Gaming and eSports are fast becoming the new stars of competitive entertainment. With the Chinese esports market hitting a total value of $1.9 billion in 2019, and the Dota 2 International Prize Pool reaching a whopping $30 million, there’s really no arguing that esports is here to stay.
However, one debate that still rages is the debate around the best platform for gaming. We all have that one friend who’s a die-hard PC / Xbox / PS4 fanboy or fangirl. It can be annoying, but it can also be fun, since it’s all really in jest – but there’s a new contender on the market, which is suddenly being taken seriously thanks to the sheer size of the gaming world as a whole.
If you had told someone you liked gaming on a tablet in 2010, they would have likely laughed at you, and assumed you were talking about mobile games or something less serious. Now, however, we’re getting tablets that have specs close to early Xbox One Models, with amazing response times, performance and abilities which are actually geared towards gaming.
If you’re still not convinced, then read a little further, cause you’re about to get your mind blown by some of the best gaming tablets currently available, with all their features, pros, and cons to boot. Let’s take a closer look.
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All in all, these are great stats at a killer price, and it’s is probably one of the best-priced pieces of tech we’ve come across in a long time, in all categories.
|Name||Image||Operating System||$-$$$||Rating||Check Price|
|Apple iPad Pro 2019|| ||iOS||$$$||9||Check Price|
|Samsung Galaxy Tab S4|| ||Android||$$$||8||Check Price|
|Huawei MediaPad M5|| ||EMUI (Android)||$$||8.5||Check Price|
|Microsoft Surface Pro 6|| ||Windows 10||$$$||8.5||Check Price|
|ASUS ZenPad 10|| ||Android||$||8||Check Price|
|Razer Phone 2||Android||$$$||8||Check Price|
|HP 2-In-1 Convertible Chromebook|| ||Chrome OS||$||8||Check Price|
|Samsung Galaxy View|| ||Android||$$||7.5||Check Price|
|Lenovo Smart Tab M10|| ||Android||$||7||Check Price|
|Apple iPad Pro 2017|| ||iOS||$$||7||Check Price|
Now, let’s take a look at the ten best gaming tablets available on the market. We’ve got individual reviews of each tablet up ahead, with a few important pointers and specs of each, as well as some pros and cons, so that you can easily view and compare them at a glance.
Top 10 Gaming Tablets of 2019:
Be sure to also check out our buyer’s guide section at the end of this article, where we cover how to choose a tablet, and what to look out for when choosing.
Anyhow, let’s get deeper into some tablet reviews.
If you’re looking for a powerful tablet, one that can play games, record high-quality video, and perform resource-heavy tasks, then the Apple iPad Pro 2019 is simply one of the best options you can go for.
With a high-powered A12X Bionic chip processor, great battery life, a 12MP rear camera, and 7MP front camera, and the fantastic Apple Pencil 2 as a stylus, this is simply one of the best-performing tablets you can find on the market today. While the iPad Pro isn’t necessarily designed to be a gaming tablet, it’s built to handle anything performance-heavy, and that includes games.
If you’re looking for a high powered tablet for everyday use, which is perfect for gaming whether it’s mobile, or emulator, then the Apple iPad Pro 2019 is the perfect tablet for you.
Samsung has always been Apple’s big competitor when it comes to mobile and tablet devices. While it’s a significant drop in performance (and price), the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 is a great option if you’re still looking for great power and performance, but not worried about having the expensive features and status image that Apple offers.
The tablet runs on Android, meaning it’s quite customizable and has the option of attaching a keyboard cover and mouse to use like a laptop, which is a big selling point for some gamers out there. It also comes with an S-Pen, which is a chargeless smart pen which has some great interactive controls to speed up your workflow with the tablet.
The AMOLED display used in this tablet is also prime for gaming with its rich contrast, and deep colour; and the Dolby Atmos surround system is even further immersing when you’re getting sucked into a game of any kind.
This is a very solid all-around choice for a gaming tablet, provided you’re not restricted by budget (or being an all-Apple fanboy). It’s a great device for portable gaming and entertainment in general and has the added bonus of being super customizable, as most android devices are.
If you’re shopping for a tablet for gaming, and you’re on a budget, then the ASUS ZenPad is a great option – as long as you’re ready to make some sacrifices in performance too. It’s a really well-made tablet that’s not trying to break records in performance or looks and has quite a fantastic price tag compared to its higher-performing competitors.
When the ZenPad’s 10.1” IPS display is combined with its TruVivid and True2Life and BlueLight filter technology, you’re met with a super bright (and healthy for the eyes) display which is fantastic for gaming, especially if you’re playing a visually stimulating game. It’s also got very little bloatware, meaning the tablet comes quite bare and ready to customize or optimize. A lack of bloatware of this kind can also really boost the performance of a device from day one.
While the cameras aren’t anything mindblowing on this tablet, and it doesn’t come with a fancy interactive stylus, it’s still a great option for tablet gaming on a budget. You may have to knock down some of the graphics settings or exclude some high-performance titles from your roster, but at nearly a tenth of the price of the iPad Pro, the ZenPad is an obvious choice for anyone who doesn’t want to take out a mortgage on a tablet.
For those who are looking for a cheaper tablet, perhaps one that isn’t from one of the name brand titans, but a tablet that has good performance nonetheless, then the Lenovo Smart Tab M10 is our top pick.
It’s got two front speakers with Dolby Atmos, and a full HD 1920×1200 resolution for an immersive gaming experience, and while the cameras aren’t anything to write home about, we don’t think you’ll be worried about those once you’re wrapped up in a game of Hearthstone.
The Smart Tab M10 was the winner of the CES 2019 Best of Innovation Award, which is always a good sign. It uses a decently powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, which might not be able to run benchmarks, but should give you strong performance in most mobile games.
The M10 has the added bonus of coming with an Amazon Alexa Smart Dock. This dock allows you to use loads of different functions via voice control when the tablet is docked. You will see it automatically switch to “Show Mode”, which is a hands-free style mode allowing you to stream music and podcasts, check the weather, and perform other logistical tasks with relative ease. This can also help turn the tablet into a great accessory when gaming.
All in all, this is a solid choice for mobile gaming on a tablet. It’s not too flashy, but still has some great power under the hood, and has a fantastic price which you honestly just can’t pass up, with tech becoming so overpriced.
Looking at how the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 is designed is almost a kick in the face to those of us who thought “Will Microsoft ever even try and compete with the iPad?”.
This pure feat of engineering genius is hands-down one of the nicest tablets available on the market at the moment. While, like the iPad Pro, it might be a bit of wasted potential to solely use it for gaming, if you do you’re going to get performance like no other tablet can offer.
With a high-speed SSD, large amounts of RAM, three different usage modes (Laptop, Tablet and Studio Mode), a battery that can last for 13.5 hours of video playback, and an Intel UHD Graphics 620 (i5) processor, this tablet really packs a punch. If anything, it’s a little closer to a low-end gaming desktop inside a laptop body in terms of what’s inside it.
Finally, the Surface Pro 6 has the option of a whole host of premium peripherals – another nod, we’re sure, to Apple’s all-branded workspace approach. The tablet can be upgraded with a detachable keyboard, which is reportedly very comfortable compared to most laptop keyboards. It also supports three interactive devices: the surface pen, for writing and drawing; the surface arc mouse, which snaps flat and connects using BlueTooth, and finally the incredible Surface Dial, a mouse/pen counterpart peripheral. Note that these aren’t included with the tablet.
Basically, if you’re looking for a tablet as powerful as, or more powerful than the iPad Pro, but you’re not an Apple fan, then your prayers have been answered.
Ok, so you might be asking, “Why is there a phone on this list?”. Well, with Razer being one of the leading brands in tech and peripherals for gaming, we couldn’t help but include the Razer Phone 2 on this list. It’s designed to be a high powered mobile phone directed at gamers and gives a good few of the tablets on this list a run for their money.
The Razer Phone 2, even with its pokey 5.72” display, packs a punch when it comes to performance. It boasts 8GB of high-speed RAM and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 which is housed with a custom vapor cooling chamber system to keep temps low during high performance. The phone also features wireless charging, which is a bit of a gimmick but handy and nifty nonetheless.
The display might not be up to standard with tablets in terms of size, but the same specs across a smaller display generally lead to higher overall performance. Speaking of the display, this specially designed gaming display can hit up to 120Hz Ultramotion (the same as a high-end gaming or graphic design monitor), and is QHD / 1440p. Very high quality for a mobile device.
If you’ve got a little extra to spend, and are starting to reconsider whether a tablet is the right mobile gaming upgrade for you, then here’s your next best bet.
To begin, let’s start by stating that the Galaxy View was created to be a large-screen viewing tablet. Presumably, it was created to replace the option of a laptop for those who prefer tablet devices. This being said, it’s great for gaming if you’re playing some low-performance titles that are aided by large screen space.
With 3GB of RAM and a 1.6GHz Octa-Core Processor, the performance is nothing to write home about. It’s not going to play any of your AAA ports at high-quality, but for less intensive games, it’s a great experience playing them on such a large screen. The native resolution of the tablet is a nice HD 1920×1080, meaning it’s great for watching movies or streaming too.
All in all, there’s not all that much to say here. It’s a mid-range tablet in terms of performance, with the screen of a mid-high end laptop. As we said, it won’t blow you away in the benchmarks, but it’ll certainly ease the strain on your eyes during hours of grinding.
Firstly, be aware that this is a certified refurbished model supplied by Amazon. This means that it’s essentially a repaired model. At nearly half the price of the 2019 model, the 2017 Apple iPad Pro is a great tablet for gaming on iOS, especially if you’re looking for something more within the affordable price range.
It’s still pretty pricey compared to some of the items on this list, but it’s got the performance to back it. Running iOS 10 on an A10X Fusion chip, with 4GB of RAM, it should have no issue running ninety percent of mobile games out there. It’s really not all that different from the 2019 model, apart from a slightly older set of components, and smaller screen size.
The bottom line? If you’re an Apple gamer, and you’re looking for the option of an iPad that doesn’t require you to rob the bank to pay off, then this is the model for you. It’s simple, efficient, and well-priced
Despite some of the negative press you might have read regarding Huawei and their business practices, they’re still on the cutting edge of mobile device technology. If there’s one thing Huawei knows how to do well, it’s high power, Android-based mobile devices for a great price. That’s just what the MediaPad M5 is.
With 4GB RAM and a 2.1GHz processor, you’ve got some really decent performance on this tablet – almost rivaling that of a mid-range iPad. It’s also got quad speakers for immersion, as well as quick charge with a battery life that supports up to 12 hours of continuous video playback – very important when it comes to gaming. The tablet also comes with the M-Pen, Huawei’s answer to Apple and Samsung’s respective Apple Pen and S Pen.
Finally, the monitor on the tablet has a stunning display of 2560×1600, with a 2.5D curved edge display. This results in a stunning visual experience on the tablet, which can handle some pretty graphics-intensive games. It’s slim and light, and while it doesn’t have a headphone jack, it’s pretty cutting-edge.
Chromebooks have been an interesting development in the world of tech. The idea is to have a tablet or laptop design (or in this case, both) which doesn’t really carry anything on board, but relies solely on the cloud for applications (Google Docs, etc) and storage (Google Drive, OneDrive, etc.).
While the concept has mostly taken off in classrooms around the world as a cheap laptop alternative, they can be great for low-effort and browser-based gaming too. With the specs on the HP Convertible Chromebook, it’s clear that it can run some games with pretty good performance, with the only possible speed bump being compatibility.
With a 1366×768 resolution, and a 2.4GHz processor, the performance on this model is somewhere between average, and ‘better’, but we would not want you to expect any crazy performance out of this machine.
The HP Convertible Chromebook is probably best for someone who wants a gaming ready device which can still be used for study or work if necessary.
When choosing gaming tablets, the rule that not all are created equal is especially true. There are so many things to consider, just like when you’re shopping for a new mobile phone or PC. Some of these considerations include:
Let’s take a closer look at some of these, and offer some pointers as to what to look out for with each one. Remember, it’s all about what you are looking for from the tablet, not what is considered the ‘best’ or ‘strongest’ feature.
Just like the age-old issues of not being able to get PC games to work on Mac, it’s important that you first outline exactly which games you’re looking to play, and which tablets they’re compatible with.
For example, it’s obvious that if you’re someone playing games primarily from the Google Play Store, and looking for a tablet to continue playing those games, then buying an iPad is not the wisest choice you could make.
In addition, now that we’re seeing tablets like the Microsoft Surface, the amount games, and kind of games we have access to is an ever-widening pool. This is the main point you’ll want to make sure you’ve researched, as there could be nothing worse than booting up your brand new gaming tablet only to realize that it doesn’t support the games that you want to play.
This ties into the games you want to play to a large degree. The operating system of your tablet is really what defines what you can run on it.
While some games like Stardew Valley are available on just about any device imaginable, there are others like ‘Clash of Clans’ which don’t support anything more than iOS and Android – meaning that shiny new Microsoft Surface won’t even be able to run it in the first place.
Now you know which games you’re going to play, and which operating system you prefer, it’s time for the tricky part. The size of the screen on a gaming tablet is very important, just the same as drawing tablets for animation. Firstly because tablets are pretty small by nature – you need to be able to see what’s happening on screen – and secondly, because most tablet games require you to use your hands on the screen.
This means that you’ve got limited screen space once you’re playing, as a certain portion of your screen will be blocked by your fingers or hands. There are, of course, many who use external peripherals such as a keyboard and mouse or controller (using adapters to connect them to the tablet). However, not everyone has a preference for these, nor access to these – hence screen size is a very important deciding factor.
Possibly the most important parts of the whole tablet are the processor and RAM. These are the ‘brains’ and the ‘memory’ of the tablet, meaning that they’re both features that determine how fast the tablet will be, and how much it’ll be able to manage in a high-performance situation.
Processor names and brands vary so much, so to tell whether you’re looking at a powerful processor, you might have to Google it to see what kind of performance you’ll get. On the other hand, however, RAM is pretty straightforward. You’ll probably want around 4GB of RAM on average, with 6GB being an expensive preferred treat. If, however, you’re on the other side of the spending line, then a 2GB should do just fine, provided the games you’re playing aren’t too resource-intensive.
The bottom line is this – don’t cheap out on your processor and RAM. You might have the nicest tablet in the world, with an amazing screen and the most responsive touch functionality you’ve ever seen, but if there’s no powerful processor and RAM behind it, then your tablet may as well be a piece of aesthetically pleasing toast.
You’ve now got a great idea of what’s popping with gaming tablets. You know what to look for, and what not to, so now all that’s left is to choose the tablet for you, and get gaming! Don’t forget to keep your devices charged, and take breaks if you’re gaming for long periods of time.
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