The best gaming tablets juggle a lot of jobs; they need to offer high quality gameplay across a wide library of titles, all while still holding up as everyday streaming, web-browsing, and productivity devices. That's why dedicated gaming tablets can be so pricey - you're getting features and specs that don't typically make their way into everyday tech under the hood. However, many mainstream tablets are well suited to your thumb-tapping titles, and with the advent of cloud gaming they're only getting more and more useful as time goes on.
If you've outgrown your gaming phone, there are plenty of options out there for you. Not only that, but the best gaming tablets are starting to rival gaming laptops for their performance and value for money these days. If you're looking to invest in a high-end device there's some seriously exciting stuff on the table right now.
That's where we come in. The recommendations listed below will breeze through everything from Call of Duty Mobile to Apple Arcade, not to mention all the day-to-day tasks you need. This page is constantly updated with the lowest prices too, so check back every now and then to see the latest discounts on the greatest slabs.
We're rounding up our top picks based on price-to-performance ratio and our own healthy love for tablet devices, but you'll find options for cheaper machines and those ready to take on the world of PC gaming alike. Before you take the plunge, though, make sure your favorite games are available on your operating system of choice - we're looking at you, Fortnite.
Best gaming tablets - top 10
The Asus ROG Flow Z13 goes where no gaming tablet has gone before. This is a hybrid tablet and laptop, packing Intel's latest 12th generation processors and an RTX 3050 Ti graphics card. While we struggled to recommend it as a gaming laptop in its entirety (this thing is particularly expensive), those on the hunt for a high-end gaming tablet with PC-level performance should definitely take note.
We found that RTX 3050 Ti GPU to struggle a little in our testing, but you'll still get far better performance than in other multi-purpose devices. Plus, there's the whole world of PC gaming at your fingertips here thanks to Windows 11. Using the Asus ROG Flow Z13 in both tablet and laptop mode was a dream, with a responsive magnetic keyboard and a sturdy kickstand to keep everything safe. Not only that, but we particularly enjoyed the subtle RGB window into the circuitry on the back - a premium touch that lets the whole world know exactly what this tablet is being used for.
It's important to note that this is an incredibly well engineered piece of kit. Our unit had an i9-12900H processor under the hood with that latest generation graphics card, 16GB RAM, and a 1TB SSD - all working together to offer some serious performance without the temperature and noise concerns of similar slimline devices. While the price point will lock many out of this luxury experience - and won't be worth it for those after a laptop - this is certainly the best gaming tablet on the market right now when it comes down to sheer power.
Read more: Asus ROG Flow Z13 review
If you're on the hunt for a cheap gaming tablet that will see you through your favorite mobile games alongside web browsing and streaming, then the Fire HD 10 is really all you need. Sure, you won't be getting the gut-busting performance of a dedicated device like the Asus ROG Flow Z13, or the premium finish and experience of an iPad Pro - but you're not spending anywhere near the costs of those devices.
Instead, you're picking up a high quality screen that will help your games shine and plenty of internal power for a smooth experience in lighter titles. That's considerable value for money, especially considering just how often these devices go on sale. While the MSRP stands at $149.99 for the 32GB model, that's by no means the cheapest you can find these tablets during sale events.
The Amazon Fire HD 10 is perfect for those who need a decent Minecraft or LEGO Star Wars machine but don't need to sink pay cheques into an investment.
Apple's latest iPad Air lives in the Goldilocks 'just right' zone of the best gaming tablets. Thanks to a reasonable price - for Apple, anyway - and oodles of power beneath a chic design, it's everything you could want from a mid-range device.
As the fifth version of the iPad Air, this one has plenty of feathers in its cap. Besides that revolutionary M1 processor, it offers a handsome 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display that'll show off your games, movies, and TV shows at their best. Because there's no home button, that screen has a bit more real-estate to play with as well.
Thanks to compatibility with Apple's own keyboard and trackpad, the Air is also giving you the functionality of an iPad Pro without the associated price tag. That makes it an excellent choice for those who don't want to destroy their bank balance for the best of the best, but equally aren't keen on budget alternatives.
While some older 2020 models are still hanging around on the shelves, we'd recommend keeping a closer eye on the 2022 version. It's the best mid-range gaming tablet on the market right now, and while you could pick up an older processor for around $70 less during a good discount the value of that M1 makes the extra investment worthwhile.
Want the best gaming tablet possible? You can't beat the new generation of iPad Pro. With a powerful Apple M1 processor, trackpad and keyboard functionality, and a truly gorgeous Liquid Retina display with ProMotion technology, this is one of the best gaming tablets on the market by a long shot.
That M1 processor boosts nearly every aspect of the iPad Pro experience, including the performance of your games. That means you'll load up titles faster, experience less lag, and your device will manage its battery far better when playing intensive software as well.
Elsewhere, the new Pro offers a dual-camera setup and lidar sensors. These boost the performance of augmented reality apps by allowing the iPad to better judge distances. When combined with an excellent Liquid Retina screen that's perfect for games and movies, FaceID, and compatibility with the must-have Apple Pencil, this is pinnacle tech.
Linked above is the XDR display-toting 12.9-inch model, but you'll also find the latest prices for the cheaper 11-inch version just below as well.
Samsung has carved out a name for itself within the crowded world of tablets, and now its products rival any on offer from Apple. Indeed, the latest Galaxy might be Samsung's best one yet. Driven by incredible technology and capped with a beautiful 111-inch screen that can offer a 120Hz refresh rate, the S8 line offers the best gaming tablet running Android by a wide margin.
Thanks to a Snapdragon chipset, it has plenty of oomph that allows it to power even the most demanding games. What's more, it'll do so at an impressive speed. Sure, most mobile games don't require that kind of grunt. But if you're playing something a bit more intensive (Fortnite, say), you'll appreciate the boost.
It's not too bulky, either. Despite having a narrower screen than your common iPad Pro, this keeps the weight down and allows the S8 to be more portable than earlier models. Because the point of mobile gaming is to play anywhere, that's a real plus.
You don't need an iPad Pro to experience everything Apple tablets have to offer. Its mid-range cousin is brilliant in its own right, and the 2021 iPad 10.2 (9th generation) is an all-rounder and the best gaming tablet for most people.
That's because there's a lot of advanced technology under the hood. Thanks to an A13 Bionic chip with more than enough grunt to handle most games, it offers everything you need - and then some - from an everyday tablet. Plus, that 10.2-inch Retina display makes sure everything looks its best at all times. It's a gorgeous device.
What's more, this iPad makes up for its lack of storage options and a disappointing selfie camera by being compatible with the Apple Pencil. The latter is a revelation for artists and doodlers alike, responding to pressure in a way that blows many digital drawing pads out of the water.
Thanks to a 20W plug, the iPad 10.2 also charges much faster than earlier versions. This (along with an iconic, timeless design) results in a tablet that feels premium without the crippling price tag to match.
Sure, you can get Android or Apple products that are flashier. But few provide the same level of bang for buck as the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7. It's one of the best gaming tablets around if you're trying to save money and aren't keen on getting an iPad.
While its Qualcomm SM6115 processor won't be able to keep up with more expensive competitors, the Tab A7 is still miles ahead of cheap and cheerful alternatives. That means it'll be able to take most games in its stride. Indeed, it'll only struggle when you ask it to run more demanding software, or lots of programs at once.
A sleeker design with smaller bezels helps maintain that image of quality; as well as looking modern, it allows more space for a larger screen. In turn, that's backed up by a quad speaker and Dolby Atmos for a more cinematic experience.
You get some cool toys to play with despite cutting costs, too. Namely, the A7 features facial recognition for faster unlocks. After using the feature for a while, it's difficult to go back.
If you'd prefer something a little smaller, the iPad Mini is one of the best gaming tablets you can get. Dainty but powerful, it's as capable of running the latest releases as it is a movie or TV show. It runs rings around the competition as well - you won't find a pint-sized tablet that performs better than this.
Even so, you're still getting the same great iPad experience for a more palatable - yet admittedly hefty - price. Considering how costly Apple products can be, that's no bad thing. Particularly because it offers extra value thanks to its compatibility with the 1st-gen Apple Pencil (it's a good choice for anyone who wants to develop their artistic streak as a result).
Sure, the screen isn't that much bigger than some cell phones. Nevertheless, it's enough of an improvement to split the difference. Plus, that tighter footprint makes it ideal for commutes, vacations, or being curled up on the sofa.
How to buy a tablet for gaming
There are a few things to look out for if you're looking to buy a tablet for gaming purposes, as your shopping list will likely look different to someone buying for work, streaming, or general productivity purposes. Of course, your number one question should be:
What game services does this tablet support?
Different tablets will run on different operating systems, which means you'll need to check out the games you can actually download and run on your system. While the majority of Apple and Android devices will be able to stream from cloud gaming services like Xbox and Google Stadia, it's worth having a nose through their app stores as well. Apple, for example, offers the Arcade subscription but doesn't carry Fortnite on its store.
After you've found an operating system, it's time to make sure you're getting enough juice under the hood to run these games properly. The next question you should ask yourself is:
What processing level do I need?
Yes, the processor is important, but you're not likely to differentiate much between different models within your price bracket. Unlike PCs and laptops, gaming tablets don't tend to offer too many configuration options outside of Windows devices. Put simply, the more you pay for your tablet the faster your processor will be. However, you don't need the fastest chip on the planet to play all your favorite games. If you're looking to stream some titles and play a few larger games natively, we'd recommend opting for a mid-range price tag - around $400 to $600.
How much RAM do I need?
Some gaming tablets will ship with different amounts of RAM under the hood, however most entry level models will come stocked with 4GB. In tablet form, that's more than enough to see you through lighter mobile-first games, and you can chug along some heavier titles as well if you're really looking to push your budget model. However, if you're serious about using this device as your daily driver, we'd recommend scoping out 6GB or 8GB options.
So you've got the perfect operating system with the right level of power. Next you'll need to make sure your screen can do your gaming tablet justice. Ask yourself:
How much do I want to pay for my screen's refresh rate?
Brands often use the same displays across their devices, but you can often pay a little more for a 120Hz variable refresh rate display. This screen comes packed with an iPad Pro, for instance. That's going to give you top shelf motion handling and make sure all your games are pristine. However, it's a costly affair. At the budget end of the spectrum, we'd recommend making sure you're getting at least a 60Hz refresh rate for a gaming-focused device.
How much RAM does a gaming tablet need?
Cheaper gaming tablets can ship with as little as 2GB RAM. Because memory is needed far less in a tablet than a laptop or PC, we'd recommend aiming for at least 3GB and hopefully picking up 4GB. Of course, this all depends on your budget, and if you're browsing in the upper echelons of the market you could be offered up to 16GB, though this is only reserved for more specialised devices.
Which budget tablet is best for gaming?
Budget tablets include the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7, Amazon Fire tablet, iPad base model, and Lenovo M-series devices. Of these brands, we'd recommend picking up an Amazon Fire HD 10 for an ultra-cheap gaming tablet experience, or upgrading to an entry level iPad for the best value if you're looking to stream and browse the web as well.
What size tablet do you need for gaming?
The best gaming tablets steer away from the smaller 7-inch displays of more entry level devices. That means we'd recommend picking up a screen size of at least 10-inches if you plan on spending a significant amount of time gaming on your tablet.
Want a bigger screen to game on after all? Don't forget to take a look at the best gaming TVs or our guide to the best OLED TV. No matter whether you're playing a console game on them or streaming something from Disney Plus, they'll make your content look its best.
Find out more about all the recommendations we make with our full GamesRadar+ Hardware policy.