iPad vs. Samsung Tablet – Which is Better. Samsung Galaxy iPad with pen

iPad vs. Samsung Tablet – Which is Better?

Maybe you are a creative, and really need a robust tablet for work. Perhaps you are looking for an affordable tablet that will take your entertainment needs to the next level. Or you might be in a quest to find a simple tablet that will offer you essential services you need on a mobile device.

Whatever the case may be, you’re probably stuck between two major tablet brands: iPad vs. Samsung.

If you want to know how iPad and Samsung tablets compare, you’re in the right place. This article will help you understand which brand best fits your needs and provides the most value for your money.

iPad vs. Samsung Tablet: Operating Systems

One significant spectrum that differentiates these two types of tablets is the operating system that they run on. On one side, we have iPad tablets that run on Apple’s iOS. On the other side, Samsung tablets run on Android, a popular open-source operating system. Samsung sometimes wraps the Android in their customized shell, giving users more customization options and quality-of-life features than the baseline OS.

Typically, Android systems are more customizable and allow users to tinker with them more frequently to bring them up to the desired standard. This comes at the cost of being less user-friendly than the iOS.

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Features on the iOS are typically easier to find, and the most commonly-used functions are more optimized for daily use. Since Apple builds the iOS alongside their processors, the programs are also sometimes more optimized and run smoother than their Android counterparts.

ipad, samsung, tablet, which, better

As a result, differentiating these two types of tablets boils down to understanding how these two major operating systems work and differ.

iPad vs. Samsung Tablet: Where to Find the Apps

For iPads, you will find all your favorite apps on the App Store. This online store for Apple devices, features a lot of applications that are specially optimized for use on tablets. That way, you don’t have to worry about compatibility issues. The App Store is also more curated and has stringent posting rules and regulations which help prevent fraudulent or deceitful apps from getting on the platform.

On the other side, if you need an application for your Samsung tablet, Google Play is the place to go. Sadly, Google has low standards for uploading on the store. As a result, some apps may be a bit clumsy, while others might just be illegal copies of existing programs. These are generally found quickly by Google’s support teams and taken down before they can damage users’ systems. However, it is really an exciting place to explore because of the countless apps that it hosts.

Although Samsung tablets run on the Android OS, the brand has made some modifications to the operating system. At the core of these changes is Samsung One UI, which allows for modification of some native Android features like eye protection. Additionally, Samsung has a separate Galaxy store, an alternative to the Play Store (but you can run both), where you can find all the apps that are custom made for Samsung.

i Pad vs. Samsung Tablet: Styluses

iPads come with an Apple Pencil, which offers an intuitive, pixel-perfect drawing experience. The Apple pencil gives you the right tilt, correct pressure sensitivity, and reinforcement of palm rejection, which leaves you with accurate drawings. Unfortunately, the pencil is not free; you have to pay extra when buying the device or purchase it separately later.

Now, let’s discuss the drawing experience on Samsung tablets. The tablets feature a Samsung S-Pen. This stylus offers the same features as the Apple Pencil. However, unlike the Apple stylus, it is free (usually). All you have to do is order a Samsung tablet that offers pen support.

Generally, both the Apple Pencil and the Samsung S-Pen offer an excellent drawing experience for various creative and everyday tasks.

iPad vs. Samsung Tablet: Storage

ipad, samsung, tablet, which, better

When it comes to storage flexibility, Samsung tablets stand their ground. They offer support for external memory through a microSD card slot, which is suitable for storing large video and image files. They are perfect for packing high-resolution images.

iPads, on the other hand, don’t support external memory. This can be quite a limiting factor, especially for professionals who need more storage on their devices. Although some high-end iPads will offer you up to 2TB of integrated storage, you’ll have to pay top dollar.

iPad vs. Samsung Tablet: Customization

ipad, samsung, tablet, which, better

Customization is not Apple’s best friend. The brand tries to maintain a consistent look and feel across all its devices, which extends to the operating system and connectivity options. So, if you like toying around with settings, Samsung tablets are the best fit for you

Having more customization options, however, can cause confusion due to the lack of a consistent look across these devices. It can also lead to some unintuitive design choices. Users unfamiliar with the operating system might accidentally tap a wrong button and make a mess.

iPad vs. Samsung Tablet: Screen Displays

In the world of tablets, no one size fits all. The displays come in different sizes, but the quality of the picture varies a lot.

iPad vs. Samsung Tablet: Performance

The performance of any given tablet largely depends on the built-in processors.

You might not notice the performance differences between devices until you start using CPU-intensive operations. These operations include playing games and graphics-intensive programs like image or video editing and playing.

Newer iPads are built on Apple M1 chip, while most common higher-end Samsung tablets use a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor.

Based on pure frequency and core counts, the Apple M1 chip offers 3% more performance than the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865. However, the M1 chip was custom-built by Apple to improve performance and reduce device load, integrating it with the operating system for best quality-of-life. On the other hand, the Snapdragon processor is common across platforms and Samsung can only do so much to create customized drivers that will work best for their devices.

iPad vs. Samsung Tablet: Battery Life

When it comes to mobile devices, you want to pick a battery that fills up fast and dies out slowly.

Manufacturers of the latest iPad models claim that the devices can last up to 10 hours on battery. This is quite reliable compared to some tablets, which usually die out in a few hours.

On the flip side, Samsung is quite frank with its battery capacity specs. There are Samsung tablets that can offer up to 8,000mAh, and this should last up to 15 hours of use, which is exceedingly high compared to iPad tablets.

Both companies use fast-charging options which should power up a device to a reasonable battery level within an hour.

iPad vs. Samsung Tablet: Updates

Software updates help keep devices up to date, secured, and free of bugs and malware. So, before choosing a tablet, you should ensure that its manufacturer offers regular updates and maintenance.

Apple keeps its older devices updated for up to five years on average. With third-party software, the updates can go on for an extra two years or so to prevent obsolescence.

On the other hand, Samsung stated that it will be offering five years of support for all its devices, including tablets, from the date of release. So, if you purchase the latest Samsung tablet right now, you can be assured of software updates and maintenance for about five years at the least.

Your device will continue to work even after the producer ceases to offer updates and maintenance. However, it will be vulnerable to security threats and malware attacks, and some programs might not function with older systems.

iPad vs. Samsung Tablets: Which One Should You Buy

ipad, samsung, tablet, which, better

However, if you are a media creator — a graphic designer, video editor, or illustrator — you should be eyeing a high-end iPad or one of the premium Samsung Galaxy tablets. They are powerful, offer the best performance and specs, have a great display, and generally encompass many premium features.

Important Takeaway

When it comes to distinguishing between iPad and Samsung tablets, it all comes down to price, storage, and display, among other factors. But choosing what tablet is best for you depends on your specific needs as an individual.

So, what do you need from your next tablet? Which option have you decided to buy? Let us know in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев below.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 vs 12.9-inch iPad Pro M2: Which tablet should you buy?

The Galaxy Tab S8 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro M2 are two flagship tablets from Samsung and Apple. Which one better fits your needs and budget?

Readers like you help support XDA Developers. When you make a purchase using links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read

ipad, samsung, tablet, which, better

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Plus

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 is a 12.4-inch Android tablet that will offer the best performance in this space, with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC and S Pen support.

ipad, samsung, tablet, which, better

Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2022)

The new M2-powered iPad Pro not only has the most powerful mobile chip in the world, but it also has a gorgeous Mini LED panel that gets bright and bold.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 and 12.9-inch Apple iPad Pro M2 are two of the best tablets currently available. Not only do they have wide displays, but they also offer stylus support, have powerful cameras, and are great for boosting your productivity on the go. Despite their similarities, these two tablets are very different, and picking one can be a challenge. Should you buy the Galaxy Tab S8 or 12.9-inch iPad Pro M2? Let’s find out which glass slab better suits your budget, expectations, and needs.

Price availability: Where to buy the Galaxy Tab S8 and iPad Pro M2 from?

Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S8 and Apple’s 12.9-inch iPad Pro M2 start at 900 and 1,099, respectively. If you go for higher-end internals, then the pricing expectedly increases accordingly. You can buy both tablets from their manufacturers’ respective online stores. That’s in addition to most major U.S. retailers, such as Amazon.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Plus Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2022) Brand




Operating System



Camera (Rear, Front)

Display (Size, Resolution)




Headphone jack

Samsung Apple
128GB, 256GB 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Apple M2
8GB, 12GB 8GB, 16GB
One UI 4.1 based on Android 12 iPadOS 16
10,090mAh 10,758mAh
USB 3.2 Type-C Thunderbolt 4
Rear: Primary: 13MP, AF — Ultra-wide: 6MP — Front: 12MP Rear: Primary: 12MP, AF — Ultra-wide: 10MP — LiDAR Scanner — Front: 12MP, TrueDepth
12.4-inch Super AMOLED, WQXGA (2800 x 1752p), 266ppi, 120Hz refresh rate 12.9-inch Liquid Retina XDR, 2732 x 2048p, 264ppi, 120Hz refresh rate
900 1,099
285 x 185 x 5.7mm 280.6 x 214.9 x 6.4mm
Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, 5G (optional) Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3, 5G (optional)
No No

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 vs 12.9-inch Apple iPad Pro M2: Design

ipad, samsung, tablet, which, better

First, let’s look at the build of each of the two flagship tablets. For starters, both share the same design language, featuring a boxed chassis with flat edges, round corners, and edge-to-edge displays with thin bezels. In fact, if you put the two side by side and look at their fronts, you likely will have difficulty identifying which is which.

On the back side, though, there are some prominent characteristics that set the two devices apart. Beginning with the Galaxy Tab S8, you get the Samsung logo towards the bottom left. And right above that, you get a black strip that houses the S Pen and cameras. Meanwhile, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro M2 has a centered Apple logo, with the camera bump being a square located in the top left corner.

ipad, samsung, tablet, which, better

Moving on to colors, the great Android tablet offers Graphite, Silver, and Pink Gold. Meanwhile, the excellent iPad goes for Space Gray and Silver only. So with Samsung, you get an additional vibrant color. Though, if you don’t want this round to sway your judgment, you could always buy a case for the Galaxy Tab S8 and iPad Pro M2. This would both conceal the boring design and offer an additional layer of protection.

We won’t pick a winner for this round simply because the design doesn’t really impact the way you use your tablet noticeably. And while the Samsung tablet has more finishes to offer, it also features the black strip, which arguably looks horrendous and ruins its minimalistic appearance. So we will settle for a tie, but keep these observations in mind, as you might want to take them into consideration before making a final purchasing decision.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 vs 12.9-inch Apple iPad Pro M2: Display

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The display is one of the most important aspects to consider when buying a tablet. After all, tablets’ greatest strength, when compared to phones, is arguably their screen size. Fortunately, both the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 and 12.9-inch Apple iPad Pro M2 offer two stunning displays. Nonetheless, they naturally have pros and cons, which we will detail in a bit.

Starting with the similarities, both tablets support 120Hz refresh rates, allowing you to enjoy smoother animations and transitions. Additionally, both are compatible with their manufacturers’ styli, with Samsung offering a free S Pen with the Galaxy Tab S8 and Apple selling the Apple Pencil 2 for 129. So if you are on a budget and tend to doodle or hand-write a lot, you may want to keep this in mind.

ipad, samsung, tablet, which, better

In terms of size, both tablets are relatively large, with the Galaxy Tab S8 being 12.4 inches wide (2800 x 1752p) and the iPad Pro M2 having a 12.9-inch screen (2732 x 2048p). If you’re looking for the larger tablet, then the Apple one is the device to go for. Keep in mind, though, that the Samsung tablet has a higher pixel density of 266ppi, which is slightly better than Apple’s 264ppi.

In my opinion, though, the display round, in this case, shouldn’t play a major role when making a final judgment. While the two screens are far from being identical, they do share many similarities, and the differences between the two are relatively minor.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 vs 12.9-inch Apple iPad Pro M2: Performance

ipad, samsung, tablet, which, better

With some companies marketing their tablets as laptop replacements, one should really look into the performance before making a purchasing decision. Starting with the processor, the Galaxy Tab S8 packs the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, while the 12.9-inch iPad Pro is fueled by the Apple M2 chip. Looking at benchmarks, the M2 chip wins over the Qualcomm chip in every relevant performance test. Not only that, but the Apple tablet supports up to 2TB of SSD, while the Galaxy Tab S8 goes for just 256GB. Similarly, you can get up to 16GB of RAM with the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, while the Galaxy Tab S8 maxes out at 12GB. So, obviously, this round is a win for Apple’s iPad Pro M2.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 vs. Apple iPad: Which Tablet Is Better for Pros?

Starting at 700, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S8 tablet is clearly geared toward professional use. But can it compete with Apple’s iPad lineup? We compare specs to see how they measure up.

(Image: Rene Ramos)

Samsung’s Galaxy S22 phones stole the limelight at the company’s February Unpacked event, but three new premium tablets were announced at the same time. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 (699.99), Tab S8 (899.99), and Tab S8 Ultra (1,099.99) are pro-friendly slates in every way, but how do they stack up against Apple’s beloved iPad Air (599) and iPad Pro (starting at 799)?

We haven’t reviewed the Galaxy Tab S8 lineup yet, so this comparison is based purely on specs. We’ll update this article with more detailed findings once we’ve had a chance to put Samsung’s new tablets to the test.

Build and Color Options

Aesthetically, little sets the Galaxy Tab S8 apart from the iPad, and both lineups sport a unibody aluminum chassis and minimal bezel around the display.

The higher up you go in both lineups, the fewer color options are available. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 and Tab S8 are available in graphite, pink, or silver, and the iPad Air comes in blue, gray, green, pink, and silver. The Tab S8 Ultra only comes in graphite, while the iPad Pro has gray and silver versions.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Tablet

The Galaxy Tab S8 and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro are the thickest tablets in the lineups, at 0.25 inch. They’re also the heaviest, weighing 1.5 and 1.6 pounds respectively. Meanwhile, the Tab S8 and Tab S8 Ultra tablets are the thinnest (0.22 inch), and the iPad Air is the lightest, at just slightly over a pound.

Nothing about the build quality of the devices in either lineup should sway your decision one way or the other. For portability, though, the iPad Air might be your best bet since it’s both thinner and lighter than the smallest option in Samsung’s selection.

Displays and Unlock Methods

Although Apple’s and Samsung’s flagship slates look similar, their screens are radically different.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 has an 11-inch, 2,560-by-1,600 LCD with a 120Hz refresh rate. On the iPad Air, you get a 10.9-inch, 2,360-by-1,640, 60Hz LCD (across all five tablets on this list, the iPad Air is the only model with a 60Hz display). They’re close to the same size, but the Tab S8 edges out the iPad in pixel density at 274 to 264ppi. Both models have a fingerprint sensor in the power button.

Apple iPad Pro (12.9-Inch, 2021) Review

The Galaxy Tab S8’s 12.4-inch, 2,580-by-1,752 (251ppi) AMOLED screen has a 120Hz refresh rate, as does the smaller iPad Pro’s 11-inch, 2,778-by-1,170 (264ppi) LED display. The Tab S8 integrates a fingerprint sensor directly in its touch screen, while Apple’s tablet offers Face ID for quick and secure visual authentication.

A massive 14.6-inch, 120Hz AMOLED display with 2,960-by-1,848 resolution (239ppi) graces the front of the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra. The largest iPad Pro has a 12.4-inch, 2,732-by-2,048-pixel (264ppi) mini-LED panel, also with a 120Hz refresh rate. Again, Samsung sticks with an in-display fingerprint sensor for its largest slate, while Apple relies on Face ID.

Apple clearly sees Face ID as the future for unlocking devices. Generally, in-screen fingerprint sensors are much less reliable than button-based fingerprint sensors, so Apple gets the edge here. The iPad Air, Tab S8, and Tab S8 stand on similar ground with button-based fingerprint sensors, which tend to be more reliable than in-screen fingerprint sensors, but not as fast as Face ID. Samsung’s tablets (particularly the Tab S8 Ultra) are more suitable if you prefer a large screen, while nothing in its new lineup can match the portability of the iPad Air.

Hardware and Configurations

Although every entry in the Galaxy Tab S8 and iPad lineups is powerful enough for most productivity tasks, key hardware differences distinguish each model.

All three of Samsung’s latest slates use the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 mobile platform. The Galaxy Tab S8 and Tab S8 ship with 8GB of RAM and either 128GB or 256GB of storage. The Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is available in 8GB/128GB, 8GB/256GB, and 16GB/512GB configurations. You can add up to an additional terabyte of storage via the microSD card slot on all the models.

The iPad Air features Apple’s A14 chipset with 4GB of RAM and either 64GB or 256GB of storage. All iPad Pro models have Apple’s M1 processor, the same one used in recent iMacs. Both iPad Pro sizes are available with 8GB of RAM paired with 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB of storage, or with 16GB of RAM paired with 1TB or 2TB of storage. No iPad has an expansion slot, but the iPad Pro supports external storage via USB-C and Thunderbolt drives.

As for battery capacity, the Samsung Tab S8, S8, and S8 Ultra respectively have 8,000mAh, 10,090mAh, and 11,200mAh batteries. Apple doesn’t officially list battery figures, so we can’t compare these numbers until we run our benchmarks and have battery usage hours to report.

All the tablets support Wi-Fi 6 (Wi-Fi 6E in the case of the Samsung models) and Bluetooth 5.0, but only the Tab S8 and iPad Pro are available with at least some form of 5G connectivity. A cellular model of the iPad Air is also available, but it doesn’t support 5G.

You can spec out the high-end tablets in either lineup with more RAM than most mainstream laptops, and the processors in the Samsung tablets and the iPad Pro are both state-of-the-art, so none of them should struggle with your workflow, no matter how intense. The integrated microSD card slot in the Tab S8 models might appeal to you as a more convenient expandable storage option, but the top-end 1TB and 2TB configurations of the iPad Pro are appealing alternatives.

Front and Rear Cameras

While the rear camera stack for taking snapshots and recording video is one of the most important features on a smartphone, front-facing cameras for taking video calls are the bigger priority for tablets. Fortunately, all of Samsung’s and Apple’s flagship slates should be able to handle Zoom calls with clarity and ease.

A 12MP camera sits on the front of all three Galaxy Tab S8 tablets, while the Tab S8 Ultra has an additional 12MP ultra-wide lens. On the back, all three Samsung tablets have dual-camera stacks with 13MP primary and 6MP ultra-wide sensors.

Both iPad Pro models feature a wide-angle 12MP f/2.4 front-facing camera with Center Stage, a feature that keeps you framed and in FOCUS on FaceTime and some third-party video conference services including Zoom. The back of the Pro models houses both a 12MP f/1.8 primary sensor and a 10MP f/2.4 ultra-wide lens, along with a LiDAR scanner for AR and assistive functions.

As the least expensive tablet in the group, the iPad Air sports the most modest cameras. It has a 7MP f/2.2 selfie camera that’s fine for video calls and a 12MP f/1.8 rear shooter that works well for reference shots and document scans.

The cameras on all of these tablets should be sufficient for any personal or professional applications, but the iPad Air is at a disadvantage for taking wide shots, and Center Stage can make the iPad Pro particularly attractive if you regularly use FaceTime or Zoom.

Accessories and Special Features

All of these tablets are suitable for remote work, and both Samsung and Apple offer a range of accessories to help you get the job done.

To start, the Galaxy Tab S8 trio and every iPad here all support styli. The Samsung tablets ship with an S Pen in the box, while you’ll have to pay an extra 129 for the second-generation Apple Pencil if you want a first-party stylus for the iPad.

Apple and Samsung also sell optional keyboards for their slates. Samsung’s keyboard collection ranges in price from 139.99 to 349.99, while the options from Apple cost between 179 and 349. Remember that these devices all support Bluetooth, so if you don’t mind losing the notebook-style folio feel, you can get a completely separate wireless keyboard for much less money.

All of the Samsung tablets run Android 12 out of the box, while the iPads all use the latest version of iPad OS. Apple’s OS is currently much stronger for tablets, as the Apple App Store has many more tablet-optimized apps, and iPads are typically better for multitasking. For workstation integration, Samsung’s tablets support the company’s DeX productivity mode, but don’t forget about Apple’s Sidecar mode for working with your Mac.

We appreciate that Samsung bundles the S pen with its tablets and wish Apple would follow suit, at least with the iPad Pro line. That said, Samsung hasn’t yet proven it can match the variety and quality of the accessories available for Apple’s tablets.

The Right Tablet for You

On paper, the Galaxy Tab S8 and iPad lines appear to be pretty evenly matched up. Of course, we can’t say for sure until we get a chance to test the Galaxy Tab line, but your buying decision will more likely come down to software and ecosystem rather than hardware. If you want access to Apple’s diverse selection of tablet apps, you’ll want to get an iPad. If you already use Samsung’s DeX mode, the Galaxy Tab is likely a better fit. Check back soon for more info once we’ve tested the Galaxy Tabs.

For more, head over to our story on the best iPad to buy this year, as well as our list of the best tablets overall.

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The Best Tablets for Taking Notes for School and Work (Plus the Best Deals Right Now)

Upgrade your pen-and-paper setup with these devices that let you organize your writing (or take a study break).

ipad, samsung, tablet, which, better

If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, The Hollywood Reporter may receive an affiliate commission.

While shorthand and cursive are handy skills when it comes to hastily jotting ideas, there’s no denying that technology can offer the best of both digital and analog worlds when it comes to note-taking. than just a glorified smartphone, the best tablets for taking notes also work with a stylus so you can quickly write things down, keep everything organized on a hard drive or Cloud, and search through everything later — which is why they’re perfect for high schoolers, college students and professionals.

If you’re debating which note-taking tablet with stylus compatibility is right for you, consider whether you’re also using it for reading, web browsing, checking emails, watching videos and playing games in addition to writing, compiling lists or drawing. Generally speaking, a good tablet for multitasking should have at least three gigabytes (GB) of memory (RAM) and 128GB of storage so you can play content, download files and create documents. Many devices also allow you to expand storage with an SD or microSD card, and today’s tech means you’ll also get decent front and back cameras for quickly snapping photos (like that whiteboard before it’s erased) and video calling.

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Another factor to consider is security. Most devices now have secure authentication such as facial or fingerprint recognition in addition to a standard passcode, so your notes, files, email and other content stay safe if you ever lose your device. Seamless Cloud backup is also important for the same reason.

Ahead, we’ve rounded up the best tablets for note-taking at school or work, from the latest Apple and Microsoft releases to options for Android users. All of our selections are compatible with stylus pens and equipped with the above-recommended specs, and they’re also available in other options (say, more or less memory or storage) to adapt to your needs or budget and are compatible with most note-taking apps such as GoodNotes, Microsoft OneNote, Notability, Apple Notes and others.

And right now, a handful of the top note-taking tablets on our list are on sale, including Apple’s new iPad Air and the iPad Pro; Samsung’s Galaxy Tab devices; and Microsoft’s new Surface Pro 9. Check out our top productivity-friendly picks below, many of which make a great gift for students, gamers and techies.

The Best Tablets for Taking Notes at a Glance

  • BEST OVERALL 2022 Apple 12.9-inch iPad Pro, from 1,100: Apple | Amazon | Best Buy | Target
  • BEST FOR Android USERS Samsung Galaxy Tab S8, from 570: Samsung | Amazon | Best Buy
  • MOST LIGHTWEIGHT 2022 Apple 10.9-inch iPad Air, from 679: Apple | Amazon | Best Buy | Target | Walmart
  • BEST BUDGET Apple TABLET 2022 Apple 10.9-inch iPad, from 399: Apple | Amazon | Best Buy | Target | Walmart
  • BEST FOR PC USERS Microsoft Surface Pro 9 (Intel/Wi-Fi or 5G), from 999: Microsoft | Amazon | Best Buy
  • BEST BUDGET Lenovo Tab P11 Plus, from 250: Lenovo | Amazon | Best Buy | Walmart
  • BEST BUDGET Windows TABLET Microsoft Surface Go 3, from 375: Microsoft | Amazon | Best Buy | Walmart
  • BEST FAMILY-FRIENDLY Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite, from 299: Samsung | Amazon | Best Buy | Target | Walmart
  • MOST TRAVEL-FRIENDLY 2021 Apple iPad Mini, from 400: Apple | Amazon | Best Buy | Target | Walmart
  • BEST AFFORDABLE KEYBOARD-ONLY Amazon Fire HD 10, from 160: Amazon | Best Buy
  • BEST E-PAPER TABLETReMarkable 2, from 299


  • Screen size 12.9 inches (also available in 11-inch size)
  • Dimensions 0.25 x 8.46 x 11.05 inches
  • Refresh rate 120Hz
  • Operating system iPadOS 16
  • CPU GPU Apple M2 8-core CPU chip with 10-core GPU and Neural Engine
  • Memory 8GB RAM
  • Storage 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB or 2TB
  • Cameras 12MP wide rear / 10MP ultra-wide front / LiDAR scanner
  • Security FaceID
  • Battery life Up to 10 hours
  • Port 1 USB-C with support for Thunderbolt and USB 4
  • Wi-Fi 5G and 6E
  • Weight 1.5 pounds

MORE BUYING OPTIONS (from 1,100): Apple | Amazon | Best Buy | Target

If you’re looking for a top-of-the-line device that can handle note-taking and then some, Apple’s M2 chip-equipped 2022 iPad Pro is the company’s fastest, most powerful tablet to date. It’s ideal for busy college students, professionals, on-the-go video editors and anyone else who wants an exceptional and portable experience for taking notes, gaming, video editing and watching content, all in one device.

The 12.9-inch iPad Pro features 5G and 6E connectivity and a vibrant Liquid Retina display with XDR for color-faithful viewing, while 12MP cameras and a LiDAR scanner (which can “mesh” objects and spaces) let you take visual notes or stunning HDR photos alike. The device’s True Tone (which adapts to your lighting), adaptive ProMotion refresh rate and next-level contrast ratio combine to perform for moviegoers, gamers, graphic designers and video editors.

When paired with the second-generation Apple Pencil (129), Magic Keyboard (340) or Smart Keyboard Folio (190, reg. 199), the sixth-gen iPad Pro is one of the best large-screen tablets for taking notes without any lag. It’s also among the slimmest at just.25 inches thick, 11 inches tall and 8.46 inches wide.

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The tech giant’s built-in Notes app can recognize and index your handwriting, making it easier to search what you’ve jotted down. What’s great is you can also tap on your iPad’s lock screen with the Pencil to start taking notes without unlocking the device, and you can save it all on iCloud for seamless access across all of your Apple devices.

ipad, samsung, tablet, which, better


  • Screen 13-in. PixelSense
  • Max resolution 2880×1920
  • Refresh rate 120Hz
  • Dimensions 11.3 x 8.2 x 0.37 inches
  • Operating system Windows 11
  • CPU Intel Core i5 or i7; Microsoft SQ 3 (5G model)
  • GPU Intel Iris Xe Graphics
  • Memory 8GB or 16GB
  • Storage 128GB, 256GB, 512GB or 1TB; microSD card slot expandable up to 2TB
  • Cameras 10MP rear with 4K / 5MP front
  • Security Face ID
  • Battery life Up to 19 hours
  • Port 2 x Thunderbolt or 2 x USB-C (5G model)
  • Wi-Fi 6E or 5G options
  • Weight 1.94 pounds and up

MORE BUYING OPTIONS (from 900): Microsoft | Amazon | Best Buy | Target (i7, 16GB/256GB) | Walmart (i7, 16GB/256GB)

Though Microsoft’s Surface Pro 8 is still a worthy laptop-to-tablet contender, the recently released Surface Pro 9 tablet (900 and up) is ideal for those who want the latest and greatest from the company. It comes in Intel/Wi-Fi or 5G options: the Wi-Fi models are available with 12th gen Intel Core i5 or the Intel Evo i5 or i7 processor and up to 15 hours of battery life, while the 5G option features the Microsoft SQ 3 with Neural Processing Unit and a battery that lasts up to 19 hours.

The standard Pro 9 is great for anyone who wants to multi-task, create documents and take notes via pen, camera or voice. The i5 CPUs are a good option for those who want versatility on a budget, while the more powerful i7 processor is ideal for users who want to play casual games or edit photos and videos. Gamers, editors and photographers will want to go with the 5G option, which supports Cloud gaming, offers fast file transfers and charging via USB-C and features AI-enhanced camera effects.

Note-takers will get a pen-to-paper-like experience when they pair the tablet with the Slim Pen 2 (on sale for 97, reg. 130; sold separately), while the Surface Pro Signature Keyboard (on sale for 238 and bundled with the stylus) gives the device the functionality of a laptop, especially when the built-in Kickstand is in use. The tablet can also be connected to external GPUs and 4K monitors.

It’s worth noting that the extra cost of accessories puts the tablet at essentially the same price as a traditional laptop, but with touchscreen capabilities. For note-takers and multi-taskers on a budget, the Surface Pro 7 (on sale for 615, reg. 899) or the Surface Pro 8 might be more appealing options that still delivers powerful performance and portability.

ipad, samsung, tablet, which, better


  • Screen size 11-in. LCD; S8 12.4-in. OLED; S8 Ultra 14.6-in. OLED
  • Dimensions 10 x 6.5 x 0.25 inches
  • Refresh rate 120Hz
  • Operating system Android 10
  • CPU GPU Qualcomm Snapdragon8 Gen 1 Octa Core processor
  • Memory 6GB or 8GB
  • Storage 128GB, 256GB or 512GB; SD card slot expandable up to 1 TB
  • Cameras Wide 13MP and ultra-wide 5 MP rear / 8 MP front
  • Security Fingerprint scanner
  • Battery life Up to 15 hours
  • Port USB-C
  • Wi-Fi 6E
  • Weight 1.1 pounds

AMAZON DEAL: Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 with 128GB and Wi-Fi, 800 (reg. 900 and up)

MORE BUYING OPTIONS (from 570, reg. 700 and up): Samsung | Amazon | Best Buy

Although Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S7 is also a great option, the 11-in. Galaxy Tab S8 (on sale for 11 percent off at Amazon) is one of the best tablets for Android users who want a display and speed that rivals the iPad. If you want maximum screen quality and size, the tablet is available with an OLED display in the 12.4-inch S8 (on sale starting at 800 on Amazon) or the 14.6-inch S8 Ultra (from 600 at Samsung with eligible trade-in).

Students, gamers and movie lovers alike can thank the 120Hz refresh rate and the incredibly fast Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor that handles multitasking with ease. The impressive battery life, DeX (which lets users turn the tablet into a desktop with mouse, keyboard and monitor integration), Microsoft 365 and speedy Wi-Fi 6E compatibility round out this powerful device with productivity in mind.

The S8 tablet comes with the redesigned S Pen, which now has nine-millisecond latency for quick responsiveness, so you can take notes right after unboxing. The Samsung Note app lets you convert your handwriting into searchable text, sync your notes and voice recordings, manage all of your pages and organize files. You can use the included stylus to control presentations, and your files and content can be synced with other compatible Samsung devices.

If you prefer the functionality of a laptop without the extra weight, the tablet can be expanded with Samsung’s Bluetooth book cover keyboard also acts as a screen protector. For entertainment, the tablet boasts an edge-to-edge display and Dolby Atmos surround sound speakers for a cinematic viewing experience on the go.

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Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 11” 128GB Wi-Fi 6E Android Tablet w/ Large LCD Screen, Long Lasting Battery, S Pen Included, Ultra Wide Camera, US Version, Graphite


  • Screen size 10.9-in. Liquid Retina
  • Max resolution 1640×2360
  • Refresh rate 120Hz
  • Dimensions 9.74 x 7.02 x 0.24 inches
  • Operating system iPadOS 15
  • CPU GPU Apple M1 8-core chip, 8-core GPU and Neural Engine
  • Memory 8GB
  • Storage 64GB or 256 GB
  • Cameras 12MP wide rear / 12MP ultra-wide front with Center Stage
  • Security Touch ID
  • Battery life Up to 10 hours
  • Port 1 USB-C
  • Wi-Fi 5G, 6
  • Weight 1 pound

One of the newest devices in Apple’s lineup, the 2022 Apple iPad Air weighs in at just one pound, making it among the best lightweight tablets for taking notes. The fifth-gen model works with the second-gen Pencil, which offers a responsive writing and drawing experience. Powered by an M1 8-core CPU chip and Neural Engine (which promises up to 60 percent faster performance), the 10.9-inch Liquid Retina screen has a 120Hz refresh rate that makes it a breeze to quickly jot down notes or doodle without any lag. If you prefer to type, you can connect the Smart Keyboard Folio or Magic Keyboard to turn the tablet into a laptop.

Like the iPad Pro, expect easy cross-device access to your documents on iCloud, convenient handwriting indexing on the Notes app, and compatibility with many other note-taking apps that let you add photos, links and more to your docs. Select colorways and storage options are on sale starting at nine percent off for the 128GB model.

ipad, samsung, tablet, which, better


  • Screen 10.9-in. Liquid Retina
  • Max resolution 2360×1640
  • Refresh rate 60Hz
  • Dimensions 9.79 x 7 x 0.28 inches
  • Operating system iPadOS 16
  • CPU GPU A14 Bionic chip, 6-core CPU, 4-core GPU with Neural Engine
  • Memory 4GB RAM
  • Storage 64GB or 256GB
  • Cameras 12MP wide rear / 12MP landscape ultra-wide front with Center Stage / LiDAR scanner
  • Security Touch ID
  • Battery life All day; varies by use
  • Port 1 USB-C
  • Wi-Fi 5G and 6
  • Weight 1.05 pounds

MORE BUYING OPTIONS (from 419, reg. 449): Apple | Amazon | Best Buy | Target | Walmart

There are plenty of cheap tablets for note-taking that offer basic functionality, but Apple’s 2022 iPad offers a major upgrade with a new A14 Bionic chip, larger screen, longer battery life, better cameras and more. The 10th-gen tablet is 20 percent faster than the 2021 model, allowing users to seamlessly switch between taking notes, browsing the web or playing games. Apple also swapped the Lightning connector for the industry standard USB-C, and the graphics boast a 10 percent improvement over last year’s device.

The 10.9-in. screen features Apple’s TrueTone technology (which automatically adjusts to the color temperature of the room), making it easier on your eyes whether you’re taking notes in a giant lecture hall or outdoors. It also has a new and improved rear 12MP camera that takes better photos in low-light settings compared to its predecessor (which had an 8MP rear camera), so you can easily take clear visual notes.

The 2022 iPad pairs with the first-gen Apple Pencil (95) and the new Magic Keyboard Folio (249) so you can write down your thoughts on the Scribble note-taking app, mark up PDFs and screenshots, highlight items, convert your handwriting into text, sketch illustrations and design logos. If you plan on catching up on your favorite movies and TV shows, the Liquid Retina display promises vibrant details and colors, and the tablet weighs about one pound, making it a travel-friendly option for mobile entertainment.

ipad, samsung, tablet, which, better


  • Screen 11 in. 2K OLED
  • Max resolution 2000×1200
  • Refresh rate 60Hz
  • Dimensions 10.2 x 6.4 x 0.295 inches
  • Operating system Android 11
  • CPU MediaTek Helio G90T Tab Octa-Core processor
  • GPU ‎Mali-G76 MP4
  • Memory 4GB RAM (also available in 6GB)
  • Storage 64GB or 128GB; microSD card slot expandable up to 256GB
  • Cameras 13MP auto-FOCUS rear / 8MP fixed-FOCUS front
  • Security Face ID
  • Battery life Up to 15 hours
  • Port USB-C, 4-point Pogo pin
  • Wi-Fi 5G
  • Weight from 1.1 pounds

MORE BUYING OPTIONS (from 250): Lenovo | Amazon | Best Buy | Walmart

If you’re looking for a multi-tasking tablet built for note-taking, gaming and video streaming and that won’t break your budget, Lenovo’s Tab P11 Plus tablet is the way to go. Compatible with the Precision Pen 2, this family-friendly tablet is equipped with a MediaTek Helio G90T processor and 2K OLED screen, so it delivers seamless graphics on a vibrant 400-nit display. Speaking of portable entertainment, the Dolby Atmos-enhanced quad speakers round out your on-the-go experience.

The device comes pre-loaded with Microsoft Office apps, and you can connect Lenovo’s Precision Pen 2 (70, sold separately) and wireless keyboard (90, sold separately) for easy note-taking in class or at the office. The stylus has 4,096 levels of pressure and tilt detection — so artists and note-takers alike can get an accurate writing or drawing experience — and the P11 Pro comes with Bamboo Paper and Squid illustration apps. Whether you’re a college student or an executive, you can easily jot your thoughts on OneNote, write papers on Word and organize your files, among other productivity tasks.

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Lenovo – Tab P11 Plus – Tablet – 11″ 2K Display – MediaTek Octa-Core Processor – 4GB Memory – 128GB Storage – Dolby Atmos – Android 11 – Bluetooth Wi-Fi – Long Battery Life


  • Screen 10.5 inches
  • Max resolution 1920×1280
  • Refresh rate 60Hz
  • Dimensions 7.9 x 10.8 x 1.9 inches
  • Operating system Windows 11 Home
  • CPU 1.1 GHz Pentium
  • GPU ‎Intel UHD Graphics 615
  • Memory 4GB or 8GB
  • Storage 64GB or 128GB, plus microSD card slot
  • Cameras 8MP rear / 5MP front
  • Security Face ID
  • Battery life Up to 11 hours
  • Port USB-C
  • Wi-Fi 5G
  • Weight 1.2 pounds

MORE BUYING OPTIONS (from 375): Microsoft | Amazon | Best Buy | Walmart

Windows users will have no problem adapting to Microsoft’s Surface Go 3 (from 400), which is now equipped with Bluetooth and a brighter screen. Just like its predecessor, it’s compatible with the brand’s Surface Pen (95, sold separately) that writes as smoothly as a regular writing tool on paper and includes a natural-feeling “eraser,” which is why it’s a favorite among digital artists. Clocking in at just 1.2 pounds, the Surface Go 3 isn’t going to replace your desktop computer or laptop — but it’s one of the best note-taking tablets for anyone seeking a lightweight device that can also handle lighter tasks such as answering emails, streaming videos and browsing the internet.

As far as writing things down, the tablet is equipped with the latest version of Microsoft’s OneNote app, which lets you create and edit Word documents, convert your handwriting to text, search notes and more. With the Surface Pen, you can also take notes on web pages using Microsoft Edge and even write reminders to yourself directly into Cortana.

ipad, samsung, tablet, which, better


  • Screen 10.4-in. LCD
  • Max resolution 2000×1200
  • Refresh rate 60Hz
  • Dimensions 9.63 x 6.07 x 0.28 inches
  • Operating system Android
  • CPU Exynos 9611 Octa Core
  • Memory 4GB RAM
  • Storage 64GB or 128GB; microSD card slot expandable up to 1TB
  • Cameras 8MP rear / 5MP front
  • Security Face ID
  • Battery life Up to 13 hours
  • Port USB-C
  • Wi-Fi 5G
  • Weight 1.02 pounds

AMAZON DEALS: Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite, 64GB for 310 or 128GB for 393

Released in May, the 2022 Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite (350 and up) is one of the best lightweight tablets for users who want productivity, entertainment and minimalism in one device. We like that the tablet includes the S Pen, so you don’t need to buy a separate accessory for note-taking. Perfect for schoolwork, the device’s Samsung Notes app lets you take notes effortlessly as well as organize your writing, convert it to text, rearrange pages and more.

This is also one of the best tablets for younger students, as the unit also comes with Kids Mode, which lets parents set usage limits and control access to certain content and apps. For entertainment, the crystal-clear TFT LCD display and dual Dolby Atmos surround-sound speakers offer a vibrant and engaging viewing experience (the 3.5mm headphone jack lets you plug in, too), and you can also use the unit as a hotspot or share content to other devices.

When charging, the tablet screen displays your calendar, the weather or your music, so you can stay productive even when the unit is docked.

ipad, samsung, tablet, which, better

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite 10.4″ 64GB Wi-Fi Android Tablet w/ S Pen Included, Slim Metal Design, Crystal Clear Display, Dual Speakers, Long Lasting Battery, SM-P610NZAAXAR, Oxford Gray


  • Screen 8.3 in. Liquid Retina
  • Max resolution 2266×1488
  • Refresh rate 60Hz
  • Dimensions 7.7 x 5.3 x 0.25 inches
  • Operating system iPadOS 15
  • CPU GPU A15 Bionic Chip, 6-core CPU, 5-core graphics, 16-core Neural engine
  • Memory 4GB RAM
  • Storage 64GB or 256GB
  • Cameras 12MP wide rear / 10MP ultra-wide front with Center Stage
  • Security Touch ID
  • Battery life Up to 10 hours
  • Port 1 USB-C
  • Wi-Fi 5G, Wi-Fi 6
  • Weight 0.65 pounds

MORE BUYING OPTIONS (from 400, reg. 499 and up): Apple | Amazon | Best Buy | Target | Walmart

Compatible with the second-gen Apple Pencil, the latest 2021 iPad Mini has a Liquid Retina screen size of 8.3 inches and weighs under one pound, making it one of the best travel-friendly note-taking tablets that’s also powerful enough to edit and watch content, play games and snap photos. The 500 nits of brightness and IPS LED display delivers vibrant images and video, and the TrueTone adaptive display that adjusts to your environment’s lighting. The combination of the A15 Bionic chip and battery life lets you play or work for up to 10 hours.

Rounding out the sixth-gen iPad Mini’s features are 12MP front and back camera and 4K video recording. Eco-minded users will like that the tablet is made of 100 percent recycled aluminum enclosure, rare earth elements in the speaker and magnets and tin in the main logic board.

ipad, samsung, tablet, which, better

Amazon Fire HD 10 Pro Tablet


  • Screen size 10.1-in. LCD
  • Max resolution 1920×1200
  • Refresh rate 60Hz
  • Dimensions 7.7 x 5.3 x 0.25 inches
  • Operating system Fire OS
  • CPU Octa-Core 2.0 GHz
  • GPU Mediatek MT8183 Helio P60T
  • Memory 4GB RAM
  • Storage 32 GB or 64GB; microSD card slot expandable up to 1TB
  • Cameras 5MP rear / 2MP front
  • Security Passcode
  • Battery life Up to 12 hours
  • Port 1 USB-C
  • Wi-Fi 5G, 6
  • Weight 1.03 pounds

AMAZON DEAL: 2021 Fire HD Plus Tablet, 140 (reg. 180)

If you’re fully immersed in Amazon’s Alexa-powered world and you prefer to take notes with a keyboard only, then the e-comm giant’s 11th gen Fire HD 10 Plus tablet (available with or without lock screen ads, and in a Microsoft 365 productivity bundle) is worth considering. At 180 and up, the price is hard to beat — but one downside is that Amazon doesn’t make an accompanying stylus for its Fire tablets. Some of the thicker silicone-tipped third-party styluses (we like this Heyday one) work fine for doodling, but we’ve noticed that the screen can’t really pick up some of the finer-tip pens such as the Apple Pencil or Samsung’s S Pen.

However, the Fire HD 10 Plus connects seamlessly with most Bluetooth keyboards, and we found it easy to type and attach photos to note pages in Microsoft OneNote. (Dropbox and Microsoft Office are also available in the Amazon app store.) If you plan on using this for watching movies and taking video calls, you’ll appreciate the value in this 10.1-inch tablet, which has a 1080p Full HD display that’s 10 percent brighter than the previous model. The split screen feature lets you view compatible apps (such as Messenger and Prime Video) for multi-tasking.

We like the wireless charging feature and the option to pop in a microSD card and expand storage up to 1TB. And of course, Alexa is at the ready for you to add items to your Amazon shopping cart, turn on Smart lights and set reminders, among many other voice commands.

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