The Best Tablets Of 2022

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The tablet market is booming right now, especially as ARM-based devices become more prevalent and the gap between tablet and desktop processor performance narrows. Tablets with the right combination of display and processor power can be used for media consumption, note-taking, and even photo and video editing.

When you think about tablets, the first one that probably comes to mind is the iPad. That's fair since Apple's tablet line has dominated the market for years, however, there are several options now that can go toe-to-toe with the iPad. In some circumstances, they may even be preferable.

Apple's iPad runs an operating system called iPadOS — sort of an iPad version of the iPhone operating system, iOS. The iPad's biggest competitors generally run Android. You can get Windows machines that work great as tablets but can quickly become a laptop with the addition of a keyboard. Even Chromebooks are experimenting with the 2-in-1 hybrid model by leaning more into tablet design.

Whatever your needs, here are the best tablets of 2022, ranging from Apple's offerings to the best tablets running Android, Windows, and Chrome OS.

iPad 10th Gen (2022)

Apple's latest iPad raises the price a bit, but it is still a worthwhile experience and one of the best tablets you can buy right now. In fact, for just about everyone (minus professionals), it's the best tablet you can buy period.

For one, the new iPad has the same flat-edged, industrial design as the iPad Air and iPad Pro, including the uniform bezel around its display. It also comes in four finishes, three of which are fairly bright colors.

The iPad has a 10.9-inch display, which is a sizeable upgrade over the last model's 10.2-inch model. It also has TouchID in the power button, much like the iPad Air, and it's powered by the A14 chip. The new iPad also gets a spiffy new keyboard folio, but you will have to buy that separately. The biggest drag about the 10th Generation iPad is it only supports the 1st Gen Apple Pencil and requires a clumsy way or connecting and charging it.

At the end of the day, the new iPad is an ideal companion for kids, teens, or anyone looking for a moderately affordable laptop alternative, and it starts at $449.

iPad Pro (2022)

If you're looking for a tablet with desktop/laptop level performance, the latest 4th generation iPad Pro is your best bet. These models are powered by the latest M2 chip, putting them leaps and bounds ahead of other tablets on the market.

The iPad Pro has 11-inch and 12.9-inch options (starting at $799 and $1099 respectively). If you're unsure which to go with, the 12.9-inch is the more appealing. It seems unwieldy at first, but the larger screen real estate is great for photographers who want to do lots of photo editing on the tablet. Apps like LumaFusion and the forthcoming DaVinci Resolve app are also great options for video editors.

The M2 chip inside also makes the iPad Pro a competent gaming device. There aren't many games on the iPad that can take full advantage of the hardware, but there are some gems like "Divinity: Original Sin II," and there will likely be more to come.

Unlike the regular iPad or iPad Air, the Pro has a 120Hz image refresh rate, and when combined with the Apple Pencil you get a very fluid and natural writing experience.

If you're looking for the hands-down best tablet experience, the iPad Pro is the product to beat.

Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus

Amazon's tablets aren't anywhere near the best performers, but for the right person, they are an excellent choice. If you plan on using your device almost exclusively for media consumption, especially if you are baked into Amazon's entertainment ecosystem – then an Amazon Fire tablet is a great choice for you.

The bad news is you're locked into Amazon's Appstore, even though Fire OS is essentially a reskin of Android. However, you can still download popular streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Max. There are games available on the Appstore, but don't expect the same access to your full collection of favorite games downloaded from Google Play or the Apple App Store. Amazon's store is a completely separate entity. 

The $119 Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus strikes a decent balance between size and price. It has an 8-inch display, which is enough to comfortably read or watch videos without becoming unwieldy. You can also get a wireless charging dock for convenient and wireless charging.

If you're okay with the limitations of the tablet and just want something for entertainment, the Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus could just do the trick.

Microsoft Surface Go 3

If you're looking for a decent iPad alternative for students, consider the Microsoft Surface Go 3. With the Surface Go 3, you get a full-fledged Windows system instead of a mobile operating system. $400 gets you a 10.5-inch display and an Intel Pentium 6500Y powering the device. You can also purchase this tablet with LTE connectivity.

The Surface Go 3 has a built-in kickstand, which instantly makes it a bit more convenient than the iPad. However, it falls into the same trap as the iPad line by selling the accessories like the keyboard separately. Accessories like that can add up quickly, so be sure to figure their price in with your full purchase.

Windows is, of course, the big selling point of this device over the iPad or any Android-based tablet. Windows is quite a bit more flexible, which means this product covers more use cases.

Microsoft Surface Pro 9

If you're looking for a portable and powerful Windows device to rival the iPad Pro, the Microsoft Surface Pro 9 is your best bet. After a few years of lackluster refreshes, the Surface Pro 9 feels like a much-needed rejuvenation of the 2-in-1 line. It can be equipped with the latest 12th Gen Intel Core i5 and i7 processors. Combine with that two Thunderbolt 4 ports, Wi-Fi 6E, over 15 (advertised) hours of battery life, a 5G data option, and the roomy 13-inch display, and you have a beefy workhorse that instantly separates itself from the iPad Pro.

However, that performance comes at a price. The base model of the Surface Pro 9 starts at $999, and a fully kitted option costs $2599. That's a steep price, and that's not even including the accessories. However, if you're looking for the ultimate Windows tablet, that's the price you will need to pay.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8+

If you're looking for an Android device to go toe-to-toe with the iPad Pro, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8+ is the tablet for you. It's powered by the powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, and it can easily handle anything you are going to throw at this tablet.

The Tab S8+ has a 12.4-inch AMOLED display, which makes for an incredible viewing experience, especially when you watch HDR content.

The Tab S8+ also includes the S Pen, which alone makes it a better value than the iPad, which doesn't include the Apple Pencil. You can get a Tab S8+ with up to 512GB internal storage, and the tablet also lets you expand storage with a microSD card. The S8+ comes in Graphite black, Pink Gold, and Silver. The tablet starts at $899, which undercuts the 12.9-inch iPad Pro by $200. 

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8+ is a premium Android tablet that finally gives the iPad Pro a run for its money. 

Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3

Chromebooks are popular devices for kids who need affordable computers for school. Many of them also have 2-in-1 functionality, but none of them are quite like the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3. This tablet is far closer to the iPad than it is any traditional 2-in-1 laptop because of its detachable magnetic keyboard and 11-inch display. The device is powered by a Snapdragon 7c Gen 2, which gives it decent midrange power for apps and games. That's especially noteworthy since the Duet 3 can also run Android apps.

The Duet 3 has a built-in kickstand like the Microsoft Surface Go 3. But unlike that device and the iPad, the Duet 3 actually has a keyboard that attaches magnetically included in the box. That inclusion alone makes this device worth it since you will save a sizable amount of money, and it starts at $320. If your kid needs a device for school, the Duet 3 may be one of the best options out there.

Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Pro

If your child doesn't need a device that also works for school, the Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Pro is a worth considering. At $200, it's pricier than some of Amazon's other offerings, but that cost could be worth it thanks to it's kid-centric features. The Kids Pro has all the same limitations as the regular Fire tablets, but it's a safe environment that requires a little less oversight thanks to the Amazon Kids+ profile

Every Kids Pro tablet comes with a year of Amazon Kids+, which includes a host of apps, books, and videos for kids to enjoy. After that year, it costs $5 a month, which can add to the overall cost of the tablet.

However, for a first tablet, the Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Pro could be a great choice. It has a kid-safe case that comes in a couple of unique designs, and the 10-inch display is great for watching their favorite shows. The tablet also supports Bluetooth keyboards or headphones, which gives it a bit more functionality, especially if the kids grow out of the Kids mode to use the regular FireOS. Plus, all Amazon Kids tablets come with a 2-year worry-free guarantee that will replace the tablet if anything happens to it.

iPad Mini 6 (2021)

If you're looking for a compact tablet within the Apple ecosystem, the newly refreshed iPad Mini 6 is the tablet for you. After years of waiting, iPad Mini fans finally got the update they've been waiting for, including a new redesign that brings it in line with the rest of Apple's tablet family.

The $500 iPad Mini 6 is powered by the A15 chip, the same processor found in the latest iPhones, including the iPhone 14 Pro. That makes this little device a powerhouse, and its compact form factor is perfect for travel.

The LCD display is a little outdated when compared to Android competitors like the Galaxy Tab S8+, and the cost of the device quickly adds up when you factor in the expense of accessories like the Apple Pencil.

But, for a compact Apple tablet, the iPad Mini 6 is your only choice, and it's still a solid option.

Lenovo Tab P11 Plus

If you're looking for an affordable Android option, the Lenovo Tab P11 Plus is worth looking at. Its MediaTek processor isn't going to get you flagship performance, but it's more than enough to enjoy some casual games and stream all your favorite shows. The Tab P11 Plus also has four speakers that support Dolby Atmos, giving a relatively impressive audio experience for such an affordable device.

The P11 Plus also includes Google Kids Space, which is a child-friendly space with teacher-approved apps and free books. It's a great alternative to Amazon Kids, and the best part is it's free.

The P11 Plus does include its keyboard, but you will still have to pick up a stylus separately. Even after factoring that in you are still saving money over an iPad experience. That makes the Lenovo Tab P11 Plus great for people on a budget, anyone who is primarily streaming shows, or anyone who wants a device for their kids. You can get the Lenovo Tab P11 Plus for $343.