If you are looking for the Best Tablet For College Students 2020, then look no further than this article. It includes best tablets for college students on a budget. Perhaps you are interested in free tablets for college students, then reading this article may help you.
From taking notes to giving a presentation to researching for my paper, the tablet has definitely made my life easier. Nowadays, even the education system is encouraging the use of tablets in various educational institutions. Thus, all the leading names in this business are launching tablets especially made to cater to the specific needs of a college student. Now, the process of finding the right tablet for you is crucial and also time-consuming. So, if you haven’t done your research right you may end up spending a huge sum of your saved money on a tablet you are going to hate. Hence, in this article, I will share with you 10 best tablets for college students with a detailed review of each tablet and also a buying guide that will help you to choose the best tablet as per your budget and preference.
So, without further ado, here they are.
best tablets for college students on a budget
Best Tablet For College Students 2020
Here are the things we took into consideration while ranking our tablets – price, performance, durability, keyboard, stylus pen, screen-size, quality.
1. Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 #Most recommended for Students
On the 5th of August 2020, Samsung announced the release of its newest tablet, which is Galaxy S7 that will be available later this year. It is a much-improved and more powerful version of the previous Galaxy S6 tablet. Therefore, this will be the perfect tablet for fast-paced student life.
Galaxy S7 looks very sleek. This an 11- inch tablet. It is big enough to do writing and reading, as well as watching movies after a long day at college/ school. Galaxy S7 is compact enough to carry with you everywhere and will fit in most bags and backpacks. In fact, it is only 6.3 mm thick, making it lightweight as well.
It has a full aluminum build with beautiful metal sides that provides a high-end feel. The corners are rounded, providing a sleek and modern feel to this tablet. Additionally, it comes in 3 different colors. That is mystic bronze, mystic black, and mystic silver. Therefore, you have the option to choose which tone will suit your style the most.
This tablet uses Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865+ chipset. Currently, it is one of the best mobile and tablet chipsets available on the market. It has an Octa-core (Kryo 585) CPU and Adreno 650 GPU. This is a brilliant and fast-acting combination.
The 11-inch model comes with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. This is more than enough to enable you to play the newest games and apps without issues.
It can be concluded that you can expect a high-end performance for gaming and AI applications. Therefore, you will not have to worry about this tablet’s performance irrespective of what task you have to do.
- OS: Android 10, One UI 2.5
- Processor: Octa-core (1×3.09 GHz Kryo 585 & 3×2.42 GHz Kryo 585 & 4×1.8 GHz Kryo 585
- Storage: 128GB up to 512 GB
- RAM: 6GB – 8 GB
- Camera: Back – 13 MP, f/2.0, Front – 5 MP, f/2.2
- Graphics: Qualcomm SM8250 Snapdragon 865+
- Display: 11-inch, 12.4-inch
- Resolution: 1600 x 2560, 1752 x 2800
- Size: 9.99 x 6.51 x 0.25 in, 11.22 x 7.28 x 0.22 in
- Weight: 1.1lbs, 1.27lbs
- Port: USB-C port
- Battery: up to 9.5 hours
- Lightweight and travel-friendly.
- It gas Qualcomm SM8250 Snapdragon 865+, which improves GPU and CPU efficiency.
- It comes with 45W fast-charging technology.
- The latency of the stylus has been cut down to just 9ms, providing a more life-like experience while using the stylus.
- Comes in 3 different colors.
- Full aluminum build.
- Available with 128GB and 256GB memory.
- Galaxy S7 does not have a 3.5 mm jack.
- Keyboard not included in the price
Older version of S7 – Samsung Galaxy Tab S6
2. Apple iPad Pro (2020)
Apple didn’t let us down. They have released the new iPad Pro and oh boy, it’s pretty amazing. It’s not a laptop, it’s a tablet, but it’s almost a laptop. It’s a sort of 2-in-1 tablet. If you need to take notes on it, it’s great. If you need to write a lot – it’s great also because you can get the new Apple Magic Keyboard and do your writing, you don’t even need a laptop anymore. We feel like Apple is working hard to replace laptops in the future, we’re not there yet, but we’ll get there. It’s not only great for students. When you’re done with your studies, this device will definitely help you in your professional life. A lot of designers, photographers, and analysts are using this on a daily basis.
Stylish with a great display
iPad Pro 2020 has a liquid Retina display, which is one of the best screens on any mobile device. It’s colorful, brighter, and leverages the ProMotion technology by adjusting the refresh rate automatically to up to 120Hz. Your notes will look even better on this bad boy. Also, if you want to draw some pictures, edit pictures…it’s perfect for it. Let’s not forget about watching movies. The display is just stunning.
The new iPad Pro is perfect for mobility. If you buy the apple pencil with it or any other suitable S pen it’s great for drawing and note-taking. The external keyboard makes it a perfect 2-in-1 tablet. When you’re on a go it’s a tablet, when you’re at home you can turn it into a laptop, which Apple is going for in the future. Maybe it’s not a laptop right now, but it’s the best alternative in the market.
- It runs on Apple iPadOS 13.4
- It has A12Z Bionic processor, very powerful
You can get it with storage 128GB up till 1TB
- RAM – 6GM
- Two cameras 12MP wide (f/1.8) and 10MP ultra-wide (f/2.4)
- Two display sizes, as always an 11-inch model and a 12.9-inch model
- Resolution – 2732x2048pixels great for designers & also great for watching movies
- Has a USB-C port
- Battery lifetime – up to 10-hours, realistically 7-hours
- Gorgeous Display
- High-quality Camera
- LiDAR Scanner
- Touch ID or Face ID authentication
- USB-C port makes life easier
- Excellent speakers – if you need to take an online class or watch a movie
- Expensive (especially with Apple Pencil & Magic Keyboard)
- Uncomfortably large in hands for the case of the 12.9-inch model.
Older version of Apple iPad Pro 2018
It has a keyboard, it has an S Pen, a large screen and a kickstand, which will make your reading and researching tasks a bit easier. What makes it a good tablet for students is the fact that it’s portable, with the additional accessories i.e. keyboard you can turn it into a laptop. Very important is the battery life – 10-hours, since students are always on the go, continuous usage makes it convenient.
- OS: Windows 10 Home
- Processor: Dual-core 10th Gen Intel® Core™ i3-1005G1 Processor, Quad-core 10th Gen Intel® Core™ i5-1035G4 Processor, Quad-core 10th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-1065G7 Processor
- Storage: SSD 128GB – 1TB
- RAM: 4GB – 16 GB
- Camera: 5.0MP front-facing camera with 1080p full HD video, 8.0MP rear-facing autofocus camera with 1080p full HD video
- Graphics: Intel® UHD Graphics (i3), Intel® Iris™ Plus Graphics (i5, i7)
- Display: 12.3-inch
- Resolution: 2736 x 1824
- Size: 11.5” x 7.9” x 0.33” (292 mm x 201 mm x 8.5 mm)
- Weight: 1.70 lb (775 g)
- Port: USB-C port
- Battery: up to 10 hours
- Improved performance (compared to previous model)
- USB-C Port
- Sharp display
- Keyboard sold separately
- Soft speakers
4. Apple iPad Air (2020)
If your studies don’t require you to use high-demanding apps such as Photoshop or video editing or other data processing tasks, iPad Air is a great selection. (It can deal with these tasks, but we would recommend getting the Pro instead if that’s the case) The new Apple iPad Air, has incredible performance, it’s close to outperforming even iPad Pro. A modern tablet with the option to add Magic Keyboard and use the Apple Pen on it. Makes typing and note-taking convenient in class.
When school is over and time to relax – it’s great for entertainment purposes due to the excellent screen and vivid colors. It’s also packed with a great camera, to call your family and friends.
- OS: iOS
- Processor: A14 Bionic processor
- Storage: 64GB, 256GB
- RAM: 4 GB
- Camera: back – 12 MP, f/1.8, (wide), 1/3″, 1.22µm, dual pixel PDAF, front – 7 MP, f/2.0, 31mm
- Display: 10.9-inches
- Resolution:1640 x 2360 pixels
- Size: 9.75 x 7.03 x 0.23 in (247.6 x 178.5 x 5.9 mm)
- Weight: 1.04lbs (471g)
- Ports: USB Type-C + magnetic connector
- Battery: Up to 10-hours
- Supports Apple Pencil 2
- Supports Apple Magic Keyboard
- Touch ID
- Fastest ever A14 processor
- Excellent Screen
- No 120Hz ProMotion display
- High-end price
- 64GB base storage
- True depth camera
5. Google Pixel Slate
The device is very well capable of providing a visual treat all the 12.3 inches of Molecular Display with an amazing 6 million pixels. Basically, you are getting a 3000×2000 display with 229 pixels each inch. Besides, you are also getting dual coil front-firing right/left speakers. These two features make the tablet great for both studies and entertainment. It’s on Chrome OS so there are certain limitations, it’s more adjusted to google products as for students who don’t have specific needs, like photoshop or some video editing software, it’s a good choice. If you can find in play store, you can get it on your pixel slate.
Other features that make it a favorite among college students are:
Good Performance and High Battery Life
The CPU is 8th Generation Intel Core m3 processor which is one of the best around and offers lag-free multi-taking. Besides, you can get around 2 hours of battery life just by charging your tablet for 15minutes as it features a 45-watt powerful charger. It comes with USB-C type ports and it can be charged up with the help of a phone charger as well.
You are getting both front and rear cameras with this device and they are quite great. The 8MP front camera is Duo Cam-optimized’ and comes with a f/1.9 aperture. It will record video at 30fps. The rear camera is also 8MP but with 1.12um pixel size sensor. It comes with a f/1.8 aperture and record moments at 30fps.
- It comes with 8GB RAM and the installed flash memory size is 64GB.
- The dimension of the device is 11.45×7.95×0.28 inches.
- The OS is Chrome and has built-in Google Assistant.
- It features both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Connectivity.
- It promises 10- 12 hours of battery backup after a single charge.
- It comes with a sleek design with only 7mm thickness.
- It is lightweight as well weighing only 1.6 pounds.
- It has a touch-friendly interface.
- It is a bit expensive.
- The Pixel Slate Keyboard and Pixelbook Pen and other accessories are not included.
6. Microsoft Surface Pro X
This is truly a powerful device that helped it to become one of the best tablets for college. This 2-in-1 device comes with a great advantage which is that it is being powered by a processor designed by the ARM architecture. In all fairness, there have been some complaints from reviewers and customers that 32-bit apps sometimes don’t run properly and some performance issues. A lot of people have chosen Microsoft Surface Pro 7 over Microsoft Surface Pro X, we have to agree with them. We believe you get far more for your money with the Pro 7. If you’re a dynamic person jumping from one task to another, Surface Pro X will just slow you down. Especially with apps like Photoshop.
Surface Pro X is great to look at, amazing design, but it just doesn’t beat Surface Pro 7. If your studies don’t require you demanding apps, like Photoshop, Lightroom, video editing apps, it’s a good pick.
Some of the other features are:
High performance and Good Graphics Quality
The major difference which is seen in this device is that it does not have Intel CPU like its predecessor. So with this, you will get a custom-made CPU developed by the brand with Qualcomm, Microsoft SQ1. This chip, as mentioned above, is designed on the basis of ARM and you are getting the advantages that come with being clocked at 3 GHz. This device is the first of its kind to do so. All the graphic processing of the device is handled by the Adreno 685. Besides, it comes with dual Teraflops allowing great graphics processing power and SSDs as well.
This one features a 3:2 ratio, and this was added to this tablet to provide its users with the most workspace available. The thickness is around 7.3mm and the starting weight is around 1.7 pounds (774 grams). Thus, it is lightweight and portable as well. The PixelSense edge-to-edge display happens to be 13 inches. The versatile and ultrathin design is made possible because the processor while the kickstand helps the device to be in any orientation with ease.
The new Ports
Finally, the USB type C ports have been made available in the Surface Pro devices with this tablet. So, you are getting 2 USB Type C which can be used for high-speed data transfers and charging.
- It comes in two variants of 16GB and 8GB.
- It comes with an inbuilt SSD storage of either 512GB, 256GB, and 128GB.
- The dimension is 8.2×11.3×0.28 inches.
- The OS is Windows 10 Home.
- The rear webcam resolution is 5MP.
- It can be transformed into Laptop, Tablet and Studio mode with the kickstand.
- It can provide fast LTE, Wi-Fi connectivity and start-up.
- The LTE Advanced Pro connectivity is helpful when Wi-Fi is not available.
- The tablet promises to provide 13 hours of battery back up after a single full charge.
- The device does not come with the basic 3.5 headphones/audio jack which can be a problem. However, headphones with USB Type C can be used.
- The New Type Cover and Surface Pen comes with a lot of features and will definitely help. However, you have to buy them separately.
7. Microsoft Surface Go 2
The new Microsoft Surface Go 2 would be a great budget class tablet for students, but the fact that they didn’t include the keyboard and you have to buy it separately, makes it a bit expensive, If you update it with the necessary accessories and ideal components it’s quite pricy.
- OS: Windows 10 Home in S mode
- Processor: 8th Gen Intel Core m3 – Intel Pentium Gold Processor 4425Y
- Storage: 64GB – 128GB SSD
- RAM: 4GB – 8GB
- Camera: 5MP front-facing with 1080p Skype HD video, 8MP rear-facing with 1080p HD video
- Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 615
- Display: 10.5-inch
- Resolution: 1920 x 1280
- Size: 9.65 x 6.9 x 0.33 inches (245 x 175 x 8.3 mm; W x D x H)
- Weight: 1.22 lb (553 grams)
- Port: 1 x USB-C®, 3.5 mm headphone jack, 1 x Surface Connect port, Surface Type Cover Port⁶,MicroSDXC Card Reader
- Battery: up to 10-hours
- Solid design
- Kickstand (makes it convenient to browser content and read)
- Good mic and audio (good for group calls)
- USB-C type port
- Keyboard not included in the price
Older or alternative version – Microsfot Surface Go
8. Huawei MateBook Signature Edition
This device was Huawei’s first take into the world of Microsoft, making this device suitable for most college students. The best thing about the tablet is its powerful Intel Core i5-7Y54 processor with a processor speed of 1.2 GHz. So, with this 2-in-1 device, user can multitask with ease and can enjoy streaming movies and music. Other features include:
Built to last
The device is only 6.9 mm in thickness and has a 12-inch frame, which makes it light-weight and compact. On the other hand, it has an aluminum alloy body with CNC diamond cutting and metallic unibody techniques which provide a sleek and stylish look while making the device sturdy.
It comes with a side fingerprint sensor and this very feature has made it a user-friendly device. You can multitask with ease as this feature allows accessing windows desktop, finishing fingerprint authentications and unlock the tablet in with just one touch. This feature provides great security and privacy as well.
Great typing experience
At this price range, you are getting a full-size keyboard folio that can be detached. This backlit chiclet keyboard can provide a great typing experience with the help of up to 160 degrees of a wide range of stand angles. Besides, the new hinge design helps the device to connect more firmly with the keyboard folio.
- It comes with a 2160×1440 pixel high-resolution display.
- It comes with an NTSC 85% color gamut for a more vivid display of colors.
- It has 8GB RAM and 256 GB M.2 SATA3 SSD hard disk capacity.
- The dimension of this product is 10.98×0.27×7.64 inches.
- It weighs only 1.41 pounds.
- The OS is Windows 10 Home.
- It has Intel HD Graphics 615 coprocessor.
- It has a 5MP rear web camera.
- With a 2k display and around 84% screen-to-body ratio enjoy a great viewing experience.
- With Dolby Audio Premium you can get optimized audio that creates a home theatre-like experience with powerful yet rich and layered sound quality.
- It provides 9 hours of battery backup just by charging the device once.
- It has a relatively short battery life.
- The hard drive provided is pre-partitioned which many students find annoying.
Huawei MateBook Signature Edition in Action
9. Lenovo Chromebook Duet #Best Budget Tablet for Students
Why this tablet is labeled so cheap is beyond us. For this price, it’s a steal.
Sure, the device isn’t top of the line when it comes to performance. It won’t blow you away with it’s processing powers, but we are talking about the best tablets for school. When it comes to that, it’s the best budget tablet out there. It’s lightweight, which makes it easy to carry it from one place to another.
It’s a great device for students that value mobility and ease of use. When it comes to simple tasks, it’s incredibly fast.
- OS: Chrome OS
- Processor: MediaTek Helio P60T
- Storage: 64 GB / 128 GB
- RAM: 4 GB
- Camera: 2 MP front and 8 MP rear camera
- Graphics: ARM G72 MP3
- Display: 10.1-inch
- Resolution: 1920×1200
- Size: 9.6 x 6.7 x 0.7 inches
- Weight: 430g / 0.94 lb (tablet only) 920g / 2.03 lbs (with full cover & keyboard)
- Port: USB-C Type
- Battery: up to 13 hours
- 13-hour battery life
- Keyboard and kickstand included
- Budget pricing
- Lack of power for high-demanding tasks
- No memory card slot
10. Lenovo Yoga Book
If all the classes you are taking during your academic year involve taking lots of notes then this one is definitely for you. It can even covert your physical notes into digital form which is again a very useful feature for students. Some of the other features are:
The FHD IPS touchscreen is around 10.1 inches. The design of this 2-in-1 tablet is that of a standard paper notebook. This design further improves the typing or writing experience of the user. The hard-edged metal chassis is grey in color and has rounded corners giving a cool vibe to the tablet as well. The attached Halo keyboard has a glossy futuristic look and light ups making it aesthetically pleasing.
It is made with Intel Atom x5-Z8550 processor. The Real Pen allows taking notes or making sketches with real ink. It also uses passive EMR (Electromagnetic Resistance) technology to work out what the user is writing and then digitally transport it into an app provided by the company called Lenovo’s Note Saver.
- It has a RAM of 4GM and the size of the internal memory is 64GB.
- The dimension of the tablet is 10.1×6.72×0.4 inches.
- It comes with a 2MP rear webcam.
- The OS is Android 6.0 Marshmallow.
- The high-resolution display offers 1920×1200 pixels.
- It comes with an 8500 mAh battery.
- It comes with a micro SD card that can support up to 128 GB.
- It has 3.5mm headset jack and 1 Micro USB port.
- It is said to have 12 hours of battery life from a single full charge.
- It is quite compact and lightweight for a 2-in-1 design of tablet as it is only 4.05mm in thickness and 690 grams (1.5pounds) in weight.
- The 360 degrees hinge allows the device to be operated in four different modes like the Typing, Watch, Browse and Create modes.
- It does not allow cloud note syncing.
- Many users have complained about the software bugs.
With this detailed review with specifications, pros, and cons of some of the best tablets available currently for students, finding the right one for you will not be a problem. However, to help you out further and to make sure that you have a great tablet shopping experience, here is a buying guide for choosing the best tablet for you.
How comes Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 is better than Apple iPad Pro 2020 for Students?
We can’t make a direct on the paper comparison between these devices, it wouldn’t be fair. If you take an iPhone 12 as an example and any newest Andriod smartphone – iPhone would lose on paper, it would look weak standing next to Android’s stats. Lower RAM, lower mAh, etc.
But because of the tight integration on the Apple devices, all the parts talking directly to each other instead of passing the information around, less efficiently. By doing that they are creating the most powerful devices out there. This is why Apple never really advertises GHz, RAM, Battery, etc.
The difference between these devices isn’t that big, the biggest difference is the price. Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 is almost two times less expensive than Apple iPad Pro 2020. Also, as a student you will need accessories – S pen, keyboard, believe it or not, Magic Keyboard for iPad isn’t cheap. Due to all these facts, Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 is a better choice for overall students that are looking for a tablet.
Things to consider when buying a tablet for college
You can’t just get the one that’s the prettiest, you can’t get the biggest one, you can’t get the cheapest one, so what should you look for? Here are three things to consider before making your final decision.
Compare to suit your budget
Do you have a budget? Then it best to compare the tablets in your preferred price range. This will help you to figure out which one is providing the best or most features in that price range. As you can check in our article, not the priciest tablet is the best one.
As per your needs
It all depends on your needs, most typical students needs – S pen, keyboards, camera, performance.
You will need the S pen to-do notes, eventually, or perhaps do some art, you will need the keyboard to do your mandatory papers, camera – well we all know why you will need that and of course, overall performance, so the tablets doesn’t slow you down.
Quick and Hassel Free work
If you want to use the tablet to take down notes or get work done on the go, then you will need a high-performance processor with good battery life. The better the processor, the better will be the speed of the tablet. The best way to determine if the tablet won’t give up on you is by checking the battery backup life ability of the tab. A high-performance device should last at least 8 to 9 hours after a single charge.
free tablets for college students
If you’re a student or about to come one, we know you will have to take a lot of notes, a lot! You’re also going to have to write a lot, most likely. So we suggest you focus on a tablet that has the option to attach a keyboard and has an S Pen. It’s incredible how easy it is to write on the tablets. It will take your note-taking game to the next level and the best part – it’s enjoyable.
Keeping this in mind the number one choice is the new Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 which is also number one the list for a reason. It’s powerful, it’s stylish, it has an attachable keyboard, stylus pen, incredible display, and amazing speakers if you need to make video calls and take online courses. Also, when you’re done with studying – it’s a great device for catching a movie on Netflix, with a display like that and speakers like that, it’s quite entertaining. You can also learn new hobbies with it – e.g. some art-work.
If Andriod or Samsung isn’t really for you – of course, Apple iPad Pro 2020, is our second pick, it’s a tough comparison, we love the iPad Pro, but the price is a bit over the top for that device, but if that’s not a factor, definitely a good choice.
If you’re going after a budget tablet – Lenovo Chromebook Duet is made for students on the go, to take quick notes, do the research, emails, group calls.
Well, we hope this article was helpful and let us know in the comments below if you need any help, if not, let us know which tablet did you choose for your studies.
Have a good one.