The Best Tablets for College: Which One Will Suit Your Needs?

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College can be one of the most exciting, and one of the most exhausting periods in any person’s life. In addition to challenging coursework, tons of extracurricular activities to try, and energy-consuming social engagements, college students must learn to manage their time and finances to be the most productive and successful young adult they can be.

An easy and practical way to assist college students in keeping up with their new responsibilities is to invest in a tablet. Tablets function as small computers, alarms, calendars, phones, cameras, and so much more. They can be used to write a paper, say hello to your family, or wake up on time in the morning.

As such, a decent tablet is a college necessity. But there are hundreds of tablets from which to choose! We sifted through them all, finding the best of the best so that you can make an informed decision before you go back-to-school shopping this semester!

Tablet FAQs

We’ve compiled the most generally and frequently asked questions about tablets, to help you explore your options when it comes to the best tablets for college.

1. What is a Tablet?

A tablet is a portable computer that features components from both laptops and smartphones. Tablets are operated by touch screen, and the user chooses between lists of apps to run on their device. They typically do not feature keyboards, and they do not typically fold, unlike a laptop. And tablets are too large to fit into your pants pocket, unlike a smartphone. They are a happy medium of the two devices.

2. What Does a Tablet Do?

A tablet can perform nearly all the same functions of a laptop computer, with only a few restrictions. Tablets are used as a camera, a library, a phone, a book, and a key to the world! Tablets can be essential in keeping notes during class, remembering fun times with peers, finding the nearest pizza place, and making sure your bank account isn’t in the negative!

Tablets can do so many things; it would be simpler to ask what they can’t do! 

3. Where Can You Buy a Tablet?

Tablets are available at most department stores, like Walmart and Target. They can also be found at specialty department stores like Best Buy. Online, Tablets are available from most major retailers and marketplaces, such as Amazon.

4. How Much Does a Tablet Cost?

The average price for a tablet is approximately $500, though the cost varies depending on the brand, size, storage capacity, and many other factors.

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Our Review Process

To find the best tablets for college, we not only scoured the internet to amass a database of all currently available tablets, but we also factored in several vital aspects that every college student needs to consider. These factors include price, display screen size, battery life, and warranty.

College students don’t tend to have thousands of dollars sitting around. Instead, they tend to live off cafeteria food, pizza, and ramen noodles. Thus, we recognized that the price of a tablet is an essential factor in decision making. 

Staring into a small lit screen can be tiring on the eyes, especially eyes that have only been shut for a few hours. College students are notorious for their terrible sleeping habits. A tablet with an alarm and an adequately sized display can help remedy the eye strain that results from lack of sleep and a tiny screen.

No one wants their device to die right as they’re about to finish their work! What if you’re taking an exam online and your device shuts off? Some professors are not very empathetic to technical issues. Therefore, battery life is a hugely important factor when deciding on a tablet. The longer the battery life, the longer you can use your tablet while out and about on campus!

Lastly, we recognize that college students can be forgetful, and clumsy at times. Also, most students are paired with other peers in dorms or shared living situations. A bad roommate can quickly destroy your beloved tablet without a second thought. So, obtaining a tablet that comes with a warranty is highly recommended.

Overall Price Range for Tablets

Tablets usually go for between $100 and $1000, depending on the display screen size, operating system, storage size, and general quality of the tablet. 

Lower prices can be found on lower-end tablets, and many high-end tablets such as the Apple iPad often go on sale, especially when a newer model is released.

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Top Ten Tablets for College

1. Apple iPad Pro

Apple iPad Pro
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Best Features

  • The Apple iPad Pro has a beautiful Liquid Retina display.
  • Face ID-Security feature is excellent for keeping physical intruders and nosy roommates away from your private personal information.
  • The Pro has a 12MP camera on its back, and a 7MP camera on its front, allowing you to take high-resolution, professional pictures.
  • The body of the tablet contains four speakers, allowing you to hear all audio in stereo.
  • Up to ten hours of battery life, so you’ll never deal with a dead tablet during the middle of class!

Price

$$$ on Amazon.

Where to Buy

Available on Amazon, the Apple website, and in-store at various Apple Store locations.

Warranty

Each iPad comes with a one-year limited AppleCare warranty which covers necessary hardware repair. Also, consumers get up to 90 days of complimentary support from the AppleCare team.

2. Fire HD 8 Tablet

Image via Amazon

Best Features

  • The price; Only $$ for a high-quality, 32GB tablet! Beating such a deal is complicated.
  • The battery life is substantial, which an average life of ten hours.
  • The design is sturdy, preventing breakage from drops and spills.

Price

$$ on Amazon.

Where to Buy

Available on Amazon.

Warranty

The Fire HD 8 Tablet comes with a 90-day limited warranty.

3. Samsung Galaxy Tab S4

Image via Amazon

Best Features

  • With up to 16 hours of use from a single charge, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 is unlikely ever to leave you in the lurch.
  • The storage space is massive – 256GB! 
  • The included DeX allows you to turn your tablet into a PC whenever you need to! No more typing on the screen, no, now you can flip a keyboard and stand out with only a moment’s notice.

Price

$$$ on Amazon.

Where to Buy

Available on Amazon and the Samsung website.

Warranty

Samsung offers a 12-month warranty for all its mobile devices, including tablets.

4. Apple iPad

Image via Amazon

Best Features

  • The Touch ID Fingerprint Sensor keeps unwanted visitors out of your iPad. 
  • This device is capable of 1080p HD video recording, so say hello to film school!
  • The lightweight design makes the iPad easy to carry with you. It only weighs one pound.

Price

$$$ on Amazon.

Where to Buy

Available on Amazon, the Apple website, and in-store at various Apple Store locations.

Warranty

Each iPad comes with a one-year limited AppleCare warranty which covers necessary hardware repair. Also, consumers get up to 90 days of complimentary support from the AppleCare team.

5. Microsoft Surface Pro 6

Image via Amazon

Best Features

  • Up to 13.5 hours of video playback, so you never have to miss another remote lecture, ever again.
  • Three modes to choose from: Laptop mode, tablet mode, and studio mode.
  • This tablet includes a unique mouse and pen designed for the Microsoft Surface Pro 6.
  • The Microsoft Surface Pro 6 is the perfect tablet for the budding digital designer.

Price

$$$ on Amazon.

Where to Buy

Available on Amazon, and the Microsoft website.

Warranty

The Microsoft Surface Pro 6 comes with a one-year limited warranty and 90 days of technical support.

6. Samsung Galaxy Tab A

Image via Amazon

Best Features

  • The multitasking tabs help you get more tasks accomplished in a shorter amount of time.
  • MicroSD Card Slot, so you can save your data onto an external card instead of taking up precious room on your tablet’s internal hard drive. 
  • Not very expensive, at only $$$.

Price

$$$ on Amazon.

Where to Buy

Available on Amazon and the Samsung website.

Warranty

Samsung offers a 12-month warranty for all its tablets.

7. Huawei MediaPad M5

Image via Amazon

Best Features

  • The beautiful, high-resolution screen is gorgeous and easy to read.
  • It only takes about 3 hours to charge the MediaPad fully.
  • The battery lasts for about 11 hours, possibly more depending on your activities!

Price

$$$ on Amazon.

Where to Buy

Available on Amazon.

Warranty

Huawei offers its customers a one-year warranty on their tablets.

8. Hoozo 10-inch Tablet

Image via Amazon

Best Features

  • The least expensive 10-inch tablet on Amazon!
  • Sim Card slots allow you to use your tablet as a phone. The savings keep adding up.
  • Bluetooth allows you to pair wireless mouse and keyboard with the tablet.

Price

$$ on Amazon. 

Where to Buy

Available on Amazon.

Warranty

Hoozo is a company based in China. They do not offer any apparent warranties on their tablets.

9. Apple iPad Mini

Image via Amazon

Best Features

  • Ten hours of battery life ensures that you never run out of power.
  • Small and lightweight, so it travels well.
  • Beautiful, vivid display screen.

Price

$$$ on Amazon.

Where to Buy

Available on Amazon, the Apple website, and in-store at various Apple Store locations.

Warranty

Each iPad comes with a one-year limited AppleCare warranty which covers necessary hardware repair. Also, consumers get up to 90 days of complimentary support from the AppleCare team.

10. Microsoft Surface Go

Image via Amazon

Best Features

  • Not only a tablet but also a laptop and a studio tablet. 
  • Less expensive than the Microsoft Surface Pro 6, but with all the same style. 
  • 128GB of storage for your documents, images, and videos!

Price

$$$ on Amazon.

Where to Buy

Available on Amazon and the Microsoft website.

Warranty

Every Microsoft tablet comes with a 12-month, one-year limited warranty.

Comparison Data

Product Name Display Size Resolution Storage Operating System Battery Life Weight Dimension Warranty Price
Apple iPod Pro 11 inches 2224 x 1668 256GB Mac-OS 10 hours 1.03 pounds 9.74 inches x 7.02 inches x .23 inches One Year $$$
Fire HD 8 Tablet 8 inches 1280 x 800 32GB Android 10 hours .8 pounds 8.4 inches x 5 inches  90-day limited warranty $$
Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 10.5 inches 2560 x 1600 256GB Android 16 hours 1.06 pounds 9.8 inches x 6.5 inches x .3 inches One year $$$
Apple iPad 9.7 inches 2048 x 1536 128GB Mac-OS 10 hours 1.03 pounds 9.4 inches x 6.6 inches x .29 inches One year $$$
Microsoft Surface Pro 6 12.3 inches 2736 x 1824 128GB Windows 4.6 pounds 12.7 inches x 9.1 inches x 1.9 inches One year $$$
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8 inches 1024 x 768 16GB Android 6 hours 2 pounds 6 inches x 8 inches x 2 inches One year $$$
Huawei MediaPad M5 10.8 inches 2560 x 1600 64GB Android 10.5 hours 1.1 pounds 10.2 inches x 6.8 inches x .3 inches One year  $$$
Hoozo 10-inch Tablet 10.1 inches 1280 x 800 16GB Android 5 hours 1.8 pounds 9.5 inches x 6.6 inches x .3 inches N/A $$
Apple iPad Mini 7.9 inches 2048 x 1536 256GB Mac-OS 10 hours .66 pounds 8 inches x 5.3 inches x .24 inches One Year $$$
Microsoft Surface Go 10.1 inches 1800x 1200 128GB Windows 9 hours 3.53 pounds 10.9 inches x 7.8 inches x 2.8 inches One year $$$

The Final Verdict

The best of the best when it comes to the best tablets for college, is one that is priced decently, has an easy-to-read display screen, a long-lasting battery, and a warranty to cover any potential accidents!

With these four critical factors in mind, it becomes evident that the best tablet is the Apple iPad! At less than the average $500, 10 hours of battery life, a one-year warranty, 128GB of storage, and a well-lit, beautiful display screen, there can be no other – or better – choice! 

Author: With My Degree Team

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