or two are perfectly capable of running better quality content, so why not just enable it right out of the box? Apparently, that isn’t the case, which is the reason we’ve curated a list of all tablets that do or don’t support HD and HDR content from Netflix.
Best Android Tablets For Netflix
The Android OS offers you perhaps the best mix of varied offerings coming in different shapes and sizes to pick from. These are the best Android tablets for watching Netflix in HD.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6
Samsung’s latest and greatest—the Galaxy Tab S6 (review)—is perhaps the best Android tablet for watching Netflix shows and movies in high definition. It has an unparalleled AMOLED screen paired with a quad-speaker setup for a wholesome experience. This combination, along with the fact that it’s a premium tablet that is sure to receive future Android updates, helped it get a perfect score in our review.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S4
The previous Samsung flagship—the Galaxy Tab S4 (review)—houses a similarly excellent QHD AMOLED screen that is just the best for entertainment. Much like its follow-up, the S4 also has four speakers for an elevated audio experience. The best part about this tablet is that it is now available for a much lower asking price than its launch price, making it an even better option.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e
Right before Samsung announced the Tab S6, it made the Tab S5e (review) official to take care of the mid-range segment. The tablet is made for media consumption and doesn’t cost as much as its premium counterparts. It gets a great AMOLED display, which is supported by four speakers, and all this is packed inside a really thin body. Its battery lasts for quite long, so you should be covered for a long flight or drive.
Huawei MediaPad M5 Lite 10
A tablet with ‘Media’ in its name has to be good at media playback, right? Puns aside, the MediaPad M5 Lite 10 (review) performed exceptionally well when we reviewed it more than a year ago. It’s one of the cheaper tablets that comes with a quad-speaker setup to complement its full HD screen. We found that its battery life is long enough for hours of streaming, but the lack of software updates may become a roadblock down the line.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2019
This tablet has been our top recommendation in the budget category for a while now, and it’s the deserving candidate for sure. The Tab A 10.1 2019 (review) has an excellent FHD LCD screen, especially when its budget pricing is taken into account, though its mono-speaker-arrangement cannot match the stereo solutions. Samsung will soon update it to Android 10 with One UI 2.
Amazon Fire HD 10 2019
The 2019 Fire HD 10 (review) from Amazon helps you get started with your tablet journey with a starting price of just $150. It is an excellent device for entertainment as Amazon bakes most of the popular streaming apps into the OS, alongside its own Prime apps and services. It is among the cheapest tablets to support HD playback on the Netflix app.
Best iPads For Netflix
This one should be easy as all Apple iPad models that have launched so far with the Retina Display do support Netflix playback in HD. We’re listing out a few of the newer iPads that are ideal for streaming videos.
The 2018 iPad Pro (review) has the best LCD screen on a tablet, period. The premium slate flaunts its high-res screen, which is closer to a square. So, while watching movies, you’ll see thicker black bars. All that is compensated by the fantastic pair of speakers it packs that are capable of stereo output. The top-notch performance and battery life round out the package. However, the iPad Pro is too expensive of a deal if you plan to just consume media on it.
A cheaper alternative to the more expensive iPad Pro, the iPad Air (review), sits in the middle, giving you the best of both worlds. It doesn’t have stereo speakers, though the screen quality is better than most other LCDs out there. It is a powerful machine that has equally impressive battery life.
The cheapest of them all, the iPad 7 (review) with its 10.2-inch screen, is perhaps the only iPad you should look at if your primary purpose of getting a tablet is entertainment. Even though the tablet lacks speakers with real stereo separation and has a non-laminated screen, the iPad 7 has an improved iPadOS, using which, it’ll last you for a long time. You can grab one of these for as low as $250 during sales.
Baring the screen size, the iPad Mini (review) is, in fact, a better tablet than the iPad 7 in almost all spheres. It has a laminated screen, though its speakers, too, have to real stereo separation. The screen measures just 8 inches, which may be too tiny for many for consuming media, but it’s a boon for those who travel a lot and need something compact to carry along.
Best Windows Tablets For Netflix
Most Windows tablets, including the premium options under the Microsoft Surface line, come powered by Intel processors, which are capable enough for HD playback on Netflix. Plus, all Windows machines work as full-sized laptops, so you’ve got the option to stream Netflix within a browser as well.
Still, we won’t recommend getting a Windows tablet or foldable laptop just to watch Netflix or consume any kind of media, for that matter. You’d be better off with an Android slate or an iPad if you primarily want to watch shows and movies on your tablet. While the Netflix app is available on the Microsoft Store, those on Android and iOS app stores generally offer a better experience.
Tablets With Netflix HDR Support
The only tablets that support HDR playback natively on the Netflix app are all part of Samsung’s premium line. The most recent Galaxy Tab S6, along with its two predecessors—the Tab S4 and Tab S3—can run HDR10 content from the streaming service. Though, you must note that you’ll need a compatible subscription plan to stream HDR videos, which in most countries is the highest-tier UHD plan. You’ll also need to set the streaming quality inside the Netflix app to High to receive the HDR feed for the shows enabled for the enhanced visual quality.
Other Tablets That Support HD Playback
The tablets detailed above are some of the most prominent products on the market, while several more slates officially support HD playback on Netflix. Here is the list of all other tablets:
- Acer Predator 8
- Acer Iconia Tab 10
- Asus MeMO Pad
- Amazon Fire HD 8 2016
- Amazon Fire HD 8 2017, 2018
- Amazon Fire HD 10 2017
- Asus ZenPad S8
- Asus ZenPad 10
- Asus ZenPad Z8 for Verizon
- Google Nexus 7 2013
- Google Nexus 9 (Android 6.0 and above)
- Google Pixel C
- Honor WaterPlayer 8
- Huawei Honor Tablet 5
- Huawei MediaPad M5
- Huawei MediaPad M5 10
- Huawei MediaPad T5 10
- Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro
- Lenovo Yoga Tab 3
- Nvidia Shield Portable
- Nvidia Shield Tablet
- Nvidia Shield Tablet K1
- Nvidia Tegra Note 7
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 (Android 6.0 and above)
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 (Android 6.0 and above)
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 (Android 6.0 and above)
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S3
- Samsung Galaxy View
- Samsung Galaxy View 2
- Samsung Tab Active 2
Bear in mind that the list mentioned above is sourced from Netflix’s official channels, which aren’t updated often. There is a slight chance that the list isn’t up to date, and some of the newer models haven’t found a mention yet.
Tablets That Don’t Support Netflix With HD Resolution
The cheaper and budget-oriented tablets are more likely to lack support for HD videos on Netflix. There are quite a few of them, including some from popular brands, that cannot give you a better-quality experience on the Netflix app, at least until their makers choose to change that with a software update. Here is a list of all the tablets that don’t support Netflix in HD resolution:
- Lenovo Yoga Smart Tab
- Lenovo Tab M7
- Lenovo Tab M8
- Alldocube iPlay10 Pro
- Alldocube X
- Chuwi Hi8 Se
- Lenovo Tab E10
- Lenovo Tab E7
How to check if your tablet supports Netflix in HD?
Checking if your tablet supports HD playback is pretty easy actually and can be done within the Netflix app. On the device, you want to check, open the Netflix app, and search for “Test Pattern” and click on the result that has a thumbnail with some weird patterns. Play the Test Pattern 7 video to see all the data about the video, including its resolution and frame rate, which is displayed in the top right corner.
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