For years, tablets have been wedged between the smartphone and the laptop worlds, and while they are no perfect substitute for either, they still have some distinct merits of their own – larger screens than phones and better battery life than most laptops.

So, while they may not be as powerful as a laptop nor as discreet as a phone, tablets are still excellent devices when it comes to web browsing and mobile gaming. In this article, we’ll be listing the very best gaming tablets of 2019, including iOS, Android, and Amazon’s FireOS tablets.

The 9 Best Gaming Tablets For 2019

CategoryProductScreen SizeOperating System 
iPads9.7iniOS 12
7.9iniOS 12
10.5/12.9iniOS 12
Android Tablets8/10inAndroid 7
8/10inAndroid 8
9.7inAndroid 8
FireOS Tablets7inFire OS 5
8inFire OS 5
10inFire OS 5


gaming tablet

When it was first introduced in 2010, the original iPad made tablets mainstream and Apple continues to dominate the market to this day. There are a number of reasons why they outclass the competition, but the main reasons are their excellent performance, longevity, and great overall value.

iPad (2018)

About the Tablet

The first product on our list is just your regular iPad, and we’re talking the latest 2018 version here. This is Apple’s most affordable iPad yet, although sadly, it introduces limited improvements over the iPad from the previous year.

Namely, the 2018 iPad only truly one-ups the 2017 model in two ways:

  1. It has a newer, faster processor
  2. It supports the Apple Pencil

With the Apple A10 Fusion processor, the 2018 iPad performs slightly better and offers improved AR performance in comparison to the previous generation’s A9. On top of that, the Apple Pencil support will definitely be appreciated by those intending to use their iPad for sketching or taking notes.


Operating systemiOS 12
Screen size9.7in
Display resolution1536×2048
Display pixel density264 ppi
ChipsetApple A10
Storage32/128 GB
External storageN/A
Main camera8 MP
Front camera1.2 MP
Battery8827 mAh
Weight478 g (1.05 lb)

Our Thoughts

To be frank, the 2018 iPad may very well be the best tablet currently available for those who are looking to get the most for their money.

The device has a crisp and vibrant Retina display, although it is not laminated like the displays of the more expensive models. What this means is that there is a visible air gap between the screen and the display, and while this ultimately makes the screen easier to repair, some may find the reflectiveness or even the gap itself, a bit jarring.

As for the A10 Fusion chip, it is by no means the latest state-of-the-art piece of tech to come out of Apple (the A12 is already here), but simply the fact that it is newer and that it doubles the core count of the A9 means that it will handle future versions of iOS better.

best tablet for gaming

And finally, as mentioned in the introduction, the 2018 iPad offers Apple Pencil support, making it the cheapest iPad to date to support this accessory. Sadly, it is not bundled with the device, so those who wish to use it will have to make a relatively hefty side investment.

At the end of the day, the 2018 iPad is simply the best budget tablet if you’re looking for a device that strikes just the right balance between price and quality. The only real flaws here are the cameras, which are utterly mediocre compared to those found in iPhones. But of course, some corner-cutting is only natural in a budget device and cameras are far less important in tablets than they are in phones.

What We Loved

  • Fast and smooth performance
  • Excellent display
  • Cheapest iPad with Apple Pencil support
  • Great value

What We Didn’t Like

  • Average cameras
  • Apple Pencil sold separately
  • Non-laminated display

iPad Mini 4

About the Tablet

Next up is Apple’s iPad mini 4, a device that is virtually identical to the regular iPad in terms of design, barring one notable difference: the size. Instead of the standard 9.7-inch screen, the iPad mini 4 opts for a more modest 7.9-inch one instead, making for a more compact and portable device.

However, while it has a laminated Retina display with the same resolution as the 2018 iPad, it is lagging behind when it comes to the internals – it was released in 2015, so it uses a dated dual-core A8 chip which cannot quite match the performance of the A10.


Operating systemiOS 12
Screen size7.9in
Display resolution1536×2048
Display pixel density324 ppi
ChipsetApple A8
Storage16/32/64/128 GB
External storageN/A
Main camera8 MP
Front camera1.2 MP
Battery5124 mAh
Weight304 g (10.55 oz)

Our Thoughts

The iPad mini 4 is an excellent product, no doubt about that, but it is its age that is the most important factor to consider for anyone thinking about buying it in 2019. Not only can it not keep up with newer, better-optimized chips when it comes to raw performance, but it will also likely stop receiving iOS updates in the near future, probably by 2020.

However, it’s not all hopeless for the iPad mini 4. After all, it is the latest model in the “mini” line whose future is highly dubious at this point, and although some may prefer larger tablets, this device’s compact frame does ultimately make it lighter and easier to use, making it ideal for people with smaller hands or for youngsters – or perhaps those who simply prefer having a smaller and more discreet device.

All things considered, we’d have a hard time recommending the iPad mini 4 as a first choice mainly due to its age and the fact that its price just won’t go down. If only it were cheaper, it would have made for a very viable choice but it is very difficult to see it as such considering that it is actually more expensive than the 2018 iPad.

What We Loved

  • Excellent display
  • Compact frame
  • Light and portable

What We Didn’t Like

  • Dated hardware
  • Nearing the end of its lifespan
  • No major price cuts

iPad Pro

About the Tablet

The very best (and the most expensive) tablet in Apple’s lineup is the superb iPad Pro. It comes in two sizes, both of which boast a remarkable display, sleek design, quality cameras, and the best specs that you can find in an iPad yet. Needless to say, if you’re looking for a serious tablet to function as a laptop replacement, then the powerhouse that is the iPad Pro is definitely the best you can get.


iPad Pro 10.5iniPad Pro 12.9in
Operating systemiOS 12iOS 12
Screen size10.5in12.9in
Display resolution1668×22242732×2048
Display pixel density265 ppi265 ppi
ChipsetApple A10X FusionApple A10X Fusion
Storage64/256/512 GB64/256/512 GB
External storageN/AN/A
Main camera12 MP12 MP
Front camera7 MP7 MP
SpeakersStereo (four speakers)Stereo (four speakers)
Battery8134 mAh10,891 mAh
Weight477 g (1.03 lb)692 g (1.49 lb)

Our Thoughts

Both versions of the 2017 iPad Pro are excellent devices and only differ in a few minor respects. Apart from the obvious difference in screen size, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro also has a higher display resolution so as to maintain the same fidelity and pixel density as its 10.5-inch counterpart, all the while it also has a larger battery which compensates for the increased power drain from the larger display.

Now, what earns the iPad Pro its position atop the tablet hierarchy? Well, first and foremost, there’s the raw performance that comes with the A10X chip, an upgraded version of the regular A10 with performance comparable to that of the newer A11 and A12 Bionic chips. That raw power boost, combined with the outstanding operating system optimization, makes the iPad Pro the most powerful tablet available.

On top of that, there’s the display. Apart from the superb color reproduction and overall great visual fidelity of Apple’s Retina displays, the iPad Pro’s display also packs two additional tricks: True Tone technology and a 120Hz refresh rate. Add to that the massive internal storage options, a total of four speakers, and much better cameras, and it becomes easy to see why this device costs as much as it does.

Speaking of cost, it should be fairly obvious that the biggest drawback to this device is its hefty price tag. And as if it weren’t pricey enough on its own, the accessories such as the Apple Pencil and the Smart Keyboard also constitute an extra cost on top of the price of the tablet itself, making the full set cost almost as much as a MacBook.

So, with all that in mind, we’d only recommend this iPad to users who really need all of its horsepower i.e. people who will actually make full use of its capabilities. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a laptop replacement, there is hardly a better choice. When it comes to games, there will be no discernible performance enhancements compared to the more affordable iPads.

What We Loved

  • Best display you’ll find in a tablet
  • Excellent performance
  • Some worthwhile accessories

What We Didn’t Like

  • Expensive
  • Accessories are pricey as well
  • Dubious value for the casual user

best android tablet

There’s no denying it, Android tablets are currently in a very tough spot. Google’s little green robot is slowly being replaced by Chrome OS devices and the former operating system mostly remains popular in lower-priced budget tablets.

So, while there are not many high-end Android tablets lining the shelves these days, there is still a number of affordable low-end and mid-range ones that are worth checking out.

Lenovo Tab 4

About the Tablet

The first Android tablet in this category is the Lenovo Tab 4, a modest and highly affordable device that comes in two variants: an 8-inch one and a 10-inch version. Both of them were released mid-2017, so they are fairly new, running Android 7 Nougat out of the box and powered by a Snapdragon 425 chip.


Lenovo Tab 4 (8)Lenovo Tab 4 (10)
Operating systemAndroid 7.0Android 7.0
Screen size8in10in
Display resolution800×1280800×1280
Display pixel density189 ppi149 ppi
ChipsetQualcomm Snapdragon 425Qualcomm Snapdragon 425
Storage16/32 GB16/32 GB
External storageUp to 256 GBUp to 256 GB
Main camera5 MP5 MP
Front camera2 MP2 MP
ConnectivityWi-Fi, LTEWi-Fi, LTE
Battery4850 mAh7000 mAh
Weight310g (10.93oz)500g (1.10lb)

Our Thoughts

To put it bluntly, if you’re looking for the cheapest tablet possible that is still fairly decent and capable of handling 3D games, then the Lenovo Tab 4 would be the way to go. Its display looks quite nice, especially considering the relatively low pixel density, plus it supports hefty external storage and has good battery life.

As you can see from the table above, the differences between the 8 and the 10-inch version are minor. The pixel density on the 10-inch version may be a bit low for some people’s liking, although it also has a significantly larger battery that can last a few hours longer. Apart from that, the performance is nigh-identical and both models utilize extremely rudimentary cameras.

All in all, the Lenovo Tab 4 is definitely a worthwhile budget device. Even though it may struggle a bit with some newer 3D games and despite the fact that it is unlikely to get updated to a newer version of Android, this tablet is more than worth the money, considering just how affordable it is.

What We Loved

  • Highly affordable
  • Decent display and performance
  • Great battery life

What We Didn’t Like

  • Poor camera
  • Pixel density is low in the 10-inch version

Huawei MediaPad M5

About the Tablet

Huawei has definitely not been disappointing customers in the recent years with all the excellent, modestly-priced hardware they’ve been producing, and the MediaPad M5 is hardly an exception. As a matter of fact, we find it to be the best mid-range Android tablet available right now – if not the best Android tablet in general, as far as value is concerned.


Huawei MediaPad M5 (8)Huawei MediaPad M5 (10)
Operating systemAndroid 8.0Android 8.0
Screen size8.4in10.8in
Display resolution1600×25601600×2560
Display pixel density359 ppi280 ppi
ChipsetHiSilicon Kirin 960sHiSilicon Kirin 960s
Storage32/64/128 GB32/64/128 GB
External storageUp to 256 GBUp to 256 GB
Main camera13 MP13 MP
Front camera8 MP8 MP
SpeakersStereoStereo (four speakers)
ConnectivityWi-Fi, LTEWi-Fi, LTE
Battery5100 mAh7500 mAh
Weight316 g (11.15 oz)498 g (1.10 lb)

Our Thoughts

So, what makes the MediaPad M5 so good? Well, for one, it was released in April 2018 and thus ships with Android 8 onboard, something that’s important to keep in mind considering that Android tablets (and cheaper Android devices in general) rarely get OS updates.

But of course, software isn’t what Huawei is known for, the hardware is. And in that regard, the M5 definitely doesn’t disappoint: from the sharp and crystal clear 2K display and the powerful Kirin 960s octa-core CPU, the MediaPad M5 is one powerful tablet, although it still can’t quite go toe to toe with the 2018 iPad. Regardless, with its sleek design, great display, and the slim bezels, this is an overall great-looking tablet.

As for the downsides, we can’t help but ponder the extinction of the headphone jack. While more and more OEMs are removing this old analog connector from their phones to save space, there is little purpose in removing it from a device of this size.  And then there are the cameras which are more or less comparable to those seen in the 2018 iPad, so they are no major selling point.

What We Loved

  • Excellent 2K display
  • Good performance and battery life
  • Sleek metal design

What We Didn’t Like

  • Mediocre camera
  • No headphone jack

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3

About the Tablet

Samsung and their Galaxy lineup definitely need no introduction, but while their phones are already at Galaxy S9, the tablets have only reached S4. For this article, however, we have opted to include last year’s Galaxy Tab S3 rather than the latest S4.

Why? Well, first of all, it is currently more affordable and offers everything that you could possibly want out of a tablet: a superb OLED display, a stylus, solid performance, and more.


Operating systemAndroid 8.0
Screen size9.7in
Display resolution1536×2048
Display pixel density264 ppi
ChipsetQualcomm Snapdragon 820
Storage32 GB
External storageUp to 512 GB
Main camera13 MP
Front camera5 MP
SpeakersStereo (four speakers)
Battery6000 mAh
Weight434 g (15.13 oz)

Our Thoughts

One look at it, and you can immediately tell that the Tab S3 is not quite a budget device and was obviously envisioned as a competitor for the iPad Pro. It boasts a slightly dated but still powerful Snapdragon 820 chip and ships with Android 7, although it can be updated to Android 8, which is a big plus. Even the cameras are quite good, especially compared to the cheaper Android tablets.

The display, while it has the same resolution as the regular iPad, uses AMOLED technology like the rest of Samsung’s mobile lineup. The battery lasts roughly as long as that of the iPad, too (about 12 hours of active use). The main difference, though, is the fact that the S3 ships complete with the S pen, so there’s no extra cost involved for stylus lovers.

tablets for gaming

As for the downsides, you’ll immediately notice that the tablet has only one internal storage option – 32 GB. Naturally, since it is an Android device, it supports external storage in the form of microSD cards, but that would constitute an extra investment on the side. Needless to say, 32 GB just won’t cut it if you intend on storing lots of multimedia on the device. Fortunately, microSD cards are quite cheap today.

All in all, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 is well-designed and definitely a decent competitor for the iPad Pro – what it lacks in performance, it makes up for with its great display and the fact that even the complete bundle which includes both the S pen and the keyboard cover is not more expensive than an iPad Pro alone.

What We Loved

  • Superb AMOLED display
  • Stylus included
  • Great value

What We Didn’t Like

  • Limited internal storage
  • On the expensive side
  • Performance lacking compared to iPad Pro

gamer tablet

You’ve probably heard of Fire OS recently, and it could be precisely because of Amazon’s extremely affordable tablets. This operating system is based on Android but is used exclusively in Amazon’s own devices, shedding some of the freedom and customizability that Android is known for.

The key difference between the two operating systems is that Fire OS doesn’t use Google’s online services, including the Play Store, meaning that apps can be downloaded only from Amazon’s own app store. As such, some apps from the Play Store (including Google apps) are unavailable on Fire OS devices.

On the bright side, Fire OS does run very well on these budget devices, so it is no wonder why they are as popular as they are.

Fire 7

About the Tablet

There’s no doubt about it, the diminutive Fire 7 is the cheapest tablet out there. Well, not accounting for the subpar Chinese ones that run on ancient versions of Android, that is. Of course, the Fire 7 won’t turn any heads or top any benchmarks, but if what you’re looking for is a serviceable tablet at a ridiculously low price, then you’ve found your match.


Operating systemFire OS 5
Screen size7in
Display resolution600×1024
Display pixel density170 ppi
ChipsetMediatek MT8127
Storage8/16 GB
External storageUp to 256 GB
Main camera2 MP
Front cameraVGA
Battery2980 mAh
Weight295 g (10.41 oz)

Our Thoughts

Looking at the specs of the Fire 7, you’d wonder just why anyone would buy it: a processor from 2014, limited RAM, limited (but expandable) storage, and cameras similar to those found in the pre-smartphone dark ages. However, it all starts to make sense when you consider that you can get it as low as $50.

Indeed, at such a low price point and with good OS optimization, Amazon has managed to create the ultimate entry-level tablet. The display is decent, the performance and graphics are not top of the line but the device can still handle 3D games surprisingly well. The battery life doesn’t disappoint either, and the tablet’s compact frame makes it portable and inconspicuous, not to mention ideal for kids.

top gaming tablets

With the price tag in mind, the Fire 7’s flaws are largely understandable. The biggest issue would have to be the extremely low internal storage which only allows for a relatively small set of apps and a couple of larger games to be installed before a microSD card is required.

What We Loved

  • Decent display and performance at this price
  • Good battery life
  • Extremely affordable

What We Didn’t Like

  • Very poor main and front cameras
  • Limited internal storage

Fire HD 8

About the Tablet

Next up, we have a slightly bigger and a bit better version of the above-described Fire 7 – the Fire HD 8. As can be deduced from the name, it ups the screen size from 7 to 8 inches, but the display resolution is increased as well. On top of that, there are also minor internal upgrades that allow the Fire HD 8 to come out on top in regards to performance, too.


Operating systemFire OS 5
Screen size8in
Display resolution800×1280
Display pixel density189 ppi
ChipsetMediatek MT8163
Storage16/32 GB
External storageUp to 256 GB
Main camera2 MP
Front cameraVGA
Battery3210 mAh
Weight369 g (13.02 oz)

Our Thoughts

As you can see, the Fire HD 8 makes a couple of improvements that justify its increased price tag, although these improvements are nothing stellar. The display looks a bit better, it’s a tad faster, and the cameras remain equally bad.

The key improvements here are the increased internal storage, the slightly improved battery life, and the size of the screen itself. The 32 GB version should provide more than enough space for all your favorite apps and games, all the while the battery will hold for a few hours longer. Apart from that, many will agree that an 8-inch screen is the sweet spot when it comes to tablet size.

Ultimately, the Fire HD 8 is just the Fire 7 with minor improvements that will make it more appealing for those who want a little bit extra for a little bit of extra cash.

What We Loved

  • Slightly better display and performance
  • Improved battery life
  • Still highly affordable

What We Didn’t Like

  • Cameras are still terrible

Fire HD 10

About the Tablet

And for the final entry in this category (and the list itself), we have Amazon’s Fire HD 10, the pinnacle of Amazon’s tablet lineup. And even though it’s the best that Amazon has to offer, it is still a budget tablet that doesn’t make any amazing strides, as it is only a slight improvement over the Fire HD 8, similar to how it is a slight improvement over the Fire 7.


Operating systemFire OS 5
Screen size10in
Display resolution1200×1920
Display pixel density224 ppi
ChipsetMediatek MT8173
Storage32/64 GB
External storageUp to 256 GB
Main camera2 MP
Front cameraVGA
Battery3830 mAh
Weight500 g (1.10 lb)

Our Thoughts

Once again, the improvements are limited mostly to the display, the memory, and the battery. The screen of the Fire HD 10 is the best of the bunch, boasting a Full HD display and higher pixel density than either of the two cheaper models. The increased RAM allows for somewhat better performance and multitasking, all the while the 64GB storage option will allow some users to forego getting a memory card for their device.

On the downside, the tablet actually has worse battery life than the Fire HD 8, despite the battery being physically larger. This is due to the increased power drain stemming from the larger display and the strain which it puts on the internals. Ultimately, the average battery life is shortened from about 12 to 10 hours, and while it is not a major difference, it should be mentioned regardless. The cameras, once again, remain the same.

So, the Fire HD 10 can easily compete with the similarly-priced Lenovo Tab 4 mentioned in the Android section, seeing as it sports a better display and more memory, although it lags behind a bit when it comes to the battery life.

What We Loved

  • Good display
  • Decent performance
  • Affordable

What We Didn’t Like

  • Cameras are still terrible
  • Battery life is a bit disappointing

How to Pick the Best Tablet For Your Needs

And now, we get to that important question: how to decide which tablet is the best choice for you?

Well, if we’re talking gaming, there won’t be a significant difference in performance between a high-end and a mid-range tablet, although the low-end ones might see some framerate drops and the occasional hiccup.

But just like smartphones, tablets are not devices designed specifically for gaming. Rather, playing games is just one of the things they do, so if you want to find the best tablet for your needs, you should keep all of its capabilities in mind.

Here’s a brief overview of the most important features to consider before buying a tablet!

The Best Tablet Screen Size?

Today, tablet screen sizes start at 7 inches and go up to 13 inches, not counting some larger niche tablet devices aimed towards professionals. So, if you’re picking between a 7-inch, 8-inch, 10-inch, and a 13-inch model, how to determine which fits your needs best?

The first and most important factors to consider are viewing experience and ergonomics. Larger displays will, naturally, make for a better and more immersive experience if you’re playing games or watching videos. However, the extra bulk also makes them heavier and more difficult to use, especially if you have smaller hands.

best windows gaming tablet

Then, there’s the fact that larger displays ultimately drain the battery faster, although this isn’t something to worry about because a more spacious frame also means that the device will be fitted with a larger battery. Tablets can generally last for 8-12 hours of active use.

In the end, any size can work, but most people tend to prefer 8 and 10-inch tablets. For the most part, 12-13 is considered too large to be held comfortably for longer periods of time, all the while 7 can simply be too small, especially considering that phone displays are quite large these days, what with the bezels being smaller than ever.

The bottom line is, we recommend 8 or 10-inch tablets for general use, 12-13 inch ones for professionals and those who intend to use a tablet as a laptop replacement, and 7-inch tablets for users with smaller hands or those who simply want a more discrete device.

iOS vs Android vs Fire OS – Which Operating System Is The Best For a Tablet?

best tablet 2018

Having introduced all three of the currently most popular operating systems for tablets, we have the inevitable question of which happens to be the best one.

First, let’s address Fire OS. As mentioned before, Fire OS is essentially just heavily altered Android. It sacrifices Android’s flexibility and customizability in favor of better optimization and offers a more linear user experience. However, a lack of certain apps and a lack of access to Google’s apps such as Google Docs, Fire OS devices are best left for casual users who are looking for a cheap and reliable device.

With that out of the way, we come to the eternal struggle (well, more of a decade-long struggle) between iOS and Android. While the battle is fairly even when it comes to smartphones, Apple is definitely dominating the tablet market at the moment due to the dwindling popularity of Android tablets which now remain viable mostly as budget options.

The operating systems are virtually identical to their smartphone counterparts, so the same basic pros and cons go:

  • iOS is better-optimized i.e. it offers better performance, and has long-term support. On the downside, it offers little in terms of customization.
  • Android is far more open and customizable but it doesn’t age well. Cheaper devices rarely get OS updates, and when they do, there is no guarantee that the new OS will work as intended.

All in all, considering the current state of the market, we’d have to say that iPads definitely have the upper hand on Android tablets right now. They offer better performance than the comparably-priced Android tablets and will be up to date for years to come, ensuring that the device will have access to all the new features and apps that will roll out in the future.

But of course, tablets are not really the kind of device where performance is the top concern, so if you intend on using one for casual things such as web browsing, multimedia, and mobile gaming, there’s no reason not to go with one of the newer Android tablets.

Wi-Fi or Cellular?

Modern tablets usually come in two versions: one with a SIM slot and cellular LTE connectivity, and another which only supports Wi-Fi.

Generally, we’d advise going for a Wi-Fi version since they are noticeably cheaper, and especially since it’s easy to get cellular connectivity on a Wi-Fi tablet simply by creating a hotspot on your phone.

On the other hand, this can put some unwanted stress on your phone’s battery, so if you use mobile internet a lot i.e. if you travel often or simply spend a lot of time away from any stable wireless networks, having cellular connectivity in a tablet would be well worth the extra cost.

Conclusion – The Best Gaming Tablet of 2019

pc gaming tablet

So, when all is said and done, which of these devices would we pick as the best gaming tablet?

Well, since there are several operating systems to consider, we thought we out to recommend one of each:

  1. The Best iPad for Gaming – iPad (2018)

The regular 2018 iPad may just be the best overall tablet currently available due to its excellent performance and relatively low price. As such, we find it to be the best gaming tablet and the best tablet in general, if you have no OS preference.

  1. The Best Android Tablet For Gaming – Huawei MediaPad M5

As stated before, the Huawei MediaPad M5 is a great mid-range tablet that can, for the most part, compete with the latest iPad. True, it doesn’t score as high in benchmarks, but the difference in performance is hardly noticeable when it comes to mobile games. Overall, it is a great device from a hardware standpoint and Android’s customizability is always welcome.

  1. The Best Fire OS Tablet for Gaming – Fire HD 8

Once again, the primary advantage of Fire OS tablets is their affordability, so if you don’t have high expectations and just want a device that will “get the job done”, then you’ll find the Fire HD 8 to be quite a good choice.

And that would be it for our best gaming tablets buying guide! Let us know if we’ve made any errors or if we skipped some devices that you think are worth noting and we’ll see about adding them to the list in the future.

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