The best gaming tablets to pick up (September 2018)

best gaming tablet

You're looking to buy a new tablet - like an iPad or a Galaxy Tab - and you want to know what the best gaming tablet is. Sure, you own a Switch and a phone, and maybe you're not specifically buying a new tablet for gaming but... you plan to play games on it all the same, and you want to make the right choice. Or maybe you do want a tablet just for gaming - there are some amazing games out there on the Apple and Android stores. Whatever your reason, we've tested all the major devices to discover the best gaming tablets you can buy.

10.5-inch iPad Pro

1. 10.5-inch iPad Pro

The best gaming tablet money can buy

Weight: 469g | Dimensions: 250.6 x 174.1 x 6.1mm | OS: iOS 11 | Screen size: 10.5-inch | Resolution: 1668 x 2224 | CPU: A10X Fusion | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64/256/512GB | Battery: 8,134mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 7MP

The most powerful iPad ever (and tablet too)
Glorious screen
Expensive

The benefit of indulging in some mobile gaming on an iPad is that iOS devices tend to get games faster than their Android counterparts. Devs love iOS, and gamers should love it too, especially when it comes to the iPad Pro. This 10.5-inch version is your best bet - unless you want the jumbotron that is the more expensive 12.9-inch version - as it just happens to be the most powerful iPad Apple has ever made. The King of Cupertino really isn't lying when it comes to the prowess of the A10X chipset, it's a serious beat. That means no lag, no issues with speed; this is an iPad that can deal with anything you throw at it, from the most demanding games to running side-by-side windows as you game and watch a spot of Netflix at the same time. The sound quality is impressive too: loud, sharp and expansive, which is exactly what you want when you're playing or hammering out some Spotify. The iPad Pro also has the ProMotion dynamic frame rate, which comes in handy for both gaming and watching movies, as well as making sure doing both those things doesn't drain your battery life. This is the best gaming tablet you can get. 

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3

2. Samsung Galaxy Tab S3

Top of the range Android gaming tablet

Weight: 429g | Dimensions: 237.3 x 169 x 6mm | OS: Android 7 | Screen size: 9.7-inch | Resolution: 1536 x 2048 | CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 32GB | Battery: 6,000mAh | Rear camera: 13MP | Front camera: 5MP

Top notch design
HDR display
Expensive

If an Apple device isn't your bag, then don't worry, there are plenty of awesome Android tablets that are perfect for gaming - along with everything else you'd want to use a tablet for. But, currently the best Android tablet money can buy is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3. It's a fantastic tablet with a stunning quad HD screen that's already read to show off HDR content, even if it hasn't quite arrived yet. It's the best designed tablet Samsung has ever delivered, and it funtions more like a laptop hybrid than your standard tablet - more akin to an iPad Pro than an oversized Galaxy smartphone. There are speakers hidden along the frame of the tablet that mean your constantly getting immersed in your gaming without your hands covering up any of the grills, and when combined with that lovely screen and a beast under the hood, you're looking at a tablet that's capable of running the best Android games money can buy. It helps that it also comes with software known as Game Launcher, which makes playing games on a tablet much easier. Take in-game screenshots, record video, shut off all your alerts for a distraction free gaming session, and heck you can ever use the front-facing camera for Let's Play videos. All I need to do now is perfect how to play games and still have the camera at a flattering angle..

New iPad (2018)

3. New iPad (2018)

A more affordable, but still brilliant, iPad

Weight: 469g | Dimensions: 240 x 169.5 x 7.5mm | OS: iOS 11 | Screen size: 9.7-inch | Resolution: 1536 x 2048 | CPU: A10 Fusion | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 32/128GB | Battery: Up to 10 hours | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 1.2MP

Most affordable full-sized iPad
Screen quality is wonderful
Storage options are more limited than other models

Okay, okay, so not everyone can afford an iPad Pro, or necessary wants the all-singing, all-dancing top end iPad tablet offering. So instead, check out the new 9.7-inch iPad, which is the best gaming tablet for anyone on a bit more of a budget. It's considerably cheaper than any of the iPad Pro models, but still comes with a crisp display, excellent tech running things behind the scenes and all the access you need to all that iOS gaming goodness. It comes with Apple Pencil support, if that's your bag, but more importantly it comes packing the Apple A10 Fusion chipset, which means a lightning fast iPad experience, both for gaming and productivity. It's a brilliant option for those looking for the Apple gaming experience, and definitely worth a look. There's a reason this is number 3 in our list, and it's not just because it's cheaper. 

Amazon Fire HD 10 2017

4. Amazon Fire HD 10 (2017)

Affordable but with a brilliant screen

Weight: 500g | Dimensions: 262 x 159 x 9.8mm | OS: Fire OS | Screen size: 10.1-inch | Resolution: 1920 x 1200 | CPU: Quad-core | Storage: 32/64GB | Battery: Up to 12 hours | Rear camera: 2MP | Front camera: VGA

Seriously affordable
Full HD display
Plastic design lets it down

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. 

iPad Mini 4

5. iPad Mini 4

iOS gaming on a smaller screen

Weight: 299g | Dimensions: 203.2 x 134.8 x 6.1mm | OS: iOS 11 | Screen size: 7.9-inch | Resolution: 2048 x 1536 | CPU: A8 | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 16/32/64/128GB | Battery: 5,124mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 1.2MP

Compact, light design
Vivid screen
Some hardware features a little basic

If you don't want a huge tablet to weigh down or take up space in your bag, you need to check out the iPad Mini 4. This is the 7-inch tablet to own right now. It has all the aesthetics of the larger iPads, but with 2-inches shaved off the screen size, quite a heft off the weight and has a seriously beautiful screen. High-performance games are clear and crisp, with frame rates running high for a tablet of this size and tech capabilities. The sheer speed of the screen response time is an added boon too, making tap-based games feel incredibly fluid. This is the perfect iPad for more casual gamers after all, without losing any of the power if you want to go up a rung or two in your iOS gaming career in the near future. 

Microsoft Surface Pro

6. Microsoft Surface Pro

Steam gaming on a tablet-sized device

Weight: 768/770/784g | Dimensions: 292 x 201 x 8.5mm | OS: Windows 10 Pro | Screen size: 12.3-inch | Resolution: 2736 x 1824 | CPU: Intel Core m3, i5 or i7 | RAM: 4/8/16GB | Storage: 128/256/512GB or 1TB | Battery: Up to 13.5 hours media playback | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 5MP

Plays full PC games
Excelllnt design and screen
Not as powerful as some rival tablets

While PC gaming enthusiasts might want to avert their eyes here, the rest of you, hear me out. Whereas most gaming tablets will only offer you iOS or Android gaming on the go, the Microsoft Surface Pro can actually let you play your Steam and other PC games on a tablet. 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 including XCOM: Enemy Unknown and Civilization 5. 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 comparatively little - you won't regret it. 

Asus Zenpad 3S 10

7. Asus ZenPad 3S 10

Android's answer to the mid-range iPad

Weight: 430g | Dimensions: 240.5 x 163.7 x 7.2mm | OS: Android Marshmallow | Screen size: 9.7-inch | Resolution: 1536 x 2048 | CPU: Mediatek MT8176 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 32/64GB | Battery: Up to 10 hours | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 5MP

Brilliant screen
Fast
Battery life could be better
Speakers are awkwardly placed

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. 

Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro

8. Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro

Wait, is that a projector?

Weight: 666.8g | Dimensions: 246.9 x 179.1 x 4.7mm | OS: Android Marshmallow | Screen size: 10.1-inch | Resolution: 2560 x 1600 | CPU: Intel Atom x5-Z8500 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery: 10,200mAh | Rear camera: 13MP | Front camera: 5MP

Integrated projector
Audio quality is fantastic
Heavy

With the Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro, you're getting quite a special Android gaming tablet. Not only is this a slate that packs excellent multimedia skills, but you're also getting a tablet that comes with a built-in projector. Yes, your eyes didn't deceive you, the Yoga Tab 3 has a project embedded in its unique hinge, which makes this quite the unique proposition. Bye, bye TV. Or, at least, hello gaming on the go on the seriously big screen. Switch dock eat your heart out. Because of that, this tablet is a little heavier than anything else on this list, but this is a seriously strong gaming tablet with the additional benefit of being able to go big, even when you can't go home.