When it comes to playing mobile games on the go, the best gaming tablets have the last word. Sure, the best gaming phones are more portable. But the bigger screen, increased battery life, and superior processing power of tablets makes all the difference. The ones listed below will breeze through the likes of Call of Duty Mobile and Apple Arcade releases, not to mention all the day-to-day tasks you may need. And hey, who are we kidding? Squinting at the action on a small screen gets old real fast. As a result, a tablet is the best alternative.
The hard part is finding the best gaming tablet for you and your needs. After all, there's plenty to choose from. Everyone seems to be making tablets these days, be it Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, Amazon, Lenovo... well, we could go on, but you get the picture. The point is, many of these seem damn-near identical to each other at first glance, so it can be a confusing headache to slog through.
Which is where we come in. Our team of experts has lots of advice about what's worthy of your time, and you'll find all of our recommendations below. This page will constantly be updated with new prices and products too, so check back to see the latest and greatest discounts on the latest and greatest slabs. So be sure to watch out for a bargain - you'll see it here first.
And if you go for a non-Apple device, remember to pick up the best antivirus software! It'll keep your tablet safe and secure.
Best gaming tablets
If you want to game on iOS, there's no device that can beat the 3rd generation iPad Pro. Crucially, the A12X Bionic chip finally brings the iPad Pro's features up to par with the iPhone.
Meanwhile, the screen is big enough that you can use a tablet stand to place it on a table and connect a controller for more precise play, and with such a powerful device, there's no worry about lag (we chose the 11-inch model since it's a bit lighter and easier to hold, but the 12.9-inch model is just as capable if you prefer a larger display). Touch ID has also been eliminated in favor of Face ID, leading to a smaller bezel and a more attractive design overall.
What's more, the iPad Pro is a capable device for artwork, watching movies or TV shows, and whatever else you can imagine. This is the pinnacle of tablet design, and when paired with the Apple Pencil and a smart keyboard, it rivals products like the Microsoft Surface Pro.
Not everyone is able to afford an iPad Pro. We don't all want them, either. They can get expensive and the latest models seem like overkill in many situations. That's where the most recent 10.2-inch iPad comes into its own. It's an excellent all-rounder and shines as the best gaming tablet for those who don't want to spend too much.
That's because of the advanced tech operating underneath. This iPad has an Apple A10 Fusion chipset with more than enough horsepower for gaming, and a gorgeous Retina screen makes the most of it. There's the usual lack of storage options, sure, but otherwise this is an excellent choice.
Besides matching its predecessor's specs, this tablet also offers compatibility with both the Smart Keyboard for typing and the Apple Pencil. The latter is a revelation if you like drawing; it responds to pressure and direction, allowing you to create even more impressive pieces of art than before. After going hands-on with it, I'm not sure I could go back to a standard digital drawing pad.
Even though there's a newer, flashier model out there (the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6), the earlier Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e is still our Android tablet of choice. It improves upon the prior model, the S4, in a bunch of ways that shunt it to the top end of our 'best of' pile. The Super AMOLED screen is gorgeous to look at, quad stereo speakers help get you into the action, and it's a good few pounds lighter as well. That makes it better for gaming overall, as it's more comfortable for long stints.
The S5e has also overcome one of the biggest issues with the Galaxy Tab S4 - its retail price. This successor model starts at a much more reasonable cost, and you're still getting excellent quality for your cash. Yes, it's a real pain that there's no headphone jack, but everything else on offer is of the highest quality.
As such, those looking for a great all-around tablet with quality features and design shouldn't miss the Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e.
While PC gaming enthusiasts might want to avert their eyes here, we've got good news for the rest of you. Whereas most gaming tablets will only offer iOS or Android gaming on the go, the Microsoft Surface Pro can actually let you play your Steam games. Yes, it's true. While you won't be playing anything on max settings, middling graphical options can see you running games at a slick 50fps, including the likes of Minecraft and Portal 2, and a perfectly decent 30fps for games such as XCOM: Enemy Unknown and Civilization 5.
Because the Surface Pro is also compatible with the Signature Type attachment, giving you a keyboard and touchpad that essentially turns this tablet into a laptop.
If you want a Windows device with a big, beautiful screen, a full keyboard and all the flexibility of a tablet, then the Windows Surface Pro is an excellent choice. It won't compete with a gaming rig, but when it looks this good - and weighs so little, comparatively speaking - you won't regret it.
If you want a tablet for your children, or for someone who's a casual gamer, you actually can't go wrong with the Amazon Fire HD 10. It still has a huge screen with a lovely full HD resolution, and some lovely design aesthetics (apart from the plastic design), but you're paying a fraction of the cost of other gaming tablets on this list. If you're an Amazon Prime customer, you get a load of other perks, but even non-members can take advantage of the Amazon Underground game store, which offers a tonne of excellent Android games for the very low price of absolutely free. Bonus. It does run the slightly awkward Amazon Fire OS, but for those looking for an affordable table with the majority of the bells and whistles of something at least twice the price, you can't fault the Fire 10 HD.
If you don't fancy spending the earth on a new tablet but remain tempted by Apple's siren-call, the iPad 9.7 is your best bet. Although it's a bit smaller than 2019's 10.2-inch upgrade, you're still getting a powerful machine with many of the same specs. Combine that with a solid 10-hour battery and you've got a winner on your hands.
Despite being considerably cheaper than the iPad Pro models, it also comes with a crisp display that's equally good for games or movies. More importantly, it packs the A10 Fusion chipset. That means a lightning-fast iPad experience in every regard.
The new iPad Mini doesn't bring a lot of new features or even a new form factor to the product line. It really doesn't have to. The iPad Mini 2019 basically just ups the iPad Mini 4's specs to 2019 standards, and that's just fine with us. Sure, the screen isn't vastly bigger than the current range of + size phones, but that extra realestate makes a significant difference when it comes to games.
With the iPad Mini 2019 you can get the best of iOS gaming in the highest fidelity while paying around half of what you would if you bought an iPad Pro. Additionally, the newest model of the iPad Mini adds support for the 1st gen Apple Pencil, so it makes a handy little tablet for doing art on as well.
Seeing as this is a company best known for making great gaming gear, it's not a total surprise to spot an Asus tablet on this list of best gaming tablets. Clearly inspired by the design of both the Apple iPad and the successful Samsung Galaxy Tab range of slates, the Asus Zenpad is a well-made beast. It boasts a sharp and bright screen, with enough power to run all the games you'd want to play on Android. If we were to have a little niggle, the awkwardly placed speakers can dampen the audio quality you get when playing games, and the build quality could be better. But, at the end of the day, Asus knows how to make gaming hardware, and this little Android gaming tablet does not disappoint.
The old go-to tablet if you wanted something cheap without sacrificing too much performance used to be the Nexus 7 (2013). These days, though, it's hard to find a sub-$300 model that has acceptable build quality and performance. However, the Lenovo Tab 4 10 Plus might just be the Nexus 7 of this generation. You'll find the Lenovo Tab 4 10 Plus is average in almost every regard. However, that's excellent for the asking price of $279. The 1920x1200 display won't win any awards, and it has some issues with glare at times, but it has good color reproduction and is bright enough to use outside comfortably as long as the sun isn't shining directly down on it.
As of today, you shouldn't find any games that push the Tab 4 10 Plus over its limits. Fortnite and PUBG run well, and the multitude of less hardware intensive games are a cinch for this tablet. However, with the Tab 4 10 Plus being an older, lower-midrange tablet, you won't get as much life out of it as something like the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 that is running higher-end, newer hardware. That's not necessarily a problem as long as you keep it in mind when you make your purchase.