Best Tablets of 2022
CR's testers weigh in on the latest models from Amazon, Apple, and Samsung
People buy tablets for very different reasons.
In our tablet ratings, you’ll find devices that cost less than $100 that are great for lightweight “tablet-y” tasks like browsing the web, watching videos, and reading e-books.
You’ll also find models that cost 10 times as much that are so powerful they can practically replace your laptop. Of course, not everyone needs a super-powerful tablet, and most people don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars to get one they’ll enjoy.
Best Amazon Tablet
If you’re looking to add another screen to the house for simple tasks, the 10-inch Amazon Fire HD 10 is hard to beat.
It’s more than powerful enough to stream Netflix or Disney+, play simple games like Minecraft, and scroll through social media. It weighs 1 pound and has a battery that lasts 16.5 hours in our web browsing tests. It has 32GB of built-in storage, which isn’t a lot, but the inclusion of a microSD card slot means you can add more storage as needed. The display should be fine for casual use.
There’s also a bonus for families: The tablet supports robust parental controls that allow you to set limits on when your child can use the device and which types of apps are accessible for social networking and web browsing.
Amazon fire tablets do come with a trade-off, though. The Fire HD 10 uses the Amazon app store instead of the Google Play store. This means that a number of familiar Android apps (like the official Gmail app) aren’t available, so you’ll have to turn to alternatives. But we don’t think it will be a big hurdle for most people.
Best iPad for Most People
At $330, this Apple iPad (64GB) 2021—which Apple refers to simply as the “iPad”—is one of the better values in consumer electronics, especially if you’re already firmly inside the Apple ecosystem.
The 10.2-inch display is among the best in our ratings and gets bright enough to be legible in direct sunlight. That’s handy for summertime reading at the beach or in the backyard. The battery lasts 11.3 to 14.5 hours depending on how you use it, according to our tests. Watching high-res video can be more taxing on the battery, while browsing the web isn’t as demanding.
The iPad also supports Apple’s Smart Keyboard cover, a physical keyboard that magnetically clips onto the tablet. Unlike a Bluetooth keyboard, this one doesn’t require charging or pairing, which comes in handy when you frequently use your iPad for emailing and word-processing tasks.
Best Cheap Android Tablet
The 10.1-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab A was released in 2019, but don’t let its advanced age scare you off. This is still one of the highest-rated Android tablets in our ratings, beating plenty of newer models. Where it really stands out is in value. The Galaxy Tab A earned a CR Best Buy designation from our testers, which means it combines great performance with an attractive price.
In addition to the large, bright, accurate display, it features 32 gigabytes of built-in storage (expandable with a microSD card) and a battery that lasts around 11 hours in our tests. Unlike the Amazon Fire, this tablet uses the Google Play app store, so you shouldn’t have trouble finding Gmail, Google Photos, and other favorites.
It also features robust parental controls, so you can control the content and services your child has access to.
Samsung also makes a very similar 8-inch tablet called the Galaxy Tab A 8.0 for a lower price if you don’t mind the smaller screen.
Best-Performing Android Tablet
We’re testing the impressive-looking Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra, but for now the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 (SM-T830) is still our top pick if you want a very high-performing Android tablet. The S4 is has a vivid 10.5-inch display with very fine detail and strong colors, and its reduced glare makes it a good choice for using outside or in brightly lit rooms. Its battery life is impressive, too.
The S4 gets an outstanding score for its performance, helping it breeze through social media posts and Netflix movies as well as more taxing tasks. Like many of Samsung’s tablets, it includes a microSD port you can use to add storage. We tested the 64GB model.
You may also want to consider the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7. For most users, the biggest differences will be the half-inch-bigger display and a slightly higher quality build. It’s more expensive, though, and the camera scored a bit worse than the S4’s.
Best Tablet for Pro Use
There’s no denying it: The Apple iPad Pro (12.9-inch) is at the pinnacle of what a tablet can be. It’s incredibly powerful. But the bleeding edge of performance and design doesn’t come cheap. Prices start at $1,100, and you can add $200 to that if you want the model with built-in 5G wireless networking.
The generous 12.9-inch display features new Mini LED technology that can produce much better black levels than traditional LCD screens. (No other tablet uses Mini LED, though the tech is found in some TVs and laptops.) Our testers find the display to have very accurate colors, good contrast levels, and very wide viewing angles, meaning the picture is vibrant and sharp even when seen from an angle. That’s helpful if a couple of people are watching a movie together.
The performance is very strong, as you might expect from a tablet aimed at professional users and powered by Apple’s M1 processor. Editing video, playing demanding games, writing code—that’s all easily possible here.
Note that Apple also makes an 11-inch version of the iPad Pro that starts at $800, but it doesn’t use Mini LED tech. Apple’s iPad Air, which has a 10.9-inch display, slots in between the entry-level iPad and the Pro in terms of features and performance, and starts at $600.
Best Tablet for Kids
The first thing you’ll notice about the Amazon Fire Kids Edition is the robust, cheerfully colored rubber case. That should make it tough enough for a fall, but for those with kids skilled in the art of destruction, Amazon has an equally powerful warranty. Just send it back to Amazon if it breaks in the first two years and Amazon gives you another. There’s no limit within that two years on how many replacements you can get. Note that the coverage doesn’t protect against loss or theft. You’ll also get the great parental controls that come with Amazon’s other tablet.
This is basically just an Amazon Fire 7. You can get a regular one for cheaper, but the warranty may be worth the extra $50 alone. This tablet also comes with a one-year subscription to Amazon Kids+, which gives you and your kids access to thousands of kid-friendly movies, TV shows, books, and apps. Better yet, Amazon’s robust parental controls allow you to create different profiles for different kids, setting hard limits on what each can look at, and when and how long the tablet can be used.
Though we haven’t tested other Kids Edition models, Amazon also sells Fire 8 HD and Fire 10 versions with rubber bumpers, the two-year worry-free guarantee, and the free year of Kids+.